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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.
May 20, 2008 - 10:03am
Every so often, my usual discipline slips, and I actually venture a prediction in print. (If it's a blog, is it really 'in print'? I'm not sure what the cyber equivalent of that is. In pixel?) A few of them even turn out to be right. A couple months ago, referring to the badly bungled presidential search at Monroe Community College in Rochester, NY, I wrote:
May 19, 2008 - 9:51pm
It happens every year around this time: I lose an entire month. I start looking forward to May in about February, which is at least two weeks longer than it should be. In the gray gloom of mid-semester, May seems an impossible promise, almost a full month of good weather and unscheduled days. Finals, honors theses, and graduation will fly by, leaving me with an empty desk and a computer file full of ideas. As an academic parent I especially to look forward to May, when I'm out of school but the kids aren't: I plan all kinds of unlikely projects for those open weeks.
May 19, 2008 - 6:16pm
Today's issue leads with a story about how some community colleges are going to four-day schedules (MW/TTh classes only) to help students avoid commuting costs. When I first read it, my first inclination was to take an unearned victory lap.
May 19, 2008 - 5:29am
I received a letter with this title from “Amanda” -- a PhD student at an Ivy League institution who wants to know if she should jump ship. Her letter is excerpted here:
May 19, 2008 - 5:16am
This weekend, TW and I had a chance to visit a couple of really well-known college towns a few states away. (If you're in higher ed, you know them.) My Mom valiantly volunteered to watch TB and TG, so off we went, sans children. The travel was grueling - my kingdom for a cure for traffic - and our other obligations daunting, but we were able to set aside some time to wander the downtowns. I had forgotten how much I missed college towns.
May 17, 2008 - 10:57am
Under the terms of the ACUPCC, Greenback University's greenhouse gas inventory is due in September. The heavy lifting is now done -- we have the numbers in hand. We have reasonable estimates of Greenback's emissions from building operations -- HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning), electric, etc.; operation of the campus fleet; commuting by students, staff and faculty; and GU-paid air travel. Also a couple of other activities, but those are the big ones.
May 16, 2008 - 5:48am
1. Need goes unmet for extended period. 2. Unmet need strikes someone with connections. 3. New aid program proposed. Much fanfare. 4. "Christmas tree" amendments added, costs understated, bill passed, hosannas all around. 5. A year of implementation glitches, but spirits remain high. 6. Word gets out - more people than anticipated take advantage of the program. 7. Cost overruns. 8. Idiotic (possibly apocryphal) abuse case gets high public profile. 9. Means test proposed. Committees formed. Abuses investigated.

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