Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

An Academic’s Life at Athabasca University Before this talk begins, attendees should obtain and answer the multiple-choice questions that were mentioned.

Similar presentations


Presentation on theme: "An Academic’s Life at Athabasca University Before this talk begins, attendees should obtain and answer the multiple-choice questions that were mentioned."— Presentation transcript:

1 An Academic’s Life at Athabasca University Before this talk begins, attendees should obtain and answer the multiple-choice questions that were mentioned in the all-staff from Alice Tieulie issued on Monday 19 March. The talk should start at 12:15 PM. Robert Holmberg, Lunch N’ Learn 21 March 2007

2 An Academic’s Life at AU Robert Holmberg Centre for Science Lunch N’ Learn 21 March 2007

3 An Academic’s Life at AU Robert Holmberg Centre for Science Lunch N’ Learn 21 March 2007 Dedicated to: Barbara Craig Dan Derrick Dip George Les Lori Sue Tim Tom Richard

4 An Academic’s Life at AU Robert Holmberg Centre for Science Lunch N’ Learn 21 March 2007 versus

5 Outline of Talk Preamble Main part Ending Epilogue

6 Preamble

7 This presentation is based on my experiences as an academic.

8 Preamble This presentation is based on my experiences as an academic. I will make some provocative statements.

9 Preamble This presentation is based on my experiences as an academic. I will make some provocative statements. My opinions are not necessarily shared by other staff nor the institution.

10 Guarantee If you do not learn at least two things about AU that you did not know before, I will buy you lunch.

11 Guarantee If you do not learn at least two things about AU that you did not know before, I will buy you lunch. –The reciprocal is not expected.

12 Guarantee If you do not learn at least two things about AU that you did not know before, I will buy you lunch. –The reciprocal is not expected. –To demonstrate that you did not learn at least two things, you will have to get all but one or two answers correct on my multiple-choice “exam”.

13 Guarantee If you do not learn at least two things about AU that you did not know before, I will buy you lunch. –The reciprocal is not expected. –To demonstrate that you did not learn at least two things, you will have to get all but one or two answers correct on my multiple-choice “exam”. –The “exam” will be marked on the honour system, i.e. by yourself during the talk.

14 Objectives of Talk 1.Describe what it was/is to be an academic, especially at AU.

15 Objectives of Talk 1.Describe what it was/is to be an academic, especially at AU. 2.Give some historical background about AU.

16 Objectives of Talk 1.Describe what it was/is to be an academic, especially at AU. 2.Give some historical background about AU. 3.List some good and bad things about AU.

17 Objectives of Talk 1.Describe what it was/is to be an academic, especially at AU. 2.Give some historical background about AU. 3.List some good and bad things about AU. 4.Outline two extreme scenarios about AU-Athabasca.

18 What is an academic? One who does: teaching research service

19 What is an academic? A builder of: students’ knowledge (teaching) colleagues’ knowledge (research) society’s knowledge (service)

20 What is an academic? A critic/appraiser of: students’ work (teaching) colleagues’ work (research) society’s work (service)

21 What is an academic? Remember: Criticism/appraisal = + and - comments

22 What is an academic? Remember: Criticism/appraisal = + and - comments Criticism  evaluation  accreditation 

23 What is an academic? Credentials of a typical university academic: 3-4 year undergraduate degree 1-2 year masters degree (now usually skipped) 3-6 year doctoral degree 1-2 years post-doctoral study/experience (recent)

24 What is an academic? teach = help students learn

25 What is an academic? teach = help students learn a. cognitive conventions facts methods

26 What is an academic? teach = help students learn a. cognitive conventions facts methods b. manipulation skills

27 What is an academic? teach = help students learn a. cognitive conventions facts methods b. manipulation skills c. attitude changes

28 What is an academic? teach = help students learn a. cognitive conventions facts methods b. manipulation skills c. attitude changes research

29 What is an academic? teach = help students learn a. cognitive conventions facts methods b. manipulation skills c. attitude changes research service –institution –discipline –society

30 What is an academic? To anti-academics, academics are: elitists

31 What is an academic? To anti-academics, academics are: elitists impractical, irrelevant, don’t deal with the real world, i.e. wasters of time, effort & money

32 What is an academic? To anti-academics, academics are: elitists impractical, irrelevant, don’t deal with the real world, i.e. wasters of time, effort & money ultra conservative / ultra liberal

33 What is an academic? To anti-academics, academics are: elitists impractical, irrelevant, don’t deal with the real world, i.e. wasters of time, effort & money ultra conservative / ultra liberal should only deal with vocational training

34 Attitudinal changes Lead to: Academics are seditious to the status quo

35 Attitudinal changes Lead to: Academics are seditious to the status quo Academics are not to be trusted and have to be monitored and controlled

36 Academics value: Accurate information, i.e. truth –teaching and learning (for honest scholarship and against cheating) –research –service

37 Academics value: Accurate information, i.e. truth A diversity of interpretation and implications of such information, i.e. ideas

38 Academics value: Accurate information, i.e. truth A diversity of interpretation and implications of such information, i.e. ideas Wide dissemination of information and ideas, i.e. publication

39 Academics value: Accurate information, i.e. truth A diversity of interpretation and implications of such information, i.e. ideas Wide dissemination of information and ideas, i.e. publication Academic freedom in what is explored and discussed (  security of position via tenure or “term indefinite contract”)

40 The First Athabasca University June 1970 to December 1972

41 The First Athabasca University June 1970 to December June 1970, Order in Council 1206/70, campus-based AU near St. Albert

42 The First Athabasca University June 1970 to December June 1970, Order in Council 1206/70, campus-based AU near St. Albert –30 August 1971, after 36 years of Social Credit government, Conservatives win majority –enrollments decline at universities

43 The First Athabasca University June 1970 to December June 1970, Order in Council 1206/70, campus-based AU near St. Albert –30 August 1971, after 36 years of Social Credit government, Conservatives win majority –enrollments decline at universities 30 May 1972, pilot project announced

44 The First Athabasca University

45 Founding of Alberta Universities 1.University of Alberta University of Calgary University of Lethbridge Athabasca University ??

46 Multiple-choice Questions 1. When is Athabasca University’s birthday? a.25 June 1970 b.30 May 1972 c.20 December 1972 d.End October 1973 e.November 1975 f.30 August 1982

47 Multiple-choice Questions 1. When is Athabasca University’s birthday? a.25 June 1970: Order in Council 1206/70 but rescinded by 1208/71 on 8 July 1971

48 Multiple-choice Questions 1. When is Athabasca University’s birthday? a.25 June 1970: Order in Council 1206/70 but rescinded by 1208/71 on 8 July 1971 b.30 May 1972: pilot project announced

49 Multiple-choice Questions 1. When is Athabasca University’s birthday? a.25 June 1970: Order in Council 1206/70 but rescinded by 1208/71 on 8 July 1971 b.30 May 1972: pilot project announced c.20 December 1972: Order in Council 1986/72

50 Multiple-choice Questions 1. When is Athabasca University’s birthday? a.25 June 1970: Order in Council 1206/70 but rescinded by 1208/71 on 8 July 1971 b.30 May 1972: pilot project announced c.20 December 1972: Order in Council 1986/72 d.End October 1973: registration of 160 students

51 Multiple-choice Questions 1. When is Athabasca University’s birthday? a.25 June 1970: Order in Council 1206/70 but rescinded by 1208/71 on 8 July 1971 b.30 May 1972: pilot project announced c.20 December 1972: Order in Council 1986/72 d.End October 1973: registration of 160 students e.November 1975: permanent status

52 Multiple-choice Questions 1. When is Athabasca University’s birthday? a.25 June 1970: Order in Council 1206/70 but rescinded by 1208/71 on 8 July 1971 b.30 May 1972: pilot project announced c.20 December 1972: Order in Council 1986/72 d.End October 1973: registration of 160 students e.November 1975: permanent status f.30 August 1982: sod turning for building in Athabasca by Premier Peter Lougheed

53 Multiple-choice Questions 1. When is Athabasca University’s birthday? a.25 June 1970: Order in Council 1206/70 but rescinded by 1208/71 on 8 July 1971 b.30 May 1972: pilot project announced c.20 December 1972: Order in Council 1986/72 d.End October 1973: registration of 160 students e.November 1975: permanent status f.30 August 1982: sod turning in Athabasca by Premier Peter Lougheed = ?

54 Multiple-choice Questions 2. Who was the first academic hired by AU to work on courses? a.Dr. Lochan Bakshi, botany and ecology b.Dr. Barry Gilbert, vertebrate zoology c.Dr. Rae Laurenson, human anatomist d.Dr. Starr Leggett, academic planner e.Dr. Joe Meeker, humanities f.Mr. Ian Taylor, urban social scientist

55 Multiple-choice Questions 2. Who was the first academic hired by AU to work on courses? a.Dr. Lochan Bakshi, botany and ecology b.Dr. Barry Gilbert, vertebrate zoology c.Dr. Rae Laurenson, human anatomist d.Dr. Starr Leggett, academic planner e.Dr. Joe Meeker, humanities f.Mr. Ian Taylor, urban social scientist

56 The year was 1974 …

57 1974 – American -Vietnamese War “Over” Gareth Stevens Publishing, 1993

58 1974 – Integration with forced busing Gareth Stevens Publishing, 1993

59 1974 – Intellectual freedom Gareth Stevens Publishing, 1993

60 Music Elton JohnABBA Kiss Joni Mitchell Elvis Presley Gareth Stevens Publishing, 2002

61 “Cut and paste” = knife and wax on a light table “Data entry” = typing from hand-written manuscripts

62 1974 – pre-PCs & Macs Gareth Stevens Publishing, 1993

63 In 1974 …

64 I was at SFU and had written 90% of my doctoral thesis but was not finished.

65 My senior supervisor was about to go to Australia on a one-year sabbatical.

66 My wife, Catherine, was pregnant with our first child and so was about to lose her job. Our first child, 1975

67 Because of rent controls, we were forced out of our rental house and were “camping” in a bedroom of my great-aunt. New Westminster, B.C.

68 I was paying back my student loans. I had run out of teaching assistant and scholarship funds. I was looking for a job. $ $ $

69

70 My Letter of Application

71 Multiple-choice Questions 3. What was the title of all academic staff members when AU first started? a.Academics b.Academicians c.Course Coordinators d.Course Designers e.Course Developers f.Professors g.Tutors

72 Multiple-choice Questions 3. What was the title of all academic staff members when AU first started? a.Academics b.Academicians c.Course Coordinators d.Course Designers e.Course Developers f.Professors g.Tutors Full-time “Tutors” became “Course Coordinators” by

73 Multiple-choice Questions 4. Who first held the title of Professor of AU? a.Dr. Tim Byrne b.Dr. Lochan Bakshi c.Mr. Ian Taylor d.Dr. David Suzuki e.Dr. Joe Meeker

74 Multiple-choice Questions 4. Who first held the title of Professor of AU? a.Dr. Tim Byrne, 1971 b.Dr. Lochan Bakshi, 1973 c.Mr. Ian Taylor, 1974 d.Dr. David Suzuki, 1976 Honourary Professor e.Dr. Joe Meeker, Interdisciplinary Professor “Professors” not generally used for any AU academics until at least The term was not used in AU Calendars until

75

76

77

78

79

80

81 Why was I hired? Ecological background? Teaching experience? Taken correspondence courses in high school? Wrote audio-script for ecology video? Cheap? Drawing by Wayne Allison

82 What did I get myself into? Most of AU’s 30 staff, 1974

83 What did I get myself into? AU’s pilot project ( ) : produce courses attract students (obtain credit recognition) AU’s pilot project ( ) : produce courses attract students (obtain credit recognition)

84 What did I get myself into? AU’s pilot project ( ): produce courses attract students (obtain credit recognition) Three unfinished courses: World Ecology: the Scientific Context (8 out of 24 units done) Ancient Roots of the Modern World Introduction to the Study of Human Communities AU’s pilot project ( ): produce courses attract students (obtain credit recognition) Three unfinished courses: World Ecology: the Scientific Context (8 out of 24 units done) Ancient Roots of the Modern World Introduction to the Study of Human Communities

85 What did I get myself into? AU’s pilot project ( ): produce courses attract students (obtain credit recognition) Three unfinished courses: World Ecology: the Scientific Context (8 out of 24 units done) Ancient Roots of the Modern World Introduction to the Study of Human Communities My job: deliver courses, e.g. personalize World Ecology for 300 students produce courses anything else the President wanted me to do AU’s pilot project ( ): produce courses attract students (obtain credit recognition) Three unfinished courses: World Ecology: the Scientific Context (8 out of 24 units done) Ancient Roots of the Modern World Introduction to the Study of Human Communities My job: deliver courses, e.g. personalize World Ecology for 300 students produce courses anything else the President wanted me to do

86 Biology 201: World Ecology: the scientific context Printed materials & audio-taped instructions

87 Course Materials for BIOL 201 “Ground-up” vs. “wrap-around” course

88 Course Development & Delivery Retained No pre-requisites for at least 1 st year courses Asynchronous delivery Multiple enrollment dates (365  12) Telephone tutoring Learning objectives Copyright permissions Mailing of assignments In-house physical production Traditional academics preparing distance education courses

89 Course Development & Delivery Retained No pre-requisites for at least 1 st year courses Asynchronous delivery Multiple enrollment dates (365  12) Telephone tutoring Learning objectives Copyright permissions Mailing of assignments In-house physical production Traditional academics preparing distance education courses Dropped Ground-up development No deadlines for students Mastery (pass-fail) Modules (1 credit) “Field” testing of course materials Pre- and post-tests Local Course Tutors (LCTs) Small group discussions Learning resource centres

90 Multiple-choice Questions 5. What was AU’s first completed course? a.Ancient Roots of the Modern World b.Anthropology: Dimensions in Culture c.Computers in Perspective d.Introduction to the Study of Human Communities e.Introduction to the Renaissance f.Modern Consciousness g.Psychology Today h.World Ecology: the Scientific Context

91 Multiple-choice Questions 5. What was AU’s first completed course? a.Ancient Roots of the Modern World b.Anthropology: Dimensions in Culture c.Computers in Perspective d.Introduction to the Study of Human Communities e.Introduction to the Renaissance f.Modern Consciousness g.Psychology Today h.World Ecology: the Scientific Context

92 AU, Avenue – 1974

93 AU, TUB Avenue ~

94 AU, Street ~ 1980

95 AU, Avenue ~ 1982 Site of our first laboratory

96 Multiple-choice Questions 6. What was the name of the building where all academics were housed during ? a.Athabasca University Central (AU-C) b.Athabasca University Headquarters (AUHQ) c.Auks d.Aurora e.Temporary University Building (TUB)

97 Multiple-choice Questions 6. What was the name of the building where all academics were housed during ? a.Athabasca University Central (AU-C) b.Athabasca University Headquarters (AUHQ) c.Auks d.Aurora e.Temporary University Building (TUB)

98 Multiple-choice Questions 7. When and where was AU’s first laboratory space that was designed for that purpose? a.1975, a trailer at – 122 Avenue, Edmonton b.1976, at the back of a warehouse at – 128 Avenue, Edmonton c.1980, on the second floor of – 149 Street, Edmonton d.1982, in the basement at – 123 Avenue, Edmonton e.1984, 1 University Drive, Athabasca

99 Multiple-choice Questions 7. When and where was AU’s first laboratory space that was designed for that purpose? a.1975, a trailer at – 122 Avenue, Edmonton b.1976, at the back of a warehouse at – 128 Avenue, Edmonton c.1980, on the second floor of – 149 Street, Edmonton d.1982, in the basement at – 123 Avenue, Edmonton e.1984, 1 University Drive, Athabasca

100 Multiple-choice Questions 8. What was the name of the first internal newsletter that eventually became AU Insider? a.AU News b.AU Outsider c.Aurora d.Inside Athabasca University e.News Flash f.Athabasca University Insider

101 Multiple-choice Questions 8. What was the first name of the first internal newsletter that eventually became AU Insider? a.AU News b.Aurora c.Inside Athabasca University d.News Flash e.Athabasca University Insider

102 Multiple-choice Questions 9. Who started first started the equivalent of AU Insider and when? a.Chairman of the Governing Authority, Ed Checkland, 1970 b.AU’s first president, Tim Byrne, 1971 c.An administrator, Larry Ferguson, 1971 d.An academic, Lochan Bakshi, 1973 e.A secretary, Ellen Kierstead, 1974

103 Multiple-choice Questions 9. Who started first started the equivalent of AU Insider and when? a.Chairman of the Governing Authority, Ed Checkland, 1970 b.AU’s first president, Tim Byrne, 1971 c.An administrator, Larry Ferguson, 1971 d.An academic, Lochan Bakshi, 1973 e.A secretary, Ellen Kierstead, 1974

104 Multiple-choice Questions 10. What was Ergo? a.A newspaper for AU students. b.The name of the first AU computer. c.The name of one of the first type-setting programs. d.The one and only AU mascot. e.A newsletter for alumni.

105 Multiple-choice Questions 10. What was Ergo? a.A newspaper for AU students. b.The name of the first AU computer. c.The name of one of the first type-setting programs. d.The one and only AU mascot. e.A newsletter for alumni.

106 I was going to stay at AU only 5 years By 1979, I was getting tired of AU’s: –personnel squabbles –office politics –misplaced priorities –inefficiencies

107 My 1 st Research & Study Leave, Agriculture Canada, Lethbridge

108 My 1 st Research & Study Leave, Agriculture Canada, Lethbridge What did I find? –personnel squabbles –office politics –misplaced priorities –inefficiencies What did I find? –personnel squabbles –office politics –misplaced priorities –inefficiencies

109 AU’s Relocation to Athabasca Rumors of move to a small town Joining with U of A’s extension department Announcement of move Lack of university autonomy and consultation  resignation of President and Chairman The move, 1984

110 Alberta’s Decentralization Policy Athabasca University  Athabasca Alberta Correspondence School  Barrhead Alberta Environmental Research Centre  Vegreville

111 Multiple-choice Questions 11. Which of our past presidents had the shortest term of office? a.Dr. Tim Byrne b. Dr. Sam Smith c. Dr. Stephen Griew d. Dr. Terry Morrison e. Dr. Dominique Abrioux

112 Multiple-choice Questions 11. Which of our past presidents had the shortest term of office? a.Dr. Tim Byrne, b. Dr. Sam Smith, c. Dr. Stephen Griew, d. Dr. Terry Morrison, e. Dr. Dominique Abrioux,

113 Some of our successes - general 10s of 1,000s of students helped Not only surviving but flourishing with large numbers of courses, programs and students Students learning at their own pace in their own space Our courses are just as good or better than any university courses Open admission policies (at least for 1 st year courses)

114 Some of our successes - general Tying course materials to tuition fees Averaging course materials costs to keeping all course fees the same (students chose courses by content rather than cost) Individual tutoring Formation of Athabasca University Staff Association (professionals and academics later forming AUFA)

115 Some of our successes - Science Creating more science courses with lab experiences than most distance education institutions (2 nd best in the world) Excellent outreach work Establishing our own (small) laboratory

116 The AU Science Laboratory Teaching (preparing home labs & teaching in- person students) Research Service (e.g. Science Outreach – Athabasca activities)

117 The Science Display Case a result of too little lab space

118 Who watches the watchers?

119 Reenactment Late in the lab one night …

120 Location of RCMP Camera

121 Multiple-choice Questions 12. Which of the following department names was NOT used to encompass AU’s scientists? a.Centre for Human and Natural Science b.Centre for Science c.Department of Environmental Sciences d.Department of Science e.Faculty of Arts and Sciences f.Faculty of Science

122 Multiple-choice Questions 12. Which of the following department names was NOT used to encompass AU’s scientists? a.Centre for Human and Natural Science b.Centre for Science c.Department of Environmental Sciences d.Department of Science e.Faculty of Arts and Sciences f.Faculty of Science

123 Multiple-choice Questions 13. Who acted as the first Dean of Science? a.Dr. Lochan Bakshi b.Dr. Don Kvill c.Dr. Kate Mailer d.Dr. Garth Edwards e.Dr. David Rawlence

124 Multiple-choice Questions 13. Who acted as the first Dean of Science? a.Dr. Lochan Bakshi b.Dr. Don Kvill c.Dr. Kate Mailer d.Dr. Garth Edwards e.Dr. David Rawlence

125 Multiple-choice Questions 14. What was the first AU employee association? a.Athabasca University Faculty Association b.Athabasca University Staff Association c.Athabasca University Tutor Association d.Canadian Association of University Teachers e.Canadian Union of Public Employees

126 Multiple-choice Questions 14. What was the first AU employee association? a.Athabasca University Faculty Association b.Athabasca University Staff Association, ~1976 c.Athabasca University Tutor Association d.Canadian Association of University Teachers e.Canadian Union of Public Employees

127 Multiple-choice Questions 15. What is the age for mandatory retirement for academics at AU? a.65 years, the common age for retirement in Canada. b.75 years, the same as senators. c.There is no upper year limit as long as each person goes through an annual assessment. d.When a person’s age and years of service total 80. e.When a person’s age and years of service total 85. f.When someone wins a lottery jackpot.

128 Multiple-choice Questions 15. What is the age for mandatory retirement for academics at AU? a.65 years, the common age for retirement in Canada. b.75 years, the same as senators. c.There is no upper year limit as long as each person goes through an annual assessment. d.When a person’s age and years of service total 80. e.When a person’s age and years of service total 85. f.When someone wins a lottery jackpot.

129 Multiple-choice Questions 16. How old was Dr. Tim Byrne when he ended his five-year term as AU’s first President? a.~60 years b.~65 years c.~69 years d.~70 years e.~75 years

130 Multiple-choice Questions 16. How old was Dr. Tim Byrne when he ended his five-year term as AU’s first President? a.~60 years b.~65 years c.~69 years d.~70 years e.~75 years

131 Regrets and disappointments? Yes, I have a few …

132 Some of My Disappointments How few students want to just learn How many students just want a credential and will cheat to get it Colleagues who did not stand up to cheaters Poor procedures dealing with academic misconduct Too many students not writing exams under AU scrutiny How few students want to just learn How many students just want a credential and will cheat to get it Colleagues who did not stand up to cheaters Poor procedures dealing with academic misconduct Too many students not writing exams under AU scrutiny

133 Some of My Disappointments Slow implementation of a 4-year course numbering system Lack of a semester system for senior, low enrollment courses Restriction of access to certain course web sites only by valid students No re-cycling of course textbooks

134 Some of My Disappointments Designation of division of time for teaching, research and service Considering the high teaching load, inadequate support system for research Tutors joining CUPE rather than AUFA Poor recognition of Tutors as academics

135 Some of My Disappointments Better AU reputation outside of Canada than inside Canada Lack of a Summer School for lab and other in-person courses A better bicameral system Reduction of course teams to various consultants Loss of our Faculties

136 Some of My Disappointments Inability of experienced professors to skip some editorial processes Lack of a single master copy for print and online course materials Too many staff reporting to two “bosses” Lack of a good forum to discuss contentious issues

137 My Biggest Disappointment AU-Athabasca not becoming AU-Central for academics –Loss of familiarity and so little trust (loss of collegiality) –Loss of interdepartmental contacts –Loss of loyalty to AU

138 In 1993, 75% of my academic science colleagues lived in or near Athabasca By 1995, it dropped to 25%

139 In 1993, 75% of my academic science colleagues lived in or near Athabasca By 1995, it dropped to 25% Now I am the only one

140 AU, the perfect university … Photo: Blaise MacMullin

141 AU, the perfect university … no students, Photo: Blaise MacMullin

142 AU, the perfect university … no students, no academics, Photo: Blaise MacMullin

143 AU, the perfect university … no students, no academics, all administrators. Photo: Blaise MacMullin

144 AU loves the title “university” but …

145 AU loves the title “university” but … sometimes I think that too many AU staff do not know what a university is –

146 AU loves the title “university” but … sometimes I think that too many AU staff do not know what a university is – and some of them are academics!

147 Sometimes I think that too many AU staff do not know what a university is – and some of them are academics! For example, we should distinguish between how a university operates and a business operates …

148 University Academic “World, I have information / an idea. It is all free.”

149 University vs. Business “Potential customer, I have information (or a product). I will sell you a small part.” EntrepreneurAcademic “World, I have information / an idea. It is all free.”

150 University students are not customers, nor clients. Universities should have academic plans and financial plans – not business plans; core responsibilities not core business. Universities should have transparency in all their activities. Universities do not accomplish their responsibilities by trying to make monetary profits. A university president should not act like a corporate CEO.* * Perhaps the Executive Committee should be a Presidential Council. University students are not customers, nor clients. Universities should have academic plans and financial plans – not business plans; core responsibilities not core business. Universities should have transparency in all their activities. Universities do not accomplish their responsibilities by trying to make monetary profits. A university president should not act like a corporate CEO.* * Perhaps the Executive Committee should be a Presidential Council. Universities vs. Businesses

151 AU loves the title “university” but …

152 AU loves the title “university” but … often acts like an anti- academic institution

153 AU loves the title “university” but often acts like an anti-academic institution More than one AU senior administrator wanted only part-time academics, i.e. no long-term commitments to academics

154 AU loves the title “university” but often acts like an anti-academic institution More than one AU senior administrator wanted only part-time academics, i.e. no long-term commitments to academics Staff equivalent to professors in other institutions were and are called Tutors and Course Coordinators* * Why not call staff (usually Tutors) who replace professors “Acting Professors” instead of “Course Coordinators”?

155 AU loves the title “university” but often acts like an anti-academic institution Academic Coordinators have no research duties (similar to colleges rather than universities)

156 AU loves the title “university” but often acts like an anti-academic institution Academic Coordinators have no research duties (similar to colleges rather than universities) Academic freedom has been impinged upon by several senior administrators

157 Returning to Academic Freedom An academic’s prerogative to: do what research and publish what he/she likes

158 Academic Freedom An academic’s prerogative to: do what research and publish what he/she likes An academic’s responsibility to: make informed comments on institutional and public matters

159 Multiple-choice Bonus Question If you get the following question right, you can cancel out one incorrect answer in the previous 16 questions.

160 Multiple-choice Bonus Question How many times did AU administrators interfere with my academic freedom? a.never b.once c.two or three d.four or five e.many

161 How many times did AU administrators interfere with my academic freedom? i.A President asked that another academic and I not publish an article on our AU course. Multiple-choice Bonus Question

162 How many times did AU administrators interfere with my academic freedom? i.A President asked that another academic and I not publish an article on our AU course. Result: Long delay but publication.

163 Multiple-choice Bonus Question How many times did AU administrators interfere with my academic freedom? ii. A Vice-President, Academic over-ruled an editor on the publication in an AU publication of my article on plagiarism.

164 Multiple-choice Bonus Question How many times did AU administrators interfere with my academic freedom? ii. A Vice-President, Academic over-ruled an editor on the publication in an AU magazine of my article on plagiarism. Result: Publication in the AU students’ newspaper.

165 Multiple-choice Bonus Question How many times did AU administrators interfere with my academic freedom? iii. A Dean of Science advised me not do research with a professional colleague.

166 Multiple-choice Bonus Question How many times did AU administrators interfere with my academic freedom? iii. A Dean of Science advised me not do research with a professional colleague. Result: Delay but work was done. Technologies for Speeding the Return of Students’ Assignments Robert Holmberg & Konrad Michalski Lunch ‘N’ Learn 18 January 2006

167 Multiple-choice Bonus Question How many times did AU administrators interfere with my academic freedom? a.never b.once c.two or three d.four or five e.many And I am not the only one.

168 Some lessons I learned …

169 Lessons learned - general “Life is what happens while you are planning other things.” (John Lennon)

170 Lessons learned - general “To your own self be true.” / “You can’t please everyone, you’ve got to please yourself.” “Moderation in all things, including moderation.” Some adages that proved (all too) true.

171 Lessons learned - general “Experience is something you don’t get until just after you need it.” “If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.” “Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.” Some adages that proved (all too) true.

172 Lessons learned - general “The pessimist in me says ‘Things can’t get any worse.’ The optimist in me says ‘Yes they can.’ ” “Most internal / work battles will mean nothing in a hundred years.” However some of them will indeed be important. Choose your battles wisely.

173 Lessons learned - general Worrying is a waste of time and sleep – keep a notepad by your bed. We should thank our colleagues more often than we usually do. Never state anything about another person that you would not state if that person was there.

174 Lessons learned - general Mutual respect = 1st priority of workplace (but sometimes you have to find respect and recognition outside of AU). Colleagues are like your extended family. –Can’t choose family members; usually can’t choose colleagues – must live / work with them

175 Lessons learned - academics Bureaucracy is not necessarily bad. Having no procedures is time consuming because of concerns about precedent settings. There will always be clashes between uniformity and individualism When travelling, make time to learn about the locales. Sabbaticals should be taken far away from AU.

176 Lessons learned - academics AU academics should not be hired without some teaching experience Search committees should consist of 5 to 7 people Trying new things will result in some failures – if you do not have any failures, you probably did not try anything really new.

177 Lessons learned - academics One has to be careful about false credentials

178 Lessons learned - students Art appreciation courses do NOT  artists.

179 Lessons learned - students Art appreciation courses do NOT  artists. Science courses without labs (i.e., hands-on experiences with real things) do NOT  scientists.

180 Two Extreme Scenarios for 2017

181 <10% of students enrolled in AU degree programs. Scenario 1: Athabasca College Perhaps a bit pessimistic?

182 <10% of students enrolled in AU degree programs. 100% of all courses delivered completely at-a- distance (i.e., no in-person components). Scenario 1: Athabasca College Perhaps a bit pessimistic?

183 <10% of students enrolled in AU degree programs. 100% of all courses delivered completely at-a- distance (i.e., no in-person components). All academics work at home as piece workers. Scenario 1: Athabasca College Perhaps a bit pessimistic?

184 <10% of students enrolled in AU degree programs. 100% of all courses delivered completely at-a- distance (i.e., no in-person components). All academics work at home as piece workers. All research involving equipment is done at other institutions. Scenario 1: Athabasca College Perhaps a bit pessimistic?

185 <10% of students enrolled in AU degree programs. 100% of all courses delivered completely at-a- distance (i.e., no in-person components). All academics work at home as piece workers. All research involving equipment is done at other institutions. A few elite administrators run a credential business. Scenario 1: Athabasca College Perhaps a bit pessimistic?

186 <10% of students enrolled in AU degree programs. 100% of all courses delivered completely at-a- distance (i.e., no in-person components). All academics work at home as piece workers. All research involving equipment is done at other institutions. A few elite administrators run a credential business. For each year of age over 18, all students get an “experiential” credit towards their degrees. Scenario 1: Athabasca College Perhaps a bit pessimistic?

187 <10% of students enrolled in AU degree programs. 100% of all courses delivered completely at-a- distance (i.e., no in-person components). All academics work at home as piece workers. All research involving equipment is done at other institutions. A few elite administrators run a credential business. For each year of age over 18, all students get an “experiential” credit towards their degrees. AU-Athabasca becomes an indoor shopping mall. Scenario 1: Athabasca College Perhaps a bit pessimistic?

188 >70% students enrolled and seriously working in AU degree programs. Perhaps a bit pie-in-the-sky? Scenario 2: Athabasca University

189 >70% students enrolled and seriously working in AU degree programs. <85% of all courses delivered completely at-a- distance, i.e. some provisions for in-person learning. Perhaps a bit pie-in-the-sky? Scenario 2: Athabasca University

190 >70% students enrolled and seriously working in AU degree programs. <85% of all courses delivered completely at-a- distance, i.e. some provisions for in-person learning. A semester system for low enrollment courses. Perhaps a bit pie-in-the-sky? Scenario 2: Athabasca University

191 >70% students enrolled and seriously working in AU degree programs. <85% of all courses delivered completely at-a- distance, i.e. some provisions for in-person learning. A semester system for low enrollment courses. A large campus in the Edmonton area equipped with offices, and a few classrooms and labs. Perhaps a bit pie-in-the-sky? Scenario 2: Athabasca University

192 >70% students enrolled and seriously working in AU degree programs. <85% of all courses delivered completely at-a- distance, i.e. some provisions for in-person learning. A semester system for low enrollment courses. A large campus in the Edmonton area equipped with offices, and a few classrooms and labs. >75% of academics are full-time professors and form a true community of scholars. Perhaps a bit pie-in-the-sky? Scenario 2: Athabasca University

193 >70% students enrolled and seriously working in AU degree programs. <85% of all courses delivered completely at-a- distance, i.e. some provisions for in-person learning. A semester system for low enrollment courses. A large campus in the Edmonton area equipped with offices, and a few classrooms and labs. >75% of academics are full-time professors and form a true community of scholars. Alberta Teachers Association accepts distance education and AU offers a B.Ed. Perhaps a bit pie-in-the-sky? Scenario 2: Athabasca University

194 >70% students enrolled and seriously working in AU degree programs. <85% of all courses delivered completely at-a- distance, i.e. some provisions for in-person learning. A semester system for low enrollment courses. A large campus in the Edmonton area equipped with offices, and a few classrooms and labs. >75% of academics are full-time professors and form a true community of scholars. Alberta Teachers Association accepts distance education and AU offers a B.Ed. AU recognized as a peer by U of A, U of C and U of L. Perhaps a bit pie-in-the-sky? Scenario 2: Athabasca University

195 Multiple-choice Questions To whom do I owe lunch?

196 Multiple-choice Questions To whom do I owe lunch? –All correct?

197 Multiple-choice Questions To whom do I owe lunch? –All correct? –One incorrect?

198 Multiple-choice Questions To whom do I owe lunch? –All correct? –One incorrect? –Two incorrect?

199 Multiple-choice Questions To whom do I owe lunch? –All correct? –One incorrect? –Two incorrect? –Three incorrect?

200 Questions? Comments? ? ? ?

201 An Academic Ending “What we call the beginning is often the end and to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.” T.S. Eliot

202 Epilogue Gary Larson, 1994

203 Epilogue Today, your lecturer was me, whose 30- year AU career has culminated in “An Academic’s Life at Athabasca University”.

204 Epilogue Today, your lecturer was me, whose 30- year AU career has culminated in “An Academic’s Life at Athabasca University”. I plan to retire at the end of this year. Today, your lecturer was me, whose 30- year AU career has culminated in “An Academic’s Life at Athabasca University”. I plan to retire at the end of this year.

205 I’ll turn off the lights when I leave.


Download ppt "An Academic’s Life at Athabasca University Before this talk begins, attendees should obtain and answer the multiple-choice questions that were mentioned."

Similar presentations


Ads by Google