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Friday, April 21, 2017

Provost Ian Orchard stepping down in June

Ian Orchard."I want to let you know that Ian Orchard, Waterloo’s vice-president, academic and provost, has made a personal decision to retire from the University and will leave his administrative role as of June 30, 2017," wrote President Feridun Hamdullahpur in a memo circulated to campus yesterday.

"I share this news with mixed emotions as Ian has elevated the office of provost and made significant contributions to the University during his three-year term." 

"Ian has built a strong foundation of academic leadership and strategic supports that will serve the University and our students, faculty and staff in the coming months and years," the President continues. "He created an accountability framework to support the implementation and tracking of progress for the eight priorities and themes of the University’s strategic plan. He will soon complete our second Strategic Mandate Agreement with the Ontario government."

"Ian’s most recent contribution was the launch of the Waterloo Budget Model, a transformational process to ensure resources and funding support for our institutional priorities with a clear focus on delivering academic excellence. My senior colleagues, the deans and I will continue counting on Ian’s exemplary leadership in moving the University’s agenda forward through the end of June, including his efforts to ensure the best alignment and structure of the organization supporting the vice-president, academic and provost."

President Hamdullahpur's message outlines the steps that will be taken to provide interim leadership.

"I have asked Professor George Dixon to postpone his upcoming retirement and well-deserved administrative leave and assume a one-year term as interim vice-president academic and provost effective July 1. I am delighted that he has agreed to step in. George has a deep understanding of the University of Waterloo’s unique culture and strengths, as well as the external environments and stakeholders. In addition to his long and successful tenure as vice-president, university research, George served as chair of the Department of Biology and dean of the Faculty of Science."

"The process to initiate a search for our next vice-president, academic and provost, in accordance with Policy 48, will be underway shortly. Over the coming weeks, I will be working with Ian and George on the transition plans."

"On behalf of all of us, I would like to express my gratitude to Ian for his leadership, commitment and dedication to the University of Waterloo and wish Ian and Angela all the very best," President Hamdullahpur concludes.

Aboriginal Education Centre wins Equity and Inclusivity Award

Kate Rybczynski (Chair of SWEC) with students Amy Smoke, Shelby Keedwell, and Emma Smith.

(L-R) Kate Rybczynski (Chair of SWEC) with students Amy Smoke, Shelby Keedwell, and Emma Smith.

If you’ve ever been to an event at the Waterloo Aboriginal Education Centre (WAEC), you might have a pretty good idea of why the University’s Status of Women and Equity Committee (SWEC) awarded the Centre with the 2017 Equity and Inclusivity Award.

While the Centre is first and foremost a supportive and safe space for Indigenous students, it also manages to engage non-Indigenous students, staff, and faculty in the sharing of Indigenous knowledge, and has been especially successful in forming collaborative partnerships with other community organizations.

WAEC activities include everything from outreach educational programs with Indigenous communities, lectures and events, an annual Pow Wow, and – to those on campus – Soup and Bannock lunches every week during the Fall and Winter.

"The Equity and Inclusivity Award is a celebration of members of our community whose actions have demonstrated an exemplary commitment to improving equity, inclusivity, and/or diversity at the University of Waterloo,” said Kate Rybczynski, Chair of SWEC. “It takes a community to bring about change, and the WAEC exemplifies this community by bringing people together.”

WAEC Director Lori Campbell said, “It is truly an honour for WAEC staff and students to be recognized for sharing their cultures, lived experiences, and knowledges with the greater University of Waterloo campus and surrounding community. This is not always an easy task as the Indigenous contemporary reality is born of our collective intergenerational histories."

She added, “We look forward to even larger scale engagement as we collectively navigate towards addressing the Calls to Action as set for by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.”

At the presentation ceremony held April 18, Waterloo President Feridun Hamdullahpur stressed, “We cannot talk about excellence at the University without also talking about excellence for everybody.”

One of the Centre’s students, Emma Smith, who accepted the award with fellow students Amy Smoke and Shelby Keedwell, noted that, “To students, the Centre is more than just a space – it’s a home.”

There are 135 self-identified Indigenous students at the University of Waterloo.

Athletics enhancing facilities in spring term

A view of the PAC bleachers from behind the basketball net.

This is an excerpt of an article originally published on the Athletics and Recreation website.

Throughout the spring term, the Department of Athletics and Recreation will be making numerous facility enhancements to improve the user experience for our community.  There will be improvements to both the CIF and PAC buildings as well as preparation to begin construction on the Field House as part of the North Campus Recreation Facility at Columbia Icefield in addition to the start of the SLC/PAC expansion. 

At the PAC, new LED lighting is being installed in the main gym, small gym and activity areas (including Warrior Zone) from the end of exams, April 28th through to June 11th when convocation begins. The new LED lights will be much more energy efficient and will be installed in response to negative user experiences.  The LED lights will provide much brighter and clearer experiences for our student-athletes during competition, program users (intramurals, open recreation) as well as for students writing exams in the PAC.

Read the rest of the article (and learn about temporary facility closures) at the Athletics and Recreation website.

Profs presented real facts on fake news for Beyond 60 lecture

David DeVidi speaks next to a projected image of Donald Trump.

Each week in 2017, the Daily Bulletin will be featuring content highlighting the University of Waterloo's 60th Anniversary. This is an excerpt of an article originally posted on the 60 Years of Innovation website.

In partnership with the Kitchener Public Library and part of the Beyond 60 Community Lecture Series, three professors from three Faculty of Arts disciplines spoke the truth about fake news in a panel discussion and Q&A on March 16th, 2017. Over 200 community members gathered at the Kitchener Public Library to hear the three panelists discuss reasons why lies are creeping into platforms of public discourse, and the phenomena of fake news in our society.

The panel, moderated by Douglas Peers, included Robert DanischAnna Esselment and David DeVidi, all who discussed the topic from their disciplines of speech communication, political science and philosophy.

Read the rest of the article and watch a video of the lecture on the 60 Years of Innovation website.

Friday's notes

A skunk skulks around near the Hagey Hub.Eric Jeter of the Registrar's Office snapped this pic of a skunk skulking around the Arts and Environment neighbourhood yesterday. Someone tell the skunk that it's black and gold, not black and white.

IST's Request Tracker (RT) system will be down for an upgrade on Saturday, April 22 from 8:00 a.m. to noon. During this upgrade window, the RT system will be unavailable, and urgent requests during this time should be sent to The standard features and interface of the new version (4.4) is very similar to the current version (4.2), so no post-upgrade issues are anticipated. Anyone with questions or concerns should contact the IST Service Desk at or ext. 44357.

Friends and colleagues of Carl Nagel are being invited to join the Library in celebrating his retirement on Tuesday, April 25 in the Dana Porter Library staff lounge (LIB 130) from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Link of the day

40 years ago: Annie debuts on Broadway

When and where

Sustainable Campus Photo Contest, Monday, March 20 – Friday, April 21, across campus.

Green Office Energy Challenge, Thursday, March 30 to Friday, April 21, across campus.

Earth Day, Saturday, April 22.

Deadline for students to get "Fees Arranged," Monday, April 24.

Vision Science Graduate Research Conference 2017, Monday, April 24, all day, Optometry Room 1129.

Examination period ends, Tuesday, April 25.

Governor General book launch event, Tuesday, April 25, 8:30 a.m., Sedra Student Design Centre, Engineering 5.

The Library presents "Why Open Educational Resources (OER) are essential for online learning," Tuesday, April 25, 10:00 a.m.

NEW - Retirement celebration for Carl Nagel, Tuesday, April 25, 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., Dana Porter Library staff lounge, LIB 130.

Pharmacy Research Day, showcasing graduate student research, Wednesday, April 26, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., School of Pharmacy.

QPR Training, Wednesday, April 26, 10:30 a.m., Counselling Services, Needles Hall.

Staff Appreciation Lunch, Wednesday, April 26 to Friday, April 28, 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., University Club.

W3 Knitting Circle, Wednesday, April 26, 4:00 p.m., Grad House.

Annual Teaching and Learning Conference, "Cultivating Curiosity in Teaching and Learning," Thursday, April 27, Science Teaching Complex.

NEW - Biology Graduate Student Symposium, Thursday, April, 27, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 pm, QNC 1502 and QNC 2502

David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science Distinguished Lecture Series, “Data, predictions and decisions in support of people and society,” Thursday, April 27, 3:30 p.m., DC 1302.

Annual Meeting of the Eastern International Region of the American Academy of Religion, Friday, April 28 and Saturday, April 29, Renison University College.

President's Community Breakfast, Friday, April 28, 7:30 a.m., THEMUSEUM.

David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science Distinguished Lecture Series, “The one hundred year study on artificial intelligence: an enduring study on AI and its influence on people and society,” Friday, April 28, 10:30 a.m., DC 1302.

Co-op work term begins, Monday, May 1.

Lectures begin, Monday, May 1.

Asana presents "Choosing Your First Startup," Wednesday, May 3, 5:00 p.m., TC 2218.

Data-Driven Learning: Can and Should Language Learners Become Corpus Linguists? Friday, May 5, 4:00 p.m., ML 245.

Feds Welcome Week, Monday, May 8 to Friday, May 12.

NEW - Warrior Breakfast, Monday, May 8, 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., Student Life Centre Great Hall.

NEW - Ice Cream Social, Tuesday, May 9, 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., Student Life Centre Great Hall.

Design and Deliver I - Presentation Essentials, Tuesday, May 9, 1:00 p.m.

Campus Life Fair, Wednesday, May 10, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Student Life Centre Great Hall.

EQUALS conference, Thursday, May 11 and Friday, May 12.

Clubs and Societies Day, Thursday, May 11, 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Student Life Centre Great Hall.

Design and deliver II: Creating assertion-evidence presentations, Thursday, May 11, 1:00 p.m.

David Sprott Distinguished Lecture featuring Professor Peter Diggle, "A Tale of Two Parasites: how can Gaussian processes contribute to improved public health in Africa," Thursday May 11, 4:00 p.m., STC 0050.

Clubs and Societies Day, Friday, May 12, 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Student Life Centre Great Hall.

NEW - Sex Toy Bingo, Friday, May 12, 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., Bombshelter Pub.

Staff International Experience Fund application deadline, Monday, May 15.

NEW - More Feet on the Ground Training, Monday, May 15, 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Counselling Services, Needles Hall. 

Living on the Precipice: Interdisciplinary Conference on Resilience in Complex Natural and Human Systems, Tuesday, May 16 and Wednesday, May 17, St. Jerome's University Conference Centre.

Discovering Digital Media Day - Internet of Things (IoT) 101, Tuesday, May 16, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Stratford Campus.

Ramadan and Health: a community approach, Tuesday, May 16, 7:00 p.m., School of Pharmacy.

CPA Ontario Networking for Success, Thursday, May 18, 6:00 p.m., Fed Hall.

NEW - Victoria Day, Monday, May 22, most University operations closed.

Understanding our brand, Thursday, May 25, 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., EC5 1111.

Working with our brand guidelines, Tuesday, May 30, 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.