Why I am a professor

A friend of mine challenged me recently to explain why I am a university professor. “Why did you choose this path?” she asked me, over a glass of pinot grigio and nibblies on the terrace of the Bad Dog Café on trendy Locke Street in Hamilton, Ontario. “You’ve sacrificed a lot of your private life […]


Measuring up for tenure and promotion at McMaster

Today we had an interesting discussion in our tenure and promotion committee meeting around documentation. For those of you who know about how secretive universities tend to be, and how much word of mouth tends to rule the roost, you’ll be surprised to learn that universities are moving to a system where less is done […]

What’s wrong with Canadian universities – part 2: How to reform them?

On April 15, I wrote a blog post about why I think Margaret Wente is wrong to say that universities are sitting ducks for reform because the system is overly focused on professors and research. She said that professors, because of a sense of entitlement and because of tenure, think that they are above the […]

What’s wrong with Canadian universities – part 1

The university system is limping, that’s for sure. But it’s because of short-sighted decisions by policy-makers, not because of rebellious professors, as Margaret Wente would have us believe. I have been a professor of communication studies and French at McMaster University since 2001. In July of that year, I joined McMaster as the first professor […]

Some advice for college and university students

[This piece was originally posted as a note on Facebook on Saturday, September 12, 2009 at 15:24 and republished on the Talent Egg Career Incubator on September 15, 2009] The three or four years you will spend at college or university should be some of the best years of your life. You have a rare […]

Ontario must invest in higher education.

When I began teaching at McMaster University on July 1, 2001, I had a pretty unique experience as a new professor. I was the first person hired into the Communication Studies Program at McMaster University. The program was so new that it didn’t even exist. In fact, the program only officially took existence with our […]

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