Does your institution really need a new LMS?

Colleges and universities should avoid “shiny new object syndrome” when considering if they need to move to a new learning management system, writes Sasha Thackaberry.

Best Practices for Supporting Postdocs

Institutions that employ postdoctoral fellows should increase support for offices of postdoc affairs and offer postdocs better pay and benefits equal to those of other campus employees, according to a new report from the National Postdoctoral Association. The report, which is based on a 2016 survey of 130 association member institutions that hire postdocs, also recommends that campuses establish more generous parental leave and other family-friendly policies and track the careers of past postdocs.

“Improvements have been made in the postdoc experience,” Kate Sleeth, past chair of the association’s Board of Directors, said a statement. “However, there are still areas for growth.” The association says that its newly released data on postdoc stipends, benefits, appointment policies and access to training programs will help postdoc support services officers and other administrators identify best practices and improve working conditions for postdocs.

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Colleges start new academic programs

  • Austin Community College is starting a bachelor of science degree in nursing, for registered nurses who don't have a bachelor's degree. The program is the college's first bachelor's offering.
  • Bay Path University is starting a master of science in health-care management.

Pulse podcast features interview about Lovoco translation software


This month's episode of the Pulse podcast features an interview with Calvin Shum, CEO of Lovoco, whose speech and translation technologies include bilingual subtitling.

In the conversation with Rodney B. Murray, Shum discusses applications for making live and recorded lectures more accessible, among other things.

Co-editors discuss new book on teaching the literature survey course

Editors discuss the way a key teaching role has evolved -- and should evolve.

A professor resists departmental attempt to add a female author to class reading list for sake of gender balance

A departmental committee told a professor he had to teach Judith Butler in his class in the name of gender balance. He refused. As for Butler, she doesn’t want her work forced on him.

NLRB Certifies Columbia Grad Assistant Union Election

The National Labor Relations Board certified the election results for Columbia University’s new graduate assistant union this month, despite the institution’s challenge to the validity of last year's vote. Columbia argued that there were inconsistencies in voter identification procedures during the election, but the board in its two-to-one member decision said any confusion affected four votes at most — far less than the 979 vote margin of approval for the United Autoworkers-affiliated union. The new union has called on Columbia to begin engaging in collective bargaining.

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New calls for clear, easily accessible data on Ph.D. program outcomes in life sciences

Calls for clear, easily accessible data on Ph.D. program outcomes have failed to produce results at any kind of scale. A new coalition of 10 life sciences institutions hopes to change that.

Colleges start new programs

Should professors talk about now-notable former students?

Professors typically refrain from talking about their now-notable former students publicly, but some feel moved to do so in the public interest, good or bad.


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