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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?
August 24, 2011
Watching audiences from the back of the auditorium is always enlightening. For Liberal Arts orientations, I saw many tattoos and handheld electronics, and few strollers. For Teacher Ed orientation, I saw many strollers and few tattoos or electronics. Criminal Justice usually leads the pack in baseball caps per capita, using per capita in the most literal sense.We need to figure out a way to make “information security” appealing to the masses. It's one of the few areas in which well-paying employers are going begging for people, and we can't fill classes.
August 24, 2011
The mission of Saylor.org (which you can read in full here) is admirably ambitious:
August 24, 2011
I took my daughter Katie to England and France for her 16th birthday last week, paid for by my summer teaching income. I have a sister who lives outside of Oxford, so my family kept close tabs on the recent riots in the U.K., both to avoid them and (the journalist in me) -- to investigate them a bit.
August 24, 2011
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the students who get their two-year degree here, and hope to get a job with it.It’s just not as easy as it used to be. And I’m not just referring to the recession, though that certainly made a bad situation worse.My college has an enviable record as a pre-transfer school, sending students on to various four-year colleges and universities where they tend to do quite well. That’s great, and I’m happy to embrace and support that side of what we do. But many students have no intention of doing that.
August 24, 2011
Photo: Afshan Jafar Afshan Jafar It’s hunting season! Those of us in the academic world know that August marks the start of the job hunt. So, in a small attempt to ease some of the stress and uncertainty of looking for a job in academia these days, let me introduce the cast of characters you are likely to meet during the tragicomedy that is The Job Hunt.  Setting 
August 24, 2011
In a bold move, Elmhurst College, a small private school in Illinois, has done something novel and just -- include a question about identity on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity on their admission form. According to Campus Pride, Elmhurst College is the first U.S. institution to implement this demographic question.
August 24, 2011
I know that not everyone marks the passage of time by the start of a new school year. A childless, non-academic friend of mine, for example, expressed surprise about the increase in traffic around the local school. It had suddenly dawned on him that school had been out all summer and that the students were now back. I laughed at his story but realized that not everyone’s world revolves around back-to-school preparations at schools and universities (although the flurry of activity at retail stores suggests otherwise).
August 23, 2011
E-readers will soon be commodities, with low margins and standard feature sets. Kindle, Nook, or whatever - e-book readers will compete on price (and they will be cheap). The value-add for Amazon, BN, (or maybe Google or Apple) will be driving book sales. A recommendation engine can do this to some extent ("Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought"), but algorithmically based recommendations will never be as persuasive as an editorial review.How do you decide what book to read next?

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