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Brightest and best victims of institutional incest

Why is it that our best graduates are still here? Perhaps a job at UFV is the best any of us can hope for. Yes, valedictorians, students represented in UFV’s Leadership magazine Standout (hopefully it’s just a coincidence that it shares the name of a failed SUS slate from just a few years ago), and generally successful students have all graduated and taken up administrative staff positions here at UFV. Those former poster children for UFV’s marketing team are now members of the Faculty and Staff Association (FSA).

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By Claire Molina (Contributor) – Email

Date Posted: September 15, 2011
Print Edition: September 14, 2011

I’m sure many of you have heard that Harvard graduates are realizing that the best way to find work after graduation is to start their own business. Some former Harvardites, like facebook’s Mark Zuckerburg, have become poster-boys for this theory (even though Zuckerburg didn’t bother to finish his degree). In light of this, it’s interesting to note what some of UFV’s brightest graduates are doing after they finish at our illustrious institution.

Oh wait, they’re still here.

Yes, valedictorians, students represented in UFV’s Leadership magazine Standout (hopefully it’s just a coincidence that it shares the name of a failed SUS slate from just a few years ago), and generally successful students have all graduated and taken up administrative staff positions here at UFV. Those former poster children for UFV’s marketing team are now members of the Faculty and Staff Association (FSA). I guess we could call this moving up in the world.

Now I’d like to point out that this isn’t meant as some sort of mockery of former UFV students-turned-staff. I can understand loving this institution so much that you don’t want to leave. But one has to wonder how many people begin their academic career hoping for a minor position here at UFV. The answer, quite obviously, is not many.

So why is it that our best graduates are still here? One reply is that UFV is a great place to work, and is lucky to be able to pull from their pool of successful graduates, graduates that UFV has already trained, graduates that are familiar with this institution, yaddah yaddah yaddah. UFV is proud of their graduates and is willing to back that up by hiring them (not, of course, for key positions like President of our much-loved institution though).

However, the FSA’s on-going struggle with the University, and the continual budget problems that plague UFV suggest that this is not an ideal place to be employed. Add to that the University’s hiring freeze, which guarantees that the current employees are overworked, and you have a somewhat less-than-your-dream-job work environment.

Perhaps a job at UFV is the best any of us can hope for. That, or a job at a great place like Envision Financial. It certainly beats some of the bigger local employers like EV Logistics or Stream. At least you get benefits here.

A quick peek at the posting on the Career Centre’s website reveals that postings targeting UFV’s graduates are slim. Most positions are work-study positions, with the odd “Teach English Overseas!” ad. For a school with such a strong business focus, and with so many high marks from the Globe and Mail, this is shocking. You’d think Fraser Valley businesses would be lining up to hire our graduates.

Maybe the reality is that the degrees offered by UFV are almost worthless. So many courses are easy to slouch through that we are not producing exceptional graduates by the boatload. What else are we supposed to think when the best that the brightest amongst us can hope for is a fulltime position here at UFV, except that our degrees are valueless in the real world?

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