Showing posts from January, 2012

From the Urban Dictionary calendar

iFingerIt's the finger(s) you purposely keep clean when you eat something messy so you could operate your touchscreen without making the screen look like your plate. 

These ribs are delicious and messy, but I have to keep my pinky clean cause its my iFinger.

Save the date

15th Annual NABCA Conference

"Regional & Branch Campuses:
A Prism of Possibilities for the 21st Century"
April 11 - 14, 2012
Orlando, Florida
Renaissance Orlando Airport Hotel

The extroverted engineer stares at YOUR shoes when talking to you

Susan Cain, writing in Time, outlines some of the advantages of being an introvert.

Susan Cain: Don't Call Introverted Children 'Shy'
As adults, introverted leaders have even been found to deliver better outcomes than extroverts when managing employees, according to a recent study by management professor Adam Grant of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, because they encourage others’ ideas instead of trying to put their own stamp on things. And they’re less likely to take dangerous risks. Extroverts are more likely than introverts to get into car accidents, participate in extreme sports and to place large financial bets.

Tennessee is a net brain gainer

Although a small one at just over 1900 students.  Jenna Johnson in The Washington Post looks at states that export the most college students and states that import the most.  The top exporters are New Jersey, Texas, and Illinois and the top importers are Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Massachusetts.  Tennessee is the 22nd ranked importer, just behind Missouri and ahead of Mississippi.

Brain drain: States that lose the most college students

I owe Comcast an apology

They came out and fixed my landscaping that I complained about.  And gave me a small credit towards my bill.

God help me I do love top ten lists

Social notworking


News from the TACHE president

Dear TACHE Members
I am pleased to annouce that the new TACHE Executive Secretary/Treasurer is Dr. Rick Osborn, and ETSU will serve as the new home office and the new TACHE Historian is Rodney Robbins, MTSU.
I want to thank these members for their willingness to take on these important roles for our organization.
I also want to recognize and thank Sam Brackstone for his service as Executive Secretary/Treasurer!!
Dianna Rust President, TACHE
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Release the Kraken

I've always wanted to say that.  This bottle of Kraken rum was a Christmas gift.  It will prove useful as SACS is driving me to drink, unfortunately.

Rock and roll, hoochie koo

Unfortunately, as a former English major, interpreting lyrics is what I do.  I can't help myself.And lyrics are important.  Take that song "I'm Already There" by Lonestar.  Those lyrics irritate the heck out of me.  What does it mean, "I'm already there?"  He's not there; he's on the phone.  Is he dead?  Evidently not, because he's calling from somewhere else.  But at least his being a ghost would explain why he's the "shadow on the ground" and the "whisper in the wind."  Next time I'm late for a meeting I'll tell my boss: I'm already there.Take a look around.

Tom Hawking, writing in The Atlantic, has a nice listing of misunderstood songs including "Born in the USA." 

The Most Misunderstood Songs in Rock History
“Born in the USA” by Bruce Springsteen
No, Rush Limbaugh/Ronald Reagan/homebrew patriotic YouTube video makers, this is not a flag-waving anthem proclaiming Bruce’s love of the US of A. It…

Dean Dad points out the possible downside

Of basing funding on graduation rates--if an institution takes the quick and dirty route.  Of course, I don't expect legitimate institutions to turn to the darkside. 

In an interesting development tied to Dad's posting, I saw that the City Colleges of Chicago (CCC) is looking for the following positions (1) Associate Vice Chancellor, Adult Education, (2) Assistant Dean, Adult Education, and (3) Adult Education Manager.  With adult education so crucial to the evaluation of the CCC presidents, it's no wonder they want their own folks in these jobs. It's a great opportunity for the right continuing educator.  He or she would certainly have support from the top.

Of course, funding in Tennessee is now based on outcomes instead of enrollment, but graduation is just one of the outcomes.  It is the one folks care the most about, however.  And the one the legislators will keep their eyes on.

Basing It All on Graduation Rates

The Presidents of the Chicago area community colleges…

Tennessee's newest campus

It's official.  The former Lambuth University is a branch campus of the University of Memphis, operated by its continuing education unit.  Most continuing educators, though, don't have to worry about dorms.  Except, of course, when we have high school students in for the summer for various programs.  And that's bad enough.
In Kentucky, there's talk of the state taking over the private University of Pikeville.  That's the pattern in Kentucky (The University of Louisville is the last example.), but folks wonder if there's a pressing need to add the expense to the higher education budget.

Haslam raises flag at former Lambuth
Gov. Bill Haslam raised the University of Memphis flag in the historic quadrangle of Lambuth University on Thursday in a ceremony commemorating the deed transfer from the United Methodist Church-affiliated private university to the state of Tennessee.

Speaking before the flag-raising, Haslam said his goal is to see more Tennesseans graduate from…

Looking ahead

The National Center for Education Statistics projects increased higher education enrollments for the next 11 years.  Adult students continue to be low hanging fruit, especially young adults.  Females attending college will outnumber males by 2 to 1. The adults students are out there; we just need to attract them to our institutions. Projections of Education Statistics to 2020
Enrollment by age of student

Between 2009 and 2020, enrollment is projected to increase •9 percent for students who are 18 to 24 years old; •21 percent for students who are 25 to 34 years old; and •16 percent for students who are 35 years old and over.

Social media 101

In case you were considering friending your boss on Facebook: Don't do it.  Leave out co-workers while you're at it.  Your current co-worker may become your boss in a few years as both of you move around.  More Facebook tips from Moneyland and Time.
Is It a Bad Idea to Friend Co-workers on Facebook? How About Your Boss? Moneyland Don’t friend co-workers you don’t trust. Gen Y is known as a competitive group in the workplace, and especially in the shaky state of the job market, every employee is looking for an edge. So be careful — paranoid, even — about which co-workers you’re friends with online lest a “friend” sabotages your career.
Avoid friending your direct manager. Your boss has a big influence on your career trajectory. He or she helps decide who gets a raise and who doesn’t, and who takes on what projects. Basically, your manager can make your work life wonderful or miserable, and to avoid the latter, it’s safer to keep Facebook out of the equation.

Set your priva…

Meetings 101

I've discovered a new sage on the interweb named Meeting Boy.  He offers this bit of wisdom: The problem with 8 hour meetings is the iPhone only has a 6 hour battery. Meanwhile, I'm off traveling to the PLA Task Force meeting in downtown Nashville tomorrow.  I'm envious of only an eight hour meeting.

Tennessee earns a C+

Quality Counts gives Tennessee a grade of C+ (77.7) on educational policy and performance.  It's ranked 20th, tied with Rhode Island.  Maryland leads with a grade of B+, and there are some surprising states in the top ten: Arkansas is fifth, Georgia seventh, and West Virginia ninth.

Equipping U.S. Schools for the Global Fast Lane
This year's Quality Counts report takes a critical look at the nation's place among the world's public education systems. Veteran Education Week journalists with deep expertise in such areas as teaching, assessment, curriculum, and state and federal policymaking put to the test popular assumptions about the country's competitive status in education. Working with colleagues from the Editorial Projects in Education Research Center, they illuminate innovations in high-performing nations that have taken root in the United States, lessons to be drawn from the experience of other countries, and the promise and risks such strategies hold for U.S.…

Our long state nightmare is over

Backyard chickens approved in Nashville:Metro Nashville council approves measure allowing residents to raise chickens

Meanwhile, just over the state line in Virginia

There's a fire in the fire station. Call the Volunteer Irony Department.  From The Johnson City Press.

Fire strikes Gate City, Va., Volunteer Fire Department

Authorities in Scott County say they are still trying to determine the cause of a fire that sprang up Tuesday evening at the headquarters of the Gate City Volunteer Fire Department.

Gate City Fire Chief Jeff Brickey said the fire hall received minimal damage as a result of the blaze, which was first reported to Scott County Central Dispatch at 6:40 p.m.

I can't believe Comcast isn't on this list

Or Xfinity, which seems to be the name they go by now.  My latest issue is that after waiting nine months to bet my cable repaired (We had a wire above ground and crossing my sidewalk that whole time.), they tore up my landscaping fixing the underground wiring and did a terrible job of reconstruction.  This list, from 24/7 Wall St., includes Facebook, American Airlines, and AT&T...among others, of course. [NOTE: Comcast read this and fixed the problem on 1/26/12.]

The 10 Most Hated Companies in America

Customers, employees, shareholders and taxpayers hate large corporations for many reasons. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed a lengthy list of corporations for which there is substantial research data to choose the 10 most hated in America.
Research about companies comes in two sets. One is public research about consumer satisfaction, customer care, pricing of products and services, and brand impressions. Wall St. research takes into account another set of factors, which include present earnin…

Why do adult students drop out

In a guest posting in College, Inc., Inside Track's CEO, Alan Tripp, discusses what his company's research reveals. Nothing we don't already believe to be true, but it's good to have data supporting our beliefs.

Guest post: Non-traditional students key to college completion goal
The good news, however, is that new data tells us why adult college students drop out and how we can best impact them.

— A plurality of students (30 percent) cited managing commitments (such as balancing work, family and school) as their reason for dropping out.
— Difficulty managing finances, at 26 percent, was the second most common reason. (Among younger students – those under 25 – finances ranked first.)
— For 13 percent of adult students, effectiveness (maintaining momentum and seeing complex projects through to completion) was the main reason for dropping out.
— For 9 percent of students, lack of a commitment to graduation factored most prominently.
— Health problems and lack of support fo…

I may have mentioned something earlier about liking my iPhone

Did you know it can work as a scanner with the right app?  Lacey Maulding, writing in, lists ten more.  Some are more useful than others.
11 Awesome Things You Didn’t Know Your iPhone Can Do
Apple products are, by their very nature, extremely intuitive. They know what you want almost before you do, and the new iPhone 4S can even speak. But beyond that, this phone and its predecessors can do a ton of cool stuff that you might not even know. This can seem ominous if you’ve watched the Terminator flicks one too many times, but ultimately, dude, you still have the power. Especially once you study up on the 11 killer apps and secret features below. Not only would they make Steve Jobs proud, they can change your life. For the better, of course.

Nominate a deserving continuing educator

Or an exemplary program for an ACHE South Award. ACHE South is seeking awards nominations for outstanding credit and non-credit programs, distinguished continuing higher education professionals, scholarships, and research grants.  Recipients will be recognized at the 2012 South ACHE Spring Conference in Lexington, KY on April 24, 2012.
For more information, awards descriptions, and nomination forms please visit our website at

The application deadline is February 17, 2012.


We don't need no stinkin' badges!  Actually, I have nothing against this wearable credential; I just have limited opportunities to use that line from Blazing Saddles.  And I know it originated in slightly different form from The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.  Perhaps achievement body art is next.  This comes by way of Jeffrey R. Young, writing in The Chronicle of Higher Education.
'Badges' Earned Online Pose Challenge to Traditional College Diplomas
The spread of a seemingly playful alternative to traditional diplomas, inspired by Boy Scout achievement patches and video-game power-ups, suggests that the standard certification system no longer works in today's fast-changing job market.

Educational upstarts across the Web are adopting systems of "badges" to certify skills and abilities. If scouting focuses on outdoorsy skills like tying knots, these badges denote areas employers might look for, like mentorship or digital video editing. Many of the new digit…

Don't major in recession studies

Some interesting data on the value of higher education and the unemployment rates of specific majors.   And something that sometimes overlooked: do something that you like.  You may be doing it for a long time.  Or not.  From Derek Thompson, writing in The Atlantic.
Don't Let the Economy Pick Your Major For You But are employment and earnings by degree the most important factors in choosing a college? Absolutely not. First of all, mushy as it sounds in an economics post, happiness matters. To the furthest extent possible, you should do what you want to do, not only in college, but also in life. Second, employment and earnings statistics are variable. Real estate was all the rage in 2003. But four years after the housing bust, it won't surprise you to learn that architecture majors now have highest jobless rate among recent college graduates at 14%, nearly three times higher than for Information Services Majors. Or poll business school grads from 2000 or 2008 how flooding into …

Don't forget to evaluate

Your keynote speakers.  Rob Hard has some tips to keep in mind.

Speaker Evaluation Forms - Evaluation Forms for Meetings
The most important item that meeting planners should consider when developing a speaker evaluation form is the importance of keeping the form brief (one page). Some tips include:
Provide clear, brief instructions at the top. List the session name and speaker on the form. Measure the effectiveness in a maximum of five options. Ask if the session objectives were met. Ask if the session was perceived as valuable. Ask an open ended question for more information. Keep the form optionally anonymous. Ask if there’s any interest in follow up contact. To be sure, feedback on evaluation forms will be subjective, as the comments are based on many personal factors of who is responding. For example, those who attend a given program will likely be at different levels of professional experience with a given topic, and that will impact how they respond. Their feedback may also vary…

The ghost in the machine

Or maybe not.  My iPhone is creating hallucinations. From Life's Little Mysteries.
Why Do I Think My Phone Is Vibrating When It's Not? Do you ever feel your phone vibrating in your pocket or purse, only to retrieve it and be met by eerie, black-screened lifelessness? If, like most people, you occasionally experience these "phantom vibrations," it turns out it's because you're a little bit nuts.
Or, scientifically speaking, you're having "sensory hallucinations."
So says Michael Rothberg, a researcher at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Mass., who, last year, studied the strange phenomenon among the doctors and other medical staff at Baystate. He discovered that over 70 percent of those polled had experienced a phantom vibration in the past — and some of them were spooked by ghost cellphone rings daily.
As Rothberg recently explained on ScienceLine, these hallucinations are, essentially, errors in perception — casu…

Continuing education: 100 proof

Adult education in its purest form.  Learning for learning's sake.  Of course, if you know continuing education like I do (or at least continuing educators), having it at a bar doesn't hurt.  From Jennifer Schuessler, writing in The New York Times.

Continuing Education, at the Bar
FOR many, January means back to the lecture hall, and not just at colleges and universities. Across New York the backrooms of bars and the main stages of clubs are coming to resemble secret annexes to the Learning Annex — homes to a boom in alternative lecture series that combine the spirit of the seminar room with the atmosphere of speed dating.

Sometimes the matchmaking is purely intellectual, as speakers bring evolutionary biology or astrophysics to first-timers who thought they had just come for the beer. Other times it’s of the more literal kind (though sorry, ladies, the sex ratio doesn’t seem to be any better in nerd circles).

Whether it’s credentialed neuroscientists delivering a solid happy…

Give this s.o.b. his Oscar

Rin Tin Tin was robbed.  He reportedly received the most votes for best actor back in 1929. From

Susan Orlean: Throw Rin Tin Tin A Bone & Give Back The Pooch’s Best Actor Oscar
The Orchid Thief author Susan Orlean has a Hollywood theft to report, and a suggestion how to remedy the injustice. During the exhaustive research that Orlean did for her book Rin Tin Tin: The Life And The Legend, she discovered that the true Best Actor winner in the first Oscars in 1929 was the German Shepherd, not the German silent film actor Emil Jannings, who walked away with the prize. And Orlean thinks it’s high time that the Academy corrects the injustice next month by giving a posthumous Best Actor prize to the biggest four-legged movie star of all time.
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Call for proposals

The 2012 Tennessee Adult Learner Conference Navigating the Terrain of the Adult Learner: Signposts to Development, Achievement and Success February 16th – 17th, 2012 Middle Tennessee State University Murfreesboro, TN
Call for Presentation Proposals on Promising Practices
Deadline for submissions is January 20, 2012.
The conference is not looking for research presentations this year. Instead, we want to showcase promising practices that your campus is using in serving the adult/nontraditional population.  Contact Jessica Gibson ( or Anne Fraley ( with questions.

Northeastern University goes off-campus

Way off-campus, according to The New York Times.  Maybe we can get them involved in several ACHE regions!  And I love the Charlotte Regional Dean's response to the question about how many students are enrolled.  She called it an "irrelevant metric."  I plan on stealing that term.

Northeastern University Expands Its Geographic Reach
After a century firmly anchored in Boston, Northeastern University is branching out — becoming Southeastern, Northwestern and perhaps Western and Midwestern as well.

Northeastern, known for its co-op program in which undergraduates spend significant amounts of time in the workplace, opened its first satellite campus this fall in Charlotte, N.C., and is planning a second in Seattle next year; outposts in Austin, Tex., Minnesota and Silicon Valley are under discussion. The goal is to offer master’s degrees in industries like cybersecurity, health informatics and project management, matching programs with each city’s industries and labor needs, …

Call for proposals

2012 Regional Graduate Liberal Studies Conference
East Tennessee State University April 6 and 7, 2012
The Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Tennessee, invites you to submit proposals for the 2012 Regional Graduate Liberal Studies Conference to be held April 6-7, 2012, on the ETSU campus.
The 2012 Regional GLS Conference is open to faculty, students, and alumni in any area of graduate liberal studies. Proposals will be accepted for papers, demonstrations, roundtable discussions of ongoing research, and pre-arranged panels. Please include your full name, graduate program affiliation and institution, title of presentation, phone number, e-mail, and mailing address with your proposal.
Proposals for individual presentations and demonstrations of approximately 20 minutes should include an abstract of no more than 300 words. Proposals for roundtable discussions and pre-arranged panels should include a proposal of approximately 300 words …

Transmogrify has always been

One of my favorite underused words.  Wayne State University promotes greater language diversity. From The Detroit News.
WSU revives 'antediluvian' lingo On Monday, the university released its fourth list of 10 words it says deserve greater use. It comes days after Lake Superior State University released its 37th List of Words Banished from the Queen's English for Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness.

Some 300 miles to the south, Wayne State champions rescuing words that fell out of favor or never found it.

Words worth rescuing include "antediluvian," which means old-fashioned; "erstwhile," meaning former; and "transmogrify," a grotesque change in appearance or form.

The last enjoyed a bit of a cultural renaissance in the 1980s and '90s in the comic strip "Calvin and Hobbes," which often featured a "transmogrifier" Calvin built out of a cardboard box.

"The English language has more words in its lexicon than any o…

Maybe this is why we don't allow back-in parking at ETSU

A Freakonomics reader presents anecdotal evidence that how employees park relates to employee morale. It's an interesting observation albeit a leap of faith.  Oddly enough, it seems to me that in Tennessee, people like to back-in park at restaurants and shopping malls much more than in the Midwest. Perhaps it's a cultural thing. How do employees park at your institution?

Can Parking Direction Tell Us Anything About Company Morale?
After spending time at roughly 100 manufacturing locations around the world, I noticed an odd trend:  the direction that employees parked in their parking spots highly correlated with employee morale and satisfaction with their jobs.  Most of the cars parked forward? A good company to work for, with employees who want to get to work. Most cars backwards? It seems as though the moment that the employee got to work, he or she was planning a quick exit.

Next time you drive by a manufacturing company check it out.

Maybe CEO’s should study Google Earth map…


From xkcd.

LMU sues American Bar Association over accreditation denial

And The Knoxville News Sentinel agrees with the action.  The LMU law school is located off-campus in Knoxville.

Editorial: Lincoln Memorial University right to fight refusal to accredit law school
LMU has gone to federal court to accuse the ABA of antitrust violations because the organization refused to accredit the university's new John J. Duncan Jr. School of Law in downtown Knoxville.

ABA accreditation is vital to the success of the school. Most states won't let lawyers practice unless they have graduated from an ABA-approved law school.

Tennessee is an exception, but if LMU graduates ever hope to practice outside the state, they'll be out of luck as things stand now.

In denying accreditation, the ABA criticized LMU's admission standards, even though the school's incoming classes have had higher test scores than at least eight accredited schools.

LMU says the real reason for the denial was that the legal establishment wanted to keep out a low-cost competitor.


Which states attract the most out of state students?

Pennsylvania, New York, and Massachusetts. Tennessee is around the middle of the pack at 21.  From The Chronicle of Higher Education.  Because institutions are starting to chase out of state student dollars more, I know a continuing educator whose job is now strictly recruiting those students.

Where Does Your Freshman Class Come From?