Thursday, May 28, 2015


A new logo for Tennessee state government comes with criticism. This replaces over twenty old, separate logos, however. From the Tennessean.

New TN logo not replacing tristar or flag, state says
You've probably seen it by now: a "TN" inside a red box floating above a blue stripe. 
You've probably seen the price tag for the logo — $46,000 — and criticism that it could've been designed by a child. 
You won't see that new Tennessee state logo on the state flag or replacing the tristar symbol, though, said David Smith, a spokesman for Gov. Bill Haslam. 
"To be clear: nothing is happening to the flag, tri-stars or state seal," Smith said Tuesday in an email to The Tennessean. 
"There is no singular graphic identity for state government currently. This (is) about a consistent graphic identity for state government. The flag and tri-stars are bigger than state government."

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

ETSU to host regional summit on education, economy

Government, business, academic and community leaders from throughout the region will be on the East Tennessee State University campus on Wednesday and Thursday, May 27-28, for the Tennessee Valley Corridor (TVC) 2015 National Summit. Activities will take place in the D.P. Culp University Center.

“Education Fuels the TVC Economy” is the theme of this event, hosted by ETSU President Dr. Brian Noland in cooperation with U.S. Congressman Phil Roe.

The annual summit, which began in 1995, is designed to build relationships and collaborations among federal institutions, research universities, and science and technology leaders in the private sector.  It showcases the TVC’s quality of life and the people, business, and natural and scientific resources needed for high-tech research, development, business and investment in the 21st century.

“We are very fortunate in this region to have outstanding resources in science, technology and education,” Noland said.  “This summit not only allows us to look at the ways education impacts the economy, but also to explore new partnerships that will continue to improve the preparation and job opportunities for the workforce of tomorrow.”

The TVC is supported by the TVC Leadership Council, which includes Y-12 National Security Complex, Appalachian Regional Commission, ETSU, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee Valley Authority, University of Tennessee, Alstom, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Oak Ridge Associated Universities, Tennessee Tech and UCOR.  TVC Summit sponsors include Eastman, Milligan College, Northeast State and Roane State community colleges, Tri-Cities Regional Airport, Mountain States Health Alliance, Cadre5, the chambers of commerce of Kingsport, Bristol and Johnson City-Jonesborough-Washington County, and more.

For more information, visit

Those zany millennials

Earlier posts noted that millennials don't get bored.  They don't buy cars or houses. They don't believe in the retirement fairy. They're less religious.  And they're taking over the workforce, which is probably is a good thing overall.

Millennials Now Largest Generation in the U.S. Workforce
Millennials have now surpassed Generation X to become the largest generation in the American workforce, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. 
Adults between the ages of 18-34 now make up one in three American workers, Pew reports. They outnumbered working adults in Generation X, who were 18-33 in the year 1998, in early 2015 after overtaking Baby Boomers last year. 
The estimated 53.5 million millennials in the work force are only expected to grow as millennials currently enrolled in college graduate and begin working. The generation is also growing thanks to recent immigration, as more than half of new immigrant workers have been millennials.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Those zany millennials

Millennials are trending away from organized religion, except for African-Americans and political conservatives.  From The Pacific Standard.

It’s common knowledge that many members of the Millennial generation in the United States are rejecting religion. But some analysts argue that, while these emerging adults are less likely to participate in organized religion, they retain an interest in spirituality. 
Not so, concludes a newly published study. 
“American adolescents in the 2010s are significantly less religiously oriented, on average, than their Boomer and Generation X predecessors were at the same age,” writes a research team led by San Diego State University psychologist Jean Twenge. Confirming earlier evidence, the study finds they are less likely than members of previous generations to attend religious services, and less supportive of religious organizations.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Explore more visuals like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Post-commencement homework

Paste has a reading list for new college graduates. The first is Adulting by Kelly Williams Brown

5 Books Graduating College Students Need to Read
Graduation is around the corner and you’re ready to see the fruits of your college labors. Exciting times—until your parents stop helping you pay rent, you can’t drink on Thursday nights anymore, and you are in a cubicle for nine hours each day. Life right after college will take some adjusting to. Fear not: These books will help give you some perspective about how to navigate the post-grad blues.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

I guess I would be an analog native

Welcome to the jungle. The downside of looking for digital native employees, from Fortune.

This is the latest way employers mask age bias, lawyers say
“The term ‘digital natives’ makes me cringe,” said Ingrid Fredeen, an attorney and vice president of NAVEX Global, which provides ethics and compliance programs to large organizations. “This is a very risky area because we’re using the term that has connotations associated with it that are very age-based. It’s kind of a loaded term.” Posting a job ad calling for “digital natives,” she added, is “really challenging and problematic” because it implies that “only young applicants need to apply.”

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


Me worry? Correlation is not causation.  From Slate.

Scary Smart: Do intelligent people worry more?
If you worry a lot, fear not—your anxiety just might be a sign of high intelligence. The idea has been around for a while: The adage that ignorance is bliss suggests the reverse, that knowledge involves anguish. Now it’s starting to get some scientific validation. 
In a recent study, for instance, psychologist Alexander Penney and his colleagues surveyed more than 100 students at Lakehead University in Ontario, Canada, and asked them to report their levels of worry. 
The researchers found that students with more angst—for instance, those who agreed with survey statements like “I am always worrying about something”—scored higher on a verbal intelligence test.

Monday, May 18, 2015

We had a body language expert as a keynoter

At last fall's TACHE conference.  She was great. From The Daily Eight.

8 Biggest Body Language Mistakes
1. Leaning Back Too Much (Can come off as lazy or arrogant.) 
While doing things that help you feel relaxed can be a good way to adjust to a situation that makes you nervous is good, relaxing too much will send the wrong signals. When appropriately relaxed, others will perceive you as confident. If you’re too relaxed, that confidence can seem like arrogance. Be conscious of your body and adjust your posture to be professional but also relaxed.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Online education and the community college

It's hardly surprising that students who are less academically prepared might struggle with online classes, but here's the research to back it up. I wonder too if community college students have the same access to high speed internet as students at four-year institutions?  From The Hechinger Report.

Five studies find online courses are not working well at community colleges
Here’s an unusual case where scholarly research is producing a clear conclusion: online instruction at community colleges isn't working. Yet policymakers are continuing to fund programs to expand online courses at these schools, which primarily serve low-income minority students, and community college administrators are planning to offer more and more of them. 
The latest salvo comes from researchers at the University of California-Davis, who found that community college students throughout California were 11 percent less likely to finish and pass a course if they opted to take the online version instead of the traditional face-to-face version of the same class. The still-unpublished paper, entitled Online Course-taking and Student Outcomes in California Community Colleges, was presented on April 18, 2015, at the American Educational Research Association’s annual conference in Chicago. 
“In every subject, students are doing better face-to-face,” said Cassandra Hart, one of the paper’s authors. “Other studies have found the same thing. There’s a strong body of evidence building up that students are not doing quite as well in online courses, at least as the courses are being designed now in the community college sector.”

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Adjuncts speak

Those who want a full-time faculty position are pretty-much miserable. Those who don't are pretty satisfied.  From The Pacific Standard.

Survey: The State of Adjunct Professors
Due to the overwhelming response, we hosted a survey in early March to collect information about current and former adjunct professors. This is not a scientific survey (as many of our respondents, of course, pointed out) but it provides at least a partial picture of what adjunct professors face in the employment market. 
Of the 467 responses, what rings out most clearly is the sense of betrayal, sadness, and frustration. Many wrote to us about their impressive student evaluations while noting that they are almost never tied to pay or contract renewals. They noted that without a union they would be far worse off—or that they wanted to organize, but were too scared of reprisal. 
We also saw the other side of adjuncting: Many respondents wrote that they live happy, fruitful lives. These people treat adjuncting as a side job and feel fulfilled by their work, both inside and outside of the classroom. While most people agreed that adjuncting couldn't possibly be a full-time job, they appreciated the flexibility of teaching a few classes in addition to their other work. The large majority of respondents said what keeps them in the classroom is the students.

Monday, May 11, 2015

When everything is awsome

Nothing is.  Some ammunition against the war on the liberal arts from Tim Askew in Inc.

Why You Need to Stop Saying ‘Awesome’
I believe it is utterly tragic that STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) curriculum seems to be routing the liberal arts–English, history, philosophy, psychology, et al. I understand that students want to have a good immediate job when they graduate, but that is short-term thinking. Especially for incipient entrepreneurs and business leaders. Even engineers, coders, and quants need words for genuine thinking. Without the right word and the right use of words, there can be no right thinking; there can be no accurate perception; there can be no exactitude. Words give a context, a reality, a structure for logic, innovation, and our eureka moments. Language creates a long-term ability to understand and cope with a brave new world moving and changing at the speed of light. It gives us a context to see the forest as well as the trees. 
So, the use of awesome as a default word for just about everything is a killer of business accuracy and clarity. It bespeaks imprecision, inaccuracy, comfort with noncommunication, and impoverishment of imagination. “Awesome” is not cool. It is not outrĂ©. It is not out-of-the-box. It is mindless, shallow, slothful, ersatz, and, ultimately, disrespectful of anyone you are speaking to. I would suggest it is a good word for any entrepreneur to shake from his or her sandals.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Save the date

Let's Move Mountains!
Tennessee Alliance for Continuing Higher Education
47th Annual Conference
November 11-13, 2015
The Park Vista--A Doubletree Hotel by Hilton

Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Those zany Millennials

I could stand a little boredom now and then. From Pacific Standard.

The Unbored Generation
We are quickly approaching a world where boredom may become a thing of the past. Smartphones give us near limitless access to computer games, funny videos, and an ocean of conversation partners. In other words, what we understand as boredom might seem strange or downright silly to future generations. 
The idea of having "nothing to do" may be an antiquated concept. Indeed, a Pew poll released last week finds that nearly all 18- to 29-year-olds use a smartphone to avoid boredom. 
"Younger users stand out especially prominently when it comes to using their phones for two purposes in particular: avoiding boredom, and avoiding people around them," the report concludes. "Fully 93% of 18 - 29 year old smartphone owners used their phone at least once to avoid being bored, with respondents in this age group reporting doing so during the previous hour in an average of 5.4 surveys over the one-week study period."

Monday, May 4, 2015

I gotta get more red shirts

Although the theory outlined below didn't work on Star Trek. Know the facts when dressing for success.  From Barking Up the Wrong Tree.

Here’s What Science Says About How You Can “Dress For Success”
Clothes really do make a difference. In fact: 
Different color clothing says different things about you. Most interesting is that studies show red has some pretty unique effects. For the most part, red seems to mean sex.. It makes men more attractive to women. It makes women more attractive to men. It helps hitchhikers get picked up