It's déjà vu all over again... I had a bad case of déjà vu this week, as the universities of Manchester, Aberystwyth and Sunderland announced job cuts. I went through this at Reading in 2010 and it was why I left to take up a position at the Open University. More on that in a moment.… Continue reading Redundancy in universities
Should you go to that conference? What's the real cost? Can you get there from here?? And what's my top conference tip?
Issues of power and consent in higher education: as harassment advisor and from the other side
'There are two sorts of failures,' one said with authority, 'those who never publish their PhD and those who publish it with xxxxxxxxx'. .
So, subconscious mind, get used to it: I'm still an academic, but I'm not going back to the Day Job, ever!
Yesterday marked a double rite of passage. My first pension payment arrived in my bank account (always a relief to know that this sort of thing works!) and we had lunch with my former department to mark my retirement. Held well away from the office (as in, not in Milton Keynes but in Oxford - distance… Continue reading Rites of passage (1): lunch and visibility
So, the great day has passed. I retired on Tuesday. I suspect retirement from The Open University proceeds very differently from the practice in most universities, let alone most jobs. Since I was working from home on The Day, absolutely nothing happened. No presentation of a clock, no round of drinks with colleagues down the… Continue reading Doing it
It's an odd process, this retiring business. Last week, I filled in the form stating how I want the percentage allocation of the lump sum and the pension to be managed, and posted it: that felt like a very serious step. But there are all sorts of other, tiny, steps happening and it seemed like… Continue reading Stages of withdrawal
Today I acted as a PhD external examiner for the final time. If you've read discussions of what the responsibilities of a retired academic should be, you'll maybe have seen 'examining PhDs' in there, as part of our supposed duty to the next generation of scholarship. However, having examined more PhDs in the last three… Continue reading PhDs: what are we doing?
Kelly J. Baker has published an excellent piece on 'Cruelty and kindness in academia'. Really, you may as well just go and read it now, rather than waste time on my ramblings, but it has made me reflect on two of the kindest people in my own career. The first and most influential in my life… Continue reading The kindness of colleagues: Roy Porter and Nick Atkins