Okanagan. Instead the campus is replicating
So, while I applaud, encourage and dream
about the “new type of [Canadian] university,”
one that emphasizes and rewards teaching, those
promoting it must be adamant that the guide-
lines are firmly, securely and definitely in place
before launching such a venture. Otherwise the
research university will slowly but surely replace
the teaching university.
Dr. Williams is professor of history at the University of British
Editor’s note: For more faculty responses to the excerpt
from Academic Reform, please visit the Columns and
Opinions section of our website, at universityaffairs.ca
skilled graduates, and I would bet that the situ-
ation will have changed little in 10 years.
Dr. Park is an associate professor in the department of biology
and the Centre for Forest Interdisciplinary Research, University
Define “support for teaching”
regarding the “modest proposal to recognize
undergraduate teaching” (“From the administra-
tor’s chair,” February 2012), the reality of the role
of teaching at universities is clear to all who read
the “People on the Move” column in University
Affairs. Virtually every citation relates to admin-
istration or research. Agreed, the 3M Teaching
Fellowships are mentioned collectively on an
annual basis, but for the other 11 months the
message of importance is clear.
Notwithstanding “support” for teaching, few
institutions find funds to support attendance at
teaching-related conferences. Research grants
allow, and faculties often supplement, travel to
Often the clearest message is not spoken, but
acted out in mime.
Dr. Britton is a professor and 3M Teaching fellow in the faculty of
engineering at the University of Manitoba.
Jeremy Grimshaw is a senior scientist in the clin-
ical epidemiology program at the Ottawa Hospital
Research Institute and professor in the department
of medicine at the University of Ottawa. Incorrect
information was printed in an earlier issue.
regarding the article “Is Canada producing
too many PhDs?” in the February issue: The panel
[at the Canadian Science Policy Conference in
Ottawa] seems pretty vague about the apparent
mismatch between what the government and
pundits say we need (more people with graduate
degrees) and what the reality is out there. The
reality is that professors with large stables of
graduate students are clearly reproducing them-
selves at above-replacement rates in a university
system where recruitment appears to be rather
stagnant. Government agencies (e.g., Environ-
ment Canada) are being gutted of skilled person-
nel or face stagnant recruitment. Companies in
Canada typically do much less research than
their U.S. counterparts, and we are always being
warned that we suffer from an innovation gap.
I could go on, adding reasons why PhDs are
having a hard time finding jobs. It may be, as one
panelist said, we do not train our graduate stu-
dents to find careers outside of academia. That
would be a great start. On the other hand, we are
producing graduate students faster than the mar-
ket can soak them up. It’s supply and demand!
Faced with these realities, I find it disin-
genuous to say (as some panelists did) that “the
opportunities are out there” or that “we don't
know what jobs will exist in 10 years’ time.” Nei-
ther the private-sector economy nor government
is creating enough opportunities for all those
school and board administrators,
university and college faculty
Become a part of the RTO/ERO community and join us for... • Superior health plans
• Bilingual services
• Active peer community
• Group travel program
• Dependable pension
• Advocacy on social and
• Our award-winning
• Community outreach
Diane Colbourne Elementary school teacher, AEFO Joel Nasimok Elementary school teacher, E TFO Robert Harris Principal, OPSTF
À votre service...pour le soin de votre avenir.
Sign up for a Retirement
Planning Workshop near you.
Follow us on:
Here for you now ... Here for your future.