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Author Topic: Oxford Round Table  (Read 507855 times)
lemonbar
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« on: November 14, 2006, 3:59:15 PM »

Can anyone tell me about this? Have you ever been invited to attend?
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untenured
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« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2006, 4:06:54 PM »

A few years ago I received an invitation to the ORT.  I don't know much about it, but what I've learned led me to conclude it is entirely non-prestigious.  Here's what made me suspicious:

- invitation sent to me very early in my career, no reason to pick me out for this
- appeared that name "Oxford" was just trading on the name.  It was not run or sanctioned by Oxford just held at Oxford or nearby or something like that
- invitation was vague and they basically wanted anyone from any topic
- price of the event was really steep
- no submission standards
- invitation not customized whatsoever beyoned what a mail merge can do

Thus, I concluded the invitation was not worth the paper it was printed on and I threw it away.

Untenured
« Last Edit: November 09, 2007, 10:16:58 AM by moderator » Logged

Quote from: kedves link=topic=56697.msg1152543#msg1152543
You are among the Pure and Truthful, however small their Number.
My goodness, that was an exceptionally good analysis of the forum.
fiona
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« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2006, 2:02:59 AM »

I agree with Untenured. I get invited every year, but it's not for my greatness or genius qualities (alas). I must be on some mailing list, too.

The Fiona
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The Fiona or Them FionŠ or Fiona the Sublime

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lemonbar
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« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2006, 11:50:48 AM »

I figured it was some bogus thing, especially given the cost to attend. And the fact that the address was not handwritten, but computer generated (as if this was part of a mass mailing). And that the focus of the material seems to be on sightseeing and staying at a nice place, rather than the actual round table.
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untenured
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« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2006, 11:41:20 AM »

Believe it or not, I just received a letter from the Oxford Round Table people inviting me to their "conference".  I googled them and discovered that a number of not-so-selective colleges promote their faculty's attendance with pride.

Check out this blog, which confirms our suspicions.

http://doctorlizardo.blogspot.com/2005_10_01_doctorlizardo_archive.html

Untenured
« Last Edit: September 14, 2007, 11:17:36 AM by moderator » Logged

Quote from: kedves link=topic=56697.msg1152543#msg1152543
You are among the Pure and Truthful, however small their Number.
My goodness, that was an exceptionally good analysis of the forum.
espagnole
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L'etat, c'est moi


« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2006, 9:40:20 PM »

I have received invitations for the past three years and agree with the other posts that the ORT looks suspicious and bogus. Oxford is a lovely city, and I recommend visiting it either on vacation or as part of a legitimate conference or scholarly event.
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snape
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« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2006, 6:32:20 AM »

$3000 (aacording to the blog) How long does it go on for?
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walker_percy
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« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2006, 11:17:24 PM »

I have gotten an invitation, along with several other colleagues. Don't waste your and/or your school's money.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2007, 11:03:42 AM by moderator » Logged
genespleen2
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That's a big chicken.


« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2006, 8:25:23 AM »

Yep, I've received two invitations from them in the last couple of years.  Very suspicious, judging by the seeming quality of "forums" held there, at least as seen in a quick net-search.  Also, the routine attachment of the word "prestigious" to the words "Oxford Round Table" raises red flags.  They should just go ahead and make "Prestigious" part of the official moniker.
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ukprof
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« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2006, 9:09:46 AM »

I'm really glad to see someone has posted on this.

I teach at Oxford and was recently contacted by two colleagues from the US who were 'invited speakers' for the Oxford Roundtable and wanted to know about its history, quality, etc. After some checking, it became clear that this is essentially a group that rents space from the University when classes are out of term. The pricetag to attend is about $4000 total. I don't know what their written materials look like, but their website does indeed make it look like this is an Oxford University sponsored conference. If you look harder, there is a link to a disclaimer which means they can't be sanctioned legally (I suppose) but in my view they are clearly misleading people.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2007, 11:06:53 AM by moderator » Logged
snape
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« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2006, 11:06:56 AM »

I noticed a lot of a recommendations came from people working in US high schools, rather than people who work at universities.
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untenured
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« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2006, 4:50:39 PM »

One wonders why the University does not stop them on grounds of trademark infringment or 'passing off'. 

Untenured
« Last Edit: September 14, 2007, 11:07:54 AM by moderator » Logged

Quote from: kedves link=topic=56697.msg1152543#msg1152543
You are among the Pure and Truthful, however small their Number.
My goodness, that was an exceptionally good analysis of the forum.
ukprof
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Posts: 7


« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2006, 5:01:22 AM »

To be fair, I don't think the University knows much about this, and doubt they have reviewed the materials being sent out. The colleges rent their facilities during breaks, and I imagine this group looked like any other. After looking at some of the various academic press releases online (from participants' universities) it does appear that people genuinely believe they have been invited by Oxford University and this makes me wonder if some have included this in their tenure portfolio. That could be a disaster.
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untenured
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« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2006, 12:53:01 PM »

I presume the ORT has mass-mailed thousands of faculty over a period of years about this event.  I presume thousands because folks of all stripes, professions, and regions seem to get these letters.  The university must be aware by now what is going on.  I cannot see how they are not aware.

As for other schools, I conclude that people genuinely believe they have been invited to something prestigious:

http://www.erskine.edu/news/ro.08.04.04.html - PR article about Erskine College dean of students invited.  The article talks about Oxford U.

http://www.marshallparthenon.com/media/storage/paper534/news/2005/11/18/News/Mu.Professor.Invited.To.Oxford.Round.Table-1110698.shtml?norewrite200612141151&sourcedomain=www.marshallparthenon.com

Apparently it's a big deal at Marshall University too.

Note this quote, "She will join a small group of approximately 35 academics, lawyers and public officials from all over the world who have an interest in or work in the criminal justice field. "

Just search for "Oxford Round Table" on yahoo and you will see school after school that lists attendance by one of its faculty with pride.

Untenured
« Last Edit: September 14, 2007, 11:10:15 AM by moderator » Logged

Quote from: kedves link=topic=56697.msg1152543#msg1152543
You are among the Pure and Truthful, however small their Number.
My goodness, that was an exceptionally good analysis of the forum.
wegie
Unemployed & unemployable
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« Reply #14 on: December 15, 2006, 7:36:21 AM »

One wonders why the University does not stop them on grounds of trademark infringment or 'passing off'.  They do not act likely because they profit from the venture.  But why would Oxford want its brand tarnished like that, even if it is a small tarnishment?

Ah, but what trademarks are they infringing? Oxford (the uni) owns the rights to the "University of Oxford" and "Oxford University" names and is very good nowadays at protecting them, but it has no rights in respect of the name "Oxford". In fact, Oxford has been attached to so many things over the past couple of hundred years that I suspect it's pretty much fair game in trademark terms. As long as the ORT people make sure that they have a disclaimer saying that they're not the University (and they do), all the university can do is grind its teeth in frustration.

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