Monday, June 30, 2008

Goodbye Michele

Today is Michele Shinn's last day as ACHE's Executive Vice President. She has done a wonderful job, and I'll miss her. Michele, I love you - have a glass of Pinot Grigio and remember the good times.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Early bird ends Monday

New Roads on the Journey to Lifelong Learning
Mid-America Center
Council Bluffs, Iowa
July 16 – July 18, 2008
Conference Information and Registration Form
Early Bird Registration Deadline 6/30/08.

Down the highway on I-26

In its blog, Spartanburg Community College's Corporate and Community Education unit reports that unemployment is up and so are enrollments:
Summer enrollment at SCC is up 15% over the record high of 2005. We look at this statistic as evidence that we are meeting our mission to help Upstate South Carolina to grow economically through education. We help individuals train for the high tech jobs that they want, and to help businesses stay competitive in the world market by developing their workforce.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The vulnerability of adult education

The nearby Unicoi County School System recently cut its adult education program This makes the second or third school system in Northeast Tennessee to cut adult education in this tight budget year. As the number of program diminish and as travel costs increase, it will be even harder for adults in many area to earn their GED. I can't determine if this is a national trend, but I hope not. Adult and continuing education programs are often the first to go when budget cuts are made.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Since I'm not getting a raise, can I moonlight at the community college?

Rob Jenkins, writing in The Chronicle of Higher Education, examines SACS (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools) requirements for teaching at community colleges:
Generally speaking, to teach in programs that award associate of arts or associate of science degrees — i.e., to teach at a community college — faculty members are required by accreditors to have at least a master's degree and a minimum of 18 graduate credit hours in the subject they are teaching. Read that statement again carefully and note the wording: While you need a master's, you are not required to have one in the specific subject you are teaching; you are required to have completed 18 graduate credit hours in that subject. And even if you do have a degree in the subject you hope to teach, that degree must have included 18 credit hours in that subject in order for you to be allowed to teach it at a two-year college.

Just so you know...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

On the road again

I'm on annual leave until July 7, taking a trip home to Illinois via Nashville. My posting will be sporadic...

Distance education success stories

The Online Consortium of Independent Colleges and Universities and Western Governors University find their audience. (When was the last time you heard about Western Governors? Seems like years ago.) The story at

Because some alternative energy sources are more attractive than others

Adrienne So's Victoria's Circuit: Harnessing the Untapped Power of Breast Motion The hook? Could I use my breasts to recharge my iPod?
And in other bra news: Sports Bra Saves US Hiker in German Alps at

From the grass is always greener department

The 13 Most Overrated Careers. Teacher is right up there with Nonprofit Manager. See the whole list at

Monday, June 23, 2008

Call for presenters

The National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships has issued a Call for Presenters.

NACEP Conference
October 26-28, 2008
Kansas City, MO
Hosted by Johnson County Community College

Although it's hard to compete with the community colleges in our area for dual enrollment students, we've found success with a niche market centered around our off-campus center in Kingsport, Tennessee. This conference will be held in Memphis in 2009, I believe.

Banquet fare

At the first Annual Southeastern Association of Vertebrate Paleontology Conference, former Tennessee Governor Don Sundquist is honored for his instrumental role in the development of the Grey Fossil Site.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Flying to the continuing education conference

The cost of air travel is rising, and airlines are nickle-and-diming us to death with extra fees (checked luggage is not always free). I'm fortunate that the ACHE and TACHE conferences are in Tennessee, although TACHE is in Memphis and I swore a few years ago that as God was my witness I'd never drive to Memphis again. As we say in Northeast Tennessee, "Canada is closer to us than Memphis." The ACHE South conference is in Baton Rouge, and I've driven to New Orleans a couple of times, so its doable driving.

I worry that campus budget reductions coupled with the high cost of traveling will hurt attendance at these important professional development activities. Here are some tips from Aaron Smith,, on finding low-cost air fares. Probably the most useful tip is when to purchase your tickets:

Airfares change three times a day as airlines periodically lower prices to fill up flights, and the early bird gets the worm, according to [George] Hobica. "Early morning is the time to buy." he says, recommending that flyers check fares every five hours to try and snag a deal. On the weekend, the best time to check is early Saturday morning and again at 5 p.m., when the industry is most aggressively trying to fill seats, he says.

Since our ETSU van can take several folks much cheaper than each one flying, I suspect we'll be burning rubber this fiscal year.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Does drinking gin make you mean?

Gin? Mean? What to avoid serving at the Hospitality Room at the TACHE conference this fall in Memphis? Several of my continuing education colleagues are gin drinkers, and I must say that they're never mean around me. I had bad experience with gin once, so I mostly stick with a cuba libre (diet) or sometimes veer into the girly drinks. The recipe can be found at .

Anyway, here's The Straight Dope's conclusion:

What does all this tell us? Unclear. Lots of factors — how fast you drink, whether the drink is carbonated, etc — can affect how alcohol makes it into your system and thus how it affects you. It's also possible that the secondary chemicals (i.e., besides the alcohol itself) that give different alcoholic beverages their distinct qualities — they're called congeners — have pharmacological properties that account for the disparities in aggressive behavior. But this wouldn't account for the placebo effect discussed above. Gustafson and others suggest that drinkers may expect to be affected by different drinks in different ways, then behave in accordance with their expectations. So it may be that gin makes you mean, but drinking gin may also provide an opportunity to act mean.
Read Cecil Adams's entire answer and discover how to make an ass of yourself at the bar at
And while drinking is on your mind--if you've ever wondered about The Six Most Fattening Summer Cocktails--well, number six is a Daiquiri. Discover the top five at

Friday, June 20, 2008

It's hard out here for a pimp

The bad economy has hurt the oldest profession. Feeling the Pinch:
Nevada's Brothels Hit Hard Times

Heh, heh, he said "hard."

Graduate! Philadelphia

Graduate! Philadelphia is a joint initiative of the Philadelphia Workforce Investment Board and the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania Its mission is to increase the number of adults with college degrees in the Greater Philadelphia region.
Graduate! Philadelphia has partnered with nine local colleges and universities that have high graduation rates, are fully regionally accredited, and offer courses that are flexible, focused, and convenient for adults. It's a partnership designed to produce more college graduates, and it's something that can be duplicated in other areas. Learn more about Graduate!Philadelphia at and at the 2009 ACHE Annual Conference and Meeting in Philadelphia.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Why did the archaeopteryx catch the worm?

Because it was an early bird.
Joke heard at the opening of First Annual Southeastern Association of Vertebrate Paleontology conference last night. Here's a picture of ETSU's Darla Dye setting up the registration table. Paleontologists are an interesting group, and it's been a pleasure to work with them. And they mostly clean up nice.

The old English teacher in me

From Graph Jam at Kind of a fun way to waste time...

Still the one

Today is my anniversary, married 32 years to my first wife, Kathy. And yes, I know I married up. As a state employee in Tennessee, on the anniversary of my first day at work, I get a longevity bonus of $100 for each year I have worked for the state. This year, I'll get a check for $1800. I told Kathy as I left for work, today, "Wouldn't it be great if we got a check for $100 for each year we had been married?" We could use that money to celebrate our anniversary and thus stimulate the economy. Wouldn't that be an incentive for marriage? We could make people who divorce pay the money back. And, like my longevity pay, it wouldn't kick in until the third years of marriage when a check for $300 would be issued.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Reading online

From Michael Agger's Lazy Bastards: How We Read Online.
You're probably going to read this.

It's a short paragraph at the top of the page. It's surrounded by white space. It's in small type.

To really get your attention, I should write like this:

*Bulleted list

*Occasional use of bold to prevent skimming

*Short sentence fragments

*Explanatory subheads

*No puns

*Did I mention lists?
Read the entire article at

Starting that new continuing education job?

G.L. Hoffman's Top 10 Rules for Your First Week:
1. Show up on time.
2. Wear clean clothes.
3. Don't ask about the vacation policy.
4. Keep your opinions to yourself.
5. Don't surf the net.
6. Don't complain.
7. Assume goodwill in others.
8. Be mindful of the hierarchy.
9. Learn the company's history.
10. Remember coworkers' names.

From U.S. News and World Report. Some other notable rules include #35 If invited for drinks, go, and #36 If invited for a date, don't go.

Believe it or not, there are 42 listed here at

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Community colleges awarding bachelors degrees in Florida

Although several community colleges in Florida already offer bachelor's degrees, (Miami-Dade offers eight and has changed its name to Miami-Dade College) the state is ready to expand this effort in order to meet the huge need for college graduates in the state. It creates a new college system, and the pilot program involves 9 of the state’s 28 community colleges. Inside Higher Education has the story in Whose Job is It?
At a ceremony Thursday, Crist signed a bill that establishes a new college system in Florida, where a population boom has outpaced the growth and funding of the university system. For supporters, the creation of the “Florida College System” is a reasonable step toward stimulating degree production at a lower cost to the state and would-be students. Critics, however, call the idea yet another rushed plan (in a state that has a history of college governance on the fly) that threatens the traditional missions of community colleges and creates competition with their university partners.
Community Colleges can offer these degrees at lower cost since their faculty are (1) generally paid less than those at universities, (2) teach more hours than those at universities, and (3) generally ignore research. Call it the outsourcing of bachelor's degrees.

Six packs and the end of the American dream

All though it's not quite the same thing, this helps reinforce my theory on why I have difficulty remembering things--in order to remember something new, I'd have to forget something old.

Studies have shown that your brain power has a finite amount of willpower. If you spend your willpower on one task, you have less willpower for other tasks. For example, if you spend you willpower on being frugal, you may gain weight because you will have less self-discipline when it comes to eating. Or if you spend your willpower on your academic studies, you may have trouble reigning in your spending. Likewise, if you spend all your willpower on going to the gym, busting out just one more set of curls, and resisting that slice of chocolate cake, you will have less willpower to apply to tasks that really matter like moving up in your job, studying, being a better husband, boyfriend, and dad, and harnessing your emotions, temper, and jerky impulses. This may be why there if often a close correlation between meatheads and douche bags.
From Brett & Kate McKay's There's More to Life than Six Pack Abs at The Art of Manliness Also, while you're there and if you're a man, check out The Perfect Hat for Your Ugly Mug

So long, Irene

Last Friday was Irene Barrineau's last day for ACHE as she enters retirement. Irene was a talented, tireless worker and supporter of the organization, and we will all miss her. Here are a couple of pictures. Irene was a rock behind the scenes so much that I can't find many pictures of her.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Flooding at my alma mater

Most of you know about the terrible flooding in Iowa. I lived several years in Cedar Rapids, working at Mount Mercy College and finishing my Ph.D. at the University of Iowa in nearby Iowa City. Pictured above is the Iowa Memorial Union building, where I took care of lot of my university business in the late Eighties. More pictures can be found in this gallery from the Des Moines Register The University of Iowa Foundation has created a special flood relief fund to support the university as it recovers from flood-related damage not covered by insurance or other resources. Gifts may be made to the fund online by visiting or, or they may be sent by mail to the UI Foundation, P.O. Box 4550, Iowa City, Iowa 52244-4550.

I hope the waters recede soon so things can get back to normal. Kathy talked to a friend back in Cedar Rapids who was forced into drinking wine since there is a shortage of drinking water. Iowans are resourceful....

Rate my Professors in top 50

Time magazine has posted its 50 Best Websites 2008 . Most academic know about Rate My Professors, and it's number 17 on the list. I'm already using number 27--TinyURL

Friday, June 13, 2008

Continuing educator out with new book

Wade Johnson is the Director of Roane State Community College's Corporate Training Center and a longtime TACHE member. He recently told me about his new book, The Stewardship of Executive Management.

Check it out at

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Workforce development numbers

Just got off a conference call concerning noncredit workforce development activity across Tennessee--done through the 19 Tennessee Board of Regents community colleges and universities. It's our most successful attempt to gather statewide data, and much of the credit goes to Jack Laser at Jackson State Community College who spearheaded the effort. The data are preliminary and messy (like most continuing education reporting) but it shows for FY 2006-07 over 7,000 training events, nearly 83,000 participants, nearly a million contact hours, and over 1500 businesses served. And this is only workforce development, not personal enrichment. These are impressive numbers!
In a year of cutbacks like this one, noncredit continuing education units are often targeted for elimination, even though most operate efficiently and many are required to be self-sufficient. We must be able to show the value of our noncredit and outreach efforts.

Under where?

Why would I ever want my underwear to show? LISA TAKEUCHI CULLEN blogs about what is appropriate attire for the office. And the underwear generation gap:

But only 55% of those surveyed by the job-hunting site think exposed underwear is an office no-no, a stat that suggests a gaping generational divide.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Paul Goldberg

My longtime friend and colleague, Paul Goldberg, former Dean of Continuing Education at Roan State Community College steering the boat. Paul will have surgery for a brain tumor soon, and he and his family are in my thoughts and prayers.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Going to Sevierville

I'm attending the East-Tennessee Alliance for Continuing Higher Education meeting today in Sevierville. Here's what the agenda looks like.

9:00 – 9:30 am.....Continental Breakfast and Networking Opportunities
9:30 – 9:45 am.....Welcome and Introductions
88888888888888 Anita P. Ricker, ETACHE Regional Director
88888888888888Opening Comments and TACHE News & Updates
88888888888888 Sue Fulmer, TACHE President
9:45 – 11:30 am....Juggling Elephants – Is Your Workplace a 3-Ring Circus?
88888888888888 Joseph L. Combs, Dean CED at WSCC
88888888888888 Anita P. Ricker, Assistant Dean CED at WSCC
11:30 – 1:30 pm....Lunch (Provided by the Culinary Arts Program
of the Sevier County Campus at WSCC) & Game Show Feud

1:30 - 2:30 pm......3-Star Community – Strategic Alliances
88888888888888 Matt Hughes, East TN Regional Rep, Dept. of Labor
2:30 - 3:30 pm.....Closing Remarks, Business Meeting & Door Prizes
3:30 pm.................Adjourn

Monday, June 9, 2008

Women business owners opportunites conference in Memphis

Ebony’s Managing Editor to Speak to Women Business Owners

Women who own a business or plan to start one will receive advice, information and opportunities at the Third Annual Women Business Owners Opportunities Conference (WBOOC) on June 19-20 at Southwest Tennessee Community College, 5983 Macon Cove, Memphis,TN. A full range of topics will be covered such as instructions on how to write a business plan, assessing personal finances before starting a business, determining who your customers are and delivering great service to them. For those who are more business savvy, business expansion and renovation and where to get money will be discussed. In addition, existing business owners will meet one-on-one with corporate and government buyers to discuss their contracting and procurement opportunities.

The WBOOC “power luncheon” on Friday will feature Lynn Norment, managing editor of Ebony magazine, as keynote speaker. A native of Bolivar, TN, Norment worked for the Commercial Appeal and is a graduate of Memphis State University. During her career at Ebony, Norment has interviewed a variety of celebrities and news makers, including notables like Will Smith and for the cover story on Janet Jackson.

A schedule of conference activities follows. Registration for the event is $50. For more information contact Deborah Reed at (901) 333-4592.

Pretty college campuses

A collection of pretty college campuses can be found at It's not too late to send in a picture from your college or university.

Doc Watson

Later that night at the Blue Plum Festival, listening to Doc Watson. For information on Doc and his career, see or

Staffing the continuing education booth

Summer in the city. Here are (left to right) Amy Johnson, Jordan Swingle, and Tamara Mottern at our display booth at the Blue Plum Festival in Johnson City. The weather was hot--a record high--but we were popular with our cold water and ETSU give-aways. We got the names of many potential adult students who wanted additional information, and we answered a lot of questions about ETSU.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Conference themes

Every other year, TACHE meets in Nashville, so we're often developing a theme around music. Our other meeting spots are Memphis and Gatlinburg. A pattern has developed: Nashville = music. Memphis = blues. Gatlinburg = mountains. I found a website to help with Nashville: Music City Theme Ideas at The suggestions aren't all that great, but it's a start; and it's something I haven't seen elsewhere.

I'm currently working on the theme for the 2009 ACHE conference in Philadelphia, so I can appreciate any help at all.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Southern speak

As you get ready for the ACHE Annual Conference and Meeting in Nashville this fall, you may want a quick course in how to speak Southern Here are some terms that might come in handy at Opryland:

Baws: Your employer. "Mah baws let me come to this conference."

Clone: A type of scent women put on themselves. "Mah wawf wondered why I smelt like that girl's clone."

Gummut: A large institution operating out of Washington. "Phil left the university and now has a gummut job."

Klect: To receive money to which one is entitled. "Ah'd like to see them klect that mini-bar bill."

Retard: No longer employed. "John Yate's retard now."

Vaymuch: Not a whole lot, when expressed in the negative. "Ah didn't like that presentation vaymuch."

If you're ready, you can take a quiz to determine Are You a Rebel or a Yankee? Here's question number one:

How do you pronounce Aunt?
Like the word want
Like the word ant
Like the word caught
Like ain't

The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination

From J.K. Rowling's Harvard University Commencement Address

If you choose to use your status and influence to raise your voice on behalf of those who have no voice; if you choose to identify not only with the powerful, but with the powerless; if you retain the ability to imagine yourself into the lives of those who do not have your advantages, then it will not only be your proud families who celebrate your existence, but thousands and millions of people whose reality you have helped transform for the better. We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better.

Redneck film festival

Taking in a movie on the water.
On Thursdays in the Summer, Johnson City Parks and Recreation offers Lakeside Cinema at Winged Deer Park. And no, I don't know what a winged deer is either. More information about the park can be found at

It's a wonderful event and has been around for five years, but this is the first time Kathy and I have attended. Lakeside Cinema has won the Regional Tourism Pinnacle Award for Special Events. For more information see

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Bugs and the economy

I guess it's a bad economy when we're advised to eat bugs.
William Saletan's Pass the Land Shrimp can be found at Land shrimp indeed.

I am reminded of Kate Capshaw's comment when passing on a meal of insects in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom: "I had bugs for lunch."

More helpful information can be found at How to Cook a Bug at

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Merging associations

An interesting report on association mergers can be found at The William E. Smith Institute for Association Research Julie Peitroburgo and Stephen P. Werner study eleven associations that have engaged in merger activity in Investigation of Association Mergers. They find that the keys to merger success are (1) communication, (2) leadership, (3) the appropriateness of time, (4) social capital, and (5) retention of culture. The merger deal breakers are (1) opposing cultures and opposing players, (2) absence of congruent missions, (3) absence of support and culture, and (4) lack of awareness of need for change.

Peitroburgo and Werner conclude:
Associations hoping to merge vastly increase the likelihood for success by incorporating into the process a number of key elements and avoiding certain conditions that can doom a merger to failure. Despite the insights provided by this research,there is ample opportunity for further study of association mergers. A number of areas that remain largely unexplored include the long-term results and implications of mergers, the differences in mergers across types of associations and industry sectors, and the most important elements of association compatibility that contribute to merger success. As more associations consider mergers as a strategic option, findings from additional studies will be useful in helping them navigate the pitfalls and realizing the promise inherent in these transactions.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Award winning online collaborative

The Tennessee Board of Regents Online Campus Collaborative received one of three top awards from the IMS Global Learning Consortium in its annual worldwide competition of high impact use of technology to improve learning. Two other platinum awards went to the Online Learning Environment at the University of Wollongong Australia and the Giiunti Labs at Volkswagen Group Italia.

Our division's online degree programs in Interdisciplinary Studies and Professional Studies are part of the ROCC. For more information visit and for undergraduate programs; and for the Master of Professional Studies program.

Share your continuing education expertise

The Journal of Continuing Higher Education (JCHE) announces a Call for Manuscripts. JCHE strives to support continuing higher education by serving as a forum for the reporting and exchange of information based on research, observations, and the experience relevant to the field. Issues are published in the winter, spring, and fall.

The Journal of Continuing Higher Education considers two types of articles:

1. Major articles-current research, theoretical models, conceptual
treatments-of up to 7,000 words on:
--organization and administration of continuing higher education
--development and application of new continuing education program thrusts
--adult and nontraditional students
--continuing education student programs and services
--research within continuing higher education and related fields
Manuscripts should have both theoretical and practical implications.

2. Best Practices articles of up to 4,000 words. These Best Practice articles contain descriptions of new, innovative, and successful programs or practices. The programs or practices should be replicable and of significance to continuing education.

For best consideration for the Fall 2008 issue, manuscripts are requested by July 14. Manuscript submission guidelines are available online at Potential authors should feel free to consult with JCHE editor Barbara Hanniford.She can be reached at or (216) 687-2149.

Remembrance of organizations past

"I find that the further I go back, the better things were, whether they happened or not."
Mark Twain

Updating my vitae, which caused me to recall those continuing education professional organizations that I formerly belonged to. Here's the list:

Iowa Association for Lifelong Learning

Missouri Association for Adult, Continuing, and Community Education

Missouri Valley Adult Education Association

All good groups. I served on the Board of IALL, but otherwise just enjoyed my time as a member and conference participant.

Monday, June 2, 2008

More academic job hunting advice

The Chronicle of Higher Education has a nice piece on the academic hiring process. Although aimed at hiring faculty, it still has good tips for continuing educators. Here's a excerpt where the candidate is asked about teaching a required course (ah, flashbacks of teaching Freshman Composition):

We asked one candidate from a top-tier department how she would handle students who didn't really want to be in her class. She paused, not quite grasping the idea that students might feel resentful at having to take a required course, and said, "Well, I have a problem with the fact that they don't want to be there."

Problem? My colleague and I worked not to catch each other's eye. Problem? Yes, we have a problem with it, too, but it's what we (and most academics) live with every day of our professional lives. Off the list.

A summary of more general job seeking advice can be found You're Not Getting the Job -- 25 Reasons Why at

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Music on the square

Jonesborough, Tennessee's oldest town, has a free concert every Friday night. Here we are listening to Dehilia Low from Ashville
They were followed by WIYO , a funky hillbilly swing group. Jonesborough is home to the world famous National Storytelling Festival For years, Cross-Disciplinary Studies partnered with the festival, offering credit courses to participants from all over the world. We stopped after Summer School took over that role.