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Thoughts after Proposal Defense

Phew, just finish my PhD proposal defense this morning so I deserve a post now. I think it should be fine. No one rejected my ideas, but just some curious questions and scrutinisation on my writing (ugh…). I hate non-constructive opinions but luckily there weren’t any.

I’m not really sure what to say now, but perhaps I’ll go with the closest one I can think of…

It’s a pity and sad thing really, to find some of your close colleagues leaving for somewhere else (sometimes better places), or for a change of job/line. So, what does that turn my attention to? What made them leave? Management? (oh yes, sure) Policies? (likely) Environment? (maybe) Pay? (not that we’re living on scraps but it’s pretty OK, hehehe) By the way, the tutors are not being paid well enough, not well enough to compete with industry levels. So just say, if I was a fresh graduate looking for a decent-paying job but having post-graduate as a possible option, I may as well skip this meagre-looking offer and try gaining experience in the industry (with more pay too!). This is a true but discouraging fact of Malaysian academic and research. But oh well, interest counts as well. If people are really interested in research, pay should never be a deterrent in the first place. Never.

Speaking of research in Malaysia, I recently browsed through some stats on technology transfer and creation from the UN Human Development Report of 2006 and discovered some appalling stats. That warrants another post.

We are no industrial or sales or commercial corporation, where staff turnover is high. People come in, people move out. Research is long-term, it requires dedication, and stability. So is such a “turnover” phenomenon healthy for a university? Heck no!

Looks like my enthusiasm for academics and research is boiling over right now (for good reasons). I’m just getting so perplexed nowadays at our ability to retain talents. It’s fairly true in education, research and also the country as a whole. I’m in no position here to criticise or poke statements about how run a university (or nation) as I’m no expert in that, but I firmly believe in something called the common sense. No doubt, decisions from authorities should be respected. But would most people want to “try” respect bad, unfriendly policies? Institutions should work hard to keep their best people, and similarly of course, should also work hard to rid off rubbish and junk that no one wants.

Just in case this causes panic among colleagues, not to worry hehe! (Lest the Dean kills me for writing this…) We are in no state of alarm here, I hope. We have a new building now, a new leaf. Even the bees love our new building.

1 comment(s) to this post

i so agree with your point of view. u take care :)

#1eileen  ::  12 February 2007, 12:37  ::  #

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