Thursday, September 30, 2010

  • Johnston leaves today — his name remains
  • Last day for the $600 million Campaign
  • Three other notes to conclude September
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

[Arms wide open for child]

President David Johnston made a farewell visit to the Institute for Quantum Computing last week, and was greeted by three-year-old Natalie Mosca as well as her father, IQC associate director Michele Mosca. "I'm confident that this region will become known as Quantum Valley," Johnston told the grownups who gathered to say farewell. "Your work is putting this region on the map." IQC director Ray Laflamme sent Johnston off to Ottawa with a gift: a quantum computer prototype, in the form of a framed crystal of malonic acid.

Johnston leaves today — his name remains

Today is David Johnston’s last day as president of the University of Waterloo — a post he has now held for 11 years and 4 months, but that he’s relinquishing to become Governor General of Canada tomorrow.

“Out of the deepest respect for David and his genuinely modest character, we will keep references to his many marvellous achievements to a minimum,” said Bob Harding, chair of the university’s board of governors, at Johnston’s testimonial dinner two weeks ago. But of course he could do no such thing, and the evening was rich with tributes to Johnston as a builder of the university, as a fund-raiser, as the key figure in development of the north campus Research and Technology Park, as a man who makes friends wherever he turns.

“I would like to briefly touch on a few of the reasons why we all have such respect and admiration for David,” said Harding. “Barn-raising is our overall theme this evening because we wanted to spotlight David’s remarkable ability to bring about successful collaborations by rallying those around him to higher levels of strategic thinking, achievement, and consensus.

“He is highly respected and appreciated for building communities and increasing the prosperity of society in general, not just the university community.”

And later: “David is among the most respected and admired educators and public servants in Canada. In every position that he has accepted throughout his remarkable career, David has elected to serve his country and his fellow Canadians. He is a brilliant, accomplished, impassioned leader who has seized every opportunity he could see, or dream of, to bring progress and prosperity to the University of Waterloo, to his country, and to the world, and we are all the better for it.”

Johnston, who is now 69, is a graduate of Harvard, Cambridge and Queen's. A specialist in securities and communications law, he served as dean of law at the University of Western Ontario and principal of McGill University (1979-94). He was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1988 and a Companion of the Order, its highest rank, in 1997.

Another speaker at the recent dinner in his honour was Tim Jackson, local entrepreneur who has now joined the university as director of the Accelerator Centre with the rank of associate vice-president. He chaired a “legacy committee” that was set up to arrange lasting recognition for Johnston at the university, and described that job as daunting. “We needed to come up with a way to recognize David that would match the magnitude of what he has accomplished on behalf of Waterloo. We also wanted it to be something dynamic, something with a life of its own, something that would reflect his passions and serve a significant purpose, so that it would be particularly meaningful to David.

“We determined that the best way to create a lasting tribute to David was to emulate what he has spent his entire career doing — finding ways to better support students and broaden their educational opportunities. We therefore set about establishing an endowment that will do both. This specially named endowment fund will reflect the great esteem in which David is held for his lifetime of service to higher education and will ensure that Waterloo can support international student experiences in perpetuity.

“The David Johnston International Experience Awards will offer the financial support that students need to pursue work, study, and service opportunities in countries other than their own. The awards will encourage Canadian and international students to fully experience life beyond their own borders and to become knowledgeable, generous global citizens.

“With this vital source of funding, domestic students will be able to venture abroad for an exchange or a study or work term, the doors to Waterloo’s distant campuses will open for more students in other countries, and international students — including refugees — will have the opportunity to come to Waterloo’s Canadian campuses to learn.

“Our committee set a goal to raise $5 million for the David Johnston International Experience Awards. To promote the awards and to garner the sort of funding that such a program requires, we approached some exceptional individuals who all feel a strong emotional tie to David and who believe that greater internationalization is key to Waterloo’s and Canada’s future success. The response to our call for support has been tremendous. We are extremely proud and deeply grateful that, in just two short months, our appeal has already garnered a total of approximately $4 million.”

Johnston’s name will also live at Waterloo on signs and maps, as the R&T Park is to be officially renamed in his honour. And he will make a return visit to campus on October 23, attending the morning session of fall Convocation and receiving an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.

Effective October 1, provost Feridun Hamdullahpur becomes Interim President of the university, while the search for Waterloo’s sixth president, begun early this year, continues.

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Last day for the $600 million Campaign

As the David Johnston era at Waterloo comes to an end, something else is winding up today: Campaign Waterloo, which has raised more than $600 million for the university since it was officially launched in 2004.

The original goal was $260 million, and Johnston gets the lion’s share of the credit for more than doubling that figure, says board of governors chair Bob Harding, who praised him at the September testimonial dinner.

“A great quality of David’s is his amazing skill at raising money,” Harding said that night. “When he first came to Waterloo, no one fully understood his limitless capacity as a fundraiser. David and I worked side by side to launch Campaign Waterloo, Building a Talent Trust, and over the last ten years, it has been a remarkable experience to watch him operate with unbounded enthusiasm, and ultimately set a fundraising record for a Canadian institution of its size.

“Because David has been an integral part of the campaign since day one, we feel that it is appropriate to wind the campaign down and officially end it as he leaves.” He announced the total, with 16 days still to go, as $607 million plus. A final figure is to be announced later, possibly on October 26, when the board of governors holds its quarterly meeting and top donors have been invited to the annual president’s cocktail reception.

Alumni and "friends" of the university are the major donors, but a crucial segment of the campaign has involved students, contributing more than $18 million, and the faculty, staff and retirees whose Keystone Campaign gifts are past $14 million. Individual donations have ranged from small sums to multi-millions. Some highlight statistics will be published this fall.

A special “campaign impact” report is being produced to highlight the impact Campaign Waterloo has had on Waterloo’s people, resources, spaces and investments, says Jude Doble, communications officer in development.

The end of the campaign doesn’t mean the end of fund-raising for Waterloo — far from it. “Campaign Waterloo will, as of October 1, transition fully into the faculty-focused [Campaign logo in black and red]‘Making the Future’ fund-raising platform,” says vice-president (external relations) Meg Beckel. “There is lots of excitement ahead,” she promised.

That means the emphasis will be on attracting funds and partnerships for the priorities set by the six faculties and other major units in the university, including, for example, engineering’s Vision 2010 growth program. Says Linda Kieswetter, associate vice-president (principal gifts and campaigns): “We have an excellent foundation and great momentum to continue moving full-speed ahead. Campaign Waterloo has inspired passionate volunteers who are now actively working with the faculties, colleges and units to further their Sixth Decade goals.”

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Three other notes to conclude September

Officials announced a year ago that a new child care centre would be established on the main campus, replacing three existing smaller centres. Progress is reported through the agenda for next month’s annual meeting of the staff association, which includes a report from the staff representative on the committee moving it all forward, Trevor Grove of the Computer Science Computing Facility. “The new Centre has a name,” he writes, “the Bright Starts Co-operative Early Learning Centre Inc. This name was chosen from suggestions provided by parents at the three centres that are being combined: Hildegard Marsden Day Nursery, Paintin’ Place and the Klemmer Farmhouse. Bright Starts will provide quality daycare for up to 200 children, with a staff of 35 to 40 Early Childhood Education professionals and support staff. The building will be around 17,000 square feet, covering a single floor (for accessibility). We hope to have the Executive Director hired this fall or early next year, with the intention of opening Bright Starts in its new building by Winter/Spring 2012.”

The Centre for Teaching Excellence has been “involved in over 30 program or curriculum review events”, staff member Trevor Holmes writes in the latest issue of CTE’s newsletter. “These have ranged from smaller group meetings to Department retreats and workshops, with the involvement of many CTE staff and co-op students. Such activities bring us into contact with different professors than might come to our teaching workshops, for example, and happily, word of mouth seems to be leading to even more work across the faculties. Early estimates as we begin to assess our efforts are that we have worked with about a quarter of all Waterloo faculty members in curriculum-related matters! Our approach is to build from the bottom up — the core beliefs and values about curricular outcomes amongst the excellent scholars in a given Department, verified often by student focus groups or surveys and then ‘mapped’ to course offerings and sequencing. Granted, the impetus to review curriculum feels top-down in the sense that it is now a requirement to take account of the Undergraduate Degree Level Expectations (UDLEs) adopted by Waterloo at the behest of the Ontario Council of Academic Vice-presidents, but we maintain that it is faculty in the disciplines and their own learners who know best how to nominate appropriate outcomes, which then can be explicitly related both to UDLEs and to any professional accreditation schema that need meeting (as in Pharmacy, Optometry, Engineering and the like).”

A new honour has come to Mary Thompson, former dean of mathematics, University Professor, and retired faculty member in statistics and actuarial science. “In recognition of efforts throughout her career at Waterloo to foster opportunities for women in the discipline of statistics,” says a memo from stats department chair David Matthews, Thompson was presented with the Elizabeth L. Scott award for 2010 at the Joint Statistical Meetings held in the summer in Vancouver. “The award,” Matthews explains,”honours the lifelong efforts of Elizabeth L. Scott to further the careers of women in academia.  Professor Scott was an astronomer by training who worked with Professor Jerzy Neyman in the Statistical Laboratory at Berkeley during World War II. She had a long, distinguished career as a professor at Berkeley and worked in a variety of areas besides astronomy, including experimental design, distribution theory, and medical statistics. Later in her career, Dr. Scott became concerned about salary inequities between men and women in academia, and published several papers on this topic.” In a memo to the department, he adds: “Congratulations, Mary! We all join with you in celebrating this singular recognition of a lifetime of effort on behalf of women in science.”


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Link of the day

Governor General at U of Saskatchewan

When and where

Final date for fee arrangements for fall term, September 30.

UWRC event: “The Healthy Vegetarian. Why You Don’t Need Meat”, with nutritionist Kellee Ganci, 12 noon, Math and Computer room 5158. Details.

Digital Opportunity Trust interns from Kenya and Rwanda speak to students in Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology, 12:00, CBET, 295 Hagey Boulevard.

Surplus sale of university furnishings and equipment, 12:30 to 2:00, East Campus Hall. Details.

Career workshops today: “Law School Bound” 12:30. “Preparing for the LSAT” 1:30. “Foreign Lawyers and Law Graduates” 2:30. “GRE Information and Preparation” 4:00. “Teaching English Abroad” 5:00, Tatham Centre room 1208. Details.

International spouses group potluck lunch 12:45 p.m., Columbia Lake Village community centre. Details.

Library workshop: “Better Searching, Better Marks” 1:30, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library.

Retirees Association annual wine-and-cheese 3 to 5 p.m., University Club. Information 519-884-8984.

Philosophy Society annual pizza social 3:30 to 7:30, Environment I atrium.

TD Canada Trust Walter Bean Lecture by physician and ocean explorer Joe MacInnis, “Oilstorm: Leadership Lessons from the Gulf of Mexico,” 4:00, Humanities Theatre.

Love Your Body Week: "Zine-making" 4:00, sex toy workshop 6:30,  Women's Centre, Student Life Centre.

Athlete Academic Honour Roll reception 4:30, Laurel Room, South Campus Hall, by invitation.

Bachelor of Social Work information session 4:30, Renison UC chapel lounge.

Waterloo Banking Project launch meeting for plans to create student-run financial services, 5:00, VeloCity (Minota Hagey Residence).

Engineering Faculty Annual Dinner and presentation of Awards of Excellence, 6 p.m., St. George’s Hall, Waterloo, by invitation.

Cooking Show in Festival Fare cafeteria, South Campus Hall, with Ashley Millis, executive chef, GFS Restaurant Supply, 7 to 9 p.m.

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” Friday 10:00, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library.

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

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

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

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

Betsy Zanna, faculty of arts counsellor, retirement reception Friday 4:00 to 6:00, Festival Room, South Campus Hall, RSVP ext. 32429.

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

St. Jerome’s University Lectures in Catholic Experience: Zarqa Nawaz, creator of “Little Mosque on the Prairie”, Friday 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 the international competition, 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.

One click away

Tribute to David Johnston in the House of Commons
‘Canada’s new Governor General a friend of India’
CAUT Almanac of Post-Secondary Education in Canada 2010-11
Women apologize more than men, Waterloo study finds
‘Students decide about higher education earlier than thought’
Art gallery in ECH is once more an exhibition space
How green is CIGI’s climate change conference
Inside Higher Ed links to Waterloo prof’s ‘Hook and Eye’ blog
Growing use of ‘co-curricular records’ for Canadian students
‘Donors get their names on plaques’
September admission statistics across Ontario
Guelph officially launches its Better Planet Project
‘Dorms go upscale as schools break the housing mould’ (Globe)

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