In Statistics, we search for coefficients in regressions that indicate (directly or indirectly) how much a dependent variable changes in response to a change in an independent variable. In Calculus, we study how the dependent variable of a function changes in response to a change in the independent variable. And, in Economics, we study how the economy changes in response to public policy. One would think, therefore, that someone who spends her days studying such changes would be comfortable with the idea of change. In fact, nothing could be farther from the truth. In reality, I do my best to avoid change.
I found myself thinking of this recently as I realized that two major changes will be soon taking place in my life. The first change that is driving the other was brought about by a policy change from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). This organization, which accredits Ursuline College, recently proclaimed that people teaching in a department must have at least 18 credit hours of graduate work in that department. Despite having a Ph.D. in (Math based) Economics, with many graduate level calculus and statistically based courses (unfortunately listed on my transcript with the prefix of “EC” rather than “MA,”) I am now no longer qualified to teach in the department I have chaired for at least 15 of the last 20 years. I am luckier than some in other colleges, as there are Economics classes that need to be taught in the Business departments, both to undergraduates and graduates. While I enjoy teaching Math, and happily accepted this job when it was offered to me, I realize that I am much more comfortable teaching Economics, and so, although I don’t like change, I actually look forward to this shift in my teaching load.
However, this leaves me with a problem in relationship to Inside Higher Ed. It does not make sense to write as “Math Geek Mom” when I am no longer teaching mostly Math classes, and so, alas, I will stop writing this blog at the end of the summer. My last Friday before the change will be August 12th, and I will write until then, but eventually, I will take my final bow from this space.
So, what will happen to me? I plan on starting a separate blog of my own, probably called “Marginal Musings,” which will be, more or less, about Economics (in the sense that one could say this one is “about math.”) Being quite the luddite, I need to ask for some help in setting up this blog, but will be sure to provide my readers with the link before my final blog column here. In addition, I suspect that I will no longer write every week, but will aim for at least one posting each month, with a goal of even more.
I wanted to let my readers know that this will be happening at the end of the summer, and I hope that you will welcome with open arms whoever takes my place in this spot. These have been exciting years to write for IHE, as they have been very interesting years in higher education. For example, remember when MOOCs were supposed to completely disrupt higher education? What happened to that?
I hope that you welcome whomever takes my place here, and I hope to return occasionally with a guest essay. In addition, I hope to see some of you in whatever platform I migrate to in the fall.
I hope that everyone is having an enjoyable summer so far!