Friday, November 27, 2009

  • The X factor in UW programs: business
  • Interim exec named for student services
  • Exam season, orientation, new building
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

The X factor in UW programs: business

An alphabetical list of UW’s areas of study runs from A to Z, accounting to zoology, with only X and Y missing — and now the X factor is found, in the form of the programs that some officials have dubbed “X plus business”.

There are four of them — Arts and Business, Environment and Business, Recreation and Business, and Science and Business — and they’re the subject of a new marketing effort aimed at future students who want some business background without going into a full commerce degree, says Tina Roberts, director of marketing and undergraduate recruitment.

[Poster]She said the campaign, whose products so far include the poster shown at right, was initiated by Geoff McBoyle, associate vice-president (academic), and the directors of the X-plus programs. “Management Engineering and Mathematics are also part of a small group which Geoff is leading,” Roberts adds. “I worked with the group on the development of a marketing plan.”

The goal: “promote Waterloo’s leadership in offering discipline-specific programs which include the fundamentals of a business education . . . articulate in a distinguishing way the competitive differences between the X-and-business programs and traditional BBA programs . . . recruit and admit bright students who have UW’s positioning attributes (unconventional, innovative, collaborative, connected, courageous, creative, critical thinkers, risk takers)”.

Roberts says the marketing program was developed through focus groups with students “and the knowledge of the program directors and the recruitment professionals from the four programs”. Kira Vermond, a freelancer who has worked on a number of university projects, is also involved. The slogan that was developed: “Business that connects.”

“To date,” says Roberts, “a poster has been developed and mailed to high schools in Ontario and 800 national schools. It features students that are in the four programs. A website has also been developed, and a number of other initiatives are being worked on.”

Material developed for the marketing campaign notes that X-and-business students “have the opportunity to study not only the topics they’re most passionate about, but are able to combine them with the practicality of a solid business education. In fact, our classes go one step further and seamlessly integrate business with each discipline — arts, science, environment and recreation and leisure — so students are continuously taking classes that merge business skills with their chosen discipline.”

Waterloo, it says, offers “case studies, pertinent seminars, talks with successful professionals from the business world and classes taught by professors with relevant work experience.

“With X-and-business, our students can have it all.

“Whether they’re planning or attending business conferences, leading the way at competitions, joining the solar car team, launching coffee clubs or acting as captain of the varsity badminton team, our well-rounded X-and-business students aspire to get the most out of their time at UW.”

And more: “Whether they are landing exciting co-op positions while studying at UW or hired by top employers after graduation, X-and-business students are well prepared for today’s competitive job market. Students themselves say they believe their one-of-a-kind program will give them a leg up over their competition since employers are recruiting professionals who boast multifaceted skills and interests.”

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Interim exec named for student services

One of UW’s senior executives will take on the responsibility for “student services” on a temporary basis when associate provost Catharine Scott retires next month, the university’s provost has announced.

“As you may know,” says a memo from provost Feridun Hamdullahpur, “Catharine Scott is retiring from the University in December and efforts are underway to fill the position of Associate Provost for Student Services. As part of this process, Dean Roger Mannell is chairing a University Committee tasked with reviewing the structure of student services, making recommendations for changes/restructuring and developing a position profile and job description for the AP/SS position.

“This committee is expected to complete its work in March 2010. An open search is to be initiated as soon as this committee’s report is finalized.

[Walker] “I am pleased to announce that Bud Walker (left), Director of University Business Operations, is appointed as Interim Associate Provost, Student Services, effective December 15, 2009, when Catharine Scott leaves the office until a permanent appointment is made. During this period, Bud will continue with his role as Director of University Business Operations.

“May I take this opportunity to thank Catharine Scott for her many years of contributions and excellent work at UW and, Bud Walker for his willingness to assume this additional responsibility while we search for Catharine’s successor.”

The “student services” portfolio includes the student life office, athletics and recreational services, the Student Life Centre, counselling services, health services, the ombudsperson, the office for persons with disabilities, and the theatre centre. Walker’s current role as head of business operations makes him responsible for such student-oriented departments as housing and residences, food services and retail services.

J. D. (Bud) Walker has been working at UW since 1971 — originally as manager of student information systems, later as director of data processing (a department that was absorbed into information systems and technology), and since 1996 as director of business operations. His office is on the third floor of Needles Hall, a few feet away from Scott’s.

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Exam season, orientation, new building

I send out a note or two each day on Twitter (the username to look for is @uwdailybulletin), and some other UW people and offices are to be found there as well. The housing office, for instance, tweets now and then (@UWhousing), and this note went out from them yesterday: “Living Learning study tip: Take a break of 10 minutes for every 50 minutes of work; this will help you retain information.” You don’t suppose that means exam time is approaching, do you? Answer: you bet. And as a result, extended hours in UW’s libraries will start this Sunday. The Dana Porter Library will be open 8 a.m. to 2 a.m., seven days a week, and the Davis Centre library 24 hours a day except Sundays from 2 to 8 a.m., from this weekend through December 22.

The student representatives on UW's senate issued an announcement last night, through Facebook: "After discussions with the Provost today, we have come to an agreement. We are pleased to share that Orientation Week 2010 will be a full week of Orientation activities." That's been a contentious issue, and after discussion last week the senate deadlocked, 23-23, on a proposal to shorten orientation as a side effect of changes in the class schedule for the fall 2010 term. (The idea had been to begin classes on the Thursday after Labour Day, rather than waiting till the following Monday.) Details of what's going to be done instead will presumably be announced in due course.

Lights are on and somebody's home at the "medical" building, Building B of UW's health sciences campus in downtown Kitchener. Across a courtyard from the existing Pharmacy building, it's been under construction to house a UW optometry clinic (currently in temporary space in the old Victoria School building) and other facilities as well as a high-profile tenant, the Waterloo Region outpost of McMaster University's medical school. Although minor work is still being done on the building — the wood trim, for example, was delayed by a fire in a supplier's factory — UW got an occupancy permit in October, says vice-president (administration and finance) Dennis Huber, and the first occupants have actually moved in, white coats and all.

I wrote yesterday about the many presidents of the Mathematics Society, and it turns out that the story isn't over. To be specific, I wrote that (once MathSoc gets through the present term and the winter term) Maria Greco had been chosen to be president in the spring term 2010. Oops. Yes, that was the plan, Greco explains, but "a few days later, I received an email informing me that I had been selected" to serve on the Federation Orientation Committee for September of next year, and that's a heavy as well as rewarding commitment during the spring term. So she resigned as president-in-prospect. Applications for the job were reopened (they close this afternoon) and an election will be scheduled in the next few days.

From the other side of campus, word has arrived from the Engineering Society that a new executive was elected a few days ago. [Walker]These will be the leaders for EngSoc B during the spring term of 2010 and the winter term of 2011: Scott Rankin (right) as president; Kevin Ling as vice-president (external); Alex Hogeveen Ruttar as VP (education); Peter Kelly as VP (internal); and Mina Labib and John Warren as VP (finance). “This will be the first time our new election policy is put into place,” says the returning officer, Michael Seliske, “allowing Nano and other programs that have eight-month co-op terms to be exec members.”)

A PhD oral defence is being held this morning for Hao Wu of the department of mechanical and mechatronics engineering, and there’s something unusual about it. It’s not just that he has two PhD supervisors — that does happen occasionally — it’s that only one of them is from UW, Xianguo Li of the mech eng department. The joint supervisor is Peter Berg of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, which I think has never been represented in supervision of a UW graduate student before. Li explains that “a former colleague” suggested the collaboration, and that before he arrived at UOIT, Berg had been doing postdoctoral research in British Columbia on the precise kind of work Wu has been doing, involving Polymer Electrolyte Membrane fuel cell modeling. “Dr. Berg is a very gifted researcher,” Li adds.

Today is the deadline day for ordering Courseware material for the winter term (“orders placed by 4:30 are guaranteed to be available for sale on or before the first day of classes,” says Sarah Rodrigues of UW Graphics). • Mayor Brenda Halloran has announced the goal of making Waterloo “an age-friendly city”, and will hold a forum Monday, 11:30 to 2:30, on building a city “where older adults can live happy, productive, healthy lives”. • REVelation cafeteria in Ron Eydt Village served turkey-burger with cranberry salsa yesterday, presumably in honour of American Thanksgiving, and is sticking to the US ethnicity today with Hawaiian meatballs.


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Link of the day

The Hajj

When and where

Staff association craft show and sale (16th annual), ornaments, candles, fabric, ceramics; 10 per cent of proceeds to student aid funds, last day, 9:00 to 3:00, Davis Centre lounge.

Knowledge Integration seminar: Thomas Homer-Dixon, Balsillie School and faculty of environment, “The Climate-Energy Challenge” 1:30, Siegfried Hall, St. Jerome’s U.

Warrior sports this weekend: Basketball vs. Laurentian tonight, vs. York Saturday, both days women’s game 6:00, men’s game 8:00, PAC. • Hockey vs. Western, Saturday, women’s game 2:00, men’s game 7:30, Icefield. • Figure skating, fall invitational at Queen’s, Saturday. • Volleyball (men and women) at Western tonight, at Windsor Sunday. • Track and field season opener at Western, Sunday. Think Pink weekend of activities at Warrior athletic events, proceeds to Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. “Spin-a-thon” Saturday 10 a.m., Icefield studio. “Waterloo’s Got Talent” dance show Sunday 6:00, PAC main gym.

Beyond Borders dinner and silent auction fund-raiser, sponsored by 2008-09 alumni of the St. Jerome’s U international service-learning program, 6:00, University Club, tickets $50, phone 519-807-3303.

Taiwanese Student Association talent show 7 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

Computer Science Club “code party” 7 p.m., comfy lounge, Math and Computer building. Details.

Benjamin Eby Lecture: Laura Gray, “The Idea of North: Sibelius, Gould, and Symbolic Landscapes” 7:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel UC chapel.

Trailer Park Party: The Randy & Lahey comedy show, Bombshelter pub, Student Life Centre, doors open 8:30, $15 at door.

Warrior Weekend events in Student Life Centre, Friday and Saturday evenings. Details.

‘Down the Rabbit Hole’ costume ball sponsored by off-campus dons, from 9 p.m., Federation Hall, tickets $5 at Federation of Students office.

Laurier Marketing Conference co-sponsored by Speech Communication Ambassadors Program, “From Trough to Prosperity”, Saturday 8:30 to 4:30 at WLU. Details.

UW Choir concert: “Remembrance, Peace, Joy”, music by Rutter, Bach, Mozart, Chilcott and others, Saturday 8 p.m., St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, Kitchener, tickets $10 (students $8).

East Campus Hall electrical power shut down Sunday 5 a.m. to 10 a.m.

UW Stage Band end-of-term concert (“Old Friends, New Friends: Latin, Swing and Rock”) Sunday 2 p.m., Conrad Grebel UC great hall, tickets $8 (students $5).

Engineering Jazz Band “With Respect to Time” charity gig supporting Ride to Conquer Cancer, Sunday 5 p.m., Festival Room, South Campus Hall, tickets $10.

UW Chamber Choir, “A Baroque Noel” featuring works by Marc-Antoine Charpentier, Sunday 7:30 p.m., St. John the Evangelist Church, Kitchener, tickets $10 (students $8).

Music student recitals today and again Tuesday, 12:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel UC chapel, admission free.

New faculty workshop: “Preparing Your Finances for the Upcoming Financial Year” Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning. Details.

Communication, Leadership and Social Innovation lecture: George Anderson, Insurance Bureau of Canada, “Elements of Transformational Leadership” Monday 5:00, Laurel Room, South Campus Hall, RSVP ext. 35058.

Instrumental chamber ensembles end-of-term concert Monday 7:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel UC chapel, admission free.

Web content management system information session for the UW community, Wednesday 11:00, Davis Centre room 1302. Details.

Perimeter Institute presents Michael Peskin, Stanford University, “Top Quark: The Elusive Truth” Wednesday 7 p.m., Waterloo Collegiate Institute. Details.

Canada’s Technology Triangle networking dinner with consular trade representatives from foreign markets; keynote speaker Thomas Homer-Dixon, Balsillie School, Thursday 5:30 p.m., Waterloo Inn, tickets $100. Details.

Orchestra @ UWaterloo fifth anniversary concert: Gershwin, “Rhapsody in Blue” (Jason White, piano), plus Hatch, Ravel, Beethoven, Shostakovich, Thursday 8:00, Humanities Theatre, free tickets from box office 519-888-4908.

Fall term classes end Saturday, December 5 (Monday schedule). Exams December 9-22; unofficial grades begin appearing in Quest December 23.

‘Commercialization Model for Life/Health and Environmental Sciences in Waterloo Region’ presentation organized by Canada’s Technology Triangle, December 7, 9:00 a.m., Pharmacy building room 1008.

Carol sing led by UW Choir, Chamber Choir and Chapel Choir, December 8, 12:00, Davis Centre great hall.

Fee payment deadline for winter term, December 17 (promissory note), December 29 (bank transfer). Details.

Christmas and New Year’s holidays: UW closed Thursday, December 24, through Friday, January 1, reopening Monday, January 4. Winter term classes begin Monday, January 4.

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