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Margin Notes

Wanted: faculty columnist

University Affairs seeks a professor who writes well and has lots to say about university life.


This is a guest post by my colleague Peggy Berkowitz, editor of University Affairs.

Are you a full-time faculty member at a Canadian university who makes endless mental notes about your work and the university environment, and who likes to write for a broad audience? If so, we may have a job for you.

University Affairs is seeking a professor at a Canadian university to write five columns a year for the magazine and website; the assignment usually lasts one or two years.

Over the last decade, several people have filled the role of faculty columnist. Each brought a different slant (and title) to the column. Christine Overall wrote about all kinds of philosophical issues in the university community, from student concerns to teaching, from research to governance, through a lens as a feminist and professor of philosophy at Queen’s University. Craig Monk, before he was named dean of arts and science at MacEwan University, hoped to inspire a conversation among colleagues with his passionate views about faculty members’ teaching, learning and service roles. Alan MacEachern elegantly ties together unique observations from the perch of associate professor, “that long middle stretch of the academic marathon,” as he called it in his first column in this space.

Soon, Alan will be taking a sabbatical from his work at Western University and couldn’t be persuaded to stay with us another year, so that is why the hunt has begun.
If you’re curious about your workplace and the broader university community and have ideas that you’re burning to share with colleagues and others, you might be the right person. If you’ve written for a general-interest audience and enjoy working with firm deadlines and short essays (about 800 words), the role might interest you. The space offers great freedom because I don’t assign topics though I am always happy to discuss ideas with the writer. So far, the columnists have found that having a broad topic as a framework works best.

And finally, if you’re asking why I am looking for a fulltime faculty member, it’s because we already have regular columnists writing as an administrator and a sessional faculty member. The website also hosts blogs by a graduate student, two postdocs and a PhD-holder writing about career paths outside academia.

If you think you might be the person we’re seeking, or – equally relevant – if you know someone who is, please write me at [email protected]. I can also answer questions about the gig.

Léo Charbonneau
Léo Charbonneau is a former editor of University Affairs.
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