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Friday, June 7, 2013



  • Keystone Picnic brings the world to Waterloo
  • Board approves tuition, fee increases
  • For email, IST looks to the cloud's silver lining


  • Editor:
  • Brandon Sweet
  • Communications and Public Affairs


Keystone Picnic brings the world to Waterloo

The annual Keystone Campaign picnic is happening today on the Davis Centre quad from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., with lunch being served from 11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Organized by the Office of Advancement and Keystone volunteers, the event is a celebration of our campus community and the many contributions of time and financial resources made by our faculty, staff and retirees.

The theme of the picnic is "Waterloo World," which debuted last year and is aimed at celebrating the cultural diversity of our campuses. There will be live entertainment and cultural booths highlghting Waterloo's international spirit.

Lunch and dessert are free, and there will be popcorn and a chance to win prizes.

Entertainment at the event includes a Tai Chi demo, the vocal stylings of the Unaccompanied Minors, a bagpiper and a fiddler.

The roster of campus leaders who have volunteered to sit in the dunk tank include Food Services director Lee Elkas, Feds President David Collins, men's hockey coach Brian Bourque, Matt Colphon of the Registrar's Officer, CECA executive director Peggy Jarvie, and Associate Provost, Students Chris Read.

Twitter users are being encouraged to tweet their experiences and photos from the picnic using the hashtag #keystonepicnic13.

A corresponding celebration will be held for evening staff from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Student Life Centre tonight.

If today's cloudy weather turns to rain, the event will be moved into the Student Life Centre, but the organizers have told me they are setting up in the DC quad with their "fingers crossed."


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Board approves tuition, fee increases

At its meeting on Tuesday, June 4, the university's Board of Governors approved tuition fee increases and incidental fee changes for the 2013-2014 year.

If it seems later in the year than usual for final decisions to be made on tuition rates, that's because, for the most part, it is: the university had to wait for the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities to finalize its new provincial tuition fee framework, which was announced on March 28, too soon for the board to vote on a new range of fees at its meeting on April 2 because of the lengthy process required to calculate and check the many different tuition rates based on program and cohort.

The new framework applies to the 2013-2014 to 2016-2017 years and limits the overall average tuition fee increases across all domestic programs to 3 per cent per year, with other limits imposed based on program and year of study.

Beginning in early April, students received several notifications, via email and otherwise, that their Spring term fees would be adjusted in June, pending the approval of the Board of Governors, and that bursaries and awards might be affected, and additional payments might be required.

On the advice of Dennis Huber, vice-president administration and finance, the board approved the following framework:

Undergraduate students (domestic):

  • Regulated programs (year 1) - 3 per cent
  • Regulated programs (upper year) - 3 per cent
  • Deregulated programs (year 1) - 5 per cent
  • Deregulated programs (upper year) - 4 per cent
  • Deregulated AFM, Biotech/CA. CFM, Math/CA
    • Year 1 - 3 per cent
    • Upper year - 1 per cent
  • Accountancy Diploma (all years) - 2 per cent

Graduate students (domestic): 2 per cent

  • Specifically identified Master and Diploma Programs - 3 per cent

International Students:

  • Undergraduate programs - 4.2 per cent
  • Graduate programs except research plans - 4.2 per cent
  • Graduate research plans - 3 per cent
  • Specifically identified Master and Diploma programs - 3 per cent

The above figures are overall averages. There are scores of different fee levels, depending on what program a student is taking and what year he or she is in.

In the wake of the board's decision, yesterday Finance - Student Accounts sent another email message to students regarding the updated fees. Students are being asked to log into Quest and click on Finances>Account Inquiry to see if any additional payments are required.

"There is no specific due date to pay the additional amount," the message notes. "This additional charge won’t affect access to course material on LEARN, provided you’re already Fees Arranged."

For OSAP students, the increased rates were used to determine their funding for the Spring term, so no adjustments to OSAP funding is required.

For recipients of the International Doctoral Student Award and International Masters Student Award, award funding will be adjusted on June 10 to reflect the increased rates, however, a small balance may still remain.

For undergraduate students with anticipated aid on Quest, scholarship, bursary, or other award amounts "will be applied to your student account on June 10," says the message from Finance. "The current balance on your student account including the fee increase, will be deducted from your financial aid and any remaining amount will be refunded to you by cheque at the mailing address you have on Quest, provided it’s in Canada or the USA."

For students with a credit balance on their student account, the fee increase has been deducted from that balance, and any remaining overpayment will be refunded to them in early July, provided that the mailing address is in Canada or the USA.

The message urges students to update their addresses as soon as possible.

In addition, the Board of Governors approved increases to a number of incidental fees, including the Federation of Students Fee (from $44.80 to $48.51 a term effective September 2013), the Federation of Students Administered Fee and the GSA Administered Fees (adjusted to reflect an increase for the U-Pass component), and the Graduate Student Association fee (from $15 per term to $16.60 effective September 2013).

One interesting note: beginning in September 2013, part-time on-campus undergraduate students will be represented by the Federation of Students thanks to bylaw amendments, and will be assessed a part-time fee equal to 30 per cent of the full-time Feds fee.


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For email, IST looks to the cloud's silver lining

Information Systems & Technology (IST) is planning to evaluate the use of cloud email services for students.

Currently, students are offered the choice of using their existing personal email account for university correspondence, or the university-provided email service, called mailservices. 

"Student preferences and trends in higher education suggest it is time to re-evaluate maintaining an in-house e-mail system for students," writes Director, Network Services Bruce Campbell. "Only about one third of students use our in-house email.  The rest forward their university email to their personal account, with gmail and Hotmail being the most popular choices." 

Backing this assertion up is a recent survey of Ontario universities that found that 75 per cent have moved student emails to one of two main cloud email services - Google Apps for Education or Microsoft Office 365. Improved user interfaces, reduced operational costs, and a more complete suite of collaboration tools (document sharing and calendar integration, for example) are cited as the main reasons some institutions have moved to the cloud.

"Both of the popular cloud email services offer the ability for a branded email address, which could still contain" writes Campbell. "Waterloo would retain control over the e-mail addresses issued, making them verifiable, meeting the needs of many faculty and staff members who communicate regularly with students."

In coming months IST will consult with the campus community on three questions:

  • Does Waterloo need to provide students an e-mail service (whether in-house or in the cloud)?
  • If so, should the University move to a cloud service for student e-mail?
  • If so, which of the cloud services should be selected?

To answer the questions and contribute by submitting suggestions online, or to participate in a project committee, visit the "Student E-mail in the Cloud" site (CAS login required).


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Daycare celebration today

At 9:30 a.m. this morning on the green space between the Mathematics and Computer building and Student Life Centre, staff and students (wait, is students the right word) from the university's three child care centres will be celebrating with children's entertainer Erick Traplin as they mark the groundbreaking and construction of the new consolidated daycare centre taking shape on the university's north campus.

Bright Starts Co-operative Early Learning Centre Inc., located behind the Optometry & Vision Science building on Columbia Street, will amalgamate three of Waterloo’s existing child care centres and create 16 new toddler spaces and 10 new infant spaces later this fall.

All are welcome!

Link of the day

How can the USA have a National Doughnut Day and we don't?

When and where

Campus Walk 2013, Tuesday, May 21 to Friday, June 14. Details.

Keystone Picnic, Friday, June 7. Details.

Society of Technical Communication presents "Progress to Success," Saturday, June 8, 1:00 p.m., DC 1301. STC members $10, Non-STC members $20. Register online.

Senate Graduate & Research Council meeting, Monday June 10, 10:30 a.m., NH 3001.

Public Lecture, "Black Holes: Into the Heart of Darkness," Monday, June 10, 7:00 p.m., OPT 347. Details.

Institutional Analysis & Planning (IAP) The Office Of Research presents Alex Usher, president, Higher Education Strategy Associates, Tuesday, June 11, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., PAS 1241.

Career Exploration Workshop, "Leverage your strengths for career success," Tuesday, June 11, 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., TC 1112.Register online.

Spring 2013 convocation, Tuesday, June 11 to Saturday, June 15. Details.

Cheriton School of Computer Science Distinguished Lecture Series featuring Frans Kaashoek, "The multicore evolution and operating systems," Tuesday, June 11, 3:30 p.m., DC 1302.

VeloCity Campus event: Customer Discovery #1, Wednesday, June 12, 7:30 p.m. Environment 3 4412, FREE pizza. Registration Details.

Pension & Benefits Committee meeting, Friday, June 14, 8:30 a.m., NH 3001.

Child Vision Research Society Conference 2013, Monday, June 17 and Tuesday, June 18, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., School of Optometry and Vision Science. Details.

Senate meeting, Monday, June 17, 3:30 p.m., NH 3001.

Retirement celebration for Steve McColl, Tuesday, June 18, 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., LHS 1656 (fireplace lounge).

25-Year and 35-Year Club Recognition Reception, Tuesday, June 18, 6:00 p.m. Physical Activities Complex.

UWRC Book Club, "Waiting for Sunrise" by William Boyd, Wednesday, June 19, 12:00 p.m., LIB 407.

Cheriton School of Computer Science Distinguished Lecture Series featuring David Sankoff, University of Ottawa, "Computational Genomics of Flowering Plant Evolution," Monday, June 24, 3:30 p.m., DC 1302.

Town Hall meeting, Tuesday, June 25, 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

Postdoctoral event - Fun in the Park, Tuesday, June 25, 4:30 p.m., Waterloo Park Picnic Shelter. Details.

Canada Day Celebrations, Monday, July 1, Columbia Lake.

PhD Oral Defences

Earth and Environmental Sciences. Mohammadreza Jalali, "Thermo-Hydro-Mechanical Behaviour of Conductive Fractures using a Hybrid Finite Difference - Displacement Discontinuity Method." Supervisor, Maurice Dusseault. On deposit in the Faculty of Science Graduate Office, ESC-254A. Oral defence Thursday, June 13, 2:00 p.m., EIT 2053.

Actuarial Science. Tianxiang Shi, "On the distribution of the time to ruin and related topics." Supervisors, David Landriault, Gord Willmot. On display in the Mathematics Faculty Graduate Office, MC 5090. Oral defence Wednesday, June 19, M3 3127.

Chemical Engineering. Sheva Naahidi, "Biocompatibility Engineering of Peptide Based Nanoparticles for Drug Delivery." Supervisor, Pu Chen. On deposit in the Engineering Graduate Office, PHY 3004. Oral defence Friday, June 21, 2:30 p.m., E6 2022.

Electrical and Computer Engineering. Alireza Sharifi, "On the Design and Testing of Authorization Systems." Supervisor, Mahesh Trpunitara. On deposit in the Engineering Graduate Office, PHY 3004. Oral defence Monday, June 24, 1:30 p.m., EIT 3142.

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