Tuesday, October 27, 2009

  • Board asked to approve building site
  • Student services organization under review
  • Faculty members on sabbatical this fall
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs
  • bulletin@uwaterloo.ca

[Slice of map]

Portion of a map from the UW campus master plan, showing the proposed site for a student services building: "Parcel 5" between University Avenue and the ring road.

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Board asked to approve building site

UW's board of governors holds its quarterly meeting this afternoon and will be asked to approve "the siting of the Student Services Complex adjacent to the main entrance of University Avenue".

The proposal, coming forward from the board's building and properties committee, notes that "execution of the project is dependent on students' supporting a referendum which will result in increased student fees to fund the project." The total cost of the 140,000-square-foot building will be approximately $49 million, the committee says.

Students are expected to vote on the proposed building next month. The student services building would include retail and food services space, social and study space for students, meeting rooms, offices for student organizations, and such UW units as counselling services and the office for persons with disabilities.

The proposed site would wipe out about half of the existing parking lot H, across the ring road from the Humanities building and Tatham Centre.

Also at today's meeting, the building and properties committee will report on three building projects, funded by the federal-provincial Knowledge Infrastructure Program, that have moved along rapidly since the board of governors last met in early June:

Engineering 6: "The committee awarded a design/build contract to Aecon Buildings Inc. for the construction of the Engineering 6 building at a tender price of $37,990,000 less a negotiated amount to shell one/two floors (estimated at approximately $4 million).

"With a total project budget of $37.4 million . . . funding on hand totals $35 million which includes: (a) $18 million from the KIP funding, (b) $7 million from the university/Faculty of Engineering, and (c) $10 million of engineering's share of Provincial Graduate Growth funding. The Faculty of Engineering has committed to fund the $2.5 million funding shortfall through incremental grant and tuition income, research funding for future fit-outs, and donations."

Mathematics 3: "The committee awarded a design/build contract to Melloul Blamey Construction for the construction of the Mathematics Expansion at a tender price of $18,149,000. Funding on hand totals $23 million which includes: (a) $18 million from the KIP funding; (b) $5 million from the university; Faculty of Mathematics."

Environment 3: "The committee awarded a design/build contract to Cooper Construction for the construction of the Environment Expansion of a tender price of $16,834,000. With a total project budget of $18.8 million, this Leed Silver project exceeds UW's KIP submission of $14 million by $4.8 million. Funding on hand includes: (a) $14 million from KIP funding; (b) $1.5 million from the university; and (c) $4.3 million in graduate growth expansion capital funds. The Faculty of Environment would like to pursue a Leed Gold rating on the building and a subsequent report will be made to the committee outlining any budget impact of Leed Gold."

The agenda for today's board meeting also includes the university's 2008-09 financial statements, an update on the current year's budget, a presentation on the health of the pension plan, the usual "environmental scan" from the president of the university, and other reports. The meeting starts at 1:30 p.m. in Needles Hall room 3001.

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Student services organization under review

A “working group” headed by one of UW’s deans is reviewing the way student service departments at UW are organized, in preparation for the hiring of a new associate provost to take charge of them.

The hiring will follow the retirement, at the end of 2009, of Catharine Scott, who has served as associate provost (human resources and student services) since 1996. A new associate provost (human resources), Janet Passmore, started work in July, and that leaves the “student services” part of the portfolio to be dealt with.

The departments involved are 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.

“The working group's terms of reference is to conduct a broad review of all student service functions at UW and recommend, if justified, a new or modified structure for the student services portfolio,” says Roger Mannell, dean of applied health sciences, who is heading the group. He adds that the provost “would like the committee to complete this review in December 2009 if possible”.

Its other task, Mannell adds, “is to recommend a position profile and job advertisement for the Associate Provost (Student Services) position that will aid the work of a hiring committee — a committee that will be appointed following the completion of our work”

Mannell’s committee — the "Associate Provost Student Services Working Group” —includes both Scott and Passmore, as well as Bud Walker, director of university business operations, whose portfolio includes such student-oriented departments as housing and residences, food services and retail services.

Also on the committee are environment dean Deep Saini; vice-president (external relations) Meg Beckel; Bruce Mitchell, associate provost (academic and student affairs), the university’s third-ranking administrator; Allan Babor, president of the Federation of Students; Mike Makahnouk, president of the Graduate Student Association; and Mario Coniglio, associate dean (undergraduate studies) in science.

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Faculty members on sabbatical this fall

Here’s another list of UW faculty members who are currently on sabbatical leaves that started September 1. The plans for each individual are as reported to the university’s board of governors, which has to approve all sabbaticals.

Levent Tuncel, department of combinatorics and optimization (six months’ leave): “I will focus on my research projects in mathematical optimization and mathematics of operations research. I plan to spend 2-3 days a week at the Fields Institute participating in the program ‘Foundations of Computational Mathematics’. I will also attend some workshops including American Inst. Math Workshop on Convex Algebraic Geometry, Optimization and Applications, as well as some conferences including the Winter Meeting of the Canadian Math Society.”

Murat Uysal, electrical and computer engineering (twelve months): “My main goal during sabbatical leave is to expand my research program in the area of cooperative wireless communications. I will advance several ongoing research projects and initiate work on new ones. Research publications, new collaborations, and possibly new sources of funding are expected outcomes of this planned leave.”

Kumaraswamy Ponnambalam, systems design engineering (six months): “I will be at the TUDelft, Netherlands, working to develop surrogate modelling methodologies for design optimization under uncertainty. DOUU problems are where either the design variables are random, or decision variables are deterministic, or a combination of these two; so far, the solution methods have been developed for these two problems independently. In addition, I hope to complete the interactive textbook on Water Management.”

Chaitanya Swamy, combinatorics and optimization (six months): “Sabbatical leave requested to pursue research in algorithmic mechanism design; approximation algorithms for stochastic optimization; algorithms for data mining from noisy samples.”

Changbao Wu, statistics and actuarial science (six months): “The primary goal of the requested sabbatical leave is to finish several research papers which have been delayed due to heavy commitment to teaching, internal and external services, and coordination of two national research projects in the past five years. Several short research trips are planned during the requested leave to visit co-authors at Carleton, UBC, Acadia, Iowa State and Texas A&M.”

Anna Lubiw, computer science (twelve months): “I plan to do research in algorithms, specifically computational geometry and graph algorithms.”

Jeffrey Shallit, computer science (twelve months): “During my sabbatical, I plan to work on several book projects, including Volume 2 of my book Algorithmic Number Theory, a new book on pattern avoidance with my former graduate student, Narad Rampersad, and a book on examples and counterexamples in formal language theory.”

Peter van Beek, computer science (twelve months): “During the sabbatical leave, I plan to be based at the University of Waterloo. My main goal is to expand my research program in constraint programming and artificial intelligence, with a focus on applications in compiler optimization. In addition, I hope to renew my collaboration with Fahiem Bacchus, University of Toronto, on the topics of satisfiability solvers and model counting.”


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H1N1 shots about to start

UW's health services clinic is expecting its first shipment of H1N1 flu vaccine to arrive any time now — likely today — and as soon as it does, some shots will be available on campus.

People who fall into the "priority" groups will then be able to drop in at Health Services during business hours to get their shots of adjuvanted H1N1 flu vaccine on a first-come first-served basis. A memo will be going out from health services director Barbara Schumacher with the details.

The priority groups include "individuals with chronic medical conditions", health care workers, pregnant women and people who care for infants. There's more detail on the Public Health Canada web site.

Open clinics for H1N1 flu shots are tentatively scheduled for November 18-20.

Ring road update

The Columbia Street entrance to the south campus, opposite Hagey Boulevard, is closed today for road work on Columbia. The closing is expected to continue through tomorrow. As of 8:00 this morning, the Village I entrance from Columbia is also closed.

As part of a quite separate project, there will be lane restrictions for much of today on the east side of the ring road, where overhead work is being done for the construction of Engineering 5.

Link of the day

University newspaper 100 years ago today

When and where

Used coat and jacket sale in support of the United Way, today and Wednesday 11:00 to 3:00, Student Life Centre multipurpose room.

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

Education Credit Union speaker Debbie Kinlin-Hynes, “Critical Illness Insurance”, 12:15, Davis Centre room 1302.

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

Library workshop: “Data Retrieval from Statistics Canada Surveys” 2:00, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library.

Career workshops today: “Business Etiquette and Professionalism” 2:30, Tatham Centre room 2218; “Professional School Interviews” 3:30, Tatham 1208. Details.

‘Careers in Public Service’ panel for alumni and students, 4:30, Tatham Centre room 2218. Details.

Architecture lecture: Oren Safdie presents a screening of the film of his play “Private Jokes, Public Places” and reads from new play “The Bilbao Effect”, 7:00, Architecture lecture hall.

Gairdner International Lectures by Peter Walter, University of California at San Francisco, Wednesday: student lecture, “Adventure Cell Biology”, 10:00; faculty lecture “Intracellular Signaling and Protein Quality Control” 12:30, both in Humanities Theatre.

Student ‘town hall’ meeting to discuss proposed student services building and Health Services expansion, Wednesday 12:00, Student Life Centre great hall.

Free noon concert: Soprano Sandra Tucker and pianist Beth Ann DeSousa, “Opera and Beyond”, Wednesday 12:30, Conrad Grebel UC chapel.

‘Introduction to RefWorks’ workshop in UW library Wednesday 1:30, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

Water Environment Association of Ontario presents “Risk Assessment 101”, Wednesday 2:00, Rod Coutts Hall room 208.

Chemistry seminar: Christian Pellerin, Université de Montréal, “Electrospinning and Dynamic Characterization of Polymers” Wednesday 2:30, Chemistry II room 361.

Career workshops Wednesday: “Interview Skills, Preparing for Questions” 4:30, Tatham Centre room 1208; “Work Search Strategies for International Students” 4:30, Tatham 2218. Details.

Columbia Lake Health Club “lifestyle learning” session: “How to Read a Food Label” Wednesday 5:30, 340 Hagey Boulevard.

Staff association annual general meeting Thursday 9:00 a.m., Davis Centre room 1302. Agenda online.

International Spouses monthly meeting: Elisabeth Adrian of UW career services, “Get your dream job with a super resumé and cover letter” Thursday 12:45, Columbia Lake Village community centre. Details.

K-W Symphony “Intersections” concert, “Nico’s Choice”, announced for Thursday in the Humanities Theatre, has been relocated and rescheduled.

Propel: Centre for Population Health Impact, combining staff from Centre for Behavioural Research and Program Evaluation and Population Health Research Group, open house Friday 12:30 to 2:00, Lyle Hallman Institute building.

St. Jerome’s University John J. Wintermeyer Lecture: Lori G. Beaman, University of Ottawa, “Religious Freedom at a Crossroads: Multiculturalism or Pluralism?” Friday 7:30 p.m., Siegfried Hall.

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