Archive for 25 February 2010

Developing relationships with Saudi Arabia

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 25 February 2010 by Steve

“… The day proved a tremendous success in terms of enabling all parties to become familiar with one another and in building the personal relationships that are so central to international partnerships. The ambassador had an opportunity to visit some of AIT’s research and innovation facilities, the new engineering and informatics complex, as well as meet with the 25 Saudi students who have been attending AIT since September last year. The students who are undertaking full-time undergraduate programmes in engineering, science and business, have integrated remarkably well into campus life and especially into life in the Irish midlands …” (more)

[Ciarán Ó Catháin, A President’s Notebook, 25 February]

Loutish student behaviour is sick and vulgar

Posted in Life with tags , , on 25 February 2010 by Steve

“Dear Editor, I recently observed the ‘Raise and Give’ slogan in a particular college in Galway City. I am assuming it means to raise money and then give it to charity — all good in theory, one would think. However, I am unfortunate enough to live around the city centre (financial restrictions don’t allow for me to move) for a number of years now. The slogan I saw actually made me think about what it really means to me as a law-abiding citizen living in Eyre Square. On a nightly basis, Monday to Thursday mainly it is just untold what goes on around the square, almost nauseating …” (more)

[Galway Advertiser, 25 February]

Avatar Rape

Posted in Legal issues with tags on 25 February 2010 by Steve

“Avatar harassment and sexual assault remain controversial issues because institutions hosting virtual worlds are not accustomed to dealing with — or even discussing — digital forms of these distressing behaviors. Harassment and assault are frequent infractions in virtual environs, including those frequented by students and professors …” (more)

[Michael Bugeja, Inside Higher Ed, 25 February]

When is a blog a book?

Posted in research with tags on 25 February 2010 by Steve

“Unsurprisingly the proliferation in blogs has lead to many of them morphing into paperback form. So far we have had Stuff White People Like, Animal Review, and Postcards from Yo Momma among many. The last is probably most obviously amenable to the process of ‘bookization’ being a kind of record of correspondence, however flippant the title. Mutation between literary forms is of course nothing new …” (more)

[Juliana Adelman, Pue’s Occurrences, 25 February]

Universities: the need to present better information

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 25 February 2010 by Steve

“I recently attended a meeting attended by people some of whom worked in universities and some who did not. We were discussing the future of the Irish university system, and a number of questions were asked about key performance indicators showing activities and outputs from the sector. Nobody had any of the figures to hand, nor could offer even a rough estimate …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 25 February]

Pressures on US academics should not be imported here

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 25 February 2010 by Steve

“On Friday, February 12th, Amy Bishop, assistant professor of biology at the University of Alabama, allegedly shot and killed three colleague professors and wounded three others. This terrible act was apparently in reaction to the news that she had not been granted a tenured position and, consequently, she would soon lose her job …” (more)

[William Reville, Irish Times, 25 February]

Ace Bergin fails to halt NUIG march

Posted in Life with tags , on 25 February 2010 by Steve

NUI Galway 1-24 St Patrick’s College 1-12 NUIG booked their place in the last four after seeing off the limited challenge of St Pat’s at Dangan yesterday. The Galway college have not won the title in 30 years and, despite amassing a big score yesterday, they will need to step up several gears tomorrow week at Pearse Stadium if they are to advance to the following day’s final …” (more)

[Independent, 25 February]

Plus and minus of calculators

Posted in teaching with tags on 25 February 2010 by Steve

“Madam, – Well over 40 years ago, as a lecturer in economics at Trinity College Dublin, I circulated a set of formulae with the statistics exam papers. I also permitted the use of calculators at examinations. When more sophisticated calculators became available, it was a requirement that all working should be shown, and not just the final answer …” (more)

[Patrick M Lyons, Irish Times, 25 February]

Internet Hero Delivers 75th NovaUCD ‘Entrepreneurs Live!’ Seminar at University College Dublin

Posted in research with tags on 25 February 2010 by Steve

“Colm Lyon, founder and CEO of Realex Payments, who was named Internet Hero at the 2009 eircom Golden Spider Awards for his contribution to the Irish internet industry, today delivered the 75th NovaUCD ‘Entrepreneurs Live!’ seminar. The aim of the ‘Entrepreneurs Live!’ seminars, which are organised by NovaUCD in association with the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Enterprise Board, is to promote a spirit of entrepreneurship among the academic, research and student populations at University College Dublin and beyond …” (more)

[Irish Press Releases, 24 February]

NUIG launch Fitzgibbon Cup finals

Posted in Life with tags on 25 February 2010 by Steve

“The Ulster Bank Fitzgibbon Cup, the highlight of the Higher Education hurling season, was officially launched this week at host venue NUI Galway by GAA stars, left to right, Finian Coone, John Lee, and Cormac O’Donovan …” (more)

[Galway Advertiser, 25 February]

THE World University Rankings

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 25 February 2010 by Steve

“Magazines that compile league tables have an interest in instability – playing around with their methodologies to ensure rankings remain newsworthy. This was the argument made by Alice Gast, president of Lehigh University, Pennsylvania, at the Lord Dearing memorial conference at the University of Nottingham this month. She has a point …” (more)

[Phil Baty, Times Higher Education, 25 February]

Jargon poses no real threat, finds new study

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 25 February 2010 by Steve

“The academy has long fretted over the use of government buzzwords and business jargon when discussing the rarefied world of higher education. But it seems they can now stop worrying about the effect this has on university life …” (more)

[Hannah Fearn, Times Higher Education, 25 February]

Professor who claimed degrees were dumbed down wins case

Posted in Governance and administration on 25 February 2010 by Steve

“An academic who took a stand against ‘dumbing down’ the quality of university degrees won a long-running legal battle yesterday when the Court of Appeal accepted that he was forced out of his job …” (more)

[Greg Hurst, Times, 25 February]

Trinity Economist Receives International Award for Research on the Wealth of 145 Countries

Posted in research with tags on 25 February 2010 by Steve

“Professor of International Macroeconomics, Philip Lane, of Trinity’s Economics Department and Institute for International Integration Studies (IIIS) has been selected for the 2010 Bhagwati Award, jointly with his collaborator Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti of the International Monetary Fund …” (more)

[Trinity Communications Office, 24 February]

Ball tickets allocated in 4 hours

Posted in Life with tags on 25 February 2010 by Steve

“All 7500 tickets to this year’s Trintiy Ball were booked by 1pm today, after registration opened at 9am. Registration is now closed, meaning that only those who have already requested tickets will be able to purchase them …” (more)

[Trinity News, 24 February]

Dissertation and other work

Posted in research with tags on 25 February 2010 by Steve

“You might wonder why I haven’t posted that much lately. Well (it can hardly be a surprise for people who know me), I just have a ton of work to do. Not that I mind (not in the slightest), but of course it takes a lot of time. By the end of March I have to write two essays, make a presentation for palaeography, ‘study’ for the exam for palaeography and make sure I have four out of eight deposition manuscripts done …” (more)

[A Trinity Tale, 24 February]

Utilitarian funding rules will stifle science, says Sir Mark Walport

Posted in research with tags on 25 February 2010 by Steve

“New science funding rules that prioritise studies with anticipated economic or social benefits are misconceived and risk stifling discovery and understanding, according to the head of Britain’s biggest independent supporter of research …” (more)

[Mark Henderson, Times, 24 February]

UK student visa system fraud exposed

Posted in Legal issues with tags on 25 February 2010 by Steve

“An undercover investigation by BBC Newsnight has exposed fraud at the heart of the student visa system. The programme was able to buy two bogus visa documents which would have virtually guaranteed entry to the UK. One cost £200, the other just £150 …” (more)

[Richard Watson, BBC News, 24 February]

The Roadmap to Nowhere

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 25 February 2010 by Steve

“The college to which I belong recently issued what it called its ‘roadmap’. This document outlines how the college’s priorities will be used to allocate money to departments in the future. What the roadmap starkly reveals is that the college has only one priority, preserving the status quo. That would be bad enough, but the college has now classified each department based on its potential to generate revenues from tuition and research …” (more)

[Arnold van der Valk, A Crumbling Ivory Tower?, 23 February]

Maths journals

Posted in research with tags , on 25 February 2010 by Steve

“Abrupt cancellation of on-line journal subscriptions …” (tweet, excel spread sheet)

[John Murray, Twitter, 24 February]