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February 20, 2011
I am writing from Paris, where we are spending the first part of Ben's winter break ( We'll go on to London in a few days). Today we looked at Greek and Egyptian antiquities at the Louvre and had lunch in the Tuileries. Then we met Frederic, a friend from voice class who moved home to Paris in September, at the Musee d'Orsay. Afterward, his friend Colette joined us for drinks, then we went to a baroque music concert at Eglise Saint-Germain.
February 20, 2011
Law is the floor, policy is the citizen threshold of our community. Thrilled to find these concepts of floor and citizenship at the etymological core of law and policy respectively, I have held onto it to inform my labors ever since. Institutionally, counsel sets the floor by saying, in the famous words of our first chief justice, "what the law is." Policy is that rule, or set of rules, which functions as the "law" of the institution. It cannot go below the level of the law, obviously, but it can rise above it.
February 17, 2011
Fresh off a glorious Super Bowl victory, the state of Wisconsin is apparently looking at rescinding collective bargaining rights for college and university faculty and professional staff. (At this point, only the Democrats’ hiding ability seems to be stopping it. There’s a metaphor in there somewhere...) For blue-collar workers, as I understand it, it’s looking at restricting the range of collective bargaining to base wages; benefits, working conditions, workloads, and procedures would be off the table.
February 17, 2011
When Cindy Kane tweeted that "lurking is learning" on a #SAchat Twitter conversation last year, she didn't know that she had created a mantra for those of us who participate in weekly Twitter-based conversations / chats.Each week, scores of higher education professionals participate in 140 character conversations on a variety of topics. Using Twitter as a platform for knowledge exchange and relationship development, we produce virtual reams of valuable content.
February 17, 2011
When I am asked what Economics is, I sometimes answer that it is the study of how we make decisions under constraints. How much to buy with a limited budget and how to use our limited time are two examples of such decisions that come to mind immediately. Calculus and Statistics are central to how such decisions are studied, and so have become the second language through which I communicate.
February 17, 2011
The announcement, yesterday, that Borders Books was making its long-foreseen move into bankruptcy got me thinking. The most frequent charge made against Borders' long-term management team was that they'd been too slow to move into online sales and e-books. The charge I heard next most often was that they'd also neglected the college bookstore market.
February 17, 2011
Writer Glen Retief grew up in a South African game park during the apartheid era but emigrated to the U.S. in 1994. Before landing in academia he worked as an instructor of homeless HIV-positive substance abusers, a needle exchange advocate, an English as a Second Language teacher, and a teacher of high school students with learning disabilities. He has lived in Cape Town, New York City, Tallahassee, London, Madrid, Guadalajara, and Richmond, Kentucky.
February 16, 2011
When I first heard the word, I thought, ‘Edupunk sounds like the kind of educational strategy that my son Nick may appreciate.’ My seventeen year-old's declining grades and motivation in his AP and Honors courses have been a source of mystery for his father and myself. When he’s not watching Youtube, Nick strives to be a rock-n-roll star, so connecting education to the D.I.Y. strategies of punk rockers may just be his ticket.
February 16, 2011
This confession is really awful for an academic administrator, but it’s true. My brain has run out of space for new acronyms.Acronym proliferation is out of control. It comes from many sources.The most obvious is grant-funded programs. For whatever reason, a few decades ago someone decided that every grant-funded program needed a clever, upbeat acronym. As with many awful ideas, it was probably harmless enough at first. But the good ones went fast, and now each new iteration of a program needs its own spiffy new term.

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