Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Happy National Administrative Professionals Day!

The Influence and Importance of Administrative Professionals
by Ghergich.

From Visually.
- See more at:

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Am entrepreneur lowers expectations for the college experience

And he's got a point. But I still think you're better off with a degree than not. It's just that so many have no degree and substantial debt. From The Huffington Post.

The 5 False Promises Of College
When I started college, I had great expectations. 
After checking out at the bookstore, I realized my bill was over $1,000. I gulped in despair and asked myself, “Is this really worth it?” 
I went home that evening and did some research. I discovered that each textbook cost an average of $10 to make and market. I began to wonder, “Why are they charging me $200 per book?” It seemed like a $190 profit was too unreasonable, especially for a book I barely used. 
As my first semester flew by, I realized that I hadn’t even read a dozen pages. I concluded that we only go to school to read books and it was a curriculum I didn’t want to be affiliated with.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

I was unaware of this flip-flop

It's hard for me to believe that Democrats ever supported for-profits, but evidently they did. They were for them before they were against them. From The Atlantic.

In Congress, on the presidential campaign trail, and in the editorial pages of The Wall Street Journal, Republicans have been unified in the belief that the Obama administration badly overreached in its attempts to regulate for-profit career colleges that leave graduates unable to pay off student debt with income from the jobs for which they were trained. Rolling back the Obama administration’s so-called “gainful employment” requirements for postsecondary career programs is thought to top the GOP’s current higher-education agenda. 
What’s surprising about this GOP consensus is that it is deeply at odds with conservative practice: Republican administrations, dating back to President Eisenhower, have traditionally pressed for tighter regulation of for-profit colleges, often over the objections of Democratic lawmakers. 
In earlier eras, Democrats such as Senator Ted Kennedy and Senator Paul Simon defended for-profit colleges from government regulation, citing the role that the schools played in preparing  low-income students, single mothers, minorities, and dislocated workers for jobs in specific fields—the very same defenses that Republicans employ today. Charles Kolb, who served in the Education Department during the Reagan administration and in George H.W. Bush’s White House observed dryly last year that “There are future doctoral dissertations waiting to be written about how and why Democrats and Republicans reversed positions on the merits of the for-profit trade-school sector.”

Doctoral dissertations aside, some conservatives are puzzled to learn of the prior Republican crackdowns on poorly performing and predatory for-profit colleges. Why would conservatives support laws and regulations that impose government-mandated accountability on for-profit colleges, instead of letting the invisible hand of the free market ferret out the institutions that thrive or fail? 
The answer is simple. Far from being free-market paragons, accredited for-profit schools typically depend on federal student-aid programs for 75 percent or more of their revenues. (Trump University was an unaccredited for-profit school and thus ineligible for federal aid). Conservatives have long asserted the need to regulate for-profit colleges because they have long maintained that schools which depend heavily on federal aid ought to be held accountable for their use of taxpayer dollars.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

I joined the Tourettes Society last week

Related imageThey just finished swearing me in. Ba-doom Pshh. CBS Money Watch has some tips to make profanity work for you, instead of against you.

But profanity doesn’t have to be a liability in the workplace -- it can be a persuasive tool that conveys enthusiasm and honesty, said Benjamin K. Bergen, professor of cognitive science at University of California San Diego and the author of “What the F: What Swearing Reveals About Our Language, Our Brains, and Ourselves.”  
However, curse words can backfire when they take on an abusive tone or come from those in authority who are seen as abusing their power, Bergen said in an interview with CBS MoneyWatch. “The same words that can hurt and offend in some circumstances can unite and inspire in other ones,” he said. “It all depends on the intent behind them.”

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

A Tennessee private college merges and innovates

Although I'm not sure I like the term backroom functions. Hmmm. From The Tennessean. 

Trevecca Nazarene University reached a deal Friday that set the stage for a possible merger with a sister institution outside of Boston. 
Under the deal with Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy, Mass., Trevecca President Dan Boone will lead both institutions while administrators mull the mechanics of a complete merger for up to three years. The goal is to cut costs by consolidating backroom functions such as financial aid processing. 
“There’s a lot of cost in the back office of higher ed,” said David Caldwell, Trevecca's executive vice president for finance and administration, who also will take on the duties of chief financial officer at Eastern starting Monday. “We’ve found ways to save money and to work together.” 
In an interview shortly before the deal was approved by the board at Eastern, Caldwell said officials at both colleges had been considering some sort of collaboration for years now. It is normal for the eight Nazarene-affiliated colleges to team up to help one another, he said, although this would mark their most inventive plan to date. 
Eastern is the smallest of the Nazarene-affiliated colleges, and recently announced plans to shutter three academic programs and lay off some professors. Trevecca, on the other hand, is in the midst of a boom period.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Those zany Millennials

And Project Time Off. A boss should discuss and encourage time off with his/her staff, according to sponsored content from The Atlantic.

How Millennial Trophies Created a Generation of Workaholics
Research into Millennial vacation behavior shows they are afraid, not entitled. Compared to Boomers, Millennials are at least twice as likely to say they are fearful of losing their job. This cohort worries about what the boss might think, wants to show complete dedication, and does not want their bosses to see them as replaceable. 
These findings are counterintuitive to the coddled Millennial stereotype that ignores the circumstances of the generation’s experience. Coming of age during an economic downturn has consequences. When Millennials landed jobs, they bring with them a strong desire to prove themselves, intensified by the often long and painful search that preceded their first day. This all occurs amidst changing American work culture and attitudes toward taking time off. 
Millennials are the first generation to enter the workforce in the era of vacation decline. After decades of using an average of 20.3 days, Americans’ vacation usage began to decline in 2000 and it has not slowed its downward trajectory since, most recently hitting 16.2 days used. 
Millennials are also the first generation to experience internet and email as a fixture of their work life from day one. These digital natives view and use technology differently than older generations. They are more likely to stay plugged in, and less likely to benefit from time off: 34 percent of Millennials said they worked every day of their vacations and felt less productive upon return. 
The solution to the vacation problem is simple for every generation: plan ahead. Project: Time Off research shows that workers who plan their days out at the beginning of the year are happier with their job and professional success, relationships, and general wellbeing. Still, Millennials, who are more likely to feel that their company culture is silent or negative about vacation time, may not feel comfortable making a request for fear of the optics. 
To dispel that fear, managers must lead. Thirty percent of Millennials say their boss is the most powerful influencer over their time, beating out their own families by 10 percentage points. Yet, even though 91 percent of managers say they encourage time off, just 43 percent actually talk to employees about vacation. 
For Millennials in the workplace, there is good news. Millennial managers—now about a quarter of the generation—are more likely to agree that employees who take time off are less prone to stress and burnout and return to work recharged and more productive. Still, nearly half of Millennial managers feel that company pressure prevents them from approving time off requests, compared to about a third of Gen X and Boomer managers.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Happy National Thomas Jefferson Day!

 Thomas Jefferson, Third American President (1801-1809)

From Visually.
- See more at:

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Call for Proposals

The 2017 ACHE Annual Conference & Meeting Planning Committee invites members and friends of the Association to submit proposals for conference sessions that will inspire attendees to imagine the many ways that continuing higher education transforms lives and enriches our world. We seek conference presentations that demonstrate how we lead within our institutions, how we meet professional development and lifelong learning needs, how we address the demands of a knowledge-based economy and the imaginative and powerful ways we navigate the sometimes disruptive and always exciting world of continuing higher education.
Imagine joining us in Portland, Oregon, October 23-25 as a conference presenter!
Imagine the power of sharing your victories and challenges! 
Imagine the opportunity to showcase what you’ve learned and helping your network of professional colleagues benefit from your experience! 
Imagine the networking, resources, and opportunity for professional development!
Imaging helping us create an exceptional conference program that features your programs, your strategies, your research, your students, your faculty, your successes and the secrets to those successes!
Are you imagining the possibilities? The Call for Proposals is now open. Check it out!

For more information about the 79th ACHE Annual Conference & Meeting, click here.

Those zany Millennials

Millennials get a bad rap, according to Rob Fazio, writing in They're really just like you and me. Here are some tips to manage them.

5. Make excellence an expectation 
Instead of seeing millennials as entitled, look at it this way: Millennials believe they are destined for excellence. That desire for success, combined with guidance from you on how to navigate workplace challenges, is a stellar business strategy. 
While it's effective to give clear feedback to someone who isn't pulling his weight, it is not a smart business practice to vilify an entire generation. Labels limit innovation so lose them. Get out of the habit of talking about what millennials don't do. Instead, find ways to build on what millennials naturally do. Engage in conversations about what their signature strengths are, what motivates them and the ideas they have. The return on your investment will pay dividends for yourself, your people and your business.

At the ACHE South Conference in Memphis

The History Of Barbeque

From Visually.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

I, for one, welcome our new

Robot Overlords. Don't see teachers on this list, but that's probably coming. From Shelly Palmer, writing in LinkedIn.

The 5 Jobs Robots Will Take First
In What Will You Do After White-Collar Work?, I propose, “First, technological progress is neither good nor bad; it just is. There’s no point in worrying about it, and there is certainly no point trying to add some narrative about the “good ol’ days.” It won’t help anyone. The good news is that we know what’s coming. All we have to do is adapt. 
Adapting to this change is going to require us to understand how man-machine partnerships are going to evolve. This is tricky, but not impossible. We know that machine learning is going to be used to automate many, if not most, low-level cognitive tasks. Our goal is to use our high-level cognitive ability to anticipate what parts of our work will be fully automated and what parts of our work will be so hard for machines to do that man-machine partnership is the most practical approach. 
With that strategy, we can work on adapting our skills to become better than our peers at leveraging man-machine partnerships. We’ve always been tool-users; now we will become tool-partners.” 
Becoming a great man-machine partner team will not save every job, but it is a clear pathway to prolonging your current career while you figure out what your job must evolve into in order to continue to transfer the value of your personal intellectual property into wealth.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Forever young

Maybe not so much. Currently, it appears nothing can glow the aging process. Carpe diem! From

Scientists have made great strides in understanding the processes involved in aging. We should listen to them rather than to entrepreneurs who are selling questionable products. In the aforementioned article in Scientific American, 51 scientists who study aging collaborated on a position statement about the current status of the science of aging. It contained this warning: “No currently marketed intervention—none—has yet been proved to slow, stop or reverse human aging, and some can be downright dangerous.” And “Anyone purporting to offer an anti-aging product today is either mistaken or lying.” Buyer beware!
As the panel of scientists said, no currently marketed intervention has been proved to affect aging. We are all going to die, and we are all going to experience reduced capabilities as we age. Rather than grasping at straws and believing false promises, we might as well try to cope with reality. We can lead a healthy lifestyle. We can change our attitudes, celebrating aging rather than deploring it. Studies show that the elderly are happier than younger people. As Betty Friedan said, “Aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength.” 

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Another small, liberal arts college reimagines itself

And shrinks significantly. I'm not sure a college with such limited offerings can long survive. I'd be updating my vita. From

Aquinas College in Nashville says it will only offer degrees in education starting this fall, leading to faculty cuts and forcing students to transfer. 
Media outlets report that the Roman Catholic college announced Friday it will no longer offer degrees in arts and sciences, business and nursing. The school also will stop providing residential housing and student life activities in the fall. 
School officials said the cuts are tied to challenges with funding and enrollment. About 60 of the college’s 76 employees will lose their jobs, while up to 140 of its 257 students will have finish their degrees somewhere else.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Promises, promises

Tennessee Tech blames Tennessee Promise for lower enrollments and the resulting budget cuts. TTU ended up cutting 19 positions, none of them teaching positions. From The Herald-Citizen.

For the second fiscal year in a row, Tennessee Tech University is anticipating budget cuts of more than $3.5 million. 
The cuts are because of the state Tennessee Promise program that went into effect in 2015, guaranteeing two years of community college education at no cost for qualified students. Many students who might have started in four-year colleges have instead spent those first two years at the community college level. 
Karen Lykins, associate vice president of communications and marketing, said the university uses predictive modeling data from past years to build its $168 million budget each year. 
The free community college program created an unprecedented situation that turned Tech’s predictive modeling process on its side. 
“We’ve never lived through Tennessee Promise before,” Lykins said. 
The university has lost revenue because declining enrollment brought in less tuition dollars. 
“Tennessee Tech’s unrestricted budget is predominantly tuition-based, with more than 70 percent of the university’s revenue coming from tuition,” said President Phil Oldham. “This makes us susceptible to fluctuations in enrollment.” 
To attract more students in a time of decreasing enrollment, Tech has increased its university-funded scholarship commitments for the 2017-18 fiscal year. 
“We want to be prepared to honor every single scholarship that has been offered,” Lykins said. 
However, the unanticipated lost revenue from tuition dollars and the increase in scholarship commitments will likely result in a $2.6 million shortfall. 
Last week, Tech’s associate vice president of enrollment management Bobby Hodum unexpectedly resigned, creating a wave of concern that Tech’s workforce might be on the chopping block.