Thursday, January 29, 2015

Meeting a retired continuing educator today after work

My alma mater makes an interesting move off-campus

Merging with a private college to open the University of Iowa Des MoinesAs I recall, there had been no public university in Iowa's capital previously.  Although, as we all know, when someone says it's not about the money, it's always about the money.  From The Des Moines Register.

The University of Iowa's footprint in Des Moines will increase significantly after its announced merger Monday with AIB College of Business, a capital city institution since 1921. 
Presidents of the two higher education centers said the AIB campus at 2500 Fleur Drive will be renamed the University of Iowa Des Moines. 
The move means expanded educational opportunities for central Iowa students, who not only will be able to pursue business-related degrees, but also degrees in other UI programs. Students who enroll at AIB this fall will be considered UI Hawkeyes, officials said. 
Current AIB students will be able to complete their programs, officials said. 
The Iowa Board of Regents, which governs the state's three public universities, must approve the merger, which is expected to be completed by June 2016. When the merger is complete, UI will assume ownership of the AIB campus, whose 20 acres and 16 buildings has an assessed value of more than $21.5 million. 
In addition, UI will take control of AIB's endowment, estimated at about $7 million. Some of the money in the endowment will be used to pay AIB's debt of about $1 million. 
But AIB President Nancy A. Williams emphasized that the merger is not about money. 
AIB "is not seeking any type of financial relief. In fact, the college is virtually debt free, and no money is being exchanged," Williams said. 
"We are doing this because it's the right thing at this point in AIB's proud history. 
"There are new challenges today for private colleges, and our merger with the University of Iowa is the logical next step for our future ... offering quality educational services to our community."

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The least educated city in the South

What is Dalton, Georgia, Alex.  I might have guessed somewhere in Alabama, Mississippi, or South Carolina.  Who knew? From the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Welcome to Dalton: the second least educated city in America
Dalton, Ga., is the least educated city in the South, and ranks second in the United States, according to the census bureau. 
Nationwide, nearly 30 percent of adults over age 25 had at least a bachelor’s degree in 2013. The national median income was $52,250 last year. Metro areas with a less educated workforce generally had lower income levels. 
Here are the five least educated metro cities in the nation: 
• 1. Kingman, Ariz., 11.3 percent of population have bachelor’s degrees; median income of $39,058 
• 2. Dalton, Ga., 12.2 percent of population have bachelor’s degrees; median income of $37,659

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

But I had bugs for lunch

Dan Johnson, writing in Smart Meetings, picks some food trends for 2015.  And you thought attendees at the ACHE conference complained about the food before.

Insects, Vegetable Yogurt Highlight 2015 Food Trends
Vegetable yogurt, oysters, hummus and insects are among the foods expected to trend in 2015, according to international food and restaurant consultants Baum & Whiteman. 
These are among the projected food and beverage trends listed by the firm, which creates high-profile restaurants around the world for hotels, restaurant companies, museums and other consumer destinations. 

Monday, January 26, 2015

The jerk store called

Perhaps the cost of being a jerk is just too high.  From Pacific Standard.

We’ve all known the type: that manic, frustrated genius, whose creativity seems contingent on an even greater ability for being an absolute ass. In the office, they are the ones thinking outside the box—and they’ll berate and belittle you for failing to understand their genius. We allow these individuals to be … well, jerks, because they are, after all, the workplace spark-plug. Capable of coming up with that next big idea, they can create the next great thing. We tolerate the jerkiness, because it’s accompanied by genius, which always benefits the workplace. 
Maybe it’s time we stopped. 
In a recently published study in the Journal of Business and Psychology, professors Samuel Hunter, of Pennsylvania State University, and Lily Cushenbery, of Stony Brook University, determined that these creative bullies can actually harm their companies—by hurting their co-workers’ feelings.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Call for proposals

Submit your proposal to present at the 2015 Distance Teaching & Learning Conference.  Deadline Monday, January 26.  Learn More

This premier event, sponsored by the University of Wisconsin–Madison, welcomes hundreds of distance education and online learning professionals every year to share effective practices, research, strategies, and new tools/techniques.

Suggested topics include:

New course design models
Mobile & social learning
Competency-based learning
Learning analytics
Gamification and badges
Open educational resources
And more ...

Great reasons to submit your proposal:

Share your data on established practices
Present a hot new topic in distance learning
Have your results published in the proceedings publication
Network with experts from around the world

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

I'm thankful I don't have to commute

But here are some tips if you do commute.  From Slate.

People hate commuting. Whether you’re inching along in traffic or avoiding eye contact with strangers on public transportation, your commute is something you’re resigned to tolerate—barely—as part of the daily grind. In a 2004 study, Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman and his team found that in a daily log of activities, the amount of happiness people reported while commuting is about on par with the joy of housework. More than half of Americans spend at least 40 minutes in their round-trip commute; the national average is 50 minutes, and some folks, who the Census Bureau call “megacommuters,” spend more than three hours on the road every day. 
Until science invents teleportation, there are ways to make your commute suck less. And research suggests that multitasking can make your commute feel more worthwhile. An important first step is to consider how you want to use the time.

If you’re the organized type, try using your commute to plan what else you’re going to do that day—even if it sounds like overkill to make plans to plan your day. Simply checking items off of a to-do list, so the logic goes, requires a lot of decision-making, which tires you out before you even get started. Plus, scheduling tasks makes you more realistic about what you can accomplish in a day. If you take public transport, generate a list and schedule the tasks by using an app like Timeful (free), or a combination of synced tools like to-do list app (free) and its companion Cal (free). 
f you’re in the car, though, it’s a little trickier to whip up a list or schedule. You could try recording yourself (and transcribing later) with a tape recorder or smartphone app. The ultra-popular Evernote (free) has a voice-recording function that saves recordings as separate notes. Evernote has saved my life on multiple occasions with its dynamic list of features, which include creating “notebooks,” tagging notes, uploading photographs, and syncing between devices for a seamlessly user experience. (Pro-tip for Evernote users: You can link notes to one another!)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Promises, promises

I'm all through with promises, promises now.  First Tennessee Promise, now America's College Promise.  Much as I want to see educational attainment increase, I feel increasingly like Dionne Warwick.  (I realize this might be a too obscure 60's reference.  Perhaps I should acknowledge Burt Bacharach and Hal David?) Taken from The Pacific Standard.

The Potential Benefits of Obama’s Free Community College Plan

Here’s how it breaks down: Federal funding would cover 75 percent of the average cost of community college, and states would handle the rest. In order to participate in the program, students have to attend the colleges at least “half-time,” making “steady progress” toward completion of their program, while maintaining a 2.5 GPA. Participating community colleges will have to offer programs that either transfer credits to four-year schools, or provide in-demand occupational training. 
If Obama’s large-scale proposal makes it through Congress, it could have long-term benefits not just for the students that receive free education, but for society as a whole.According to the administration, if all 50 states opt-in to the program it could help some nine million students per year, and save full-time community college students an average of $3,800 in tuition every year.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Infographic Friday

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Find more great infographics on NerdGraph Infographics

Thursday, January 15, 2015

I'm guilty

Of saying number two on this list:  "Did you hear about..." Sigh.  What fun is work without gossip?  From Newsweek.

In a perfect world, supervisors would be cool under pressure and the perfect source of inspiration—and always say the right thing at exactly the right time. 
But if you’re in that type of role, you know that in reality, that usually doesn’t happen. Management is chaotic. People—employees, managers, customers, and everyone in between—are unpredictable, situations escalate, and in the heat of the moment, it’s easy to let something not so appropriate slip out, without even realizing it. 
As a supervisor myself, I had plenty of those moments. And it usually wasn’t until the end of the day that I’d realize, “I probably shouldn’t have said that.” 
It’s not just as simple as vowing not to say, “Hey, you suck!” to any of your employees. These are things that may seem like normal office chatter—but over time, can undermine your authority and effectiveness as a leader. Here are a few to watch out for.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

What is Tennessee whiskey

Continuing your own education.  From Paste.

Beginner's Guide to Bourbon and Tennessee Whiskey
Tennessee Whiskey 
Believe it or not, Tennessee whiskey and bourbon have almost identical requirements. In fact, most Tennessee whiskeys meet the criteria for bourbon. The main difference in production is that, sometime after distillation, Tennessee whiskey must be filtered through sugar maple charcoal. Though most producers filter directly after distillation, the law doesn’t (currently) specify when it must be done. 
Parts of the state’s legal definition are hotly contested. The two major contenders, George Dickel and Jack Daniel’s, are each fighting a different requirement. With the current shortage of barrels after a poor harvest, Jack Daniels’ has argued that the new barrel restriction is untoward. George Dickel, on the other hand, ages much of its whiskey in Kentucky, which is obviously outside the Tennessee state lines, thereby blurring the lines of what constitutes production.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

College students with kids

Affordable daycare is another obstacle adult students face.  And it's not getting better.  From The Atlantic.

The Quiet Struggle of College Students With Kids
According to a 2014 study from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, 4.8 million college students were parents of dependent children in 2011, the most recent year for which data is available—that’s about 26 percent of all college undergraduates. The vast majority of these students, 71 percent, are women. But while the number of enrolled students who have children has grown (increasing by 50 percent between 1995 and 2011, according to IWPR), the availability of childcare on campuses hasn’t. In fact, the number of overall childcare facilities available at public colleges (where more than 60 percent of students with children enroll) has decreased over the past decade or so. In 2002, 54 percent of public, four-year colleges had on-campus childcare; by 2013 that number had dropped to 51 percent. For public, two-year colleges, those figures declined from 52 percent to 46 percent during the same period. 
The reasons behind the declining availability in childcare are varied, potentially a mix of both budget constraints and academic culture, says Barbara Gault, the executive director at IWPR. “It’s taking a long time for institutions of higher education to undergo a culture shift that reflects the changing demographics, and to begin to view themselves as organizations that are family-friendly—not just for faculty, but for students,” she says. It might also be true that these types of facilities aren’t yet considered a financial priority. “Institutions are looking desperately for places to cut. Because there's so little awareness of the prevalence of students with children I think it often ends up looking like something that's an extra rather than something that's essential,” Gault says.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Only 5 states are less healthy than Tennessee

According to 27/7 Wall Street.  Only Oklahoma, Kentucky, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Mississippi trail us.

America’s Most (and Least) Healthy States

6. Tennessee
> Pct. obese: 33.7% (4th highest)
> Cardiovascular deaths per 100,000: 300.6 (7th highest)
> Physicians per 100,000: 124.4 (19th highest)
> Pct. visiting dentist in 2012: 50.9 (15th lowest)

More than one-third of Tennessee adults and nearly 17% of adolescents were considered obese last year, both the fourth highest rates nationwide. As in most states, the obesity problem in Tennessee has worsened considerably. Physical inactivity was likely a major contributor. Less than 63% reported routine exercise, less than in all but one other state. Residents also had among the highest rates of heart attacks, and there were more than 300 cardiovascular deaths per 100,000 people, one of the highest rates. Determinants such as a struggling economy and safety concerns also played a role in the state’s poor ranking. More than 8% of Tennessee’s workforce was unemployed in 2013, one of the highest rates nationwide. The state also had the nation’s worst crime rate, at 643.6 violent crimes per 100,000 people in 2013.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

I love the idea

Of getting your conference attendees to promote your conference for you!  We already have contests going on--something like the Selfie Event described below could generate excitement for the next meeting.  By Kristen Carvalho in WeThink.

4 Ways to Get Your Community to Promote Your Events
Planning events is a team effort. You need to have a production line of tasks in place that will move projects smoothly from one person to another. Once the location is booked, you move on to finding your caterer, then you start planning your seating arrangements, then maybe you move on to marketing and so on. More than just having to coordinate with your team to get projects done, you need to coordinate with all your vendors and sponsors to make sure that your event goes as planned. Now, there is one integral part of your event team that often gets neglected or missed in the planning process – your community or network and attendees!  
Corbin Ball stated that there are about 1.8 million meetings in the US each year, many with fewer than 100 attendees. There are two things that I take away from that statement. One, with many events having fewer than 100 attendees it is completely possible to find a way to reach out to attendees on an individual level and ask for their assistance in event promotion. Two, there are too many meetings happening every year to not be taking advantage of all the free marketing that you can do to expand your event reach and grow your market. 
In order to have your community and network “become your speaker systems” for your next event, you need to give them a reason to do it. We all hope that our community will be willing to promote our event no questions asked, but most of the time people like to have some sort of incentive or they just need a push. And it is worth it to make the effort to invest time into this community. After all, 84% of people surveyed trust recommendations from someone they know versus the 42% that trust online banner ads. 
Let’s get started with a few tips on how to get your community to promote your event. 
Start a Contest 
Who doesn’t like a good contest these days? Just because we are adults doesn’t mean we don’t like some good ol’ fashioned competition! Consider adding a component to your event where you ask your attendees to get active on social media. AIBTM did a great job of that at their event this past June with the “Meet America Selfie Challenge.” Attendees were encouraged to “Meet America” during the event by taking selfies at booths with the green #AIBTM diamond. Attendees won prizes for most creative selfie, most original and more. This got attendees on their social media sites posting pictures with the event hashtag. This was a great way to get more visibility for the event hashtag, while at the same time engaging their attendees in a fun way.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Call for proposals deadline soon

Call for Roundtable Proposals
Don't forget proposals are due by January 9th, 2015!

The 14th National Conference
Accelerated Programs in Higher Education:

Innovative Accelerated and Online Programs:
Shine in a Competitive Market!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015 - Pre-Conference Events
August 5 & 6, 2015 - Main Conference
The Hospitality Learning Center
Metropolitan State University of Denver

 The Council for Accelerated Programs (CAP) is seeking roundtable proposals for its 2015 Annual Conference. 
Those selected to facilitate will receive the CAP Member registration fee, and CAP Members who are selected will receive an extra special gift from CAP!
  Proposals should be relevant to one of the following themes:
  • Online Accelerated Learning
  • Blended Accelerated Learning
  • Research in Accelerated Learning
  • Innovative Practices in Accelerated Learning
  • Innovative Practices in Teaching in Accelerated Programs
  • Innovative Practices in Teaching in Online Programs
  • Ways to Differentiate your Accelerated Programs in a Competitive Market
  • How Adult Learners Thrive
  • Attracting the Finest Faculty to your Accelerated Programs
  • Accelerated Programs in a Global Market
Roundtable facilitators should be prepared to lead an interactive discussion of their topic with interested participants.  Hand-outs may also be provided to participants. Roundtable sessions will be one hour in length or less, and can be facilitated by one or two people.  CAP may also offer Workshop Sessions which will be longer in duration.  CAP representatives may contact you to inquire if you are interested in facilitating a workshop instead if your topic is a good fit for the workshop schedule.

Proposals should be no more than 300 words in length including a concise title.  All proposals must be based on work or initiatives occurring in accelerated programs at a post-secondary institution.  Proposals will be evaluated based on their specific theme and current criticality to accelerated programs.

Proposals should include facilitator names, titles, institutional affiliations, daytime phone numbers and email addresses.  The preferred method of submission is via email as an attached Word document.  Please submit proposals to Jeannie McCarron at by Friday, January 9th, 2015.  A conference committee will meet to review all proposals. You will be notified as to the status of your proposal no later than Monday, January 19th.

This information will also be posted on the CAP website at

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Social notworking

Eduventures has been a friend to continuing higher education.  This report, written by Mark Rooney, looks at what actually influences a student's decision to enroll at your college or university.  The role of social media may be exaggerated. From

Does Social Media Influence Students’ Enrollment Decisions?
Higher education leaders have heard a great deal about the importance of social media for recruiting undergraduate students. Some experts say that today’s college applicants are increasingly tech and social media savvy, demanding that colleges devote significant resources to their social media presence. Others say it is largely a waste of admissions staff time, depleting resources from far more useful and persuasive communication tactics. The truth, of course, is somewhere in between.
The critics are partly right. Data from the 2014 Eduventures Prospective Student Survey, which was completed by over 10,000 prospective students, suggests that a college’s social media is less effective for recruiting students than most other forms of outreach. On average, students rated college websites, comparison tools, Google searches, and traditional media, such as viewbooks and course catalogs, much higher than social media (see Figure 1). This data supports the notion that enrollment managers should be careful about siphoning off excessive staff resources on tools that aren’t as useful to students.

Monday, January 5, 2015

This was a hot dinner topic

With my Chattanooga State colleagues at the TACHE conference.  Classic case of thinking with the wrong head?  From Inside Higher Education.

A community college official in Tennessee retroactively received a degree from Duquesne University in Pennsylvania this year despite failing to complete required coursework a decade ago, according to an unusual cross-state investigation by Tennessee auditors. 
The audit by the Tennessee Board of Regents focused on a controversial Chattanooga State Community College official, Lisa Haynes. 
The longtime president of Chattanooga State, James Catanzaro, retired this week amid questions about Haynes. She was his executive assistant and then the college’s chief innovations officer. Catanzaro met Haynes in Barbados before she was hired by the college. 
For Tennessee auditors’ purpose, the key questions were about Haynes’ qualifications. Even though a job opening in fall 2013 required a degree she did not have at the time, Chattanooga State paid for her to fly from Barbados to Tennessee for an interview, hired her even before other candidates for the job finished their interviews and then sponsored her work visa.