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July 7, 2008
I had a conversation this week with a colleague at whose college, as at so many others, the level of benefit an employee gets is based on her hire date. The farther back you were hired, the better your benefits. This isn't just a matter of, say, compounding interest; it applies to things like health insurance and retirement account contributions. Newer hires pay larger percentages of salary for retirement, and have larger payroll deductions for health insurance, than do their coworkers the next office down.
July 7, 2008
One of the nice things about blogging is the sense it can provide of participating in an ongoing conversation. After blogging about parenting in the news, for example, I read this interesting post by an academic who has a very different kind of position than mine.
July 7, 2008
This week’s letter is from a tenured creative writing professor at a state college, who has two small children and is looking for a career change. Here’s an except from Coral:
July 6, 2008
Before my sojourn, I asked folks to contribute any tips for academic job candidates going out on interviews. Lo and behold, they did! (The generosity of the blogosphere continues to amaze me.) A few highlights, qualifiers, and afterthoughts:
July 6, 2008
She'll have to drop the torch and the tablet to use it, though.
July 4, 2008
We live with constant news of environmental catastrophe and possible, probable and certain extinctions, including humankind’s. Granted, the reports are sometimes contradictory. Polar bears have become the bellwether for global warming due to loss of habitat, but the news the other day said they’ll all retire south to Alaska and be fine. Maybe they’ll have a gated community.
July 3, 2008
A recent post on Gristmill spoke to Volkswagen's increasing investment in hybrid cars, and the industry trend towards less internal combustion, higher reliance on electrical propulsion.
July 3, 2008
"I was holding a yoga pose." That is the reason my eight-year-old son gave me one spring day when I asked how he scraped his elbow. He did not crash on his bike or fall on the basketball court. He fell out of his yoga pose. That is a sentence that would have never come out of my mouth as an eight-year-old. Yoga was close to voodoo in those days, particularly in Kentucky. But the voodoo images have long since gone by the wayside and yoga is not only part of my son's vocabulary but it is also part of his gym curriculum.
July 2, 2008
The act of matching donor wishes to institutional needs through philanthropic gift agreements is something of an art. Donors usually have specific goals in mind for their gifts, and because colleges and universities have tremendous financial needs, the enthusiasm to consummate a donation can lead both parties to imagine that everyone has the same expectations. Unless the gift document is clear, however, we often find that the meaning of vague language and expectations in the gift agreement drifts over time.
July 2, 2008
I started graduate school 18 years ago in September. I came into the program as one in a cohort of ten first year graduate students, all from different backgrounds and experience, sharing a passion for biology. Getting to know my classmates in this first semester and then throughout the rest of our time in grad school was a true pleasure, one of my favorite parts of grad school. In many ways, the bonds we forged together were similar to the bonds I would make with other parents (much later) when my daughter was born.

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