Tuesday, April 30, 2013

IN THE NEWS: No shortage of US STEM Talent

The Washington Post reports on a new study (titled: Guestworkers in the High-skill U.S. Labor Market: An analysis of supply, employment, and wage trends) that finds no shortage of domestic STEM talent. This study is limited to the IT sector and focuses on those with undergraduate degrees. While I believe that similar issues plague other STEM driven employment sectors, I'm a bit wary as to how the results of this study can be generalized so that the titles of the W.P. article and the study are warranted.  Cheers!

Monday, April 29, 2013

The End of an Era: The Scientist Publishes it's 10th (and final) "Best Places to Work:Postdocs" Survey

After 10 years of giving voice to the workforce concerns of postdocs, The Scientist is calling it quits.  (This year, the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research has set the standard of excellence.) Their claim is that a lot has changed since the first survey was taken in 2003. Most significantly, institutions take the compensation, quality of life, institutional support and mentoring concerns of postdocs far more seriously.  The author acknowledges that many issues, like the lack of tenure track positions, "continue to stress the postdoctoral researcher," so they are not turning their back on the postdoctoral research community. It is just that addressing the basic financial and workplace needs of postdocs, the motivation for this survey, appears to be of less concern.  Hopefully, the end of this survey and the publication of its results will not mark the end of an era--one where adequate consideration is given to the treatment of postdocs. 

This year's top ten (the top 25 are listed here):

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Report finds lingering racism in British higher education

My blog has been quiet for quite a while, but in an effort to revive my interest in higher education policy, I thought I'd simply post this Inside Higher Ed report which finds lingering racism in British higher education. Not that there is anything shocking or surprising in this report...and certainly this is not unique to Great Britain. It just strikes much closer to home now that I have chosen to work at a University. I feel that the dilemma about what to do is much more personal... do I demand change or redouble my commitment  to working "twice as hard"?