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October 21, 2009 - 4:22pm
State workers here are required to take and pass an annual, online, ethics refresher course (it takes 30-60 minutes), and state university employees are no exception. The format has varied over time, but the requirement inevitably draws complaints. Since money is always tight, and the state employs many people, the course's design has been one-size-fits-all.
October 21, 2009 - 4:21pm
(Music for the drive in this morning was Mulgrew Miller's Landmarks. His playing is remarkably expressive through a very wide range of styles, and this album (assembled from three different session, each with different personnel) is remarkably well-balanced.)
October 21, 2009 - 8:24am
We celebrated Thanksgiving here in Canada not long ago, and I spent the holiday weekend in deep contemplation and reflection about all I have and where my life has brought me. Aside from the obvious things for which I feel thankful — health (a big one this year), family, home, and food on the table — I feel particularly grateful for the invaluable time I can spend with my children in their young years.
October 20, 2009 - 9:41pm
My college, like so many others, has tried to deal with the Great Recession by having a series of public meetings about what's most important to us. The idea has been to give stakeholders from around campus -- including students -- input before decisions are made, so the decisions can be made with a clearer sense of what we all think matters. No secret decisions, no hidden agendas, no "why weren't we consulted?" objections. And some of the conversations have been wonderfully productive, with a surprising degree of consensus around a couple of major issues.
October 20, 2009 - 9:36pm
Learning tech needs some new blood. We need to recruit young people to go into our discipline (actually - we need to define our discipline - but that is a larger debate). We need to encourage people in their twenties to work in academic technology units, to join learning tech companies, and to start their own learning technology companies.
October 20, 2009 - 5:32pm
As I was driving into work this morning, I was listening to Cyrus Chestnut's "Dark Before the Dawn" -- one of my favorite piano trio CDs.Stood on its head, that title seemed to sum up my mood after reading the latest special report from the WBGU (which stands for either "German Advisory Council on Climate Change" or "Wissenschaftlicher Beirat der Bundesregierung Globale Umweltveraenderungen", depending on whom you ask).
October 20, 2009 - 9:29am
Stanley Fish, in his latest New York Times blog post, unwittingly demonstrates why there's so much, as he puts it, "hostility toward [professors] and their practices." Let's take a look.
October 19, 2009 - 9:10pm
Out-of-state students!According to this article, several state university systems are now considering making deliberate moves to increase the proportion of out-of-state students, specifically to capture the tuition premium. The idea is to replace lost state subsidy support.I won't address the logic at the university level. But at the cc level, this would be political suicide.
October 19, 2009 - 8:20pm
When we dropped Mariah off at college this fall we didn't really think we'd see her before Thanksgiving. The drive, for one thing, is punishing: 550 miles, most of it on I-95, and however much googlemaps says you can make it in 8.5 hours, we've never done it in less than ten. Ten and a half, really. My schedule's unusually busy this semester and a weekend away seemed an impossiblity. And, with Parents' Weekend only six weeks after the beginning of school, we wondered how much there would be to talk about anyway. With e-mail, facebook, and cellphones, wouldn't we feel up to date?
October 19, 2009 - 8:14pm
The future will judge academic librarians by how well they were able to build coalitions across institutions and negotiate with publishers to bring digital books into a co-equal status with physical books.  This is a hard problem to solve, but leaders will be judged on how well they solve the hard ones.  


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