Ethical service learning abroad
The article on ethical volunteering (“Beyond
voluntourism,” March issue) is useful and timely.
Rebecca Tiessen’s work on this topic is particularly
valuable. Interested readers may also wish to
consult “The ethics of international service
learning as a pedagogical development practice:
a Canadian study” by Debra Chapman in Third
World Quarterly ( June 2, 2016), which deals with
some of the difficult questions raised here. (Full
disclosure: Debra Chapman is my wife.)
Dr. Eglin is a professor emeritus of sociology at Wilfrid Laurier University.
Not an accurate portrayal
the article, “Whither women’s studies?” (April
issue) is not an accurate portrayal of the women’s and gender studies’ situation at Mount
Regrettably, the author did not consult with
the university’s academic administration prior
to writing the article, and this has resulted in a
very imbalanced presentation. We write to provide readers of University Affairs with a more
complete picture of our commitment to the women’s and gender studies program. This can be
demonstrated in a number of ways.
First, the university’s across-the-board, short-term staffing challenge of 2016-17 was not presented as a desire to terminate the women’s
and gender studies program, nor was this ever a
prospect considered by the university.
Second, the assertion that “the program’s
future remains a question mark” is not accurate.
The university has advertised two tenure-track
assistant professor positions in women’s and gender studies with cross-appointment to related
disciplines. We are also finalizing a third tenure-track assistant professor position in women’s and
Third, the university is continuing its long-
standing policy of supporting and strengthening
interdisciplinary studies, from women’s and gen-
der studies, to Canadian studies, and environ-
mental and global studies.
The above steps reflect the excellent work
pursued by our colleagues in regenerating the
women’s and gender studies program with new
ideas and new resources. By year’s end, this program will be the strongest that it has ever been.
Dr. Ollerhead is provost and vice-president, academic and
research, at Mount Allison University.
Editor’s note: it was an error on our part not to have
the author contact the academic administration at
Mount Allison for this article and we apologize for
any inaccuracies that resulted.
The brain drain, continued
adam crymble’s article, “The accidental brain
drain” (March issue), brings back memories. A
little over 50 years ago I was a U.K. graduate,
newly married with six years’ industrial research
experience and completing a PhD in Leeds, Eng-
land. In the hope of launching an academic
career, I had, without any kind of interview
(though evidently good references), an attractive
offer of an NRC postdoc fellowship in a prom-
inent research group at McMaster University.
At that time, Canada sought out and welcomed
immigrants from the U.K. and maintained an
immigration office in Leeds, so we went to apply
for visitor’s visas for my wife and me, expecting
to return afterwards to launch academic careers
in the U.K. “Why don’t you immigrate?” was the
response of the officer interviewing us. Why not,
As the fellowship neared its end, the only
openings I could locate in the U.K. were in industry and government service – tentative offers from
emissaries sent to try to reverse the then “brain
drain” from the U.K. Starter positions in universities were then largely reserved for those who
had stuck to the sequence of a top undergraduate
degree followed directly by a PhD. Even though
my PhD fellowship from an industry-based foundation had given me the status of a junior faculty
member at Leeds, I was evidently not able to compete with those who had stayed in the normal
queue. So my accidental choices led me to, and
kept me, happily, in Canada, with a wife who
could also build on her U.K. credentials here.
Dr. Molgaard is Honorary Research Professor in the faculty of
engineering and applied science at Memorial University.
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12 / www.unverstyaffars.ca / March 2017 www.affaresunverstares.ca / mars 2017 / 13
Le bénévolat dans les pays en développement
séduit de plus en plus d’étudiants universitaires.
Des voix se font toutefois entendre pour le rendre
conforme à l’éthique et utile, pour les étudiants
comme pour leurs hôtes.
University students are increasingly seeking
stints volunteering in developing countries.
Now, there’s a move to make these trips more
ethical and meaningful to both students and
By/Par Moira MacDonald
Photographyby/Photographiepar Paul Weeks