Showing posts from September, 2008

As you polish your presentation for ACHE

here are some tips on improving your PowerPoint.
Presentation Zen: What is Good PowerPoint Design? at

It never hurts

To have an updated vita. Here's some good advice from TheChronicle of Higher Education'sCV Doctor:

Every year in our annual critique, we notice a few common mistakes. The following list, along with the CV critiques provided here, should serve as a starting point for anyone drafting a vita, or as a model for anyone looking to refine their current document.

1. Follow directions. Please. A fairly high number of people sent us documents -- such as teaching or research statements -- that we did not offer to critique. We wonder how many of those same people send in documents to search committees that they never requested. You will make the best impression in applying for positions by giving a committee the documents it asks for.

2. Quotations attached to the bottom of the e-mail message on which you submit your CV are unprofessional and cheesy. As much as we like chocolate or respect the accomplishments of Gandhi, we agree that jaunty little quotes on such subjects don't belong a…

Two out of my three sons

Have Tattoos. But I don't think they're in one of the following spots.

Newsweek's5 Painful Places to Get a Tattoo:
1. The eyeball. 2. The mons pubis. 3. The top of the foot or ankle. 4. Behind the ear. 5. The chest (above your rib cage). My third son is afraid of needles....

The October newsletter

from the National Program on Noncollegiate Sponsored Instruction is available at the PONSI

Contents include:
■ A site visit to the Bridgeport Hospital School of Nursing in Connecticut and a discussion with the Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivas Toras Moshe, Jerusalem, Israel.
■ A feature on Western International University.■ College Credit Recommendations encourage working adults to enroll in college. ■ How to Link Up with Adult Learners through college and university Logos and Profiles on the National PONSI Website. ■ How to Become a Cooperating College. ■ How to Work with Noncollegiate Organizations in your community.

I'll miss my trips to Charleston...

Mary Jackson, a Fiber Artist from Charleston, South Carolina, is a 2008 MacArthur Fellow. The $500,000 grant will come in handy, I'm sure. Charleston was the long-time home of ACHE, and it's fascinating to watch these basket weavers work.

Read about Mary and her work at

ACHE early bird deadline

Is Almost Here!

Last call for Early Bird registrations.
Save $50 on your conference registration fee when you register by this Friday, September 26.

The full conference program has been posted to the ACHE web site. Just click on "Conference Program" for all of the details on the great presentations and information-sharing opportunities that have been lined up.

Got an email

From my friend, Bill Duffy. (That's he on the right.) Bill recently resigned from the University of Tennessee at Martin, where he was Dean of Continuing Education. He's doing fine and has started consulting. Here's how to get hold of him.

Bill Duffy
Advanced Solutions Consulting, LLC.
"Making a Difference in Higher Education & Law Enforcement"
Cell: 731.267.0690
Fax: 731.512.0164
GO ARMY, BEAT NAVY - HOOAH! You might have guessed he's a West Point graduate. And of course, there's a story behind him leaving UT-M, but that's best shared over drinks.

Just in from the d'uh file

Students like to be able to take their lectures with them.

From I'll Take My Lecture to Go, Please in Inside Higher Ed: It looks like students can be open-minded after all: When provided with the option to view lectures online, rather than just in person, a full 82 percent of undergraduates kindly offered that they’d be willing to entertain an alternative to showing up to class and paying attention in real time.
A new study released today suggests not only a willingness but a “clear preference” among undergraduates for “lecture capture,” the technology that records, streams and stores what happens in the classroom for concurrent or later viewing.

Long distance information

Give me Memphis, Tennessee.Time has a list of 50 Authentic American Experiences, one for each state. Tennessee's is the Stax Museum:
There are no mummies at Memphis' Stax Museum of American Soul Music. Just some bad muthas. Or so they promise. The museum is located on the site of the original Stax Records company, a soul pioneer that released music from greats, including Otis Redding, Isaac Hayes, Wilson Pickett and Albert King. The museum definitely puts stuffier
institutions to shame with the baddest collection of memorabilia around. They've got a sequined stage dress from Tina Turner, Phalon Jones' saxophone retrieved from a lake after the airplane crash that killed Otis Redding and the Bar-Kays, and Isaac Hayes' 1972 Superfly Cadillac El Dorado, complete with a TV and fridge. Welcome to the reason America has more soul than any nation on earth. 926 E. McLemore Ave., Memphis; 901-946-2535; admission: $10. will be in…

I just was added to an RODP committee

To respond to new law that requires testing and verification of online classes.
From e School News:
The higher-education law signed by President Bush last month (See "Congress: Schools must clamp down on file sharing") demands that colleges authenticate test takers in online courses through the use of sophisticated identification technology or with exam proctors. While some high-ed officials believe the law will help lend greater credibility to online learning, others say the new mandate is largely unnecessary. The legislation promotes use of the latest monitoring methods, such as web cameras and keystroke recording, to ensure that test takers are, indeed, the students enrolled in an online course. Some campus officials and experts in online learning say distance educators have always taken precautions during exams, and they say the law questions the validity of distance learning itself—implying that online students cheat, while failing to impose strict anti-cheating policies …

14 Freedom Riders expelled in 1961

Received honorary doctorates from Tennessee State University on Thursday. The riders were jailed in Jackson, Mississippi, where they received notice from Tennessee A & I (TSU's name at that time) that they had been expelled for violating Tennessee state law.

Notes the Tennessean:

On Thursday, their alma mater, now known as Tennessee State University, made amends for those expulsion letters mailed to a Mississippi jail cell. Fourteen Freedom Riders were awarded honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees. recognition has been a long time coming. (The picture also comes from the Tennessean.)

ACHE will partner with

Graduate! Philadelphia for the 2009 Annual Conference and Meeting.Graduate! Philadelphia was created to enable and encourage the nearly 70,000 Philadelphia residents who had some college (but no degree) to earn one. It is a network of partnering Philadelphia institutions. (and I am told by Tish Szymurski that there are more colleges in the Philadelphia area than in any other metropolitan area in the world.) I just welcomed Kimberly Stephens, Director of Higher Education Partnerships and Services at Graduate! Philadelphia, to ACHE, where one of her first responsibilities will be to serve on the 2009 Conference planning Committee.

I recently learned about Kentucky's statewide initiative to target the approximately 310,000 state residents who have some college but no degree. The first stage of the initiative is called Project Graduate, and it focuses on the move than 11,000 adults who have 90 or more credit hours towards a degree.…

I contacted my friend, David Grebel, at TCU

And his city and university were spared problems from Hurricane Ike. It's hard to imagine that institutions in Galveston have not been devastated. From Inside Higher Education at
Colleges in Galveston are beginning to assess damage from Hurricane Ike. The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston remained on “emergency status” on Sunday, with many facilities lacking full power. Texas A&M University at Galveston will remain closed today as officials begin to assess damage. For colleges in the Houston area, the news was largely better. Many campuses will remain closed today, as work crews clear debris and deal with water damage in some buildings, but there have not been reports of massive damage. Some colleges that have posted information include the University of Houston and Rice University.Closings in Houston can be found at ACHE institutional members in Texas include Lamar University, LeTourneau Uni…

You don't know what you don't know

Don't I know it.* Just remembered the Dunning-Kruger Effect, where people who have little knowledge (or skill) tend to think they know more (or are more skilled) than they do while underestimating the knowledge and skills of others.
Allen Bellows explains in Damn Interesting: The more incompetent someone is in a particular area, the less qualified that person is to assess anyone's skill in that space, including their own. When one fails to recognize that he or she has performed poorly, the individual is left assuming that they have performed well. As a result, the incompetent will tend to grossly overestimate their skills and abilities. More importantly, to see how it relates to pick-up basketball (and eventually, everything relates to pick-up basketball, see Basketbawful at

Dancing in the dark

It's been a tough fall.
ETSU moved to a new student data management system, Banner. Monday was our census day, when enrollment statistics become official. Five days after census, I still don't know what our division's enrollment is. We have mined the data for our own home-grown enrollment reports, which show our degree programs flat. And by flat I mean down by one student. But I don't know if we can trust those reports, and in any case, they are not official.
* The transition this fall was difficult. Normally we have tools to track our enrollment: to identify students who have not registered and/or who have registered and not paid. This year we did not. I have compared it to trading in our PCs for IBM Selectric typewriters. (That reference will date me, but I remember when the Selectric was cutting edge technology). Our off-campus enrollments we keep out of necessity by hand, so those we know are accurate.
* Normally, all Tennessee Board of Regents enrollment is posted by i…

Some of these wouldn't work for ACHE

But it's good to have the perspective of a young professional. Sometimes those of us who routinely attend two or three conferences a year forget how hard it is for new staff to find the means to get into the circuit. Sometimes they don't even know that they can ask.

Thursday Bram's 6 Ways to Attend Awesome Conferences for Free:
1. Cover it for the press 2. Look for contests 3. Volunteer your services 4. Ask your boss to send you 5. Present at the conference 6. Ask for a scholarship

Speaking of LERN

Their newsletter, eLERN, listed these non-credit trends:

Fall Outlook

Certificate programs continue to be profitable, even in the recession.

Kids’ college registrations were strong this summer.

Avocational and leisure registrations continue to struggle.

Another November conference

Learning Resources Network
Annual Conference
Nov. 16-18, 2008
San Francisco
click for info

My alma mater

Makes up with corn.
The University of Iowa, after banning a corn-eating contest based on quantity, has accepted one based on speed. From the Iowa City Press Citizen: UI banned a student corn eating contest last year, saying with obesity at epidemic levels, it was wrong to promote a competition that encouraged gluttony -- whether it featured one of Iowa's major exports or not. . . .

This year, as part of Beat State Week, a week of festivities leading up to Saturday's football game against rival Iowa State, corn is back on the menu. However, instead of an all-you-can-eat affair, students will compete to see who can finish a single ear of corn first.

More bad news


Tennessee State University will lay off employees and combine classes to meet a budget shortfall as high as $6 million, due largely to plunging out-of-state student enrollment.

In addition, 1,300 students may be dropped from the school's rolls because they can't pay tuition, prompting TSU to send an emergency plea for money to everyone with any relationship to the university.

A languishing economy, restricted student loans, rising tuition and poor TSU policies could potentially drop enrollment to a 20-year low — less than a month after the school announced a plan to add 3,000 students by 2015.
From the Tennesean at

Who said enrollments increase in a bad economy? An update says that enough money was raised to keep 900 of the potential 1300 dropped students enrolled. One of the 1300 students only needed $150 to stay in school.

Adult Higher Education Alliance

AHEA 2008 Annual ConferenceAnimating Change in Adult Higher Education October 1-4, 2008 Mobile, Alabama AHEA 2008 Registration Form

Thought for the day


9th National Outreach Scholarship Conference

Innovation and Leadership for Engagement
October 7–9, 2008 The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel State College, Pennsylvania

National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships

2008 NACEP Conference
October 26-28, 2008 Kansas City, MO hosted by Johnson County Community College
Registration, Hotel and Transportation

The best time to start thinking about your retirement

Is before your boss does.
From Carol Patton's Prepping Employees for Their Golden Years in University Business at A recent survey of workers age 25 and over and retirees revealed that The percentage of workers who were very confident about having enough money for a comfortable retirement decreased from 27 percent last year to 18 percent this year, which reflects the biggest one-year drop in the history of the survey.

Almost half of the retirees (44 percent) stated that they spent more than expected on health care expenses.

Nearly half theworkers reported total savings/investments excluding the value of their primary residence or any defined benefit plan) of less than $50,000.

The bottom line is this: Unless the economy changes or the saving and spending habits of American workers do, many will be in trouble when they retire—that is, if they ever can retire.

Where administrators see good relations

Faculty see problems.

Eighty percent of administrators agreed that faculty-administration relations on their campuses were healthy, compared with 61 percent of faculty members. What's more, 85 percent of administrators gave positive marks to collaborative governance on their campuses, compared with 71 percent of faculty members. "Administrators suffer from real-life disconnect from employees," says Roger W. Bowen, a former general secretary of the AAUP and a former president of the State University of New York at New Paltz. "Senior administrators are so externally focused, and there is a presumption that the faculty will manage themselves. The faculty oftentimes feel neglected from senior administrators."
From Jeffrey J. Selingo's A Midlife Crisis Hits College Campuses at

Don't wait for the last train to Clarksville

INNOVATIVE PROFESSOR CONFERENCEEnhancing Student Access in the Online Community Austin Peay State University
October 14, 2008 * Visit the 2008 IPC Web page for conference and registration details at or call (931) 221-7816

Baby, baby, let me sleep on it

Sleeping on a tough decision doesn't help, according to Think, Blink or Sleep on It? The Impact of Modes of Thought on Complex Decision Making.
Deirdre Van Dyk, writing in Time, explains:

It took four experiments to make the point, but Newell's conclusion is that unconscious deliberation is no more effective than conscious deliberation — using lists of pros vs. cons, for example — for making complex decisions, and that if anything, people who deliberate methodically are better off. "If you have to make decisions, you have to do your homework," says Newell. "There is no magic unconscious."
The next time you ponder cancelling a class, don't expect help while you sleep. Blink, and make the decision.

In Heaven, there is no beer

That's why we drink it here.

Robert Paxton, the president at Iowa Central Community College, has resigned after a photo was discovered of him pouring beer into a young woman's mouth. The photo has raised questions about his conduct, and on Thursday, the college's board of trustees approved his resignation. Read more in the Chicago Tribune at