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February 23, 2009 - 2:36pm
  A while back, I said it would be a bad idea to bail out the auto companies. I noted that (1) they had neither expertise nor apparent plans to build the cars America -- and the world -- needs, (2) the loans they were asking for at the time were probably just a first installment, and (3) even on the basis of just the first installment amounts, it would be cheaper to buy them outright.   Since then, the situation has changed – and by “changed” I don’t mean “improved” in any sense.  
February 23, 2009 - 3:38am
As the year has become progressively more surreal, I've been finding much more value in the occasional meetings I have with my counterparts at nearby cc's.
February 20, 2009 - 4:22pm
Look, I’m not a conference guy. I’m a walk in the woods guy, an afternoon tea guy, a thicken-the-stew-with-flour, homebody-underwater-Emily-Dickinson-multipledraft-Boston-Fern-natural-light-kids-on-the-lap guy. For me, a gathering of more than three people is a mob. But even I thought the AWP was great this year, and I’m hearing the same from others who say they too are not conference people.
February 19, 2009 - 10:18pm
When I was in high school in the late 1970s, I was very good at doing well in my classes, but not very good at many of the other aspects of life that make being a teenager fun. This was due, at least in part, to the role that was often assigned to book-smart girls in high school at that time.
February 19, 2009 - 10:13pm
Academic administrators aren't the only administrators on a campus. We routinely interact with the folks who run the business side (payroll, facilities, security), the IT side, fundraising, and the like. I've had several conversations with administrative colleagues lately that have gone something like this: Other Admin: I had the budget talk with my group. It was rough, but we got through it. How did yours go? DD: We're getting there. OA: Getting there?
February 18, 2009 - 9:33pm
Yesterday's IHE has a worthwhile story about 'reverse transfers' – students starting at four-year colleges and then transferring to cc's – becoming more common as students become more price-conscious. There's nothing terribly shocking in it, if you assume that recessions bring increased price awareness, even though it's a nice reminder that the traffic goes both ways. What got my attention, though, was the first comment after the story. 'Judith' wrote:
February 18, 2009 - 9:14pm
Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin were both born on Feb. 12th, 1809. Why is celebrating their birthdays important? Why should we take this opportunity to talk about them with our students or our children?
February 18, 2009 - 5:09pm
I was speaking recently with a representative of Greenback U's dining services. My intent (predictably) was to move them towards changing their menus and practices, with an eye towards emitting less greenhouse gas. This is a conversation we have periodically, and it pretty much always comes out the same. They do purchase locally when they can, they do push fruits and vegetables as much as possible, they do operate as energy efficiently as possible. They want to do the right thing.
February 18, 2009 - 8:08am
In my last semester as a graduate student, I TA’ed a human behavioral biology course. As it turned out, I was newly pregnant with my first baby, and the course wowed me, especially as the professor reviewed the cognitive development literature, describing a series of amazing experiments carried out in the last 30 years on infants and children. It was an eye opening tour of the evidence that argues against babies being born blank slates, of development of concepts of self and others, of development of understanding of the physical world (e.g. gravity), and other fascinating topics.
February 18, 2009 - 4:42am
(Or, worst "Dancing With the Stars" episode ever.) In discussion with my counterparts across my state, I'm hearing that most of the other cc's are planning some pretty dramatic tuition/fee increases this Fall to compensate for the one-two punch of falling state aid and spiking enrollments.

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