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October 6, 2009 - 8:58pm
Where did September go? I ask this every year, suspecting that Alma Mater has teamed up with Mother Nature to play a trick on me. The stretch from Labor Day to payday is always a blur: of eager or anxious new faces, of people asking where-is and how-to questions, of hiring and training new student workers, and of reconnecting with faculty whom I haven’t seen since May. My calendar, instead of being mostly empty as it was in August, is suddenly mostly full, and my task list seems endless, with deadlines or orientation activities almost every day.
October 6, 2009 - 8:53pm
It isn't often that you can see a historical inflection point this clearly. Posted on the same day, these two articles need to be read next to each other.
October 6, 2009 - 7:44pm
There are many many things related to learning technology that I have no ability to accomplish, but wish I had. I'll name my top 3 non-skills. I'd be curious about yours. 1) Rack a Server: The guys and gals I work with are always racking servers. Something about "racking" anything just sounds cool. How satisfying it would be to actual get my hands on the hardware that makes the ones and zeroes that dominate my life actually work. To connect the physical to the digital by connecting up the physical box. Anyone in the server room need a hand?
October 5, 2009 - 9:36pm
I've been going to a lot more meetings this year than I've done in years past — it's a mark of my current position chairing our new First Year Seminar program. There are, it seems, endless meetings on the way to establishing a new academic program: I go from committee meeting to faculty meeting to student interview and back again, usually carrying not only the materials I need to consult in the meeting but also the book I'm about to teach — or have just taught.
October 5, 2009 - 9:26pm
With the budget situation continuing to worsen, we're often unable to replace people when they leave. When the people in question are full-time staff with relatively niche functions, things get complicated. In the world of small private businesses, it's a matter of saying “Steve, you pick up this half of Mike's job, and I'll pick up the other half.” Or, “we just won't do that.” Or, “Steve, do Mike's job and your own.” Notice how short each of those solutions is.
October 5, 2009 - 8:37pm
The EDUCAUSE annual conference offers the best opportunity each year to spend time with educational technology companies in order to understand their strategic roadmap and how their plans and releases will impact our work on campus.
October 5, 2009 - 9:33am
Curricular innovation has been a hot topic on the Green Schools List (email "subscribe grnsch-l" to listserv@listserv.brown.edu) the past week or two. And no wonder -- getting colleges and universities to operate sustainably is hard, but not nearly as hard as getting them to teach sustainability in all its variety and complexity.
October 4, 2009 - 9:12pm
In a couple of discussions on campus this week, I've had variations on this exchange: Prof: So this is why I think we should do this. Will you pay for it? DD: I don't know. The budget picture is still in flux. Prof: So you're opposed to it? DD: No, I like it. I just don't know how much wiggle room I'll have after this year's midyear cuts. Prof: So you'll support it? DD: I'll consider it. Prof: (grumble)
October 4, 2009 - 8:49pm
This weekend Randall Stross asked "Will Books be Napsterized?" in the NYTimes. Writes Stross: "Until now, few readers have preferred e-books to printed or audible versions, so the public availability of free-for-the-taking copies did not much matter. But e-books won’t stay on the periphery of book publishing much longer.
October 4, 2009 - 7:59pm
I thought all of the responses to last week’s post were terrific. Differential treatment can be hard to talk about, but several readers managed to write eloquently about their impressions and experiences. All provided food for thought, but I was particularly struck by “Long Distance Mom”’s observation: “After serving as a department chair at two universities, I learned that the "Speak low and slowly, but smile frequently" advice is often a double bind. Faculty, both male and female, seem surprised by critical evaluations from female administrators. Freudian 'mother' issues aside ...

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