Can Economics Fix Its Gender-Imbalance Problem? It’ll Take More Than Research, Women Say

Posted in Governance and administration on January 14th, 2019 by steve

“Erin K Fletcher, an economist with the global, nonprofit health-and-education organization Results for Development, feels so strongly about her field’s problem with sexism that she left academe. Fletcher was one of many women who spoke out last week at the American Economic Association’s annual meeting, in Atlanta …” (more)

[Lily Jackson, Chronicle of Higher Education, 11 January]

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Smurfit school handed €9m by US Ireland fund

Posted in Governance and administration on January 11th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School was the big winner in the $29.47m donated to 352 organisations and projects here and across the world by the American Ireland Funds (AIF) in 2017 …” (more)

[Gordon Deegan, Independent, 11 January]

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Female Economists Push Their Field Toward a #MeToo Reckoning

Posted in Governance and administration on January 11th, 2019 by steve

“The economics profession is facing a mounting crisis of sexual harassment, discrimination and bullying that women in the field say has pushed many of them to the sidelines – or out of the field entirely. Those issues took center stage at the American Economic Association’s annual meeting …” (more)

[Ben Casselman and Jim Tankersley, New York Times, 10 January]

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University ‘teaching’ then and now: Part 2

Posted in Teaching on January 3rd, 2019 by steve

Ireland“When I went to university in the US I was struck by how ‘managed’ student learning was. Each module had homeworks, quizzes, mid-terms and finals. It was common for lecturers to follow a single textbook and to assign readings for that textbook. It was a radically different approach to what I was used to in UCD …” (more)

[An Irish Blog about Education, 3 January]


US visa bill for Irish graduates scuppered by single US senator

Posted in Governance and administration on January 3rd, 2019 by steve

Ireland“New efforts will have to be made to secure thousands of potential new US working visas for Irish people after the deadline passed for it to be approved in the US Senate …” (more)

[, 3 January]

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US visa bill for Irish graduates set to be casualty of ‘mayhem and crisis’ in Washington

Posted in Governance and administration on December 22nd, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Hopes for thousands of new US working visas for Irish people look to have been scuppered by a last-minute objection by a single US Senator. The bill sought to allow Irish citizens avail of surplus E-3 visas that are specifically for Australians …” (more)

[, 21 December]

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Posts of Professors Holding Babies in Class Often Go Viral. Is That the Reality of Students With Kids?

Posted in Life on December 20th, 2018 by steve

“The story is always the same. A professor tells a student with a young child that she (it’s always a woman) can bring her baby to class. The professor invariably holds the child, someone shares the image on social media, and the post goes viral …” (more)

[Cailin Crowe, Chronicle of Higher Education, 19 December]

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Where Are All the Female Architects?

Posted in Governance and administration on December 16th, 2018 by steve

“To get a sense of the state of opportunity for women in architecture, consider that the firm getting the most high-profile architectural commissions in the world right now has just one female principal and this web address: Yes, BIG (for Bjarke Ingels Group) is based in Denmark (hence the ‘dk’), but the firm’s use of this cheeky address just about sums up the situation facing many women in the architectural profession today …” (more)

[Allison Arieff, New York Times, 15 December]

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‘Changing demographics of scientific careers: The rise of the temporary workforce’

Posted in Research on December 11th, 2018 by steve

Abstract: Contemporary science has been characterized by an exponential growth in publications and a rise of team science. At the same time, there has been an increase in the number of awarded PhD degrees, which has not been accompanied by a similar expansion in the number of academic positions. In such a competitive environment, an important measure of academic success is the ability to maintain a long active career in science. In this paper, we study workforce trends in three scientific disciplines over half a century. We find dramatic shortening of careers of scientists across all three disciplines. The time over which half of the cohort has left the field has shortened from 35y in the 1960s to only 5y in the 2010s. In addition, we find a rapid rise (from 25 to 60% since the 1960s) of a group of scientists who spend their entire career only as supporting authors without having led a publication. Altogether, the fraction of entering researchers who achieve full careers has diminished, while the class of temporary scientists has escalated. We provide an interpretation of our empirical results in terms of a survival model from which we infer potential factors of success in scientific career survivability. Cohort attrition can be successfully modeled by a relatively simple hazard probability function. Although we find statistically significant trends between survivability and an author’s early productivity, neither productivity nor the citation impact of early work or the level of initial collaboration can serve as a reliable predictor of ultimate survivability.

Changing demographics of scientific careers: The rise of the temporary workforce, Staša Milojević, Filippo Radicchi, and John P Walsh. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA published ahead of print December 10, 2018,

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How a College Degree ‘Supercharges’ a Divide Among White Voters

Posted in Governance and administration on November 6th, 2018 by steve

“In the run-up to the 2016 presidential election, pundits and academics marveled at how the college degree had become a key political dividing line: Would Donald Trump become the first Republican presidential nominee in 60 years to lose among white college graduates? It appears that he did …” (more)

[Steven Johnson, Chronicle of Higher Education, 5 November]


‘Graduate students’ experiences of plagiarism by their professors’

Posted in Legal issues, Research on October 29th, 2018 by steve

Abstract: This study expands the inquiry about an egregious form of academic misconduct. Participants consist of graduate students who reported a violation of academic integrity because a professor plagiarised their academic work. Based on data collected through interviews and documents, interpretative phenomenological analysis is used to examine participants’ experiences. A key research finding of relevance to Higher Education policy is: individuals in positions of authority failed to resolve the reports. This study calls for more education about authorship. Equally important, universities need clear reporting procedures and protections for students when they report academic violations.

Kimberly D Becker, Graduate students’ experiences of plagiarism by their professors, Higher Education Quarterly. First published: 29 October 2018.

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Do Universities Value Public Engagement? Not Much, Their Policies Suggest

Posted in Governance and administration on October 9th, 2018 by steve

“Scholarly work that serves the public is the kind of thing that, theoretically, universities want faculty members to pursue. But a new study of the language used by more than 100 colleges in their tenure-and-promotion criteria shows little evidence that such scholarship is valued in a way that advances faculty careers …” (more)

[Audrey Williams June, Chronicle of Higher Education, 8 October]

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Publishers Escalate Legal Battle Against ResearchGate

Posted in Legal issues on October 4th, 2018 by steve

“ResearchGate, a popular for-profit academic social network that makes it easy to find and download research papers, is facing increasing pressure from publishers to change the way it operates. On Tuesday, the American Chemical Society and Elsevier, two large academic publishers, launched a second legal battle against the Berlin-based social networking site – this time not in Europe, but in the US …” (more)

[Lindsay McKenzie, Inside Higher Ed, 4 October]

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‘Sokal Squared’: Is Huge Publishing Hoax ‘Hilarious and Delightful’ or an Ugly Example of Dishonesty and Bad Faith?

Posted in Research on October 4th, 2018 by steve

“Reactions to an elaborate academic-journal hoax, dubbed ‘Sokal Squared’ by one observer, came fast and furious on Wednesday. Some scholars applauded the hoax for unmasking what they called academe’s leftist, victim-obsessed ideological slant and low publishing standards. Others said it had proved nothing beyond the bad faith and dishonesty of its authors …” (more)

[Alexander Kafka, Chronicle of Higher Education, 3 October]


We Need More Men in the Humanities

Posted in Research on October 2nd, 2018 by steve

“Around the turn of the millennium, American society realized a looming crisis: the lack of female representation in STEM fields. But today we are witnessing a crisis of male leadership in a variety of workplaces. From the president to CEOs of major companies to actors and power players in Hollywood, the past several months have exposed the toxic work environments they preside over or worsen in scandal after scandal …” (more)

[Christine Henseler, Inside Higher Ed, 2 October]

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The Coddling of the American Mind: ‘trigger warnings’ for a generation

Posted in Governance and administration on September 22nd, 2018 by steve

“While the authors seem bent on sparking a movement, their thesis will struggle to win over their tremulous subjects. The Coddling of the American Mind: ‘trigger warnings’ for a generation. Affronting popular sensibilities at taxpayers’ expense, Leftist excesses on campus reliably inflame middle America. There’s a running thread – ‘campus craziness’ – devoted to them on conservative TV channel Fox News and they were the subject of a cantankerous bestseller credited with fomenting the US culture wars …” (more)

[Stephen Phillips, Irish Times, 22 September]


Is NYTimes Correct That College Students Don’t Read Books?

Posted in Life on September 4th, 2018 by steve

“Is the NYTimes right that today’s college students don’t read books? This certainly doesn’t track with what I see each day on my campus. My office happens to be located in our main library, which on my campus is also center of all student life …” (more)

[Joshua Kim, Inside Higher Ed, 3 September]


American university’s plan for Waterford in doubt as little progress made

Posted in Governance and administration on August 27th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Doubts have been cast over a proposal by an American university to site a European campus on an Office of Public Works site in west Waterford, with any likely development now expected to be downscaled. Two years ago, Mercyhurst University, in Erie, Pennsylvania, signed a memorandum of understanding with Waterford Council officials, authorising them to conduct a feasibility study for the venture …” (more)

[Christy Parker, Irish Examiner, 27 August]

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Queen’s University plans £600k PR drive in America

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on August 22nd, 2018 by steve

“Queen’s University is set to spend £600,000 to raise its profile in the United States. The Belfast seat of learning is seeking to engage a US-based public relations agency ‘with a track record of working with universities’ as it bids to gain a foothold across the Atlantic. The university said it hoped the move will enhance the range of research and collaborations for both students and staff …” (more)

[Mark Bain, Belfast Telegraph, 22 August]

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Confucius Institute closed at US university amid concerns about Chinese influence on campuses

Posted in Governance and administration on August 15th, 2018 by steve

“The University of North Florida will close a campus branch of a Chinese-run cultural institute, the latest US college to do so amid criticism from US legislators that China uses the institute to influence American higher education …” (more)

[South China Morning Post, 15 August]

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