As promised in our last update, I am pleased to provide to you our inaugural State of the University report. The report, Defining Tomorrow, is available both in print and in an enriched digital format. In today’s globally competitive post-secondary education sector, we need to tell our story well. This report communicates very clearly that Waterloo is academically strong, unique, bold, innovative, and prepared to take on the world’s foremost challenges.
Being a global leader means attracting and retaining the best students, faculty, and staff.
On February 3 I was proud to announce Sandra Banks as vice-president university relations, and Stephen Watt as dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and professor in the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science. Welcoming them both on board is a testament to Waterloo’s ability to attract the best and brightest, not only in our students, but in our staff and faculty as well.
I travelled to San Francisco this month to welcome industry leaders, policymakers, academics, startups, VCs and alumni to the University of Waterloo Innovation Showcase in Silicon Valley at the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s annual conference. AAAS shone a light on some of the world-changing research and technology to come out of the University of Waterloo, including: BlackBerry, Clearpath Robotics, the Center for Theoretical Neuroscience, the Institute of Quantum Computing, MappedIn, Nicoya Lifesciences, Nuvation Engineering, Palette, and WAVElab. It was a wonderful evening showcasing Waterloo’s innovative spirit, and we managed to further deepen our valuable connection with Silicon Valley.
Additionally, Waterloo’s robust participation in AAAS was an opportunity to build enhanced links with academic and institutional leaders at some of the world’s leading research universities and market leading organizations. This is key to growing opportunities for our students and faculty, and for ensuring Waterloo’s story is never far from centre stage in our sector.
That was certainly the case in Ottawa this month, as I joined my colleagues across the country and Governor General David Johnston to celebrate Canada’s top Natural Sciences and Engineering Researchers for 2015. I encourage you to read about the prestigious awards and their recipients, several Waterloo researchers among them.
Congratulations to our distinguished award winners!
Closer to home, I was proud to be present an award at the 2015 Business Excellence Awards Gala last week. The gala allows the Chamber of Commerce to recognize businesses and entrepreneurs through twelve awards to those who have made a significant impact as role models in our community through their involvement and leadership. I was pleased to present an award and to extend my congratulations to all nominees.
This month’s Treat-a-Gram was another success, much thanks to campus-wide participation and the hands of many volunteers. I am pleased to say that through treat sales, as well as additional gifts made at the time of purchase, we raised $12,724 in support of the General Student Wellness Fund.
If you haven’t seen it yet, check out the Treat-a-Gram 2015 video and end your week with a smile.
On February 19th, Grade 10 students and their parents were invited to campus for an evening of information on post-secondary education. The event covered topics such as: finding a program you’ll love, admissions and applying to the university, how to pay for post-secondary education, and tips from current Waterloo students. Again, it’s all about attracting the best and brightest.
I hope all of our current students enjoyed the February reading week, and caught up both with their studies and their sleep!
Thanks to all of you for your hard work this month. February can be a tough month to get through – but spring is almost upon us!
With best wishes for a great weekend,
Note to readers: from June, 2013 through 2015, the president’s monthly review was published in the Daily Bulletin, where this piece originally ran. As of January 2016, monthly reviews are published directly to this blog.