Showing posts from October, 2008

The dropout crisis

From Time:
The U.S. is the only industrialized nation in the world where children are now less likely to receive a high school diploma than their parents were, according to an Oct. 23 report by the Education Trust, a children's advocacy group based in Washington. At the same time, two-thirds of new jobs in the U.S. require at minimum a college degree. That education gap could lead to devastating outcomes if a lack of skilled workers leads to more industries heading overseas and more Americans facing poverty and crime-ridden streets. "We are letting every other country surpass us in educating children," says Marguerite Kondracke, president and CEO of America's Promise Alliance, a nonprofit dedicated to improving education. "It's a risk not only to our economy, but our national security as well."

It's hard out here for a


Witches' Brouhaha

Fending Off Religious Tourists and Struggling to Organize a Coven on Halloween

The Chair Academy: 2009

Playing to your strengths (in Nashville--great title). The Tennessee Board of Regents is a sponsor. *
Call for Proposals
The Conference Goal is to provide programs that specifically address the administrative and academic needs of post-secondary leaders, develop the skills required for effective leadership, and maximize the opportunity for conference participants to interact with each other. *
Presentations are to be relevant, useful, and practical to the complex role of educational leaders. They are not to promote publications or other materials that involve remuneration, advertise consulting services, or endorse commercial ventures. Special consideration is given to topics relevant to the conference theme, "Soaring to New Heights through Exemplary Leadership." All sessions are participant centered, rather than lecture format, and actively involve participants through discussions and activities. * There are two types of conference presentations accepted, both 90 minutes in lengt…

A picture from the bedroom deck

Of my new house. We bought it for the view. I'm busy after work painting the inside, and we may have it ready to move into by Thanksgiving. But, we're off the Gatlinburg this weekend and ACHE starts the following weekend so we don't have much time. We closed on House2 last week, and a 30-year mortgage at my age--to quote Dwight Schrute--means I'm not buying a house, I'm buying a coffin.

Are you LinkedIn?

I am. This business social network is booming during the recession. Read about it at Time's LinkedIn: The Site That Likes a Bad Economy at See my LinkedIn profile at

I've pulled a few greenspans

In my Career. From Gregg Easterbrook's Tuesday Morning Quarterback:

"Those of us who have looked to the self-interest of lending institutions to protect shareholders' equity, myself included, are in a state of shocked disbelief," Alan Greenspan told Congress last week. Greenspan devoted much of his career as Fed chair to fighting the very regulations that might have prevented the 2008 financial meltdown and saved taxpayers $1 trillion; few high-and-mighty persons have ever been discredited more thoroughly. TMQ proposes that in slang, "greenspanning" should mean "putting a pompous dupe in charge of something" while "a greenspan" will mean "a colossal screw-up" and "to greenspan" will mean "to say in full seriousness such utter nonsense you should giggle." * I was once mentioned in TMQ: * More on the continuing debate about time travel. Reader Rick Osborn of Johnson City, Tenn., noted that…

So long hard times

I'm cashing in on my redneck retirement plan. I just got an email informing me I had won a lottery that I had not entered. Now if I'd just hear back from that Nigerian prince.... Does anyone respond to these anymore?
+ Euromillion Loteria Espana
+ Dear Sir/Madam
+ This is to officially bring to your notice of the newly draw result of October,2008. Were your email address was selected amongst the lucky winner in the first categories were your email address, emerged a s the lucky winner of a huge sum of $950,000.00USD. The lottery promotion program was conducted at our international corporate office complex here in Spain.
The Major aim of this prestigious award is to promote music, theater,art,literature,projects in the social and political arena with a focus on health, as well as science, research, and higher education. No ticket were sold.
* Your email address was attached to; (1) Batch. No EULO/2907/444/908/07 (11) Ticket No: WRNM/SMI/5990 (111) Lucky No: 10-23-44-72-80 (iv) Serial N…

I'm a walking economy

My hairline's in recession, my waist is a victim of inflation, and together they're putting me in a deep depression.

Parents and students face bad financial aid news:
Tuition hikes. Declining tax revenues and endowment returns will very likely spark schools to raise tuition. Rhode Island has already announced it will hike tuition at its public colleges in January by more than $200. It is also cutting the size of the average grant it awards by more than $125. Many other states could follow suit by next September.
Decreased savings. Because of higher living costs, about a third of all parents surveyed this summer said they had reduced or stopped contributing to a college savings account. Many of those who had invested their money for their children have watched in horror as their "529" accounts began to plummet. The silver lining: While most 529s haven't been keeping up with tuition inflation, at least they didn't crash as badly as the general market.
Smaller grant…

Check it out next year

At ACHE in Philadelphia. A Happy Hour Review Appearing in Modern Drunkard Magazine:
Drunkin Monkey @ Lucy's Hat Shop 247 Market Street, Philadelphia
It's a sad fact of life that one usually only gets to gorge on free food and booze during the more prominent holidays. Unless, of course, you live in Philly, where - if you've the urge to stuff yourself stupid and guzzle all the beer and vodka you can stand - you need only wait until Sunday.
Every Sunday from noon to five Lucy's Hat shop hosts the Drunkin Monkey, a five-hour bacchanalian feast that brings to mind Roman excesses, minus the vomitorium.
For $20 you get free access to domestic drafts, mimosas and the make-your-own Bloody Mary bar. Make sure you try my celebrated tomato-juice free Bloody Mary. They don't skimp on the food either: From noon 'til 2ish you can savor their breakfast bar with omelets made to order, sausages, fruit, pancakes, bagels and more. Then Phase Two of the feast …

Students, faculty, and staff

Protest budget cuts at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Tennessee colleges and universities face budget reductions as high as 15%, with no relief in sight for next year. In my time here, we have seen Tennessee move from a relatively low tuition state to a high tuition state.

Colleen Trenwith

Is one of our adult students in Cross-Disciplinary Studies. She is New Zealand’s best known fiddle player in the bluegrass and American old time fiddle styles. Here is her website: Here's information about CDS:

When you attend ACHE in Nashville

You might go easy on the country music. From Oddee's 10 Most Bizarre Scientific Papers at

The Effect of Country Music on Suicide (S. Stack and J. Gundlach; Wayne State University and Auburn University; 1992) According to the authors, Steven Stack and Jim Gundlach, the paper "assesses the link between country music and metropolitan suicide rates. Country music is hypothesized to nurture a suicidal mood through its concerns with problems common in the suicidal population, such as marital discord, alcohol abuse, and alienation from work. The results of a multiple regression analysis of 49 metropolitan areas show that the greater the airtime devoted to country music, the greater the white suicide rate. The effect is independent of divorce, southernness, poverty, and gun availability. The existence of a country music subculture is thought to reinforce the link between country music and suicide. Our model explains 51% of the variance in urban white sui…

Cleveland State Community College

In Tennessee is looking for a continuing educator. This was Debbie Adams' old position.
Director of Training and Continuing Education. Salary range $44,580 - $55,716. Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution required, Master's preferred. Duties include supervision of continuing education activities, business, industry, and government training. Applications accepted until November 7, 2008. Cleveland State Community College application and position announcements are available from: Human Resource Office, Cleveland State Community College, P. O. Box 3570, Cleveland, Tennessee 37320-3570; call: 423-478-6203; or e-mail Cleveland State Community College is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section 504/ADA employer.

Virtual wife

A cell phone program that nags you. From Topless Robot at

You shouldn't drink

And vote. Or bake. From Nancy Harbert writing in Time:
For a brief moment on Friday, Albuquerque, N.M., police officers wondered if it was illegal to drink and vote. Why? A woman had passed out while casting her ballot at an early-voting site. Bernalillo County Clerk Maggie Toulouse Oliver doesn't know if the woman completed her ballot — she was subsequently transported by ambulance to a local hospital, which has no record of admitting her — but said it will be counted.

You need to move your education programs online

This is from Kenneth J. Cooper, writing in Diverse Issues in Higher Education:

The flexibility and convenience of online degree programs have attracted minorities in droves, especially Black K-12 educators. Universities that deliver most or all of their courses online have become the leading producers of Blacks earning graduate degrees in education. The online trend is most pronounced among Black educators receiving doctorates, according to Diverse’s Top 100 Graduate Degree Producers. In 2006-07, four of the top five producers of Black doctorates in education were universities that offer mostly online or “blended” programs that combine Internet- and campus-based learning. The overall leader, Nova Southeastern University, produced nearly 20 percent of the 957 Blacks who earned doctorates in education that year. Nova is a nonprofit, but the other three big producers are proprietary institutions — Capella University in Minneapolis and the Argosy University campuses in Sarasota, Fla., and …

Good news at ETSU

Stanton to Stay on as ETSU President

Nashville, Tennessee, October 21, 2008—Chancellor Charles Manning announced today that East Tennessee State University President Paul Stanton has withdrawn his retirement and will stay on as president at ETSU. According to Manning, “Given the difficult financial circumstances the state faces, and the impact on ETSU, Dr. Stanton came to believe, at the urging of many, that the university needs stable continuity of leadership rather than a new president at this time. Governor Bredesen, chair of the TBR, Bob Thomas, vice chair, and I all agree, and we are very pleased at Dr. Stanton’s decision. We want to issue our sincere thanks to all the presidential search committee members who have worked so hard in this process. Their service and commitment to ETSU are outstanding.”

The Tennessee Board of Regents is the nation’s sixth largest higher education system, governing 45 post-secondary educational institutions. The TBR system includes six universities, 13…

This is a great location for a conference

Call for Papers and Presentations

June 21-24, 2009
The King and Prince Resort
St. Simons Island, Georgia

Proposals are due December 15, 2008

The Distance Learning Administration Conference focuses on the administration and management of distance learning. The conference specifically addresses the needs of those who plan, manage, and support distance education activities.

The Planning Committee of Distance Learning Administration 2009 invites proposals from the introductory through advanced level on all topics related to the management and administration of distance learning. Topic strands include:

* Managing Growth in Distance Education
* Training & Support for Distance Instructors
* Support for Distance Students
* Budget and Cost-Benefit of Distance Education
* Marketing Distance Courses and Programs
* Distance Learning Ethics and Copyright Issues
* Organizational Issues in Distance Education
* Quality Assurance and Evalua…

Shower with this and feel rosy all over

Tell me more about Rosie. Are you ready for caffeinated soap? It's called Shower Shock, and I'm not talking about Psycho. Here's a review at ThinkGeek:
I love my Ice Breakers Energy Mints, but now I can have an energy shower--and yet be alone. Just one warning from Time:
Caffeine intoxication is not uncommon: according to a 1998 study in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 7% of caffeine users have experienced it. The symptoms usually abate quickly when people quit caffeine, but in rare cases the symptoms can lead to death.

Something new

At Broadway on the Beach. There's a replica of the Morris Island next to the Margaritaville We've seen the real Morris Island Lighthouse on one of our trips to Charleston. Because we couldn't get very close, our pictures are not very good.

'Tis not a man!

'Tis a remorseless eating machine. Here's a picture from the bar at Drunken Jack's in Murrells Inlet, near Myrtle Beach Jack's is a good place, not too upscale, not too cheap. But it's not a buffet, and Kathy and I always look forward to one seafood buffet at the Redneck Riviera. Now, I hail from the third most obese state in the country (see, so I know my way around a buffet. But a seafood buffet in MB in October is another matter. It was like all the XXXLs in the country got an email telling them the beach and buffet were now open--and the rates were low. I was getting hip-checked in the crab leg line with comments like"out of my way, skinny" and "make room, runt." It was a boost to my self esteem. I was ready to visit the Gap outlet and buy some skinny jeans for the ACHE Conference. Unfortunately, there was a mirror in my hotel room. . . .

When we arrived at our hotel

Kathy said it was the location of the 2000 ACHE Conference. I'm afraid I can't remember. I must have been really absorbed into the conference content. I do recall some of the evening activities. Does anyone recognize the hotel? It's the Hilton Myrtle Beach Resort.In my defense, I've stayed at a lot of beachfront hotels since then...

Off to the Redneck Riviera

for a few days of vacation. Next week, in an event that happens as often as planetary alignments, ETSU and Johnson City Schools have Fall Break during the same week. So Kathy and I are taking a few days to go the beach. Since we are the probably the only couple in the U.S. currently buying a new house (look for us on the Today show), it may be the last time we vacation for a while. The only good thing about a 30 year mortgage at my age is that the way the stock market is diving, I'll have to work another 30 years anyway...

An arrest at MTSU

Everybody's safe. From the Tennessean: MURFREESBORO — First came the fires, then the threatening e-mails that warned of "large-scale devastation" at Middle Tennessee State University. In a post-Virginia Tech world, officials were taking no chances. They shut down classes Thursday as state, local and federal authorities descended on campus to search for and arrest a 19-year-old freshman they believe is responsible. Justin Davis, of Antioch, will face terrorism and arson charges. He was arrested at 5 p.m. Thursday and is reportedly cooperating with authorities.

I'm worried about my colleagues at

Middle Tennessee State University. I got word that MSTU has been shut down due to credible threats to the campus and will be closed until October 15. I can't confirm it--I don't see anything on their website, nor have I heard anything on the news.

Nashville Cats

Play wild as mountain dew. The second presidential debate will be held tonight just down the road at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. To get ready for the event, and to warm up for ACHE next month, let me share Radar'sDebate Drinking Game Take a sip of Tennessee's own Jack Daniels whenever:

John McCain refers to himself as a "maverick."
Barack Obama rolls his eyes when John McCain refers to himself as a "maverick."
Barack Obama refers to himself as the agent of "change."
John McCain rolls his eyes when Barack Obama refers to himself as an agent of "change" and says that he's the one who represents change.
John McCain brings up the fact that he, unlike Barack Obama, "gave everything but this life" to his country while a POW in Vietnam.
Barack Obama brings up the fact that he, unlike John McCain, doesn't own more houses than he can count.
John McCain equates Barack Obama with a lack of…

10 creepiest old ads

But this is not even Number One. See them all at

Before he cheats

Maybe next time he'll think (Warning: Country Music reference).U.S. News and World Report discusses using technology to catch college cheaters:
In addition, more universities are requiring online students to install equipment and software that will make it nearly impossible to cheat on tests. Troy University in Alabama encourages online students to install on their home computers a $150 anticheating package that includes a 360-degree webcam so that proctors can remotely monitor all sights and sounds in their rooms and software that locks down computers for anything but tests during exams. Other schools, such as UCF and Penn State, are installing test centers in which students sit at video-monitored desks and complete their exams using computers that have been cheat-proofed by blocking all ports and Internet access.

Since they got rid of Chief Illiniwek

things must be getting boring at the U of I. According to the Museum of Hoaxes, pranksters at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign recently added the Eye of Sauron to the McFarland Memorial Bell Tower. The tower looks like it was designed to host it. The Daily Illini reports that those responsible for placing the Eye on the tower remain unknown.


Dealing with Tough Times
A one-hour webinar especially for programs with a decline in enrollments.
Thursday, October 9
3 pm Eastern Time.
There is no charge to participate.
To sign up, click here. Or, for more information, email Tammy.
This is open to anyone, not just LERN members.

I'm just sayin'

We started running a series of ads last year that used a checklist of adult activities ending with "begin with your degree." I was recently sent a Internet ad from a major online university that used the same checklist idea. I'm sure they didn't model theirs after ours. Ours was developed in-house.