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January 6, 2011
Grades from last semester are only a distant memory for most of us, but, as a new semester stretches out before us, I find myself thinking about last semester’s classes. I am particularly interested in feedback on an idea I have had for several years.
January 6, 2011
Two items of good news for the environment, one of them potentially very significant.
January 5, 2011
I ended last semester with 58 student research papers to read and grade in 10 days. 700 (digital) pages to digest, analyze and write comments for. After staying up until 6:00 AM on the last night that grades were due, I wondered to myself, “What’s my problem with multiple choice exams?”
January 5, 2011
A new correspondent writes:What happens when a community college Human Resources department receives application materials for a job (in this case, a Deanship) and never passes them onto the respective hiring committee? I have evidence that this recently happened in my case, and have written to the office many times without a response. I even wrote the President of the college, whom I had met once about six years ago: no response there either.I mean, I might not have gotten the job anyway, but this seems . . . very curious. Do I have any recourse here?
January 5, 2011
One of the most important, but least remarked upon, higher ed trends over the past 10 years has been the transition from an individual (instructor) course design methodology to one that involves a team. This transition is being driven by the growth of online and hybrid courses and programs, as well as systematic course re-design efforts such as those advocated and supported by the National Center for Academic Transformation.
January 5, 2011
A family member likes to say, referring to a single fact within a situation, "that's the good news -- it's also the bad news." No other construct sums up so neatly what it feels like to work in the sustainability field at the beginning of 2011.
January 5, 2011
In his short memoir, The Memory Chalet, dictated at the end of his life as he lay immobilized from motor neuron disease, the historian Tony Judt three times uses the word solipsism. It's a curious and exotic word, and its repeated use in Judt's brief final statement to the world conveys both his deepest fear about the future of politics, and his horror at his own locked-in condition.
January 5, 2011
Two days left of our Christmas break and I found myself scrambling. I needed to catch up on all I’d planned to do over the holidays, but I also wanted to get ahead a little bit. Dinner the other night was homemade macaroni and cheese, which happens to be my son’s favorite thing to pack in a thermos in his lunchbox. Phew! The first back-to-school lunch accomplished, two nights before I had to worry about it.
January 4, 2011
I am at the end of a long and tough professional and academic journey. While preparing to embark on a new horizon, I had the benefit of thinking a great deal about the priorities of my medium-term schedule. One of the first tasks on the list is writing a book on the subject of my PhD in history, about the inter-ethnic relations in Romania after the fall of communism. On the same list, I have other ideas of articles and essays that have haunted my mind over the last 12 months or so. More or less, my near future will again be directly preoccupied by the acrobatics of words.
January 4, 2011
According to IHE, Tiffin University and Altius Education -- the former a small traditional college, the latter a for-profit -- have combined forces to form a third entity (Ivy Bridge) that offers an all-online general studies Associate’s degree. The for-profit runs enrollment management and student services, and the traditional college is in charge of faculty and curriculum.

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