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August 9, 2008 - 12:42pm
Thursday morning, on my way in to campus, I was listening to NPR. One of the items was an interview with consultant Howard Davidowitz, about the current state of the retail industry. No real surprises -- automobile and restaurant sales are down, off-price sales are strong, Wal-Mart is doing just fine, thank you. What struck my ear was Davidowitz's closing comment that the US standard of living was headed south for several years, at least. He said that like it was a bad thing.
August 7, 2008 - 11:11pm
This should be fun... In light of Wednesday's post, an alert reader sent me a link to this article from Academe, which is published by the AAUP. It's a faculty-driven attack on high administrative salaries, drawing particular attention to some particularly obtuse Presidents.
August 7, 2008 - 8:52pm
Things that I wanted/needed to do this summer:
August 7, 2008 - 9:24am
Greenback U. wants to get sustainable. So we've got a Sustainability Committee. They're supposed to come up with a Sustainability Policy. I guess they're committed to coming up with the policy -- after all, that's what "committee" means, right? That which (or who) is committed. If so, it doesn't show. The committee's been in place for over a year, with nary a policy (much less anything substantial) to show for it. They meet irregularly, they don't publish minutes, and attendance is hit-or-miss. If those are signs of commitment, I must be Queen of the May.
August 6, 2008 - 9:56pm
Last Wednesday, I loaded my car with undergraduates from Romania, China and Singapore to catch our flight home from a mathematics conference in Michigan. A conference for undergraduates? Indeed. If you are in the over forty set, you know this opportunity simply did not exist back in the eighties when we earned our bachelors degrees. I went to class, I took tests, I occasionally mustered the courage to visit a faculty member during office hours. I rarely talked with faculty outside of class and I certainly did not spend a summer pursuing research with them.
August 6, 2008 - 9:25pm
(or, in which I shamelessly use the blog for my own professional purposes) Hypothetically speaking, let's say that you worked at a community college with finite funding. (Shocking, I know, but bear with me.) And let's say that the state in which your college is located is also taking some nasty financial hits, so the 'public subsidy' side of things is likely to get worse before it gets better. (I think that narrows it down to about 48 states. I'll admit that I'm not in Wyoming.)
August 6, 2008 - 5:00am
A focus at this year's meeting of college business officers has been how to reconcile the often discordant worlds of academic and business administration.
August 6, 2008 - 4:55am
“Where is Dad?” my three-and-a-half-year-old daughter asked the morning after we returned home from vacation. “He’s gone back to work,” I replied. “Oh,” she said, and then there was a pause, while the gears turned in her little head. Suddenly she announced, “Work is for hes.” “What!?” I gasped. “Work is for hes…for dads. Dads do work. Moms don’t go to work.”
August 5, 2008 - 10:20am
First the good news. I've mentioned before that one of the main challenges in making renewable energy, particularly wind- and solar-powered generation, mainstream is the lack of a good electrical storage solution. A "better battery". Otherwise, it's hard to keep the computer running on dark, windless nights.

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