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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.
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.

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