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Showing posts from August, 2011

That's too bad

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I used to like Management by Walking Around.  Of course, when I tried to combine that with TheOne Minute Manager, I had to turn into the Flash to be effective.  Now if we could only get rid of strategic planning.  Sigh.

Steve Tobak, writing in BNET, puts some once popular management strategies to bed.  Sleep tight.  I've listed his first six.

Top 10 Management Fads Du Jour BNET
1. The boss is always right. All successful executives and leaders know that when people kiss your butt and tell you what you want to hear, the end is near. Smart bosses know when to shut up and listen, know just how much they don’t know, and encourage others to challenge the status quo.

2. Outsourcing. Now that we’ve learned that outsourcing is a slippery slope that starts with a little and ends with China overtaking the U.S. as the world’s economic power in five or ten years, it’s high time we bring manufacturing back to America.

3. Management by Objective. This example clearly illustrates the problem …

Like the rest of us in Tennessee

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Faculty and staff at the University of Tennessee are underpaid compared with their peers.  From The Knoxville News Sentinel.

Study details peer, UT pay disparity 
The system as a whole, including its other campuses, falls at about 87 percent of market value for faculty and 78 percent for staff, according to a study by Sibson Consultants, a firm based in New York City. Staff at UT make about 74 percent of market value.

It would cost about $153 million to bring salaries across the system up to market value. It would cost $71 million to bring them within 85 percent of market value.

The university is still studying retention rates in order to find out if the gap is causing faculty and staff to leave for other positions. The study also doesn't include bonuses, grants and incentive plans for faculty at UT or at the benchmark institutions.

"If that was all we were paying, frankly, we wouldn't have any faculty," said Steve Schwab, chancellor of the Health Science Center i…

Washington Monthly's 2011 national university rankings

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Lists six universities from Tennessee.  Four publics and two privates. ETSU is fifth among Tennessee universities and 225th overall. These rankings look at three items: Social Mobility, Research, and Service.  This results in some curious rankings, with Tennessee State University ranking above Vanderbilt, for example.  I've pulled out the Tennessee institutions and listed their overall rank within the top 200.  In other categories, Tennessee has fifteen colleges and universities ranked in the Master's Universities, led by Lipscomb University at 78th. There are seven colleges and universities in the Liberal Arts Colleges category, led by Rhodes Colleges at 14.  And in the Baccalaureate College category, there are ten institutions from Tennessee listed with Martin Methodist College the top ranked at 38.  It's interesting that ETSU is listed in the National University category while Middle Tennessee State University is listed in Master's Universities.
National University R…

More Extension cuts

This time in Missouri.  State budget cuts, of course.  From The Columbia Missourian.

UPDATE: MU Extension to close, scale back rural technology centers
Funding cuts have forced nine centers that provide technology and education access to rural areas to close or scale back their operations.

Two decades ago, the University of Missouri Extension began operating nine Telecommunication Community Resource Centers with the help of community partners that included school districts and junior colleges. In one case, a hospital was a partner.

The centers — located in the Missouri towns of Mexico, Reeds Spring, Kirksville, Salem, Nevada, Jefferson City, Portageville, Poplar Bluff and the Mineral area — used interactive television to help people access continuing education and for-credit college classes. Some of them offered public access to computers with Internet access.

However, facing a $2 million budget cut from the state, the extension announced in November 2010 it would eliminate the $80…

God help me I do love top ten lists

Tales of the non-traditional

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More news about adult and continuing education students. From NewsOK.com.

Oklahoma City mother of 11 heads to Harvard
Allyson Reneau dropped out of the University of Oklahoma in 1981 to get married and start a family.

She promised herself she would return to school after her first child turned 5.

Thirty years and 11 children later, Reneau is finally fulfilling her promise, and then some.

The Oklahoma City woman is just three credit hours away from earning a bachelor's degree in communications from OU.

Somehow, she has maintained a 4.0 GPA while raising her children — nine girls and two boys, now ages 6 to 29 — and running her own business.

Starting Monday, Reneau, 50, will begin graduate studies in international relations at Harvard University. Once a week she will fly to Massachusetts for classes. School officials are allowing her to finish the three undergraduate credits she has left at OU later this year, Reneau said.

Only two days left to register for the ACHE conference

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And take advantage of the Early Bird rates.

For more information, go here.  To register at the lowest rate, go here.

Sustainable Leadership: Bold Thinking about Who We Are.




Till death do us part, y'all

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The Census Bureau analyzes marriage rates across the country. The South has higher divorce rates. From Knoxnews.com.
Southerners like to get married -- and divorced
"Surprisingly, the South and West, which we think of as more socially conservative, have higher rates of divorce than does the supposedly liberal East," said Andrew Cherlin, a professor of sociology and public policy at Johns Hopkins University. "The reason is that young adults in the South and West tend to have less education and marry earlier, both of which lead to a higher risk of divorce."

"The South and West also have many migrants from other parts of the region who have left their social support networks behind. When they have marital problems, they have fewer people to turn to for help," he added.

As to the age at first marriage, the Census Bureau found that men and women were now joining in wedlock later and across a greater range of ages.

Today is Besse Cooper day

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At ETSU.  A 1916 graduate of ETSU, Besse is listed as the world's oldest living person.  Today is her birthday. You can find my original post about her here.  Her class ring is in a display in the President's Conference Room. You can find more information and see a brief video here.

I'll never make fun of academic research again

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Except maybe literary research, since I've done my share and must live with it.  all in all, though, I'm delighted to live in the golden age of beer research.  From The Denver Post. Cheers.
Evolution of beer: CU research on DNA cracks the lager code
The University of Colorado School of Medicine can do Homer Simpson one better. When the docs are done with the belching, they stick a nice lager into a genetic-sequencing machine.

They search for something deeper than the foam in a freshly tapped keg — yeast holds keys to human evolution because of similarities in the organisms' DNA.

And now those CU researchers have solved an ancient, beer-soaked mystery — how 15th-century Bavarian monks stumbled upon a yeast from halfway around the world that allowed them to brew lager beer in the cold.

Two strains of yeast helped the monks invent lager, which, unlike ale-style beers, can ferment in a cool cave. Brewers and scientists have long known one of those strains, but the other wa…

UM awarded grant

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To support first generation college students.  I guess I'm a little surprised that an urban university has so many first generation students, but perhaps I shouldn't be. We have a lot at ETSU and we keep that it mind when we initiate retention efforts. From the Memphis Commercial Appeal.

University of Memphis wins funds for students who want to break family education patterns
The University of Memphis has just beaten dozens of other colleges in a grab for cash to help support first-generation students.

U of M is one of only two of 47 colleges, along with Washington State University, to land a $860,000 grant from The Suder Foundation. The money will mostly go to renewable four-year $5,000 scholarships in the creation of the university's planned First Scholars Program. About $130,000 of that grant money will go to operational costs such as staff salaries and supplies.

Since 2009, a handful of colleges have joined the initiative, including the University of Alabama and the …

TACHE conference registration open

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To register online now for this year's annual Tennessee Alliance for Continuing Higher Education conference in Gatlinburg, go to TACHE Registration.
Also, be sure to make your hotel reservations at the Park Vista and beat the leaf lookers. You can reach them directly at 1-888-479-7307, or through Doubletree reservations at 1-800-222-8733. Be sure to mention that you are attending the Tennessee Alliance for Continuing Higher Education (TACHE) conference.

New venues of online learning

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The New York Times has an enlightening series, Weaving a Web of Knowledge, that discusses the major new players in the world of learning online.  It describes Western Governors University, Learning Counts, The University of the People, and Straighterline.  I've mentioned all of these in earlier posts.  Tamar Lewin, in A Short-Lived Test, Even With Coaching, chronicles her experience with two online courses.

Are these the future of adult and continuing education?

Online Enterprises Gain Foothold as Path to a College Degree
Harvard and Ohio State are not going to disappear any time soon. But a host of new online enterprises are making earning a college degree cheaper, faster and flexible enough to take work experience into account. As Wikipedia upended the encyclopedia industry and iTunes changed the music business, these businesses have the potential to change higher education. Ryan Yoder, 35, a computer programmer who had completed 72 credits at the University of South Florida …

Clearing the path to a bachelor's degree

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It took over a year and involved over 400 faculty members, but Tennessee's Universal Transfer Pathways are ready.  This is a great step but the problem comes when students complete an AAS degree and then decide to transfer.  That pathway is cluttered.  The link to the pathways can be found here.

TBR, UT Announce 50 Guaranteed Transfer Pathways between Community Colleges and Universities
Community college students who want to complete a bachelor’s degree now have a guarantee that their credits will transfer to a public university in Tennessee, if they choose one of 50 different majors offering transfer pathways.

The Tennessee Board of Regents and the UT systems have collaborated to create 50 “Tennessee Transfer Pathways” for timely and cost-effective transitioning from a two- to four-year degree. All pathways are effective for the fall 2011 semester.

Every student entering a community college in Tennessee now can select one of 50 majors with accompanying transfer pathways, compl…

Also designed to make us feel old

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The Beloit College Mindset List

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Designed to make us feel even older.  Sigh.  Here's the first ten....

The Mindset List: 2015 List
There has always been an Internet ramp onto the information highway. Ferris Bueller and Sloane Peterson could be their parents. States and Velcro parents have always been requiring that they wear their bike helmets. The only significant labor disputes in their lifetimes have been in major league sports.There have always been at least two women on the Supreme Court, and women have always commanded U.S. Navy ships. They “swipe” cards, not merchandise. As they’ve grown up on websites and cell phones, adult experts have constantly fretted about their alleged deficits of empathy and concentration. Their school’s “blackboards” have always been getting smarter.“Don’t touch that dial!”….what dial? American tax forms have always been available in Spanish.

The economics of low college graduation rates

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Looking at the potential income that states lose.  Instead of looking at the dropout's personal lost income, this report looks at what the states are losing, particularly those with a state income tax.  For Tennessee, since we lack a state income tax, the loss is a modest $4.1 million. For a state like New York, the loss is $24 million. From the American Institutes for Research.

The High Cost of Low Graduation Rates
There also are more immediate reasons for elected officials to want more college graduates. College graduates earn, on average, far more than college dropouts, and these higher earnings translate directly into higher income tax payments that can help solve growing fiscal problems at the federal and state levels. But our colleges and universities are now graduating only slightly more than half the students who walk through their doors. Much of the cost of dropping out is borne by individual students, who may have accumulated large debts in their unsuccessful pursuit of…

Did you feel the earth move?

That's what she said.  No, really, that's what she said. My office mate felt the earthquake and asked if I had. But I hadn't. She finally got confirmation that she wasn't crazy from the interweb. The 5.8 magnitude quake was centered around Richmond, Virginia. Find the details here.

Chattanooga State designs new training classroom

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I'm sure my colleague Ju-Hsin Lusk, Managing Director of Corporate Training, Workforce Development and Continuing Education has been involved with this effort.  There's certainly a lot going on in Chattanooga right now, with Volkswagen and Amazon locating there.  And we will be hosting a future NAASS Conference there in a couple of years.  From The Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Chattanooga State hosts Wacker pilot plant
A miniature version of Wacker's planned production plant is going up at Chattanooga State Community College as the company powers up hiring and training for its Bradley County factory.

The pilot plant, slated to open by early October, will help instruct new employees, said Erika Burk, human resources director for the factory that will make polysilicon for solar power use.

"This is Wacker's first polysilicon plant outside of Germany. The product has to be perfect," she said Tuesday at the Wacker Institute off Amnicola Highway.

Wacker has hi…

Meanwhile, just over the mountains in North Carolina

The Music on the  Mountaintop festival starts this weekend.  From The High Country Press.

Music on the Mountaintop 4
The High Country’s biggest music festival is on pace to meet or exceed last year’s attendance numbers, its founder and director, Jimmy Hunt, said this week. Music on the Mountaintop, taking place Friday and Saturday, August 26 and 27, boasts a new location, more campground amenities and more activities than ever before.

The fourth annual Music on the Mountaintop will take place at Grandfather Campground in Foscoe. A two-day pass costs $70, while one-day passes for Friday or Saturday are $40. Festival gates open at noon on Friday.

“I think we’re right on track to do what we did last year,” Hunt said.

Headliners include a combination of household names in jam, bluegrass and funk—Sam Bush, Railroad Earth, Greensky Bluegrass, Acoustic Syndicate, Infamous Stringdusters, 7 Walkers with Bill Kreutzmann and Papa Mali and Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band.

Joining them are many o…

Don't let the bed bugs bite

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You wouldn't think they would be attacted to that blue blood.  From Kentucky.com.
Bedbug U: How to avoid the blood-sucking critters at college
A word of caution for the tens of thousands of students who will lug their belongings back to the University of Kentucky and other state schools this weekend: beware of blood-sucking bedbugs.

Michael Potter, professor of urban horticulture and medical entomology at UK, is among the bedbug experts who on Wednesday released a study saying that a bedbug resurgence continues to gain steam from coast to coast.

The report — titled The 2011 Bugs Without Borders Survey — said college residence halls experienced explosive growth in bedbug eradication treatments in the last year.

Three recent infestations in Lexington — the Lexington Public Library on Main Street and two at the University of Kentucky (the student center and the William T. Young Library) — have put the spotlight on the apple seed-size critters just as students return to campus.

Guide to making me feel old

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From XKCD.

Continuing education job openings

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Colleges and universities are hiring continuing educators.Here are some current job postings from the Chronicle of Higher Education and HigherEdJobs.com. Pfeiffer University:Associate Dean of Academic Affairs - Dean of Continuing Education Barton College:Leader of Accelerated Professional Programs  Florida Gulf Coast UniversityExecutive Director for Continuing Education and Off-Campus Programs  Harper CollegeDean, Academic Enrichment and Engagement  CSU San Marcos:  Associate Dean, Extended Learning  Triton College: Assistant Dean, Continuing Education Grambling State University: Dean of the College of Professional Studies

D'Youville College: Director, Professional Development Center

Delaware County Community College: Dean, Branch Campus Operations

Kent State University: Associate Dean, Regional Campus

Tennessee can't be found

On Money Magazine's list of best small towns to live in 2011.  In fact, the South is barely represented at all. The best place is Louisville, but that's Louisville, Colorado, not Kentucky.

Best Places to Live 2011

Big Extension cuts at UT

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They've lost over 100 position in the past 8 months.  From the Knoxville News Sentinel.

UT Extension to cut 44 grant-funded jobs
University of Tennessee officials on Monday informed 44 employees running nutrition education programs across the state that their jobs would be eliminated on Sept. 30 because federal grant funding was cut.

Another 12 vacant positions were also eliminated, bringing the total number of employee cuts this year in the University of Tennessee Extension to 116 positions after state budget cuts led to the elimination of 60 jobs in January.

The Tennessee Nutrition and Consumer Education Program, a service for families who receive food stamps to teach them good eating habits, had its funding reduced from $3.9 million to $1 million. The cut was to federal funding that was distributed by the Tennessee Department of Human Services, which has been negotiating with UT over how much money it will get after the reductions.

Governor announces grant at ETSU

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Governor Haslam is on campus to announce a $145,026 grant for enhancements at the ETSU Gray Fossil Site. Note: I originally had the amount of the grant wrong when first posted.

I may have mentioned earlier that I had been an English major...

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Race to the top

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Even Alabama and Louisiana do better Tennessee on the ACT.  I know that it does make a difference when all of your graduates take the exam instead of just those interested in going to college, but still...When are we going to climb out of the bottom?  From The Tennessean.
TN students score near bottom on ACTs Tennessee continues to linger near the bottom of the U.S. in ACT scores, which hovered between 19 and 20 points in all four subject areas for a second year. Its composite score for 2011 graduates was 19.5, compared with 21.1 for the nation. The highest score possible is 36.
A report out today from the group that administers the college admissions test also shows only 15 percent of 2011 Tennessee graduates hit all four benchmarks that indicate career and college readiness.
But Tennessee is one of eight states that require all students to take the ACT before graduation, which drops its average score. Only Mississippi, which also tests 100 percent of graduates, posted a lower comp…

Kentucky, North Carolina and nine other states are working

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To change adult basic education.  From The Community College Times.
11 states to revamp adult basic ed programs
Eleven states are participating in a new national initiative to redesign adult education to better prepare adults for jobs. Nearly 40 community colleges across the country will be involved.

Jobs for the Future (JFF) has announced that Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon and Wisconsin are participating in the Accelerating Opportunity: A Breaking Through Initiative, which targets workers unprepared for the job market. It builds on JFF’s innovative adult education initiative Breaking Through, as well as Washington state’s I-BEST program.

“Building from our previous work with Breaking Through, states will get the opportunity to identify the barriers to success for their residents and design a plan that will address the unique needs of their workforces and communities,” said Maria Flynn, JFF vice president o…

Thank god somebody took a stand

Evidently in response to a Chattanooga zombie protest that took place earlier.  Zombies.  They're so hot right now.From The Chattanooga Times Free Press.

TVA bans zombies from its meeting
The Tennessee Valley Authority has a message for opponents of it finishing a long-shuttered, 37-year-old nuclear plant in northeast Alabama: No costumes.

A month after zombie-costumed protesters paraded in Chattanooga to oppose TVA reviving what they described as a "corpse of a power plant," the nation's largest public utility has posted a new ban on costumes at its board meeting Thursday.

A TVA spokesman said the no-costume rule is intended to avoid any "disruption" at the meeting in Knoxville when the board acts on a recommendation to finish construction of a reactor at the Bellefonte Nuclear Plant where work was stopped and the site became a pricey scrap yard.

An opponent of TVA's plan to restart the nuclear plant construction that was stopped in the 1980s said …

God help me, I do love top 10 lists

Tales of the non-traditional

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More news about adult and continuing education students. From The Miami Herald.

Florida International University grad earns doctorate at 87
Never very interested in golf, Richard Smith needed something to absorb him in his retirement years.

So the World War II pilot turned businessman from Boca Raton took to books and at 87 is now the oldest person to ever graduate from Florida International University. On Saturday evening he received a doctorate in American History, a decade after he got his masters from Florida Atlantic University.

“It’s a good way to stay young,” he said.

But now that he’s a doctor, he isn’t quite sure what to do with the degree.

“I like the idea of research. I will probably find another topic and research it,” Smith said, adding that he may also like to teach.

“I might be of some value in the schools.”

Originally from the Boston-area, Smith never imagined he would one day have a PhD.

Your university website

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From XKCD.

Maybe dual enrollment only has the potential

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To decrease time to degree.  At least in Florida, it's still taking four years. Some students desire the four-year college experience.  Some, even with an associate degree, still need lower-division prerequisites.  In Tennessee at least, dual enrollment is often handled by continuing education units. And that task can have its challenges, especially since none of us signed up to handle minors.  From Gainesville.com.

Is dual enrollment really the fast track?
Deina Bossa received a degree from Santa Fe College before her high school diploma, so it's understandable she'll be taking her time getting through the University of Florida.


The 18-year-old Gainesville resident took classes at Santa Fe through its dual-enrollment program. She received her associate degree at spring commencement, more than a month before participating in the Buchholz High School graduation. She'll be attending the University of Florida in the fall, where she plans to pursue a double major in biolo…

The Elvis Presley Candlelight Vigil takes place tonight

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At 8:30 CST.  At Graceland in Memphis, natch. Watch it here at the Elvis Week Wall. Elvis Week ends tomorrow. First Shark Week and then Elvis Week.  Great time of year, it is.

The Yellow Ribbon program for veterans

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ETSU participates, but doesn't offer a free ride like CSU.  Most Tennesee public universities participate in some form or another. From The Denver Post.
Colorado State University offers veterans free tuition
Colorado State University has a deal for recent veterans: Serve your country, get your education free. Completely, absolutely, 100 percent free.

Dozens of colleges across the state, and hundreds across the country, are participating in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' Yellow Ribbon program, which helps recent veterans and their families with tuition costs.

But CSU is one of a handful of institutions whose participation goes way beyond the call of duty. The University of Northern Colorado is another.

Starting this fall, CSU will pay full tuition and fees, as well as provide help with housing and books, to qualifying veterans or their children.

In announcing CSU's 100 percent contribution, university president Tony Frank said the school is "committed to …

Good advice for new deans

From Gary A. Olson writing in The Chronicle of Higher Education.I've listed just one item below.  I guess one thing I'd add has to do with staff responsibilities.  Give responsibility and step back.  Expect growing pains. I don't know how many times I've said to someone unhappy with change: I can't give her responsibility and then tell her how to do her job.

If Only I Knew Then ...
Don't rush to judgment. It's a daily reality for most academic administrators to hear from someone with a compelling account of a dispute who wants us to take action based on that individual's version of events. It is all too easy to leap to the conclusion that the most recent narrative you've heard is "the truth." We all are susceptible to a rush to judgment. The wise administrator waits to hear the competing story, which, inevitably, will be equally compelling. The most effective administrators monitor themselves constantly to avoid potentially costly blunders …

Operating a campus on a self-supporting basis

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Through continuing education. Here's an example of continuing education enterprise: running a few, select, degree programs at small campus entirely through tuition and fees. We run some programs like that here, but not an entire campus. I have to wonder if they're funding a full range of student services through that same revenue stream, or if they have help from the main campus. From Signonsandiego.com.

Tiny CSU campus growing fast
CSUSM’s Temecula campus is the only university outpost between San Marcos, Orange County, Riverside and San Bernardino.

“This is a very underserved population,” Lingold said.

The key to the exponential growth — besides demand — is that the Temecula program’s operations are fully self-supporting. With the California State University system facing a $650 million reduction in state funding for the 2011-12 fiscal year, its 23 campuses are reducing the number of classes offered and leaving faculty positions vacant.

“The only way the university could …

Lambuth University reborn

Sort of.  It will operate as an off-campus site of the University of Memphis.  This is a good move for UM.  It will be run by Dr. Dan Lattimore as a part of MU's continuing education operation. I'll be interested in hearing more about it at TACHE. From The Commercial Appeal.

University of Memphis classes at Lambuth to start in fall semester
The University of Memphis strengthened its bond with Jackson, Tenn., on Friday, announcing it will hold fall semester classes at Lambuth University under what will initially be a $1, one-year lease.

The announcement at a press conference on the Jackson campus followed the state Building Commission's approval earlier in the day of the lease agreement between the two schools.

U of M President Shirley Raines said at the press conference that the announcement culminated a complicated and complex transaction to merge the two campuses.

The new Jackson operation will be called the University of Memphis Lambuth Campus. Classes will begin Au…

Over in North Carolina

Budget cuts kill a popular program that aids prospective teachers. This is bound to hurt enrollment in colleges of education in the universities.  From The NewsObserver.com.

Praised teacher program gets ax
For the past quarter of a century, North Carolina has offered a great deal to thousands of its brightest high school students: a free ride in college in exchange for teaching four years in Tar Heel classrooms.

As a result of the N.C. Teaching Fellows Program, a cadre of teachers and principals who graduated from the model program now work in 99 counties across the state.

"It's easy to spot them," said Brian Whitson, 35, a chemistry teacher at Salisbury High School, who was a Teaching Fellow. "You see a lot of innovation. A lot of them are able to motivate students in a way other teachers are not."

But that particular teacher pipeline is about to dry up.

The Teaching Fellows Program fell victim to the budget ax. As the legislature sought to deal with a $2…

ACHE 2011 Annual Conference & Meeting

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October 13-15, 2011
Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek Hotel
Early bird registration is still open! Register from now until August 31 and get the reduced early bird registration rate.

Made your hotel reservations? Use Group Code ZACHE to get the $169 group rate.

Keynote speakers announced:
Dennis Snow, who will bring over 20 years experience with Walt Disney World Company in his talk Creating & Sustaining Leadership Excellence: Lessons from the Mouse.

Kristen Betts, Armstrong Atlantic State University's first Director of Online Learning. Dr. Betts’ expertise is in higher education, leadership, and online and blended education, and she will speak on Bold Thinking about Innovation & Collaboration.

Jim Wexler, Executive Vice President at BrandGames, will speak on How to Engage the Next Generation Student. Wexler consults educational institutions and corporate clients on "Gamification" – how to drive engagement, change behavior, and build customer relationships using …

God help me, I do love top ten lists

ETSU rated one of the top colleges in Southeast

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East Tennessee State University has been named a 2012 “Best Southeastern College” by The Princeton Review, an education services company known for test preparation programs and college and graduate school guides.

The 135 institutions named as “Best in the Southeast” may be found in “2012 Best Colleges: Region by Region” on the company’s Website.

Robert Franek, The Princeton Review’s senior vice president and publisher says, “We’re pleased to recommend these colleges to users of our site as the best places to earn an undergraduate degree. We chose them mainly for their excellent academic programs.”

From several hundred schools in each region, Princeton Review narrows the list based on data collected from the schools, visits to schools over the years, and the opinions of their staff, as well as college counselors and advisors.

Also taken into consideration are the results of an 80-question survey given to students. Only schools that permit the organization to independently survey th…

Always wear sunscreen and

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Drink more wine!  A tip for the dog days of August from The Body Odd.
Drink wine, don't get sunburned
Important health tip for the summer: Drink more wine! A better protection against harmful sunburns might be a healthy dose of SPF sauvignon blanc, suggests a new Spanish study.

A compound found in grapes or grape derivatives may protect skin cells from skin-damaging ultraviolet radiation, report researchers from the University of Barcelona and the Spanish National Research Council. The flavonoids found in grapes work to halt the chemical reaction that kills skin cells and causes sun damage. Here's what happens: When UV rays hit your skin, they activate "reactive oxygen species," or ROS, which then oxidize big molecules like lipids and DNA. This activates particular enzymes that kill skin cells.

On another Iowa note

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Like nearly every other state, funding for higher education in Iowa plummets.  Makes you wonder where all those students at The University of Iowa get their money to party.  From The Des Moines Register.
Study notes sizable drop in state higher-ed funding
State funding for Iowa's community colleges and three state universities has declined in the past 13 years, prompting tuition increases that have made higher education harder to attain, according to a study released Friday by the Iowa Policy Project.

"World-Class on a Shoestring Budget" says lawmakers have funneled $33 billion to the state's K-12 schools since 1998. Support for the state's public universities and community colleges during that same period has dropped by more than $400 million when adjusted for inflation, it says.

Andrew Cannon, a researcher for the Iowa Policy Project who authored the study, compared state education spending with Iowa's total personal income. The study showed that the state…

Race to the top

The old Alma Mater moves up in the party school list.  From The Press-citizen.com.

UI ranked No. 4 party school in U.S.
Despite efforts by the University of Iowa and the city of Iowa City to curb binge drinking among students, UI has not shaken its party reputation yet.

UI jumped five spots to No. 4 on the list of top party schools released Monday by the Princeton Review. The university placed ninth on the list in 2010.

Tom Moore, a spokesman for the university, said the ranking in the survey did not reflect results school officials have seen around campus.

"It's difficult to place much stock in the rankings," Moore said. "There seems to be a disconnect with the results of their survey and the facts we've seen on campus."

I got this email

From Jennifer directing me to a contest that might interest adult learners.  I've quit Facebook so I couldn't check out the link. Here's the text of the message.
I work for a college credit exam program where many of our students are adult learners, much like your readers. We’ve just launched a pretty cool contest on our Facebook page where entrants will get the chance to win $750 (the average amount saved by earning college credit through DSST vs. taking a 3-credit course at a traditional university). I think your audience would be eager to enter, and hey, who couldn’t use an extra $750?

In order to submit an entry, users must visit the contest tab on our Facebook page [http://on.fb.me/oe1IJq] and answer the following 3 questions:

1. What is your story? [Ex: “I’m a single mother going back to school”]
2. What can DSST do for you? [Ex: “Allow me to stay at home with my child while earning a degree”]
3. What would you do with the $750 you could save by earning college …

G.I. Jobs magazine has again named East Tennessee State University as a “Military Friendly School.”

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This distinction, granted for the third year in a row, places ETSU in the top 20 percent of the 8,000 colleges, universities and trade schools considered nationwide. The institution will appear in the 2012 Guide to Military Friendly Schools, a publication that caters to the eight 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 semes…

I meant to post this earlier, but my Grandpa Box wasn't working

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From Dilbert.com.

Western Governors University at Texas

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The wave WGU has been riding lately keeps surging.  I think that a lot of what Western Governors does is good.  But the fact that states are outsourcing their adults students to WGU is an indictment for local institutions.  They could have captured this market but ignored it.  From The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Western Governors University Gets a New Spinoff, in Texas
Gov. Rick Perry of Texas signed an order today creating a new online university affiliated with Western Governors University, to be called WGU Texas. The move is the third state spinoff of Western Governors: Indiana created one last year, and Washington chartered one in April.

Texas was among the original founders of Western Governors University, which was created in 1997 by leaders of 19 states. Back then, Texas’s governor was George W. Bush.

The new institution will exist in name only: Students enrolling in WGU Texas will be taught by existing professors from the national Western Governors and will use the same …

Tales of the non-traditional

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From The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Goddard College President Can Empathize With Adult Learners
Barbara Vacarr was certainly a nontraditional student. How fitting that she finds herself at the helm of Goddard College, an institution that has long appealed to adult students and those who want a different kind of education. Dissatisfied with the education she was getting in high school, Ms. Vacarr left at age 15 to get her GED. In college, she says, she also felt confined by and disconnected from the curriculum, and she dropped out 12 credits shy of getting her bachelor's degree.  But feeling that she had unfinished business, Ms. Vacarr later returned to college after she was married with children. She went to Lesley University, in a program that was influenced by an adult-education program that started at Goddard. And this time, the progressive approach was different from what she was used to.

"The first questions that I was asked were, What did I care deeply about, and wh…

God help me, I do love top ten lists

No peace at Peace College

Just over the mountains in Raleigh, a women's college turns co-ed university.  Protests ensue.  I believe that for some time, Peace College has offered an adult evening program that enrolled men.  From the newsobserver.com.

Transition at Peace bumps up against tough women
At the edge of the historic Peace College campus near downtown, the signs at the stately brick entrances are covered with white banners proclaiming a new identity: William Peace University.

The women's college won't admit full-time male students until fall 2012, but the transition is under way.
College officials will soon redesign catalogs and brochures to incorporate the new name and recruit men to the campus. They'll consider what male sports to offer and where to put a men's locker room. And this fall, the faculty will start a discussion about courses that could be tailored for male or female audiences, a plan that experts say is likely to run into legal trouble. At the same time, the furor over t…

ROI for the AARP crowd

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If you plan on working another 15-20 years, it's certainly worth attending college.  And, as I've mentioned earlier, it's often less expensive than buying a new car, and you don't have to replace your diploma with a newer model.  A perspective from SmartMoney.com.
Is Going Back to School Over 50 Worth It? - SmartMoney.com But going back to school is an expense in itself. The average public four-year college charges about $760 per class for an in-state student; private colleges charge roughly $2,700. At these rates, an additional bachelor's degree can easily cost more than $30,000, according to data from The College Board. Even continuing education programs can be expensive: A certificate in accounting from NYU's School of Continuing and Professional Studies, for example, costs about $5,000. And the average cost of a master's degree can range from about $5,000 to more than $40,000 per year.
As a result, older learners need to do the same kinds of cost-benefi…

Table Setting 201

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Pre-requisite: Table Setting 101.  This is advanced stuff.