Wednesday, 2 January 2013

who said...

that graduate supervision does not pay direct rewards? Of course, there is the enormous pleasure (and occasional pain) of directing a thesis, batting ideas back and forth, seeing a young mind blossom... and the best then go off to great jobs somewhere, become co-authors, etc. For the most part, these are the benefits for the faculty doing PhD supervision. A senior colleague of mine once suggested we should levy a 10% on the earnings of our grad students, to align incentives (he also suggested econ faculty should be traded like football teams, with the whole outfit moving from one university to the next). What he is pointing out, of course, is that  - like so much else in academia - we do a lot of work with our PhD students, for no immediate material benefit at all. Typically, graduate teaching and supervision don't count for the teaching requirement; there is no extra pay, etc. A warm thank you? Some reflected glory? Sure. But anything more tangible - no. So you can imagine my surprise (and delight) when a former PhD student of mine decided to treat his old advisor to an upgrade to first class, no less, on my trip to the AEA meetings in San Diego... thank you! The email notification just popped up in my inbox yesterday. Totally unexpected, and very much appreciated. 

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