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January 23, 2008
One of the TAs in my group office had a public conniption today over her student evaluations from last semester. The packets had been put in all our mailboxes, now that grades are a done deal. Her fellow Ph.D. candidate talked her down with something about statistical variation, and how students are know-nothing, don’t-listen, can’t-do kids who will probably write better as a result of her class but resented the work of being made to learn.
January 23, 2008
Just as public colleges were starting to recover from 2001 recession, the current economic crisis threatens to reverse gains, a new report finds.
January 21, 2008
I had a lightbulb moment this weekend. Simply put, there's a basic gap between the dialogue in higher ed, and the dialogue outside higher ed. It goes like this:In higher ed: "It's a shame how adjunct-heavy we've gone. We really need to hire more full-time faculty."Outside higher ed: "Tuition and taxes are too high, and going up too fast. Who do those people think they are?"They're both right.
January 21, 2008
UD has no idea why the University of Michigan seems to be holding this year's graduation on the campus of Eastern Michigan University, but the decision is certainly pissing off a lot of graduating seniors. One of them, in an opinion piece in the student newspaper, reviews four years of complaints she's accumulated against this much-sought-after school. Her case against the University of Michigan is worth looking at in some detail, since it lists many sad elements of the modern university.
January 21, 2008
The website for mtv U. has a page of video responses by professors around the country to student comments at RateMyProfessors.com. The profs are largely goodhumored and relaxed, so while their responses provide no more details than the original student comments, they somehow manage to be disarming.Except maybe Professor Adams of Pace University, accused of speaking in monotone, whom I find the most endearing of all.
January 21, 2008
I can rattle off the many ways in which football is evil, but I still enjoy watching the very occasional game. (Where I grew up, the world was divided fairly clearly into two kinds of people: Buffalo Bills fans, and People Who Are Not From Around Here. I still shudder at the mere mention of the name "Scott Norwood.") Last night I finally got to watch my first game of the season. Last night's highlight reel, with the camera trained on the living room:
January 18, 2008
My intern brought me my tray in bed this morning as usual, with my copy of Inside Higher Ed, still damp from the press, folded neatly next to my coffee and grapefruit.
January 18, 2008
Just thinking out loud here...Why isn't it more common to have, say, yearlong faculty exchanges between relatively nearby colleges? "I'll trade you a senior anthropologist for a business prof and a second-round draft pick." The faculty exchanged would be paid by their original institutions, and the time would count toward seniority at their original institutions. It would be restricted to folks with tenure, so there'd be no issue of how to count it on the tenure clock. The costs would be minimal, especially if the program were voluntary (whichit would have to be).
January 17, 2008
UD learned a new phrase at the NCAA convention: Bench Decorum. People who discuss bench decorum worry about the growing tendency of players, fans, and coaches to speak and behave in a vile manner during games. Here's a recent, somewhat controversial, example, from the Georgetown University newspaper:The cheer began just one minute 47 seconds into the game, when the University of Connecticut's A.J. Price stepped up to the foul line for his first free throw of the afternoon.
January 16, 2008
Thanks to everyone who answered yesterday's call! It helped, actually.Doc made a comment that particularly struck me, and that I didn't want to answer deep in the comments. (Doc is, himself, a former dean.) In drawing a distinction between managers in corporate settings and managers in higher ed, he noted that:

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