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April 17, 2012
From philosophy classes to street corners, one can hear Niccolo Machiavelli's famous dilemma between love and fear regaled. Machiavelli instructed "the prince" that it was better to be feared than loved by the people, because in his view compliance derived more from the latter than the former. What is often forgotten about Machiavelli's formulation was his additional comment: the prince should never be hated. Perhaps what he meant ultimately was that the prince should be "respected," but that concept may be more dependent on a democratic society and therefore not even thinkable in the wildly volatile political landscape of Machiavelli's day in fifteenth century Florence.  
April 16, 2012
The news from Michigan that Northwestern Michigan College, a two-year school, has applied for permission to offer four-year degrees got me thinking about the entire concept.
April 16, 2012
Academics are some of the best complainers I know. In my field of English, I explain our penchant for complaining by saying that we are, after all, critics — and we can always find something to criticize. But it may be an occupational hazard for all academics — we spend an awful lot of our time, after all, grading, reviewing, and measuring, and things are bound to fall short more often than not. So we complain.
April 16, 2012
Much has been said about the (potential) impact of recent higher education policies of the English government, particularly regarding the effects of the increased fees on student access and participation and on the higher education institutions’ budgets. Now closer to the date—from September 2012—it is worthwhile to take stock.
April 15, 2012
These days, you can use a search engine like Google to find pretty much anything - from a local spa to information about Vienna. Noodle is attempting to allow users to find a wide range of learning opportunities. 
April 15, 2012
Where will the next generation of deans come from? It’s an increasingly urgent question, since the current crop is largely aging out of the profession. And in many settings, there’s no heir apparent at the ready.
April 15, 2012
My friend Joe Storch, who works as an attorney at the SUNY System Office, calls an idea that has been floating around regarding copyright infringement on campus networks for some time the "Grand Bargain." The idea is that content owners should provide students with free content through a portal that becomes a paid service once they leave college. I say "floating around" because some of us proposed this idea a number of years ago, when it was a fresh issue, but it was received then as a grand absurdity.
April 15, 2012
If we begin to ask students to write in different forms using electronic mediums and digital tools, do we also need to teach them about design? 
April 15, 2012
Recently, there’s been considerable interest in how academics can evaluate the impact of social media outputs. A recent article, titled “Who Gives A Tweet? Evaluating Microblog Content Value” [PDF]  and signed by Paul André, Michael S. Bernstein and Kurt Luther, shares the results of a study which involved the creation of an online tool, titled “Who Gives ATweet?” (WGAT).
April 15, 2012
When I started graduate school, I lived with a girl who owned a sweet-natured and protective black lab who bonded well with me. When my first roommate graduated, I happily accepted a new roommate who owned a miniature pomeranian and a Persian cat. Unfortunately, this did not work out quite as well as the previous living situation, as the pom took to relieving himself in my bedroom while I was at class, and the Persian exhibited a depression so severe that she sat unmoving on a chair for days at a time. These situations underscored some of the advantages and disadvantages to owning pets in graduate school.

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