79 year old pursuing PhD

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by BlueMason, Oct 27, 2016.

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  1. BlueMason

    BlueMason Audaces fortuna juvat

  2. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

    Satisfying story.

    I've written in my books, and here, about a reader who started a mostly-non-resident regionally-accredited PhD at 96, and finished at 99. He had been thrown out of Columbia 70 years earlier, because they would not accept his proposed dissertation on the causes of a coming world war. (This was in 1913.) I tried to persuade Columbia to readmit him as a goodwill (and PR) gesture, but they said no, he would taking the chair from a person who had a whole career ahead.
     
  3. Phdtobe

    Phdtobe Well-Known Member

    I have mixed opinions on this. I am in agreement with Columbia's position. However, I also support anyone at any age perusing education.
     
  4. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    Columbia University couldn't create a special slot for him??
     
  5. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    In other words, he was right and they were wrong. Who wants to be constantly reminded of that?
     
  6. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    Such a long period of time had passed it's extremely unlikely that any of them had been personally involved in the earlier decision making process. Why would it bother them?
     
  7. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Maybe it wouldn't, but people do tend to have odd collectivist notions about this sort of thing when their employer becomes part of their self-identity.
     
  8. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    I don't know if that's true or not. I could make the case that "they" are just as likely to want to correct an old mistake, create some good PR and get some warm and fuzzy feelings going.
     
  9. decimon

    decimon Well-Known Member

    As I learned from Dempsey and Makepeace, life is hard and then you die. Universities make many decisions regarding admissions so I have to side with Columbia.
     
  10. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    I wish I had a dollar for every time I've heard (not just in education), "We can't do that, we've always done it this way", or "We can't just change the rules like that", usually from a person who unquestionably has the power/authority to create a waiver, make an exception, or change the rules.

    It's maddeningly frustrating.
     
  11. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    All I hear in those circumstances is, "I'm too lazy to think."
     
  12. decimon

    decimon Well-Known Member

    @Bruce
    @SteveFoerster

    Why a waiver in this case? Because you're aware of this case? Other people turned down don't matter?

    Columbia does surely turn down multiple applicants each year. Generic U will take him and he can have his PhD.
     
  13. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    In this case my cursory opinion is that because it sounds like people acting on behalf of Columbia University wronged him in the first place, it would be best for people acting on behalf of Columbia University to err on the side of making up for it.

    That's based off of John's description. I might update my opinion with more information.

    As for other people not mattering, no one has mentioned any other cases so it's awfully difficult to have any sort of opinion about them.
     
  14. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    perusing education or pursuing education?
     
  15. decimon

    decimon Well-Known Member


    First you peruse and then you pursue and then you purpose.
     
  16. Phdtobe

    Phdtobe Well-Known Member

     

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