Postcards From the Edge will return next week, as the Dean of Graduate Studies is out of town, and away from her computer.
November 26th, 2010

A thoughtful young man dropped in to see me other day.
November 19th, 2010

A thoughtful young man dropped in to see me other day. He is toying with the possibility of applying to our Interdisciplinary PhD program. Candidates in that program really have to have their acts together, having formed the framework for their research project and their supervisory committee well in advance of submitting an application itself. Without giving too much away I can say that his tentative project would be largely based in the arts faculty, drawing together the disciplines of Philosophy, English, Folklore, and, possibly, Education. We talked for a while about whether what he was considering was truly inter or merely multidisciplinary. Perhaps merely isn’t the right adverb. The point is that an interdisciplinary PhD should be just that. (more…)

Who’s to say where the truth lies?
November 12th, 2010

Who’s to say where the truth lies? There’s a lot of muttering around the graduate school water coolers these days about a case on the go at the University of Manitoba. A faculty member in the math department has been suspended—a very big deal in this country—for having “violated” a student’s privacy. The professor filed a complaint in judicial court that included the details of the student’s identity. The issue does not seem all that complicated, but all one can do is read the headlines and try to figure it out. One can only imagine the tension in the halls at the U of Manitoba these days.

One week it’s NAGS, the next it’s CAGS…
November 5th, 2010

One week it’s NAGS, the next it’s CAGS—that is, the Canadian Association for Graduate Studies. Deans and staff from across Canada all recently gathered in Hogtown, downtown Toronto, for several days of plenary sessions and presentations. As always, it’s great to see colleagues from across the country and compare notes on what’s new and challenging in the world of graduate studies: times are tough in most provinces, Ontario is throwing huge scholarship amounts at new PhD recruits, everyone hates the Banting Scholarship post-doc process, Memorial has the best web site, bar none.