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Speculative Diction

BY MELONIE FULLICK | August 07 2015

In this post I’m taking a look at the latest book from Claire Polster and Janice Newson, A Penny for Your Thoughts. Polster and Newson have been researching and publishing about corporatization in Canadian universities for (literally) decades, with some of Newson’s earlier work going back to the 1980s (also check out The University Means […]


I don’t normally write quick responses to anything. It’s possibly a symptom of over-thinking, but also just a slow cogitation process; I usually have to let things sit for a while before I feel I’m ready to say something, so nothing I write in this blog is what you’d call a “hot take.” But there’s […]


The two systems are different, just not quite in the way a recent op-ed portrayed them.


If you follow the higher education news, stories of scandal and corruption relating to academic research pop up on a fairly regular basis. One such case, which exploded last month in the U.S., is that of Michael LaCour. Described in a New York Magazine article as “one of the biggest scientific frauds in recent memory,” […]


For the sake of institutional memory, universities need to foster a culture of collective documentation.


“I don’t know what’s happened to the kids today … we were different from the kids today in every way …” This week there’s been a sharp reaction to a recent piece in the New York Times, by Mark Bauerlein (a professor at Emory University). Bauerlein’s argument goes something like this: Today’s students don’t “engage” […]

BY MELONIE FULLICK | April 27 2015

Considering the abundance of media nowadays, whose contributions are ultimately considered legitimate and credible?

BY MELONIE FULLICK | March 25 2015

The wave of upcoming retirements is a myth and PhD numbers have little to do with the academic job market anyway.

BY MELONIE FULLICK | March 11 2015

To understand the current issues, we need to look back at the roots of the problem and how they have developed over time.

BY MELONIE FULLICK | February 13 2015

Melonie Fullick believes that the data on Canadian postsecondary education we have is flawed in ways that prevent us from fully describing the situation in relevant terms – which in turn has implications for policy.

BY MELONIE FULLICK | January 30 2015

Late last year you may have seen an article circulating in which linguist Steven Pinker, Harvard professor and author of books such as The Language Instinct and How the Mind Works, expended 5,500 words on the topic of academic writing and its many flaws. Pinker’s piece, subtly titled “Why Academics Stink at Writing” (there’s a […]

BY MELONIE FULLICK | January 15 2015

Melonie Fullick explores the pros and cons of using an e-reader in her academic research.

BY MELONIE FULLICK | December 23 2014

Melonie recaps the stories that inspired her blog posts from the last year.

BY MELONIE FULLICK | December 09 2014

How one UK professor’s death has sparked a wider conversation on academic bullying, research output expectations and the mental health of faculty.

BY MELONIE FULLICK | November 21 2014

On Monday while scrolling idly through my Twitter feed, I learned that the Guardian’s Higher Education Network in the U.K. has been nominated for an award for its coverage of mental health in academe. The Guardian’s recent coverage of this topic started with an anonymously written article on March 1 2014, which discussed the “culture […]

BY MELONIE FULLICK | November 06 2014

Reading through the higher ed news over the weekend, I came across an item that began with the line, “The newspaper and book businesses have been transformed in recent years. But not education.” That illustrious beginning (as well as the rest of the article) points to a problem with coverage of higher education: the way […]

BY MELONIE FULLICK | October 23 2014

I’m taking some time out in this post, to talk a bit self-indulgently about my approach to blogging – partly because I’m still asked pretty regularly about how and why I got started with writing a blog. I suppose it seems a bit random; this still isn’t really a common activity in academic circles, so […]

BY MELONIE FULLICK | October 16 2014

With the new academic year comes a new round of headlines and tweets promoting the Times Higher Ed rankings (THE) results for 2014; and each year, along with THE, other prominent international rankings such as the QS World University Rankings and the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) are part of the same cycle. There […]

BY MELONIE FULLICK | September 30 2014

You may have seen some of the articles on “crowdfunding” that have been bouncing around over the past couple of years. They’re generally positive accounts of researchers tapping into this newfound source of cash that enables them to work on projects that wouldn’t be eligible for support from the usual agencies (such as the Tri-Council […]

BY MELONIE FULLICK | September 03 2014

This post is the second part of a longer piece that address the issue of student engagement in the context of doctoral education. You can read the first part here. ————————————————————————————————— I think one of the biggest challenges of education policy is that we’re trying to get things to happen on purpose that often seem […]