Tuesday, November 30, 2010

God help me I do love Top 10 lists

And don't call me Shirley.

10 Ways 'Airplane!' Predicted The Current TSA Fiasco
"The white zone is for immediate loading and unloading of passengers only."

Race to the top

Seriously, this time.

Tennessee no longer 'dropout factory' as high school graduation rate soars
In 2002, Tennessee had one of the lowest high school graduation rates in the country, but a report set for release today credits the state with making the largest leap in that category in the nation.

A study by Johns Hopkins University and America's Promise Alliance, founded by Gen. Colin Powell, says the graduation rate for Tennessee's public high schools grew from 59.6 percent in 2002 to 74.9 in 2008.

The report does not break down graduation rates by local school system. In 2008, Memphis City Schools' rate was 66.9 percent, and Shelby County Schools' rate was 96.1 percent, according to the Tennessee Department of Education.

Today, Gov. Phil Bredesen and leaders from other high-achieving parts of the country, including New York City, Alabama and Indiana, are in Washington to talk with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan about what programs worked.

Call for Papers and Presentations


DISTANCE LEARNING ADMINISTRATION 2011
May 22-25, 2011
Hilton Savannah DeSoto
Savannah, Georgia
Proposals are due December 17, 2010.  Proposals will include a 30 to 50-word description. Instructions for submittal can be found at the conference website: here.

New editors for Adult Education Quarterly announced

The American Association for Adult and Continuing Education (AAACE) is proud to announce the selection of new editors for Adult Education Quarterly (AEQ): Dr. Amy Rose and Dr. Lisa Baumgartner of Northern Illinois University, and Dr. Jovita Ross-Gordon, and Dr. Ann Brooks of Texas State University-San Marcos.

The transition to the new AEQ editors will begin this fall, and the new editors will assume leadership of the journal next spring (2011). The submission process to submit articles for review will remain the same: manuscripts should be sent electronically to the AEQ at the Sage manuscript central website,  aeq.sagepub.com.

NCORE 2011 Call for Presentations

The 24th Annual National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education

May 31-June 4
San Francisco, California

Submission deadline is January 21, 2011.  Go here for more information.

Save the date for the 2011 TCU Wine Tour

They do more than just play football at Texas Christian University. This extremely popular continuing education program sells out fast.
Destination: Oregon's Willamette Valley
Dates: Friday, October 7 - Tuesday, October 11

Enjoy private winery tours and tastings, meals with a northwest flair, and accommodations at the luxurious Allison Inn & Spa

Registration will occur mid-to-late Spring 2011 Tour details (including fees) TBA.

Visit the TCU website for more information.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Your next job interview may be on Skype

The Tenured Radical predicts a major change in the academic job interview process.  And she has some good tips on getting ready for a Skype interview.  I have to say that this certainly beats a phone interview. Those are typically awful  And I agree it's only a matter of time until most candidates in higher education are screened this way. 

The Job Market Is A Lot Like The PBS NewsHour, And Other Advice For Skype Interviews
However, the economic crash, the near-freeze in new hiring that followed in 2008-09, and the cautious thaw in pared down academic budgets in 2009-10 may have put a permanent dent in sending hiring committees to the annual conference, even though the professional organizations don't like it (go here for a great 2009 blog post by Robert B. Townsend of the American Historical Association in response to the last time I declared the death of the conference interview.)

Let's face it: searches are expensive and time-consuming. Depending on where the candidates are coming from, where your campus is and whether you are served by a major or a minor airport (when was the last time you tried to buy a plane ticket to or from Tulsa? Columbus? Flagstaff? Williamstown? Burlington? Ithaca? Corvallis?) a visit to campus from one candidate can cost up to $2500. Most colleges have shaved a hundred bucks off each visit by making the faculty purchase their own alcohol, but there really isn't any way to budget less without asking the candidate to bring a sleeping bag. One way to save real money, and a few precious days of winter break, is to not send three to five faculty to the annual conference. This will result resulting in saving your institution a minimum of $3K, and as much as $8K. And think what kind of money it could save the job candidates? There are so few jobs that hardly anyone has even two interviews anymore.

So Miss Desmond, get ready for your close-up. It's time for the Skype interview.

These stories never get old

Even if the students do.  Ba-doom Pshh.  I love her statement about continuing to work.  Reminiscent, of course, of what Micky Mantle said: "If I knew I was going to live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself."

College Inc. - Anne Arundel student celebrates 100th birthday
Myrtle Berglund, a student at Anne Arundel Community College, celebrated her 100th birthday Tuesday at the Arnold Senior Center, where she takes classes.

The lunchtime party included a jazz ensemble and cake brought by Berglund's family.

Berglund was born in Bridgeport, Conn., according to a profile in the Annapolis Capital. She attended business school, worked at a bank during the Depression, got laid off, then worked for a Bridgeport plant until it closed in the 1970s. She retired in 1980. She never married.

She told the paper, "I think I would have kept working if I'd known I was going to live so long."

Her community college courses: Maryland History, the Art of Pottery, Adaptive PE and Enhancing Mind Functions.

Get your MBA on Facebook

Now, when Betty White calls Facebook a "huge waste of time," users can point to this.

. . . thanks to a pair of young British entrepreneurs, students who do want both a business education and the credential to prove it can now pursue their studies at the same time as they “poke” their friends, tag photos, update their relationship status or harvest their virtual crops on FarmVille.

The London School of Business and Finance Global M.B.A. bills itself as “the world’s first internationally recognized M.B.A. to be delivered through a Facebook application.”

Introduced late last month, the application already has more than 30,000 active users accessing courses in corporate finance, accounting, ethics, marketing and strategic planning, according to the business school.

Friday, November 26, 2010

ROI

Somehow, I always suspected this.

The National Retail Federation estimates that Black Friday bargains will entice approximately 138 million consumers to hit stores during the 2010 Thanksgiving holiday weekend, an increase of 4 million people over last year.

Millions of Americans will brave long lines, overcrowded stores and early morning winter weather in the hopes of scoring the best deals this season. But is the added effort actually worth it? 

According to experts, not really.

“Black Friday is a promotion and retailers rally around it,” Regina Lewis, who works as a consumer adviser for AOL, says, before adding that you don’t need to shop on Black Friday to get the best deals.

Things you need but didn't know it

Today is Black Friday, and if you're in a shopping mood, here's something for the drinking man who has almost everything.  Found this on Cool Material,where the pictures came from.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

If you're flying today

I hope you have a gentle patdown, and may you be blessed with a seat in redneck first classFrom the Urban Dictionary, naturally.

Redneck First Class: When you are flying in the coach section of an airplane and one or both of the other two seats are unoccupied giving you more room, to stretch, lean or lie down.

The middle seat was unoccupied on my recent flight home so I got to sit in Redneck First Class

Layoffs begin at UT

But don't blame the end of stimulus funding. From knoxnews.com.

University of Tennessee notifies 11 of June layoff
The University of Tennessee notified 11 people last week in its Office of Alumni and Development Affairs that they will be laid off.

The employees will continue to work until June, when the fiscal year ends and the university faces $56 million in budget cuts. The department will likely create three new higher-paid positions next year.

Between the layoffs and the creation of the three new positions, the department estimates a savings of $283,763.

It's not clear whether there will be more layoffs in the future, said Margie Nichols, vice chancellor for communications at UT.

"We've really tried to manage (budget cuts) with stimulus and attrition, but as the date gets closer, I can't say definitively yes or no," Nichols said.

Most of the budget cuts have been plugged for the last two years with federal stimulus money, but that will run out June 30, the end of the fiscal year.

Though there are hundreds of employees on campus being paid with stimulus money and who know their jobs are in jeopardy when the funding runs out, the 11 employees notified last week were not among them.

More on the for-profits

For-Profit College Graduation Rate: 22 Percent
For-profit colleges graduated an average of 22 percent of their students in 2008, according to a new report from Education Trust.

That average palls in comparison to bachelor's-seeking graduation rates at public and private non-profit colleges and universities for the same year, which averaged 55 percent and 65 percent, respectively.

The report, titled "Subprime Opportunity" (PDF) also reveals that for-profit colleges increased their enrollment by 236 percent from 1998 to 2009.

The median debt of for-profit college graduates -- $31,190 -- far outpaces that of private non-profit college graduates, which stands at $17,040, and is more than triple the median debt for those from public colleges, which is $7,960.

The University of Phoenix had one of the lower graduation rates at five percent, though the school said in a statement that when all of its students are accounted for -- not just those in federal data -- its graduation rate for bachelor's degree seekers rises to 36 percent.

Call for Proposals

National Association of Branch Campus Administrators
“On the Horizon: Regional/Branch Campuses in Higher Education”
April 20 – 23, 2011
Seattle, Washington: Marriott Waterfront Downtown

2011 NABCA Conference Proposal Form.

We welcome proposals that encourage discussion, dialogue, and engagement in the area of branch and regional campuses, centers, and the students served. We also encourage proposals that address challenges faced, and the processes or innovation used to overcome or adjust to the challenges. Especially sought are proposals that reflect best practices, recent findings, and/or new perspectives. We look forward to proposals that provide diverse and innovative perspectives on the topic or issue your proposal addresses.

Completed proposals should be sent as an email attachment to: jgossom@uwf.edu  and must be received by January 14, 2011, 5:00 pm Central Standard Time. A confirmation email will be sent within five business days of receipt of a proposal. If you do not receive a confirmation email, please call joyce gillie gossom (850-863-6583).

Accepted proposals and the contact person will be notified by January 28, 2011.

Call for Proposals

The Program Committee for the 2011 ACHE Annual Conference and Meeting invites proposals for interactive sessions to be presented at the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek in Orlando, Florida, October 13-15, 2011. Proposals can address the following and should consider not only what we should know, do, and be, but also what is reasonable, realistic, and sustainable. Topics may include:
Our “Adult” Learner: Who are they and how do we reach them?
Our “Adult” Educator: Growing the next generation of educators for continuing higher education.
Our “Institutional” Practices: Defining the sustainable practices that allow higher education institutions to better serve and better educate adult learners
Our Increasing Dependence on Technology: Identifying the latest, most impactful "must know" tools and trends.
Our Increasing Need to Become Data Driven: Exploring methods of assessment for what we do and how we do it
Our Everyday Practice: Finance, law, fundraising, budgeting, managing grants, etc.
Our Increasing Need to Become Interdependent: Developing connections with our partners in higher education (other organizations for higher education; for-profit and nonprofit organizations, governmental agencies, college and university departments and programs; traditional students and faculty; etc.)
Proposed sessions should be submitted via the ACHE conference website and the “Submit Your Proposal” link by Friday, February 11, 2011. You will be notified regarding the status of your submission by April 15, 2011.

From my Urban Dictionary Calendar

Lava lamp: A person who is very attractive but very unintelligent.  Named after the novelty light fixture that is fun to look at but not that bright.

You're actually considering going out with Alicia?  She may be pretty and all, but she's a total lava lamp.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tops in the Tri Cities

Cities were ranked in three main categories: economic vitality, business tax burden, and community allure. Separate scores were given to each city for each category based on a number of factors, including business and individual tax rates, job and population growth, median household income, cost of living, crime rates, and a combination of high school graduation rates and ACT scores.

In the end, each city was awarded an overall rank on a 100-point scale based on their scores in each of three categories, with economic vitality and business tax burden each making up 40 percent of the score, and community allure filling in the final 20 percent.

Overall, Johnson City scored 47.02 out of a possible score of 100, with a 33.9 in economic vitality, 51.6 in business tax burden, and 64.2 in community allure. In individual categories, Johnson City scored very high in crime rate per capita, ACT scores, and cost of living. The city scored lowest in median per capita income, individual tax burden and population growth.

Bristol and Kingsport ranked 39th and 40th, with scores of 40.2 and 40, respectively.

Nine Middle Tennessee cities ranked in the top 10, with one East Tennessee city, Farragut, finishing at second place. The Nashville suburb of Mt. Juliet took the title of Tennessee’s Most Business-Friendly City in 2010.

“For this year’s most business-friendly cities, these rankings signify responsible, limited governance, reasonable tax rates, quality school systems, low crime, and a thriving economy despite significant economic hurdles,” the report said.

Memphis received the lowest possible ranking, TCPR said, due to a “staggeringly high property tax, a high crime rate, and low education marks.”

Tempus fugit

I got my 20 year pin today.  Had a free breakfast and got a nice tie pin and certificate.  One person had been here 40 years.

Call for Proposals


ACHE South is seeking proposals for concurrent sessions for the 2011 conference, April 17 - 20, 2011. This year’s theme is “Viva Fiesta: A Celebration of Lifelong Learning.” Information about conference tracks and proposal guidelines can be found on the website at Call for Proposals.

Send proposals via email by January 14, 2011 as a Microsoft Word attachment to:  Amy Johnson at East Tennessee State University.

More on improving your presentation

It's time to plan your presentations for the ACHE Annual Conference and Meeting in Orlando. To help you get ready, here's Chris Brogan with some valuable Presentation Tune-Ups :
The first thing that surprises me when I talk to people about their presentations is that they don’t have a plan. They have slides, and those are arranged in an order, but if I shut their laptop lid, there is absolutely no plan. To understand what I mean, try answering these questions:
My main goal of this presentation is for the audience to ______.
The top 3 things I need the audience to take away from this presentation are ____, ____, _____.
In the first few minutes (no more than 2), I will capture this audience by _____.
If my gear dies, the main 3 things I will tell them are ____, ____ , ____.
If they start looking bored or confused, I will shift gears by _______.
At the end of this presentation, I want people to ______.
When I’m done the presentation, I will _____ .
When following up with people after this presentation, I will offer them _____.
Does that sound like a lot? These 8 points that might help you feel much more prepared before your next spot on a stage. It works the same if you’re a panelist or the keynote, if you’re in the office pitching to the boss, or if you’re speaking in front of your daughter’s third grade class.

Spending money to make money

Advertising is in fact one of the marketing tactics that comes with an invoice. You must write a check to run ads or send direct mail, often before seeing any results. In my experience people shy away from advertising, not because of the cost, because they don’t know how to get results and they don’t understand the long-term residual effects. Think about it, if you knew that for every $100 you spent you could produce $200, you would get out your check book and spend away, right?

To get results from advertising today you must 
•Be laser focused on a specific ideal client
•Create awareness for valuable content with a call to action
•Measure leads and conversion fanatically

Monday, November 22, 2010

Willie probably already knew this

Groundskeepers are often the most poorly paid folks on campus.  And unappreciated. Target X says to:

Thank a groundskeeper today
A new study on the impact of facilities on student recruitment confirms what groundskeepers around the country already suspected. Their impact is enormous.

The study by the Association of Higher Education Facilities Officers sought to determine “the relative importance of an institution’s physical assets on a student’s choice of school,” so they surveyed about 16,000 students from 46 colleges.

More than half the respondents indicated that the “attractiveness of the campus” was essential or very important in their decision where to attend school. Students said that poorly maintained open spaces played a key role. And 50 percent either strongly agreed or agreed with the statement, “When I first saw the campus, I knew this was the right college for me.”

Branding 101

Hmmm.  Good advice but this reminds me of internal marketing.  I'm too old school, I guess.  This comes from Brand Manager's Notebook.

Brand Buzz Without Advertising
Let’s say you’re a mid-sized private university with perhaps 400 faculty and staff, 5,000 students, and 30,000 reachable alumni. That’s an army of 35,400 brand-advocates-in-waiting. These are people who, by and large, want to be excited about the brand. They want to promote and support the organization, and they have a vested personal interest in doing so.

More than that. They have credibility. One-to-one communication is the best you can get, more forceful, believable, and motivational than paid advertising. And your website and social networking platforms open up a whole world of low-cost communications avenues.

The trick is to build social currency among internal stakeholders. Social currency is how willing people are to share information and opinion about your institution as a part of their everyday lives at work and in social interaction.

So internal communications should always be the central focus of your brand marketing efforts, with two simple but crucial objectives that transform stakeholders into brand champions:
1.Faculty, staff, students, and alumni have to know what you stand for
2.They have to believe in what you stand for
Not much advertising budget? No worries. Focus on building brand advocates by conveying to internal stakeholders what your organization stands for, and why it’s important to them. They’ll take your brand where it needs to go.

I thought this was professor Barbie

Maybe Math isn't so hard. According to Topless Robot, you can pre-order her on Amazon.

The Prophesied Arrival of Nerd Barbie Draws Near
It's been many, many months since Mattel announced "nerds win," a.k.a. that Barbie's next career would be in computer engineering.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Oklahoma State professor challenges colleges and universities to change

OSU officials discuss the role of creativity at colleges, universities
At a time when public colleges and universities are facing a variety of challenges, including competition from for-profit institutions and a decline in traditional funding sources, Morris said it is essential to embrace entrepreneurial thinking. He said students, staff, faculty and administrators should be encouraged to take calculated risks and capitalize on opportunities.

Too many universities are bogged down by bureaucratic processes, Morris said. He said many have become like ivory towers that are too far removed from society.

University officials and professors are not inherently bureaucratic, Morris said. Rather, he said they are innately creative. Schools can tap into that creativity and leverage it to create innovative solutions to problems.

Entrepreneurship needs to extend beyond the narrow confines of the business school, Morris said. He said too many people associate entrepreneurship with starting new business ventures. The true definition is much broader, Morris said.

Entrepreneurship at a university has to encompass all levels of the campus community, from students to groundskeepers to administrators, Morris said. Oklahoma State University is working to promote entrepreneurship through culture building, curriculum, infrastructure and other approaches.

Got a presentation coming up?

Dave Johnson describes the Three Q Method of organizing your material:

Make a Great PowerPoint Presentation by Answering Three Key Questions
That means you shouldn’t start by outlining the key points you want to present. Instead, think about the subject and write down three key questions your audience would ask. If you’re proposing to cut the vendor budget in FY12, questions might include: How will the work get done with fewer vendors? What is the legal exposure if we have to end certain contracts early? What will the money be used for instead?

Now put those three questions on slides and start building a presentation that answers them. Answer each question simply and succinctly in just a sentence or two, and then add as much detail as you need.

It’s an interesting approach, and it makes the presentation about the audience, not about you.

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 HigherEdJobs.com .  I've been told that a couple of my colleagues, both of whom attended the ACHE Conference and had job interviews following the conference, have accepted the new positions.  I can't give any details yet but they will be coming!
University of Wisconsin - Extension: Assistant Dean for Program Development and Management
City College, CUNY: Continuing Education Director
Greenfield Community College: Director of Professional Studies

Albright College: Dean of Adult and Professional Studies

Colorado School of Mines: Director Special Programs and Continuting Education

Reading Area Community College: Vice-President of Workforce and Economic Development/Community Education

Concordia University: Center Director, Austin Main Campus

Drexel University: Associate Director, Corporate and Executive Education

ACHE 2010 AWARDS

The following awards were given out at the 2010 ACHE Annual Conference and Meeting on October 23, 1010.  A description of all ACHE awards can be found here.

Meritorious Service Award
Roger Maclean

Emeritus Award
Don Swoboda

Crystal Marketing Award
Eastern Nazarene College
Discover Your Purpose Campaign

Crystal Marketing Award - Honorable Mention
East Tennessee State University
Begin with Your Degree

Marlowe Froke Award
Mary V. Alfred
“Nonwestern Immigrants in Continuing Higher Education: A Sociocultural Approach to Culturally Responsive Pedagogy”

Distinguished Program Award: Credit Program
(1) Park University
Sprint and Park University “Science e-Fellows High Intensity Induction Program“

(2) St. Edward’s University
Bachelor of Arts in Dance and Humanities for Professional Dancers

Distinguished Program Award: Non-Credit Program
Western Kentucky University
Uniting Industries, Sharing Costs, Building Successes – A Training Consortium Project

Creative Use of Technology Award
Park University
The Best Practices Institute: Creating Development on Demand with Emergent Technologies

Older Adult Model Program
Stony Brook University
Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Stony Brook University

Outstanding Services to Underserved Populations
Kansas State University
Elementary Education AccessUs Program

Thursday, November 18, 2010

2010 Sloan Survey of Online Learning

Nearly 30% of all college students take at least one online course.  You can't graduate from college nowadays without a laptop or easy access to a computer lab.

Class Differences: Online Education in the United States
The 2010 Sloan Survey of Online Learning reveals that enrollment rose by almost one million students from a year earlier. The survey of more than 2,500 colleges and universities nationwide finds approximately 5.6 million students were enrolled in at least one online course in fall 2009, the most recent term for which figures are available.

“This represents the largest ever year-to-year increase in the number of students studying online,” said study co-author I Elaine Allen, Co-Director of the Babson Survey Research Group and Professor of Statistics & Entrepreneurship at Babson College. “Nearly thirty percent of all college and university students now take at least one course online.” She adds:

"There may be some clouds on the horizon. While the sluggish economy continues to drive enrollment growth, large public institutions are feeling budget pressure and competition from the for-profit sector institutions. In addition, the for-profit schools worry new federal rules on financial aid and student recruiting may have a negative impact on enrollments.”

Other report findings include:

• Almost two-thirds of for-profit institutions now say that online learning is a critical part of their long term strategy.

• The 21%growth rate for online enrollments far exceeds the 2% growth in the overall higher education student population.

• Nearly one-half of institutions report that the economic downturn has increased demand for face-to-face courses and programs.

• Three-quarters of institutions report that the economic downturn has increased demand for online courses and programs.

Is this where higher education is headed?

Ba-doom Pshh.

NYU Professor to Implant Camera in Head to Broadcast a Live Stream to Museum in Qatar
Wafaa Bilal, an Iraqi assistant professor in the photography and imaging department of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, intends to undergo surgery in coming weeks to install the camera, according to several people familiar with the project.

For one year, Mr. Bilal's camera will take still pictures at one-minute intervals, then feed the photos to monitors at the museum. The thumbnail-sized camera will be affixed to his head through a piercing-like attachment, his NYU colleagues say. Mr. Bilal declined to comment for this story.

The artwork, titled "The 3rd I," is intended as "a comment on the inaccessibility of time, and the inability to capture memory and experience," according to press materials from the museum, known as Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art. Mr. Bilal's work would be among the inaugural exhibits of Mathaf, scheduled to open next month.

Because Mr. Bilal is an active professor, teaching three courses this semester and scheduled to teach this spring, his special camera could capture not just his personal activity, but also his interactions with students.

Can I fire an employee who complains about me on Facebook?

Hmmm.  Maybe.  Maybe not.  Andrew Careaga writes higher ed marketing:

Could your social media policy spark a lawsuit?
Last week, I blogged about the importance of developing social media policies/guidelines that make sense to the people they’re supposed to cover or protect. Later in the week, the Federal Labor Relations Board issued an announcement that drives home the point — and that probably makes many bosses cringe.

Coming to the defense of an employee who badmouthed her supervisor on Facebook, the FLRB issued a statement that says, in essence, employee criticism of supervisors on Facebook is protected speech.

In the FLRB’s opinion, anyway. In this case, anyway.

There’s been no investigation yet. No hearing. But still, the announcement is making waves in legal, HR and PR circles.

It also ought to make us rethink the way our social media policies are presented.

Contining education 101

Nontraditional and alternative degree programs, primarily aimed at adults, have been doing this for years: allowing students to create their own majors.  For example, back when I was an advisor, I worked with a student who wanted to open a photography shop.  She combined photography courses with business courses and created her own interdisciplinary program as she completed her Bachelor of General Studies.

I've argued elsewhere that higher education is just now catching up to continuing higher education.

Can't Pick a College Major? Create One
Megan Kolb was so passionate about music, theater, dance and the production of stage shows that when the time came to choose a major in college, she couldn't decide which to pursue.

So she combined them all and made up her own major: performing arts management. Ms. Kolb, the only student with that degree when she graduated from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst last year, has already landed a job as a project manager for a New York City production company. "How great is it to be able to say, 'I created a major that I love and care about, and then to pursue a career in it?' " the 23-year-old says.

A growing number of colleges and universities are offering "create your own major" programs, custom degree plans in diverse subjects such as underwater archaeology, magic and peace and conflict resolution. Sue Shellenbarger explains.

More than 900 four-year colleges and universities allow students to develop their own programs of study with an adviser's help, up 5.1% from five years ago, based on data from the College Board, a New York-based nonprofit organization of colleges and universities.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Getting the last laugh

I no longer have season tickets but the redneck in me is pleased.

But Tuesday, Dolly Parton's baby won the most prestigious award in the theme park industry, and Parton headed to Orlando, Florida, to accept the 2010 Applause Award in person.

"We are so honored to win this award," Parton said at the ceremony. "Our success over the last 25 years is because of the great team at Dollywood that I lovingly call my other family! All those folks back home cooking, cleaning, entertaining and landscaping –- I am proud of every one of them."

The Pigeon Ford, Tennessee, theme park features more than 40 rides and attractions that focus on country, bluegrass and other musical inspirations. The park is located on 150 acres near the Great Smokey Mountains.

Now if we can just get Gen Y to come to work on time

And, oh yeah, don't criticize the work they do.  Penelope Trunk argues their case below.

Why Gen Y is Better at Your Job Than You Are BNET
The truth is, the older set-I’ll let you define that-has a bunch of shortcomings when it comes to competing with today’s workforce. Management consultant Stephen Denning has a great little history of management in his new book, The Leader’s Guide to Radical Management.. He points out that managers of the 20th century were trained to supervise people to get them to do stuff, to perform tasks. But now that most people are knowledge workers and not semi-skilled workers, we need managers who inspire, motivate, and encourage collaboration-managers, even, who care about the well-being of their employees and strive to make the workplace meaningful. And that’s not a corporate world where the older set is generally comfortable.

Yup, I’m arguing that Gen Y - that age-group that gets dumped on for acting all entitled - can teach you something about making it in the modern workforce. A lot, actually, because Gen Y is more prepared and has an advantage over older folks with far more experience.

Community colleges respond to for-profit criticism

How similar?  Not so much.

Just How Similar? Community Colleges and the For-Profit Sector
Community colleges have become frequent targets of the public relations and sponsored research arms of the for-proft college industry. To a limited extent, these attacks have diverted attention from a raft of government, media, and former student criticisms of the for-proft higher education industry. As the German military theorist Carl von Clausewitz put it, “the best defense is a good offense,” and this seems to part of the for-proft sector’s strategy.

Community college CEOs are put off at the thought of a distracting sideshow debate with for-proft colleges over the relative merits of the two sectors. First, it wastes limited resources. Second and more importantly, analysis of the sectors reveals more differences than similarities, including their educational offerings.

This policy brief examines some of the variables that differentiate community colleges from for-proft institutions—not to win a debate or to suggest public policies that might logically emanate from those differences, but to show why commonly drawn comparisons between community colleges and for-proft institutions are far less meaningful than some might suggest. The distinctions are drawn in terms of oversight, service, and fnancing.

This reminds me

A little bit of the logic behind the Complete College Act.  Follow me here. If men with mustaches make more money, can we improve the economy by adding incentives for all men to grow mustaches?  Will more mustaches mean higher wages?  Will this rising hairy tide raise all boats? 

Of course, I'm kidding around.  As a continuing educator, I do believe in the transformative power of higher education, and I do believe that a better educated workforce improves the economy.  But increasing the number of college graduates in a state only improves the state economy if the degrees those folks hold are meaningful.  But everyone understands this...

Drink & Go Blonde? 7 Ways to Make More Money
Grow a Mustache

OK, maybe these guys aren’t completely objective, but a group called the American Mustache Institute says its survey found that men with mustaches earned 8.2 percent more than men with beards and 4.3 percent more than clean-shaven men.

Man, I hate reality shows

Turns out, there's a perfectly valid reason to feel that way. And it has to do with how women are portrayed, which resonates with this old English major.  Plus, it's politically correct...

The Problem With Women on Reality TV
If your main source of knowledge about women came from reality TV, this is how you’d see the world: a place where your mom is a conniving, deceitful gold digger, your sisters and girlfriends vicious and catty. You would learn that “sisterhood” is a thing of the past, as Pozner puts it—and that girl friendships are not powerful but spiteful. And you’d understand that women were put on this earth to compete for male attention—when, of course, they’re not busy pulling each other’s hair out or lounging half naked in a hot tub.

It’s worth a laugh, except that the implications of that imagery can be serious, as even the trashiest, most scripted reality show can influence how we see the world. Pozner, a journalist and media critic, has devoted much of the last decade to watching, transcribing, and dissecting hour after hour of reality programming, from the desperate waifs on America’s Next Top Model to the gold diggers competing for a washed-up rap star on Flavor of Love. (Transcribing that one, she jokes, was a “particular kind of hell.”) Yet while these shows’ portrayal of men is nothing to write home about, what Pozner concludes is that their portrayal of women doesn’t just reflect outdated stereotypes—it resurrects them. “With few exceptions, [these] shows have framed women as unaware that there is anything more to life than tossing back martinis, lounging in hot tubs, and as Bachelorette Christine suggested, meeting their husbands at the door with dinner and a foot rub ready,” writes Pozner. “I think it’s hard to have this be part of your fundamental years and not have it influence you.”

2010 Sloan Consortium Annual Awards

Presented at this month's 16th Annual Sloan-C International Conference on Online Learning: The Power of Online Learning: Stimulating New Possibilities. See the brochure here.

Outstanding Achievement in Online Education by an Individual
Anthony G. Picciano, Hunter College and the Graduate Center
“For a lifetime of outstanding scholarship, teaching, and service, and for greatly enriching and extending our understanding of online and blended learning.”
Excellence in Online Teaching
Glenda A. Gunter, University of Central Florida
“For a passionate pursuit of excellence in online course design and delivery, leading to high student satisfaction and outstanding learning outcomes.”
Outstanding Online Program
Masters of Teacher Leadership, University of Illinois Springfield
“For creating and sustaining an innovative, high-quality online graduate program that prepares its graduates to become leaders in the teaching profession.”
Excellence in Institution-Wide Online Education
Drexel University
“For developing and delivering a premier university-wide online initiative at Drexel University that is characterized by exceptional quality, scale, and breadth.”
Excellence in Institution-Wide Online Education
Boston University
“For outstanding university-wide online programming that demonstrates Boston University’s commitment to and passion for quality.”
A. Frank Mayadas Leadership Award
Raymond E. Schroeder, University of Illinois at Springfield
“For distinguished leadership that has advanced online and blended education on a national scale through advocacy, collaboration, and implementation of innovative programs.”
Ralph E. Gomory Award for Quality Online Education
Western Governors University
“For continuously innovative work in using quantitative data to assure excellence in competency-based online education."
Excellence in Faculty Development for Online Teaching
Kennesaw State University
“For creating a highly effective faculty training program with high standards that serves as an engine of change and enables outstanding online education at KSU.”
President’s Special Achievement Award
Valerie C. Haven, UMass Boston, UMassOnline
“For innovative and inspirational work assisting online learners with diverse disabilities succeed, opening the door to new forms of technologically-mediated instruction.”

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Iowa needs nurses

and faculty to teach them.

New grants aim to turn nurses into professors
A new effort helps Iowa nurses foot the bill for the advanced degrees they need to teach at nursing schools. Nurses are eligible for $4,000 grants that will help offset tuition at 35 colleges and universities in Iowa. Thirty-one students will receive grants.

The grants are paid for by Iowa Student Loan, a nonprofit organization that offers federal and supplemental loans to college students. The group has teamed up with the Iowa Nurses Association and the advocacy group Iowa Needs Nurses Now to fight a statewide nursing shortage.

The shortfall is on track to grow from 8 percent in 2005 to 27 percent within a decade because of an aging population of nurses, Iowa Department of Public Health figures show.

At the same time, nearly two-thirds of University of Iowa nursing school applicants were turned away because of a shortage of nursing professors and teachers, said Jamie Buelt, an Iowa Student Loan spokeswoman.

Iowa lawmakers this year also took aim at the nursing shortage. They approved bills that create the mechanisms, if not the money, to pay for state-of-the-art nursing school equipment and financial aid for nurses who want to teach.

Otherwise, who would take the job?

30 presidents of private colleges make $1 million or more    
   

Retention coaches

Retention frustrates me.  It seems like nothing is all that effective short of raising admission standards. The areas we can have the most impact on--educational intervention for academic problems, intrusive advising for constant contact, and so forth--are not included in the reasons often cited by students for dropping out.  They leave college for personal and financial issues unrelated to academic performance. 

Still, here's another strategy to boost retention that mighe help:

At D.C.-area community colleges, coaches help students stay on track
Jonathan Tucker sits down for an hour each week with Rick Leith, a professor at his community college, to talk about whatever is on his mind.

It doesn't sound particularly revolutionary. But leaders of Howard Community College have found that students who meet regularly with volunteer "coaches" are significantly more likely to continue their studies than classmates who do not. . . .

Howard Community College is among the Washington region's more successful two-year institutions. The school, which is in a wealthy suburban county, reports that 57 percent of students either graduate or transfer to four-year colleges within four years of enrolling.

One reason is Step UP, a program of coaching and support launched five years ago at the Columbia campus.

A committee of faculty and staff was looking to improve retention - the share of students who return from one semester or year to the next. The group interviewed students who had failed and asked what might have helped them succeed.

The response was unexpected. Students said they had let their schoolwork go because "they weren't convinced that it mattered," said Sue Frankel, an English professor who directs the coaching program.

Apple's Barry Adams

Recently spoke at the Tennessee Alliance for Continuing Higher Education Conference. Part of his discussion centered on generational differences.  "Let me find out how old you are," he said.  "How many of you are wearing wristwatches?"  Nobody under 25 wears a wristwatch.  Later he asked, "How many of you get a newspaper delivered to your house?"  I thought a surprising number of folks kept their hands lowered, especially since the average age of a TACHE member has to be around 45. 

In a few years, it looks like he could ask "who drinks coffee?"

Is Coffee Losing Steam Among the Next Generation?
A recent report released by Mintel, a market research firm, predicts that Stein's generation may become coffee-resistant unless marketers find ways to make coffee drinks relevant for kids under the age of 25. Demand for coffee remains robust among people aged 45 and over, thanks to older customers, who will likely drive coffee's sales growth over the next five years, the report said.

However, the younger demographic makes the industry's longer-term outlook murkier. According to the report, only 27% of people in the 18-to-24 age group consume coffee daily, with many citing taste, health concerns and a penchant for sweet energy drinks as factors keeping them away from coffee. By contrast, 75% of those aged 45 to 54 and 80% of those 55 to 64 have a daily cup of joe. Only 28% of the younger group said they liked the taste of coffee on its own compared with 53% of 45-to-64-year-olds and 61% of those 65 and older. And members of the younger demographic who do drink coffee tend to visit cafés, where they can find sweeter-tasting blends, such as frappuccino, for their caffeine fix.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Opryland reopens today

The home of the 2008 ACHE Annual Conference and Meeting is back in business after this spring's terrible flooding.  See how it now looks at this slide show from the Tennessean.com.

Renovated Gaylord Opryland resort

Call for Proposals

ACHE South is seeking proposals for concurrent sessions for the 2011 conference, April 17 - 20, 2011.

This year’s theme is “Viva Fiesta: A Celebration of Lifelong Learning.” Information about conference tracks and proposal guidelines can be found here. 

Send proposals via email by January 14, 2011 as a Microsoft Word attachment to: Amy Johnson, East Tennessee State University, at johnsoad@etsu.edu.

News from my alma maters

Which may be of no interest to anyone but me.  It does show the courage of UI to cancel its doctorate in statistical genetics, among others.  It also may well show that entertainment is hard to come by in Macomb, Illinois.


U of I eliminates 6 grad programs desmoinesregister.com The Des Moines Register
The University of Iowa recently closed six graduate programs, and up to six more could be on the way out by summer, a school official said last week.

The programs were terminated for reasons including lack of interest and duplication, said John Keller, dean of graduate programs.

Those first cuts were the easy ones, he said. The U of I is being "a little more cautious" with the other changes, he said..
More security at WIU after 6 bomb threats
Western Illinois University is beefing up security in its dorms following half a dozen bomb threats in recent weeks.

School officials said Friday they've hired extra police officers and have Illinois State Police patrolling campus. In addition, police will be assigned to dorms 24 hours a day.

WIUM Radio in Macomb reported that the sixth bomb threat was found on a note in the Higgins Hall dormitory late Thursday. Police swept the building, and students were allowed back in shortly after midnight.

The threats began Oct. 25. Police arrested an 18-year-old Chicagoan after the first threat. He is awaiting trial.

The school is offering up to $10,000 for information that leads to an arrest.

Earlier this week, WIU officials said while they cannot elaborate much about the threats while the situation is being investigated, a subpoena has been issued "in relation to the investigation."

In a statement posted on the university website, the school administration says it "would be a great disservice to our students if the University was shut down due to these threats, which we do not believe are valid. Closing the institution plays into the hands of the individual(s) responsible for these threats."

ETSU again named a ‘Military Friendly School’

G.I. Jobs magazine has again named East Tennessee State University as a “Military Friendly School.” This distinction, granted for the second year in a row, places ETSU in the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools considered nationwide. The institution will appear in the 2011 Guide to Military Friendly Schools, a publication that caters to the 8 million military troops and veterans eligible for GI Bill education benefits.

In 1946, what was then East Tennessee State College welcomed 250 World War II veterans, and ETSU continues that tradition today. The school houses a Veterans Affairs Office and a Veterans Upward Bound program. In addition, the ETSU Veterans Affairs Standing Committee, comprised of faculty, staff and student veterans, addresses veterans’ issues on campus.

Hundreds of ETSU student veterans are using Montgomery GI Bill benefits to achieve their higher education goals. In addition, the university works closely with Reserve and National Guard members who are deployed and offers complete reimbursement of tuition and fees for that semester.

The ETSU Department of Military Science has helped guide the campus toward “veteran awareness.” Since 1952, when the university’s application for an Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) unit was accepted, the “Buccaneer Battalion” has commissioned over 1,400 student cadets as second lieutenants, including seven who have reached the general officer ranks within the Army.

Today, ETSU ROTC graduates continue to serve across the nation and around the world—on active duty and as members of the Army Reserve and National Guard. A number of current cadets are also veterans who served in the Army prior to attending ETSU. ROTC scholarships and other financial benefits assist them and other qualified veterans as they pursue their education.

For further information, contact Angela Haire of the ETSU Department of Military Science at (423) 439-4269 or by e-mail to hairea@etsu.edu.

God help me I do love Top 10 lists

10 hit songs you thought were about women (but aren't)
1. "Cracklin' Rosie," by Neil Diamond

She's not a girl -- she's a bottle of wine. Neil Diamond told Rolling Stone that he got the idea from an Indian tribe in Canada with a much higher male than female population. When the guys with girlfriends all went out on dates, the bachelor guys got together and drank homemade hooch.

And actually, Cracklin' Rosie is pretty decent wordplay when you realize the song's boozy origins: "Crackling" is used in the wine world to describe a wine that's lightly sparkling. You can actually buy a crackling rosé.

Show me the care

I wish my university would show its indifference to me just like Google recently showed its employees.  Insult me with a pay increase.  Actually, the Evil HR Lady has a point that across the board raises are easy and inefficient.  Still....

Google’s 10% Raise: We Don’t Care About Our Employees BNET
But, why aren’t I singing Google’s praises? Because this type of increase actually shows how little they value their employees. Oh, I know, they think it shows the opposite. But, the truth is, if you want good employees, you need to value them differently.

Why? Because your low performers now feel justified in their slacker attitudes–”hey, I’ve been playing Farmville all day and I still got a 10 percent increase! Yippee!” And your high performers now feel like the received a lousy raise and are now going to be less satisfied with their salaries then they were before. Honest. You’ve just shown them you value them exactly the same as the low performers.

And if you truly are a high performer, you won’t turn the raise down (because you’re not stupid), but you won’t pull your resume out of consideration at Facebook either. In fact, your bargaining power at the competitors just increased because you’re walking in with a higher base salary. (And for many stupid reasons, companies like to base new hire salaries on the candidate’s previous salary.)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Thank the lord for barbecue

Magazine poll ranks Memphis last in intelligence, attractiveness, first in barbecue
Memphians aren't very smart or attractive, but they can smoke one mean pork butt, according to a poll released Monday by Travel + Leisure magazine.

They left off highlighter manufacturers

Or maybe that dates me in an age of electronic textbooks.  But I was an English major, after all.

8 Things That Couldn't Survive Without Colleges

Will North Carolina budget cuts close a campus?

The UNC President plays the shut down card.
Shut down a UNC campus?
UNC President Erskine Bowles is broaching something many would surely view unthinkable: If budget cuts continue at higher levels than now anticipated, might an entire public university campus be shut down?

"If you have 20 percent budget cuts, you'll have to think about closing down campuses," Bowles told members of the UNC system's Board of Governors today. "Period."

That was the second time this morning Bowles broached that notion - an extreme one, no doubt, but one he said would be preferable in the long term than continually chipping away at the budgets of all campuses.

"If we keep having cuts, cuts, cuts, we'll have to look at eliminating schools - campuses," he said. "If it went on for several years, that would be the smart decision. The unfortunate, smart decision."

God help me I do love Top 10 lists

Where Are All the Strong Female Characters in Children's Films?

Oldies but goodies

Hosting Events and Networking

Just because it’s offline doesn’t mean you can’t still do some serious social networking. According to Lautenslager, businesses looking to attract attention should host and attend events where they can network and get their brand in front of the right people.

Sometimes this might mean a partnership with a nonprofit for a charity event to broadcast your company in a positive light. Or it could mean the simple act of grabbing a table at a trade show to expose your company to the people in your industry.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Dr. Chris Lefler wins Milton Phillips award.


Kelvin Elston speaks on change at TACHE.


TACHE keynoter Dr. Janice Gilliam arrives.


Three past presidents at the TACHE Conference at Cool Springs


Another player in the online MBA market

N.C. State University is defying the stigma of online distance learning by becoming the state's first major research university to offer an online MBA program.

N.C. State is targeting the degree, which will be announced today, to residents who don't have the flexibility to attend day or evening programs: military personnel, stay-at-home moms, managers with busy travel schedules and the like.

From my Urban Dictionary Calendar

dejabrew:  Much like deja vu, dejabrew is when you start to remember things you did last night while drinking an excessive amount of beer.

I remember sliding off my barstool and laughing when I landed in something wet. Oh my God, dejabrew! I won't ever be able to show my face there again.

Auto-incorrect

You Are Not Alone, iPhone Auto-Correct Does That To Other People Too
Do your friends without iPhones wonder why you randomly send them texts with the word "utter" or "boner" in them? The answer, as you've explained over and over again, is iPhone auto-correct.

Now there is a blog where you can send your most entertaining auto-correct mishaps.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I may have mentioned something earlier about liking my iphone

3D Coming to the iPhone?
Remember the View-Master? Imagine replacing those little round plastic disks with an iPhone and you've basically nailed down what Hasbro's trying to do with the My3D iPhone accessory.

Due out next spring, the My3D kit will pair an iPhone-mountable viewing apparatus that costs $30 with—you guessed it—apps available from the iPhone's app store. Some will be free, some will cost money.

Apps will be in 3D and span "gaming, virtual travel experience, and entertainment content," according to the Associated Press.

It's interesting to note that the View-Master, made by Fisher-Price, still exists and the company still sells new photo reels for around $4 apiece.

Stuck in the middle with you

Name change idea stirs up passions at MTSU
Would moving the "U" in MTSU really bring the school fame and fortune?

So say a vocal number of students and alumni of Middle Tennessee State University who want to change the century-old school's name to the University of Middle Tennessee.

University of Middle Tennessee, they say, just has a certain ring to it.

"The moniker MTSU isn't widely known outside of Middle Tennessee," said MTSU alumnus Chad Wood, who got blank looks from his out-of-state colleagues when he told them where he studied. "Some of my co-workers in Georgia and Maryland thought Middle Tennessee State was a branch campus of Tennessee State."

Improveyourwebsite.com

In higher education, our websites are often bad.  Christine Lagorio and Eric Markowitz list tips from experts.




"Whether or not the site is designed elegantly, what really matters to me is whether the navigation is intuitive, and whether the information is organized well. Design, for as much time as we spend on it, if it's all about the visual elements, that can quickly get someone out of that site. I always try to focus on making sure the information makes sense before putting mouse on screen. Plan ahead. Get the answers before laying anything down. Get together with your project manager and design team, and get all the info from the client before start designing. It's also important to get the navigation in front of people to make sure everyone can get that information quickly. Be constantly testing. Only then should you build the beautiful elements, the design of the site, around that. If that's not there the site can be considered a failure. "

— Andres Orrego, associate creative director of Chowder Inc. in New York