Gold-Digger Clauses and LGBT Rights: The Trinity Lecturer Fighting for his Pension

Posted in Legal issues on February 7th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“In 1983, David Norris brought a case to the Irish Supreme Court, arguing that the criminalisation of homosexual behaviour was unconstitutional. The case, perhaps unsurprisingly, failed. Yet it would be the start of a revolution in Irish attitudes to homosexuality, marking the beginning of the slow, incremental movement towards marriage equality …” (more)

[Dominic McGrath, University Times, 6 February]

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Trinity College dons ‘incensed’ by provost’s reform plan

Posted in Governance and administration on February 6th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The provost of Ireland’s oldest university has been accused of trying to turn Trinity College Dublin into a ‘second-rate polytechnic’ by introducing full semesterisation. Paddy Prendergast is also under fire over a plan to offer jobs to the spouses of ‘world-class researchers’ in order to attract top-tier talent to the college …” (more)

[Daniel McConnell, Irish Examiner, 6 February]

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Trinity Scientist Opens Lab to Scientists Stranded by Trump’s Ban on Immigration

Posted in Governance and administration on February 5th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“A number of labs in Ireland, one in Trinity, are offering positions to scientists affected by President Trump’s executive order banning citizens from seven, largely muslim countries, from entering the US. Many individuals enroute to the US were left stranded in the wake of the sudden and immediate executive order banning citizens from these countries …” (more)

[Jamie Sugrue, University Times, 3 February]

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Calls for ‘Reasoned Debate’, as Fellows Vote on Trinity’s Transition to Christmas Exams

Posted in Teaching on February 4th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Trinity’s Fellows will have the potential to veto plans for a Christmas exam week and a two-week earlier start to the teaching term when they vote this week on the newly proposed academic year structure …” (more)

[Sinéad Baker, University Times, 2 February]

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New Research Initiative Criticised After Concerns Over Ranking Academics

Posted in Research on February 2nd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“A new initiative to measure the research output of Trinity’s staff, currently in its pilot phase, has raised concerns that it might potentially rank and compare individual academics, already drawing criticism from a trade union. The new initiative, Principal Investigator Quantitative Analytics, is proposing to rank academics based on their research output …” (more)

[Róisín Power and Sinéad Baker, University Times, 1 February]

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Head of Law School Condemns Sexist Comments Made by Students in Module Evaluations

Posted in Governance and administration on February 2nd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The Head of Trinity’s Law School, Prof Oran Doyle, has condemned misogynistic remarks made by two students in anonymous module evaluation forms last year. In an email sent to all law students at the end of last term, Doyle described the comments as ‘unacceptable’ …” (more)

[Jenna Clarke-Molloy, University Times, 2 February]

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Pharmacy Students call on College’s Support to Oppose Surprise Fees and Unpaid Placement

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on February 1st, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Trinity’s pharmacy students have called for Provost Patrick Prendergast’s support in lobbying against the double financial blow of increased final-year tuition fees and an unpaid placement in their final year …” (more)

[Brónagh Kennedy, University Times, 1 February]

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FOI Reveals UCD has No Investments in Fossil Fuels

Posted in Governance and administration on February 1st, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The College Tribune can reveal that UCD currently does not invest in fossil fuel companies, according to documents viewed under the Freedom of Information act. This information was sought in light of a successful campaign led by Fossil Free TCD, which saw Trinity agree to divest its €6.1 million indirect investments in fossil fuel companies …” (more)

[College Tribune, 1 February]

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Only 1% of Arts Faculty Property in ‘Good Condition’, as College Plans €4m Arts Block Refurbishment

Posted in Governance and administration on February 1st, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The report also finds that 41% of academic areas in Trinity require modernisation. Only 1% of the properties owned by the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (AHSS) are in ‘good condition’, according to a report submitted to the College Board …” (more)

[Dominic McGrath, University Times, 1 February]


Temporary Contracts in Trinity Raise Questions Over University Autonomy

Posted in Governance and administration on January 30th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The dispute between Trinity and its support and service staff rumbles on, with SIPTU and Unite currently considering their options for further action and the issue gathering momentum. This week the issue was raised in the Dáil by Paul Murphy TD in a question to the Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton …” (more)

[University Times, 29 January]

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Head2Head: Should Trinity introduce Christmas exams?

Posted in Teaching on January 30th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“When exams seem so far away they may as well not be there at all, it is all too easy to forget that we actually have them. In the past three months I have not seen enough of the Trinity libraries, and I know I am not the only one. Increasingly, colleges are switching to a semester-based system, where the academic year is split into two semesters …” (more)

[Fiachra MacCanna and Niall Maher, Trinity News, 29 January]

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Students must show solidarity with Trade Unions

Posted in Governance and administration on January 26th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Faced with the growing commercialisation of College, students have no choice but to support industrial action. For the first time in years Trinity faces the prospect of industrial action. The current impasse between non-academic staff and College could be ended through a negotiated settlement …” (more)

[Oisin Coulter, Trinity News, 25 January]

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Trinity College Dublin – Promotion for non-academic staff

Posted in Governance and administration on January 26th, 2017 by steve

IrelandPaul Murphy (Dublin South West, Anti-Austerity Alliance): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if he has discussed with management of Trinity College Dublin proposals to freeze promotions for non-academic staff and to impose a moratorium on offering permanent contracts to non-academic staff; his views regarding increased precarity in the sector; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dail written answers, 24 January]

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Provost claims ‘we’re all coming from the same place’ on funding issue in TCDSU Council address

Posted in Governance and administration on January 25th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The provost of Trinity, Patrick Prendergast, spoke to Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) Council this evening. Introducing him, TCDSU President Kieran McNulty thanked the provost for ‘various initiatives’, such as the proposed Student Centre, and noted that it was an uncertain time for the college, not least due to the ongoing funding crisis …” (more)

[Cathal Kavanagh, Trinity News, 24 January]

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Trinity’s New ‘Diktat’ for Staff Reveals the Darker Side of Commercialisation

Posted in Governance and administration on January 23rd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“For the first time in years, we might see a possible strike inside the walls of Trinity. A ‘diktat’ from College, which will see an end to promotions for support and service staff and the introduction of temporary contracts for all new employees, has been heavily and rightly attacked by SIPTU, IFUT and UNITE …” (more)

[University Times, 22 January]

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The Pros and Cons of Take-Home Exams

Posted in Teaching on January 21st, 2017 by steve

Ireland“As an exchange student abroad this year, I’ve noted that most of my exams were in an unusual format, one that could be an interesting alternative to traditional exams for Trinity. The ‘take-home exam’ is a mix between homework and an open-book exam …” (more)

[Loic Delorme, University Times, 19 January]

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College trade unions raise prospect of industrial action

Posted in Governance and administration on January 18th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Workers voice opposition to hiring and promotion policies alongside longstanding grievances. A meeting last Wednesday saw agreement between members of the Services Industrial Professional and Technical Union (SIPTU) and Unite trade unions to campaign in opposition to College hiring and promotion policies …” (more)

[Cathal Kavanagh, Trinity News, 17 January]

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From Video Games to Pretend Pharmacies, Lecturers are Finding New Ways of Assessing Students

Posted in Teaching on January 16th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Prof Virpi Timonen says it was last year when she realised that giving her students exams was a fruitless exercise. ‘As I went through yet another season of students sweating in overcrowded rooms and finding the whole experience traumatic and trying to decipher handwriting, the absurdity of the system of assessing people through exams was really brought home to me …'” (more)

[Sinéad Baker, University Times, 16 January]

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Radical or Reactionary? After Five Years, the Provost’s Legacy is Still Growing

Posted in Governance and administration on January 16th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Only a few minutes into our interview, Provost Patrick Prendergast leaps from his seat, dashes over to an armchair in the corner of his office and pulls on a green Fossil Free TCD t-shirt over his shirt and tie. I’ve just asked him about Trinity’s decision to divest from fossil fuels …” (more)

[Dominic McGrath, University Times, 15 January]

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Amidst Complaints of Inefficiency, Academic Registry Begins Enhancement Process

Posted in Governance and administration on January 11th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“As part of a new enhancement plan, Trinity’s Academic Registry is engaged in new reforms, including a revamp of the online registration system, aiming to address ongoing issues voiced by the College community. The online registration process has undergone a revamp over the summer, providing what the Academic Registry calls a ‘new simplified and streamlined’ approach …” (more)

[Philip McGuinness, University Times, 11 January]