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Showing posts from June, 2016

Make Higher Education great again

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Trump U. and the for-profit higher education industry. From The Nation.
Trump’s Racist Judicial Attack Deliberately Obscures the Larger Story: For-Profit Schools Take, for instance, the 2010 Senate testimony of Joshua Pruyn, a former admissions representative for Westwood College, a for-profit chain of, at the time, 17 campuses. Pruyn was technically an admissions advisor, but in reality his position was that of a glorified sales rep. “During the interview, we were taught to portray ourselves as advisors looking out for the students’ best interests and ensuring they were a good fit for the school. This fake interview would allow the representative to ask students questions to uncover a student’s motivators and pain points—their hopes, fears, and insecurities—all of which would later be used to pressure a student to enroll,” Pruyn testified. The for-profit schools industry targeted people of color, poor people, and veterans because they more likely to be eligible for public financial ai…

Tennessee at 33

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Our economy is below average. But, again, thanks for Alabama, Mississippi, and Arkansas who make us look good. Utah has the best economy but then you have to live in . . . Utah. From CBSnews.com.
Best and worst economies: Where does your state rank?
Utah, aka the Beehive State, is living up to its nickname, buzzing with economic activity and ranking as the state with the best-performing economy.  That's according to analysts at WalletHub, who ranked all 50 states and the District of Columbia based on economic activity, economic health and innovation potential. With high levels of business startups, independent inventor patents and job growth, Utah placed ahead of Washington and California, which came in second and third, respectively, followed by Massachusetts and Colorado.  North Carolina, which is facing lawsuits, boycotts and the potential loss of federal funding over its law limiting protections for LGBT people, placed 18th, while Illinois, a state contending with a huge budget…

Keep that music streaming

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For a boost of productivity at work. Just don't be distracted by the lyrics. From Inc.
The Best Music for Staying Productive at Work, Backed by Science Music makes repetitive tasks more enjoyable.
Music's effectiveness is dependent on how "immersive" a task is, referring to the creative demand of the work. When a task is clearly defined and repetitive in nature, research from Applied Ergonomics suggests music is consistently helpful. A series of experiments has investigated the relationship between the playing of background music during the performance of repetitive work and efficiency in performing such a task. The results give strong support to the contention that economic benefits can accrue from the use of music in industry.  Assembly line workers showed signs of increased happiness and efficiency while listening to music, for example.  More modern studies from Dr. Teresa Lesiuk would argue that it isn't the music itself, but rather the improved mood your favor…

Happy Sunglasses Day!

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Tomorrow is National Catfish Day!

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From Visually.

Budget cuts in Oklahoma

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The impact of the price of oil has been huge in Oklahoma. And it ain't rising fast enough to help anytime soon.Focusing on the impact at one HBCU, this article comes from News.OK.
How much will college tuition increase this fall in Oklahoma?
More than 70 percent of Langston University's students are the first in their family to go to college. President Kent Smith said the first question their parents ask is, "How much will it cost?"  Smith and the presidents at all Oklahoma public colleges and universities are deciding what the answer to that question will be starting July 1.  Tuition and mandatory fees — a big part of each institution's budget — are going up. College administrators have to determine how much is enough, but not too much. "We will propose an increase of 5 percent to 8 percent," said Smith, who figures that will be among the lowest tuition hike requests statewide.

College administrators will present their proposed 2016-17 budgets and reques…

Decreasing the surplus population

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Of small, private, liberal arts colleges. Another one bites the dust. From the Chronicle of Higher Education.
St. Catharine College of Kentucky to Close, Citing Enrollment and Financial Woes
Administrators at the college said they had reached out to other institutions to establish teach-out plans for current students, and summer camps and classes will continue as scheduled, according to the statement. The college was expected to enroll a class of around 475 students in the fall semester. It employed 118 full-time faculty and staff members, as well as numerous part-time staff members and adjunct instructors.  St. Catharine joins Dowling College, in New York, and Burlington College, in Vermont, on a growing list of small liberal-arts colleges that have closed their doors recently for financial reasons.

Regardless, I hate typos in emails

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It's the old English teacher in me. Still, I never gave the gave the "power cues" a second thought. Until now. From Slate.
It Gets Messier: You won’t always have to care about typos in your emails. If you are a recent college grad and you pride yourself on your writing, you probably see yourself reflected in the letter writer’s obsessive attention to detail and wince at the feeling of being undone by a stray keystroke.  I have good news for young, typo-averse job seekers: It gets better. As you advance in your career, you won’t have to care about making every sentence that you type absolutely perfect anymore, and it will be a huge relief. In my first few years out of college, I was a stickler for grammar, spelling, and punctuation in my work correspondence. I proofread every email and deliberated over every semicolon. I remember being surprised and slightly alarmed when I began working with older, well-established, even semi-famous writers and editors who didn’t seem to g…

Today is the Summer Solstice

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Infographic Friday

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Source: Modis

Helping first generation students

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I feel like I know the author, since my hometown is 20 minutes from her Alma Mater. ETSU serves many first generation students. Each commencement, the president asks to stand all the first members of their families to graduate from college. It's always a lot. From The Atlantic.
Navigating Campus Together Compared to their peers whose parents went to college, most first-generation students need more time to declare a major and are more likely to switch majors. As a first-year student, I pledged myself to the business school at Monmouth College in Illinois. It made sense. I’d grown up in a small family pest-control business. We lived in the country and grew corn, raised chickens, and sold firewood by the side of the road. I knew how to do whatever the job was and to make customers happy. But then I took an accounting class and ran from the major. I switched to government. An internship at a prosecutor’s office saved me from law school. The reading load in my classes was entirely mana…

Tough times for my hometown university

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I have three degrees from WIU, and I started my career in higher education there. I started teaching English and moved into continuing education administration. As I think about it, it was 40 years ago that I earned by B.A. Sigh. From The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Where Does the Regional State University Go From Here?
At Western Illinois, nearly 150 employees, including nontenured faculty members, have been laid off. As enrollment drops, the university is taking a closer look at its academic programs, reviewing those with low enrollment. To save money, some may be closed, merged with others, or reduced to a handful of courses offered in other departments.  The fates of a relatively small cluster of majors and faculty jobs in this rural corner of Illinois hang in the balance, and so does the role of a regional public university in the 21st century.  Without the athletics or research activities that draw public and legislative attention to flagships, regional publics have often been…

Happy Flag Day!

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From Visually.

Really?

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The Chancellor couldn't stay off his phone during Palo Alto College's Commencement? He knew he was on stage, right? From MySA.com
Photos show Alamo Colleges chancellor on phone as graduating students cross stage
Alamo Colleges Chancellor Bruce Leslie is facing harsh criticism on social media Monday after photos circulated showing him using his phone during a Palo Alto College commencement ceremony over the weekend.  Tony Villanueva, president of Palo Alto's American Association of University Professors chapter, said the chancellor was on his phone for at least 40 minutes during Saturday's 3 p.m. ceremony. "Somebody next to me timed it," said Villanueva, who was at the ceremony.  Villanueva said that he has received emails from Palo Alto students and faculty who are hoping to take action by informing the Alamo Colleges Board of Trustees.  Leo Zuniga, associate vice chancellor of communication for Alamo Colleges, said he doesn't have all the information re…

Infographic Friday

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Gutting higher education in Kentucky

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The Lexington Herald Leader is tracking the layoffs in public higher education in Kentucky. For example, Northern Kentucky is cutting 105 positions, Morehead State 64, and Murray State 42.

Layoffs, tuition hikes: Track budget cuts at Kentucky universities
Kentucky’s state universities are grappling with nearly a decade of budget cuts, about $170 million in all. Over the next two years, they’ll have to cut another 4.5 percent. As the schools prepare their biennial budgets, which have to be ready in June, they are announcing exactly how they will address deficits caused by decreased state support and increased costs for pensions and health care. Nationally, Kentucky is losing ground against other states, which are starting to reinvest in higher education.

Clearly, not all small colleges can survive.

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But the struggle can go on a long time. From The New York Times. 
At Small Colleges, Harsh Lessons About Cash Flow
In the last few years, small liberal arts colleges have been under financial siege, forced to re-examine their missions and justify their existence. Even several established and respected ones — Bard College, Yeshiva University, Mills College and Morehouse College, among others — have received negative financial ratings. . . .  Smaller colleges are especially hard-hit. Many of the endangered ones are in rural areas and have traditionally drawn from regional markets, but have lost market share as students become more willing to travel beyond their home territory. Often they have not been able to keep up with the demand for expensive science and technology courses.

Some are women’s colleges, historically black colleges or religiously affiliated — appealing to a smaller audience.

They also tend to be less selective, with anemic or highly restricted endowments that make them o…

Lipscomb moves off-campus

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And downtown Nashville. They seem to be on a roll right now. From The Tennessean.
Lipscomb University to open satellite location downtown
Lipscomb University on Tuesday will announce plans to open a 20,100-square-foot satellite office in downtown Nashville that will house classrooms, administrative offices and event space.  The space, which is located at the corner of Fourth Avenue North and Commerce Street, is across the street from the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp. and blocks away from Legislative Plaza and the Historic Metro Courthouse. It represents a continued investment in the university's new College of Leadership and Public Service.  Leaders at Lipscomb hope the location will be attractive to perspective graduate students who work in state and local government. Mayor Megan Barry will be on hand to help unveil artistic renderings and discuss plans for the space.  "Really what we're bringing downtown is a leadership resource," said John Lowry, Lipscomb…

Ramadan starts today

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From Visually.

Infographic Friday

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Embedded from BLOG

The headline pretty much sums our status up

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As always, the devil's in the details. From The Tennessean.
Questions outnumber answers for Haslam college plan
On paper, the changes are pretty straight-forward. The six universities in the Board of Regents system, including Tennessee State and Middle Tennessee State universities, are getting their own boards and will generally call their own shots on a wide range of issues, including tuition and the hiring and firing of presidents.  But the mechanics are a lot more complicated. The Board of Regents has existed in its current form since 1972. In the decades since, university leaders, policymakers and governors have become accustomed to that model, which requires cooperation and shared priorities among 46 diverse institutions.  Now, leaders at the Board of Regents, the University of Tennessee system — which has a separate board — and the Tennessee Higher Education Commission need to come to the table to figure out how they will all work together with six additional players on the f…

Letting GPS take control

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Not always a good thing. But who has time to read a map? From Time.
How GPS Is Messing With Our Minds
There is mounting evidence that GPS is doing something to our minds—and maybe even our brains. Several academic studies have proven what any of us who have driven with GPS assistance already know intuitively, that GPS allows a driver to “disengage” from the environment. A useful model is the “cognitive map,” a term first used in 1948 by Edward Tolman, a UC Berkeley psychologist. He argued that experiments with rats in mazes demonstrated their ability to envision the totality of the maze, how the various parts fit together to create a whole. A growing number of researchers now agree that overreliance on GPS essentially erodes our ability to build our own cognitive maps.  It may even turn out that our GPS addiction can have actual physiological consequences. In 2006, a British study made headlines by announcing that London taxi drivers, whose jobs require them to integrate a vast body of…