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August 27, 2011
  What’s New at University of Venus - Week Ending 27 August 2011 UVenus Around the Web:   
August 25, 2011
Kevin Carey, whom I consider one of the more thoughtful and interesting higher ed writers out there, made a startling claim this week that Texas governor Rick Perry is an underappreciated higher ed visionary.After wiping the spat coffee from my monitor, I actually read his piece. It’s contrarian, obviously, and I’d also say incomplete, but worth chewing on.
August 25, 2011
Pretty much everyone in the USA who's concerned with environmental sustainability is aware that Bill McKibben was arrested and held for two days in D.C. for demonstrating against the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. The two-day detention, given that charges were then dropped, seems more like attempted intimidation than any objective standard of justice. And many of us agree with Bill that what happens to the Keystone proposal will be the acid test of the Obama administration's environmental policies.
August 25, 2011
I just checked the definition of syllabus in the Oxford English Dictionary. It states what I used to assume it meant: “a statement of the subjects covered by a course of instruction or by an examination, in a school, college, etc.; a programme of study.” The oldest quotation using the word is from 1656, when it meant something more along the lines of a table of contents or concordance. The best quote, though, is from 1939 and is taken from W. H. Auden’s “Commentary” in Journey to War:
August 25, 2011
As the post Steve Jobs chapter begins at Apple, perhaps this a good moment to re-engage Apple's long and productive relationship with higher ed. Apple's mindshare in higher ed has probably never been greater. How many of you reading this column are doing so on an Apple product? In my world, the majority of students I see come through our doors carrying Apple laptops, and more often than not they also have an iPhone or an iPad. iTunes is a part of daily life, and iTunesU is probably the pre-eminent open education destination.
August 25, 2011
Yep – it’s the “A” word again. “Assessment.” And in higher education, that word is just about everywhere we turn. I suspect that when you saw that word, you likely got a chill up your spine – oh no! Not assessment. Not again! Yep – assessment. Again. But I have developed a take on assessment that might help us see it differently.
August 25, 2011
There is a concept in labor economics called a “reservation wage.” This is the lowest wage that one would be willing to accept in order to be enticed to enter the formal labor market. This may depend on many things, including one’s assessment of the need to earn income for one’s family as well as the utility gained from spending time with one’s family on an informal basis. I thought of this last week as my daughter’s school began again and I found myself picking her up from “after care” where she stayed following the school day, as I finished up my work day.
August 25, 2011
On Monday, Jeff Lail posted a tweet with a link to a story about a possible FERPA violation at Talladega College. According to the Daily Home, the Talladega College president is accusing a local politician of a privacy violation.
August 25, 2011
“Every faculty member is under heavy research load, and the current system doesn’t encourage cooperation,” explained Prof. Wang Hongcai, a higher education scholar at Xiamen University responding to the question, “Why is there so little interdisciplinary and cross-institutional educational research in China?” at a seminar in Beijing last March. In fact, this situation exists in other disciplines and fields of study as well.
August 25, 2011
As we begin the academic year at Alma College, we are working to re-imagine what a liberal arts education is all about. For two centuries, liberal arts colleges across our nation have provided students with a life-changing education centered on the values that will sustain them for a lifetime. They have focused on the growth of the whole person and on the development of a whole life. It worked in the 1800s. It worked in the 1900s. But does it work in the 2000s?

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