Wednesday, January 23, 2008

  • Seeking foreign students in Calgary
  • President writes to staff about union
  • What's what on a windy Wednesday
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Link of the day

[No smoking]

When and where

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

Career workshops: "Career Exploration and Decision Making" 10:30, Tatham Centre room 1112; "Are You Thinking about an International Experience?" 3:00, TC room 1208; registration online.

Free noon concert: Michael Wood Trio (percussion, tenor sax and string bass), 12:30, Conrad Grebel University College chapel.

Philosophy colloquium: Vincent Bergeron, University of British Columbia, "Cognitive Architecture and the Brain", 3:30, Humanities room 373.

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

Author Tamas Dobozy reads at St. Jerome's University, 4:00, SJU room 3012, admission free.

Term abroad in Haifa, Israel, through UW school of computer science, information session 4:00, Math and Computer room 5158, all undergraduates welcome.

Gays and Lesbians of Waterloo weekly discussion group, Wednesdays 7:15 to 8:30, PAS building room 3005, information online.

Centre for International Governance Innovation presents Andrew Hunt, UW department of history, "A Resilient People: Living with the Legacy of the Vietnam War" Thursday 11:45 a.m., 57 Erb Street West.

Alice Pelkman, manager of financial aid, farewell lunch Thursday as she leaves UW to be assistant registrar at Trent University; for information contact by this morning.

International spouses gathering Thursday 12:45, Columbia Lake Village community centre: Elisabeth Adrian, UW career services, speaks on "Work Search Strategies in Canada". For information e-mail

'Software development on Mac OS Leopard' briefing by Steve Hayman, Apple Canada, Thursday 2:30, Davis Centre room 1302.

Arriscraft Lecture: Kay Bea Jones, Ohio State University, "Suspending Modernity: The Architecture of Franco Albini", Thursday 7:00, Architecture lecture hall, Cambridge campus.

'Alice (Experiments) in Wonderland' drama department multi-point telematic performance for children and adults, January 25 and February 1 (10:30 a.m.), January 24-26 and 31 plus February 2 (8 p.m.), January 26-27 and February 2-3 (2:00), Theatre of the Arts, tickets $12 general, $10 students, $5 children, details online.

Rose Cousins, folk musician, live at the Princess Café, 46 King Street North, Thursday, doors open 9 p.m., benefit concert for Alternatives Journal, tickets $15 at the café.

Dropping courses: deadline with no penalty and a 100 per cent tuition fee refund, Friday.

Centre for Family Business, based at Conrad Grebel University College, presents Tim Jackson, Tech Capital Partners, "An Entrepreneur's Journey", Friday 7:00 a.m., Waterloo Inn, details online.

St. Jerome’s University presents Ruben Habito, Southern Methodist University, "Awakening to Compassion: Buddhist Wisdom for a Wounded World" Friday 7:30, Siegfried Hall.

Computer network outage Saturday 12:01 to 6:00 a.m. for configuration changes to Orion network across Ontario. No Internet access to UW, including ACE.

CD release concert: "Every 3 Children", Carol Ann Weaver and other performers from Conrad Grebel University College, Saturday 8:00 p.m., Grebel chapel, tickets $10, call ext. 24226.

Fall term marks for undergraduate courses on Quest become official January 28.

Centre for Teaching Excellence workshop: "Getting the Most out of Multiple-Choice Questions" led by David DiBattista, Brock University, Monday 9:30 a.m., Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library, registration online.

Gradfest 2008 presentations and exhibitors about services offered to soon-to-be UW graduates, February 4, 10:00 to 7:00, Student Life Centre; reception from 4:30 p.m., Bombshelter pub, details online.

Graduate Student Research Conference April 21-24; submissions welcome now for oral or poster presentations, deadline for abstracts February 8, details online.

Positions available

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

• Manager, strategic initiatives, office of research (intellectual property management group), USG 15
• Coordinator, institutional programs, office of research, USG 8
• Low vision therapist, school of optometry (Centre for Sight Enhancement), USG 5/6
• Senior development officer, development and alumni affairs and faculty of mathematics, USG 11
• Residence attendant, housing and residences, USG 2
• Development officer, development and alumni affairs and faculty of mathematics, USG 9
• Customer service assistant, registrar's office, USG 5
• Student services coordinator, applied health sciences, USG 8
• Mechanic I (millwright), plant operations
• Mechanic II (plumber), plant operations
• Assistant director, student awards and financial aid, office of the registrar, USG 11
• Faculty financial officer, dean of mathematics, USG 11
• Admissions and records assistant, registrar's office, USG 5 (internal secondment or external contract, 11 months)

Longer descriptions are available on the HR web site.

Seeking foreign students in Calgary

Not all international students are outside Canada when they decide to come to Waterloo, and that’s why Dana Evans of UW’s marketing and undergraduate recruitment office is in Calgary right now.

“Over 50 per cent of our international student population comes to us from a Canadian high school,” says Evans. “Many international students choose to attend high school in Canada in hopes that it will give them an advantage to being accepted into a Canadian university.”

And so Evans, whose job has taken her to Mexico and Turkey in the past few months, won’t need a passport on her current travels. She headed for Alberta yesterday and will move on to British Columbia later this week.

“I'm looking forward to providing in-school visits and presentations as well as meeting with key figures at International Bureaus in our target metropolitan school boards,” she said in a memo outlining her plans. “These International Bureaus are a fairly new phenomenon in school boards — in the same way that universities within Canada have significantly increased our attention to international student recruitment, so have many Canadian school boards. This had led to the creation of International Bureaus with international student coordinators and recruitment specialists popping up across the country.”

In the past, she says, UW’s regular liaison team — mostly recent graduates hired by the MUR office to visit high schools — have had the responsibility of connecting with international students in Canadian classrooms. “This year, however, I have focused more on actively targeting the international student population in Canada. I spent one week in Ontario visiting our top international high schools, and now am focusing on visits to schools in Western Canada (the second highest international student population after Ontario).”

Meanwhile, Virginia McLellan of the same office is heading farther away: “I will be participating in the Council of International Schools' Canadian Higher Education Committee tour to Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates. The tour includes 14 other Canadian universities and will focus on high school visits, public fairs, and counsellor networking receptions.

“I will also be spending some additional time in Abu Dhabi to host an alumni event and connect with our applicants. The United Arab Emirates is one of UW's priority markets. This trip will be our third recruitment initiative in the country in the past two years.

“This year we are piloting individual admissions advisement/assessment with a small number of our Faculty of Arts and Faculty of Science applicants. If an applicant is highly qualified and clearly exceeds our admission requirements an offer may be issued. I will be collecting information and determining how to measure this initiative for possible future activities.”

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President writes to staff about union

Times and places were announced last night for staff members to vote on a proposal to unionize through the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation. OSSTF has applied to represent staff in grades USG 1-8, with a few exceptions listed in their official application. All those staff members will be eligible to vote yes or no on unionization, and the issue will be decided by majority vote of those who cast their ballots. (The Record newspaper reported yesterday on the impending union vote.)

The poll will be held in the Physical Activities Complex, small gymnasium, on Thursday (that's tomorrow) from 8:00 to 10:00, 12:00 to 3:00, and 4:00 to 6:00. There will also be a poll from 10:30 to 11:30 at the distance education office on Gage Avenue in Kitchener.

Said an e-mail announcement from the human resources department: "This is a secret ballot vote administered by the Ontario Labour Relations Board. You may vote at any time during the voting hours.

"It appears that some staff think that they do not have to vote in order to make their preferences known. Nothing could be further from the truth. Only those who actually vote Thursday will a say in whether USG Staff in Grades 1 to 8 and the housekeepers and janitors will be unionized.

"The Notice provided by the Ontario Labour Relations Board indicates that the union has 398 union cards offered in support of this application. Clearly the union's signed cards do not represent a majority of the staff group. Please vote so that your voice will be heard."

Staff members will be receiving another letter from UW management today, this one signed by UW president David Johnston, who writes that "a vote to unionize will have immense and for all intents and purposes irreversible consequences in the way the University has approached staff relations for 50 years.

"This critical choice will be made by a simple majority of those who vote. If only 50 people choose to cast their vote and 26 of them vote for the union, the unionization of approximately 1000 UW staff members will succeed. Given the importance of this decision, the highest possible voter turnout is necessary so that whatever the outcome we can all feel that the wish of the majority has been expressed. . . .

"In the event that the vote supports the application for certification and a staff union comes into being, we shall do all we can, consistent with what we believe to be in the interests of the University as a whole, to ensure that the transition goes smoothly and the essential work of the institution and our commitment to its members and its students is not affected.

"Should the vote be to reject unionization, we will continue to work in partnership with the Staff Association and all others to ensure continual improvements in the policies, procedures and working environment of all University of Waterloo staff members.

"My clear preference is for the University of Waterloo Staff Group to remain union free. . . . The adversarial process is not appropriate here.”

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What's what on a windy Wednesday

Another of those maddening e-mall messages hit campus this week: “This message is from Uwaterloo messaging center to all Uwaterloo email account owners. We are currently upgrading our data base and e-mail account center. We are deleting all Uwaterloo email account to create more space for new accounts. To prevent your account from closing you will have to update it below so that we will know that it's a present used account.” The return address is a location on the hotmail free service — in Britain, no less — so it’s obviously a case of phishing and shouldn’t fool too many people. But just in case there’s doubt, Paul Snyder of Information Systems and Technology puts it succinctly: “This is a hoax and no one should respond.”

[Ontario's 22.3 is the highest]The graph at left, with figures on the number of students per professor in Ontario's 17 universities and on 128 campuses in "peer" states south of the border, is a redrawn version of one presented by David Johnston, UW's president, in his report to the university senate on Monday. • Also at the senate meeting, the graduate and research council reported on a mandatory workshop on academic integrity and intellectual property that will now be required of all newly arriving graduate students in the faculty of arts. • And Peggy Jarvie, head of the co-op education department, said there seems to be "strong demand" for pharmacy co-op students and she expects "ample work term opportunities" when the first students go out on the job later this year.

Undergraduate students might have had the opportunity to vote in mid-February to elect six members of the UW senate, but it looks as though it won't be necessary. Nominations closed Monday, and the university secretariat reports that five of the seats have only one candidate apiece, while nobody filed for the sixth one at all. So the following students are acclaimed to senate membership effective May 1 (some for a one-year term and some for two years): Allan Babor (sociology) representing arts; Alan Shonfield (geography) for environmental studies; Christopher Neal (operations research) for math; Samuel Andrey (biochemistry) for science; and Lu Jiang (accounting and financial management) for an at-large seat. The other at-large seat will remain vacant.

In November, the newsletter of UW’s Graduate Student Association points out, GSA representatives travelled to Ottawa to observe a conference of the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations and assess whether it might be appropriate for the GSA to become a member of CASA, a national group that lobbies the federal government on student issues. “The trip,” says the newsletter, “reflects the GSA's interest in representing student concerns to governments which make decisions on issues such as student funding and university financing. Over the course of the Winter term , the GSA will be developing a strategy for representing students at the federal level, and determining whether or not CASA should be part of that strategy.” It quotes a report from association president Ian W. MacKinnon: "CASA has a brand which is taken seriously by those in power. MPs seem to have a large amount of respect for CASA given its practical suggestions, non-partisan rhetoric, and commitment to student issues." Joining CASA, the newsletter goes on, “would not be without its risks and challenges, the most significant of which is that CASA does not currently have a large number of grad student specific positions, so these positions would need to be developed. On the other hand, some may see an opportunity for the GSA to join CASA now so that we can shape the development of these policies.”

Two retired faculty members, E. Palmer Patterson and Nancy-Lou Patterson, are the subject of a joint profile in the latest issue of the WatTimes, published by the UW retirees’ association. A couple who celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary a few years back, and have spent more than 40 of their years together in Waterloo, they were interviewed by history graduate student Neal Moogk-Soulis. Palmer Patterson, a historian, “first taught at St. Jerome’s College from 1962 to 1964 before transferring to the main campus,” Moogk-Soulis writes. “He specialized in the Aboriginal culture in Canada. Nancy-Lou was first involved with artistic endeavors in Waterloo, including the K-W Little Theatre where she designed sets. In 1968 she was asked to start the fine arts department at Waterloo. ‘They said, do you think you can create a department of fine arts, and I said sure.’” The article also touches on the Patterson family, their extensive collection of art, their early days together in Seattle, and their cat, Elvis.

Gillian Maxwell, a final-year student in social development studies, led the basketball Warriors to "two crucial road victories" this week and has been named female athlete of the week by Ontario Universities Athletics. • A three-day blood donor clinic in the Student Life Centre begins today, with "a trophy and national glory" promised if UW goes further beyond its goal than other Canadian campuses holding clinics this month. • Today brings the last in a series of information sessions about upper-year residence for fall 2008, as the residence application deadline is just five days off.


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