Sometimes you have to read a story two or three times to make sure you’re reading it right. As in:
A PhD candidate is hoping the University of Alberta changes its practice on publishing theses after hers was rejected for spelling her [Urdu] name in Arabic script.
Sarah Shakil, a doctoral candidate in biological sciences and ecology, successfully defended her thesis in January — the culmination of years of hard work and the final hurdle for getting her PhD. The next step was to deposit the thesis through an online system, after which it would be published and forwarded to various Canadian theses collections.
But the document previously reviewed by her supervisor and multiple examiners was rejected for including her name in Arabic script on the title page, with her name in Roman script in a smaller font just below. …
Shakil petitioned administration to do so but was told the university needed to follow institutional policy and the title page as-is was divergent from formatting regulations.
The minimum thesis formatting requirements guide makes no mention of language script requirements. It says matters of style are for candidates to decide, subject to certain rules. (from the CBC)
Shakil told the CBC: “It suggests that everybody else who’s not a European identity is not welcome or they have to set aside their cultural background and conform to that university culture.”
This is what the name on the title page looked like:
Several days after the CBC report, Shakil tweeted that the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research, Brooke Milne, wrote a three-page letter to her denying her request to use her Urdu name in Arabic script on the title page. You can read the whole letter via Shakil’s tweet. I went on a long walk this afternoon attempting to summon sufficient Canadian politesse to compose a courteous account of the Dean’s letter.
I failed utterly.