Showing posts from September, 2015

UT's diversity efforts under the legislative microscope

I have to wonder if this has anything to do with the whole transgender pronoun brouhaha that occurred early this Fall? From The Knoxville News Sentinel. 

Lawmaker questions UT salaries in diversity programs
A Knoxville legislator is questioning the University of Tennessee’s annual spending of more than $4.7 million on salary and benefits for employees involved in diversity programs, contending both the total and some individual salaries are excessive and should be reviewed with an eye toward cuts.  “If we could cut that $4.7 million by $1.5 million a year, that would be $15 million over 10 years,” said Rep. Martin Daniel, R-Knoxville. “That would be saving a lot of tuition dollars and a lot of taxpayer dollars” for other university needs.  Margie Nichols, UT vice chancellor for communications, said the diversity efforts are largely mandated by federal law and cover a wide array of programs benefiting women and minorities. UT officials believe the expenditures are warranted and are open…

A new growth model for higher education?

Nick Anderson, writing in The Washington Post, looks at the phenomenal growth of the University of Central Florida. Crowded?  You bet, with a student-to faculty-ratio of 31 to 1.  Still, when regional universities are vulnerable to enrollment decreases, this might be a model to replicate.

Is bigger better? 54,000 students and growing, U. of Central Florida storms higher ed.
A small state school launched here in the 1960s to develop employees for the space program has morphed into one of the nation’s largest universities, using accessible admission policies and online instruction to fuel extraordinary growth in an era when many public colleges face fiscal uncertainty.  The University of Central Florida will have about 54,000 undergraduate students this fall, up 90 percent since the turn of the century. The only public university with more is Arizona State, counting at least 67,000 on five campuses.  UCF and ASU are in the vanguard of an insurgency that aims to demolish the popular belie…

I resemble that remark

Messy desk, clear goals.  Or so the research suggests....From The Pacific Standard.
In Defense of My Messy Desk But recent research suggests there is a method to my messiness. I may not have realized it, but it seems all that clutter serves as something of a catalyst.  "When environmental cues trigger an experience of disorder ... people are more attracted to clear, well-defined goals, and motivated to attain them," write Bob Fennis and Jacob Wiebenga of the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. This dynamic, they add, is "driven by the need to reaffirm perceptions of order."  In other words, the researchers argue in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, we have a basic need for order and structure, and if we don't find it in our immediate environment, we are driven to create it somewhere. Setting (and achieving) goals fulfills that role quite nicely.

Infographic Friday

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Tennessee's is Jack Daniels

Naturally.  Kentucky's is the odd combination of Royal Crown/Jagermeister. Virginia's is Grey Goose. From
The most popular liquor in every state Every drinker has their poison of choice, but it turns out that every state does, too.  BARTRENDr, a social app for drinkers to connect with one another, analyzed data from its 700,000 users to determine the most popular liquor brand in every state based on posts and photos of the liquors its users like to drink.  Forty-two states named some brand of whiskey as their most popular, with Jack Daniel's and Fireball being the two most predominant brands among the group.

I've given out this advice more than once

I just wish I could I follow it better. From The Week.

Why 'no' is the most powerful word in your vocabulary
Being available — saying "yes" — is a great way to build alliances and get things done. However, when others perceive you as always on-tap, they actually value you — and your time, money, and energy — less. Strategically manage how you allocate these things, and you will find yourself more appreciated, less stressed, and potentially more successful than you imagined you could be.

ETSU inaugurates ‘ETSU Fast Track Master’s’ program

A graduate degree has become more affordable and attainable for undergraduates at East Tennessee State University.

Starting this fall, all qualifying undergraduate students enrolled at ETSU can apply through the “ETSU Fast Track Master’s” program to take graduate courses at undergraduate tuition rates and apply those graduate hours toward both their undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

“We are excited to offer this new program for students who currently attend and those who choose ETSU in the future,” stated Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Bert Bach.

ETSU President Dr. Brian Noland concurred, adding, “ETSU strives to offer world-class opportunities for our students, and this innovative program will help students—from Johnson City to Jacksonville, Jonesborough to Johannesburg—achieve their educational and professional goals.”

The “ETSU Fast Track Master’s” requires qualifying ETSU undergraduates who have completed 75 undergraduate credits to work with undergr…

Promises, promises

According to the figures I've seen, community college enrollment this fall did not increase much.  But as this article in The Tennessean states, full-time enrollment has increased.  Locally, Northeast State Community College saw one of the larger increases.
College enrollment jumps under TN Promise Three weeks after thousands of Tennessee Promise students arrived on campus for the first time, administrators across the state are getting a clearer picture of how many students actually followed through with the program and how dramatic their impact will be.  Enrollment is up at many of the state's 13 community colleges, and almost all of them have seen sharp gains in the number of students enrolled with a full course load, a requirement of the full-tuition scholarship program.  The 13 community colleges have seen a 6 percent jump in full-time students this year on average, according to a census taken on the 14th day of classes. At a number of schools, that number reaches even high…

Infographic Friday

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Keynote Speakers & Panelists Finalized: Check out what's in store!

We're excited to announce that our extensive cadre of keynote speakers and panelists has been finalized. They are all distinguished thought leaders who bring focused tips and tools to practitioners who make daily strategic connections, change lives, and demonstrate successes. 
Learn more about each of these individuals and all of this year's presenters at our conference website, and then - if you haven't - get registered to attend!

Barbara Vacarr, Director, Encore Higher Education Initiative
As a former college president, adult educator, and psychologist, Barbara is committed to learning that makes a difference in the world. Over the course of her 27-year career, she has developed programs for adult and non-traditional learners to develop and transform themselves as they strengthen the connections between their learning, their living and their livelihoods.
Barbara holds a Ph.D…

Today is

Constitution Day!  From

Constitution Day
On February 29, 1952, President Harry Truman signed a bill establishing Citizenship Day on September 17 of each year. The roots of this holiday go back to I Am an American Day, which was established in 1940 by Congress as the third Sunday in May. This day was moved and renamed to Citizenship Day to coincide with the signing of the U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787.

Call for presentations

ACHE Great Lakes 
Regional Conference
Call for Presentations

The 2016 conference will be a joint effort between ACHE Great Lakesand the Illinois Council for Continuing Higher Education. The conference will be held from February 10 through 12 in Chicago.The theme for the 2016 conference is Continuing Education Collaborations and the Call for Presentations includes a list of suggested topics. Individuals who are not members of either organization are eligible to submit a presentation. So please feel free to share the Call for Presentations with interested colleagues.

Click Here to View the “Call for Presentations.”

Are you a lark?

Or an owl?  I think I work better in the morning....From The Atlantic.
The Four Types of Sleep Schedules Scientists would later classify people like Schrödinger as “owls”—people who prefer to wake up late and are more alert in the evenings. It’s one of two basic chronotypes, or preferred sleep schedules. The other is “larks,” or crazy people those who prefer early mornings.  But now, scientists in Russia are proposing that there are actually four chronotypes: In addition to early and late risers, they say, there are also people who feel energetic in both the mornings and evenings, as well as people who feel lethargic all day.

Register now

Tennessee Alliance for Continuing Higher Education 47th Annual Conference The Park Vista Gatlinburg, Tennessee November 11-13, 2015 For more information or to register for the conference, go here. Make your room reservations here.The conference room rate of $104 is available until October 11 and may be extended through the weekend on a space available basis. Wednesday night opening reception at the Aquarium of the Smokies!

Infographic Friday

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Testing optional colleges and universities

There are options, but still, it's always better to have done well on the ACT or SAT. And of course, there's always the community college route. By Nick Anderson, writing in The Washington Post.

Bombed the SAT or the ACT? Here are colleges that are ‘test-optional.’ The National Center for Fair and Open Testing, known as FairTest, is an advocacy group that tracks the test-optional movement. It has a list of more than 800 schools that admit substantial numbers of students to bachelor’s degree programs without using SAT or ACT scores.  The description of the list is carefully worded because of nuances in policies. Some schools require tests but allow students to submit results from assessments other than the two big admissions tests. Some public schools require tests but will then admit a portion of students based on grades or class rank, without considering their test scores. Some are test-optional but only for students who meet certain grade-point average thresholds. And so on. …

I liked this movie better when it was called

Blackboard Jungle. No, wait, To Sir with Love.  Or was it Stand and Deliver? Aisha Harris has a nice essay in Slate discussing the impact of this film twenty years after its release.  I've always thought there's a dissertation brewing with films like this. And then there's a film like Kindergarten Cop, which tells the audience all you have to do to be a good teacher is blow a whistle and have students march like little soldiers.

Dangerous Tropes
When Dangerous Minds opened 20 years ago this week, the critics couldn’t tell their readers loudly enough just how totally over it they felt. The film “tells another one of those uplifting parables in which the dedicated teacher takes on a schoolroom full of rebellious malcontents, and wins them over with an unorthodox approach,” began Roger Ebert in his unrelenting slam of the film. The New York Times’ Janet Maslin hit the same theme: “[It's] formatted to match every other account of a dedicated teacher taming rebellious teens.…

ETSU’s Alliance for Continued Learning to offer fall classes

East Tennessee State University’s Alliance for Continued Learning (ACL) will offer a wide range of classes and activities during the fall session, which runs from Sept. 22-Oct. 28. Sessions are from 10 a.m. to noon every Tuesday and Wednesday.

To give new members an opportunity to become acquainted with the group, the ACL will welcome all participants at a continental breakfast on Tuesday, Sept. 22, at 9:30 a.m., at Memorial Park Community Center, 510 Bert St., Johnson City, followed by a welcome and update by Director of the Center for Appalachian Studies and Services Dr. Roberta Herrin. The ETSU Bluegrass and Old Time Band will be performing at the welcome event. Fall classes will also be held at the Memorial Park Community Center.

Among the sessions available, Dr. John Martin, retired minister of the First Presbyterian Church of Elizabethton, will present “Three Approaches to Understanding Religion.” Deborah Montanti, executive director of the Heritage Alliance of Northeast Tenness…

Infographic Friday

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Everything I needed to know...

In other words, learn to get along and play nice. From
Research Says This is What You Need to Teach Your Kids in Kindergarten If You Ever Want Them to Go to College or Get a Job The results showed that socially competent children were far more likely to earn a college degree and have a full-time job by 25 than those with limited social skills. Those with limited social skills also had a higher chance of getting arrested, binge drinking, and applying for public housing.  "This study shows that helping children develop social and emotional skills is one of the most important things we can do to prepare them for a healthy future," said Kristin Schubert, program director at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which funded the research, in a release.  "From an early age, these skills can determine whether a child goes to college or prison, and whether they end up employed or addicted."
The good news, according to Damon Jones, lead author of the study, is that int…

Call for Proposals

The Adult Higher Education Alliance 2016 Conference  Call for Proposals
Current Explorations of the Adult Learner: Implications for Mentoring and More!

Orlando, Florida
March 10-11, 2016

* * * * * Proposal submission deadline: September 15, 2015 * * * * *

The call for presentations for the AHEA 2016 Conference welcomes the following topics:

Current adult learner characteristicsBarriers to participationSuccess factorsAdvising adult learnersSupport networks for adult learnersFormal advising and mentoring structures in higher education degree programsMentoring adult learnersFormal and informal mentoring relationships

Click to learn more.

ETSU offers pharmacy technician course

East Tennessee State University’s Office of Professional Development has scheduled a pharmacy technician course to begin Tuesday, Sept. 22, and end Tuesday, Dec. 1.

The class, limited to 40 students, will train participants to assist pharmacists in handling medications and serving patients. Those who pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board examination become nationally certified.

The course instructor is Helen Nemeth, an outpatient pharmacist with the James H. Quillen Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Nemeth, an ETSU alumna of the ETSU Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy, has over 10 years of experience in the pharmacy field.

Registration for the class is $400 until Sept. 15, when the fee rises to $500. There are 20 class meetings on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5-8 p.m. in ETSU’s Gilbreath Hall.

  To enroll, call (800) 222-3878 or visit and click on “Health Care.”

  For disability accommodations, call the ETSU Office of Disability Services at (423) 439-8346.