Thursday, December 13, 2018

President gives strategic plan update

A message from Feridun Hamdullahpur, President and Vice-Chancellor.

We have come to the end of our broad consultation phase for the 2020-2025 Strategic Plan and I am delighted to report that more than 800 people attended 35 sessions and almost 2,000 staff, faculty and students shared feedback through our online consultation survey.

I want to thank you for your engagement in this critical process. It has been truly inspiring to hear your insights and understand your views and perspectives for our University.

In the consultation phase, we heard you describe a Waterloo community where everyone feels valued and included. You also shared new ways of supporting students that involves greater agency for them and lifelong learning for our alumni. Your vision for a strong culture of interdisciplinarity and internationalization will shape the future of Waterloo’s commitment to research excellence and scholarship. We have heard your desire to ensure that Waterloo continues to lead innovation that makes an impact in the world. Our distinctive strengths in experiential education and entrepreneurship will be enriched by your bold new ideas in these areas.

We are now moving into the next phase, a time when our strategic planning team will sift through your feedback so our leadership bodies can analyze and articulate important priorities, goals and objectives that emerged in the consultation process. We will use a robust process to identify what is vital for Waterloo’s 2020-2025 Strategic Plan. During this next phase, that will run through February 2019, we will work with the Strategic Plan Advisory Committee, our deans, other members of the senior leadership, and experts in core areas of the University’s mission.

We will keep in touch periodically and inform you of our progress. You can also stay informed through the Strategic Plan Bridge to 2020 website. Thank you for your participation. It remains vital to this process. This is your strategic plan, for your University.

On-campus training and professional development opportunities abound

You probably already know that Waterloo is committed to maximizing opportunities for faculty and staff to grow and advance their careers through training and development. What you may not know is that there are many great learning opportunities here on campus. Below are highlights from some of the departments offering career and personal development opportunities:

Organizational & Human Development

Organizational & Human Development (OHD) offers learning & professional development workshops on a variety of topics, from our Core Development workshops to our award-winning Inclusivity series, as well as our immersive Leadership Development programs. In addition, OHD organizes the annual Waterloo Staff Conference, a two-day event that brings engaging and informative keynotes to the campus and provides multiple in-house workshops from across the university.

Information Systems & Technology (IST)

Information Systems & Technology (IST) offers IT-focused training and information seminars for members of the campus community. Training opportunities include online instruction, classroom lecture style, and hands-on lab courses. Most are offered at no cost and do not require previous training or experience. IST also hosts a one-day annual IT Conference, WatITis, that provides attendees the chance to exchange ideas, make new contacts, and stay informed on what’s happening across campus.

Professional Development/Centre for Extended Learning

Professional Development (PD) offers a broad selection of face-to-face and online courses, many of which are part of certificates. Topics include Business, Business Analysis, Business Communication, Leadership and Project Management. Discounts are available for in-class courses for full-time staff (non-contract, non-union, non-daycare, non-federated colleges). Online offerings cover web design and development, languages, customer service, graphic design, logistics, Microsoft Office, sales, marketing, IT related courses and more. PD and the Centre for Extended Learning are also able to create customized educational programs, both on-campus and online.

Centre for Teaching Excellence

Centre for Teaching Excellence (CTE) provides professional development opportunities related to teaching and learning for faculty members, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, staff instructors, and staff who do instruction as part of their role. These opportunities include short and multi-day workshops, communities of practice, individual consultations, departmental retreats, and an annual conference. Most of these opportunities are free for members of our university community.

Safety Office

The Safety Office offers health and safety training for staff, faculty, and students. Training is available online or in-class and is divided into the following categories: Employee training, Hazard-specific training,  Student training, Supervisor training and Specialty safety training which includes classroom training sessions already offered by the Safety Office but tailored to your department, and also help coordinating specific training from external vendors when it falls outside the scope of the training offered by the Safety Office. 

There is no charge for training offered by the Safety Office as long as long as it falls within the scope of our capabilities. Departments and individuals are responsible for costs associated with training that requires outside vendors. Contact Doug Dye in the Safety Office for additional information.

"Where in the World?" photo contest takes over Tatham Centre

The winning "Where in the World" photo - three steaming bowls on a countertop in Hong Kong.

One of this year's winning photos, taken by student Rebecca Wong, shows an amazing view and three steaming bowls on her grandparents' kitchen counter in Hong Kong.

By Victoria Chan.

On Thursday, November 15 the international co-op team at Co-operative Education hosted the “Where in the World?!” photo contest at the Tatham Centre. This is the ninth consecutive year of showcasing photos submitted by co-op students of their international workplaces.

Each year in celebration of international education week, co-op students studying at the University of Waterloo share a glimpse of their co-op experience by submitting a photo that captures a day in their work-term. Along with a submission of a photo, students also wrote a reflection explaining their inspiration behind the picture.

Co-op students working in the USA and outside of North America were encouraged to submit a photo for a chance to win. The first place prize was $250.00 and the second place prize was $150.00.

Although the event was held on a busy interview day, staff and students made time to vote on their favourite pictures. Scott Davis, Faculty Relations Manager, stopped by with a visiting delegation from Indonesia to check out the photos. They even joined in on the voting.  

With 281 votes, the results revealed the top two winners- Rebecca Wong and Ryan Cohen. Rebecca worked in Hong Kong, and her winning photo captured a view out of her grandparent’s kitchen window. Ryan worked in Uganda where he photographed the thrilling shot of an elephant.

“Feels great to have my photography recognized as I was really proud of the wildlife shots I took while in Africa,” states second place winner Ryan.

International Education is an opportunity made possible by collaboration among stakeholders both locally and internationally. Studying abroad continuously supports students looking to enhance their learning experiences and to further develop their adaptability skills. To learn more about the contest, and this year’s winning photos visit the contest page.

Thursday's notes

"Thank you to each and everyone in the UW community once again for your continued participation in the annual Poppy Campaign," writes Mary Anne Jantzi and Mike Turos on behalf of the KW Poppy Committee. "The University of Waterloo total contribution for 2018 was $3,615. Overall the total contributions received for the 2018 campaign as of December 3, is $210,313.08. Again congratulations and thank you all very much. Your efforts are certainly appreciated by the Poppy Committee and most especially by the Veterans in our community who are the recipients in this endeavour."

A University of Waterloo mug brimming with hot cocoa surrounded by a red and black flannel scarf.

There's still time for faculty and staff to register for the President’s Holiday Luncheon, which will be held on Friday, December 14 at 12:00 p.m. in Fed Hall. Come celebrate the holiday season with your colleagues.

Upcoming office closures

The Science Undergraduate Office will be closed on Monday, December 17 from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Finance, including Student Financial Services, will be closed on Monday, December 17 from 12:00 p.m  to 1:30 p.m. for a special holiday event. If students have questions during that time, please email or call ext. 38466.

Parking Services will be closed on Tuesday, December 18 from 11:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for their annual holiday lunch. If anyone has any questions please email

The Engineering Undergraduate Office will be closed on Wednesday, December 19 from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. 

Reminder: Take the President's Town Hall survey

Whether you attended the President's Town Hall Meeting on November 21 in person, watched it online, or didn't attend the meeting, University Communications and the President's Office is interested in hearing your views on the meeting format and content. 

The President's Town Hall Meeting survey is now open and will run until Friday, December 21.

Your feedback is important and will help enhance future President’s Town Hall meetings.

Link of the day

15 years ago: Saddam Hussein captured

When and where

Holiday Luncheon Buffet at the University Club, Wednesday, November 28 to Friday, December 21, 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., University Club.

Deadline to get "Fees Arranged", Thursday, December 13.

Physics and Astronomy Colloquium series, Bridging the commercialization divide: the relationship between research and innovation, Thursday, December 13, 4:00 p.m., PHY 150.

University Christmas Project – register to sponsor a family in need this Christmas, drop off wrapped and labelled gifts by Friday, December 14, Tatham Centre. To sponsor a family, contact Shannon Taylor,

NEW - IT Seminar: Whatever happened to Drupal 8? Friday, December 14, 9:00 a.m. to 9:45 a.m., MC 2009. 

President's Holiday Luncheon, Friday, December 14, 12:00 p.m., Federation Hall.

Retirement celebration for Jerry Hutten, Friday, December 14, 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., University Club. 

WRITING WITH VISION: A toolkit for your manuscript, Monday, December 17, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., OPT WLRC.

Retirement Reception for Linda Richards, Monday, December 17, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., E7 2nd Floor Event Space. Please RSVP to Kari Griffiths.

Holiday Buffet Luncheon in Federation Hall, Tuesday, December 18, 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., Federation Hall.

Advent Jazz Vesper Service, Tuesday, December 18, 7:00 p.m., Conrad Grebel University College Chapel.

Portfolio & Project Management Community of Practice (PPM CoP) session, “Community of Practice: What is it and future direction,” Wednesday, December 19, 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., East Campus 5 (EC5), 1111. 

Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology webinar, Wednesday, December 19, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.

UWRC Book Club, “The Steady Running of the Hour” by Justin Go, Wednesday, December 19, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., LIB 407.

Retirement celebration for Elsa Woodhall, Thursday, December 20, 4:00 p.m., Book Store.

NEW - On-campus examinations end, Friday, December 21.

NEW - Co-operative work term ends, Friday, December 21.

NEW - myHRinfo learning and development shutdown, Friday, December 21. Service will be available through Workday as of January 7, 2019.

NEW - Casual Time Entry System shutdown, Friday, December 21. Service will be available through Workday in January 2019.

School of Pharmacy graduate studies seminar featuring Professor Heather Mair, Recreation and Leisure Studies, Friday, December 21, 11:00 a.m., PHR 1012.

NEW - Grades begin to appear in Quest, Saturday, December 22.

NEW - University holiday closure, Monday, December 24 to Monday, January 1, 2019, most buildings and operations closed. University reopens Tuesday, January 2, 2019.

NEW - Absence Management System shutdown, Monday, December 31. Vacations and absences will be tracked in workday beginning January 7, 2019.

PhD oral defences

School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability. Heather Cray, "Rethinking restoration ecology of tall grass prairie: considering belowground components of tallgrass restoration in southern Ontario. Supervisor, Stephen Murphy. On display in the Faculty of Environment, EV1 335. Oral defence Monday, December 17, 9:30 a.m., EV1 353.

Physics & Astronomy. Saoussen Mbarek, "Explorations of Black Hole Thermodynamics in de Sitter Spacetime." Supervisor, Robert Mann. On deposit in the Science graduate office, PHY 2013. Oral defence Monday, December 17, 9:00 a.m., B1 266.

Statistics and Actuarial Science. Meaghan Cuerden, "Marginal Causal Sub-Group Analysis with Incomplete Covariate Data." Supervisors, Richard Cook, Cecilia Cotton, Liquin Diao. Thesis available from MGO - Oral defence Tuesday, December 18, 9:30 a.m., M3 4001.

Economics. Sara Aghakazemjourabbaf, "The Economics of Waste Clean-Up from Resource Extraction Projects: Environmental Bonds versus Strict Liability." Supervisor, Margaret Insley. On deposit in the Arts graduate office, PAS 2428. Oral defence Tuesday, December 18, 9:30 a.m., HH 373.