Friday, October 29, 2010

MALS student research

I visited a Master of Liberal Studies class and listened to students present their research topics.  The topics ranged from graphic narratives to Michigan traditional fiddle playing to an 18th century French botanist who passed through Johnson City.  I love this program!  Where else would you ever see topics like that in one class?

You and me could write a bad romance

This comes from the University of South Carolina student newspaper.

Deflem is confident in his Gaga knowledge to teach the course, and doesn't seem to doubt his sociological abilities either.

"I've been in sociology for 30 years," Deflem said. "So I think I know what it takes to be a sociologist in the sense that I think I know how to sociologically analyze a particular sociological issue, whether that issue is law or something like popular culture."

In the beginning, the course will deal with the sociology of popularity in general. The first couple weeks probably won't be about Lady Gaga at all. But then the Gaga scenario will be used as a real-life example detailing sociological traits. More specific information about the course content can be found at - a site Deflem has already created for the class.

"Initially I thought I should call the course the Sociology of Fame or the Sociology of Celebrity, and then I was going to use Lady Gaga as an example," Deflem said. "Then I thought, ‘Oh, what the hell? Let's make the whole freaking course about Lady Gaga and her rise to fame.'"

From Deflem's point of view, he doesn't believe it is going to be a terribly difficult course. It will, however, be very demanding in terms of workload.

Autumn at ETSU

And the leaves are falling outside my building....

Continuing education job openings

Even in tough times, colleges and universities are still hiring. Here are some continuing education jobs from the Chronicle of Higher Education and .

Saint Louis UniversityAssociate Dean of Academic Development

Thomas Nelson Community CollegeDirector of Professional and Continuing Education

Pensacola State CollegeDirector of Adult Education

University of Arkansas - Fort SmithDirector, Center for Lifelong Learning

University of NebraskaExecutive Director - University of Nebraska Online Worldwide

(Research Dollars Generated) + (Number of Students Taught x Tuition) - (Salary) =

Your value as a Texas A&M faculty member.

Putting a Price on Professors
A 265-page spreadsheet, released last month by the chancellor of the Texas A&M University system, amounted to a profit-and-loss statement for each faculty member, weighing annual salary against students taught, tuition generated, and research grants obtained.

Ghosts of ETSU

You'd think dead presidents would have better things to do.  Any ghosts on your campus?

Haints and Boogers: Washington County has its share of ghostly legends

Renowned folklorist Charles Edwin Price described the ETSU campus as “absolutely infested with ghosts, ghoulies and things that go bump in the night.” The eve of the school’s centennial seems like an opportune time to review some spectral stars.  
Gilbreath Hall is home to ETSU’s most famous ghost, the spirit of the man the building is named for: Sidney Gilbreath, the school’s first president. Uncle Sid is know as a helpful — even green — spirit, turning off lights in empty rooms and closing windows when storms approach. He’s been described as a “fussy custodian,” taking special care of his namesake property.

Carol Fox leads a class called ETSU 101, which includes a ghost walk. “I had a student who worked in the computer lab in Gilbreath Hall and would often have trouble with the elevators or lights when he was leaving late at night,” Fox said. “He would say, ‘I’m just a student, sir, and I’m supposed to be here.’ Then things would work.”

Burleson Hall reportedly also shares its name with a long-term ethereal resident. Acclaimed English professor and Shakespeare scholar Christine Burleson, in the throes of a crippling illness, committed suicide in 1967. That much is fact. Legend says that Professor Burleson’s spirit remains attached to the building named for her father, animating a large photograph of him with her large beautiful eyes, which follow visitors as they pass by on the second floor.

Dr. Grammar is IN

At the University of Northern Iowa.  And I've been looking for job when I retire since my wife didn't like my idea of traveling around to different festivals making and selling funnel cakes.

UNI's grammar expert can save you from language gaffes
Dr. Grammar treats awkward word usage and grammar gaffes, which language experts view as an epidemic.

The interactive online writing service targets students, government workers, business people and other writers, anywhere in the world, who need a nudge. The tool exemplifies a growing effort nationally to refine writing, researchers say.

Linda Adkins, a University of Northern Iowa writing instructor who was named Dr. Grammar last week, offers what dictionaries and grammar guides can't: a personal touch. She diagnoses and treats each case through an "ask a question" feature on the Dr. Grammar website.

Adkins, 64, learned the value of good writing outside the classroom as a young secretary in the 1960s.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Speaking as an alum, maybe the incentives should have gone to the students....

University of Iowa sees decline in Friday classes
The University of Iowa's plan to get students into classrooms on Fridays to curb drinking on Thursday nights isn't working as well as administrators had hoped.

The idea started in 2007, the university detailed a plan to offer faculty members incentives to hold more classes on Fridays. There was an increase in Friday classes in 2008, but a 2010 registrar report shows a decline since.

The Iowa City Press-Citizen reported Wednesday that the school is offering fewer Friday classes because officials say students aren't signing up for them. Kathryn Hall, director of academic programs and student development in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, said faculty don't want to schedule classes that will be cut because of low enrollment.

"It's a dilemma," Hall said. "You'd think it would be an easy thing to fix, but it's not."

Tennessee Alliance for Continuing Higher Education newsletter available

Enjoy reading the news from across Tennessee submitted by TACHE members?
Go to the TACHE Website and click on the “2010 current newsletter” link on the homepage.

Name Calipari president and move on

Save $200K.

UK president search may cost $200,000
"The challenge to you is to identify the leadership needs of this university," Shelton, the consultant, said. "You have a very attractive opportunity, but you have a very complex institution of higher learning."

He said the board, in looking for a cultural fit with Kentucky, can't ignore athletics.

"It is a reality, isn't it? Obviously, big-time athletics is going to be a part of this university," Shelton said. "Consequently, you need a president that is neither overwhelmed or so in awe that they can't do some very tough things, if needed. And you hope they're not needed."

The end of cursive

When's the last time you wrote in cursive?

Most college students print as cursive writing starts to disappear on Oregon campuses
On rare occasions when college students write by hand, nearly all of them use what educators call manuscript form, which is to say, they print. 

Cursive writing is endangered and may near extinction in another generation, educators say. With the rise of word processing, texting and twittering, young people have fewer needs to write by hand. Cursive is on its way to becoming an artifact for calligraphers.

Nashville is number 22

The Daily Beast lists America's Smartest Cities.  Boston is first; Las Vegas is last.

#22 (tie), Nashville, Tenn.
Daily Beast IQ Score: 113.33
2009 rank: 19
Metropolitan area population: 1,581,908
Bachelor’s degrees: 21%
Graduate degrees: 10%
Year-to-date adult nonfiction booksales: 1,465,000

#51, Memphis, Tenn.
Daily Beast IQ Score: 48.31
2009 rank: 51
Metropolitan area population: 1,304,905
Bachelor’s degrees: 15%
Graduate degrees: 9%
Year-to-date adult nonfiction booksales: 767,000

Professional Development for Women

Clemson University will be hosting Professional Development for Women Asheville Conference this December at the Grove Park Inn and Spa. Your networking luncheon, continental breakfast, and all breaks will be included in your tuition, as well as the powerful speakers that will teach you breakthrough career building techniques and ideas.

Here are the conference details:

Date: Monday, December 6, 2010

Times: Begins at 7:30 am with registration and a continental breakfast; Opening keynote session starts at 8:30 am; Conference ends at 4:00 pm; A networking luncheon will be provided, sponsored by Clemson University

Location: The Grove Park Inn and Spa

Cost: $225 per person or $195 per person for teams of four or more from the same organization

To Register: Email or call Kay James today at 864-656-2200.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I heard a lot about branding

at the ACHE Annual Conference and Meeting.  Especially in relationship to the organization. TargetX reminds us that branding is not all that simple a process.

The truth about branding
Branding continues to dominate so much of the discussion in higher ed marketing, and Geoffrey James can’t figure out why.

The popular writer and commentator on sales and marketing reacted recently to a series of radio spots run by a Boston-based brand consultancy.

“They’re selling snake oil,” he writes, “because it’s not possible to create a brand through anything that’s typically done under the name of branding.”

Let’s start with the truth, he says. Your brand is the reflection of four things, and none of them is your logo, tagline or anything else that a marketing agency may try to sell you. Your brand is made up of:

- The quality of your products and services (50 percent).
- The way you treat your customers (40 percent).
- The way you treat your employees (5 percent).
- How well you manage your institutional finances (5 percent).

There’s still this prevailing opinion — especially among university presidents and trustees — that you can craft a brand based on what you want people to think or believe about you, and then market it.

Farewell to arms

I first mentioned Paul earlier here.  For some reason, perhaps calamari-related, I am reminded of the famous pig joke:   A salesman is lost and stops at a farm to get directions. As he is talking to the farmer he notices a pig with a wooden leg. "How did the pig get a wooden leg?", he asks the farmer.

"Well", says the farmer, "that is a very special pig. One night not too long ago we had a fire start in the barn. That pig set up a great squealing that woke everyone, and by the time we got there he had herded all the other animals out of the barn and saved everyone of them."

"And that was when he hurt his leg?" asked the salesman.

"Oh no" says the farmer. "He was fine after that. Though a while later I was in the woods out back and a bear attacked me. That pig was near by, and he came running and set on that bear and chased him off. Saved me for sure."

"So the bear injured his leg then," says the salesman.

"Oh no. He came away without a scratch from that. Though a few days later my tractor turned over in a ditch, and I was knocked unconscious. Well, that pig dove into the ditch and pulled me out before I drowned."

"So he hurt his leg then?" asks the salesman.

"Oh no," says the farmer.

"So how did he get the wooden leg?" the salesman asks.

"Well", the farmer tells him, "When you have a pig like that, you don't want to eat him all at once."

Paul the Psychic Octopus Dies in Germany
Paul the prophetic World Cup octopus died peacefully of natural causes at the Oberhausen Sea Life Center in Germany last night, his keepers announced this morning. He was two, which is old for an octopus. Paul shot to fame during the World Cup for successfully predicting the outcome of eight games (there was a 1-in-256 chance he would guess them all correctly) by choosing between two mollusks marked with national flags. Ignoring suggestions that he should be reincarnated as calamari, Oberhausen Sea Life officials plan to honor Paul by burying him on aquarium grounds and erecting a "modest permanent shrine" to his psychic abilities. 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I know I am

But what are you? Beware of shared psychotic disorder this Halloween...

psychotic disorders
Can a married couple go crazy together?
Yes.  People suffering from schizophrenia, delusional disorder, or other psychotic disorders sometimes pass their symptoms along to those close to them. The medical literature on shared psychotic disorder consists almost exclusively of anecdotal cases with virtually no statistical data, but there are some patterns. Married couples and siblings are most likely to share psychoses, with sister pairs being more common than brother pairs. Ninety-five percent of cases occur within a nuclear family. The person with the root disorder, who usually experiences more severe symptoms, is often emotionally or financially dominant. The pair frequently lives in geographic, linguistic, or social isolation.

UW-Madison continuing education ceo job opening

The University of Wisconsin-Madison is conducting a national search for provost of lifelong learning and dean of the Division of Continuing Studies.

The Position Announcement is accessible at:

Please submit nominations and applications electronically to

To ensure consideration, applications must be received by November 22, 2010.

ETSU at Kingsport to hold a String Fall Jam on Oct. 28

The East Tennessee State University at Kingsport Student Service Board will hold the Kingsport String Fall Jam on Thursday, Oct. 28, from 3-4 p.m. in the ETSU Kingsport Center, 1501 University Blvd.

ETSU bluegrass program students will demonstrate their skills, and the public is invited to bring instruments and join them at this free celebration.

For further information, contact Jackie King, Student Service Board adviser, at (423) 392-8010.

The barefoot professor

Or Shoeless Dan Howell.  Say it ain't so.  From College Inc.

Barefoot professor in Virginia preaches shoelessness
Daniel Howell, a biology professor at Virginia's Liberty University, is on a "crusade to challenge America's cultural addiction to shoes", according to a feature in the Richmond Times-Dispatch that has hit the wires.

Howell "likens the shoe to a cast that immobilizes an otherwise healthy foot and prevents it from functioning as nature intended," the article says.

His argument doesn't always go over well in restaurants. So he carries a letter from the state health department that says bare feet in a restaurant is not a health code violation.

Howell teaches biology at Liberty and is required to wear shoes in the classroom. He took to barefoot walking by way of barefoot running, a practice that is, by contrast, well within the bounds of social acceptability.

He is author of "The Barefoot Book: 50 Great Reasons to Kick Off Your Shoes".

God help me I do love Top 10 lists

Top Ten Easiest, Cheapest, Laziest Halloween Costumes
Toilet paper mummy, anyone?

Continuing Education 101

I can't believe this is a hot topic nowadays.  We were doing this with our adult degree completion programs 15 years ago.  But I shouldn't belittle it.  It's just another example, I suppose, of universities becoming more like continuing education units.

For over a decade, the University of New Mexico has worked methodically to remove barriers that stand in the way of adults who might otherwise return to college to complete their degrees. Its efforts illustrate that obstacles facing former students and their colleges can be surmounted, but that it takes a campus working together to make it happen.

The university's Graduation Project identifies former students who had senior standing and were within a few courses of completing a bachelor's degree. They also needed to have left with at least a 2.0 grade-point average to participate.

To date, 2,816 students have come back to the university. Of those, about 2,000 have already graduated, a 71-percent graduation rate. That compares with New Mexico's six-year graduation rate of 43 percent.

The project's success has a lot to do with its "cut through the red tape" approach, according to university officials. "We basically act as the middleman," said Vanessa Shields, the program's manager.

Former students reapply using a special, short application form, and tuition assistance is offered to those with financial need. The university provides students with reports that outline the classes they need to graduate and works with them when their transcripts don't match well with current degree requirements.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Today is

Initiated in 1990, this is a national day is for devoted to helping others by doing volunteer work in the community. The activity can be almost anything. Millions of Americans participate in community improvement projects. It takes the form of cleanup, fixup, painting, and repair in poorer neighborhoods, parks and municipal facilities. It doesn't matter what project you take on. It doesn't matter whether you help a non-profit organization, the community, your town, nursing home, a church, a food kitchen, or any other group in need. What matters is that you participate.
For more information, go here.

Friday, October 22, 2010

From my Urban Dictionary Calendar

Workweek creep
1) Constant connectivity via your smartphone and computer blurs the boundaries between your work life and your personal life.

2) Constant connectivity at work via e-mail & chat, results in so many interruptions that you cannot get blocks of time to do any thinking, resulting in you catching up on your work at home on nights and weekends.

This is the third e-mail from my boss this weekend. I'm a victim of workweek creep!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Official drink of the ACHE Conference.

From my Urban Dictionary Calendar

Geriatric bypass
1. The act of denying your actual age in order to give others the impression that you are younger. 2. A medical procedure intended to provide persons of advanced years the appearance of being younger.

For the last twenty years, Jack claimed to others that he's only 39 years of age, and for the last five, he's even used hair coloring. He acts as if he's had a geriatric bypass.

Monday, October 18, 2010

From my Urban Dictionary Calendar

Facebook Fever:  The uncontrollable urge to check one's facebook every time one comes in contact with a computer.
Sam: "Dude, you've been on the computer for four hours reloading the same page. Don't you have a final exam tomorrow?"

Kyle: "Facebook Fever."

Sam: "No one has posted on your wall in days."

Kyle: "How do you know? They could have posted in between now and the last time that I reloaded the page."

SREB Adult Learning Report available

A Smart Move in Tough Times: How SREB States Can Strengthen Adult Learning and the Work Force.
This report, part of the Challenge to Lead education goals series, examines the impact of an undereducated work force and calls for making adult learning programs a priority across the SREB region especially during the current recession. A Smart Move tracks declining enrollment in adult learning programs in many SREB states and urges states to make a wise second investment in adults beyond the one the K-12 education system has already made in them, particularly those who need basic job skills, preparation for taking the GED tests, and assistance in learning English as a second language. The report outlines actions SREB states can take to help more adults without high school credentials complete adult learning programs and provides examples states can follow.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

From my Urban Dictionary Calendar

Charge it to the Game

Similar to a "party foul." Something caused by fate, that can't be altered.

I failed that test today. Oh well, charge it to the game....

AAACE Conference

Leading and Learning: Meeting Today's Challenges

2010 AAACE Conference
October 26-29
Clearwater Beach, Florida
(Preconferences, October 24-26)

For more information, click here.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

funny graphs
see more Funny Graphs

Not too late!

To register, click here.

Like they say in West

Back when the ACHE Conference was in Nashville, I spent some time posting instructions on how to speak Southern so as to enhance the conference experience for all involved. Also, I was fairly conversant in the lingo, thanks to my friends in low places. I didn't do the same for Philadelphia because, well, it was the North. Since we're in Albuquerque this Fall for ACHE, I thought I'd provide the same service I did for Nashville.

Here are some choice terms from Western Slang, Lingo & Phrases.

Cap the Climax - To beat all, surpass everything.

Cowboy Cocktail - Straight whiskey

Death On - Very fond of or very talented at. He made a "death on" speech at last night’s meeting.

Doggery - A cheap saloon

Exfluncticate - To utterly destroy.

Feeze - To be in a feeze is to be in a state of excitement.

Growlers - Buckets, cans, or pitchers carried by apprentices or children to the saloon to be filled with beer and returned to the workplace during the day. They were called "growlers" because of the grating noise when slid across the bar. Fetching the beer from the saloon in a growler was called rushing the growler, working the growler, or chasing the can

Jingled - Drunk

Judus Steer - Part of the cowboy's job during the drive was to identify the Judas steer. Once at the end of the trail, the Judas could simply lead the other cattle to slaughter with no hassle. If a particularly good Judas was found, he was spared the meat hook and used again.

Loaded for Bears - Lightly intoxicated.

Loaded to the Gunwhales - Full out drunk

Mucks, Mux - to make a muddle or failure of anything. "He made a regular mux of the whole business."

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

TACHE Conference

To register, click here.

Alpha Sigma Lambda

Is holding its annual conferences in connection with adult and continuing education association meetings.  Here's when they take place.  Learn more about Alpha Sigma Lambda, the national honor society for nontraditional/adult students here.

October 21, 2010. Association for Continuing Higher Education.

October 24, 2010. American Association for Adult & Continuing Education.

October 28, 2010. University Professional and Continuing Education Association

November 10, 2010. Council for Adult & Experiential Learning.

March 11, 2011. Adult Non-Traditional Students in Higher Education.

April 16, 2011. American Association of Community Colleges.

From my Urban Dictionary Calendar

Auto Incorrect:  When the auto-correct feature on your iPod Touch or iPhone tries to correct your spelling, but instead changes it to words that just don't make sense with what you're typing.
JR: Hey what time should i come?
Victor: I dont know... Are you busty all evening?

Monday, October 11, 2010

LERN Annual Conference

Stay Ahead of the Curve
November 6-8
Chicago, Illinois

For more information click here.

From my Urban Dictionary Calendar


Acronym for "good sounding bad idea." An idea that sounds exciting or plausable, but upon further thought or execution is revealed to be astoundingly dumb and/or dangerous.

Cat decided to ride her bike to school as exercise, disregarding the fact it was 10+ miles away and she needed to be there in 30 minutes.  She got detention for her GSBI. 

Friday, October 8, 2010

Some of what they say is true

But if nothing else, community colleges serve the same students at much, much lower cost.

For-profit college report takes aim at community colleges
In a report released Monday, a marketing firm working for the Coalition for Educational Success, an advocacy group for several privately held for-profit companies, argues that community colleges engage in "unsavory recruitment practices" and offer students "poorer-than-expected academic quality, course availability, class scheduling, job placement and personal attention."

The report crystallizes arguments from the for-profit sector that community colleges — perceived as the Obama administration's preferred set of institutions to offer work force training — are ill-equipped to serve the students they already enroll and would struggle in taking on larger enrollments. The document's release just ahead of today's summit is intended to tarnish the event's luster and the praise for community colleges that will come from President Obama and others, and it emerges amid the for-profit sector's aggressive lobbying, advertising and rallying against the U.S. Department of Education's proposed regulations on "gainful employment" and a Senate panel's investigation of the sector.

Continuing education job openings

Even in tough times, colleges and universities are still hiring.  Here are some continuing education jobs from the Chronicle of Higher Education and .
Dillard UniversityTechnical Trainer
Roxbury Community College:  Assistant Program Director
Colorado State University-PuebloProgram Manager (Conferences and Short Courses)

Workforce development

Camille Paglia writing in the Chronicle of Higher Education.  This is the educational philosophy behind Tennessee's Complete College Act.  Not that there's anything wrong with that...

Revalorizing the Trades
Vanishing of jobs will plague the rest of this decade and more. Meaningful employment is no longer guaranteed to dutiful, studious members of the middle class in the Western world. College education, which was hugely expanded after World War II and sold as a basic right, is doing a poor job of preparing young people for life outside of a narrow band of the professional class.

Yes, an elite education at stratospheric prices will smooth the way into law or medical school and supply a network of useful future contacts. But what if a student wants a different, less remunerative or status-oriented but more personally fulfilling career? There is little flexibility in American higher education to allow for alternative career tracks.

Jobs, and the preparation of students for them, should be front and center in the thinking of educators. The idea that college is a contemplative realm of humanistic inquiry, removed from vulgar material needs, is nonsense. The humanities have been gutted by four decades of pretentious postmodernist theory and insular identity politics. They bear little relationship to the liberal arts of broad perspective and profound erudition that I was lucky enough to experience in college in the 1960s.

"Thibodeaux, fontainbleau, the place is buzzin"

Mock ‘jazz funeral’ at LSU laments effect of budget cuts
Wearing black and holding signs such as, “Goodbye LSU – hello Louisiana State Community College,” several hundred students, faculty and staff led a jazz funeral march for education on Thursday around the Parade Ground.

Honoring the National Day of Action to Defend Public Education, the largely student-driven LSU effort was designed to protest ongoing state budget cuts against colleges and to raise community awareness.

“That’s what this is for — to get students more involved,” said organizer Bradley Wood, an LSU senior from Zachary helping to lead the new LSU “Proud Students” group.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

In another, more accurate way


MU chancellor, top administrators talk to faculty about program reviews
MU Chancellor Brady Deaton said the review of “low-producing” degree programs is intended to seek out ways to improve the quality of state institutions during a fall faculty meeting Wednesday afternoon with several dozen MU faculty.

Later, in an interview, Deaton said the possibility of consolidating and merging programs “in no way suggests reducing faculty at all.”

Connectile dysfunction

How to avoid it when flying to the ACHE Conference.

Get Cheap (or Free) Wi-Fi the Next Time You Fly
I flew across the country recently, and spent most of the flight doing offline things with my laptop and iPad — reading a book, playing games, working in Word. I could have logged onto the Internet, but I didn’t, because I was too cheap to pay about $10 for a paltry 5 hours of Wi-Fi. At least the next time I go, I’ll be better equipped to get cheap or free in-flight Internet access.

Hitchens' Drinking 101

It's getting near to conference time so a few words of advice about drinking are always appropriate, especially for our young continuing education colleagues.

Exclusive excerpts from Christopher Hitchens' memoir, Hitch-22
Of course, watching the clock for the start-time is probably a bad sign, but here are some simple pieces of advice for the young. Don't drink on an empty stomach: the main point of the refreshment is the enhancement of food. Don't drink if you have the blues: it's a junk cure. Drink when you are in a good mood. Cheap booze is a false economy. It's not true that you shouldn't drink alone: these can be the happiest glasses you ever drain. Hangovers are another bad sign, and you should not expect to be believed if you take refuge in saying you can't properly remember last night. (If you really don't remember, that's an even worse sign.) Avoid all narcotics: these make you more boring rather than less and are not designed—​as are the grape and the grain—​to enliven company. Be careful about up-grading too far to single malt Scotch: when you are voyaging in rough countries it won't be easily available. Never even think about driving a car if you have taken a drop. It's much worse to see a woman drunk than a man: I don't know quite why this is true but it just is. Don't ever be responsible for it.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

North Central considering tightening its standards

2 For-Profit Education Companies Seek to Move West for Accreditation
Bridgepoint's proposed move comes at the same time that North Central's Higher Learning Commission is close to approving a new policy calling for the institutions it accredits to have a "substantial presence" in its 19-state region. That measure will require that a majority of a college's administrative and business operations be located within the region, along with at least one campus.

In the case of institutions that are mostly online, like Bridgepoint, the location of the administrative offices, rather than where students are located, will be key to how the policy will be interpreted, said Sylvia Manning, president of the Higher Learning Commission. "We're not going to ask you where the students are dialing in from," she said

I'm a sucker for these generational adult student stories

Three generations attend TCC
Alberta Patterson started college at Wichita State University more than three decades ago, but having three daughters and no baby sitter put a stop to that.

She started a cleaning service and watched those girls, and later their siblings, grow up and go to school before she decided to go back to school herself.

"I just wanted to come back and fulfill my dream," she said.

Patterson, 61, has joined a son, daughter and grandson of hers at Tulsa Community College. All are taking classes at TCC this semester.

Email 101

Rule #1: Personalize your email address. Have an email address that identifies you clearly. Mine has my full name in it, so whomever gets my email knows right away its from me. If they know who I am, they’re more likely to open it.
To register, click here.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A better mix of candidates

Than applied for the TBR Chancellor opening.

69 candidates apply for head position at UT

This combines two of my favorite things

Top ten lists and cartoons.

The Top 10 Cartoon Theme Songs

KACL fall classes to feature Appalachia from prehistoric times to the present, all about DNA, legal pitfalls using Facebook and more

 Beginning Tuesday, Oct. 12, and continuing for six weeks, the Kingsport Alliance for Continued Learning (KACL) will offer weekday classes on a variety of subjects presented by authorities in the fields of history, law, economics, art, and travel.

Morning classes on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays will run from 10 a.m. – noon, while afternoon classes are from 1:30–3:30 p.m. Classes are held on the campus of ETSU at Kingsport, 1501 University Blvd., near Allandale Mansion, with the exception of a day trip to Wilderness Road State Park in Ewing, Va., and Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate.

KACL, in partnership with East Tennessee State University, has arranged a diverse series of courses with experts from many fields who welcome questions and comments from the participants. There are no grades, homework or tests.

For a fee of $45, enrollees can take advantage of any or all the classes. And this year, in light of the tight economic situation, the KACL board has decided to continue the policy that additional members of the immediate family can enroll for only $22 each. Also, any person who is interested in trying KACL courses may sample a single class free of charge.

Tuesday mornings will focus on the popular “Around the World” series with discussions led by visitors to England, Thailand, the Netherlands, Taiwan, Southeast Asia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, and Greece. Topics include British culture, the deadly tsunami in Thailand, the Khmer Civilization of Southeast Asia, the Trojan Horse, and the Parthenon of ancient Greece.

Tuesday afternoons and Wednesday mornings are devoted to historical perspectives. Discussions will include Appalachian topics such as archeology, prehistoric man, the Cherokee Nation, wars in Appalachia from the European settlement through the Civil War and present day conflicts. Another session will discuss Field Marshall Montgomery, emphasizing his role in WWII. Other classes explain what happened to the Twelve Apostles and new developments in Kingsport. Economic history will focus on the life and accomplishments of Alexander Hamilton as well as a return visit from ETSU’s Dr. Step Hipple, who will explore the economic climate of the near future.

On Thursday mornings, Dave Haga will continue his exploration of early American history, with this semester devoted to the Revolutionary War.

Thursday afternoons will feature a variety of topics including Bob Arrington discussing legal issues arising from dispute resolution and the risks associated with modern social networking, including Facebook, blogging and Twitter. Other topics will be DNA in forensic applications and genetic research.

A visit is planned to the new Kingsport Center for Higher Education in downtown Kingsport to learn more about the expansion of higher education in Northeast Tennessee. Students will discuss Japanese films as an art form, explore art works from the walls of Pompeii and learn about new strategic directions for the United States Navy for the 21st century.

On Tuesday, Oct. 12, a day trip will include a visit to Wilderness Road State Park to learn about life on the frontier in the 1700s, as Daniel Boone prepared to open settlement of lands west of the Appalachians. From there, the tour continues to Lincoln Memorial University and a lecture on the highlights of Abraham Lincoln’s life, followed by a tour of the Lincoln Museum. Bus transportation has been arranged, but seating is limited and requires a fee of $35 for registered KACL members or $45 for others.

For additional information about KACL or more details for the trip to Wilderness Road State Park and LMU on October 12, call Gwen Bays, ETSU at Kingsport, at (423) 392-8000.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Norvel Burkett retires

A colleague, friend, and longtime continuing educator has retired from the University of Tennessee. Norvel was active in ACHE and is a former president of the Tennessee Alliance for Continuing Higher Education.  He actually had two careers in continuing education--he spent 18 years at UT after spending 26 at Mississippi State University.  He must have started out as a child.

UT colleagues say farewell to Dr. Norvel L. Burkett
Burkett served as associate dean, interim dean, dean, and finally assistant provost and director of outreach and continuing education in his 18 years at UT. . . . 
Burkett has been an active member and instrumental leader of the Tennessee Alliance for Continuing Higher Education since 1992.

In 2006 he received the TACHE’s Barbara Beeler Award, which recognizes an individual who has a documented record of mentoring new members and improving the professional life of continuing education practitioners in the organization.

Last day for early bird conference and hotel rates for AAACE conference

American Association for Adult & Continuing Education
59th International Conference, Clearwater Beach, Florida
October 26-29

Questions and/or revisions concerning concurrent sessions and round tables, please email

Questions concerning the conference and/or registration, please email

God help me I do love Top 10 lists

Do not buy: 10 items with ludicrous markups

A private university with a large state grant

UT looks to boost fundraising with loss of stimulus money looming
Four years ago, the two main revenue sources for the University of Tennessee's Knoxville campus flipped.

For the first time, UT relied more on tuition than state appropriations to pay its bills. Each year after that, the gap has widened.

While administrators and trustees insist that tuition increases will always be on the table, the loss of the stimulus and one-time money that has been keeping budgets afloat has them turning to another money source: private donations.

The UT Foundation, the university's fundraising arm, will make a push to double its annual gifts in the next decade. By restructuring its financing to become independent from the university, it will be free to hire more people to raise more money. Goals are shifting to focus on bringing in more unrestricted dollars. The foundation is planning a new campaign after raising $1 billion in its last fundraising haul.

"The Legislature is still the biggest single donor we've got," said Interim President Jan Simek. "In the long run, we don't want to cut too much and we have to find ways to absorb tuition" increases.

The only alternative, he said, is going to be private donors.

The Legislature is not likely to return any of its nearly 30 percent cut taken out of higher education in the last three years, trustees agree. In fact, said board of trustees Vice Chairman Jim Murphy, the board cannot be sure the cuts won't continue.

Friday, October 1, 2010

ETSU 100 Year Celebration Convocation

Race to the top

Tennessee is one of the soberest.

The Drunkest States in America
This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. Think about it: Al Gore is pretty much the most famous person to come from Tennessee. When is the last time you’ve seen him drink anything? Actually, what am I talking about? Elvis was from Memphis and he definitely likes to get his drink on.

Total Alcohol Consumed: 28 gallons per person
Beer: 200.9 cans per person
Wine: 7.9 bottles per person
Spirits: 1.4 gallons per person

I guess there's hope now for ACHE past-president Chris Dougherty

Rutgers to launch program promoting politeness
Civility - behaving decently; not pilfering that piece of pizza from the office refrigerator; and controlling the urge to fire off a nasty, unsigned e-mail - is related to ethics, he said.

None of those behaviors is unique to the academic setting, of course. But Forni, who was taught manners by his mother growing up around Venice, Italy, said he has heard from college officials that some students seemed unaware of what was appropriate in their new setting.

"Devices of mass distraction," as he calls them, are a particular source of disruptive behavior: leaving class to take a cell-phone call, surfing the Internet or watching an online show instead of paying attention to an instructor.

"It's not respectful of the teacher," Forni said, "but it's also a way of not learning."

In addition to technology in classrooms, future discussions will focus on civility between the genders, sportsmanship, bullying, respect for the environment, good and bad campus-bus behavior, and multicultural interactions.

Continuing and adult educators have targeted these folks forever

Adults with 'some college' key to Obama's graduation goal
An estimated 37 million American adults ages 25 to 64, or about one-fifth of the working population, started college but never finished.

With President Obama pushing for the nation to regain the world lead in college completion by 2020, it's not surprising that the research community is beginning to pay more attention to the "some college" crowd. In terms of reaching the president's goal, they are the low-hanging fruit. It's a group some had previously ignored.

"It's really sort of morally objectionable to write off everyone over 30," said Jamie Merisotis, CEO of Lumina, in a recent interview at The Washington Post.

Continuing education job openings

Even in tough times, colleges and universities are still hiring.  Here are some continuing education jobs from the Chronicle of Higher Education and

University of Maryland University CollegeAssistant Dean for Teaching and Learning
Eastern Kentucky UniversityFacilitation Services Specialist
Central Michigan UniversityProgram Administrator
Union County CollegeDirector of Youth Programs
Cambridge CollegeExecutive Director
Kent State University:  Outreach Program Manager
Hudson County Community CollegeCoordinator, Non-Credit Programs
Bluefield State CollegeCoordinator of Off-Campus Sites
Stanford UniversityHorse Groom