Advice for how to nurture your career network (essay)


Joseph Barber explains how, as with the plants in your garden, the people in your career network need nurturing to thrive.

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Thursday, June 29, 2017
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Don’t Network Like I Garden

AAUP Condemns Threats Against Faculty Members

The American Association of University Professors on Thursday condemned a recent pattern of threats against faculty members for their public comments. “We are dismayed that another faculty member, John Eric Williams of Trinity College [in Connecticut], has become the target of a flood of threats following reports about his social media postings by the right-wing media outlet Campus Reform,” AAUP said in a statement. “We support and stand with our colleagues and campus communities whose academic freedom is threatened. The free exchange of ideas is incompatible with an atmosphere of fear.”

Williams was threatened, triggering a temporary campus shutdown this week, after Campus Reform and other websites shared some of his Facebook posts about race; Williams has since said they were taken out of context.

“This is the second time this month that an institution of higher education has had to close down in response to threats, disrupting education and creating an environment of fear on campus,” AAUP said, referring to another temporary campus shutdown at Evergreen State College over threats related to a faculty member’s public questioning of a planned day of protest there. Several other faculty members on other campuses also have been physically threatened and harassed online in recent weeks.

“We condemn the practice, becoming all too common, of bombarding faculty members and institutions of higher education with threats,” reads AAUP’s statement. “When one disagrees with statements made by others, threats of violence are not the appropriate response. Such threatening messages are likely to stifle free expression and cause faculty and others on campus to self-censor so as to avoid being subjected to similar treatment. Targeted online harassment is a threat to academic freedom.”

The association earlier this year released a set of institutional recommendations for dealing with targeted online harassment of professors.

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Microbiology society cuts back on small conferences


Decision by the American Society for Microbiology to scale back number of small conferences highlights pressures on the economics of scholarly gatherings.

Professors: time to reconsider reliance on anti-plagiarism tool

Turnitin has received its share of complaints regarding its accuracy, although it remains the standard bearer for plagiarism detection. Likewise, some writing professors have long said they fear reliance on the service has led colleges to abandon efforts to teach students about academic integrity.

Colleges offer online summer courses for residential students

Colleges find their own residential students are good targets for distance learning this time of year, with education and financial payoffs.

Google Classroom not in the college classroom

Using the Classroom platform, instructors can post announcements, share documents, create self-grading assessments and more. But it's no substitute for the LMS. 

CAEL tool measures support of adult students

The Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) has launched a tool that allows colleges and universities to measure their support of their adult students. Adult Learner 360 compares the institutions' effectiveness against adult students’ perceptions using two surveys: one that captures the importance and effectiveness of the institutions' activities, policies and practices, and one that measures the satisfaction of the adult learners.

Online students want interaction and to graduate fast

Results of a study released yesterday indicate that fully online learners select programs close to home, desire more interaction with their instructors and peers and want to graduate quickly.

Wash U Full-Time, Non-Tenure-Track Professors Vote Down Union

Full-time, non-tenure-track faculty members teaching within Washington University in St. Louis’s College of Arts and Sciences voted against forming a union affiliated with Service Employees International Union, according to election results certified this week by the National Labor Relations Board. The final tally was 50 against and 35 in favor of unionization, not including an additional 29 challenged ballots.

The university said in a statement, “Our priority at the university has been -- and will be -- keeping lines of communication open and working directly with our faculty to address issues of mutual concern. The election results will allow us to continue those efforts.” SEIU did not immediately provide comment. Part-time faculty members on campus are affiliated with the union and ratified their first collective bargaining agreement with the administration last year.

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CIC consortium offers way for small colleges to develop online courses

Liberal arts colleges see joint online courses as providing breadth of offerings that may be financially impossible with traditional instruction.



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