Monday, August 30, 2010

  • McBoyle will be acting VP, provost
  • Comments invited on web design
  • Communications executive is announced
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

McBoyle will be acting VP, provost

An acting provost has been named for the university to serve starting October 1, when provost Feridun Hamdullahpur moves to become interim president of the university.

The provost's role will go to a former dean who is currently associate vice-president (academic), said a memo Friday from Hamdullahpur and university president David Johnston: "We are delighted to inform Executive Council and the university community that Professor Geoff McBoyle has agreed to serve as acting Vice-President Academic & Provost, effective October 1, 2010.

[McBoyle]"Prof. McBoyle will serve in that capacity until the search for our next President is complete and the Interim President can return to the VP Academic & Provost position."

Their memo added that McBoyle (left) "has always offered wise counsel and brings a wealth of senior administrative experience to this acting role."

McBoyle served as dean of what was then called the Faculty of Environmental Studies from 1997 to 2004. He is a long-time faculty member in the geography and environmental management department, and was winner of a Distinguished Teaching Award in 1989. He became associate VP, one of the top academic administrative positions, in 2007. The associate VP (academic) is responsible for activities focused generally on UW's undergraduate education, including academic program reviews.

Says Friday's memo: "While serving as Associate Vice-President, Academic, he served the university by chairing key committees, and handling numerous projects and portfolios, including the Centre for Teaching Excellence. Geoff will retain a number of his current responsibilities; however, some will be distributed to others during this temporary appointment.

"We wish to thank him for his long-standing commitment and dedication to the University of Waterloo, and his willingness to take on the demanding role of acting Vice-President, Academic, & Provost. We look forward to working with him, and we are confident that he will have your full cooperation and support."

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Comments invited on web design

“Everything you discover at the University of Waterloo belongs to you,” say the bold white capital letters that [Screen capture of web page]dominate the university’s proposed new web home page.

Presented for comment last week, the page (right) is a revised version of the one that was seen last spring and could be in use late this fall. It’s the work of California-based White Whale Web Services and is being reviewed by a “web redesign team” responsible to the university’s vice-president (external relations).

The team “is excited to share with you the proposed design concepts we have received from White Whale for the new Waterloo website,” writes one of its members, Kayleigh Platz of communications and public affairs. “After months of [information architecture] and wireframe design, it is exciting to see our, and your, visions coming to life in colour and design. The designs you are about to see do not necessarily reflect the IA work, but rather are a complement of generic templates.

“We will post more images as the designs roll in. We are excited for your feedback as we work to build a website that reflects the Waterloo experience, and your views and values. Please feel free to talk about these designs, and share them!”

Comments are being invited through the redesign web site or a Facebook page (“UW Website Redesign”). “Email your thoughts and comments back to the team if you would rather not give public feedback,” says Platz, giving the e-mail address sarah.forgrave@

“Please remember that these are still in the proposal stage,” she writes. “Nothing has been confirmed or signed off on, and the final version of these designs may look very different than the designs you will see now!

“In the upcoming weeks we will be expanding our remote testing to integrate some of elements from the proposed concepts. Expect another exciting round of user testing to incorporate the new design deliverables.”

Among the new things in this round of page design is a feature called the W-bar, which White Whale explains is “the bar that contains Waterloo’s top level global navigation (About Waterloo, Today at Waterloo, Faculties & Academics, Offices & Services A-Z). On the core pages of the site, it will be displayed by default, though it can also be closed. When it’s closed, only a yellow ” tab will be visible at the top right edge of all content areas. When clicked, it will function as a pull tab, and bring down the main UW global navigation from above. We’d like to see the W-bar be present on every page of the site.”

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Communications executive is announced

The university’s institutional marketing, communications and public affairs activity will be led by a new associate vice-president (communications and public affairs) who will come to Needles Hall in October, it was announced on Friday.

Says a memo from vice-president (external relations) Meg Beckel: “Three years ago a university task force made extensive recommendations for a new strategic plan for the External Relations division. Part of that plan was to appoint a new associate vice-president responsible for marketing, communications and public affairs.

“It took a while, but the new position has been created with university approval and a talented person has been found to handle this demanding portfolio. After a cross-Canada search that started last fall, we are now pleased to announce that Ellen Réthoré has accepted the job and will start in her new position on October 4.”

She said Réthoré will take on responsibilities formerly handled by the director of communications and public affairs; the director of graphics (managing the “creative services” unit, which was folded into CPA earlier this summer when graphics was dissolved); and the vice-president herself, with regard to the university’s “positioning and identity”.

The director of CPA, Martin Van Nierop, is moving to be senior director of government relations, also reporting to Beckel.

Said the VP: “As the university’s senior communications officer, Ellen will lead the institution in galvanizing interest and engagement with the mission and objectives of the university and help it really stand out. She will direct the strategic positioning of the university and the development and execution of short and long-term strategies to build the public profile of Waterloo.”

Réthoré is currently vice-president ( marketing and communications) at Kids Help Phone, based in Toronto, and has more than 20 years of senior leadership experience in marketing, communications and branding. Prior to Kids Help Phone she was at the University of Toronto, where she was executive director, marketing and communications (advancement) at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) and, before that, worked in U of T’s division of university advancement. Her experience also includes senior roles in the private sector in telecommunications, advertising and retail marketing.

She has volunteered for organizations including the Art Gallery of Ontario, home and school associations, and coached house league soccer. She attended both the University of Western Ontario and the University of Toronto and holds a BSc in physics/astrophysics.  She currently lives in Toronto with her husband and two sons and has a stepdaughter living in New York City. Her interests include swimming, reading, gardening, interior and graphic design, “and most importantly spending time with her sons”.


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Link of the day

Burning  Man

When and where

Physical Activities Complex closed through September 6 (Columbia Icefield open).

Spring term marks now appearing on Quest; marks become official September 20.

Men’s hockey “shooting to score” camp for boys 5-14, August 30 to September 3, Icefield.

Fall term fees due today (fee arrangements), September 8 (bank payment). Details.

Women’s field hockey camp August 30 through September 1, Warrior Field.

Women’s basketball back-to-school camp August 30 through September 3, Physical Activities Complex.

Waterloo Stratford kickoff event: presentation and reception Tuesday 11:00 a.m., Stratford city hall auditorium, RSVP 519-275-2727.

South Campus Hall main staircase and south entrance closed for repairs Wednesday 7:30 to 10 a.m.

Staff association election information session, particularly for potential candidates, Thursday 12:00, repeated September 8, 12:00, Davis Centre room 1304.

Weight Watchers at Work information session and sign-up Thursday 12:15, PAS (Psychology) room 2438, information ext. 32218.

Labour Day holiday Monday, September 6, UW offices and most services closed, classes not held.

Orientation 2010 for new first-year students, September 6-11. Details.

Ontario municipal elections nomination day Friday, September 10; polling day Monday, October 25. Details.

New faculty event: Research and graduate studies officials make presentations (“How to Manage Your Research Funds”) September 10, 10:30, Math and Computer room 2017; lunch and tradeshow 12:00, MC 2054. Information ext. 32526.

Fall term classes begin Monday, September 13.

Class enrolment appointments for winter term courses listed in Quest  September 13. Appointments October 11-16; open enrolment begins October 18.

David Johnston “Thank You Celebration” September 14, 6:00 reception, 7:00 dinner, Bingeman Conference Centre, Kitchener, tickets $150. Details.

Ice cream social honouring David Johnston as he ends his term as president, September 16, 3:30 to 5 p.m., Matthews Hall green (rain location, Davis Centre great hall).

Friends of the Library lecture: Olympic skier Beckie Scott, “Visions of Excellence” September 21, 4:00, Humanities Theatre.

Intercountry Adoption Summit hosted by the arts faculty: September 23-26, Stratford. Details.

PhD oral defences

Statistics and actuarial science. Dagmar Mariaca Hajducek, “Analysis of Duration Data from Longitudinal Surveys Subject to Loss to Follow Up.” Supervisor, J. F. Lawless. On display in the faculty of mathematics, MC 5090. Oral defence Wednesday, September 15, 10:00 a.m., Math and Computer room 6027.

Psychology. Jonathan Carriere, “The Consequences of Everyday Inattention.” Supervisor, Dan Smilek. On display in the faculty of arts, PAS 2434. Oral defence Wednesday, September 15, 1:30 p.m., PAS (Psychology) building room 3026.

Civil and environmental engineering. Guoxiang Liu, “Improved Interflow and Infiltration Algorithms for Distributed Hydrological Models.” Supervisors, Eric Soulis and James Craig. On display in the faculty of engineering, PHY 3004. Oral defence Thursday, September 16, 2:30 p.m., Engineering II room 3324.

Chemistry. Hong Xu, “New Arsenides and Antimonides as Thermoelectric Materials and  Chalcogenides with Distorted Square Nets.” Supervisor, Holger Kleinke. On display in the faculty of science, ESC 254A. Oral defence Friday, September 17, 1:30 p.m., Chemistry II room 361.

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