Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Watched The House Bunny

on cable the other night. It's the college movie about the ex-Playboy bunny who leaves the mansion and ends up the house mother at a sorority. I liked it better when I first saw it when it was called Legally Blonde!

In classic bait-and-switch

William Saletan's article doesn't even mention the iPhone by name. Still, it does ponder the implications of checking your brickberry (if you lack an iPhone) during meetings.

Monday, June 29, 2009

No frills bachelor degrees

Sounds a lot like what we've been doing in continuing higher education for years. No concerts, no sports, no fitness centers--just convenience and learning.

Under the “no frills” model, students would attend focused classes at a different location than the university’s current campuses. The programs offered would be in high-demand areas such as business and education, and the teacher-student ratio would be higher, Mr. Olsen said. (A similar proposal was put forward in Pennsylvania this year.)

The program is envisioned as a middle ground between the state’s research universities and its community colleges. Students would receive Arizona State degrees, but they would not have the student-life or research opportunities available to students on the main campus. Tuition would be lower than the cost of attending one of the existing campuses, probably not exceeding the amount of a full Pell Grant, Mr. Olsen said.

And next month they'll start using both sides

of the toilet paper.

University of Denver Cutting Back on Summer A/C

The University of Denver is boosting temperatures in some of its buildings this summer to conserve energy and cut back on air conditioning. DU's energy engineer Tom McGee says temperatures in centrally controlled buildings will be boosted by about four degrees to an average room temperature of 76 degrees.

Is our online students

learning? Yes.

Online learning has definite advantages over face-to-face instruction when it comes to teaching and learning, according to a new meta-analysis released Friday by the U.S. Department of Education.

The study found that students who took all or part of their instruction online performed better, on average, than those taking the same course through face-to-face instruction. Further, those who took "blended" courses -- those that combine elements of online learning and face-to-face instruction -- appeared to do best of all. That finding could be significant as many colleges report that blended instruction is among the fastest-growing types of enrollment.

The Education Department examined all kinds of instruction, and found that the number of valid analyses of elementary and secondary education was too small to have much confidence in the results. But the positive results appeared consistent (and statistically significant) for all types of higher education, undergraduate and graduate, across a range of disciplines, the study said.

Fund the formula,

Tennessee. The state funding formula for higher education in Tennessee has never been fully funded during my time here. It's supposed to reward growth, move resources where needed most, be fair, yada yada yada.

Jones recently analyzed Tennessee's higher education funding formula for a grant application, calling it one of the best systems in the country. The formula, determined by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, would typically give more funds to schools with more students.

But the formula hasn't been fully funded in 20 years, meaning political interests can dictate where the limited amount of money goes.

"(The formulas) are very well designed; they're just not implemented," Jones said. "The budget recommendation goes to the legislature, and the legislature does what legislatures do."

The higher education funding formula is scheduled to come up for review this year, when possible changes will be discussed, said Stephanie Steele, assistant director of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.


Coffee. Not just good, but good for you!

Is Coffee Bad for You? Often, No

It's believed to improve mood, alertness, and energy. But is coffee bad for you? Despite past concerns about coffee, tea, and other sources of caffeine being detrimental to health, recent research suggests that regular coffee consumption may reduce the risk of health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, Parkinson's disease, and liver cancer—and regular coffee drinkers might even live longer. "For most people [who] choose to drink coffee, the benefits probably outweigh the risks," says Donald Hensrud, chair of the division of preventive medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

"In the past, a lot of people have tried to improve their health by cutting down on coffee," says Rob M. van Dam, assistant professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health. But that's probably an unnecessary sacrifice. Although experts once thought caffeine was harmful, recent "studies have been largely reassuring," he says. In the past, it has been hard to differentiate the health effects of coffee versus those tied to smoking cigarettes, since heavy coffee drinkers are more likely to smoke than other people.

On the other hand. If you want to go without...

Here are some of the signs of caffeine withdrawal, which typically appear 12 to 24 hours after abstaining from coffee.

Depressed mood
Muscle pain and stiffness

6 Signs of Caffeine Addiction

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Dual Credit

Mandated in Texas. I wonder how long it will take until this type of regulation is replicated across the country? Tennessee is already devoting an increasing number of lottery dollars for dual credit. Not coincidentally, this is the first year that our education lottery paid out more than it took it.

Dual College Credit Programs, Now Mandated, Become More Popular

Amy Simpson is preparing to teach her first college class, but she'll be teaching it at North Garland High School.

Simpson will spend the summer wading through the requirements for a college composition course, matching them to the state curriculum for high school English.

She'll pick materials and write lesson plans.And when students complete the class, they'll have the chance to earn both high school and college credit for it.

The dual credit program is not new. But the classes are becoming more popular due to a change in state law requiring districts to offer students an opportunity to earn up to 12 hours of college credit in high school.

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Southern Regional Educational Board

Fact Book is now available.

From the Summary:

College affordability increasingly challenges students from middle- and lower-income families, however. Students in SREB states, on average, pay less to attend college than their peers nationwide, although the gap narrowed significantly from 1998 to 2008. Tuition and fee levels at public four-year institutions in the SREB region by 2008 reached 91 percent of the national average — up from 78 percent a decade before. On the other hand, median household income in the SREB region dropped from 90 percent of the national level in 1997 to 86 percent of the national level in 2007. Thus, families in SREB states have relatively fewer resources for college expenses.

The portion of annual family income needed for a student to attend a public university for one year rose significantly for students from middle- and lower-income households in recent years. Students from middle-income families ($50,000 average annual income) used the equivalent of 22 percent of income in 1998 to pay for one year of tuition, fees, room and board. The costs climbed to 30 percent of family in-come by 2008. For students from families in the lowest fifth of incomes ($11,600 aver-age annual income), one year at a public university in 2008 cost the equivalent of 131 percent of annual income— up from 93 percent in 1998.

Recent funding trends and the 2009 economic downturn will make it increasingly difficult to hold back tuition increases. Tuition and fee revenues continue to rise faster than state and local appropriations. State appropriations for the SREB region’s public four-year colleges and universities increased 32 percent or $4 billion from 2003 to 2008, and tuition and fee revenues went up 66 percent or $5.2 billion. During the same period at public two-year colleges, state and local appropriations rose by 37 per-cent or $2 billion, and tuition and fee revenues went up 54 percent or $1.3 billion.

He's a leader

She's a bitch. This probably comes as no surprise, but people interpret the emotional states of men and women differently.

Face to Face
She's emotional. He's having a bad day.
When participants in an experiment looked at photos of women's and men's faces looking sad, afraid, angry, or disgusted, with a sentence beneath the image purporting to explain the emotion ("buried a family pet" for a sad face, for instance, and "was threatened by an attacker" for a fearful one), they offered starkly different explanations for the emotions: that women in the photos felt sad, angry or afraid because they were "emotional," but the pictured men felt those emotions because they were "having a bad day"—even when the expressions and their explanation was identical.

'Scuse me, while I kiss

This guy. I always thought misheard song lyrics were a product of poor hearing and/or poor vocalization. Turns out that there's more to it than that. These errors are sometimes called Mondegreens.

A personal favorite: my wife thought that the chorus to Burton Cummings "Stand Tall" http://tinyurl.com/l2bhyz was "Sen-core"--whatever that means. There's even a website devoted to favorite misunderstood lyrics KissThisGuy .

A recent study looks to explain the difficulty in interpreting song lyrics:

Turns out, unless you're looking at a person's face, it’s much harder to understand what he or she is saying (or singing), according to Ma, who recently authored a study on lip-reading.

“Understanding speech can be difficult, especially when it’s noisy,” or overwhelmed by a loud music track, says Ma, whose study appeared in the March journal of Public Library of Science.

“We found that this process can be helped a lot by looking at the speaker’s face. If you have only sound information, you will sometimes make mistakes. But if you also have the visual information, the brain will combine those two pieces and get a better sense of what’s being said.”

Blinded by the lyric? Study reveals why we get the words wrong

Thursday, June 25, 2009

You may be in trouble

If you start hearing these terms at work. People tend to avoid "firing" or "laying people off."

Restructuring plan
Restructuring program
Planned reduction
Head-count reduction
Reducing the current employee total
Workforce alignment
Aligning operations
Rebalancing employment levels

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Summer school ups

and downs. Our summer enrollments are trending upwards, but we have a big decrease in graduate enrollments while undergraduate is booming. And since many of our graduate students in the summer are teachers, College of Education enrollments in particular are down. This also means that revenues (while good) are less than we might expect with an overall enrollment increase since graduate tuition runs higher than undergraduate.

This might mean that folks see the value of completing bachelor's degrees and attending in the summer will accelerate the process and keep the cost down a little (since tuition always goes up the fall). Conversely, teachers, worried about their jobs or tightening their belts anticipating a year without salary increases, may be deciding to wait a while before continuing their education.

I wonder how summer school at other institutions is looking? I have heard over the grapevine that many are up, but I wonder if the graduate/undergraduate is splitting like ours?

Lard is back,


Wait long enough and everything bad for you is good again. Sugar? Naturally better than high-fructose corn syrup. Chocolate? A bar a day keeps the doctor away. Caffeine? Bring it on.

Lard, however, has always been a ridiculously hard sell. Over at least the last 15 years, it's repeatedly been given a clean bill of health, and good cooks regularly point out how superior this totally natural fat is for frying and pastries. But that hasn't been enough to keep Americans from recoiling—lard's negative connotations of flowing flesh and vats of grease and epithets like lardass and tub of lard have been absurd hurdles.

But no longer. I'm convinced that the redemption of lard is finally at hand because we live in a world where trendiness is next to godliness. And lard hits all the right notes, especially if you euphemize it as rendered pork fat—bacon butter

Time to rethink fat, as well.
Fat is where it's at
For decades, fat has been blamed for everything from heart disease to obesity to cancer. But new research shows that fat can be good for you.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Now airlines want to charge you

Five dollars to pay your $15 bag checking fee at the airport? WTF? Remember when flying used to be fun? From Budget Travel's blog:

United and US Airways will start charing $5 if you pay the fee for checking a bag at the airport check-in counter instead of in advance online. The fees themselves are $15 for the first checked bag and $25 for the second.

Meanwhile, Alaska Air is adding a $15 charge for the first checked bag starting July 1. For trips to Europe, Delta and Northwest are slapping on a $50 fee for the second checked bag (for flights departing on or after July 1).

Faced with the sluggish economy, the airlines are tacking on fees on top of fees to try to stay in the black. United, for one, believes it will rake in up to half-a-billion dollars in fees this year.

The iPhone

Saves reading.

The iPhone changed two big things about the way we approach information and entertainment. It personalized our relationship to news by shrinking the information outlet into a pocket-size platform we can constantly consult. That ubiquity replicates the attachment many readers feel for books, magazines, and newspapers. How many of us carry around something to read as much as a talisman
of broader engagement as means to keep boredom at bay?

The iPhone also created the app, a Chiclet-size portal into another world. And the app is changing the way we think about information, but it is also creating an opening for the information and entertainment brands, especially magazines and books.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Part-time students in Tennessee

Get a more level playing field, but tuition and fees go up nonetheless. But it could have been worse. And may well be in two years when the stimulus money runs out.

The Board of Regents has approved tuition increases of between 6 percent and 9 percent for full-time university students in Tennessee.

The amount an individual student's tuition increases will depend upon how many credit hours that person is taking. In the past, tuition has been capped at 12 credit hours. Additional hours were free.

Officials say the change will benefit part-time students. Board members have said they hope it encourages more people who cannot attend class full time to pursue a degree.

According to a news release from the board, the increase was approved on Friday. The only no vote came from student Regent Gionni Carr.

The Tennessee Board of Regents system includes six universities (Tennessee State, Middle Tennessee State, Austin Peay State, Tennessee Tech, East Tennessee State and Memphis), 13 two-year schools (including Nashville State, Volunteer State and Columbia State community colleges) and 26 technology centers.

Working for Bozeman

Want a job? Hand over your Facebook password

How would you like to apply for a job and have your prospective employer ask for the usernames and passwords for all your social-networking accounts?

That’s what’s happened to applicants for jobs with the city of Bozeman, Montana, who were surprised to discover they needed more than a work history and references.

“Please list any and all, current personal or business websites, web pages or memberships on any Internet-based chat rooms, social clubs or forums, to include, but not limited to: Facebook, Google, Yahoo, YouTube.com, MySpace, etc.,” reads a background-check waiver form that applicants had to sign. (There’s no mention of Twitter.) The form then contains three lines where applicants are to list their logins and passwords.

The request raised questions about privacy rights in Montana, whose constitution states: “The right of individual privacy is essential to the well-being of a free society and shall not be infringed without the showing of a compelling state interest.”

Is discovering a job applicant’s cheeky status updates or stupid YouTube videos a “compelling interest” for the city of Bozeman?

Chuck Winn, Bozeman’s assistant city manager, thinks so.

“Before we offer people employment in a public trust position, we have a responsibility to do a thorough background check,” Winn told CNET on Thursday. “Shame on us if there was information out there available about a person who applied for a job who was a child molester or had some sort of information out there on the Internet that kind of showed those propensities and we didn’t look for it, we didn’t ask, and we hired that person,” Winn said. “In many ways we would have let the public down.”

Sunday, June 21, 2009

I may have posted something earlier about my iPhone.

Time.com lists the top iPhone Apps for Father's Day. Oddly enough, the only one I have is the bartending one. Isn't technology wonderful?

Friday, June 19, 2009

This service

turns your electronic communication into analog versions. It's a way to keep connected with the "unplugged population."

Dear Grandpa, Here's a Printout of My Facebook Updates...

At 90, Chandler Murray's mailbox, not counting bills and solicitations, receives only a handful of seasonal letters from a few old friends. "People just don't write letters anymore," says his daughter, Heather Bellanca. And by people, she means anyone more than 20 years younger than Murray, who lives by himself in Middlebury, Vt. So in an effort to keep him connected, Bellanca, who lives a couple of hours away in Salem, N.Y., this spring started spending $9.95 a month for a service that sends him letters every week — letters family and friends e-mail to a company that prints the correspondence and delivers it, via U.S. Postal Service, to Murray's door.

The company is called Sunnygram, a play on telegram or maybe gramma — though grandpas like Murray might appreciate the correspondence as, say, a Father's Day gift. Sunnygram is the newest entrant in a field of products trying to bridge the technical divide between those who e-mail and their loved ones who don't. Early efforts, like the Mail Station and Mail Bug, tried to create computer products simple enough for the elderly to learn to use. The next generation of services has scrapped that paradigm entirely. Instead, companies like Sunnygram, Presto and Celery are turning e-mails into fax, phone message or stamped letter — media senior citizens already understand — so that users can keep in touch on their own terms. "My dad doesn't feel capable of managing e-mail, but I live in front of my computer," says Bellanca. Adds Presto CEO Peter Radsliff: "The adoption of all-electronic means of communication makes it more and more arduous for the technically savvy to revert to 'analog.'" That helps explain why the USPS lost $2.8 billion in fiscal year 2008 thanks to a 4.5% drop in pieces of mail sent.

Born to be

Transplanted. Study finds that organ donation increase when states repeal mandatory motorcycle helmet laws.
Donorcycles: Do Motorcycle Helmet Laws Reduce Organ Donations?
Abstract: Government traffic safety mandates are typically designed to reduce the harmful externalities of risky behaviors. We consider whether motorcycle helmet laws also reduce a beneficial externality by decreasing the pool of viable organ donors. Our central estimates show that organ donations due to motor vehicle fatalities increase by 10 percent when states repeal helmet laws. Two characteristics of this association suggest that it is causal: first, nearly all of it is concentrated among men, who account for over 90 percent of all motorcyclist deaths, and second, helmet mandates are unrelated to organ donations due to circumstances other than motor vehicle accidents. Our estimates imply that every death of a helmetless motorcyclist prevents or delays as many as 0.33 deaths among individuals on organ transplant waiting lists.

Stacy Dickert-Conlin, Todd Elder and Brian Moore https://www.msu.edu/~telder/donorcycles6-10-09.pdf

Today is

My 33rd Wedding Anniversary and Juneteenth Day. Alex, what day in June is associated both with the gain and loss of personal freedom?

When : Always on June 19th

Juneteenth Day celebrates and symbolizes the end of slavery in the United States. President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862. But, it was not until June 19, 1865 that all slaves were finally freed. That concluding event was when General Gordon Granger rode into Galveston, Texas with his troops and issued Order Number 3 which finally freed the last of the slaves.

The formal end of slavery was marked by the passing of the 13th amendment of the constitution.

History of Juneteenth

Thursday, June 18, 2009

University of Tennessee -- Chattanooga

To offer graduate tuition discounts to north Georgia residents. This is similar to programs at other colleges and universities in Tennessee that border other states.

Tennessee: Board expands, extends UTC regional discount

The discussion over expansion of the regional tuition discount program began when Mr. Foy proposed amending a one-year extension of the undergraduate discount to include graduate programs.

UTC generated more than $315,000 in revenue last year by enrolling North Georgia students. Mr. Foy, along with several other Chattanooga representatives, said the school could earn more money by opening the program to graduate students.

"Forty percent of the families in those border counties work in Chattanooga," Dr. Brown said. "We believe it is a good policy. It builds economic development in the Chattanooga region."

Mr. Wharton, a trustee on the finance committee, said he is concerned the proposal was made off-the-cuff and that there was no data proving it could generate revenue. Other board members, who ended up supporting the proposal, said they are "philosophically opposed" to a regional discount.

"We have to become more and more of a tuition-based operation," said UT board Vice Chairman Jim Murphy. "It is not right for the people from the state of Tennessee to subsidize people from Georgia."

Dr. Simek, who was given authority to veto the decision if he discovers it will not generate revenue, said he is concerned about using cheap tuition to draw graduate students.

"Graduate programs need to grow on their quality," he said. "We want to be careful that programs aren't attractive because they are cheap ... This idea came to us not very well developed."

Jim Hall, a trustee from Chattanooga, seemed visibly frustrated by comments made in opposition to the measure.

He said Chattanooga officials had tried to get the proposal on the agenda but were told no by Dr. Simek and his staff.

If the proposal had not passed Wednesday it would have been another year before it could have been voted on, he said.

"Come down to Chattanooga and visit and help us vision for our future," Mr. Hall said to Dr. Simek. "It is not good for us to feel our growth is being restricted."

Dr. Simek and UTC officials plan to study which graduate programs should be opened for a regional discount over the next month. Mr. Foy and Mr. Hall want to open up master's degree programs in education and business.

The decision will need to be made quickly since UTC wants to begin recruiting students for programs in the fall, Dr. Simek said.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Making Opportunity

Affordable and the higher ed structure in Tennessee. There is talk of reorganizing the governance structure of higher education in Tennessee. Now the process is being linked to a Making Opportunity Affordable initiative...

Before considering higher education reorganization, states should first make a thorough evaluation of how well their existing policies and structures align with the state's agenda and the public interest.

The national Making Opportunity Affordable initiative, in which Tennessee is one of eleven participating states from 37 original applicants, provides a framework, a process, and resources for doing this kind of evaluation. The MOA framework is about productivity – that is, increasing the production of postsecondary certificates and degrees within available resources from students and the State.

While MOA is not primarily about governance and structure, its productivity agenda naturally raises questions about Tennessee’s current configuration of postsecondary providers and how they are arranged or governed. For example:

* Are adult students, at all educational levels, best served by the current configuration of service providers?

* How could distance learning be better integrated to increase degree production?

* Does the current structure encourage or inhibit collaboration to serve students in geographically isolated areas?

* How might governance changes impact the articulation of courses and programs across institutions and systems?


Dean Dad looks at three approaches

to using the stimulous money in higher education:

For FY 2011 – meaning, July 1 of 2010 – we're told the stimulus will be gone, at least from higher ed. And the odds of tax receipts having bounced back to 2007 levels by then are vanishingly low. I've been hearing phrases like “that's when the wheels fall off” and “that's when we hit the wall.”

I've seen three different reactions to the foretellings of doom, each rational in its own way. One is simple denial. The future is unreadable, a year ago we thought we had money, who knows what might happen in another year? Besides, you people were all gloom-and-doom-y this year, and a pile of money just landed on us. All will be well, this too shall pass, so stop crying wolf. Use the stimulus money to compensate for this year's cut, and leave the future to the future.

Psychologically, it's understandable, but it's also incredibly dangerous. GM used this strategy for many years, and actually caught a few breaks along the way. But sooner or later the money fairy doesn't drop by anymore, and the truth hits. I'd like to avoid going the way of Pontiac.

The second I'd describe as “smoke 'em if ya got 'em!” I've heard some intelligent people argue that we should treat the coming year as a sort of Fat Tuesday, a last blowout before a long dry spell. (The article's mention of large numbers of administrators planning their own retirements to coincide with the end of the stimulus package strikes me as consistent with this. Stick around for the party, then go home.) If we're looking at several lean years to come, and possibly a lower baseline for many years beyond that, then let's fund sabbaticals and pet projects and Special Events while we still can. Get while the getting's good, because who knows when it'll be good again?

Again, there's some truth to this, but it strikes me as basically fatalistic. A year goes surprisingly fast – any parent of young children can attest to that – and then what? Squeezing off one more hit is not a plan.

The third, which I consider the best of a bad lot, takes the stimulus money as an opportunity to pay for things that lower the college's long-term operating costs. Money spent on, say, energy efficiency lowers our baseline expenses in future years, making it slightly easier to weather future cuts.

A masters degree

in planning? There are probably concentrations in (1) Strategic and (2) Making-It-Up-As-You Go.

Underscoring funding challenges, trustees this afternoon heard proposals for academic program discontinuances. The Knoxville campus proposes cutting three academic programs effective this fall: a minor in dance education; master of science in safety education; and master of science in planning.

Adjunct faculty teach dance classes, UT-Knoxville Chancellor Jimmy Cheek said. The safety education graduate program recently lost one faculty member who won't be replaced. The one faculty member in the planning graduate program will be shifted to another teaching area.

"These savings take a number of years to take effect, and I would think we would be more aggressive in program discontinuance," Trustee Charlie Anderson said.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Now you know:

Facebook users earn B's, not A's. Hmmm. I wonder if students who are more social tend to learn lower grades overall....

According to a new study by doctoral candidate Aryn Karpinski of Ohio State University and her co-author Adam Duberstein of Ohio Dominican University, college students who use the 200 million–member social network have significantly lower grade-point averages (GPAs) than those who do not.

The study, which will be presented at the annual meeting of the American Education Research Association on April 16, surveyed 219 undergraduate and graduate students and found that GPAs of Facebook users typically ranged a full grade point lower than those of nonusers — 3.0 to 3.5 for users versus 3.5 to 4.0 for their non-networking peers. It also found that 79% of Facebook members did not believe there was any link between their GPA and their networking habits.

How long till Tennessee

Considers letting community colleges offer selected bachelor's degrees? After all, it would be cheaper for the state and cheaper for students.

Community Colleges Challenge Hierarchy With 4-Year Degrees

When LaKisha Coleman received her associate’s degree at Miami Dade Community College six years ago, her best bet for a bachelor’s degree seemed to be at the more expensive Florida International University.

But nowadays, Miami Dade College — the “Community” has been dropped — offers bachelor’s degrees in teaching and nursing and public safety management, and will soon add engineering technology, film production and others. Ms. Coleman returned to Miami Dade two years ago and is about to graduate with a degree in public safety management.

Ms. Coleman now recommends the college to family members. “It’s much cheaper, the teachers are good, you can do it in the evening while you work, and everyone’s very helpful,” she said.

As Ms. Coleman discovered, the line between community colleges and four-year universities is blurring.

Florida leads the way, with 14 community colleges authorized to offer bachelor’s degrees, and 12 already doing so, in fields as varied as fire safety management and veterinary technology. But nationwide, 17 states, including Nevada, Texas and Washington, have allowed community colleges to award associate’s and bachelor’s degrees, and in some, the community colleges have become four-year institutions. Others states are considering community college baccalaureates.

Ben Stein on

Business travel and meetings.

Watch CBS Videos Online

Friday, June 12, 2009

Community college

Fast Facts from the American Association of Community Colleges

Click here to download the 2009 Fast Facts. (PDF) Data are derived from the most current information available as of January 2009.

Number and Type of Colleges
Total . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,177
Public . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 988
Independent . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 158
Tribal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31

Total . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11.7 million
Credit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6.7 million
Noncredit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 million
Enrolled full time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40%
Enrolled part time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60%

Average age . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
21 or younger . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47%
22–39. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40%
40 or older . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13%
Women . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58%
Men . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42%
Minorities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36%
Black . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13%
Hispanic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16%
Asian/Pacific Islander . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7%
Native American . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1%
First generation to attend college . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39%
Single parents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17%
Non-U.S. citizens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8%

Community college students constitute the following percentages of undergraduates:
All U.S. undergraduates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44%
First-time freshmen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40%
Native American . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52%
Asian/Pacific Islander . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45%
Black . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43%
Hispanic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52%

Employment Status
Full-time students employed full time . . . . . . . . . 27%
Full-time students employed part time . . . . . . . . . 50%
Part-time students employed full time . . . . . . . . . 50%
Part-time students employed part time . . . . . . . . 33%
Percentage of Federal Aid Received by Community Colleges
Pell Grants . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31%
Campus-based aid . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8%

Average Annual Tuition and Fees
Community colleges (public) . . . . . . . . . $2,402
4-year colleges (public) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $6,585

Degrees and Certificates Awarded Annually
Associate degrees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 612,915
Certificates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 328,268
Bachelor’s degrees—awarded by 31 public and 52 independent colleges

Thursday, June 11, 2009

What, no Hawthorne Effect?

Just paying attention to people doesn't work? I'm currently trying to increase output in my operation by making nearly everyone move her office. There has been an increase in the output of frustration and hard feelings....

John List and I stumbled onto the original, never-analyzed data from the original
illumination experiments done at the Hawthorne Plant. These studies gave rise to what is now known as the Hawthorne Effect.

We find that there actually wasn’t a Hawthorne Effect in the original data, at least not of the sort that you read about in virtually every introductory psychology textbook, where it is claimed that the workers’ output went up every time the lighting was changed, whether the change was to make the lights brighter or dimmer.

The Economist magazine has a nice piece on it.

UM purchasing

a nearly bankrupt private college?

The salvation of struggling Lambuth University could be its inclusion in the state higher education system.

The United Methodist Church-affiliated school in Jackson delayed faculty and staff payroll in both April and May as it flailed financially.

The Commercial Appeal in Memphis reported discussions between state officials and Lambuth that could result in the school becoming a campus of the University of Memphis.

Lydia Lenker, a spokeswoman for Gov. Phil Bredesen, confirmed to the newspaper that interim Lambuth President Jerry Israel, University of Memphis President
Shirley Raines and others met Tuesday afternoon with John Morgan, Bredesen's top

Even more on meetings

Study Proves the value of meeting
In order to strengthen the business case for meeting, U.S. Travel Association commissioned APCO Insight to survey 401 business executives at companies with more than $50 million in annual sales to gauge how much they value business travel as a means of growing revenue, developing talent and achieving their business goals. Despite 82 percent of the surveyed companies reporting that business travel is important to achieving their business results, business travel bookings through agencies have fallen 20 percent in January and February (according to tracking done by Amadeus).

Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management Professor Daniel Diermeier stated, “It’s a classic trade-off between short-term cost-reductions and long-term value. During times like these, many companies will go too far, and actually cut back on the activities that would best position them to compete in the future.”

According to the survey:

Nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of businesses surveyed say that increasing travel while others are cutting back creates an opportunity to build market share and new customer relationships.

Half (53 percent) also believe that companies that reduce their business travel will give an advantage to competitors who maintain their travel commitment.
81 percent believe that more client contact is necessary in a slow economy.
A strong majority (59 percent) strongly agree that in-person contact grows their business.

72 percent of businesses believe that increasing travel while others are cutting back creates an opportunity to build market share and new customer relationships.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

ACHE elections

One week left to vote! – Board of Directors and Vice President – Voting now open through June 15!

Please see the April/May issue of Five Minutes with ACHE for more information about the candidates.

Standing for Director-at-Large:

~Jeffery Alejandro
~Pam Collins~Paula Hogard
~Jane LeClair

Standing for Vice President:

~David Grebel
~Charles Hickox

Visit our home page or log into the ACHE Member Community and follow the links from there!

More on the benefits of professional meetings

I heard a nice editorial by Ben Stein last Sunday concerning business professional development meetings and their value to the economy, and I've been trying to find it to post. In the meantime, I'm doing a quick-and-dirty search for related items. Here's one I found that seems pretty good--albeit coming from the U.S. Travel Association:

Value of Meetings

When business meetings and events are cancelled, it’s the hourly-wage workers – not corporate CEOs – who pay the highest price. Meetings, events and performance incentive travel in the United States are responsible for almost 15% of all domestic travel. Generating 1 million jobs and $27 billion in wages, meetings and events can provide a solution to our economic woes. Meetings and events support local communities and working families around the country – something we cannot afford to overlook as we rebuild our economy.

Click here to find out what share of your state’s travel economy depends on meetings and events.

Click here to find out the importance of meetings and events travel in your state compared to others.

Business Growth

Meetings and events are valuable tools for U.S. businesses. Meetings and events drive business growth by fostering collaboration, idea-sharing and generation, and employee retention. Incentive programs have been shown to be two to three times more effective than cash at motivating employee performance. In a recent survey, Fortune 1000 Chief Marketing Officers said that meetings and events provide the highest return on investment of any marketing channel. A new study shows that 87 percent of Americans who have attended an out-of-town meeting or convention for work say it is important to running a strong business.

The Facts

Business travel creates 2.4 million jobs nationally. Meetings and events are directly responsible for 1 million jobs.

The Department of Labor reported that nearly 200,000 travel-related jobs were lost in 2008, and predicts another 247,000 will be lost in 2009.

Business travel accounts for $39 billion in tax revenue at the federal, state, and local levels.

Meetings and events are responsible for 15% of all travel-related spending.

Business travel supports more than 200 hotel and convention centers across the country.

According to the results of a Meetings and Conventions magazine study, 52 percent of respondents claim that the backlash against meetings has been extremely or moderately influential on their company’s decisions to hold events.

In a recent survey, 87 percent of Americans say that encouraging people to travel recreationally within the U.S. could improve the country's economic landscape.

Each meeting and event traveler spends an average of $1,000 per trip.

According to a recent survey of Fortune 1,000 Chief Marketing Officers, meetings and events provide the highest return on investment of any marketing channel.

Learn the facts about the impact of business travel and events.

Employee Development

Good managers encourage the professional growth of employees, and employers must make sound investments in key staff in order to retain top talent and secure the bottom line. Far from being a perk reserved for executives, meeting and performance incentive travel provides valuable development and networking opportunities for employees at all levels.

Non-cash incentives are 2 to 3 times more effective at motivating employee performance, and companies spend less on incentive travel than on cash compensation to achieve exceptional productivity from employees.

Meetings and events are strategic tools that deepen employee relationships and contribute to the overall health of companies. A 5% increase in employee retention can generate a 25 to 85% increase in profitability.

Companies with satisfied employees generate better overall returns in the stock market, with firms on the list of “100 Best Companies to Work For” generating up to five times as much return as their competitors.


Me as a Vulcan

Create Your Own

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The presidential search

At the former Northeast State Technical Community College gets down to the nitty-gritty. You can follow the interview on the interweb.

Three finalists to replace the retiring Bill Locke as president of Northeast State Community College are to undergo public interviews today on campus.

Janice Hoots Gilliam is to be interviewed by the presidential search advisory committee from 10:45 a.m. to noon, followed by R. Foster Chason from 1 to 2:15 p.m. and Steven R. Campbell from 2:30 to 3:45 p.m.

The interviews, to be held in Room 226 of the Wayne G. Basler Library on the Northeast State campus, will be shown live at www.northeaststate.edu/interviews and will be archived at the same Web address.

Campbell is vice president for business affairs at Northeast State Community College (previously known as Northeast State Technical Community College until legislation changing the name was signed into law by the governor last week).

Chason is vice president for student affairs and athletic director at Walters State Community College in Morristown.

Gilliam is vice president of student development services at Haywood Community College in Clyde, N.C.

Katherine High, chief of staff for the University of Tennessee system in Knoxville, withdrew from consideration after the presidential search advisory committee chose her as a finalist.

Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor Charles Manning, in answering a question from search committee member Dwight Ferguson about hiring within the TBR system or outside it, said that while some outside candidates might bring in new personnel, the “characteristics of the individuals are probably far more important than if they are within the system.”

Manning and Robert Thomas, a TBR member who chairs the committee, also said committee members should steer clear of asking questions about family, ethnicity or other personal matters, although they said the candidates could choose to share that information during the interviews or in informal conversations with the committee members.

After the interviews, Manning will confer with committee members for input and make a recommendation to the TBR.

Locke, who has headed the school since 1996, is to retire June 30 but has agreed to stay on for a limited time if needed in the transition.

A reception will be held for each candidate, and members of the community are welcome to attend. Gilliam’s was held Monday, Chason’s will be held today and Campbell’s will be held Wednesday, each from 5 to 6 p.m. in the President’s Conference Room.

By Rick Wagner
NET News Service

Top ten places to live

According to usnews.com

By the way, you'll get to check Albuquerque out when you attend the 2010 ACHE Annual Meeting and Conference! I might be able to spell it from memory by then.

A reprint of

My most recent column for Five Minutes with ACHE http://www.acheinc.org/08_09_news/April-May/index.html#

What is the value of the Annual Conference and Meeting?

One of the more pleasant responsibilities of the ACHE president is to visit each of the organization’s regional conferences. During the business meeting at one of these conferences, the vice chair of the region asked the attendees whether they should consider cancelling their 2010 regional meeting. After all, the economy was weak, budgets were tight, and travel was difficult. After a brief silence, one fellow spoke up. “You know,” he said, “if we cancel our meeting ourselves, then what we’re saying to the decision makers is that it wasn’t very important to begin with.”

I’ve cleaned up his language a bit – if I remember correctly, he had a more colorful term for the decision makers – and I know the decision is not quite that simple. But his comments stick in my mind and have shaped my thinking. This issue hits home because our state continuing education organization decided to cancel its fall conference for the first time in its history. While I didn’t disagree with that decision at the time, I now think it was a mistake. Our continuing education meetings are not trivial. All of this is a somewhat convoluted introduction to this month’s topic—the benefits of attending the ACHE Annual Conference and Meeting.

The Annual Conference and Meeting is important to the organization. The first task listed under the responsibilities of the ACHE President is to “ensure an Annual Conference and Meeting of the highest quality.” The Annual Conference and Meeting is ACHE’s signature activity and its success is the President’s responsibility. (I’m glad there’s no pressure.) A successful conference blends CONTENT, LOCATION, and COST. It requires a lineup of knowledgeable speakers and concurrent sessions, an attractive location, and a reasonable price that can garner institutional support. This is all intuitive to meeting planners as well as what our members report. As far as why ACHE members attend the Annual Conference and Meeting, overwhelmingly, they identify the opportunity to network as the primary benefit of attendance. But what does networking mean, and what other benefits can we identify from conference attendance? Here is my reasoning, which can be useful for folks who have to fight to attend the Annual Conference and Meeting.

It seems to me that a successful conference must have benefits for (1) the organization sending the attendee and (2) the professional continuing educator attending the conference. I am calling these Organizational Benefits and Professional Benefits, realizing, of course, that there is some overlap.

ORGANIZATIONAL BENEFITS. These are benefits that accrue primarily to the college or university. Organizations cannot succeed by isolating themselves, living in a vacuum, unaware of what the competition is doing. An ACHE-member organization wants its continuing educators to know current trends, new programming initiatives, best-practices in the field, model programs, and programs that make money as well as those that are unsuccessful. They want to know how their continuing education operation compares to others, both domestic and international. This learning takes place in formal settings—the concurrent sessions where peers share knowledge—and informally during breaks, receptions, and meals. The Annual Conference and Meeting is the perfect opportunity for this benchmarking to take place. Each year, while concurrent session topics change, conference attendees are always exposed to award-winning programs and successful marketing campaigns. The conference is a sea of ideas, an ocean of opportunities. It’s not uncommon to hear an ACHE member say they always take one or two good ideas from the conference back to their institution for implementation. This is networking, but it is also more. It is also what I like to call netlearning. And it’s certainly worth the cost and effort of attendance. Additionally, there is no better opportunity for a new continuing educator to learn about the field than in the conference setting. At a recent ACHE Great Plains regional, I witnessed a veteran continuing educator spend over an hour mentoring someone from another university who had just been appointed to a continuing education position. It was a conversation that developed from the simple question: “How do you do this at your institution?” In all my years in the field, I’ve never seen a continuing educator hesitate to answer that question.

PROFESSIONAL BENEFITS. These are benefits that accrue primarily to the individual continuing educator, but they are no less valuable organizational benefits. The Annual Conference and Meeting is the best opportunity to learn the culture of the field, to learn how to be a continuing educator. Professional conduct and collegiality are modeled. There are formal and informal opportunities for mentoring. Attendees learn about job openings, the status of searches, and if a search has a favored internal candidate. Attendees form contacts that can help them find future jobs. For example, I’ve written several letters of reference for colleagues I first met at an ACHE conference and have gotten to know throughout the years as we worked together on planning committees or other work of the association. I’ve called ACHE colleagues for recommendations when I’ve conducted my own searches.

Finally, and maybe most importantly, there is the sense of community found in ACHE. We’re comfortable around each other and it’s the one audience where we don’t have to explain what we do. We can say “non-credit” or “off-campus” and be immediately understood. During difficult times, when we can escape the pressures of enrollment levels, funding formulas, and cost/benefit ratios, this might be the most important benefit of all.

Monday, June 8, 2009

From the Blue Plum

Music Festival.
We were a sponsor of the 10th Annual Blue Plum Festival, held in downtown Johnson City this past weekend http://www.blueplum.org/. We set up a booth and gave out water and ETSU trinkets and information. Amy Johnson, who worked the booth last year in stifling heat, said that last year's sponsorship was the best thing the division did as far as marketing efforts--and this year was even better. We had lots of folks stop and inquire about continuing their education with one of our programs. Thanks to Amy, Jordan Swingle, James Stukes, Tamara Curtis, and all others who worked the booth or helped set up.

Friday, June 5, 2009

More on ETSU staff awards

Outstanding staff see State University are honored by their peers through the Distinguished Staff Awards at East Tennessee State University – presented annually at the university’s Staff Picnic sponsored by the Staff Senate – which include a $1,000 check, provided by the ETSU Foundation, and an engraved recognition memento from the Staff Senate.

Awards are usually made in six non-faculty employment categories, with Career Awards given as merited to staff members in any category. However, as no nominations were submitted for three of the EEOC categories this year, the Staff Senate voted to recognize two deserving individuals in each of the remaining categories, in addition to presenting one Career Award.

University employees nominate individuals for the awards based on one or more of these criteria: a staff member whose performance of assigned tasks deserves recognition and inspires other employees, positive attitude in working with others, commitment to the university community, and exercise of extraordinary courage.

Barbara Charlton of Cross-Disciplinary Studies received an award for the Professional/Non-Faculty Category. She has served the university for 35 years and is described as “often the first and last contact” that her students have with ETSU. A nominator notes, “Her cheerful demeanor, unfaltering commitment to student success, and capable service make her a model ambassador for ETSU. She brings a spirit of support and encouragement to ETSU students involved in our off-campus cohort programs; additionally, she serves as an encourager to others struggling with cancer, having recently celebrated her one-year cancer-free anniversary.”

Also a winner in the Professional/Non-Faculty Category is Carol Plummer in the Office of Student Affairs within the James H. Quillen College of Medicine. The 25-year employee is “totally committed to ETSU and the students and graduates of Quillen…she gives her all, every day, both at work and in the community.” She was tasked with implementing the Banner computer system for the College of Medicine, and then assisted other colleges on campus with their implementation of Banner. Her nominator states, “She is a pleasure to work with and is heavily relied upon throughout the college and institution for advice and guidance.”

In the Clerical/Secretarial Category, the award was presented to Billie Lancaster in the Registrar’s Office for being “the calm in the midst of change within her area” during the past year. She has been with the university since 1992. A nominator describes Lancaster as “always willing to lend a helping hand, giving 110 percent at all times.” When long lines of students formed at Financial Aid, “she was present to help answer questions, hold a student’s place in line for a restroom break, and secure water for a student needing to take medication.” One co-worker wrote, “No matter what we need – Band-Aid, Kleenex, something mended, or just a listening ear – she is there for us.” The nominator sums it up by saying, “The entire office looks to her for guidance, and they trust her. She has earned their respect.”

The other winner for the Clerical/Secretarial Category is Tonya Ward in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology in the Quillen College of Medicine. One nominator wrote: “I am not nominating her because she is a talented, motivated, disciplined and dependable employee. What sets her apart is the demand for excellence in all that she does.” Ward has been employed with ETSU since 1990, and is described as a “willing volunteer in assisting with the National Day of Prayer activities.” She helps decorate Stanton-Gerber Hall for various holidays, and is the sole clerical support person for all four courses taught by her department. She prepares materials for students, faculty and off-campus presenters, including items for national research meetings, and is “becoming an expert” in one of the computer systems. “She cares deeply about the world, treats others as they wish to be treated, and is a role model of professionalism.”

The first award winner in the Service/Maintenance Category is Su Lorencen of the Child Study Center, part of ETSU’s statewide Center of Excellence in Early Childhood Learning and Development in the Claudius G. Clemmer College of Education. She has been with ETSU since 1993. Her nomination states she “has a special place in her heart for children,” and adds, “she takes care of babies in such a way, you would think they were her own…she talks to the babies, reads to them, and listens to them.” Another comment on Lorencen’s role as mentor: “She demonstrates to these providers what quality infant care looks like and helps them grow in their own understanding of working effectively with young children and their families.” Saying that she “captures the joy and discovery of young children in her photography,” the nominator adds that Lorencen shares photo albums with parents as a keepsake for “the youngest of our ETSU students.” And a parent writes: “Her presence has made all the difference for not only our comfort as parents, but for our child’s attitude…she loves to go to school to see Ms. Su.”

The second award recipient in the Service/Maintenance Category is Wes Williams, who presently works with Custodial Services in the residence halls, after beginning his duties at ETSU in 1983 in one of the academic buildings. Williams was appointed group leader over men’s residence halls in November 2000. As a nominator says, his “quiet yet supporting manner and unending dedication to the university should be recognized….When someone is needed to work in harsh conditions, he is present.” And when sprinkler systems “burst in the dead of winter, he carried equipment up three flights of stairs to get water out of students’ apartments.” The nominator observed that after ETSU hosts almost 40 summer camps and conferences, Williams and his custodial crew are responsible for cleaning all the residence halls to make them ready for incoming university students each fall semester.

The Career Award, which recognizes longtime service to ETSU and excellence throughout the employee’s tenure, was presented to Susan Campbell in the Department of Chemistry within the College of Arts and Sciences, who was described as “conscientious, and dedicated.” An ETSU employee since 1976, Campbell “consistently strives for perfection as she works with students, prods forgetful faculty, and manages to get her work done in the same cheerful manner.” Another nominator noted: “She is as much a member of the department as any faculty member.” In addition to attending departmental functions and organizing social events, Campbell “is involved in every aspect of the department’s activities.” And, a faculty member said, when helping prepare a 300-page laboratory manual, Campbell “was a tireless worker and as much a contributor to the manual as any of us who wrote the experiments.”

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Ron Sundberg

Receives recognition for a successful year as Chair of ACHE New England from Ellen Griffin, the new Chair. Ellen works at Southern New Hampshire University. The ACHE New England conference was wonderful, and I would encourage other regions to bring these speakers in for their meetings. Raymond Guillette and James McCormack's session on Engagement Marketing for Adult Learners was--as they say around here--wicked good. For a professional development day in the fall, in partnership with Hesser College, the region is bringing in Stephen Brookfield to speak.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Just arrived


at the Fitch House, Mansfield Center, CT, for the ACHE New England regional meeting. It's a beautiful bed and breakfast, and I'm wondering if I have to get dressed for breakfast. I did bring pajamas and a robe, after all... http://fitchhouse.com/. No bar, though...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Tennnessee lost another continuing education

leader on Saturday. Dr. Paul Goldberg, founding Dean of Continuing Education at Roan State Community College and former President (and the only two-time president) of TACHE died Saturday morning. Paul called me shortly after I moved to Tennessee, and he and I rode together to Nashville for a meeting. He was a dear friend and colleague, and he will be missed. Somewhere in heaven, he and Barbara Belzer are already planning classes, teaching the saints to twitter...

Spent the weekend

in Asheville. We got a little sun, driving the convertible on the backroads over the mountains. We spent Sunday at Biltmore, and bought season tickets. Kathy loves Biltmore--I think she was a Vanderbilt in a previous life. That would also help explain our credit card bills! Me, I think Biltmore is interesting once--it's a big ass house with a lot of bedrooms and bathrooms. Here's a picture of the castle and one from base of the Bass Pond, optimistically called the waterfall.