Wednesday, January 16, 2008

  • Guidelines: what a UW degree means
  • New copiers will be from Xerox
  • More flakes in the daily flurry
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Link of the day

Appreciate a Dragon Day

When and where

Food services part-time job fair 11:00 to 2:00, Brubakers, Student Life Centre, and Thursday, 4:30 to 6:30, Mudies cafeteria, Village I.

Let's Make a Deal stop-smoking contest, organized by the Leave the Pack Behind program, registration booth in the Student Life Centre daily from 11:00 to 3:00.

Free noon concert: "Berners and Böhme: Music for Trumpet and Piano", Guy Few and Stephanie Mara, 12:30, Conrad Grebel University College chapel.

Miss World Canada contestant Nicole Mery selling fund-raising raffle tickets (win an iPod, hairdressing gift certificates) 12:30 to 2:30, Math and Computer building third floor.

Smarter Health seminar: David Hill, University of Western Ontario, "Health Informatics: Critical Support for Clinical Research", 3:00, Davis Centre room 1302.

Web clinic for "people of all skill levels and experiences to work on their websites", Wednesdays 3:30 to 5:00, Chemistry II room 160, information e-mail

Military history lecture: Commander Stephen Virgin, HMCS Toronto, "Recent Deployments of HMCS Toronto and Canada's Naval Activities Overseas", 7:00, 232 King Street North, Wilfrid Laurier University.

K-W Little Theatre auditions for April production of "The Importance of Being Earnest", 7:00 to 10:00, Math and Computer room 4042.

Clubs, Services and Societies Days introducing student organizations for this term, Thursday and Friday, 10:00 to 3:00, Student Life Centre great hall.

Surplus sale of UW furniture and equipment, Thursday 12:30 to 2:00, central stores, East Campus Hall.

Graduate studies reception honouring winners of President's Graduate Scholarships and NSERC undergraduate student research awards, plus the Award of Excellence in Graduate Supervision, Thursday 3:00, Festival Room, South Campus Hall, by invitation.

School of Computer Science distinguished lecture: Manuela Veloso, Carnegie Mellon University, "Multi-Robot Intelligence", Thursday 4:30, Davis Centre room 1302.

[White bracelet]
Stand for the Band: candles around the ring road as a Make Poverty History demonstration and fund-raiser, Thursday 10:00 p.m., sponsored by Ask WAI Club.

Pension and benefits committee Friday 8:30 to 12:00, Needles Hall room 3004.

Health informatics research seminar: Anne Pidduck, school of computer science, "Electronic Social Networks and Dementia Prevention", Friday 12:00, Davis Centre room 1304.

Warrior Weekend activities in the Student Life Centre Friday and Saturday evenings, including Pillow Bash, "games by the fire" sponsored by UW Gamers, crafts, cookies and apple fritters, details online.

QPR suicide prevention training available January 21 (12:00 to 1:30), February 11 (11:30), March 7 (12:00), April 11 (11:30), call ext. 33528 to register.

Volunteer/Internship Fair with information about opportunities with local agencies, Tuesday 11:00 to 2:00.

Federation of Students referendum on CKMS fee: meeting to form "Yes" and "No" committees January 22, 3:00, Student Life Centre room 2134.

Electrical and computer engineering fourth-year design project symposium, January 23, 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Davis Centre.

Still going on

• Open meetings to discuss possible rapid transit routes and technologies in Waterloo Region continue.
• Counselling services and writing clinic workshops for winter term begin this week. Library tours and workshops also scheduled.
• Campus recreation registration for instructional programs continues through the week.
• Nominations for faculty and staff seats on the presidential nominating committee are due by January 30.

Positions available

On this week’s list from the human resources department:

• International employment advisor, cooperative education and career services, USG 7
• Data management assistant, optometry (Centre for Contact Lens Research), USG 3
• Administrative coordinator, undergraduate studies, applied mathematics, USG 4
• Human resources assistant, human resources, USG 5
• Graduate studies admissions specialist, graduate studies, USG 6
• Custodian I, plant operations

Longer descriptions are available on the HR web site.

Guidelines: what a UW degree means

UW’s senate will hear next week about changes that the university will start to see now that it has signed on to Ontario-wide guidelines about the “expectations” for an undergraduate degree.

The guidelines, issued in 2005 by the Ontario Council of Academic Vice-Presidents, define the “depth and breadth of knowledge” that a degree-holder at the general or honours level should have, as well as “knowledge of methodologies”, “application of knowledge”, “communication skills”, “awareness of limits of knowledge” and “autonomy and professional capacity”.

For example, a degree holder should have demonstrated “critical thinking and analytical skills inside and outside the discipline . . . the ability to review, present and critically evaluate qualitative and quantitative information . . . an appreciation of the uncertainty, ambiguity and limits to knowledge.”

Senate will hear about the OCAV guidelines from UW’s associate vice-president (academic), Geoff McBoyle, and if they think he’s speaking about “oodles” of something, it’ll only be because the official title of the document is University Undergraduate Degree Level Expectations — abbreviated to UUDLEs.

“These guidelines outline specifics of the disciplinary knowledge and skills students will learn during their undergraduate degree, as well as broader statements pertaining to meeting societal needs,” says a written report from McBoyle that’s part of the agenda for the senate meeting to be held at 4:30 Monday afternoon.

“In addition to these UUDLEs,” he writes, “the University of Waterloo intends its graduating students to be able to articulate their learning from experiential or applied opportunities, and to demonstrate an understanding of the intellectual, social, cultural, and political diversity of the world in which we live.

“The OCAV framework, together with the University of Waterloo enhancements, will support departments and academic units in planning or revising curricula and in communicating program goals and outcomes to students and stakeholders. As of June 2008, departments and faculties engaged in program review shall use these guidelines as base expectations while retaining the flexibility to add objectives unique to their specialties.”

The OCAV guidelines are being shown to senate as part of an updated procedure for the “academic program reviews” that UW has been doing since 1997. All programs have been reviewed at least once, and the schedule is for every program to be dealt with once in seven years, so that a second cycle of reviews started in 2005-06. The latest review to be finished — for the music program — is also on the agenda for Monday’s senate meeting.

“The fundamental purposes of the review process,” says the procedure document, “are to help each program to achieve and maintain the highest possible standards of academic excellence, through systematically reflecting on its strengths and weaknesses, and looking forward to determine what actions would further enhance quality in the program; assess the quality of the program relative to counterpart programs in Ontario, Canada and internationally, and meet public accountability expectations through a credible, transparent, and action-oriented review process.”

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New copiers will be from Xerox

Departments across campus will soon get some new technology, a posting from UW Graphics said on Monday, announcing “an agreement with Xerox Canada to replace most of the existing Ricoh copiers across campus with smaller, faster, more powerful multifunction devices that will save UW hundreds of thousands of dollars over the next 4 years”

Says the online memo: “The current department charge per impression (black & white) across campus for most machines is 4.9 cents. That rate is being reduced to 3.9 cents per impression. At roughly 10 million impressions made per year by UW departments, the total savings over the life of the 4-year agreement would be $400,000.

“Approximately 85% percent of the machines in the current Ricoh fleet produce between 13 and 27 copies per minute (cpm). In comparison, the vast majority of the new Xerox units will operate at 45 cpm, enabling departments to complete jobs much more efficiently. All units will come standard with print, copy, fax, scan and duplexing (i.e. double-siding) capabilities, whereas in the past some of these features were optional or unavailable on many of the machines.”

Graphics is urging departments to have the machines connected to the campus computer network rather than standing alone as photocopiers traditionally do. “There are several reasons why it makes sense,” says the memo. “Printing on these multifunction devices is often more cost effective than printing off a traditional desktop laser printer. Scanning and emailing documents is faster, easier and cheaper than printing and sending hard copies (there is no charge for scanning). Networked machines can be monitored remotely for maintenance, reducing the need for staff to make calls requesting supplies and service. Enabling the fax functionality will eliminate the need for a separate fax machine and the related costs for repairs and maintenance.”

It says most of “the current fleet of approximately 300 Ricoh copiers” will be replaced across campus between mid-February and March 31. “In early February, Graphics will let department contacts know when the transition will take place in their area. The plan will aim to minimize disruption for all involved, but some disruption should be expected. Once the new machines are installed, Xerox representatives will provide training for staff in each area.

“One of the new, 45 copy per minute Xerox machines will be on display in Graphics in early February. If interested, please drop by Graphics in the COM building at that time.”

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More flakes in the daily flurry

Jamie Grant, general manager of Kitchener’s Centre in the Square, has been awarded the 2007 ACE Award for outstanding contributions to cultural management in Canada. The award comes from the Association of Cultural Executives, a professional organization of cultural leaders working in heritage, performing and visual arts which is based in UW’s Centre for Cultural Management. The award will be officially presented tomorrow at the association's annual general meeting at the Textile Museum of Canada in Toronto. "Jamie has been a leader and innovator in the profession for many years, and the results of his leadership have fundamentally changed many aspects of the way we do business in Canada," says Dan Donaldson, president of ACE. Grant is responsible for such innovations as “eye-GO to the Arts”, a program designed to encourage young people to attend the performing arts. He has taught an introductory course in cultural management at UW for the past five years, and is a regular lecturer, panelist and guest speaker for other universities, colleges, and professional conferences.

Aldo Caputo (right) arrived in December as associate director (distance education) in UW’s office of distance and continuing ed. Says the director, Catherine Newell Kelly: “Aldo joins us from University of Guelph’s Teaching Support Services unit, where he has held various roles since 1996. Most recently, Aldo managed their Learning Technology and Courseware Innovation unit, and was previously the Manager of Faculty and Instructional Support. Aldo has also taught as a sessional instructor, and has an MA in Learning Sciences (Northwestern), a BA in English & History (Western), and a Diploma in Education (McGill). We are very excited about the rich experience that Aldo brings to our team and look forward to his guidance as we continue to build our online course offerings.”

An item of interest from the current issue of the engineering faculty’s e-newsletter: “Harpaul Sambhi is in business to make dream careers a reality. A year ago this month the third-year Waterloo electrical and computer engineering student launched Harpaul Sambhi Talent Management. The company specializes in helping engineering and business students land that perfect job after graduation. Free to students, employers pay a fee when they hire a student who is represented by Sambhi's company. Sambhi currently has 11 representatives working on various university campuses across the country and plans to hire two full-time employees this month. Sambhi says he started his company after hearing third- and fourth-year engineering students complain it was difficult to find the right job, or to narrow down the type of career they wanted to pursue.”

“Alternatives Journal is looking for articles that define the boundaries and test the soundness of sustainability in the 21st Century,” says a memo from the magazine, based in UW’s faculty of environmental studies. “It’s been 20 years since Gro Harlem Brundtland coined the phrase ‘sustainable development’. Since then, the term has had amazing staying power. Although it has been co-opted to serve divergent interests and has taken on myriad meanings over the years, it is now part of our vernacular. . . . Canada has reached a pivotal point with initiatives in BC, Nova Scotia and the North West Territories (including Voisey’s Bay, Screech Lake, Kemess North, White’s Point Quarry and the Mackenzie Valley Natural Gas Project) being either rejected outright or approved with major conditions. Regulatory agencies found that these initiatives were not sustainable, and in some cases questioned how the proponents dealt with aboriginal interests. We invite you to submit article ideas that will help environmental planners, corporate environmental officers, government reviewers and the Canadian public better understand the current trends in sustainability.”

A note from the UW library's e-newsletter: "At the Dana Porter Library, staff are making some positive changes to help the environment. New paper towel dispensers have been installed in all public and staff washrooms. These use paper towels with up to 100% post-consumer material. New recycling bins have been added on the 3rd floor, located beside the elevators. The new bins will help clarify the recycling procedures at Porter, with separate bins provided for clear glass, newsprint and coloured paper, cans and plastic bottles, and white paper."


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