Including Blogs in Tenure & Promotion

Inspired by this blog post: http://andreweckford.blogspot.ca/2012/10/would-you-include-your-blog-in-your-t.html and the ensuing twitter conversation: https://twitter.com/andreweckford/status/260737094056542210 I decided to write a more in-depth response on my blog.

Compared to the rest of the group in the twitter convo, I am probably the most junior being a grad student still (the others are librarians and professors in various stages). The general consensus seems to be that while a forward facing department may consider a blog in their criteria, there are not clear cut rules to support blogs in the process and most people would not include it.

When I get to that stage in my career, however, I’ll try my best to shoehorn it in somehow. I’m of the opinion that any modern academic department should be considering blogs and even social media accounts in the T&P process. These types of things show how engaged an academic is with the public. We need more engaged professors and research students. The general public pays for our work (for the most part) and we should make them aware of what they are paying for.

As mentioned in the twitter conversation, the benefits of blogging and social media alone in terms of connections and collaborations with other researchers end up showing up on the resume anyways with publications and projects. However, I think there is also value in the quality of a blog itself.

As for the less professional posts, I think these also have some value. As long as they aren’t the type someone should be embarrassed about, I think they also still add value. They humanize the professor for the students and the general public and make the professor more approachable. Sometimes its also nice to read these peoples’ opinions on issues outside of their expertise.

My blog has been going for about three or four years now, and while I think the quality of the posts are not as good as the others in the Twitter conversation, it has some value since it has documented some of the journey through grad school, some of the work I’ve done and some of my thoughts that would otherwise just disappeared into the ether. Clearly this is something people are interested in since I regularly get around 2500 hits per month on the site. These types of statistics may be the type of thing to include in T&P files. The number of hits, followers on twitter, retweets, “klout” – all show the level of engagement of the professor. On the other hand, this could just lead to a race to the bottom of constant meaningless social engagement, but I’d still prefer a prof who tweets too much to one who is alone in their bubble.

CIS Career Night @ University of Guelph

On January 28th, the Computer Science department at the University of Guelph is having their annual Career Night. It’s being put on with the help of CISters and some other campus student groups. I attended one of these events last year and met some really interesting people. Anyone who is at Guelph and can attend should definitely go! At the career night, many alumnus of the computer program at Guelph are invited back to the school to share their experiences and to answer questions about their career since graduating.

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University of Guelph Research Day – Winter ’08

University of Guelph Research Day Winter 08

On December 2nd and 4th 2008, Research Day for the Computer Science Department at the University of Guelph is taking place. Research Day is a day where many of the graduate and some undergraduate students present research projects in various stages. For the graduate students the projects consist of initial results and proposals for thesis documents while the undergrads present results from their research projects.

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PerWin Research Group @ the University of Guelph

Today I completed the listing page for all of the presentations our research group PerWin at the University of Guelph has made in the last year or so. PerWin stands for Pervasive Computing and Wireless Networking Research. The group is directed by my advisor, Dr. Mieso Denko and has several graduate students who are active research members in the group. We have given presentations on topics ranging from Wireless Mesh Networks protocols, Autonomous networks, Fair Scheduling, Load Balancing, RFID, Wireless Security and much more. We have also had special invited talks by several faculty members from various Universities around Ontario (Ryerson, UOIT).

reynolds building, computing department, university of guelph

Reynolds Building @ University of Guelph where PerWin meets regularly

Check out the schedule page here for the list of presentations, presenters and topics. There are also listings of many of the websites for the presenters which may be a good resource for people interested in our work. If you are a faculty member interested in giving a talk contact Dr. Mieso Denko at the University of Guelph.

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Ontario College / Uni Students get Free Money!

money

Not exactly related to computer science, but I thought it would be a helpful post anyways to anyone who might be an Ontario student reading this blog…

I just found out today from Guelph that full-time Ontario College and University students can apply for a textbook / technology grant worth a $100. It may not sound like much but free money is free money and the application takes all of 10 seconds online. That sounds like a pretty sweet hourly rate to me (plus I’m a broke college student myself). Here’s the link if anyone is interested: https://osap.gov.on.ca/eng/eng_osap_main.html. Just click login and look for TTG. According to the FAQ it doesn’t require any proof of financial need or any proof you’ve actually spent the money on textbooks so it’s pretty much no strings attached. For more information about it visit this link: https://osap.gov.on.ca/eng/not_secure/plan_grants_full_sepapp_ttg_12345.htm

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