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McGill Reporter
October 24, 2002 - Volume 35 Number 04
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Letters

To the editor:

Thank you for your tribute to McGill's Garfield Weston Pool and its beautiful stained glass windows (Reporter, October 10, 2002, page 3). As one of the dedicated members of that quaint old pool, I wish to add a few details to your article. The Weston Pool has repaid our affection and loyalty with a touch of beauty, elegance, and Canadian culture: indeed the names that adorn the stained glass windows from Lord Strathcona's dining room could be the subject of a Canadian history quiz. I sacrificed a few laps to quench my curiosity.

On the left window, dedicated to Quebec 1608 / Paris 1763, appear the names of Champlain, Frontenac, Laval, Louis XV, George III, Cabot, Cartier, Richelieu, Colbert, Talon, Montcalm, Levis, Cugnet, Wolfe, Murray, Baseres.

The centre window evokes Montreal 1642: de Maisonneuve, Jeanne Mance, Lambert Closse, Lescarbot, Charlevoix, De Casson, Faillon, Mme de Bouillon, Thomson, Dailleboust, LeMoyne, Vaudreuil, Carleton, Queylus, Dollard, Amherst, Durham.

The window on the right takes us to Rupertsland 1670: Prince Rupert, Hudson, Vancouver, Hearne, MacKenzie, Selkirk, Simpson, LaSalle, Hennepin, Jolliet, Marquette, Aliquez, Duluth, Gilbert, Chonard, La Vérendrye, James, Albanel.

The names of a few of the listed have become a little blurred, at least to me. I hope that an appropriate and accessible location for those splendid windows can be found on campus (in a new Arts building perhaps) so that more of the members of the McGill community may enjoy them. This would be somewhat of a consolation for losing the pool.

Helen M.C. Richard
Office of the Provost

To the editor:

In response to the section in your article "Senate, staff and student sessions" in the October 10 issue regarding the issue of (de)centralization at the University, I must say that certain points require clarification and correction.

The first point requiring correction is that "at least 10-15 percent of appointment forms sent to HR are lost." I take great exception to this statement as the facts have shown that this is not the case. In fact, the Department of Human Resources has received close to 6,000 appointment forms since the beginning of July 2002: of these, only two forms have been reported as misplaced. These missing forms could have gone astray at any one of the many stops made by an appointment form on the approval path before its arrival in HR.

"How is it, in this modern day, that no one can get web versions of appointment forms and data forms? They should at least be online so people can fill them out on a computer, then print them." I would like to clarify that HR has already released a Web-based appointment form on Minerva, and others are in production. However, this does not address the fundamental problem with the process: changes must be made at all levels by

  • Reducing the number of approval steps required by each form;
  • Ensuring that the forms are completed accurately;
  • Ensuring that the forms are submitted on a timely basis.

Despite the hiring of new staff to process appointment forms, approximately 80 percent of the forms received by HR are initiated late by departments who fail to take into account the float time required for mailing and approvals. Moreover, many of these arrive in HR without critical information or contain incorrect data, causing further delays. The process would be much accelerated if the forms were completed and submitted correctly and on time.

The Department of Human Resources is committed to improving systems and processes to serve our customers -- the University community. By entering into projects with a spirit of cooperation and respect, we can and will reap the benefits.

Robert Savoie
Executive Director, Dept. of Human Resources

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