The week before last, Deloitte – that redoubtable home for “Big Thinking” management consultant types who are nevertheless not big-enough-thinking for McKinsey – released a paper entitled The Intelligence Revolution: Future Proofing Canada’s Workforce. To call it as dumb as a bag of hammers would be deeply unfair to hand tools. Do you remember Otto, Kevin Kline’s character from A Fish Called Wanda? The one who thought he was an intellectual despite his evident vacuity? This paper is the literary embodiment of Otto.
Last week Statscan sent me a consultation form asking my opinions about their ideas on how to change UCASS (the University and College Academic Staff Survey, which like most Statscan products containing the word “college” does not actually include the institutions most of us call “colleges” i.e. community colleges). I’ve already said something about this effort back here to the effect that focussing so much effort on data collection re: part-time staff is a waste of time, but the consultation guide makes … [ Read More ]
We seem to be in a period in Canada where money for “skills” is in vogue, mainly because it is seen as a panacea for lots of quite separate problems. At a really high-order level, you’ve got the Innovation ministry in Ottawa pounding the drum on skills because the tech industry says skills are a bottleneck to whatever kind of tech-powered Nirvana the Minister imagines Canada to be headed towards. And then you’ve got the Employment and Social Development Ministry … [ Read More ]
No, not Dwayne Johnson (though You’re Welcome is indeed a great song). I’m talking about Newfoundland (and Labrador), where the Minister of Advanced Education, Gerry Byrne, has decided to pick a fight with Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN).
Why, you ask? Good question.
MUN is in a position somewhat like the one the University of Alberta faced a couple of years ago, only worse. Up to about 2012, a decade of hydrocarbon-fueled provincial budgets made MUN a pretty fun place. The provincial … [ Read More ]
People are asking why I haven’t talked about the Naylor Report (aka the Review of Fundamental Science) yet. The answer, briefly, is i) I’m swamped ii) there’s a lot to talk about in there and iii) I want to have some time to think it over. But I did have some thoughts about chapter 3, where I think there is either an inadvertent error or the authors are trying to pull a fast one (and if it’s the latter I … [ Read More ]