Showing posts from February, 2012

The Leap Day martini's cousin

Slate's Troy Patterson profiles a drink for every four years.

Leap Year Cocktail: Like Sipping Gin While Sucking on a Throat Lozenge
Invented by Harry Craddock at London’s Savoy Hotel in 1928, the leap year cocktail is sweet, and bitter, but not exactly bittersweet. In his excellent book Cocktail—subtitled The Drinks Bible for the 21st Century but out of print since the 20th—Paul Harrington pegs the leap year as the “dulcified cousin of the Martini,” which is as apt a phrase as any for a drink that somewhat shares a flavor profile with grandma candy...

The Leap Year Cocktail Yield: 1 serving Time: A couple to 3 minutes 2 ounces gin (Plymouth works nicely) 1/2 ounce Grand Marnier (get in touch if you figure out interesting ways to fix this drink with other orange liqueurs, such as Cointreau or Creole Shrubb, or with fermented Sunkist) Scant 1/2 ounce sweet vermouth Generous 1/2 ounce lemon juice Lemon twist for garnish Shake the gin, Grand Marnier, vermouth, and lemon juice with ice …

The universe still owes me

Even though, as Slate's explains, the economic impact of my extra labor is minimal.
The Economic Impact Of Leap Day As it's February 29th. . . a few people have asked me whether I think the creation of an extra day provides any kind of boost to the economy. The short answer is "not really."
The longer answer starts with a bit of math. One extra day makes the year 0.27% longer theoretically allowing for 0.27% more economic activity to take place. So it's true that all things considered you might get a smallish boost to aggregate output and income totals. But in terms of things people care about like unemployment only increasing the density of economic activities provides a boost. Taking another full 24 hours to do another 24 hours worth of work doesn't change anything. That said, on shorter time frames it does make a difference. Anyone who's subjected to monthly performance metrics of any kind will do a bit better than he would in a normal F…

The universe owes me a day off

Since I'm working an extra day this year.  Actually, I get a break since I have a ton of stuff due March 1! Happy Leap Day, everybody.

Leap Day traditions and superstitions on February 29
’Leap Day’ is February 29, which is an extra (intercalary) day added during a Leap Year, making the year 366 days long – and not 365 days, like a common (normal) year. Nearly every 4 years is a Leap Year in our modern Gregorian Calendar.

Ever since Leap Years were first introduced over 2000 years ago with the transition from the Roman Calendar to the Julian Calendar in 45 BCE (Before Common Era), Leap Day has been associated with age-old Leap Day traditions and folklore.

From the Urban Dictionary

Business CasualtyWhen someone wearsbusiness casualand it looks horrible.
The long dressy skirt and polo didn't look good together, it was a business casualty and tucking it in didn't make it look any better.
I've seen my share of business casualty at conferences.  Sometimes, I'm a victim myself.

I've got a bad feeling about this...

Some tips for those who can't read the tea leaves.  In my shop, it's always a bad sign to be asked to MacDonald's for coffee.  Or even worse, to step outside...From Alison Green , writing in I've listed two of her eight below.

8 Signs You Should Look for a New Job - On Careers (
2. You notice that you're getting a lot more feedback in writing. If your boss used to give you feedback in person and now she's putting criticism in emails, she may be creating a paper trail to build a case for firing you. Many companies require written documentation of problems and warnings before an employee is let go.

3. You've been miserable, angry, or bitter for months. Everyone has days when they feel like they hate their job, their coworkers, or their boss. But if that goes on month after month, it's a good sign that nothing is going to change and you should start looking for somewhere where you'll be happier.

I was always told to give 110%

, writing in Freakonomics, gives us some tee shirt wisdom.

Work: 12% Monday, 5% Friday?
The picture on this t-shirt is a joke. It states: “Always give 100% at Work: 12% Monday; 23% Tuesday; 40% Wednesday; 20% Thursday; 5% Friday.”

But it’s interesting that its creator chose not to spread the work evenly across the week. His/her view of labor supply suggests a temporal dimension that seems sensible: More work on Monday than on Friday, more on Tuesday than on Thursday, with peak work effort on Wednesday. In terms of labor productivity, this does not seem very far wrong.

Race to the top

Make that topless.  From the Memphis Commercial Appeal.

Memphis schools deputy superintendent Hamer on paid leave for breast comment
Memphis City Schools Deputy Superintendent Irving Hamer made crude remarks about an administrative secretary's breasts at a party at his boss' house, resulting in him being placed on leave with pay. Hamer made the comments at the party Supt. Kriner Cash had last Saturday night for about 20 key staff members. Hamer had been addressing the entire group, including the secretary who works in Cash's office.

Deadline is March 2


The Jerk Store called

On your cell phone.  Using your mobile phone may make you more selfish.  And I'm not just refering to talking in movie theaters.  From Time's Healthland.

Is Your Cell Phone Making You a Jerk?
Cell phones keep us socially connected, but new research suggests they actually reduce users’ social consciousness. In fact, the study showed that cell phone use was linked to more selfish behavior.

Researchers from the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business found that after a short period of cell phone use, people were less likely to partake in “prosocial” behavior — actions that are intended to help another person or society — compared with a control group. For example, after using a cell phone, study participants were more likely to turn down volunteer opportunities and were less persistent in completing word problems, even though they knew their answers would provide money for charity.

The same drop in prosocial tendencies occurred even when participants were simp…

NAASS regional conference open for registration

ETSU's Dr. Sarah Bradford is the Southern Regional Vice President. The North American Association of Summer Sessions invites you to attend the Southern and Middle States Joint Regional Conference at the Virginia Tech Research Center-Arlington Conference Center. Plan to share with other summer session professionals while learning how to develop, market, and execute successful for-credit and not-for-credit summer and special session programming. Program elements under development will include: Facilitated discussion topics around marketing, winter sessions/special calendars, revenue sharing models and other topics of interest to summer session professionals. In addition, staff from the Education Advisory Board will present the findings of their research brief "Summer Sessions: Organizational Models and Strategic Approaches." For more information, please contact: Sarah Bradford Email: Phone: 423-439-8304
Upcoming Deadlines Lodging Reservation Deadline: Friday…

Good luck, Emily Richardson

And welcome to ACHE South.  From The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Why I Moved: An Intriguing Job Title Pulls a Continuing-Education Dean South.

Someone came over to me at a conference in September and said, "I found your perfect job." I said, "I didn't even know I was looking."  They said, "Well, I read a job description, and it just so sounds like you." I was absolutely intrigued by the title: "associate vice president for boundless learning." I thought, How cool that is, to explain what we do as continuing educators? The title alone gives you the scope of Stetson's vision.  So I'm leaving Widener after 22 years, with 10 years in my current position of dean of University College, the home for nontraditional learners. I also held a tenured position in the School of Hospitality Management; I ran hotels before I came into education.

Kingsport welcomes Dr. Noland


Tales of the non-traditional

An adult student talks about her journey.  From Huffington Post.

Going To College At 63: 'You're Never Too Old To Live Your Dream'

I went to the unemployment office and put in all the paperwork, and the guy at unemployment said, "As long as you're in school, unemployment will continue and pay for your education." I told him I didn't even have a high school diploma. He said, "Then we'll send you to get a one." I thought, '"Oh boy, at my age I'm not even going to remember half this stuff." But I got my GED and went back to unemployment, and they said, "You don't live that far from Housatonic Community College -- go sign up." And I was like, "College ... me?"  I felt crazy, but the young kids there, they didn't laugh at me or belittle me, and there were some people who were older. My kids, husband and sister in California encouraged me; they said, "You can do it, keep going, you can do it."…

Call for research proposals

The Theresa Neil Memorial Research Fund The Summer Session Research Consortium, which consists of the North American Association of Summer Sessions (NAASS); the North Central Conference on Summer Schools (NCCSS); the Western Association of Summer Session Administrators (WASSA); and the Association of University Summer Sessions (AUSS), is pleased to announce a Call for Proposals for the Theresa Neil Memorial Research Fund.

The total available for the year 2012 is $9,000. One or two proposals will be supported from this amount. Research Topics The Consortium invites proposals that address pedagogical or administrative issues that pertain to summer session at North American colleges and universities. For example:
Analysis of summer faculty salary issues Assessment of student needs Effects of administrative reorganization (e.g. centralization/decentralization or change from state support to self support Factors related to student choice to attend summer The impact of technology on summer…

ACHE accepting nominations to its national board of directors

You must have previous service to the organization, natch. There arefour positions open:
Directors-at-Large (three openings) andVice PresidentThe Association will present its slate of candidates in the April Five Minutes with ACHE.  In order to submit a nomination, please click here. Individuals may self-nominate or be nominated by a colleague.  Once nominations are received, the chair of the Nominations Committee, Tish Szymurski, will contact nominees with requests for additional information.

Please direct any inquiries to the Nominations Committee Chair, Tish Szymurski at

Participation as a Director-at-Large or as Vice President constitutes a significant opportunity to serve ACHE and continuing higher education.
Nominees for Director-at-Large will have served ACHE in a signficant manner at either the regional or national level. Nominees for Vice President must have served at least two years as a Director-at-Large.  For a description of the roles and responsibilit…

ACHE South Awards deadline has been extended

To February 27, 2012.
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, Kentucky on April 24, 2012.
For more information, awards descriptions, and nomination forms please visit our website at
The application deadline is February 27, 2012.
If you have questions, please contact Dan Connell at or (606) 783-2005.

Call for proposals

ACHE Annual Conference and Meeting
November 12-14, 2012
Sheraton Capitol Hotel
Austin, Texas

There's still time to submit!

The deadline to submit is March 2, 2012.

Read the full Call for Proposals by clicking here or visiting our conference website at Then, submit your proposal via our easy-to-use proposal submission form.
"Collaboration and Partnership: Our Keys to the Future"

Adult education shaky in L.A.

A program serving over 300,000 students might get cut.  Always the first to go.  From The Los Angeles Times.
Adult education on L.A. Unified's chopping block Still, nothing in her 39 years as a teacher at Evans prepared her for the news that the district's entire adult education division may be on the chopping block.
"The program's already been cut in half," she said. "Now we find out that we are being 'zeroed out' of the budget."
Indeed, according to a proposal presented to the school board last month, there is no money budgeted for the $120-million Division of Adult and Career Education in 2012-2013.

But the district budget is a moving target. The spending plan goes to the school board for public review in February. Then it faces a months-long evolution as state financing numbers shift.

Down the line, that "zero" might turn out to be an accounting gimmick or a political ploy. But for now, it has stoked the fears of adult students and…

At the MTSU Adult Learner Conference

Parking was so bad I almost drove on home. Holding this event on campus with these parking conditions is continuing education malpractice. But I'm here and three of our advisors are presenting so it should be a good day. But I just noticed they call ETSU Eastern Tennessee State University. Shoddy proof reading.

Starts today


ETSU's Quillen College of Medicine

Has landed on the top 10 list of a national magazine that named Johnson City one of the best cities in the United States to attend medical school.

For its January/February issue, PreMedLife researched and compiled the “Top 10 Cities for Medical School.” Published in New York City for pre-medical students, PreMedLife not only ranked Johnson City among its top 10 but also christened it to be the magazine’s “editor’s choice.”

The PreMedLife story based its rankings on cities that offer medical students the best overall experience outside the classroom. Students at the Quillen College of Medicine, the magazine wrote, benefit from a low cost of living, affordable housing, a nice climate, free arts and music festivals and good public transportation. It specifically cited BucShot, the ETSU transit system that serves the greater campus area as a perk. The article also wrote that “…Johnson City is considered an economic hub which is largely fueled by East Tennessee State University and what’s …

Meanwhile, just over the mountains in North Carolina

High Point University is hiring. From The

High Point University to add jobs by fall
High Point University officials plan to add more than 110 jobs before the fall semester.
New positions include 50 faculty for undergraduate and doctoral programs, administrative staff, food service, security and athletics.
By August, the number of employees at High Point University will have grown to about 1,126 with the addition of 116 new jobs. These numbers do not include hundreds of construction workers.

The Redneck Riviera

AKA Myrtle Beach, is on this list of romantic spots from Mainstreet. I've spent Thanksgiving there but never Valentine's Day. Rumor has it that the 2014 ACHE South Conference will be in MB.

10 Affordable Valentine’s Day Getaways

Happy Valentine's Day


If this were true

I'd be a vegetable by now. Perhaps the effects are not cumulative. Or perhaps I just don't know I'm stupid. From Linda Carroll, writing in Life Inc.
Meetings can make you, uh, stupid We all know that meetings can be dull and boring. A new study shows that they can also make you stupid.

"You may joke about how committee meetings make you feel brain dead, but our findings suggest that they may make you act brain dead as well," says study co-author Read Montague, director of the Human Neuroimaging Laboratory and Computational Psychiatry Unit at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute.

There's a special social dynamic that occurs in meetings, Montague says, that can not only make us feel stupid, but also make us act that way. All it takes is a colleague who seems smarter than us when he/she does a presentation, says the study’s lead author Kenneth T. Kishida, a research scientist at the institute. That can make us feel stupid -- and that can get in the way o…

Save the date

Georgia Adult Education Association Annual Conference Jekyll Island Club March 4-6, 2012
Aceware preconference with Chuck Havliceck. For for information visit the GAEA website.

The Osborn Memorial Crapper

It has a nice ring to it and certainly would be appropriate if my career tanked.  As a joke, way back when I was teaching English full-time at WIU, I did post my office hours on the door of the men's room.  It was a one-seater, hardly worth my money these days. From Time's Moneyland.

Colleges Are Selling Naming Rights to Campus Restrooms
Colleges and universities around the country, including the University of Colorado Boulder, the University of Pennsylvania and even Harvard Law School have named restroom stalls and walls after alumni and benefactors in exchange for generous donations to the university.

The best-named restroom of them all is without question the Falik Men’s Room at Harvard Law School, which is apparently pronounced exactly how it looks. William Falik, a 1971 Harvard Law grad, donated $100,000 to his alma mater, and the Ivy rewarded him with a recently opened restroom named in his honor. And it was Falik’s idea. He told the Daily Californian that he thought it …

Call for proposals

ACHE MidAtlantic 2012 Regional Conference
March 25-27, 2012
Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center
Roanoke, Virginia Call for Proposals

Deadline: March 9, 2012

Register for the ACHE South Conference

ACHE South 2012 Spring Conference
Racing to Excellence
April 23-26, 2012
Lexington, Kentucky
Hilton Lexington Downtown

Visit the ACHE South 2012 Spring Conference website

Race to the top

Tennessee is ranked at the top for low taxes and limited regulation, so how does that translate to economic performance and quality of life?  Not so well.  We're 48th in median household income, for example, and we have high unemployment. Steven Strauss, writing in The Huffington Post, notes that in a ranking by the American Human Development Index that considers health, education, and income, "Tennessee was ranked 44th -- where 50th is worst-performing."  Hmmmm.

Steven Strauss: A Disturbing Glimpse of GOP's Low Tax/Limited Regulation Utopia
Recently, the US Chamber of Commerce (Chamber) ranked Tennessee No. 1 among our 50 states for its low taxes and limited regulatory environment, and recommended Tennessee as a role model for the nation.
The Chamber, Tea Party, GOP, Grover Norquist, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich tell us that low taxes and limited regulation will solve America's economic problems, including giving us a balanced budget. Indeed, the Republicans ar…

Some unsurprising news about adult students

Although community college enrollments overall are flat or slightly declining, they are still a prime option for adults wanting to re-enter the workforce.  But of course, that's been part of their mission for some time.  From The Tennessean.
Baby boomers hit the books at community colleges At Nashville State, 214 students over 55 were enrolled last semester, holding steady to the fall 2010 semester. But at Volunteer State Community College, people 50-64 were the second-fastest-growing group of students, up 40 percent from 2007 to 2011. Those ages 17 and under were the fastest. There were 4,724 boomers enrolled in the state’s 13 community colleges last year. Officials with Nashville State and Vol State say the retention rate is high among seasoned students. At Nashville State, it was 69 percent in fall 2010, compared with 59 percent for all full-time returning freshmen.
“Typically, adult learners know what they are getting into, and they come in here with a plan,” said Tim Amyx, the r…

iPhone, is there anything you can't do?

Now I don't have to wipe down the hotel remote control.  From USA Today.
New app turns smartphone into a hotel room TV remote control
LodgeNet, the biggest provider of hotel room television entertainment, has created a free app — the LodgeNet Mobile App — that turns iPhones, iPads and Androids into remote controls.
Besides serving as a remote for free TV channels, pay-per-view movies and on-demand TV episodes, the app also contains information about the hotel, local events, attractions, directions and restaurants.

Scientists say sugar is as toxic as alcohol

Wait a minute.  Alcohol is toxic? From io9.
Scientists say sugar is as toxic as alcohol - and there should be a drinking age for soda Sure, sugar's bad for you. But should we establish a drinking age for sugary sodas? According to UC San Francisco pediatric endocrinologist Robert Lustig, the answer is emphatically yes. He says that added sweeteners have health effects comparable to alcohol and tobacco, and should be regulated accordingly. In a comment piece for the journal Nature, Lustig and his colleagues argue that the state should selectively block access to sugar, using some pretty stiff rules.

Everything's Amazing and Nobody's Happy


Save the date

Association for Nontraditional Students in Higher Education 15th Annual Conference Your Past Downloading Your Future March 23 - 25, 2012
Hosted by Eastern Kentucky University

Grow old along with me

Let's move to Tennessee. Three of the top seven cities that make you age too fast are in Tennessee, including Knoxville at the top of the list. From CBS Money Watch.

Cities that make you age too fast
While healthy cities tended to be concentrated in the West and Northeast, the South had the highest showing among cities where lifestyle and behavioral choices were most likely to make residents age far too fast. The site blamed a higher propensity to smoke, drink excessively and eat in ways that encouraged obesity, high blood pressure and horrible cholesterol levels.

The 10 major metropolitan areas where residents grow old the fastest are:

1. Knoxville, Tenn.
2. Louisville, Ky.
3. Memphis, Tenn
4. Oklahoma City, Okla.
5. Indianapolis, Ind.
6. Greensboro, N.C.
7. Nashville, Tenn.
8. Greenville, S.C.
9. Cincinnati, Ohio
10. Columbus, Ohio

New UT branding campaign announced

Big Orange. Big Ideas. From the Knoxville News Sentinel.

UT unveils new branding campaign: 'Big Orange. Big Ideas.'
The slogan will be used in UT's local and national advertisements and on its new redesigned website, which also was unveiled today.

"The new look and words are simple, but they provide a much-needed platform for telling our story and strengthening our reputation," said Chancellor Jimmy Cheek, who has made a commitment to make UT a the top 25 public research institution, a goal based in part on reputation.

Why is tuition so high?

Just look at the reductions in state funding.  If Tennessee's governor gets his way, however, we may get some relief locally. From Time.

Students at Public Universities, Colleges Will Bear the Burden of Reduced Funding for Higher Education
Over the past year, state funding for higher education has declined by nearly 8%. In real terms, that amounts to $6 billion less being funneled into the nation’s public colleges and universities at a time when the demand for the degrees they provide is at an all-time high.

According to the annual Grapevine report from the Center for the Study of Education Policy at Illinois State University, 41 states reduced funding as a result of the slow economic recovery and the end of federal stimulus funds. Of those, 29 states allocated less money in the 2011-12 school year than they did in the pre-recession 2006-07 school year. And further, 14 states reduced funds by more than 10%. In the most extreme case, New Hampshire reduced public funding for its col…

EvoLLLution has launched

I was notified about this new website and thought I'd pass the information on.  I haven't had a chance to study it very carefully.  I guess it's not aimed at the CreaTTTionists in the audience. Ba-doom Pshh.
A grassroots online newspaper exclusively for, and by, those who understand higher education best, The EvoLLLution is the only place where you can find detailed opinions, news and research about the impact of non-traditional programs on the higher education industry and society-at-large.

The EvoLLLution was crafted in recognition of the fact that there are innovators at every level of every institution. From the college dean, to the state system president to the professional student, individuals everywhere are retooling, reorganizing and rethinking their way into the 21st century. These are the people writing our articles and shaping the future of lifelong learning.

Today is

Change Your Password Day.  To celebrate, I suggest changing your password.  Today.

Coppin State seeks to improve its graduation rate

Adopting many of the things we preach in continuing education: one stop shopping, timely student assistance, intrusive advising. From The Washington Post.

Coppin State University moves to improve its low graduation rate
One of Ross’s first reforms was to create a centralized customer-service operation, a place students with any logistical problem could go. At the new Student Success Center, the goal is to answer every customer’s question in seven minutes.

Some problems take longer. Last week, Terri Hackett, the center’s director, was helping a freshman find somewhere to live.

Coppin students tend to come from families whose personal and financial details don’t fit neatly on government forms.

Four-fifths of the financial aid applications completed by Coppin students are flagged for irregularities, sometimes for an ambiguous home address or a missing signature.

When he arrived on campus, Ross set about finding seniors who had not registered for their final year of classes. . . . He also…

Awards time

Don't forget to nominate programs/individuals for ACHE South Awards.  You can learn more about the awards and download forms from the ACHE South conference site at:  For more information contact Dan Connell at or 606-783-2612.