Monday, January 6, 2014

Welcome Back!

David Porreca, FAUW President

Happy New Year to All!

This blog post marks the first anniversary of the FAUW Blog!  Two red-hot items for everyone’s consideration: the Strategic Mandate Agreement & Scheduling Feedback

Special Meeting of Senate re: Strategic Mandate Agreement (SMA)

14:30 TODAY
The Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) has requested that all Ontario universities update and re-submit their Strategic Mandate Agreement. For reference, the original 2012 draft (PDF) and the current draft (PDF).

The deadlines imposed by the MTCU have left only just enough time for consultation with faculty members, with the latest draft of UW’s SMA submission being discussed at a special meeting of UW’s Senate this afternoon. 

Although at times jargon-heavy – “intrapreneurship” left this francophone and latinist baffled and scurrying for an etymological dictionary – the draft does a good job of selling UW’s strengths, borrowing heavily from the recent Strategic Plan.   In this context, I note in particular the wording “including, but not limited to, quantum science, water and aging” (emphasis mine) in a crucial passage under the heading “Transformational Research”.  This welcome modification to the controversial original formulation brings the document closer to embracing the full variety of research that is done on our campus, but members in certain disciplines will still find themselves searching for their proper place within the vision of UW described in this SMA. 

Finally, the MTCU imposed strict length limits on these SMAs, which limits the depth of the proposals.  With one’s expectations adjusted accordingly, it represents a palatable and at times even eloquent expression of what makes UW different, clearly destined for a political audience.

Scheduling Feedback

Please send your feedback to the Registrar’s Office on the simulated schedule that was distributed via e-mail in the waning days of last term.  You may do this in three principal ways:
  1. Fill in the survey that was distributed along with the simulated schedule materials.
  2. Send an e-mail directly to the Registrar’s Office regarding the simulation: regstep@uwaterloo.ca
  3. Contact the scheduling representative of your department.
The new extended deadline for feedback is 13 January. 

That’s all for now!  In the upcoming weeks, we will feature more fulsome assessments of the new scheduling system, the results of the Digital Privacy Colloquium held on 4 December, and other news, as it always arises.

With best wishes for happiness and productivity for 2014!

See you next week!

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