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Thursday, November 1, 2012



  • A strategic plan for IT on the way
  • Optometry school names new director
  • November's first batch of notes


  • Editor:
  • Brandon Sweet
  • Communications and Public Affairs


Darth Neufeld instructs his students, using a lightsaber as a pointer.

BIOL 240 is your master now: I'll bet you didn't know that "Dark Lord of the Sith" was an academic title, did you? Biology professor Josh Neufeld instructed students in the ways of the dark side yesterday in full Darth Vader regalia. Other campus costume photos can be found in a Halloween gallery on the university's Facebook page.

Photograph by Reddit user Tredid.


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A strategic plan for IT on the way

by Andrea Chappell, Director of Instructional Technologies and Multimedia Services, IST.

Information technology (IT) continues to evolve at a rapid pace, presenting the University of Waterloo with new opportunities and challenges.  We have a strong reputation and history of technological leadership. Are we living up to that reputation?  What role should IT play at the University? Is IT supporting and advancing the potential of Waterloo?

With these important questions in mind, we have launched a six month strategic planning process to create an IT Strategic Plan to advance the potential of IT to meet the opportunities for the University of Waterloo over the next 5 years.

“The IT Strategic Planning process provides us all with an opportunity to reflect on our current environment and outline a plan to advance the state of IT, rejuvenate our passion and capacity in high quality information technology, and lay the groundwork for improved collaboration to better serve our diverse campus”, said Dave Wallace, the university’s new Chief Information Officer.

The IT strategic plan will build on institutional strategic directions established through the Mid-cycle-Review process, looking critically at how IT can best be used to serve our institutional priorities and to build upon our reputation as leaders in technology and innovation.

Formal consultations for the plan are underway, and will continue through to April 2013. These will be advertised thought various channels, such as campus news forums, through our governance group members, postings on our web site, and targeted email.

Phase 1 Consultations: aligning IT with campus plans

  • Consult other strategic plans to assess IT impact
  • Online survey on framing questions for Waterloo IT
  • Preliminary feedback from stakeholder committees

Phase 2 Consultations: building the Plan

  • Prepare a framework for the IT strategic plan 
  • Town hall, focus groups, online forums, committee and individual meetings to solicit feedback and assess next steps 

Phase 3 Consultations: refining the plan

  • Prepare a full draft of the IT strategic plan
  • Focus groups and online submissions that solicit feedback in order to refine and adapt plan to meet campus needs

The strategic planning steering committee and task force members encourage the campus community to help shape the strategic plan by participating in the planned consultation activities, or by sending an email to . Also, check the web site for announcements, updates, and progress.


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Optometry school names new director

with material from the School of Optometry and Vision Science

Professor Paul Murphy.Waterloo’s School of Optometry and Vision Science is pleased to announce that Professor Paul Murphy, BSc, FCOptom, PhD, FAAO, FBCLA, FEAOO (right) will be the school’s next director. Dr. Murphy is an optometrist (Cardiff), with a PhD (Glasgow) in ocular surface sensation and a postgraduate certificate in tertiary level teaching methods. He is currently working toward acquiring his MBA from the University of Glamorgan. Paul was previously a lecturer in the Department of Vision Sciences (Glasgow) and is currently Reader and Director of Teaching at the School of Optometry and Vision Sciences at Cardiff University.

Professor Murphy’s research has focused on ocular surface sensation, contact lenses, the tear film and the inter-relationship among them with approximately 45 peer-reviewed articles, 90 peer-reviewed conference presentations and 45 invited talks, to date. In 2001, he established the Contact Lens and Anterior Eye Research Unit (CLAER) at Cardiff. Paul is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, the British College of Optometrists, the British Contact Lens Association and the European Academy of Optometry and Optics (EAOO) and is the EAOO’s Vice President, Trustee and President Elect.

Over the past 20 years, Dr. Murphy has taught a wide variety of subject areas including, general disease and pathology, ocular disease assessment and management, as well as contact lens wear and its complications. In teaching clinics, he has taught primary eye care, contact lenses and low vision. Dr. Murphy has also been an active graduate supervisor and advisor with more than a dozen PhD students. Through his administrative appointments, he has worked extensively on the design, development and delivery of optometric education.

Professor Murphy has garnered an international reputation in optometric education across Europe and is excited to bring his ideas and experience to Waterloo. Dr. Murphy will begin his appointment as professor and director of Waterloo’s School of Optometry and Vision Science in early 2013.


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November's first batch of notes

The start of November is the start of any number of interesting initiatives — National Novel Writing Month, for example — but it is also marks the beginning of Movember, a moustache-growing campaign for charity that raises both funds and awareness for prostate cancer. Last year a few participants were brave enough to submit before and after photos along with information about their Movember pledge pages, and I'd like to extend another invitation this year to individuals or groups participating in the month-long keratinous cultivation.

Organization & Human Development (OHD) has sent out a reminder that proposals for workshop sessions for the Sixth Annual Staff Conference, which will be taking place on April 9 and 10 next year, are due this Friday, November 2. For more information about the Call for Proposals, review the workshop proposal guidelines, and if you have any questions about the guidelines or the submission process, please contact Mark Lisetto-Smith.

"The Federation of Students is hosting the third annual Arts Symposium on November 27, 2012 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the Great Hall, SLC," writes communications co-ordinator Jacqueline Martinz. "Applications for performers are being accepted until November 12, 2012. This is a great opportunity for individuals on campus to showcase their talent to the University community and earn money. In the past, people have sold jewellery, sculptures, photography and more. To apply to be a part of this year’s Arts Symposium visit this webpage."

The search continues for candidates to run for the presidency of the University of Waterloo Staff Association (UWSA). A special election and a special general meeting to elect the association's president was approved at the October 25 general meeting. The nomination form is available on the UWSA website and nominations are due by November 13. The president will take office on November 29 for a two-year term.

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Link of the day


When and where

WIN Seminar Series featuring Professor Steven Holdcroft, Simon Fraser University, “Sleeping Policemen on the Hydrogen Highway: Addressing Challenges in PEM Fuel Cell Technology through Basic Research,” Thursday, November 1, 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., DC 1302.

Centre for Career Action seminar, "Financial Services Panel," Thursday, November 1, 4:30 p.m., TC 2218. Details.

CON-SNP Waterloo Launch, Thursday, November 1, 5:00 p.m., Lyle S. Hallman Institute Fireplace Lounge. Details.

Arriscraft Lecture Series featuring Margie Zeidler, Urban Space, "The Accidental Developer," Thursday, November 1, 6:45 p.m., School of Architecture.

Knowledge Integration seminar: "Summer off? No – summer on! KI students reflect on their summer experiences, and how they applied their KI learning," Friday November 2, 2:30pm, Environment 3 (EV3), room 1408. Details.

Mind, Violence and Freedom seminar featuring Hamid Tizhoosh, Systems Design Engineering, "Freedom: Can we be free?" Friday, November 2, 5:00 p.m., E5 6004.

Fall Open House, Saturday, November 3 from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., various locations on campus.

Water Institute Seminar featuring John B. Czarnecki, "Assessing groundwater sustainable yield in Arkansas," Tuesday, November 6, 12:30 p.m., DC 1304. Details.

Shanghai Chapter launch and networking reception, Wednesday, November 7. Details.

Cheriton School of Computer Science Distinguished Lecture Series featuring Hector Levesque, University of Toronto, "Two Thoughts on the Turing Test," Wednesday, November 7, 3:30 p.m., DC 1302.

Department of Chemical Engineering seminar featuring Babatunde A. Ugunnaike, William L. Friend Chaired Professor of Chemical Engineering, Interim Dean, College of Engineering, "Computational and Process Systems Approaches to Resolving the TGF-β Paradox in Cancer," Thursday, November 8, 3:30 p.m., E6-2024.

Google Map Maker Event, Wednesday, November 7, 10:00 a.m. to Thursday, November 8, 4:00 p.m., Student Life Centre Great Hall. Details.

Department of English Language and Literature lecture featuring Elizabeth Harvey, University of Toronto, “Shakespeare's Spirit World,” Thursday, November 8, 4:00 p.m., HH 373.

Knowledge Integration Seminar featuring Michael O'Rourke, Michigan State University, "One Reason Why Knowledge Integration Is So Hard," Friday, November 9, 2:30 p.m., EV3 1408. Details.

Department of Philosophy Colloquium (co-hosted with Women’s Studies) featuring Alice MacLachlan, York University, “ Gendering the Public Apology,” Friday, November 9, 3:30 p.m. in HH 373.

8th Annual UWSA Shopping Weekend to Erie Pennsylvania, Friday, November 9 to Sunday, November 11. Details.

Annual Hong Kong Alumni Networking Dinner, Saturday, November 10, 6:00 p.m. Details.

My World Abroad (Formerly The Big Guide to Working and Living Overseas), Monday, November 12, 11:00 a.m., LIB 329. Details.

International Education Week, November 12 to 16.

GIS Day 2012, Wednesday, November 14, 12:00 p.m., EV1 221. Details.

University flu clinics, November 14 to 16, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., SLC Multipurpose Room.

UW Retirees Association Fall Luncheon Thursday, November 15, 11:30 a.m. (cash bar), 12:00 (lunch), tickets $27; presentation by Chris Redmond on "Writing at Waterloo: Memorable Moments from my Career as a Communicator."

Cheriton School of Computer Science Distinguished Lecture Series featuring Jennifer Chayes, Microsoft, "The Power of Locality for Network Algorithms," Thursday, November 15, 3:30 p.m., DC 1302.

2012 Stanley Knowles Lecture featuring The Honourable Lloyd Axworthy, "Indigenous Peoples and the Search for Human Security," Thursday, November 15, 7:30 p.m., Hagey Hall of the Humanities. Details.

Town Hall Meeting, Tuesday, November 20, 3:00 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

Department of English Language and Literature lecture featuring Jacob Zimmer, Small Wooden Shoe Theatre Company, "Locality, Laughter, Theatre," Thursday, November 22, 6:00 p.m. HH 180. Co-sponsored by the Department of Drama.

2012 Hagey Lecture featuring Dr. Paul Collier, University of Oxford, "Will Africa's resource scramble lead to development or disaster?" Thursday, November 22, 8:00 p.m. Humanities Theatre, Hagey Hall. A free public lecture.

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