Friday, December 30, 2011

ACHE call for proposals

ACHE Annual Conference and Meeting
Collaboration and Partnership: Our Keys to the Future
November 12-14, 2012
Austin, Texas

Your submission is requested!

In 2012, ACHE asks you to explore the many ways in which we are working with other agencies, institutions, corporations, academic departments, or other entities to enhance our performance and strengthen our respective positions. It is becoming increasingly evident that collaborating with a wide range of previously untapped partners is on the rise. Our commitment to serving our respective constituencies demands a new way of meeting their requirements for more efficient training programs and more effective learning activities. The diminution of appropriated funds for public institutions, the increasing pressure for us to become fully self-sustaining units, and the continuing state of the economy compel us to consider two very important questions: how do we strengthen our individual programs, and how do we ensure our continuing relevance within the higher education community?

The Program Committee for the 2012 ACHE Annual Conference and Meeting invites members and friends of the Association to submit proposals for interactive sessions to be presented at the Sheraton Capitol Hotel in Austin, TX, November 12-14, 2012. In keeping with the pragmatic spirit of our group, we suggest that those submitting proposals might address (but are not limited to) such topics as:

  • Theory and praxis
  • Successful, sustainable collaborations/partnerships
  • Overcoming barriers to successful partnerships and/or collaborations
  • Best business practices in working with other agencies, associations institutions, organizations, or other partners 
  • Best relational practices in working with other agencies, associations institutions, organizations, or other partners
  • Impact of technology
  • Prospecting for potential partners
How to submit
Read the full Call for Proposals by clicking here or visiting our conference website at Then, submit your proposal via our easy-to-use proposal submission form. The deadline to submit is March 2, 2012

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Did you hear about the guy who went to the solipsist conference?

Nobody showed up.  Ba-doom Pshh. Actually, as an old English major, I think the liberal arts prepare us for careers in the long run much better than immediate training.  (But I also support programs that can deliver immediate jobs. I just worry about how long those jobs last.)

I hope somebody sends this link to the governor of Florida.  From Monte Whaley, writing in The Denver Post.

More seek philosophy degrees as a basis for kicking off other careers
Philosophy majors are not just contemplating the meaning of life — they are also launching careers in law, medicine, business and high technology.

"It's funny, but you don't look for philosophy; it finds you," said Autumn Mitchell, a Colorado State University student who is merging her philosophy studies with programming software.

She is part of a growing trend of college students gravitating toward philosophy departments. In the past 10 years, the number of four-year philosophy graduates grew 46 percent, besting such fields as history and psychology. That trend is mirrored at CSU, where philosophy-course enrollment jumped 17 percent in 2008 and the number of declared majors is at 80, up from 75 last year.

Certainly the total number of philosophy majors is dwarfed by fields such as science and business, both locally and nationally. But the numbers are healthy and steady, said professor Jane Kneller, who says philosophy is drawing people partly because they are seeking answers in an increasingly uncertain world.

"I do think we get more majors during times when the larger historical and political scene is in flux," said Kneller, chair of CSU's philosophy department. For instance, she said, enrollment boomed after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

"People get interested in philosophy when they feel the need to get to the bottom of things, and to think about both the root causes of problems as well as big-picture visions for the future," she said.

A philosophy degree is also a traditional major of pre-law, pre-med and pre-seminary students. And because of its emphasis on informal and symbolic logic, it's an ideal basis for work in computer science, Kneller said.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Captive audience

Ba-doom Pshh. In a former life, I advised students in an external degree program.  This was before online learning, of course. In fact, I'm not sure we had personal computers yet. (Sigh)  Anyway, we had inmates in the program from the prison in Fort Madison, Iowa.  Until they burned down the classroom facility.  Perhaps the ultimate SAI. Before the fire, we offered live classes there taught by primarily regular university faculty. I still remember one Estonian English Professor who always referred to the location as Pen State. He was a funny guy.  I also recall running into him as I was in line to see American Gigolo and he pointed to himself, smiled, and said "Estonian Gigolo."

This is from Heidi Hall, writing in The Tennessean.

Grant offers young inmates chance to earn college credit
Beginning next month, inmates at Charles Bass Correctional Complex, a medium-security men’s prison in Nashville, can start taking liberal arts classes for credit through Nashville State Community College.

The program is being funded through a $121,000 U.S. Department of Education grant for young offenders. It covers Nashville State tuition, textbooks, instructors’ salaries and the technology needed for the program. The grant is good for three semesters, two classes per semester.

The 25 inmates in the program — ages 18-25 — will have to qualify for admission like any other Nashville State student, plus complete an application, pay a $15 application fee and write an essay on why they want to be in the program. They must have less than seven years left on their sentences. Courses can transfer to any other public Tennessee college or university upon release.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

And Soylent Green is people

May the electricity generated from my cremation recharge someone's iPhone.  Or iPad.  From Life's Little Mysteries.

Burning Deceased Baby Boomers Could Generate Electricity
In Durham, England, corpses will soon be used to generate electricity. A crematorium is installing turbines in its burners that will convert waste heat from the combustion of each corpse into as much as 150 kilowatt-hours of juice — enough to power 1,500 televisions for an hour. The facility plans to sell the electricity to local power companies.

Some might find this concept creepy. Others might be pleased to learn that the process "makes cremation much greener by utilizing its by-products," in the words of cremation engineer Steve Looker, owner and chief executive officer of the Florida-based company B&L Cremation Systems, which is unaffiliated with the Durham enterprise.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Call for Presentations

Canadian Association for University Continuing Education
May 27-30, 2012
Saskatoon, SK
Deadline: January 16, 2012
Conference Theme: Leaders of the PACK: Leadership & Advocacy in University Continuing Education
Leaders of the PACK speaks to the role that we as continuing educators play as we push and pull the academy into new ways of teaching, learning and engaging with the community. It also speaks to some of the most important issues and professional development challenges identified by the Continuing Education community in the CAUCE members’ survey (2009 CJUCE).
Do you have a message to share about renewing and revitalizing programs? Have you discovered new ways to influence your University? How do you advocate for the communities you serve? In what ways are you acting as an agent of change for your institution? These are some conversations that will take place at CAUCE 2012.
Concurrent sessions should address topics from one of four themes:
P—Program Innovation What strategies help us to stay innovative in our programming?
A—Advocacy How can we increase our influence within the University and advocate for ourselves, for lifelong and distance learning, and for the learners and communities we serve?
C—Change How can we help universities adapt to the changes that we see first?
K—Knowledge We have a responsibility to help our communities stay ahead of the changing information and skills required for a knowledge economy. How can we best do that?
We invite speakers to submit presentations that inspire out-of-the-box thinking, provoke debate, or stimulate new conversation on how to advocate for the importance and value of continuing education in a competitive learning environment—inside our institutions and outside in the global community.
Deadline for Submissions:
The deadline for presentation abstracts is Monday, January 16, 2012. Proposals may be submitted for seminars, workshops, case studies, roundtable discussions and poster presentations. All concurrent sessions will be allotted 60 minutes. Potential presenters will be notified about their submissions by Wednesday, February 29, 2012.
If your submission is accepted you will be asked to provide a final copy of your presentation at the conclusion of the conference. Post-conference proceedings will be made available to the delegates in electronic format.
Conference Registration:
Registration fees, travel and accommodation expenses are the responsibility of the presenters. Registration and payment must be received by Friday, April 20, 2012, for inclusion in the program.
For more information about presentation abstract submissions please contact:
Karen Hayward (content questions)
ph: 306.966.7384
Shannon Sofko (administrative questions)
ph: 306.966.4272

Turning Japanese

Ever wonder what Christmas is like in Japan? TV Tropes explains.

Christmas in Japan is a bit different from the West. The major religions in Japan are Buddhism and Shinto, so Christmas is an entirely commercial event.

More to the point, the main celebration revolves around Christmas Eve and not Christmas Day.
It is common to give Christmas presents in Japan, and Santa Claus has even been imported to take part in the holidays. Within the family, parents give presents to their children, but the children do not give presents to the parents. The reason for this is that only Santa brings presents, so once the children no longer believe in Santa, the presents are no longer given.  

Most Japanese families have a Christmas tree, and it is becoming more and more common to have Christmas lights on the outside of houses like in some Western countries. Thanks to KFC and Japan's lack of turkeys, fried chicken has become a traditional Japanese Christmas dinner.

Christmas is also considered a very romantic holiday, and lovers are supposed to spend the evening together doing suitably romantic things. It is really crucial for single women in Japan to have someone to spend Christmas Eve with; it is also really important where they spend Christmas Eve and what present they receive. The whole evening must be very special, gorgeous and romantic. Japanese women who have a boyfriend tend to show off, so women who don't are not happy to talk about the topic.

There is also a joke that compares Christmas to a woman's age. Cake shops throughout Japan always try to sell all their Christmas cakes before Christmas Eve. Any cakes left after Christmas are seen to be very old or out of date. Unmarried women over 25 years old used to be called 'unsold Christmas Cake.'

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Don't gift up

Wondering about gift etiquette at your college?  Alison Green, the manager in Ask a Manager, has some advice.  I agree with the sentiment that you shouldn't gift up.

how can I tell my boss how much I appreciate him?
However, I’d urge you to forego giving your boss anything, unless it’s tradition in your office (but it doesn’t sound like it is). There’s a school of etiquette (to which I subscribe) that says that you don’t give gifts “up” when there’s a power disparity — because it can be awkward or there can be the appearance of obligation or because it can appear kiss-assy.

The Aspen Institute names the top

U.S. community college.  No Tennessee community colleges were recognized but West Kentucky Community and Technical College in Paducah was a Finalist with Distinction, noted for its higher than average graduation rate.

Florida’s Valencia College Named Top US Community College
Highlighting the need to improve student learning and  graduation rates in community colleges — leading to good jobs — the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program today announced that Valencia College in Orlando, Florida, is the nation’s top community college and honored four “finalists with distinction” from an original pool of over 1,000....The announcement follows a rigorous, yearlong effort by the Aspen Institute to assemble and review an unprecedented collection of data on community colleges and the critical elements of student success: student learning, degree completion and transfer, equity and employment/earnings after college.

This is the first national recognition of extraordinary accomplishments at individual community colleges. The Prize celebrates these top performers both to elevate the community college sector nationwide and help other institutions understand how to improve outcomes for the seven million students — nearly half of all undergraduates in post-secondary education — working toward degrees and certificates in community colleges.

Everything I know about holiday traveling

I learned from the movies. Like stay clear of news cameras from Four Christmases.  Eleanor Barkhorn and Kevin Fallon give 22 more tips in The Atlantic.

23 Holiday Travel Tips From Movies

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Monday, December 19, 2011

Let's go Peay

I've commented earlier on Austin Peay State University's slick academic planning software.  They are pushing the envelope in many ways, and APSU is highlighted in Marc Parry's recent article in The Chronicle of Higher Education. "Think of it," Parry explains, "as higher eduction meets Moneyball."  Speaking of Austin Peay, we recently discovered that they had copied our Winter Session pretty much lock, stock, and barrel.  Stealing good ideas is SOP in continuing higher education, and naturally I've been as guilty of this activity as anyone.  But I would at least change the wording on my website...

Colleges Mine Data to Tailor Students' Experience
Think of the problem in terms of a supermarket cereal aisle, says Tristan Denley, provost of Austin Peay State University, in Clarksville, Tenn. You find every choice known to man. But unless you've opened the box, you have very little information to judge what's inside. How do you pick one?

Part of the answer, he says, is technology that can look at people like you who have made such decisions in the past, and see whether those decisions worked out. In April, Austin Peay debuted software that recommends courses based on a student's major, academic record, and how similar students fared in that class.

Some professors fretted about students misinterpreting the Netflix-like tips as commands, but the Gates Foundation quickly ponied up $1-million to refine the software so other colleges can adopt it.

Now Austin Peay plans to expand on its work with a new tool that offers tips for making a more important decision: picking a major.

The feature, to be rolled out this spring, focuses on two problems: students who don't know which major to pick, and students who thought they knew, but ended up with a bad fit. A human adviser might be at a loss to suggest an alternate path, Mr. Denley says. But data could offer concrete possibilities.

For example, students often start climbing the ladder to become a nurse or a doctor, perhaps because they have relatives in those professions. Yet early on it's clear their grades won't carry them up to those goals. The data robot might suggest another health field. It might also suggest something totally different, like graphic design, because a student displays a pattern of grades similar to others who flourished in that direction, Mr. Denley says.

More on correlation and causation

From I Love Charts.

Correlation and causation

From xkcd.

Friday, December 16, 2011

MTSU's Adult Learning Conference

Middle Tennessee State University
in partnership with the Tennessee Higher Education Commission
with support from the Lumina Foundation
is proud to present the 2012 Adult Learning Conference.
February 16-17, 2012

Navigating the Terrain of the Adult Learner:
Signposts to Achievement, Development and Success

This year’s conference will focus on the importance of adult learners to Tennessee’s college completion goals and provide Tennessee colleges and universities with resources to improve the success of adult learners at their institutions. Using the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning’s (CAEL) “Nine Principles of Effectiveness for Serving Adult Learners,” conference participants will learn how the new state funding formula applies to the adult learner population, and have the opportunity to explore promising practices in supporting this large and growing population as we all learn to navigate this new terrain.

Since the third year of the conference, adult learners have also been included in the Adult Learners Conference. A separate student track of break-out sessions allows them to meet other students from across the state and to share ideas to take back to their home institutions.

Please visit the conference web site for more information and to register for the conference.

Put a sassy biotch

On your Christmas table.  From The New York Times.

With Rude Names, Wine Stops Minding Its Manners
It's peppery and full of fight. The tannins have grip. The nose takes no prisoners. This shiraz is a bitch.

It says so on the label. Royal Bitch is the name of the wine, one of a teeming sisterhood of cabernets and chardonnays from a variety of producers with labels like Sassy Bitch, Jealous Bitch, Tasty Bitch and Sweet Bitch. They’re reinforcements for a growing army of rude, budget-priced wines that have shoved their way into wine stores and supermarkets in the past few years — most recently Happy Bitch, a Hudson Valley rosé that made its debut last month.

Only four?

Most of these can be filed under think before you speak, but the first one, That's Impossible, got my attention.  I may phrase it as We can't do that, but the meaning is the same.  Those very words from my mouth may close my mind to possibilities. From CBS Money Watch.

4 things a manager should never say
People listen to leaders. It's one of the qualities that helps define them as leaders -- and their followers as followers.

leaders need to mind what they are saying, and avoid knee-jerk responses. "A leader's brain must always work things out ahead of his mouth speaking them," says Patrick Alain, author of The Leader Phrase Book: 3000+ Phrases That Put You In Command.
To help wannabe leaders cement their status, Alain has compiled a shortlist of four phrases that a good leader will never, ever say. Avoid these lines and people will be more likely to follow your lead.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

One of my faculty members was complaining

About another dean.  "He badmouths that program," she said, "Until he can use its existance to help his case for establishing this new degree.  That's hypocritical!"

"Perhaps," I said.  "But that's the first thing we learn in Dean School."

Wondering how you compile social media reporting?

There are some tools out there, evidently.  Mike Petroff, writing in .eduGuru, talks about the importance of curating social media and how some institutions are doing it.

Social Media Curation for Higher Ed Events
If you’ve worked in higher ed for a few years, you have probably assisted with an on-campus event during orientation or move-in week. The excitement exuded by the new students is undeniable when they finally arrive. Many schools are now using social media to connect new students before these events, open up conversation between current students and alumni, and share coverage of orientation activities. If your audiences are social media savvy, they’ll surely follow your Twitter hashtags, find content on Facebook or check your YouTube playlists for updates. But, how do you curate that great social content and conversation from your events into a readable format for the masses?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

ACHE call for proposals

ACHE Annual Conference and Meeting
Collaboration and Partnership: Our Keys to the Future
November 12-14, 2012
Austin, Texas

Your submission is requested!

In 2012, ACHE asks you to explore the many ways in which we are working with other agencies, institutions, corporations, academic departments, or other entities to enhance our performance and strengthen our respective positions. It is becoming increasingly evident that collaborating with a wide range of previously untapped partners is on the rise. Our commitment to serving our respective constituencies demands a new way of meeting their requirements for more efficient training programs and more effective learning activities. The diminution of appropriated funds for public institutions, the increasing pressure for us to become fully self-sustaining units, and the continuing state of the economy compel us to consider two very important questions: how do we strengthen our individual programs, and how do we ensure our continuing relevance within the higher education community?

The Program Committee for the 2012 ACHE Annual Conference and Meeting invites members and friends of the Association to submit proposals for interactive sessions to be presented at the Sheraton Capitol Hotel in Austin, TX, November 12-14, 2012. In keeping with the pragmatic spirit of our group, we suggest that those submitting proposals might address (but are not limited to) such topics as:

  • Theory and praxis
  • Successful, sustainable collaborations/partnerships
  • Overcoming barriers to successful partnerships and/or collaborations
  • Best business practices in working with other agencies, associations institutions, organizations, or other partners 
  • Best relational practices in working with other agencies, associations institutions, organizations, or other partners
  • Impact of technology
  • Prospecting for potential partners
How to submit
Read the full Call for Proposals by clicking here or visiting our conference website at Then, submit your proposal via our easy-to-use proposal submission form. The deadline to submit is March 2, 2012.


Tennesseans divorce at a higher rate than average.  From The

Census: Nashville’s divorce rate higher than southern states
The state of Tennessee is one of the southern states that appear to be ‘divorce happy.’ According to the census report released on Thursday, TN is one of the 14 states which had much a higher divorce rate than the national average using data gathered from the 2009 American Community Survey (ACS). What’s more intriguing is that Nashville’s divorce rate is even higher than the combined rate of all the southern states.

The Nashville-Davidson County data from shows Nashville’s divorce rate sitting a 13.2 while the newly released Census statistics reports a combined average of the southern states at 10.2 per 1,000 for men and 11.1 per 1,000 for women.

Showcasing your college teaching

With an e-portfolio. You should have an e-portfolio.  We require portfolios as part of the culminating experience in many of our degrees, and we've switched to e-portfolios in some of them. We haven't found the perfect software, yet, I'm afraid.  I'm also on a statewide PLA task force that has discussed e-portfolios as a means for students to document their college-level learning.  From David Brooks, writing in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Should Graduate Students Create E-Portfolios?
I asked Chris Pastore, a newly hired visiting lecturer in my department, about his online portfolio, because a senior professor on the search committee that hired him had praised it. Chris built his site as one of his final projects while earning a master's in teaching philosophy at the same time he was completing his Ph.D. in history. The learning curve for Web design, he said, was fairly steep yet painless. None of the jobs he applied for in the last year asked for a teaching portfolio, but he was able to showcase his electronic version by simply dropping his URL in his cover letters to potential employers.

While it appears concise and well organized, his e-portfolio also allowed him to include far more material than the traditional, 20-page print portfolio sent to search committees. And, Chris said, search-committee members could all read the information simultaneously, rather than having it linger on one person's desk indefinitely.

Most faculty members I consulted admitted that they are quick to scope out the personal Web sites of job candidates. Graduates who maintain e-portfolios confirmed that when they've tracked their hits, most of the hits are from the places where they've applied for jobs or fellowships.
I'm not aware of any academic jobs that require candidates to have e-portfolios—yet. Most of what's possible to put together on a site is possible in PDF form, too. So, when coursework, comps, conference presentations, and dissertation deadlines loom, why do it?
It's more than a question of careerism....

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Accelerated Opportunity

A new Kentucky program combines adult basic education and technical training in a community college setting.  This seems like a promising partnership.  From Merlene Davis, writing in

New accelerated adult ed program hopes to get students better jobs

The Accelerating Opportunity program at eight community colleges in the Kentucky Community and Technical College System will give qualifying adults a chance to earn college credits and skills that can lead to better-paying jobs.

A partnership between Kentucky Adult Education, the Kentucky Workforce Investment Board and KCTCS will give adults a chance to get basic adult education at the same time they are taught technical skills. After at least one semester, students will earn a certificate, which they can use to be placed in jobs in that field.

"We know that many students come from the adult education pathway who are maybe behind academically, or older adults who struggle to get into jobs that are careers," said Jay Box, chancellor at KCTCS. "When they enter the college system, they run into the slow process of developmental education before they can get to technical programs. Some get frustrated and drop out."

With this new program, the adult education teacher works side by side with the technical instructor. For example, if a student studying office systems technology at Bluegrass Community and Technical College has a deficiency in sentence structure, the adult education teacher can address that problem and have it put into career context by the office management instructor who is in the same classroom, Box said.

Coffee. Is there anything you can't do?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Three TACHE conference sessions posted

On the TACHE website.  The Chancellor's PowerPoint is particularly powerful.

Go to and go into the members section.  Click on Past Conferences and you will find:

1.   Complete College Act and Challenges, PowerPoint from Chancellor Morgan, TBR
2.   Reinventing: Formula Funding, PowerPoint from David Wright, THEC
3.   Reinvesting: Using eMarketing for Non-Credit Programs, PowerPoint from Michael Aikens, TTU

America's 20 Dirtiest Cities

Pollution-wise, that is.  Forbes ranks them.  Most of the worst are in California.  Knoxville, however, is 15th.

America's 20 Dirtiest Cities
15. Knoxville-Sevierville-La Follette, TN
Population: 1 million
Year-round particulate pollution rank: 24
Short-term particulate pollution rank: 33
Ozone pollution rank: 18

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Today is

Balance Transfer Day.  Time explains:

Balance Transfer Day is the Next Facebook-Driven Protest Against Big Banks
A new month, a new Facebook-led protest against big banks. Protesters have declared December 11 “Balance Transfer Day” in an effort to get Americans to ditch their high-interest credit cards for cards with lower rates or zero percent teasers.

“[W]hy don’t we beat the banks at their own game and demand the same 0% interest rate that they receive from the federal government?” the protest’s organizers say on its Facebook page. “This can be achieved by transferring card balances from interest bearing accounts with large banks to 0% interest cards issued by credit unions and community banks.” But consumers might find this hard to accomplish, and it’s possible that the very big banks against which the movement is campaigning could be the unintended beneficiaries.

Friday, December 9, 2011

I should be playing basketball with this guy today

In our usual Friday game. When I retire, I'll leave him the K off my first name so he can properly spell his.

Dr. Marc Fagelson presents research on blast-induced tinnitus

A professor of audiology at East Tennessee State University who has explored the connection between tinnitus and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among U.S. military veterans recently presented his research findings at a conference held by the United States Department of Defense (DoD).

Dr. Marc Fagelson, the director of ETSU’s audiology program, works with veterans at the James H. Quillen Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) in a clinic that specializes in management of bothersome tinnitus, a condition where a person hears a sound – often characterized as a “buzzing” or “ringing” – that has no apparent external cause. He was one of only 12 researchers to present at the “International State-of-the-Science Meeting on Blast-Induced Tinnitus,” held recently by the DoD in Chantilly, Va.

Louisiana starts program for adult students

Consolidating services for adult students.  What a novel concept (sigh).  This article from The Hechinger Report also reports on the good work done by Graduate!Philadelphia and its executive director, Hadass Sheffer.  ACHE members already know Hadass, of course.

For millions of college dropouts, second chances prove difficult
Now public-policy groups, private foundations and higher-education officials have a new idea for increasing the share of the population with college degrees: convincing people who quit college to come back.

A program called the Center for Adult Learning in Louisiana, or CALL, for instance—sponsored by that state’s board of regents—offers courses that take less than half as long to complete as traditional college courses, and awards credit for what students already know through a process called “prior-learning assessment.” All of this is meant to help people with some college credits complete their degrees.

One of CALL’s success stories is John McGee, who had spent seven years in the military and more than a decade as a manager at a Louisiana casino when he went back to college as a working adult. Despite his experience, McGee had to take the same introductory courses as an 18-year-old, leaving him bored and frustrated.

Through CALL, McGee tested out of five introductory courses by passing a series of exams. He took the rest of his classes online in the accelerated format, and finished an associate degree in less than a year.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Make u wanna holla hidy hoe

I got a text from my colleague Brian Van Horn from Murray State last night that read:  Just saw a preview for a show called "Moonshiners" on the Discovery Channel.  Just so happens I noticed one of the guys making the product had an ETSU shirt on!

Fortunately, as I mentioned last week in connection with Penn State, there's no such thing as bad publicity. And to paraphrase Doolittle Lynn's father in Coal Miner's Daughter, at least he has a job.

Want to be a college president?

Consider Georgia.  From The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Wanted: Presidents for Georgia colleges
The University System of Georgia is hunting for college presidents and will need at least eight new campus leaders by August.
The system currently has presidential search committees in operation for Valdosta State and Georgia College & State universities. Four other colleges have interim presidents, and two additional presidents plan to retire June 30. The new president of Gordon College starts Jan. 1.
On top of that, Chancellor Hank Huckaby is searching for a new chief academic officer, a key position that provides leadership over academics and research for more than 318,000 students and 11,000 faculty members at the state's 35 public institutions. The system expects to have finalists for that position in early 2012.

"We have a lot of turnover right now, but there have been other years where there were about 10 president openings," system spokesman John Millsaps said.

From my mouth to your ear

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

So true...

Nuns on the run

And other news about SACS from Inside Higher Education.

Accreditor Punishes La. College for Board Upheaval

The college commission of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools placed two colleges on probation and imposed lesser sanctions against numerous others during its just-concluded meeting in Orlando -- with many of the accreditors' actions related to financial woes. A prominent exception is the commission's decision to impose a six-month probation on Our Lady of the Holy Cross, which was investigated outside the regular accreditation review cycle after the order of nuns that governs the nonprofit corporation that controls the college abruptly dismissed its Board of Regents and its president in August. SACS cited violations of several of its standards related to governance and external influence, said Belle S. Wheelan, the accreditor's president, who added, "We just don't know who's running the place right now." A spokesman for the college, Stephen Morgan, said the community of Marianite nuns had scuttled the board because the regents were deeply, and irreconcilably, divided over the performance of Holy Cross's former president, the Rev. Anthony De Conciliis. He said college officials were confident that they ultimately could explain to the Southern accreditor why the corporation board's actions were legitimate under SACS's policies on tiers of governance. Morgan acknowledged that the accreditor's action could affect the enrollment of students potentially transferring to Holy Cross.

UPCEA annual conference registration is open

March 28-30

SACS rules on Nashville universities

TSU's warning is lifted; Fisk is put on probation.  Also, nearby Carson-Newman University's warning status is removed. For Fisk and Carson-Newman, the issue is and has been financial. From The Tennessean.

Tennessee State University spent the year proving to monitors that its leaders use research to make good decisions and give students the best chance for success.

The result: Full reaccreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and the continuing federal student aid and public confidence that goes with it.

But another Nashville institution learned Tuesday it will take another year to prove it’s financially stable enough for the same label. Fisk University’s struggles to stay afloat have kept it in the public eye.
SACS placed both Nashville schools on warning status last year, listing a number of deficiencies that needed to be fixed before full reaccreditation. On Tuesday, at an annual meeting in Orlando, SACS commissioners voted on whether both institutions did enough to prove themselves.

Can I get PLA credit for this?

Cheap shot, I know.  From The New York Times.

At Johnson & Wales, Students Mix Drinks for Credit
In the typical culinary classroom, students go through their paces slicing, dicing, butchering and baking. If they mix a martini it will probably be to relax after all the hard work.

But at Johnson & Wales, a university based in Providence, R.I., that has campuses in other states and a world-class program for degrees in the culinary arts, students mix martinis (and other drinks) for credit.
About a year and a half ago, the university opened a state-of-the-art beverage laboratory with 20 professional-style bartending stations, including sinks, and a working microbrewery, all in the sleek new Cuisinart Center for Culinary Excellence, on its waterfront campus.  
Other professional culinary schools offer wine studies or classes in spirits and cocktails, but this new lab sets Johnson & Wales apart. Last year more than 200 students washed glassware, made ice, concocted standard drinks and created their own in the lab. Beverage courses are required for culinary students starting in the freshman year of a four-year program. Students studying hotel and restaurant management can also take them, and even some in the business school sign up.

Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs

Call for Nominations for the 2012 Annual Faculty Award
The AGLSP Annual Faculty Award is offered each year by the Association to honor an outstanding faculty member who teaches in a Full Member program. The award was established by the Association’s Board of Directors in 1991 to recognize outstanding faculty who exemplify the qualities of interdisciplinary, liberal teaching and who have participated significantly in teaching or advising students and/or have actively participated in other faculty service in a Graduate Liberal Studies program.
The 2011 AFA was awarded to Professor Sheldon Solomon of Skidmore College. Professor Solomon is recognized for his staunch, tireless support of the MALS program and its students since its inception in the early ‘90s.
Nominations for the 2012 award are now open. Download criteria.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Where to locate your national conference

Travel + Leisure ranks America's top 35 cities for Quality of Visitor Experience.  Locally, Nashville comes in at number 12; Memphis at 26.  Austin, Texas, site of next year's ACHE Annual Conference and Meeting, is ranked 13th.  I've pulled out the top ten because, well, I have a weakness for top tens. And I think it's a little surprising to see Portland, Maine and Providence so highly rated.

  1. Savannah   
  2. Santa Fe   
  3. San Juan, P.R.  
  4. Charleston   
  5. Denver   
  6. San Diego   
  7. Portland, ME   
  8. Portland, OR   
  9. Seattle
  10. Providence 

I may have mentioned earlier that I love my iPhone

Monday, December 5, 2011

ACHE South registration is open

REGISTRATION is now open for the ACHE South Conference, April 23-26, 2012 ACHE SOUTH ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2012.

Soon it will be Spring in the Bluegrass! For those you who want to have an incredible experience, we have an opportunity for you to see the finest in all of horse racing on Wednesday afternoon, April 25, 2012. Historic Keeneland Race Track will be open during the month ofApril for thoroughbred racing and we will be purchasing tickets to enjoy the races while dining in one of the luxurious glass-enclosed dining rooms overlooking the track. Even if you aren’t a betting person, just to be able to enjoy the beautiful grounds and atmosphere, and see a thoroughbred race horse up close is the opportunity of a lifetime.

Obtaining tickets to a dining room is highly competitive and restrictive in nature. We will be able to offer a limited number of tickets for this optional event at a cost of $60. Included will be transportation to and from the track, admittance to the track and dining room, a daily racing program, and a scrumptious buffet lunch. The dining room meal is all inclusive except for beverages, you may purchase alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks separately. Betting windows are conveniently located within the dining room but you are welcome step out at any time to tour the grounds and to see the horses in the paddock before they go onto the track. There is a dress code for the dining room that must be followed: coat and tie for gentlemen, and no jeans or denim or any kind, no shorts, tennis shoes or flip flops for anyone.

As stated, obtaining tickets is competitive and we must adhere to the group ordering deadline of January 3, 2012. Many of you have indicated you are interested in this optional event so now’s the time to sign up and have your ticket reserved. After getting an email from those of you who are interested, we will place the group order on the first business day after the Christmas break. Your email should be sent to me at prior to December 21, 2011. We will confirm receipt of your request and send information about paying by check for this event. THIS WILL BE YOUR ONLY OPPORTUNITY TO ORDER!

The track offers general admission for $5 if you don’t want to go to the dining room. You may purchase this ticket at the track on race day, we will provide transportation to and from the track for $10, and lunch is on your own. We also need to be notified by email if this is your choice so we can plan for transportation.

At a later date, we will have a list of other afternoon options such as visiting a distillery, The Kentucky Horse Park, Shaker Village, a horse farm, or the Berea, KY Arts and Crafts Center—most only a 30-minute drive from downtown Lexington.

File under

There's no such thing as bad publicity.  From The New York Times.

Despite Scandal, Applications to Penn State Rise
The abuse scandal at Pennsylvania State University does not appear to have slowed applications to the school’s undergraduate programs.

As of Friday, applications to enroll next year at one of  the 20 campuses that comprise the Penn State system were up 4 percent when compared with the same period last year, with applications to the system’s University Park flagship in State College, Pa., up 2 percent, Anne Rohrbach, executive director for undergraduate admissions, said in an interview Wednesday.

All told, nearly 28,000 students have applied to be undergraduates next year on the University Park campus, compared to 27,370 who had done so last year at this time, Ms. Rohrbach said. Each is vying for one of about 7,200 seats in the freshman class. Though Penn State accepts applications year-round, on a rolling basis, the deadline for so-called “priority” applications — after which some programs will be considered closed out — was Wednesday.

I always have them step outside the building

Sooner or later, most managers have to fire somebody.  The Evil HR Lady, writing in, has some good tips on the right way to fire someone...and the wrong way.  Since she recommends having a witness present, I've followed the wrong path, it seems.

How to Fire Someone
Whether it's for cause or a layoff, terminations are going to happen and you need to do it right. I'm not talking about documenting the reasons behind the firing or choosing whom to lay off -- I'm talking about how to fire someone.

There are right ways and wrong ways to go about this, and often people choose the wrong way because it seems easier and managers are generally wimps. Sure, it's hard to tell someone that they no longer have a source of income, but when it has to be done, it has to be done.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Video on ETSU's new president

From his recent campus visit.  Available at

I used to underestimate our Technology Centers

They seemed to me a little too traditional and uninterested in serving adult students.  At one time, I don't think they ran evening programs, but that has changed. But in a brave new world where degree completion rules, they do a lot of things right.  Some of it may or may not be scalable to universities--I like to think that our degree programs baby our adult students in a similar fashion, but we're relatively small, and I'm not sure the BBA program could do the same thing--but they are doing a lot of things right. Although they do some things with adult students that might have Malcolm Knowles turning in his grave. This article by Larry Abramson in NPR, mentions Carol Puryear, a former continuing educator at Middle Tennessee State, as I recall. It also quotes Scott Evenbeck, former ACHE president.

In Tennessee, A Possible Model For Higher Education
Carol Puryear is the director (and den mother, you might say) of the Murfreesboro Center, not far from Nashville. She and the other staff do a lot of hand-holding to make sure students get to their goal — a certificate and a job. Many community college programs let students pick and choose classes, but once they sign up at a Technology Center their class schedule is decided for them.

"They decide on the program and they decide if they want to be full time or part time and that's pretty much it," Puryear said.

Students don't have to worry that their schedule might change from semester to semester. For the 16 months she's enrolled, student Heidi Khanna knows exactly when she has to show up for her drafting courses: 7:45 to 2:30 Monday through Friday.

Attendance is taken and makes up about a third of your grade. It's a lot more like high school than the typical on-again-off-again schedule of many college students.

Khanna is working on a computer-aided design program. Yes, architecture is in a slump, but she's also getting the skills to move into mechanical drawing. The Technology Centers work closely with advisers from local businesses to keep their programs in sync with economic reality. That's one reason why around 8 in 10 students finish and get a job in their field — amazing statistics for any higher-ed institution. But it's still scary leaving the nest.

"I'm scared to death," Khanna says laughing. "I don't know, scared of change, you know, just getting back out into the workforce."

Khanna already has a degree — but her associate of arts in liberal studies wasn't getting her the work she wanted, so she's starting over at age 39. Other students plan to use their certificates to get a job to pay for more schooling.

Call for proposals

The Chair Academy's
March 26-29
Atlanta, Georgia


• Topics that complement the conference theme, Leading to a Brighter Future, will be given special consideration.
• Sessions should actively involve participants through learning centered activities and discussions.
• Presentations should be relevant, timely, and practical to educational leaders.
• Presentation and description should clearly describe the benefits to participants and the specific outcomes of the session.
• Presentations should not promote publications or other materials that involve remuneration, advertise consulting services, or endorse commercial ventures.
• Engaging proposals should “speak to participants” and describe how they will benefit from attending your session.
• Proposals for concurrent sessions require the presenter(s) to submit a paper describing the session topic which will be included in the conference proceedings CD. This paper must be submitted via email by February 14, 2012.