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May 23, 2008 - 4:54am
In a conversation with one of my department chairs this week, addressing a move we're considering making to respond to a state mandate, he asked a variation on "how do we know this will work?" I responded that we didn't, but that we knew that doing nothing would surely fail, and that the move we're considering seemed the most reasonable choice available. If he had a better idea, I was happy to hear it, but in the past year that this has been on the table (and we've been discussing it and our possible responses), nothing better has come along.
May 23, 2008 - 4:47am
Super Nanny was cancelled tonight – replaced by Lost. As if pretty, stranded people battling unknown forces could replace my crack like addiction to Super Nanny. The woman is a Domestic Goddess. She has all the answers. What do I do about my son's constant whining? His inability to stay in his own bed? His obsession with pink socks? Super Nanny is the consummate hero. She flies into a chaotic home with her lists and chore boards and jars of shiny "privilege" marbles just waiting to be confiscated.
May 22, 2008 - 8:04am
On a recent Saturday, right in the middle of our weekly cleaning spree, an acquaintance called to invite my eight-year-old son over to play. She also suggested that I come along and relax in the garden "while the boys play." "I'm sorry," I replied, "I'm leaving the country next Friday and I am trying to get things in order before I leave." As soon as the last syllable left my mouth I regretted it. TMI. (Too Much Information.) I knew it.
May 21, 2008 - 11:17pm
Money shortages create all manner of frictions. Say you have a large group that believes, with varying levels of truth, that it's underpaid. Say that there's nowhere near enough money floating around to bring the entire group up to the level it wants. (Not that this ever happens, but bear with me.) Barring a visit from the Money Fairy, or a really drastic, from-the-ground-up restructuring in which absolutely everything is on the table, you basically have four choices:
May 21, 2008 - 1:25pm
Let me combine two university-related subjects I've been promising to write about -- online courses, which I've called the poor white trash of pedagogy, and student/professor affairs. These subjects, seemingly unrelated, might be considered together under the heading Live Souls, the working title of a book UD hopes to write this year during her sabbatical: Live Souls: Re-Animating the American University. ***
May 21, 2008 - 11:53am
As I wrote in a couple of earlier posts (here and here), I’ve long had an interest in independent publishing. Today I have an interview with an actual owner-operator of one such literary press that I’ve been watching.
May 21, 2008 - 8:07am
Each year some 57,000 newly awarded PhD’s enter the job market – way too many for all to find positions at desirable (or even less-than-desirable) colleges and universities. Is the time spent working toward a doctoral degree wasted if the PhD is unable to, or chooses not to land a top-notch academic job? No -- absolutely not. I contend that earning a PhD is a totally selfish pursuit. A graduate student works very diligently, inspired by profound personal interest, to discover or create something new, conduct a novel experiment, or uncover a great mystery.
May 20, 2008 - 10:42pm
This semester, I think my cc has set a new internal record for public presentations. We've been staging talks on issues of broad public interest – some by faculty, some by invited speakers – and opening them up to the community for free. Some have attracted significant community interest, some haven't, but we're starting to get some momentum.I'm honestly proud of this.
May 20, 2008 - 5:26pm
This interactive map showing current (not projected) global warming impact requires that you have Google Earth installed, but you probably have that, already. Not particularly higher-ed related, but definitely worth checking out.

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