Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Dorm living

Never heard of bed risers with power outlets in them. From Lifehacker.

Welcome to your new digs, college students. Hope you enjoy sharing a tiny space with one (or more) roommates. Before you move yourself in, here are a few tricks you can use to make your little area go a long way, especially in a shared living environment. 
Use Bed Risers to Give Yourself Extra Storage Space (and Power Outlets)

This trick is useful in any small living space, but it becomes especially handy in dorm rooms. These bed risers from Bed Bath and Beyond not only give you an extra seven inches of space underneath your bed, but one of them has two USB outlets and two regular power outlets embedded in them. 
The riser plugs are a handy way to let roommates share an outlet that would otherwise be hidden behind a bed. Instead of one person hogging two outlets, you can have your phone (or a power strip) plugged into one outlet and share the other with your roommates. In dorms where there’s an inexplicable lack of sufficient power outlets, this can be a godsend. Oh, and look at all that extra space under your bed you have now! If the beds in your dorm allow it, you can also consider bunking your beds to get even more floor space.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Promises, promises

A nice piece from The Tennessean on the experiences of several students with Tennessee Promise. Some successes, some failures. Many have difficulties completing the FAFSA, a common story among first generation college students.

A year in, students have range of Tennessee Promise stories
Students are at the heart of the Tennessee Promise scholarship program, but no one story encapsulates each of their experiences going into the program's second school year. 
The Tennessean began following several students through the program early in 2015. Their stories illustrate some of the ways the program has shaped lives across the state. 
In an email, Mike Krause, the Tennessee Promise executive director, said "trying to reach students wherever they may be in life" is one of the main challenges for the program. 
"Some students will follow a very direct path, others may persist in college but without Tennessee Promise support," he said. "Whatever the specific situation, the data are clear that the Tennessee Promise has changed the conversation about going to college in Tennessee, and we will be laser focused on ensuring the conversation about completing college changes as well.” 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

More Nashville controversy over removing Confederate

From Vanderbilt's Confederate Hall. This time from a sports talk show host. Makes me like Jack Daniels even more. From The Tennessean.

Popular sports talk show host Clay Travis said Wednesday that Jack Daniel's nixed a promotion deal with him because of two tweets criticizing Vanderbilt University's decision to remove the word "Confederate" from the face of a residence hall. 
Travis wrote a blog post blasting the decision to officially rename Confederate Memorial Hall, which the university announced Monday. In tweetspromoting the post, he called the decision "unbelievable" and said "PC Bromanis & Middle Eastern terrorists have same response to history that upsets them, erase it all." 
In a post published Wednesday, Travis said Jack Daniel's had terminated a $3,000 deal to promote the Tennessee whiskey maker's new Jack Fire brand on Travis' Twitter and Facebook accounts because of his Tweets about the Vanderbilt decision. In an email Travis posted to his site, an unnamed Jack Daniel's representative said Travis' Twitter commentary "brings (the company) into public disrepute" and "offends the general community."

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Don't worry

Be happy with the bronze. My take from this is that you should compare yourself with the losers, not the winners! From CNN.

The bizarre psychology of the bronze medal win
The researchers found that, following a competition, athletes who won bronze appeared to be significantly happier on average and that silver medalists tend to focus more than bronze medalists on what they failed to achieve.

"They compare themselves to the gold medalist and thereby think of what they didn't achieve; the bronze medalists also focus on what didn't happen: They didn't come in fourth and fail to get a medal," Gilovich said. 
In other words, counterfactual thinking influences how satisfied each athlete feels. 
What's another example of counterfactual thinking for those of us who are not Olympic athletes? "College admissions," McGraw said. "Do you get your first choice? Do you get your second choice? It took me three tries to get into graduate school, and I only got into one, and so I was so much happier to be there than my peers who turned down three other schools."

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Advice for college students

Moving in. From NBC News.

Ready for College Move-In Day? Ten Tips to Help Parents and Teens Prepare
All summer long, that big milestone looms for incoming college freshmen and their parents: Move-in day. 
College move-in day is typically hot, hectic, and an emotional whirlwind. But there's good news: While it's easy to feel utterly unprepared, there are many steps you can take to make the day easier. 
For starters, parents need to remember that this generation doesn't need everything at school like your generation did. The risk for most parents is sending their teen to college with too much stuff — not too little. If your college student needs anything, many major national retailers sell dorm room furnishings, and many offer free shipping. 
So rather than wasting money and time piling your car high with items that will never get used, pick and pack the basics, the items you are sure your teen will use, and then let them order online whatever they find they need later.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Our grand opening went well

And classes start today. From Local 8 Now.

Sevier County opens first four year university
Sevier County has opened the county's first four year college degree school with East Tennessee State University. 
Sevierville and Sevier County joined together to find a location and recruit new higher education options for students graduating high school. The end result means many could actually get a free four-year education. 
"We think there's going to be a lot of opportunity for people to get their degree, that wouldn't be able to except for coming here and going through with a scholarship program," said County Mayor Larry Waters. 
A scholarship program that was developed and when the criteria is met, will mean free college. 
Spencer McCroskey is one of the first who won a scholarship.
"Planned on going to UT and then when I heard this was jump started, I jumped on this very quickly and I'm very thankful for ETSU and Sevier County also," said McCroskey. "It's going to save me a lot of money, so I'm thankful for that. I can keep my job, still work and go to school." 
ETSU plans to offer 12 degree programs that build on programs already offered by Walters State University in Sevierville. Also, Tennessee College of Applied Technology will develop additional training that current and future businesses need for skilled workers.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Terminal sabbatical

Sounds ominous. But it's really just an incentive to pull the trigger on retiring, figuratively speaking. From The Chronicle of Higher Education.

One Idea to Ease Faculty Into Retirement: the ‘Terminal Sabbatical’
Faculty members can work as long as they want, a right that began with the end of mandatory retirement in 1994. Many haven’t been shy about exercising that right, and the American professoriate is decidedly grayer than a generation ago. 
This creates complications for colleges, including by limiting their flexibility in making decisions about budgets and about academic programming. It also exacerbates job-market pressures for some new Ph.D.s who see a glut of aging scholars contributing to the dearth of job openings. All this was on the minds of Widener University administrators when they conceived of a new option they’d like to begin offering soon: the terminal sabbatical. 
The idea is to allow eligible faculty members — based on years of service — to take a one-year sabbatical from which they would then retire, without returning to the faculty. Julie E. Wollman, Widener’s president, says she hopes such a program would encourage more professors to retire by easing their transition out of campus life. That, in turn, would free up money in the budget and allow administrators to more nimbly shift money to emerging priorities.  
Administrators are just beginning to sketch out the specifics of their idea, and to pitch it to faculty, but they envision that a professor who takes a terminal sabbatical would continue to receive a salary and benefits for one year while doing the kind of work one would do on a typical sabbatical, like research and writing. The sabbatical might also include some form of service to the university, like performing an analysis of a proposed program or helping to revamp curricula. 
Offering a structured sabbatical program at the end of a professor’s academic career is unusual, says Janette C. Brown, executive director of the Association of Retirement Organizations in Higher Education. Many colleges, though, are paying more attention to easing tenured faculty members’ transition into retirement. Phased retirements, in which professors work progressively fewer hours for one or more years, are common.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Promises, promises

Just a few years ago UTC was the hot regional university in the state, just like Chattanooga was the hot city. Not so much, now, evidently. We've been a little more successful with dual admissions here at ETSU. Like six fold. From The Chattanooga Times Free Press.

UTC scrambles to attract students lured away by Tennessee Promise
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga has launched several programs in an attempt to reverse a drop in enrollment tied to Gov. Bill Haslam's Tennessee Promise scholarship. 
Tennessee Promise offers two-year college scholarships to students who meet a forgiving set of minimum requirements, a policy that officials say has shifted college enrollees away from traditional four-year universities and toward two-year community colleges. 
In response to a drop in enrollment in 2015, UTC officials moved to partner up with local two-year colleges in an effort to lure students back toward a four-year education. 
UTC has established dual admission programs with Chattanooga State Community College, Cleveland State Community College and Motlow State Community College.
"Thinking in terms of the Tennessee Promise, we have specifically looked at ways to strengthen our relationships with local community colleges," said Chuck Cantrell, associate vice chancellor of communication at UTC. 
Dual admission students are enrolled at both the community college they are attending, as well as UTC. The move is aimed at allowing students to complete their two-year degree, then "step onto UTC's campus to finish a four-year degree," said Cantrell. 
Dual admission students are also allowed to participate in student life activities on both campuses, such as sporting events and concerts, making the transition appear seamless, Cantrell said. 
Currently, there are 17 students who have officially enrolled in the dual admissions program. There are also many more students enrolled at Chattanooga State who are pursuing a transfer path, Cantrell said. 
"Chattanooga State Community College has been our top feeder for transfer students for many years," he said. For 2015, UTC had a total of 901 transfers from two-year and four-year colleges. 
Meanwhile, UTC and Cleveland State have had meetings throughout the summer about an articulation agreement in engineering that would allow students to apply credits earned at one school to a program at another school.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Infographic Friday

Men’s dress codes - made simple in an infographic

Men’s dress codes – made simple in an infographic [Infographic] by the team at Samuel Windsor

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Tales of the non-traditional

You have to wonder if a college like this could even exist in a Red State, since conservative legislatures focus on vocational programs. Still a breath of fresh air, and actually, this college has a lot in common with our own Bachelor of General Studies and Master of Arts in Liberal Studies programs. In both of those, students work with advisors to determine an individualized program of study. From Diverse Issues in Higher Education.

Unconventional Approach Propels Evergreen State College
With a longstanding commitment to serving traditionally underserved populations, The Evergreen State College in Washington continues to explore innovative approaches to higher education. 
Founded in 1967 with the mandate from then-Gov. Daniel J. Evans to “unshackle our educational thinking from traditional patterns,” The Evergreen State College in Olympia seeks to redefine liberal arts education and engage students in the learning process. 
Without grades — instead using narrative evaluations — or traditional majors, students have access to a wide range of learning opportunities. Evergreen offers courses in more than 60 subjects — some traditional like economics, American history and physics, and some contemporary, such as community studies and consciousness studies. 
There are no explicit prerequisites to complete a bachelor’s degree. Instead, advisers and faculty work with the students to meet their academic and professional goals. 
Creating access 
The student body in Olympia is approximately 4,000. With 28 percent students of color and approximately 23 percent faculty and staff of color, Evergreen is more diverse than the community in which it is based (approximately 83 percent White). 
“When we define diversity broadly, beyond ethnicity, we found that more than 90 percent of Evergreen’s 2016 graduates belonged to at least one traditionally underrepresented group. In addition, nearly 30 percent of our students report being LGBTQ or questioning,” says Dr. George Bridges, now in his second year as president. 
“Evergreen is, to its core, nontraditional, and students that come here feel a connection to the college either because they themselves feel a bit ‘non-traditional’ or they are drawn to our unique offering of collaborative learning, narrative evaluations [instead of letter grades], and comprehensive, team-taught programs [instead of classes],” he adds.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Since UVA acts like Thomas Jefferson is still alive

Maybe they asked him what to do with their slush fund? It's good to work at a flagship university. From The Washington Post.

U-Va. set aside $2.2 billion for ‘strategic investments.’ A former board member calls it a ‘slush fund.’
Few public universities boast the financial strength to establish a special multi-billion-dollar fund for strategic initiatives, separate from their endowment. Yet that is exactly what the University of Virginia has just done, a financial move that could spur debate about spending priorities at the elite flagship. One prominent critic — a former board member — has accused the school of creating a “slush fund.” 
U-Va. announced this week that it has set aside $2.2 billion for “strategic investments,” a fund expected to generate up to $100 million a year for proposed projects to be vetted by faculty and advisory committees and subject to approval from the governing Board of Visitors. That could mean spending on technology, lab equipment, faculty recruiting or student scholarships, among other ideas. 
“To remain one of the top universities in the country, providing outstanding quality to our students, and to have outstanding faculty, we have to be making these kind of investments,” Patrick D. Hogan, U-Va.’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, said Wednesday. “We want to be the number one public university in the country. It isn’t about rankings. It’s about having the best in academic experiences for our students.” 
U-Va. is in an enviable financial situation at a time when many public universities are under budgetary strain. Its endowment, reported at $6.1 billion as of June 2015, is the 18th biggest in the country and one of the largest in public higher education. The strategic investment fund is separate from the endowment but will be managed in much the same way, with an annual payout of between 4 percent and 5 percent. Hogan said the fund was assembled from reserves built up over years that have ensured the university’s stability in running its academic and medical programs. He said $2.2 billion represents about what it would take to cover U-Va.’s academic and medical center expenses for nine months. That is a healthy but necessary cushion for such a major enterprise, he said.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

The importance of post-secondary education

In the 21st Century. This is from the introduction of a new report from Georgetown University.

The post-Great Recession economy has divided the country along a fault line demarcated by college education. For those with at least some college education, the job market is robust. The economy has added 11.6 million jobs since the recession bottomed out1 — 11.5 million, or 99 percent of them, have gone to workers with at least some college education. 
By contrast, workers with a high school diploma or less hear about an economic recovery and wonder what people are talking about. Of the 7.2 million jobs lost in the recession, 5.6 million were jobs for workers with a high school diploma or less. 
These workers have recovered only 1 percent of those job losses over the past six years. This group also saw no growth among well-paying jobs with benefits. These divergent trends did not begin with the Great Recession, but the recession and subsequent recovery have intensified the long-term trends of differential opportunities between workers with and without a college education, reinforced by skill-biased technological and structural change. 

Monday, August 1, 2016

Consulting 101

Know the jargon. And always reach for the low-hanging fruit. I've always thought the key to consulting is knowing what the person who hires you wants done and then see that you recommend that action. After a suitable period of time and study, of course. From The Atlantic.

The Management Myth
During the seven years that I worked as a management consultant, I spent a lot of time trying to look older than I was. I became pretty good at furrowing my brow and putting on somber expressions. Those who saw through my disguise assumed I made up for my youth with a fabulous education in management. They were wrong about that. I don’t have an M.B.A. I have a doctoral degree in philosophy—nineteenth-century German philosophy, to be precise. Before I took a job telling managers of large corporations things that they arguably should have known already, my work experience was limited to part-time gigs tutoring surly undergraduates in the ways of Hegel and Nietzsche and to a handful of summer jobs, mostly in the less appetizing ends of the fast-food industry. 
The strange thing about my utter lack of education in management was that it didn’t seem to matter. As a principal and founding partner of a consulting firm that eventually grew to 600 employees, I interviewed, hired, and worked alongside hundreds of business-school graduates, and the impression I formed of the M.B.A. experience was that it involved taking two years out of your life and going deeply into debt, all for the sake of learning how to keep a straight face while using phrases like “out-of-the-box thinking,” “win-win situation,” and “core competencies.” When it came to picking teammates, I generally held out higher hopes for those individuals who had used their university years to learn about something other than business administration.

After I left the consulting business, in a reversal of the usual order of things, I decided to check out the management literature. Partly, I wanted to “process” my own experience and find out what I had missed in skipping business school. Partly, I had a lot of time on my hands. As I plowed through tomes on competitive strategy, business process re-engineering, and the like, not once did I catch myself thinking, Damn! If only I had known this sooner! Instead, I found myself thinking things I never thought I’d think, like, I’d rather be reading Heidegger! It was a disturbing experience. It thickened the mystery around the question that had nagged me from the start of my business career: Why does management education exist?