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September 17, 2008 - 10:10pm
My college, like most, is struggling with ways to communicate. In this context, I don't mean that in the substantive sense, though that's certainly there. I mean it in the procedural sense. How do you inform every potential stakeholder of, say, an event happening on campus in two days, or a grant application deadline in two months?
September 17, 2008 - 7:27pm
Sometimes, life hands you a metaphor which is just absolutely perfect. I think that's the case with the current meltdown in the financial markets -- it's a wonderful metaphor for the ecological sustainability mess we've gotten ourselves into. Or it would be, if the average American stopped to think how we came to the brink of a (the?) new Great Depression.
September 16, 2008 - 9:55pm
I did a double-take when I saw this piece in the Chronicle. Apparently, the University of Georgia is dealing with budget cuts by reducing faculty travel funds. My first response was, why is this news? But then I saw the punchline: not only are they reducing what they'll pay for faculty to travel, they're actually withholding permission for faculty to travel with their own money.
September 16, 2008 - 9:50pm
My kids have been playing soccer since they were 4 years old, and just this week, I found out that the mother of one of my youngest daughter’s teammates is an author of a novel. As we watched our 7-year-old daughters warm up before a game, I asked her what her novel was about. Being in the military. Turns out that she graduated from West Point, and had had a full military career before becoming an author and a full-time soccer mom of 5 soccer-star children, ranging in age from 18 to 7. Wow, I had no idea that she had gone to West Point.
September 15, 2008 - 10:10pm
I'm teaching Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein in one of my classes right now, and somehow it's striking a different chord this week than it usually does. Perhaps it's because one of the commenters last week used the term "career suicide," which is one of those phrases that come up when folks talk about balancing academic careers with parenting.
September 15, 2008 - 10:04pm
A new correspondent writes: The small, regional university at which I teach in the Midwest has a new president. He has what I believe to be a unique approach to administration: his wife is present with him at every school function, and is always introduced as "First Lady of (insert school name)." This has recently progressed to her appearing in newsletters and promotional materials as "First Lady of..."
September 15, 2008 - 2:37pm
I got an email recently from a PR person, including a link to a report her client is currently pushing. The client is a major supplier to information technology departments, both on campus and off. The report focuses on energy efficiency (hence the tie-in to sustainability) within IT operations.
September 15, 2008 - 5:00am
I had a conversation last week with the chair of the Human Services program (think Social Work), in which she made the point that she didn't know how her program should be categorized. As she explained her dilemma, I realized I didn't know, either.
September 15, 2008 - 4:56am
Okay, first up, people, ASK ME QUESTIONS. I'm kind of bad about remembering to write this column on Friday, which no doubt tries my editor's patience, but it doesn't help when I have NO QUESTIONS to answer.

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