Showing posts from July, 2011

Live every day like its Shark Week


Today is

System Administrator Appreciation Day. I know I appreciate mine, especially after the hours she recently spent on my pc.  From Techland.
Hug Your IT Person

While it may not be all that well known here in the U.S., apparently it's a big deal in Russia, "where SysAdmin Day has evolved into an outdoor festival," Kekatos told Networkworld. He warns that not everyone's on board with the holiday, though, saying, "Every now and then I'll receive an email from someone saying, '[expletive] you, do your job, that's what you get a salary for, if don't like it, find a different job.'"

Looks like UM will have an off-campus center

Where Lambuth used to be.  Holding classes there this fall seems a bit ambitious, though.  From The Commercial Appeal.
Tenn. Education Commission staff recommends transfer of Lambuth to University of Memphis The Tennessee Higher Education Commission staff is recommending approval of the acquisition of the Lambuth University campus in Jackson for use as a branch of the University of Memphis.

The recommendation now goes to the THEC board for expected approval at its summer quarterly meeting Thursday, then to a specially called meeting of the Tennessee Board of Regents on Friday.

The THEC evaluation and the approval of both higher education governing boards are required steps outlined in the state budget amendment that appropriates $5 million this year and another $6 million over the next three years to help subsidize U of M operating expenses on the Lambuth campus while enrollment gradually builds. The steps under way in Nashville are part of a final round of state and local governmenta…

Over 1300 at our Early Childhood Conference

More than 1,300 educators, parents, and community members will attend the 51st Annual Early Childhood Conference, hosted by East Tennessee State University’s Center of Excellence in Early Childhood Learning and Development and the Office of Professional Development. The event will be held July 28-30 at the Millennium Centre. A variety of programs and events will be held, including presentations such as “Rock, Rhyme, Write, and Read” by Dr. Jean Feldman; “Facilitating Toddler Self-Regulation and Problem Solving: Powerful Strategies and Promising Practices” by Dr. Lissy Gloeckler; and “Forming a Firm Foundation with Foldables®” by award-winning educator Nancy Wisker.

In addition, Ellen Galinsky, author of more than 40 books, including Mind in the Making: The Seven Essential Life Skills Every Child Needs and also the President/Co-Founder of Families and Work Institute, will give a keynote talk on Thursday, July 28, from 7-9 p.m., that answers the question: How can families and teachers …

Tennessee using the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation grant to spur colllege completion

The APSU app is pretty slick, and I've heard their provost sing its praises. One of its uses is help students choose which course among electives he or she should take by predicting the letter grade for each option--based on the student's previous course work and other factors. I'm sure it can predict success much better than a human advisor.
As far as the prior learning piece--meh. Our nontradtional degree programs here have had options for earning credit for prior learning for over 20 years.  It hasn't proven to be a recruiting too nor widely popular. 
To read The Tenured Radical's slant on this news release, visit her blog: Who Needs A Faculty Advisor When You Can Have An Adaptive Advising Tool?

More Tennessee undergrads may get a robo-nudge
Haslam announced Monday that the state will use a $1 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to extend an Austin Peay State University program that uses computer programs to predict students’ grades and hel…

God help me I do love Top 10 lists

I'm sure there's more than ten, but this is a start.  Here's half of 's list.  Read the rest at BNET. And while I take my iPhone with me to the bathroom, I keep it my pocket are rarely use it.  Of course, when I'm in the bathroom, that's when my office phone rings...

10 Things You Should Never Do at Work
Say or write anything you wouldn’t want plastered on the Yahoo home page, or in the hands of the SEC, FTC, DOJ, or IRS. You have zero expectation of privacy at work and should therefore assume that anything and everything is being recorded for all eternity and will come back to haunt you at the worst possible time. That includes emails, phone calls, even hallway or parking lot conversations.Over-apologize. We all make mistakes and it’s always good to fess up, but in business, you can go too far and actually make matters worse. If it’s a minor issue, just a quick “sorry about that” is fine. If it’s a big screw-up, apologize in private, face-to-face. Lo…

Washingon Monthly's community college ranking

Here's the top ten. Three of them are over the mountains in North Carolina.  Another four are in Minnesota.
Community College Rankings 2010 Washington Monthly

1 Saint Paul College (MN) 2 Hesston College (KS) 3 Carolinas College of Health Sciences (NC) 4 Mayland Community College (NC) 5 Itasca Community College (MN) 6 Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College 7 Leech Lake Tribal College (MN) 8 Alexandria Technical College (MN) 9

No public Tennessee college or university

Is on The Chronicle of Higher Education's Great Colleges to Work For in 2011.  Last year, as I recall, Walters State Community College made the list. Union University in Jackson, Tennessee was our only representative.  My buddies at Murray State University, however, should be happy.

List of All Colleges Recognized in Great Colleges 2011 - Great Colleges to Work For 2011
Union U. Medium | 4 Year Jackson, Tenn.
What Makes This College Great
Faculty and staff on the benefits committee at this faith-centered university suggest desirable add-ons to their plans. One benefit they already enjoy: free screenings at an annual health fair.

Smart phone etiquette

Farhad Manjoo and Emily Yoffe in Slatedebate the question: Is it rude to keep your cell phone on the table during a night out with friends? Do you keep your iPhone in your pocket?

The date, please save

SAVE THE DATE November 9-11, 2011 43rd Annual TACHE Conference Park Vista Hotel Gatlinburg, TN

New continuing educator

Oregon's Clark College names a new continuing education associate vice-president.  Sometimes these transplants from business and industry thrive at colleges.  Sometimes, not so much, as they struggle to understand the college culture. From

Clark College's new associate VP brings global experience, regional commitment
Kevin Kussman, a corporate leader in strategic planning and marketing, is the new Associate Vice President of Corporate & Continuing Education at Clark College.

Kussman came to Clark from Hewlett-Packard, where he served as manager/director of the Worldwide Imaging and Printing Group (IPG) Go-To-Market (GTM) Talent & Development organization. In that role, he led a global team that developed the talents of 6,800 employees who delivered $24 billion in revenue annually. Kussman’s group earned honors from the American Society of Training and Development (ASTD) and the ROI Institute, which supports best practices and expertise in measurement and…

Community college students are more successful

When they take live classes.  Online courses were not associated with higher graduation rates.  The study suggests that improved course design and better trained teachers might help improve completion rates.  I doubt that these results would be any different for university students, however. From The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Community-College Students Perform Worse Online Than Face to Face
Community-college students enrolled in online courses fail and drop out more often than those whose coursework is classroom-based, according to a new study released by the Community College Research Center at the Teachers College at Columbia University.

The study, which followed the enrollment history of 51,000 community-college students in Washington State between 2004 and 2009, found an eight percentage-point gap in completion rates between traditional and online courses. Although students who enrolled in online courses tended to have stronger academic preparation and come from higher income…

Tales of the non-traditional

This is no longer all that unusual.  We've had several military students complete their degrees while on active duty.  This tale is from
College Anytime, Anywhere -- Even in Afghanistan
For every great reason people have for returning to school to finish their college degrees, their busy lives seem to offer up a discouraging excuse. While adult students often have many more family and career responsibilities than their younger counterparts do, the good news is that even the busiest of people are finding success at going back to school -- and that includes men and women in the military.

As if going back to school weren't already overwhelming, a growing number of men and women are combining a degree program with active duty, sometimes stationed in places like the corners of Iraq and Afghanistan -- where it's difficult to envision there ever being a chalkboard, let alone an Internet connection. It wasn't easy for Sgt. Daniel Staggs of the U.S. Air Force, but his …
see more Funny Graphs

Redneck retirement system

The lottery rebounds.  From The Tennessean.

Tennessee lottery takes in more than $1 billion
The Tennessee Education Lottery Corp. released record-breaking year-end results Monday with nearly $300 million going to education in the state this year.
The lottery also reports $1.19 billion in total sales, a 4.2 percent increase over the previous year. Since ticket sales began in January 2004, the lottery has given $2.07 billion to education. Total sales have reached $7.8 billion.  Since lottery-funded education programs began, including the well-known HOPE Scholarship, they have been expanded to include 14 programs that include 11 scholarships and grants for Tennessee students seeking assistance with higher education.  More than 100,000 students received awards to higher education institutions in the state during the past academic year alone, according to the Tennessee Student Assistance Corp., the agency that oversees lottery-funded programs.
Lottery funds are also used to support other e…

Take this job and shove it

While this story is centered on Missouri, the same concerns seem to trending nationwide.  The head lies uneasy, I'm afraid.  From
Does anyone want to be chancellor anymore?

Someone needs to hang a bunch of "help wanted" signs outside the offices of a half dozen or so local university presidents and chancellors.

Following a spate of vacancies — brought on by illness, change of heart, scandal and retirement — several of the region's top schools find themselves searching for leaders just as higher education struggles through one of the worst economic periods in recent history.

Insiders and search consultants say there's no reason to think this area is suffering more than others in terms of leadership loss. But they also say no one should be surprised to see campus chiefs bowing out — even those relatively new to the job.

In the best of times, these are demanding posts, requiring enormous time commitments. But today's presidents and chancellors also …

Best party schools

Campus Grotto reveals its expanded list of the nation's best party schools.  The only Tennessee institution is UT, which comes in last.  The old alma mater, Iowa, is ranked above it.  I'm not sure how scientific the selection process was, however...
Best Party Schools Parties can be one of the best things about college. Many colleges don't like to be labeled as a party school, so here's what they don't want you to know. Rather than making a limited list of the Top 10 party schools, we have included all colleges that are the biggest partiers.

What are you complaining about?

You got your money?  Things like this are why at least one prominent continuing educator left Illinois (and the Midwest) for green pastures. That and the fact that providers turned down his state health insurance because they weren't sure that they would be paid... From The News-Gazette
Parkland gets promised state money after 20 years
Parkland College has finally received money, $24 million, first promised to it 20 years ago to pay for projects that will allow it to register more students.

President Tom Ramage said capital appropriations of $15.44 million for the Student Services addition and $9.18 million for its already-started Applied Technology addition came through at the same time that Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon visited Thursday to hear from students, parents and staff at a roundtable.

"These requests go back about 20 years," Ramage said. "We had some of the money, but on these two projects, the state matches 75 percent of costs."

The Applie…

ETSU Centennial Celebration this afternoon

New signage across State of Franklin Street.  Speaking at the event were ETSU President Dr. Paul Stanton, ETSU COO Dr. Wilsie Bishop, and Johnson City Mayor Dr. Jeff Banyas (all pictured below).

It's so hot

You have to put water in the refrigerator to bring it to a boil.  Ba-doom Pshh.


After ditching ideas for bake sales and lemonade stands, LSU decides to generate funds through beer.  Do they have their beer goggles? From The Advocate.
Martin: LSU to brew, sell beer LSU must grow and become more entrepreneurial as it reduces its reliance on state funding, LSU Chancellor Michael Martin said Tuesday.
Martin discussed “The Future of the Flagship” at LSU’s Breakfast to Business speaking series at Café Américain on Jefferson Highway.
“We have to reduce the dependency on state appropriations,” Martin said. In addition to increasing tuition, LSU is planning to brew its own beer, he said.

So I sent him to ask of the Owl if he's there

How to loosen a jar from the nose of a bear--Kenny Loggins, House at Pooh Corner.  I hope the other bears didn't make fun of him. From

Bear finally gets relief after 3 weeks with head in a jar
A black bear that spent three weeks roaming Cocke County with a large plastic jar stuck over its head has been released in the Cherokee National Forest 85 pounds lighter but otherwise unharmed. The male bear's predicament was first reported June 28 when an employee of Newport Utilities spotted the bear near the Newport water plant. Wildlife officials believe the bear's head got stuck in the large plastic jar while it was foraging in garbage. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency responded the next day but could not locate the animal. Almost one week later, on July 4, wildlife officers responded to reports that the bear was back in the same area, but again the bear disappeared.
Over the next week and a half there were sporadic reports of a black bear wandering around th…

Hmmm. I'm a little skeptical based on some ETSU research....


Website 101

Websites need constant attention.  Jeff Haden, writing in BNET, has some tips for your review.  I've listed the first one, which is crucial nowadays.
How to Avoid The 7 Deadly Website Sins BNET
1. Your website is anything but mobile-friendly. Almost 5 billion people have mobile phone subscriptions out of a population of approximately 7 billion people. Still think you don’t need a fast, well-designed, and efficient mobile-friendly site? Your customers do.

What me worry?

Good advice from Seth Godin.

What you should worry about
You''ve heard this question a lot. It's what a novice asks an expert. He's planning something or launching something and he wonders, "Should I worry about..."

Actually, it doesn't pay to worry about anything.

It might benefit you to pay attention to something or to learn about something, because that will help you make a better decision when then time comes.

If it's not something you can decide about, if it's not something you can avoid, then all you can do is worry. And what's the point of that?

Adult student college scholarships

Some financial help for adult students from  Some of these are career or job specific.
Six Grown-Up-Friendly College Scholarships
You're all grown up now, which means no one's giving you cash for doing your chores, minding your manners, or losing your teeth. But you're not completely on your own -- especially if you're going back to school. Check out these six grown-up-friendly scholarships that can help you make your own education dreams come true.

Win a free 2011 TACHE Conference registration

ACEware Systems, Inc. has generously offered to cover the cost of two conference registrations for the 2011 Tennessee Alliance for Continuing Higher Education Conference in Gatlinburg November 9-11, 2011.  
  1.  The individual is employed by a current TACHE member institution, and
  2.  The individual is a new CE Professional, and
  3.  The individual is a first time attendee at a TACHE annual conference.
How to Register for the Free 2011 TACHE Conference Registration:
  1.  Send an e-mail to Randy Wilson at   2.  In the Subject Line, insert “TACHE Free Conference.”
  3.  In the text of the email, include your name, institution, e-mail, phone number, and number of months working in continuing education.
  4.  The deadline to register is September 15, 2011.
Two names will be drawn to receive a free 2011 TACHE conference registration valued at $159, compliments of ACEware Systems, Inc. Winners will be notified by September 30.

Tips for the rest of your family while you're at ACHE

Just because you're busy with the ACHE Annual Conference and Meeting doesn't mean the rest of your family can't have fun at nearby Disney World.  Here are some survival advice from CBS Money Watch.
How to Survive a Disney World Vacation Build in downtime: This seems counterintuitive, if you want to get the most for your money. But spending every waking hour riding rides and viewing attractions is a recipe for burnout and misery. Plan a morning off, or take an afternoon with a nap followed by a dip in the hotel pool. Be realistic about your family’s energy level in the heat, especially if you have young ‘uns and you’re hoping to see fireworks later.

Start each day early: Plan to arrive at your destination 30 minutes before the gates open. Have your tickets and be ready to go. Take the early-bird routine seriously, and enjoy the first hour without fighting the crowds.

Skip the meal plan: That’s according to Sehlinger and Vince, anyway. (Vince’s wife, however, thinks they got a g…

It's so hot

That I saw two trees fighting over a dog.     Ba-doom Pshh.

How many part-time faculty are too many?

Miami Dade College may find out.  The well-know community college receives a warning from SACS.  From Michael Vasquez, writing in The Miami Herald. I'm not sure the quote by Barmak Nassirian helps MDC...

MDC not likely to lose accreditation, say experts
Is Miami Dade College — the nation’s largest community college — in danger of losing its accreditation following the recent warning by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools?

Almost impossible, according to higher education experts, who cite the school’s strong national reputation coupled with the fact that community colleges are rarely, if ever, stripped of their accreditation.

Still, MDC finds itself on the defensive following the association’s board of trustees warning that the school relies on too many part-time faculty to teach students. MDC has more than 1,000 part-time faculty; 664 are full-time.

MDC has six months to address the concerns of the board, which will meet in December to review the college’s standing. …

Maybe he got life experience credit for being able to explain the infield fly rule

In something of a non-story, the new baseball coach at UT has a bachelor's degree from a diploma mill.  It's not like he's the new chancellor.  Or that a degree was required in his job description. From

Degree of scrutiny for Dave Serrano
Dave Serrano hasn't shied away from addressing the scrutiny of his academic credentials in the past, and he certainly wasn't planning to when he interviewed to become Tennessee's new baseball coach last month.

He said he had nothing to hide, and the members of UT's search committee felt the same way.

"I understand when you're working with higher education that it's going to be an issue," said Serrano, speaking with the News Sentinel during last week's baseball media opportunity at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. "I never tried to mask anything or hide anything."

As an assistant at Cal State Fullerton in 2003, Serrano obtained a bachelor's degree from The Trinity College and Univ…

Amazon announces Kindle textbook rental program

Just in time for fall classes, Amazon makes it easy to rent college textbooks.
Kindle Textbook Rental Great savings: Save up to 80% off the list price of the print textbook Pay only for the time you need: Choose a rental length between 30 and 360 days and pay only for the exact time you need a book. Extend your rental for as little as one day or convert to purchase Rent once, read everywhere: Rent and read tens of thousands of textbooks on PC, Mac, Kindle, or your mobile device Keep your annotations: Access your notes and highlights anytime, even after the rental expires, at

Night Class 101

Anastasia Salter, in The Chronicle of Higher Education blog, ProfHacker, lists some tips for teaching in off-hours.  Most of these students would be adults.
When Teaching Goes Past Your Bedtime
■ Adapt your entire schedule. One of the biggest challenges I found was the problem of being a night owl one day and in for an early morning meeting the next. The first suggestion in “The Geek’s Guide to Optimizing Sleep” is “Wake up at the same time every morning”—just sleeping in one day to compensate can do more harm than good.

■ Don’t skip dinner. My spring schedule had me teaching from 5:30 to 10:45 on Thursdays, with one fifteen minute break. By the end of it on nights I’d skipped dinner in favor of vending machine junk food, I was ravenous and facing a commute home and a refrigerator full of bad options.

■ Plan your class time. Assimilating a brand-new idea is hard under any circumstances—at 10pm, it’s even worse. The last part of class is a good time for strengthening skills, holding di…

Continuing education job openings

Colleges and universities are hiring continuing educators.Here are some current job postings from the Chronicle of Higher Education and
University of South Florida:Dean - University College

Thomas College: Assistant Academic Dean Columbia University:Director, Summer Sessions and Visiting Student Programs University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point:Executive Director of Continuing Education Culver-Stockton College:Director of Connected Campus and External Campus Events Tidewater Community College: Provost of Norfolk Campus Georgia State University: Assistant Director, Executive Education Montgomery College:WD&CE Program Director Viterbo University:Center for Adult Learning Director Massachusetts Institute of Technology:Director, Executive Programs Mount Olive College:Director of Evening College Endicott College:Assistant Dean of Professional Studies Navarro College:Dean of Midlothian Campus Utah State University: Assistant Vice Provost - Regional Campuses and Distance Education Gwyned…

It's all about me

A University of Kentucky professor studies narcissism and Facebook users.  From
Are you a narcissist? Check your Facebook page A Facebook page might tell more about its owner than people realize.
If you're a narcissist — a vain, self-promoting sort with illusions of undeserved grandeur — you're likely to show it in your Facebook profile, according to a new study conducted in part by University of Kentucky psychology professor Nathan DeWall.
The study shows that narcissists tend to display more self-promoting and sexy images, even as they use fewer first-person singular pronouns, such as "I" and "me." Some narcissists also use profane and aggressive words to call attention to themselves online.

The green effect of online learning


Movin' on up

Forbes ranks the old hometown high.  From Kate Prahlad, writing in the Johnson City Press.
Education, health care move city up on Forbes list Johnson City has recently been ranked No. 28 on a Forbes list of the nation’s best small places for business and careers, a recognition local officials say is thrilling and well-deserved.

“We’re thrilled we’re moving up and we almost cracked the top 25,” said Robert Reynolds, CEO of the Washington County Economic Development Council. “It says a lot about the community and the leadership we have here. This validates a lot of things everybody in the community has been working on. It’s a great place to live and work, and we’re thrilled to be recognized by a national publication.”

Forbes lists metro Johnson City as having a population of 199,000, with major industries of education and health care. The metro area produces $7 billion annually, and has a median household income of $35,283, according to the magazine. The list uses metrics relating to j…

Happy Bastille Day


Continuing education genius

Sometimes a continuing education program is just a perfect blend of need, location, and imagination.  Add in this case--seasoning. All hail Central Carolina Community College from across the mountains!  From The Community College Times.

The nitty, gritty of being a BBQ judge
Earlier this month, Joan Haverson drove 200 miles to take part in a certified barbecue judging class at Central Carolina Community College (CCCC) in North Carolina.

She said the trip from Charlottesville, Va., was worth it.

“The class was well done, lively, interesting—and delicious,” she said.

Haverson and more than 50 others from North and South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Georgia, and Florida gathered at the college’s Harnett County Campus to learn how to judge barbecue and become Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS)-certified competition judges. Class members included competition barbecue and backyard cooks, as well as people who just love to eat barbecue.

Don Harwell, KCBS vice president and class instr…

I love the Java Jive

And it loves me.  From The Body Odd and MSNBC.
Coffee buzz protects brain from Alzheimer's For years we’ve been told that caffeinated coffee was bad for us. It’s unhealthy and addictive, doctors warned. But as vindication for all who stuck by their energizing elixir, a new study shows that guzzling caffeinated coffee may actually be good for our brains. In fact, it may help keep Alzheimer’s at bay.
The study, which was published early online in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, was in mice whose DNA had been tweaked to contain a human Alzheimer’s gene. Just like humans with familial Alzheimer’s, these mice become increasingly forgetful as they age.
Amazingly, the equivalent of four to five cups of caffeinated coffee every few days led to much improved memories in the Alzheimer’s mice, says study co-author Gary Arendash, a scientist at the Florida Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center in Tampa.

Upcoming classes

The Tennessee Small Business Development Center (TSBDC) at East Tennessee State University will offer potential entrepreneurs several training classes in July. Registration is required for all classes.

“So You Want to Start a Business” will be offered on Tuesday, July 19, from 9 a.m.-noon at the ETSU Innovation Laboratory in Johnson City. The free class covers the ways TSBDC can assist entrepreneurs and addresses preparation for the loan process, licensing requirements, and how to assess the market.

“Writing Your Business Plan” will be held on Thursday, July 21, from 9 a.m.-noon, at Innovation Lab. The workshop covers the components of a business plan, exercises to assist with the first steps, and information about free personal coaching. There is a $20 fee for the class.

For class enrollment and details about the location of the Johnson City site, contact Teresa Shipley of the TSBDC at (423) 439-8505 or To arrange special assistance for those with disabilities,…

Tales of the non-traditional

More news about continuing and adult education students.  From AOL Jobs.

U.S. Man Who Quit College in 1932 Graduates at 99
A man who dropped out of college just short of graduation in 1932 has earned his degree at age 99.

KTVZ-TV in Bend reports that Leo Plass, of Redmond, received his diploma a few days ago from Eastern Oregon University in La Grande.

Plass says that he was less than one semester away from graduating from what was then called Eastern Oregon Normal School and starting a career as a teacher.

But Plass says it was the Great Depression, and a teaching salary of $80 a month wouldn't cut it.