Friday, October 1, 2010

  • The Hamdullahpur era begins today
  • Message from the chair of the board
  • The president: 'Exciting days ahead'
  • Arts counsellor will advise athletes
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

[Hamdullahpur] The Hamdullahpur era begins today

Feridun Hamdullahpur, who came to Waterloo 13 months ago to hold the number two administrative position as vice-president (academic) and provost, today becomes the university's president.

He takes over from David Johnston, president since 1999, who is being installed this morning as Governor General of Canada.

His title was first announced as "interim president", but officials say this week that just "president" will be used, to make it clear that he's in full charge. Similarly, Geoff McBoyle, who was introduced as "acting" holder of the second-in-command job, will be known just as VP (academic) and provost.

Hamdullahpur (above) came to Waterloo from Carleton University in Ottawa, where he was vice-president (research and international) for six years, then interim VP (academic) and provost for three years. Born in Turkey, he earned his undergraduate degree and his master’s in mechanical engineering at the Technical University of Istanbul, then came to Canada to do a PhD at what was then the Technical University of Nova Scotia (now an arm of Dalhousie University). Hamdullahpur lists his research areas as energy conversion, thermo-fluids and bio-mass gasification and combustion. He served as a faculty member and then an administrator at DalTech before making the move to Carleton in 2000.

[McBoyle]McBoyle (right) is the university's associate vice-president (academic), a job that isn't being filled on an "acting" basis, or any other, in the next few months. A faculty member in the department of geography and environmental management since 1969, he was dean of the faculty of environmental studies (now just "environment") 1997-2004, and became associate VP in 2007.

The president's corner office in Needles Hall got a freshening up after Johnston cleared his pictures and personal souvenirs from the walls this week. Yesterday a plant operations crew had the door removed for repainting. There's no change to the wall colour, a greenish gold, and furnishings in the office still include a coffee table with the university's coat of arms inlaid in multiple colours of wood, created in the plant operations carpentry shop during Waterloo's 40th anniversary.

The search for Johnston's successor as president began even before he was named to become Governor General. He had been expected to continue in the president's office until June 2011. The presidential nominating committee has issued four communiqués about its progress, the most recent coming in July.

Johnston's installation as Governor General is scheduled to take place at 11:00 this morning on Parliament Hill. A number of Waterloo officials — including Hamdullahpur — are among the invited guests. Live coverage by the CBC, over the air and online, is expected to begin at 10 a.m.

Staff and faculty members will have an opportunity to hear Hamdullahpur and McBoyle comment on the state of the university, and answer questions, at a "town hall meeting" to be held Tuesday, November 2, at 3:00 in the Humanities Theatre. An invitation will be issued as the date gets closer.

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Message from the chair of the board

Bob Harding, chair of the university's board of governors, sent an electronic memo across the institution this morning marking the changes:

"Thank you, David. This is an historic day in the life of the University of Waterloo and the country. We are offering a very fond farewell to President David Johnston as he assumes his splendid new role as Canada’s 28th Governor General. His installation will occur today at 11:00 a.m. in the Senate Chamber of Parliament. And so, Canada becomes the beneficiary of an incredible individual who will without doubt bring the same outstanding level of commitment, service and leadership to the office of Governor General and the country as he did to the University of Waterloo.

"We are extremely grateful to have had the privilege of having David as our leader these past 11 years. We have said it before, but it bears repeating — David, for all you have done, for your years of outstanding, inspirational leadership, thank you, with all our hearts, and to quote you, 'Bravo!'

"Welcome Feridun, Geoff. Today, Waterloo also welcomes Dr. Feridun Hamdullahpur as its president. Feridun has been our vice-president, academic & provost for the past year, and now takes on the presidency of the University of Waterloo until a successor to David Johnston is selected.

"As well, we welcome Dr. Geoff McBoyle as vice-president, academic & provost, stepping in for Feridun while the search continues for a president.

"We are grateful to both of them, and confident that the leadership of this outstanding institution has been entrusted to very capable hands."

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The president: 'Exciting days ahead'

a message to the university community from president Feridun Hamdullahpur

[Open quotation]Today marks a notable point in the history of the University of Waterloo. David Johnston leaves the university after 11 years of fantastic leadership. David’s terms as president were filled with great accomplishments that made Waterloo one of the most vibrant, innovative and dynamic universities in the world. I wish him the very best in his new role.

Over the past year, I have been truly delighted and proud to be a part of the community that has helped Waterloo become an institution of the highest quality for its teaching, programs, scholarship and service. I am also thrilled by the opportunity entrusted to me to lead the university as president for the next several months until a permanent appointment is made. 

There are tremendous rewards in being president, most importantly witnessing our great achievements. Our Sixth Decade Plan provides us with a clear pathway to achieve our dreams and aspirations to put Waterloo in the company of greatest global intellectual contributors by 2017.

While we are all proud of our accomplishments, we cannot become complacent. We have more challenging days ahead as we continue to further strengthen our great university. As a caring community, we will be more focused, strategic and innovative than ever in all aspects of our planning and operation of the university.

I am confident and excited for the future of our university because we have the most important element necessary to take us through our journey and deepen our intellectual strength: the people. I cannot say enough about the calibre, [Close quotation]creativity, commitment, and passion of our faculty, staff, and students, but I will take every opportunity to proudly highlight your successes and accomplishments.

We have exciting days ahead of us and I will count on all of you joining me in furthering our excellence. I welcome your input and suggestions.

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Arts counsellor will advise athletes

Long-time staff member Betsy Zanna retired on September 1, but she’s keeping a close connection with the university as an academic advisor to Warrior varsity teams, the athletics department has announced.

Zanna, a staff member since 1978, was academic counsellor in the faculty of arts and worked with thousands of students over the years. She will be honoured at a reception this afternoon (4 to 6 p.m. in the Festival Room of South Campus Hall). Donations have been invited for an undergraduate prize in her name.

“Betsy was and is beloved across campus,” says Bill Chesney, the associate dean (undergraduate studies) in the arts faculty, “and is a uniquely giving and student-centred individual.”

The athletics department gave pretty much the same praise as it presented Zanna with this year’s Warrior Campus Service Award earlier this year, “for her dedication and commitment to guiding Waterloo student-athletes on the right academic path. Her academic advisory work with student athletes over the years has helped numerous Warriors find a balance between their athletic endeavours and their commitment to academics.

Says Zanna herself: “Athletes are interesting and very serious students with whom to work, and I appreciate the difficult task that faces most of them. It’s hard to juggle the commitment to team and the commitment required to be a good student.”

The department has  now announced that in her new role, Zanna “will assist all varsity teams in monitoring and achieving student-athlete academic success and be a resource for all of the coaching staffs. Zanna’s focus will be on first year students trying to find their way and to ensure an appropriate academic path is chosen. Betsy will also be researching best practices at other universities in North America in how they work to achieve student-athlete academic success.”

Also happening at Waterloo later today:

  • The Chinese Christian Fellowship and K-W Chinese Alliance Church will hold an evangelical event starting at 7:00 in the Humanities Theatre.
  • St. Jerome’s University launches this year’s Lectures in Catholic Experience series with an appearance by Zarqa Nawaz, creator of “Little Mosque on the Prairie”. She’ll speak (7:30 p.m., Siegfried Hall) under the title “Don’t Wear Red Nail Polish When You Visit Your Conservative Muslim Mother”.

Tomorrow’s events, outlined in the “When and where” column at right, range from a programming competition to a day-long “teach-in on Afghanistan and the War on Terror”, organized by the Toronto Media Co-op. Saturday night, St. Jerome’s will hold its annual Feast and present the Sweeney Award for Leadership in Catholic University Education to Noel A. Kinsella, speaker of the Senate of Canada.


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Link of the day

World Smile Day

When and where

Deadline to drop or withdraw from courses with 100 per cent fee refund; “drop, no penalty” period ends, October 1.

‘Climate of Action’ international conference hosted by Centre for International Governance Innovation, October 1-3; public lectures by Jim Prentice (federal minister of environment) and Sir David King (Oxford), Friday evening. Details.

Library workshop: “Introduction to RefWorks” today 10:00; October 13, 3:00; October 20, 11:00; October 22, 10:00; November 11, 1:30; all in Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library.

Love Your Body Week: “Goddess meditation” 11:00, outside Student Life Centre; “Stitch and Bitch” and vegan potluck 5:00, Women’s Centre, SLC; film “My Flesh and Blood” 8:30, Women’s Centre.

Chemical engineering seminar: Scott Keeler, Dow, “The Engineer and Intellectual Property” 11:30 a.m., Doug Wright Engineering room 2527.

Knowledge Integration seminar: Rich Partridge, “Ontario’s Emergency Management Program” 2:30, Environment II room 2002.

Philosophy colloquium: Lisa Schwartzman, Michigan State U, “Feminism, Choice and Freedom” 3:30, Humanities room 373.

Career workshop: “Interview Skills, Preparing for Questions” 4:00, Tatham Centre room 2218. Details.

Chinese Christian Fellowship and K-W Chinese Alliance Church evangelical event 7:00, Humanities Theatre.

St. Jerome’s University Lectures in Catholic Experience: Zarqa Nawaz, creator of “Little Mosque on the Prairie”, speaks on “Don’t Wear Red Nail Polish When You Visit Your Conservative Muslim Mother” 7:30 p.m., Siegfried Hall.

Niagara Falls and winery tour organized by Federation of Students and International Student Connection, Saturday, tickets $18 at Federation office, Student Life Centre.

ACM-style programming contest to select Waterloo teams for this year’s international competition, second opportunity Saturday 10:30 to 5:00, Math and Computer room 2037. Details.

Historians Against the War teach-in on Afghanistan and the War on Terror, Saturday 11:30 to 8:00, Arts Lecture Hall room 116, concludes with 6 p.m. screening of documentary “Ghosts”. Details.

Feast of St. Jerome: Sweeney Award for Leadership in Catholic University Education presented to Hon. Noel A. Kinsella, Saturday 6:30 p.m., St. Jerome’s U.

Grand Harmony Chorus “Thank You for the Music” Saturday 8 p.m., Humanities Theatre, tickets $25. Details.

Blessing of Pets service (Anglican) Sunday 3 p.m., St. Bede’s Chapel, Renison UC, celebrating feast of St. Francis of Assisi.

Wilfrid Laurier University Homecoming presents comedian Tim Allen, Sunday 7:00, Kitchener Memorial Auditorium, tickets from Centre in the Square.

Energy Research Centre building grand opening celebration, Monday 10:30, Matthews Hall green, information ext. 33580.

Faculty of education talks Monday 10:30 to 5:00, Tatham Centre room 2218. Workshops: “Applying to Teacher Education Programs” 12:30, “Check Out Your On-Campus Options” 1:30. More talks Tuesday. Details.

Interdisciplinary Centre on Climate Change presents Annett Bartsch, Vienna University of Technology, “The European Space Agency’s ENVISAT ASAR Instrument” Monday 12:00, Environment I room 221.

Senate executive committee Monday 3:30, Needles Hall room 3004.

Library workshop: “Building Digital Elevation Models in ArcGIS” Monday 4:00, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library.

Computer Science Club presents Ian Seyler, Return Infinity, “BareMetal OS”, Monday 4:30, Math and Computer room 4021.

Chinese Drama Club presents “Love Without Reason” Monday 7:30 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

‘Navigating the University Admissions Process’ brown-bag lunch for staff or faculty with future students in the family, October 7, 12:00, Davis Centre room 1304.

Thanksgiving Day holiday Monday, October 11, UW offices and most services closed, classes not held.

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