Friday, February 23, 2024

It's a clean Slate for undergraduate admissions

King Warrior holds his arms out with the Field House in the background.

A message from the Registrar’s Office.

In October 2023, a project team comprised of staff from the Registrar’s Office, Information Systems & Technology, and the Project Management Office was established to begin work on the implementation of Technolution’s Slate Admissions and Enrollment platform, which will deliver an integrated recruiting/admissions system for undergraduate applications and provide a tailored solution that will further enable optimization for future needs of the institution. In addition to the Waterloo project team, an external implementation partner, RHB, has been hired and began work with Waterloo this January. RHB handled the implementation of McMaster’s Slate instance, and our project is harnessing lessons learned from their depth of experience.  

With the goal of understanding the capabilities of Slate and how Waterloo can build an efficient and transparent system experience, the project team has completed the Slate-Technolutions comprehensive training. During the early months of the project, staff also worked to define project scope and relevant business processes, reaching out to partners across campus to better understand how undergraduate admissions processes affect other units and how to meet the needs of all stakeholders, applicants, and staff alike.

As we work with our implementation partner RHB to build the Slate system for Waterloo, decisions will be informed not only by a data-first approach, but with a focus on the experience of our applicants and staff, leveraging feedback captured from upcoming user acceptance testing and training initiatives.

Project background

Over 65,000 undergraduate applications for admission are received and evaluated by the University's Admissions team each year. This process often requires collaboration with colleagues from across more than 30 academic programs, representative of all six Faculties. Use of supplemental assessment tools beyond applicant grades, including interviews, questionnaires, portfolios, and Mathematics contests, aid in making an admissions determination. The Slate Implementation initiative, as well as the Holistic Admissions Exploration initiative, are two areas of focus originating from the main Admissions Process Review project, a project motivated, in part, by the need to change current supporting technology (OnBase) as well as the desire to understand and implement best practices to ensure inclusive, equitable admissions. The Admissions Process Review project was informed by the work done by the President’s Anti-Racism Taskforce and the Scarborough Charter. 

Visit the project website to learn more about the work we’re doing to enhance the undergraduate admissions process at Waterloo.

Retirement reception for Marilyn Thompson on March 14

A message from the Provost's Office.

Marilyn Thompson.Friends and colleagues of Marilyn Thompson, Special Advisor to the Provost on Organizational Strategy, we would like to invite you to join them for a retirement reception in her honour on Thursday, March 14, at the University Club.

Marilyn has worked at Waterloo for a decade and has been a great influence in driving excellence, continuous improvement at the University through her office and reporting areas of Human Resources, Organizational and Human Development, and change management.  

During her time as the Associate Provost, Human Resources, Marilyn lead many key initiatives for the University, including achieving Gold in Excellence Canada’s Excellence, Innovation and Wellness Standard, being recognized as one Canada Top 100 Employer over multiple years, and ensuring that Waterloo was recognized as not only one of the most innovative universities in the world, but also one of the most employee-focused. 

In the past year, Marilyn has continued her work to effect change and be a transformative force at the University through her role as the Special Advisor to the Provost on Organizational Strategy providing leadership support in planning and overseeing opportunities for process, system, and organizational improvements.

The retirement open house will be held from 3:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. at the University Club, with speeches beginning at 4:00 p.m. Please join us in celebrating Marilyn’s many contributions and achievements and wishing her well in her upcoming retirement. Please RSVP by Friday, March 1.

A funding information session is on the Horizon

Three European Union flags flapping on poles.

A message from the Office of Research.

University of Waterloo faculty and staff are invited to an information session about Horizon Europe Pillar II funding opportunities.  

Hosted by the Office of Research, the information session with Luigi Scarpa-de-Masellis, Senior Advisor, Economic and Commercial Affairs, Delegation of the European Union will take place on Thursday, February 29. Two options are available: 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. in person in the Enterprise Theatre, EC5, 1111 and 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., online via MS Teams. Each session will include a 30-minute presentation and 30-minute Q&A.

More details and registration for each session can be found on the Horizon Europe information session page.

Registration opens for University of Waterloo Teaching and Learning Conference 2024

Teaching and Learning Conference banner featuring a sci-fi explosion.

A message from the Centre for Teaching Excellence.

Registration is now open for the 15th annual University of Waterloo Teaching and Learning Conference taking place in person on May 2, 2024, with a day of online workshops taking place on May 1, 2024. Last year saw over 500 faculty members, staff, and students gather to learn from and with one another around the theme of embedding care and kindness into our teaching. Our 2024 conference theme is Sparking and Sustaining Engagement. We are excited to welcome Jessie Moore, Director of the Center for Engaged Learning at Elon University, as our keynote speaker, as well as Craig Fortier (Professor, Social Development Studies, Renison University College) and Suzanne Kearns (Professor, Geography, and Founding Director of the Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Aeronautics), who will each recreate a successful instructional approach in our Igniting Our Practice plenary session, which showcases some of the excellent teaching being done on our campus. 

The registration deadline is Friday, April 26, 2024.  

Friday's notes

A Waterloo women's basketball team member holds her arm up.The Warriors Women’s basketball team will be taking on Ottawa tomorrow in the PAC for an OUA quarter-final game at 6:00 p.m. Buy your tickets today! 

Spiritus Ensemble graphic featuring J.S. Bach.The Spiritus Ensemble, conducted by Ken Hull, Professor Emeritus at Conrad Grebel University College, is inviting members of the University community to join them at Kitchener's St. John's Anglican Church for Bach Vespers in Lent on Sunday, February 25, at 4:00 p.m. Admission is by donation.

A yellow M&Ms candy vending machine with an error message on its front screen.Finally, staring longingly at a vending machine's tantalizing offerings is a time-honoured pre-snack tradition, but some sharp-eyed students recently grew suspicious that some vending machines on campus might be staring back at them via a tiny camera and facial recognition software (whose error pop-up seen at left gave the game away). The case of the curious confection was discussed on the uwaterloo subreddit, before the story was broken by and covered in mathNEWS (followed by Imprint) and featured in local media. The latest word is that the vending machines are going to be removed. I guess you could say that, thanks to some on-campus Smarties, the milk chocolate will melt in your mouth, not in the hands of Mr. Big.

(Photograph courtesy of Anthony Chen)

Register for "Antagonistic Responses to Health Research in the Academy"

Registration for the next event in the Antagonism and Intimidation in Academia Speaker Series is now open. Antagonistic Responses to Health Research in the Academy will take place on Tuesday, February 27 from 3:00 p.m. to 5:10 p.m. in the Humanities Theatre (Hagey Hall 159). This event is open to all faculty, staff and students.

Link of the day

I believe you have my stapler: Office Space at 25

When and Where

Waterloo Warriors Youth Camps. Winter, March Break and PD Day camps available for boys and girls ages 5-18. Baseball, Basketball, Football and Multi-Sport and Games camps available. Register today!

Warriors Youth Summer Camps. Basketball, Baseball, Football, Hockey, Multi-Sport and Volleyball. Register today!

Warriors Women’s Basketball vs. Ottawa, Saturday, February 24, 6:00 p.m., PAC. OUA Quarter-Finals. Buy your tickets today! 

Spiritus Ensemble, conducted by Ken Hull, Professor Emeritus at Conrad Grebel University College, invites you to join us at St. John's Anglican Church, Kitchener, for Bach Vespers in Lent, Sunday, February 25, 4:00 p.m. Admission by donation. Details at

NEW - Velocity Presents - Startup 101: Grants & Non-dilutive Funding, Monday, February 26, 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., EIT 1015.

What Were You Wearing? Survivor Art Installation, Tuesday, February 27 and Wednesday, February 28, 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Student Life Centre Multipurpose Room.

Antagonism and Intimidation in Academia Speaker Series event, "Antagonistic Responses to Health Research in the Academy," Tuesday, February 27, 3:00 p.m. to 5:10 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

Inclusive Research Tools: Identifying Barriers webinarTuesday, February 27, 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Chapters of Change: Anti-racism & Conversations, Wednesday, February 28, 1:00 p.m., SLC Black & Gold Room.

Repair Workshop with 4RepairKW, Wednesday, February 28, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., E7-1401.

Horizon Europe information session for Waterloo faculty and staff, Thursday, February 29, 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. (in person) or 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. (online via Teams). Please register to reserve a seat or a link to participate.

NEW - Graduate Student Lunch and Learn Ask Me Anything (LLAMA) with Centre for Career Development, Thursday, February 29, 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Tatham Centre 2218. All Master’s and PhD students welcome. Find out more!

February Anti-Racism Reads, Thursday, February 29, 12 noon to 1:30 p.m., LIB 323.

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and Wellbeing Community of Practice (CoP) Session: UDL as a Framework to Amplify Instructor Wellbeing, Thursday, February 29, 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., MS Teams.

Designing Exergames for Patients with Osteoporosis, Thursday, February 29, 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., EC1 1323.

Understanding Allyship, Solidarity and Advocacy, Thursday, February 29, 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Is Reconciliation Possible? Public Lecture with Rev. Dr. Ray Aldred, Thursday, February 29, 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel University College Great Hall.

Lectures in Catholic Experience presents Dr. Jonathan Malesic, Thursday, February 29, 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Notre Dame Chapel, St. Jerome's University.

Design Thinking for Climate Action: Innovation Skills Workshop, Friday, March 1, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., United College – GreenHouse, UTD-164. Registration required, pizza lunch provided. Co-hosted by Waterloo Climate Institute and GreenHouse.

Peace and Conflict Studies by donation film screening, "Peace by Chocolate," Friday, March 1, 7:00 p.m., CGR 1111.

Master of Taxation Virtual Information session, Saturday, March 2, 9:00 a.m. 

Quantum for Environment Design Challenge application deadline, Monday, March 4. 

Accessibility Workshop: Communications, Marketing and Events, Monday, March 4, 9:00 a.m. to 12 noon, Federation Hall.

Equitable Recruitment and Selection, Monday, March 4, 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., online.   

RLS Professional Community Networking Fair, Monday, March 4, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., HLTH EXP 2691 (second floor foyer at top of stairs).

You Don't Know What You Don't Know Part 3, Monday, March 4, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., online.

NEW - Velocity Presents - Startup 101: Incorporation & Cap Tables, Monday, March 4, 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., EIT 1015.

Keeping Well at Work winter warm-up, Tuesday, March 5, 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., online.

2024 TD Walter Bean Public Lecture featuring Dr. Denis Aheto, “Africa’s Plastic Revolution: Advancing Global Solutions for Healthy Oceans,” Tuesday, March 5, 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

Community-Based Research Canada: University of Waterloo Information SessionWednesday, March 6, 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

NEW - WaterTalk: Déjà vu or Jamais vu? Using a 20-y record to discern how coastal wetlands of eastern and northern Georgian Bay responds to climate-induced water-level disturbances, Thursday, March 7, 11:00 a.m. to 12 noon, DC 1302.

NEW - Employer Impact Conference - Talent for a Better Future, Thursday, March 7, 12 noon to 4:00 p.m.

NEW - Early stage company building: Demystifying the 0 to 1 with BoxGroup, Thursday, March 7, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., SCH 228.

NEW - Women in Innovation Mixer, Friday, March 8, 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., MC 2037.

International Women's Day Breakfast, Friday, March 8, 9:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m., Federation Hall. This event is currently SOLD OUT. To add your name to the waitlist, please visit the event page.

Research Impact Canada Quarterly Touchpoint: New Members, Wednesday, March 20, 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Contact Nadine Quehl at if interested in joining this online meeting.