We’re racing towards Federal Election Day here in Canada and the City of St John’s is littered with lawns signs, dog pooh, and chip bags.
April 29th, 2011

We’re racing towards Federal Election Day here in Canada and the City of St John’s is littered with lawns signs, dog pooh, and chip bags. That’s how you know it’s Spring here in these parts. I will be traveling home from abroad on Election Day and so I already voted. Apparently, so did everyone else. Polling stations have been reporting record-breaking line-ups. I take comfort in that. There’s nothing prettier than an entire nation exercising its democratic rights. The heavy turnout suggests more citizen engagement, and perhaps more concern about the direction this country might be heading in.  By the time I touch down again the whole thing will be over, and the map of Canada will likely look somewhat different from the way it did the day before.  Exactly how different is anyone’s guess right now, even the pollsters.
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Are Canadian PhDs less valuable than internationals ones?
April 21st, 2011

Are Canadian PhDs less valuable than internationals ones? This question is a pretty hot topic right now. One researcher has convincingly argued that this is the case, at least right now. The trend, as Yves Gingras, Canada Research Chair at UQAM has shown, is decidedly against the hiring of home-grown earned doctorates. To be fair, Gingras only looked at the 10 largest Canadian universities, but his findings do underscore a controversial trend, to be sure.
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So, this week I am at the annual meeting of the Northeastern Association of Graduate Schools, necessarily called NAGS.
April 15th, 2011

So, this week I am at the annual meeting of the Northeastern Association of Graduate Schools, necessarily called NAGS. We’re in Boston, where the Canadians aim to beat the Bruins in the first playoff round. I was tempted to bring my Habs sweater but then thought better of it. I actually like Boston and sometimes even the Bruins, and so why look for trouble?
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Salt Lake City, sunny and weird.
April 8th, 2011

Salt Lake City, sunny and weird. I am in Utah this week as a guest of the sprawling campus of Utah Valley University, the awkwardly abbreviated UVU. I was here briefly about eleven years ago, en route to the Sundance Film Festival, Robert Redford’s indie party largely based in the nearby ski town of Park City. This time I am being hosted smack in the centre of SLC itself, about 45 minutes away from the UVU campus. The neo-Gothic Mormon Temple, home of the famous Tabernacle Choir, is just down the street. The handsomely lit State house is just up the hill. In other words, I have been parachuted rather directly into the heart of Big Love country, about as far from Newfoundland in landscape, culture, and history as Joey Smallwood is form Joseph Smith.
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Each year the School of Graduate Studies hosts a special lecture named after the first dean of Graduate Studies…
April 1st, 2011

Each year the School of Graduate Studies hosts a special lecture named after the first dean of Graduate Studies. This week, for the 2011 Fred Aldrich Interdisciplinary Lecture, we had invited Ken Steele, Higher Ed marketing guru and creator of a widely read daily Top Ten list. If you have a pulse and are interested in university scene, then you are a loyal subscriber. It appears in my inbox each day before sunrise. (more…)