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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

  • Senate approves budget, hears reports
  • President's letter to the community
  • St. Jerome's faculty contract, and more
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs


Distinguished Teacher Awards for 2011 will be presented to four faculty members at convocation, the selection committee announced at last night's meeting of the university senate. The winners: Vivian Dayeh, department of biology; Steven Bednarski, history (St. Jerome's University); Ted McGee, English (St. Jerome's University); and Mark Seasons, school of planning (and interim dean of environment). "Twelve eligible nominations, supported by the required signatures and documentation, were submitted for consideration," the committee's report said. "Many of these were very strong nominations and documented outstanding records of teaching and service to students at all levels of the University."

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Senate approves budget, hears reports

The university senate approved the 2011-12 budget last night, almost without debate. Members asked provost Geoff McBoyle just a few questions about details, including the $7.5 million that’s allocated for library acquisitions in the coming year. True, there’s no increase in that budget item from 2010-11, McBoyle said, but “this year the Canadian dollar helped us quite a bit.” That means items priced in American currency are cheaper in real terms than they were in the past, and the library’s spending position is easier.

“We will try to start to address” issues of student-faculty ratio, the provost said in answer to a question about how money will be allocated to academic departments. The budget plan includes a 2 per cent cut to most departments' expenditures, for a saving of $4.3 million that will be redistributed by the provost.

Overall income is expected to go up by $28 million from the current year, largely because of enrolment increases, to reach $518 million. Spending will also be pegged at $518 million. The bottom line actually shows a surplus of $176,000, McBoyle noted, “but remember, the university spends about $1.4 million a day.”

The budget will go to the university’s board of governors for final approval on April 5.

Last night’s senate meeting touched on many issues, including a number of gaps and impending changes at the senior administrative level. President Feridun Hamdullahpur reminded the meeting that the university is without a provost (McBoyle is doubling in that role on an interim basis), a secretary (since the departure of Lois Claxton for a job with the Governor General of Canada) and an associate provost for students (Bud Walker is filling the role temporarily). Vice-president (external relations) Meg Beckel is leaving in June, two new deans are due to arrive this summer, and nominating committees are looking at the deanships in two more faculties, science and engineering.

On that last topic, the senate approved a temporary exception that will add an extra faculty member to each nominating committee. Both faculties have gained academic units (architecture in the case of engineering, pharmacy in the case of science) since the rules were written, and there was a danger that somebody would go unrepresented.

Policy 45, which governs the search for deans, is due for a review by the faculty relations committee before the issue comes up again, Hamdullahpur told the senate.

Among other agenda items last night, senate heard a year-end report from Bradley Moggach, who will wind up his term as president of the Federation of Students on April 30. “We’ve driven the Feds to a more advocacy-based organization over the past year,” he said, and mentioned that work is continuing on plans for a possible “student services” building, with an eye to a referendum during 2011-12 on a fee to pay for it.

The meeting also heard a presentation from Lauren Burgess, associate director for prospect research in the office of development and alumni affairs, who described what the university does to identify potential donors, “cultivate” them, thank them, and make sure two different faculties aren’t soliciting support from the same donor at the same time.

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President's letter to the community

Feridun Hamdullahpur, appointed the sixth president of the university a few days ago, introduces himself to students, staff and faculty members in a brief letter that was distributed across campus by e-mail yesterday. Here's what he wrote:

"Since September 2009, when I started a new chapter in my life as vice-president (academic) and provost, I have been truly delighted and proud to be a part of the community that has made the University of Waterloo an institution of the highest quality in its teaching, programs, scholarship, and service.

"When our last president, David Johnston, departed for his post in Ottawa in October, I was thrilled by the opportunity entrusted to me to lead the university as interim president until a permanent appointment was made. Since then, I have had several opportunities to write to you on a number of issues but this is my first correspondence in my full capacity as president.

"At the outset, let me express how honoured and humbled I am to have been chosen as Waterloo’s sixth president.

"It was a great privilege to act in the capacity of interim president over the last five months; now I am further privileged to have the opportunity to serve you as president for a full term.

"I am working closely with our executive team as long-term plans begin to take shape. I look forward to hearing from all of you — relying on all of you — as we embrace our institution’s collaborative spirit in this time of fresh starts.

"Working together, we are building on a very strong foundation. Waterloo is already a great institution known for its leadership in scholarship and innovation, its connections, and its unconventional approach to both academic excellence and societal relevance.

"Above all, I am delighted to assume leadership of our continued progress in achieving and exceeding the goals and objectives of the Sixth Decade Plan. Our plan provides us with a clear pathway to achieve our dreams and aspirations, and to put Waterloo in the company of the greatest global intellectual contributors by 2017. Our goal is to achieve a level of excellence in research and teaching that secures the University of Waterloo’s place among the ranks of the top 100 universities in the world.

"The University of Waterloo community — its students, faculty, staff, and alumni — all play a vital role in this institution’s success. I pledge to take every opportunity to proudly highlight your successes and accomplishments to Canada and the world.

"Thank you all for this wonderful opportunity to serve."

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St. Jerome's faculty contract, and more

Unionized faculty members at St. Jerome’s University now have their first contract, as the institution’s board of governors approved a collective agreement March 14, an announcement says. The agreement was ratified by members of the St. Jerome’s University Academic Staff Association earlier in the week and is effective March 24, 2011. The announcement says the four-year agreement covers the period from May 1, 2009, to April 30, 2013. “The administration and the SJU-ASA look forward to working in this new relationship,” a news release says. “The Board of Governors and the SJU-ASA extend their appreciation to the members of both bargaining teams who worked cooperatively and diligently in preparing the agreement. Appreciation is also extended to provincial conciliator Greg Long.” Said Cyntha Struthers, acting president of the SJU-ASA: “We are pleased to have reached a fair agreement that serves the good of the whole University community.” St. Jerome’s president David Perrin offered gratitude to all concerned: “This is a positive development in the life of St. Jerome’s University as we move forward with major plans in celebration of our 150th anniversary in 2015.” Details of what’s in the contract were not announced.

Would you rather spend a day in a dumpster or be covered head to toe in paint? “Federation of Students Vice-president (education), Nick Soave didn’t get a choice,” writes the Feds’ Kirsty Budd. “Thanks to Colour Me Educated, he gets to do both. [Colour Me Educated logo]A paint drop covering Soave, the president of the University of Waterloo, Feridun Hamdullahpur, and others will be held Wednesday in celebration of the 2011 Colour Me Educated campaign. The campaign kicked off in January with Soave and other representatives spending the day in a dumpster to raise awareness. Their day also raised $1,200 for Colour Me Educated, a campaign in support of Pathways to Education, which works to lower the high school dropout rate and increase access to post-secondary education among disadvantaged youth in Canada. Throughout the campaign students have donated money, choosing which faculty they wanted to support. The faculty with the most money raised will be asked to help dump paint over the volunteers in their faculty colour. The final tally will be announced at the Paint Drop at 12:30 tomorrow in the Student Life Centre courtyard. Along with Soave and Hamdullahpur, paint will be dropped on Bud Walker, associate provost (students); Bob Copeland, athletics and recreational services director; Bradley Moggach, president of the Federation; Sarah Cook, VP (administration and finance); and Nikki Best, VP (internal). Representatives from Pathways to Education and graduates of the Pathways program will be on hand for a reception from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Environment courtyard. A cheque will be presented with the final fundraising total.”

A memorial service will be held tomorrow for Ho-Yee "Emily" Chan, a fourth-year mathematics and chemistry student who died in April 2010. The service will begin at 2:00 at Notre Dame Chapel at St. Jerome's University. After the service, there will be a tree dedication ceremony outside the Math and Computer building, followed by an informal gathering back at St. Jerome's. All are welcome to attend tomorrow's events.


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Link of the day

Ontario budget today

When and where

Library extended hours during exam season: March 27 to April 21, Davis Centre library open 24 hours (except Sunday 2 to 8 a.m.), Dana Porter Library open 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily.

Architecture student co-op job match results today.

Campus Tech workshop on creating multimedia content using Apple equipment, 10 a.m., Laurel Room, South Campus Hall.

End-of-term barbecue sponsored by Federation of Students, free burgers and hot dogs, final day 12:00, Student Life Centre courtyard.

Recitals by music students continue Tuesday and Wednesday 12:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel UC chapel, free admission.

Institute for Computer Research presents Don Batory, University of Texas at Austin, “Feature Interactions, Products, and Composition” 2:00, Davis Centre room 1304.

Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology seminar: Régis Pomès, University of Toronto, “Molecular Simulations of Peptides and Proteins in Biological Membranes” 3:30, Chemistry 2 room 361.

David Miller, former mayor of Toronto, “Climate Change and Cities” sponsored by School of Environment, Enterprise and Development, 4:00, Hagey Hall room 1108.

Grand River Transit open house about service improvements, 4 to 8 p.m., Davis Centre room 1301. Details.

Author reading: novelist Guy Gavriel Kay, 4:30, St. Jerome’s University room 3014.

‘Living with a Disability in an Ableist Society’ by former student Michael Gardner, sponsored by WPIRG, 5:00, Student Life Centre. Details.

Brick Brewery tour sponsored by SWIGS, graduate student arm of the Water Institute, 6:00, information e-mail r2chow@

Comedic hypnotist Darren Thomas, sponsored by Aboriginal Services, 7:00, MacKirdy Hall, St. Paul’s U College, admission free.

Biomedical Discussion Group presents Jennifer Cobb, University of Calgary, “The MRX Complex Regulates Cohesin During DNA Replication” Wednesday 2:30, CEIT building room 3142. Details.

Student Appreciation Dinner with live music by engineering jazz band With Respect to Time, Wednesday 4:30 to 7:00, Mudie’s cafeteria, Village I.

Social Development Night with networking (“students and faculty for development”), speaker Dan Andreae, Wednesday 5:00 to 7:30,  Graduate House. RSVP.

Career workshop: “Medical School Applications” Wednesday 5:00, Tatham Centre room 1208. Details.

Applied health sciences Grad Send-off event with distinguished AHS alumni including Olympic bobsleigh medalist Heather Moyse, open to all graduating AHS students, Wednesday 5:30 to 7:00, University Club, e-mail sl5johnson@ to register.

Society for Technical Communication, Southwestern Ontario chapter, wine and cheese awards night, Wednesday 7:00, Davis Centre room 1301.

Digital media series: Rob Warren and Shelley Hulan, department of English, “Do a Billion Documents Change the First World War?” Wednesday 7:00, Stratford campus, 6 Wellington Street.

General application deadline for September 2011 admission is March 31 (subject to earlier deadlines for selected programs and for Ontario high school students).

PDEng alumni lecture: “Skills That They Do Not Teach in Engineering School but Are Required for Career Advancement” Thursday 11:30, Davis Centre room 1302.

Hug Me fund-raiser for Sick Children’s Hospital (attempt to break world record for most hugs in an hour) Thursday 12:00, Student Life Centre.

Surplus sale of furniture and equipment, Thursday 12:30 to 2:00, East Campus Hall.

Graduate Student Association annual general meeting Thursday 5:00, Rod Coutts Hall room 301. Details.

Aftab Patla Memorial Cup hockey game in support of applied health sciences scholarships, Thursday 5 p.m., Columbia Icefield. Details.

Mathematics Society general meeting regarding finances, budgeting process and bylaws, all undergraduate math students welcome, Thursday 5:30, Math and Computer room 3001.

Splitting the Sky (John Hill) speaks on “The Sun Dance and the Gustafsen Lake Standoff”, sponsored by department of religious studies, Thursday 7:00, Hagey Hall room 373.

Elmira Maple Syrup Festival bus trip sponsored by International Student Connection, Saturday leaving 9:30 a.m., tickets $5 at Federation of Students office.

Last day of classes for the winter term Monday, April 4.

Kardinal Offishall performs at Federation Hall April 4, doors open 9 p.m., tickets $17 advance at Federation of Students office, $23 at door.

Faculty association spring general meeting April 5, 2:00, Math and Computer room 4020.

Board of governors April 5, 2:30 p.m., Needles Hall room 3001.

Annual staff conference April 6-7, Humanities Theatre and nearby classrooms. Details pending.

‘52 Jobs in 52 Weeks’ author Sean Aiken speaks on “Discover Your Passion” Wednesday, April 6, 2:00, Student Life Centre great hall.

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