Tuesday, November 10, 2009

  • 127 measurements of how UW is doing
  • Endowment will boost studies of India
  • Notes as we race toward . . . Christmas?
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs
  • bulletin@uwaterloo.ca

[Two in suits, four in robes]

People speak of 'the suits' meaning top officials visiting the workplace or attending ceremonies. Wearing the western suits last week were two of UW's deans, Tom Coleman of math and Adel Sedra of engineering. They posed with four students in Arab dress during a celebration for the opening of UW's United Arab Emirates campus, housed at Dubai Men's College. Photo by Ilham Akhundov.

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127 measurements of how UW is doing

President David Johnston likes to joke that he originally asked for ten numbers — enrolment, budget, that sort of thing — that would sum up the work of UW and allow comparisons with other universities.

Five years later, the Annual Performance Indicators report is more than 100 pages long and includes 127 charts and tables, from a breakdown of who gives money to Campaign Waterloo to the percentage of graduate students who finish their master’s degrees within a decade.

As for comparisons, “It would be nice if other universities were doing similar things,” said Bob Truman, UW’s director of institutional analysis and planning, as he introduced the 2009 Indicators to October’s meeting of the university senate.

“One of the things that we’re trying to do,” he said, “is relate our performance indicators to our Sixth Decade planning.”

For example, the Sixth Decade plan promises that “graduate student enrolment will be at least 25% of the total student population” and international students will make up 30 per cent of graduate enrolment and 20 per cent of undergraduate enrolment. The Indicators show that as of 2008-09, grad students were 12.8 per cent of UW’s total students, and international students made up 24 per cent of grads and 9 per cent of undergrads.

“We’re going to continue to try to strengthen the links” between the things UW measures and the goals it’s trying to reach, Truman said, adding that there are now enough years’ data to look at some trend lines.

“It’s very useful for identifying areas that we really need to work on,” commented Roger Mannell, dean of applied health sciences. And from that point of view, pure math professor Frank Zorzitto had a question at the senate meeting: “Does anyone really think that our student-faculty ratio will ever go down, or is that just a myth?”

The Sixth Decade plan sets a 20:1 ratio as the goal, but the Indicators make clear that the reality isn’t close to that: in 2008-09, UW had 27 full-time-equivalent students for each faculty member, with a range in individual faculties from 32 in arts to 20 in engineering. Two years ago, the university’s average was 25.

[Ratio graph]Johnston assured Zorzitto, and senate, that the goal is still there, though it’s hard to move in the right direction when the budget is as pinched as it’s been lately. “Keep working!” he exhorted. The Indicators include a comparison that shows Waterloo worse off than most other major Canadian universities, with the average ratio for the G13 institutions being 22.1 students per professor.

A few other tidbits from the Indicators:

• Among first-year students in September 2008, 12 per cent came from Toronto (“school last attended”) and another 21 per cent from the rest of the Greater Toronto Area; 13 per cent were from Kitchener-Waterloo.

• UW granted 98 PhDs in engineering in 2008, 40 in science, 36 in math, 22 in arts, 9 in environment and 9 in applied health sciences.

• The three federal granting councils gave UW researchers $41.6 million last year, including an average of $86,000 per faculty member in science and $63,500 per prof in engineering.

• Some 26 per cent of 1,062 full-time faculty members last year were female, with the percentage highest in AHS (40) and lowest in engineering (14).

• The ratio of staff to faculty members, which has been pretty steady at 2.0 for the past decade, dropped to 1.9 in 2008-09, based on a total of 1,852 staff members. Of those staff, 96 are over age 60.

• UW has 74.8 per cent of the space it should have, based on the Ontario formula that considers students, faculty and budgets. That’s slightly better than the average for all provincial universities, 73 per cent.

The Indicators report is available online, and the IAP office in Needles Hall has printed copies.

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Endowment will boost studies of India

UW and the Canada India Foundation have announced a first-of-its-kind joint initiative for the advancement of Canada's research capacity in studying the politics, economy and social conditions of contemporary India and the relationship of the two countries through a multi-million-dollar endowment.

[Flag of India]A news release says that a memorandum of understanding provides for CIF to contribute up to $2 million for the India initiative, formally named Chanchlani India Policy Consortium. The CIF contribution will help establish a $10 million endowment, with donations to be raised from government and private sources.

"We are extremely proud of our new partnership with Canada India Foundation, and through this joint initiative, we hope to produce leading research that will strengthen our understanding of India, its politics, economy and culture," said a statement from Waterloo president David Johnston.

The money will fund endowed CIF Chairs for Waterloo faculty members, visiting chairs for India scholars, CIF Fellows, graduate student fellowships, public lectures, conferences, and engagement with researchers and faculty at the Centre for International Governance Innovation and the Balsillie School of International Affairs.

"The overarching objective is to support the formulation of public policy favourable to stronger and mutually beneficial bilateral relations, a function that no public or private institution has undertaken to date with such resource commitment and focus," said Aditya Jha, CIF national convener. "CIF and University of Waterloo will work with the Government of India and private Indian donors to set up a similar research centre in India."

UW dean of arts Ken Coates says the university’s partnership with the CIF “lays the groundwork for a new era for Canada-India initiatives with active participation from civil society. CIF's partnership and investment will greatly expand Canadian understanding of India’s realities."

For CIF, comment came from Vasdev Chanchlani, CIF founding member and co-founder of the Sigma Group of companies: "I am pleased to be the seed contributor with additional $1 million funding to CIF for this excellent research initiative, which will add tremendous intellectual bandwidth to Canada India Foundation's public policy advocacy objectives in helping the mutual interests of Canada and India.”

And Ramesh Chotai, chair of the Canada India Foundation, noted that "Since its formation, CIF has been dedicated to cultivating support for stronger bilateral relations. In the University of Waterloo, we have a credible and established partner that will channel our combined research efforts to support CIF's advocacy functions for mutual benefits of both Canada and India."

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Notes as we race toward . . . Christmas?

Feeling hungry? You will be in a minute. “Hard to believe,” writes Heather Kelly, marketing coordinator for food services, “but we're already thinking Christmas. Here is a copy of the menu from UW Catering for their annual Christmas Celebration Buffet!” (Note that this is not the University Club’s famous buffet, but the — so far — lesser-known offering at the Laurel Room in South Campus Hall.) Waiter, please: “Dinner rolls and creamery butter; platter of assorted, fresh vegetables, olives & pickles with buttermilk & herb dip; quintet of baby greens with roasted red peppers & shredded parmesan cheese with sweet shallot & champagne vinaigrette or sundried tomato & oregano vinaigrette; broccoli salad with sunflower seeds and raisins with honey french vanilla yogurt dressing; Mediterranean pasta salad with baby shrimp; traditional roast Ontario turkey with fruit & sage stuffing and accompanied with cranberry salsa; roast top sirloin of beef with woodland mushroom fricassee; red Thai tofu curry; boquetière de légumes; lemon infused petite pomme de terre; assortment of festive treats including our famous Christmas pudding with eggnog & dark rum sauce; coffee, tea.” The price is $17.95 per person plus tax and gratuity, and it’s being served at noontime December 16, 17, and 18, “reservations only”. In addition, the Laurel Room “is available December 7 thru 22 for private gatherings of 30 or more — call ext. 84700 to inquire.”

The United Way campaign on campus "is still open since we have yet to reach our goal," coordinator Russell MacKay said in a memo to volunteers at the end of the week. The campaign was supposed to run through October, as it does every year, but — as happens nearly every year — it'll trail on for a little longer. "We have currently raised $181,567 and are inching closer to our goal of $200,000," MacKay said. "We have reached 503 donors with a corresponding participation rate of 11.4%." A number of special fund-raising events are still in progress anyway, he noted, while the proceeds from other raffles, auctions and parties are gradually making their way to the kitty. Draws were to be held late Friday for two major donor prizes, one for new donors and one for repeat donors from previous years.

“While the closing of a church is never easy,” Jennifer Konkle writes from Conrad Grebel University College, “Warden Woods Mennonite Church turned some of their sadness into joy with a unique gift.” The church, in Toronto’s Scarborough region, “had been the recipient of a bequest from the estate of Winston Harrison and his partner John Ford,” she reports. “As Warden Woods prepared to disband in June 2009, they wanted to find a way for this gift to be passed along. Pastor Johanna Wall, herself a Grebel alumna, contacted Fred W. Martin, director of development at Grebel, to inquire about setting up a scholarship. She noted that Ford and Harrison promoted sacred music through choral conducting, singing, teaching and adjudicating — enriching the lives of many deeply appreciative people.” The outcome: in May, the college received a gift of $50,000 to establish the John Ford and Winston Harrison Church Music Award, with proceeds going to qualified students for expenses as part of the Church Music and Worship program. “We believe that preparing students to help lead the church’s music and worship is an important contribution we can make to the life of the church,” says Ken Hull, chair of Grebel’s music department. “This award will assist students with the cost of tuition as well as to enrich their studies beyond the walls of the classroom.” The inaugural award will be made in the fall term of 2010.

Robert Shipley of the UW school of planning received the Margaret and Nicholas Hill Heritage Landscape Award from the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario at its annual awards dinner in Toronto on Friday night. The award recognizes individuals and their projects that have led to a heightened level of awareness and appreciation of Ontario's significant landscapes. Shipley and ACO have worked as partners on many heritage related projects over the years, the most recent being an Ontario wide study of Heritage Conservation Districts called "Heritage Districts Work". At the same ceremony, four researchers from the Heritage Resources Centre in the School of Planning — Kayla Jonas, Paul Dubniak, Martha Fallis, and Lindsay Benjamin — received the ACO's A.K. Sculthorpe Award for Advocacy. This award recognizes their work in nominating heritage sites to the National Register, and for such projects as the recent study of 32 Heritage Conservation Districts, as well as for their leadership in communicating the value of heritage conservation to others, including dozens of city councils and community groups.


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Grads vote on one issue, undergrads on three

While undergraduate students are voting this week on three proposed fees — for a new student services building, expansion of Health Services, and funding for Radio Waterloo ("Sound FM") — graduate students have a referendum in progress as well.

Grads are voting on the same proposed $10-a-term fee to upgrade the Health Services building that's being considered by undergrads. Polls organized by the Graduate Student Association opened yesterday morning and will close at 4 p.m. Wednesday.

In the undergrad vote, polling also continues until Wednesday at 4 p.m.

Link of the day

Schiller at 250

When and where

Engineering Shadow Days for grade 11 and 12 students to experience engineering first-hand, Tuesday-Wednesday 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Details.

Engineering exchange programs information sessions 11:30, Doug Wright Engineering room 3517. Details.

‘Revitalizing Central Place Theory: Cities as Experiments on a Dynamic Fitness Landscape”, Brad Bass, Environment Canada, 12:00, Laurel Room, South Campus Hall. Details.

Waterloo Institute for Health Informatics Research seminar: Daniela O’Neill, psychology, “The Language Use Inventory” 12:30, Davis Centre room 1304.

‘Research in Germany’ information session for graduates and researchers, 2:00, CEIT room 3142, followed by reception and networking at University Club 5:30.

Career workshops today: “Career Exploration and Decision Making” 2:30, Tatham Centre room 1113; “All About GMAT” 4:30, Tatham 2218; “Are You Thinking about an MBA?” 5:30, 2218. Details.

Arts faculty council 3:30 p.m., Needles Hall room 3001.

Information session for alumni with children approaching post-secondary education, guests and the younger generation also welcome, sponsored by UW alumni affairs and marketing and undergraduate recruitment office, 4:30 to 8:00, Mississauga Living Arts Centre. Details.

Remembrance Day service, prayers for peace from a variety of faiths, Wednesday 10:45 a.m., two minutes’ silence at 11:00, Student Life Centre great hall, organized by Chaplains’ Association.

Career workshops Wednesday: “Are You Interested in an Academic Career?” 12:00, Tatham Centre room 2218; “Work Search Strategies” 2:30, Tatham 1208; “Successfully Negotiating Job Offers” 4:30, 1208. Details.

Free noon concert: “Classical piano music”, Koichi Inoue, Wednesday 12:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel UC chapel.

Senate finance committee Wednesday 1:30, Needles Hall room 3004. Agenda.

Film producer Rod Stoneman visits department of fine arts: screening and discussion of “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” Wednesday 2:30, seminar on “The Role of Chance in Film” Thursday 1:30, both in East Campus Hall room 1220.

Faculty of Environment graduate studies open house Wednesday 3:00 to 4:30, Environment I courtyard. Details.

Pierre Elliott Trudeau biography launch: Just Watch Me, by John English, UW department of history, Wednesday 4:00, Federation Hall, by invitation, information ext. 32281.

Alumni reception in Barbados: Networking Wednesday 6 to 8 p.m., Accra Beach Hotel & Spa, Christchurch. Details.

Poetry and architecture: launch celebration for The Al Purdy A-Frame Anthology (Harbour Publishing) and exhibition “Room Enough Between the Trees”, Wednesday 7:30 p.m., Stantec gallery, UW Architecture building, Cambridge; exhibition runs through November 20.

Staff recognition reception honouring staff members with 5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, 30th, 40th or 45th anniversary at UW during 2009, Thursday 4 to 6 p.m., Festival Room, South Campus Hall, by invitation, information ext. 38968.

Department of drama presents “The Government Inspector” by Nikolai Gogol, November 12-14 and 19-21 at 8 p.m.; preview performance by invitation November 11, 7:00, Theatre of the Arts. Details.

Pension and benefits committee public meetings Friday: 11:30, Rod Coutts Hall room 301; 3:30 and 6:00, RCH 101.

Lecture and book signing: Dambisa Moyo, Zambian economist, “Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working”, Friday 7:30, Humanities Theatre.

UW Retirees Association fall luncheon (speaker: Roger Watt, retired from IST, “The Future of the Internet”) November 19, 11:30 a.m., Luther Village, 139 Father David Bauer Drive. Details 519-888-0334.

PhD oral defences

Optometry. Doerte Luensmann, “Albumin Adhesion to Contact Lenses and Intraocular Lenses.” Supervisor, Lyndon W. Jones. On display in the faculty of science, ESC 254A. Oral defence Thursday, November 19, 3:00 p.m., Optometry room 401.

Electrical and computer engineering. Mohammad Neshat, “Theory, Design and Development of Resonance Based Biosensors in Terahertz and Millimeter-wave.” Supervisor, Safieddin Safavi-Naeini. On display in the faculty of engineering, PHY 3004. Oral defence Tuesday, November 24, 10:00 a.m., CEIT room 3142.

Recreation and leisure studies. Jennifer Gillies, “A Framework for Creating a Campus Culture of Compassion: A Participatory Action Research Approach to Equality.” Supervisor, Sherry Dupuis. On display in the faculty of applied health sciences, BMH 3110. Oral defence Wednesday, November 25, 9:00 a.m., Matthews Hall room 3119.

Management sciences. Osama Al-Kwifi, “The Influence of Product Design on Switching Decisions for Capital-Intensive Technologies: The Case of MRI Purchasing in Research Facilities.” Supervisor, Rod McNaughton. On display in the faculty of engineering, PHY 3004. Oral defence Wednesday, November 25, 10:00 a.m., location to be announced.

[W]Warrior sports

Weekly report

Athletes of the Week

Cheerleaders compete in Cheer Tech at Niagara, today and Wednesday.

Yesterday's Daily Bulletin