A few weeks ago I issued a memo…
January 27th, 2011

A few weeks ago I issued a memo advising academic departments that the School of Graduate Studies is shifting to more webcasting for final doctoral examinations. The reason is straightforwardly economic. With great surges in graduate enrolment come great surges in final examinations. That’s great, except that it now costs more money to do what we have always done and done proudly—that is, fly external examiners into St. John’s for a couple of days to examine doctoral candidates. (more…)

How can we track what happens to our graduate students after they compete their programs?
January 21st, 2011

How can we track what happens to our graduate students after they compete their programs? That is, what kinds of jobs they get, if they get jobs, and where they end up living? This is a vexing challenge for universities across the planet, with the possible exception of China. Maybe one day everyone will have an implant that sends pertinent information to some central operation, a human GPS—something like a Person Earth map that can record the exact location of a body. But until that inevitability we are working only with anecdotes and hearsay. (more…)

I love stories about words and how quickly they fall in and out of fashion.
January 14th, 2011

I love stories about words and how quickly they fall in and out of fashion. A Toronto-based marketing company called The Creative Group (not the most creative name, I agree, but…) reported this week on a survey they recently conducted about current buzzwords. They asked advertizing and marketing execs (not me or you, surely) “what is the most annoying or overused buzzword in the creative/marketing industry today?” These are the top-ranked responses: (more…)

When not vigorously exercising to purge holiday excess…
January 7th, 2011

When not vigorously exercising to purge holiday excess or catching up to emails and deadline-sensitive commitments, I have been chewing over the latest Statistics Canada report, “Expectations and Labour Market Outcomes of Doctoral Graduates from Canadian Universities.” As with almost all reports, it’s not exactly a page turner, but it does reveal some juicy material about the current employment environment. (more…)