Monday, March 30, 2009

  • New school to host environment programs
  • UN water expert will give Bean Lecture
  • Other notes, last week of classes
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

[McNee in storeroom]

Dave McNee of UW's plant operations department will retire on March 31. McNee began work as a mason at UW in the fall of 1985 — "involved with internal and external repairs to stairs, ceramic tiles, bricks, block work and concrete repairs," says colleague Peter Fulcher. "In later years he worked primarily in the Village residences and completed the same type of repairs." He's also been active in Canadian Union of Public Employees local 793, which represents plant ops employees, and served on the pension and benefits committee as well as in other roles.

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New school to host environment programs

A new “School of Environment, Enterprise and Development” would provide a home for some of the academic programs in UW’s Faculty of Environment, under a plan that was endorsed by the university senate last week and is expected to get final approval from the board of governors on April 7.

“We’ve been actually thinking about it for over a year,” environment dean Deep Saini told the senate, noting that a series of committees, including the senate’s long-range planning committee, had already given their okay.

His faculty currently contains three academic units — geography and environmental management, environment and resource studies, and planning — and SEED would be a fourth. It would provide a home for the faculty’s biggest undergraduate program, environment and business, and a new but fast-growing program, international development.

In addition, it would house new graduate programs leading to the degrees of Master of Environment and Business and Master of Development Practice. SEED could potentially also include the existing graduate program in local economic development, currently based in the geography department, the dean said.

It would also include an Environmental Training Institute to operate non-degree programs.

SEED will be “the first of its kind in North America, and arguably the most comprehensive institution of this type in the world”, according to background papers presented to senate. “The School will be in the forefront of education, research and training in environmentally responsible business and development.”

The growth of the business program means that a large share of UW’s environment students are in “programs without an academic home”, Saini said. “There is a need to consolidate,” he went on — and a need to be able to appoint faculty members to the programs SEED will offer, rather than just cross-appointing them from geography or some other unit.

The background documents amplify that point: “The School will provide the structure, stability, identity and high profile needed to market its academic plans to prospective high-quality students, faculty and staff. This will allow appointments to be made directly to the unit that delivers the academic programs, and it will create a critical mass of faculty with like interests to synergize new research activities.”

Once SEED is approved, “We expect to ramp up the number of faculty to about 15 by the end of next year,” Saini said. “Many of these would be new hires,” and some would be holders of externally funded chairs. SEED would be headed by a director, as other units across UW with the status of “school” already do.

“SEED will be financially self-sufficient from the start,” the background papers said. “Already a major source of revenue for the Faculty and the University, the School’s four core academic programs are expected to generate over $8 million by 2012, and should exceed $10 million once the new master’s programs have reached maturity. . . The revenue will contribute significantly toward the cost of a new building needed to house the School.

“The University and the Faculty are also vigorously seeking external funds from donors and government, including a potential major donor to name the School.”

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UN water expert will give Bean Lecture

from the UW media relations office

A top water expert will discuss how to conserve drinking water and make it more widely available to millions around the world during a public talk at UW tomorrow. András Szöllösi-Nagy, UW's TD Canada Trust/Walter Bean Visiting Professor in the Environment, will address current water resource management practices and identify what needs to be done in the future. His lecture, entitled "Water For the 21st Century: Will There Be Any?", will start at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Humanities Theatre.

Szöllösi-Nagy is internationally recognized as an expert in hydrological forecasting and modelling, filtering techniques and statistical hydrology. Hydrology studies water in the earth and atmosphere, along with its distribution, uses and conservation.

"We are very fortunate that Dr. András Szöllösi-Nagy will share his research and expertise on one of the Earth's most valuable resources," said Leo Rothenburg, acting dean of engineering and a professor of civil and environmental engineering. "Water is going to be one of the most critical issues of the 21st century. Projected future demands for water indicate that our current practices are not sustainable and that we are running out of fresh water."

Szöllösi-Nagy is the director of the division of water and secretary of the international hydrological program of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Since 2000, he has also served as deputy assistant director-general of the natural sciences sector of Unesco. As well, he is a member of UN-Water and the board of governors of the World Water Council. He served as co-chair of the political processes committee of the Fifth World Water Forum held earlier this month in Istanbul, Turkey.

In his lecture, Szöllösi-Nagy will explore such questions as How will water be managed 50 years from now? Who controls trans-boundary waters? How does climate change influence fresh water supplies? What can we do?

The TD/Walter Bean professorship attracts top international research professors on the environment to Waterloo to give public lectures, teach classes and meet with professors and students. The professorship is named after the late Walter Bean, who was president of Waterloo Trust until its merger with Canada Trust in 1968. UW's faculties of engineering, environment and science are responsible for planning and organizing the annual professorship.

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Other notes, last week of classes

One of today's big events on campus is long sold out: a lecture by economics professor Larry Smith advising graduating students in arts on how to launch their careers in recessionary times. Smith, a leading expert on entrepreneurship who is renowned for supporting students and their ideas, will give a talk entitled "Launching Your Career in Stormy Weather" at 4:30 in the Theatre of the Arts, as part of the Arts Last Lecture series. Free tickets were claimed, mostly by graduating students, as soon as the word got around. "Now more than ever, our graduates must pursue their passion," says Smith. "They need a plan to find out their passion, but nature does not pursue a single pathway and neither should they." A recipient of UW's distinguished teacher award, Smith teaches introductory microeconomics, macroeconomics and entrepreneurship courses. Over the years, he has advised many former students on how to start up a business, position their business and obtain financing from venture or angel funding. He is also part of an economics consulting business called Essential Economics Inc. that has provided economic research over the years to companies and government organizations.

UW is well represented at a one-day special symposium on Canada-Asia relations being held today in Ottawa. Titled "Canada-Asia Relations: Looking Back; Looking Forward”, the symposium is organized by the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, with the support of the Historical Section of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and St. Jerome's University. The event is part of the celebrations marking the 25th anniversary of the APFC and the 100th anniversary of DFAIT, and is being held in the landmark home of Canada’s external affairs, the Lester B. Pearson Building on Sussex Drive. A key organizer and conference participant is Ryan Touhey, assistant professor of history at St. Jerome’s, and two of the speakers from DFAIT — Peter Harder, former deputy minister, and Greg Donaghy, head of the department’s historical section — are UW alumni.

Deaths of several retired staff members have been reported in recent days. Harold Stickney, who worked in plant operations as a stationary engineer from 1959 to his retirement in 1985, died March 15. Reginald Graf, who was a technician in the science workshop from 1965 to retirement in 1996 (and husband of Patricia Graf of the co-op education and career services department), died March 22. And Ted Barclay, who was a serviceperson in plant ops from 1966 to his retirement in 1987, died March 23.

The Waterloo Institute of Nanotechnology launches a planned Distinguished Lecture series with a talk today (2:30, Davis Centre room 1302) by Maw-Kuen Wu of the Academia Sinica, Taiwan, who will speak about the national nanotech program in his homeland. • "Interested in rethinking one of your course outlines?" the Centre for Teaching Excellence asks UW faculty members, inviting them to check out the April 22-27 "Teaching Excellence Academy" if the answer is yes. • Here's a reminder that Wednesday is the deadline for nominations as UW staff prepare to elect two representatives to the university's board of governors.


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Link of the day

Doctors' Day

When and where

End-of-term recitals by UW music students continue 12:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel UC chapel.

Joint Health and Safety Committee 1:30, Commissary building room 112D.

Calgary alumni event: architect and UW grad David Jeffries speaks on the Bow Tower, 6 p.m., Lougheed House, 707-13 Avenue SW, Calgary. $10. Register early.

Instrumental Chamber Ensembles spring concert 7:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel UC chapel, admission free.

TVO's The Agenda with Steve Paikin, live broadcast 8 p.m. from Centre for International Governance Innovation, following Sunday’s “AgendaCamp” at UW. Details.

Application deadlines for September 2009 undergraduate admission: general deadline, March 31. Details.

Velocity “mobile and media incubator” student project exhibition Tuesday 10:30 to 2:30 (on stage at 12:00), Student Life Centre.

Exchange program information session for systems design engineering students, Tuesday 11:30 a.m., Math and Computer room 4021.

St. Jerome’s University union certification vote for faculty members, conducted by Ontario Labour Relations Board, Tuesday 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. at the college.

Germanic and Slavic studies presents Paul Bishop, University of Glasgow, “Analytical Psychology and the Project of German Classicism” Tuesday 2:00, Humanities room 373.

Student loan repayment information sessions for graduating students Wednesday 11:00 or 12:30 Tatham Centre room 2218.

Climate change seminar: Stephen Howell, geography and environmental management, “Changing Sea Ice of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago”, Wednesday 12:00, Environment I room 221.

Computer science distinguished lecture: Nancy Leveson, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, “Computers and Trust” Wednesday 4:30 p.m., Davis Centre room 1351.

Orchestra @ UWaterloo spring concert, music by Rimsky-Korsakov, Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky and Mendelssohn, Thursday 8:00 p.m., Humanities Theatre. Details.

Winter term classes end Friday, April 3; exams April 8-24. Unofficial winter term grades appear in Quest beginning April 27. Grades become official May 25.

Elmira Maple Syrup Festival shuttle buses from Davis Centre Saturday starting 8:30 a.m., tickets $5 at Student Life Centre.

Noel Hynes, retired from UW department of biology, memorial service Saturday 10 a.m., Conrad Grebel Chapel. Guestbook and obituary online.

Engineering Jazz Band “With Respect to Time” end-of-term concert in support of Habitat for Humanity, Saturday 7:00, Conrad Grebel UC great hall, admission $10.

Second annual Staff Conference April 6-7, “2 More Full Days Just for You”, keynote speakers, workshops, “Your Passport to Health”. Details.

UW board of governors meets April 7, 2:30 p.m., Needles Hall room 3001.

Town hall meeting with the president, provost and vice-president (external relations) for faculty and staff members Wednesday, April 8, 3:00, Humanities Theatre. Details.

Good Friday holiday April 10: UW offices and most services will be closed.

Pharmacy building official opening Friday, April 17, 10 a.m., 10 Victoria Street South, Kitchener, by invitation.

Pharmacy building community open house Saturday, April 18, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., 10 Victoria Street South, all welcome.

UW Retirees Association spring luncheon April 22, 11:30 a.m., Luther Village, speaker Mike Sharratt (department of kinesiology) on “Optimal Aging for Older Adults”, tickets $25, information 519-885-4758.

Fee payment deadline for the spring term: April 27 (cheque, money order or fee arrangements), April 30 (bank transfer). Details.

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