Ryerson faculty is smartening up

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By Cherion Drakes

Studying while working part time made Ryerson professor Peter Pille lose a lot of sleep, but it was worth it.

“I guess [I] was like some of our students,” said Pille. “I understand their frustrations.”

Pille, a professor in the School of Business Management, completed his PhD in Industrial Engineering at the University of Toronto last December.

In last year’s Maclean’s university rankings, Ryerson placed last in the category for faculty with PhDs in undergraduate schools. But the school hopes that will change.

“Having faculty with PhDs is desirable for the university because it would benefit their research and teaching efforts,” said Michael Dewson, Ryerson’s VP faculty and staff affairs.

More than 40 Ryerson faculty members are pursuing their PhDs. In business, two of 10 professors have received their PhDs since 1993. The School of Nursing expects three of nine full-time professors to receive PhDs this year.

“We are as flexible as possible with faculty pursuing their doctorates,” said Sue Williams, School of Nursing director. “Some are studying part time while they teach, and others are on sabbatical.”

Mike Burke, assistant professor in the Department of Politics, said having his PhD benefits his students. “It forces you to keep up to date with literature and your research, and compliments your teaching.”

Ryerson has no agreement to award salary increases to faculty getting PhDs. “No one is doing this for financial reasons,” said Mary Foster, of the School of Business. “It’s for the sure love of doing it.”


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