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October 31, 2010 - 11:00am
In advance of election day, I got into a conversation with a bunch of folks around the topic of conservatism. I've always wondered why it was that conservation -- the practice of conserving -- is somehow not an aspect of modern conservatism. The conversation helped me deepen my understanding of that disconnect.
October 30, 2010 - 1:30pm
English (rather than British) higher education is presently digesting the report by Lord Browne, the ex-boss of BP, called Securing a Sustainable Future for Higher Education, published on 12 October. Browne’s report provided the context for the higher education component of the government’s Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) announced on 20 October, which reduced the state budget for higher education by 40%, to be achieved in the period to 2014/15. This is, quite literally, an unprecedented cut in public support for higher education.
October 29, 2010 - 8:30am
For this English professor, one of the surprises of becoming a college president has been the extent of engagement with the athletic program. While most of the work I do is of course closely aligned with that of the academic program, I have found that it is a rare day that I'm not engaged with some aspect of Alma's athletic program. A competitive cyclist and college football fan myself, I find this work comes naturally. But I have some studying to do: it will be a while before I understand the intricacies of the rule book for women's volleyball, for example.
October 28, 2010 - 11:15pm
I use Twitter a lot. I am actively engaged in using Twitter as my personal and professional learning network. As a platform for learning and communication, Twitter is constantly evolving due to the many ways in which its community of users "learns" how to maximize "tweeting." Here are some of the websites and tools that I use on a regular basis to leverage the power of Twitter.Twitter Apps / Clients:
October 28, 2010 - 9:15pm
Digital coursepacks have the ability to incorporate content that today is available only through the learning management system (LMS). The iPad is a great platform to develop coursepack specific apps, ones that can facilitate the efficient consumption and navigation of course content and deliverables.
October 28, 2010 - 9:15pm
The success of the project bundling technique I touched on depends entirely on being able to mix short-payback projects in with the long-payback ones. One thing that can go wrong is that whatever department schedules your regular maintenance and upgrade efforts might issue plans to do a bunch of short-payback improvements without labeling it a sustainability improvement. After all, that's probably part of their job -- enhancing buildings to drive down operating costs.
October 28, 2010 - 9:00pm
International academic events are always a good laboratory to observe not only the various schools of thought, national educational orientations and current trends, but also opportunities to think about about language and understanding. Not less importantly, they represent occasions to think about the need for permanent education, independently of our sometimes impressive academic degrees and professional performances.
October 28, 2010 - 7:37pm
I ran into a former student a few days ago who said that, since she took the required college math course, she is now better able to help her son with his homework. I had to laugh, because I often get into struggles with my own daughter about whether to help her with her homework, which she would rather not do in the first place.
October 28, 2010 - 4:30am
Any campus which is trying to become more sustainable has to get there one step -- one project -- at a time. Or, at least, one set of projects at a time. The importance of submitting project proposals for approval and funding in sets or bundles is something a lot of sustainability administrators learn early on.
October 27, 2010 - 10:10pm
This year our college selected a common theme, "Leadership,” and as part of that theme we assigned all our freshmen seminar students to read Soul of a Citizen by Paul Loeb. Since my freshman seminar is “The Culture of Food,” we discussed parent groups advocating school lunch reform, the early food coops, food pantries, and animal rights groups. Many of my students are horrified by the treatment of animals in slaughterhouses that Schlosser documents in Fast Food Nation.

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