July 9th, 2010

Education News Roundup
Articles posted by five reliably interesting sources of news about higher education.

Published by: philosophyandrew

A Twitteraholic's Guide to tweets, hashtags, and all things Twitter
Source: http://www.downes.ca/cgi-bin/page.cgi?post=52843 July 9th, 2010

spending the project draws on are now available only through 2008. Consequently, the recession that is now crippling many colleges and universities is barely captured in the current report -- and some of the big spending it meticulously documents happened in what history will likely regard as the heady days of higher ed. So what can Delta tell us now? Perhaps most importantly, the project can begin to respond in a meaningful way to common arguments that have played out among faculty, students, administrators and state and federal policy makers in the last several years. Here are a few debates we’ve been hearing a lot, and the responses and insights Delta offers: Too much money is wasted on fat cat bureaucrats and administrators. While the report doesn’t place a value judgment on how much is too much, it certainly will give critics some fodder with which to work. In the 10-year span that predated the “great recession,” public research universities ramped up spending on lawyers, senior-level administrators and accountants at nearly twice the rate of expenditures on faculty salaries and other items directly tied to instruction, the report finds. On a per-student basis, funding for instruction grew by about 10 percent between 1998 and 2008 at public research universities, while institutional support -- a category that captures senior vice presidents and other administrative positions that have boomed at many institutions in recent years -- grew by just under 20 percent. The total dollar amounts spent on instruction still eclipse institutional support figures, but the pace of growth in instructional spending lagged behind administrative expansion in nearly every category of institution analyzed by Delta. The lone exception was private bachelor’s institutions, which bolstered per-student instruction expenditures by 13 percent, while institutional support increased only about 10 percent. Harvard University -- in particular -- blows tons of money on administrative pay. In recent years, Harvard did indeed make significant investments in “administrative support and maintenance,” a category that does not directly relate to teaching but instead includes high-level administrators, accountants, lawyers and university presidents. The figure, which includes physical plant operations as well, rose to $41,891 per student in 2008 – a nearly 14 percent increase over the previous year If increasing the proportion of people with college degrees is a national goal, it doesn’t make sense to disproportionately subsidize students at public research universities, which often attract more affluent students who are among the most likely to go to college, regardless of state support.Public
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If you're still wondering which way is up in the Twitterverse, this post is for you. Sue Waters offers the introductory landscape, spoken with the experience of a Twitter aficionado. Sue Waters, The Edublogger, July 8, 2010 [Tags: Twitter , Experience ] [ Link ] [ Comment ]

Follow the Money
Source: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/07/09/delta July 9th, 2010

In a sea of often bewildering data about college spending practices, a small island of clarity is emerging. In conjunction with its third annual “Trends in College Spending” report, released today, the Delta Project on Postsecondary Education Costs, Productivity, and Accountability provides a publicly available database that allows journalists, policy makers and anyone curious about higher education an opportunity to decipher where college funding comes from and where it goes. While the Delta Cost Project has for years provided broad overviews of spending practices at various types of institutions, the new database’s groundbreaking feature is that -- fasten your seatbelts -- it allows for an analysis of the budget priorities of individual institutions. Jane Wellman, the project's executive director, hopes that the new data will stimulate conversations about spending priorities and cost containment -- or the lack thereof -- that generally aren’t happening now at the national, state or institutional level. Such conversations, she adds, are long overdue. “I think we’ve got a lot of habits to break in higher education,” she says. While there’s much to pore over in the Delta Project’s new report, it is necessarily limited because the federal data on

July 9th, 2010

Published by: philosophyandrew

research universities still had the highest average subsidy levels per student among public colleges in 2008, although they also experienced the most significant reductions -about $700 per student, compared with $300 for master’s institutions and nearly $200 for community colleges. There are significant differences between states, however. In Illinois, for instance, the per-student funding disparity between research universities and community colleges in 2008 was $2,111 -- about 28 percent higher for research institutions. In contrast, the gap in California is $6,493, or 44 percent, showing that the state gave significantly more support per student to the University of California system than to the community colleges now absorbing many additional students. Colleges are preserving the “academic core,” even as they cut budgets.It’s important to reiterate that the report does not capture the period when most colleges made their biggest cuts, but it does suggest a slight dip in the resources going toward instruction -- a category synonymous with the “academic core.” Those declines are attributable to incremental upticks in the share of dollars supporting student services, maintenance and “academic and instructional support” -- two subcategories of spending that collectively include computers, libraries and administrative expenses. The conclusions are wrong, because the figures are wrong.As colleges across the country have moved forward with painful budget cuts, faculty have at times questioned the budget figures administrators provide to justify decisions. Indeed, that skepticism has prompted faculty at some colleges to seek independent audits from outside. The data used by Delta, however, are provided to the federal government by the institutions themselves. That warehouse of public information, known as the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, or IPEDS, has collected data in categories largely unchanged for the past 30 years, Wellman notes. While the Delta database may seem like a gold mine for journalists and policy makers, the numbers can still be misleading. By way of example, an examination of Guilford College’s spending habits and revenue returns from 2002 to 2008 creates the logical impression that dramatic declines in private giving and endowment returns helped spur massive administrative cuts -- and a conscious effort to hold instructional dollars steady. But Kent Chabotar, Guilford’s president, notes that a number of other variables not captured in the data tell a slightly different story. The reason administrative support dollars per student fell by 12.2 percent was largely because the college’s enrollment has grown at a significantly greater pace than its staff positions, Chabotar says. Indeed, enrollment grew by about 45 percent during the period Delta highlights, while staff grew by about 25 percent, he said. As for the instructional dollars per student holding steady? Chabotar says that’s because Guilford hired enough new faculty to maintain its 16:1 student/faculty ratio, therefore keeping the per-student instructional dollars -- largely driven by faculty salaries -- at a relatively even keel. “It didn’t make any sense to grow administration [at nearly the pace of enrollment],” he says. “I think we had some excess

capacity, and last time I checked students come here for the faculty and not for the registrar or the controller.” The college’s 85 percent decline in private gifts, investment returns and endowment income between 2002 and 2008 was largely attributable to a below average fund raising year in 2007-8, Chabotar said. Philanthropic gifts fell to $6.8 million from the previous year’s $8.5 million, which was more on par with an average year, Chabotar said. While some college presidents might not relish having their spending habits compiled in Delta’s database, Chabotar says he welcomes a tool that will help him compare Guilford to other institutions. “It gives you a very good comparative perspective, which most folks don’t do enough of,” he says. “We’re too much in a bubble.” Vice President, Business Services (Moreno Valley)Under the supervision of the College President, provides leadership and vision in maintaining the ... The Executive Assistant Dean will lead the College’s Office of Career Planning and Professional Development, report directly to the Dean, and work ... Office of the Bursar Provides counseling services to students and parents in completing a variety of tasks online and/or in office; on students' ...

Formal Learning All the Way...Baby
Source: http://www.downes.ca/cgi-bin/page.cgi?post=52842 July 9th, 2010

Karl Kapp defends formal learning: "Anything less is not as effective and the performance will not be guaranteed." he explains that when lives are on the line, people are trained formally in established procedures. "The learning process is studied, calculated and formalized to a degree of realism as close to 100% as possible... The fidelity between the environment in which the performance is required and the environment in which it is trained and practiced is extremely high." It's a good case - but I wonder whether it's a good case for simulations and learning environment, as opposed to being a good case for formal learning. Karl Kapp, Kapp Notes, July 8, 2010 [Tags: Online Learning , Simulations ] [ Link ] [ Comment ]

USC Disqualified From Football Coaches' Poll
Source: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/07/09/qt/ usc_disqualified_from_football_coaches_poll July 9th, 2010

The college football season is still months away, but the University of Southern California Trojans already know that they will be unranked in the USA Today ’s football coaches’
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July 9th, 2010

Published by: philosophyandrew

poll for the entirety of it. Grant Teaff, executive director of the American Football Coaches Association, reminded the Trojans Wednesday that the group’s policy prohibits coaches who vote in the poll to consider programs under major National Collegiate Athletic Association sanctions. Last month, the Trojans received a two-year postseason bowl ban and were docked 30 scholarships by the NCAA. The Trojans, however, are still eligible for the Associated Press poll , which crowns its own national champion separate from the Bowl Championship Series and the coaches’ poll.

(or to democracy, or to equality) in the first place. Many young people from low-income communities who have been criminalized and imprisoned are told they are ineligible for federal loans at precisely the moment when they are taking steps to turn their lives around. And here in New York, many of the working poor who attempt to obtain a college education are met with a cruel Catch-22: denied even part-time aid funds unless they first meet an eligibility standard by going to college full-time for two consecutive semesters. To do this, of course, they have to take time off from their jobs, which many of the working poor will find it daunting to do. Unfortunately such hypocrisy is common to government and even to college leaders, who often fail to provide two-year colleges and programs with needed support while simultaneously claiming to recognize the value of a strong education system. Late last year, New York’s governor proposed $53 million in cuts to the City University of New York, just a year after an already massive round of cuts that included a 15 percent tuition increase. Although close to half of our nation’s college students (and larger shares of minority and low-income student) are enrolled at two-year colleges, these institutions receive but 20 percent of the funding received by 4-year colleges and a mere 3 percent of private college donations. This bewildering disparity cannot be explained away by advanced facilities for 4-year college "research" that cost more than 2-year college "classroom instruction." At our colleges and at most community colleges, even the relatively inexpensive instruction of basic writing skills is hobbled by class sizes far in excess of National Council of Teachers of English guidelines. In a study by the Two-Year College English Association, 100 percent of community colleges surveyed were in violation of class size guidelines established by the Conference on College Composition and Communication. At a meeting of the latter body to discuss these findings, one audience member reported that at her institution, faculty attempts to persuade administrators to remedy the problem were not taken seriously: "You could have gotten laughter out of the room." Even more disturbingly, nearly 50 percent of the survey respondents revealed that class sizes, which the CCCC would want to be significantly lower for developmental courses to ensure that the least prepared students have correspondingly more time with their professors, were not merely in excess of this lower cap but actually considerably higher for remedial courses than for first-year ones. Of course, community college presidents see the problems before them: they’ve told President Obama that their facilities are “bulging with students” and that they "have to build capacity." But by implying that the only alternative to cutting programs is expanding class sizes or finding other ways to leverage "economies of scale," college leaders participate in and thereby legitimize a zero-sum argument with dangerously limited social vision. And the depth of our nation’s complacency over the fact that those who need the most receive the least is also clear in the fact that some students are reaching college age with thirdgrade skill levels. How is it possible that in the United States, this supposed beacon of hope around the world, students can reach the age of 18 and still have only third grade skills? That's
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Imagine courses that take place in wikis, blogs, social networks…
Source: http://www.downes.ca/cgi-bin/page.cgi?post=52841 July 9th, 2010

Teemu Leinonen introduces EduFeedr , "a web-based feed reader that is designed specifically for following and supporting learners in open blog-based courses. " He explains, "typical RSS readers are not very suitable for following this kind of courses. Most of the RSS readers such as Google Reader are designed for personal use. In a Wikiversity course it would be important to have a shared feed reader that all the participants could use." Interesting concept. Teemu Leinonen, FLOSSE Posse, July 8, 2010 [Tags: Networks , Google , RSS , Web Logs ] [ Link ] [ Comment ]

Beyond 'Tough Choices'
Source: http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2010/07/09/shen July 9th, 2010

An article here last year, "Sophie's Choice for 2-Year Colleges," may create the mistaken impression that the crisis in our educational system can be managed and resolved through a bitter regimen of "tough choices." The article details the decision of San Joaquin Delta College, facing deep budget cuts, to preserve some programs by eliminating others, particularly those for students needing remedial instruction or starting to learn English. The thinking behind that decision reflects important issues, but also replicates false assumptions, and in so doing draws invisible boundaries around a discussion that deserves and desperately needs more imagination and perspective. One unexamined assumption of many higher education leaders seems to be that we, not just community colleges but an entire society that purports to believe that education is essential to democracy, are earnestly doing our best to help "the unfortunates" but, heartbreakingly, are finding ourselves overwhelmed by how unfortunate they really are. Thus, the logic goes, we’re "left with no choice" but to retreat like a lifeboat captain tearfully paddling away from the Titanic. Although this is a consoling thought, the reality is the opposite. Two-year colleges are being overwhelmed precisely because as a society, we were never fully committed to remedial students

July 9th, 2010

Published by: philosophyandrew

not just about community colleges being overwhelmed; it's about our nation’s collective failure to commit to the principle of equality or even "equal opportunity" at every level of education. This lack of commitment is evident in the fact that the K-12 systems are just as overburdened and underinvested as the two-year schools. Old solutions that deflect attention to pedagogy rather than policy have not taken care of these old problems. For many students in under-served public schools, the skills and knowledge they need and deserve have taken a backseat to endless drilling for state accountability tests that have become a curriculum in and of themselves. Such a curriculum concentrates on the most rudimentary and mechanically quantifiable facts and formulas, tying short spurts of “learning” to cycles of test-preparation and testtaking. This short-sighted approach to accountability, to the consternation of teachers charged with raising pass rates on these tests, undercuts the long-term and extensive preparation that students need to thrive in college, career, and life beyond the testing site. The scope and tenor of the discussion at San Joaquin Delta and in so many discussions about community colleges are also limited by another false assumption: that "immigrants" are the populations most in need. The invisible and tragic irony is that masses of two-year college students who are insufficiently practiced in basic skills are not even immigrants. They are the ones some community college faculty worry about the most and they are the ones who would be hurt the most by cutting remediation because they don't speak any other language and they don't have any other country to go to. The tendency to focus on romantic, nationalism-affirming stories of “immigrant hardships” instead of native-born, underserved students who have spent their entire lives being disappointed by the system obscures half of the American story, and this convenient perspective is symptomatic of a deep, ideologically elaborate denial of race and class inequality in this country. Native-born or not, it’s hard to imagine that such students feel very respected or valued when the president of San Joaquin Delta College says "Your heart goes out to them" while cutting courses and whole programs. Similarly, you might be surprised how little solace community college faculty and staff take from being told, in the words of Thomas Bailey of Columbia University, that “‘if you get someone from 5th grade to 10th grade, even if that's not college level, that's still a useful function for the college to perform." When you are eyewitness to a building on fire, you’re not waiting to be congratulated for helping the residents make it halfway down the stairs – all you care about is getting the authorities to listen to you when you tell them that people’s lives are in danger. Those of us who teach in the community colleges can't deal alone with the scandal of racism, classism, and other deepening social inequalities in this country, but given our place in this conversation, it is incumbent on us to sound the alarm. We need help. Our whole educational system needs more investment, not less. Though too few and too far between, glimmers of hope can of course be found if you have the luxury of looking for them. For example, the Gates Foundation explicitly puts financial aid and other financial incentives such as scholarships at the

center of its four-part plan to focus attention and resources on community colleges. Even President Obama, despite his dispiriting acquiescence to the testing industry, sounds like he understands how central the problem of capital is to the tragedy of low retention. Per the Inside Higher Ed article linked above, "When students drop out, he said, ‘That’s not just a waste of a valuable resource, that’s a tragedy for these students. Oftentimes they’ve taken out debt and they don’t get the degree, but they still have to pay back the debt.' " But sometimes bold-sounding enterprises can incorporate elements that amount to simply evading the problem. For example, CUNY’s systemwide bid to improve retention has led to an ambitious proposal to build from the ground up a new community college that considers itself open-access but will require all students to attend full time. Sounds fair, doesn’t it? The problem is, the “full-time only” rule is, for many of our students, already a de facto requirement, thanks to the Catch-22 of the “part-time” state aid award that one can only “earn” by going to school full-time for two consecutive semesters first. How many students are already hit hard by this draconian requirement, and would therefore be ignored by CUNY’s proposal? The Community College Survey of Student Engagement reports that more than half of community college students “attend part time so that they can tend to pressing work or family obligations." This inconvenient fact leads the survey’s director, Kay McClenney, to wonder aloud if CUNY’s new project is “going to serve a small portion of students who are going to succeed anyway." The president of the American Association of Community Colleges echoes this concern, saying that such institutions "tend to succeed because they target students who are mostly not at risk […] catering to only those students who stand a better chance of success in the first place." Action alone is not enough: it must be accompanied by frank, painful discussion of the unspoken and incorrect assumptions about the nature and real extent of the problem. In The New York Times, Paul Krugman bluntly reminded us late last year that "America, which used to take the lead in educating its young, has been gradually falling behind other advanced countries." If we ourselves continue to ignore and disrespect the emergency of our educational system, then we ought not profess astonishment when students show up in our nation's college classrooms and job fairs and voting booths lacking basic skills. If they don't have basic skills, then of course they will not understand complex college-level concepts – like evolution, for example. If they can’t understand evolution, then how exactly do we expect them to understand global warming, or health care reform, or how to get out of the economic crisis or the war in Afghanistan? Let’s not ignore the alarms or allow ourselves to be soothed by those who are simply changing the subject or repackaging old, failed solutions. We owe our students and ourselves more than talk about “tough choices” that change nothing because they end up being the toughest on those whom our society has left weakest. Susan Naomi Bernstein, Sarah Durand and Sigmund Shen teach at LaGuardia Community College. The following individuals also contributed to this piece and its ideas:

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July 9th, 2010

Published by: philosophyandrew

The successful candidate will possess demonstrated familiarity with ESL scholarship and pedagogy and will have college or university experience ... Valdosta State University's English Department continues to take applications for an Assistant Professor of English with a specilization in African ... Assist the Division Deans in conducting classroom observations for adjunct faculty who are in their first through third year of teaching at BHCC. The ...

November 2009, covered the 2008-9 academic year, so the NSF data are a first glance at fall 2009 numbers. Open Doors showed a record high number of international students and a large increase in new foreign enrollment in 2008-9, which was before the full force of the recession hit. At the time of the study's release, there were already signs that the increases probably would not hold. The NSF study cites institutional restrictions on enrollment (due to budget cuts), declines in financial aid, declines in the value of foreign home currencies and the rise in U.S. tuition as specific reasons why the foreign enrollment no longer appears to be growing at the same healthy rate. When broken down further, the numbers (taken from the U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement’s Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) suggest that enrollment of graduate students in science and engineering programs increased by 3 percent, but the number of newly enrolled students decreased by 2 percent. In non-science programs, overall enrollment rose 1 percent, and new enrollment stayed constant. In undergraduate programs, overall enrollment rose by about 3 percent as well, and new enrollment rose about 1 percent. But compared to 2007-8’s 17 percent increase, this growth still seems bleak. Most of the foreign students are from India, China and South Korea -- as was true in the last Open Doors report. But while IIE reported increasing numbers for students from those countries over the previous year, the NSF finds that enrollment from South Korea and 5 of the other top 10 countries of enrollment has decreased. China, India, Saudi Arabia and Nepal are the only top-10 countries sending more students to the U.S. in 2009 than in 2008, with China's annual growth rate steadily increasing. Though overall enrollments from India increased, new enrollment of science and engineering students from there fell 17 percent in 2009. According to the report, the majority of Indian international students are graduate students in science or engineering fields, so the decline suggests that sending students to America has become more difficult just in the past several months. The study speculates that based on this data and the ongoing financial troubles of many American colleges and universities, foreign enrollment is likely to be affected in coming years. Peggy Blumenthal, chief operating officer for IIE, said that when the next "Open Doors" study is released in the fall, it is likely to reach conclusions similar to the NSF's. "We had already flagged the fact that undergraduate enrollment is surging; the big countries are going to continue to be the big countries," she said. "I think the SEVIS data and the IIE data are parallel." She added, however, that it may be too soon to tell whether the growth rate of enrollment is declining. Responsibilities The Office of International Study Programs seeks a qualified candidate to work with the Director and other personnel in the Office to ...

UX Myths
Source: http://www.downes.ca/cgi-bin/page.cgi?post=52840 July 9th, 2010

Nice site that details, and debunks, a series of usability myths. Some of my favorites involve not listening to user feedback. Myth #21 , for example, states that `people make confident but false predictions about their future behavior, especially when presented with a new and unfamiliar design. There's a huge difference between imagining using something and actually using it. In addition, human preferences are rather unstable." There's plenty of evidence to back up this claim, along with the rest. Zoltán Gócza and Zoltán Kollin , Website, July 8, 2010 [Tags: Usability ] [ Link ] [ Comment ]

Study Projects Slowing of Foreign Enrollments
Source: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/07/09/foreign July 9th, 2010

The enrollment of foreign students in undergraduate and graduate programs in the United States has suffered as a result of the worldwide economic crisis -- but perhaps not as much as many have feared, a report from the National Science Foundation suggests. The good news for American colleges is that the total number of international students in the United States rose by 3 percent from fall 2008 to fall 2009, and all fields of study except psychology, education and the humanities also showed an increase in enrollment, according to the NSF report, which is based on federal data on visas. But the cause for concern comes from the declining rate of annual growth: Total foreign enrollment rose by 4.3 percent from 2006 to 2007, by 3.7 percent from 2007 to 2008, and by 3 percent from 2008 to 2009. Most of this slowing in the growth rate stemmed from the biological sciences, business, education or health, whereas the rate of growth for most fields related to science and engineering actually increased. The study comes eight months after the annual “Open Doors” study conducted by the Institute of International Education, which examines similar trends and is the hallmark study of foreign enrollment (and study abroad) trends. The most recent "Open Doors" study, however, which was released in

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July 9th, 2010

Published by: philosophyandrew

The Feinstein International Center's goal is to develop and promote operational and policy responses to protect and strengthen the livelihoods of ... Position Summary: The Program on Science and Global Security (SGS) seeks a part-time associate professional specialist to manage and contribute ... Position Summary: Responsible for serving as the Primary Designated School Official for Suffolk's SEVIS participation and as the Responsible Officer ...

last few weeks to see her and have some down time, I’ve found yet again that life simply doesn’t stop. I’m still excited about the work that I’m doing and want to keep pursuing it. I remember after my father’s sudden death from a heart attack I was slowed down for at least a couple of months. My mother’s passing came with more warning, and in many ways I found that going forward with work and travel was therapeutic. I have come to realize that I need to allow myself the flexibility to grieve in my own way – to weep when the tears come, or to smile when I remember my former colleague’s smile and amazingly positive approach to life. As always, it’s about balance – having the flexibility to take things in stride…and enjoy the small moments, like my 6-year-old winning a trophy at chess club, or taking my 9-year-old to see the new Shrek movie at the IMAX theatre. It's part of a larger process that allows us as humans to work through the ebbs and flows that are the rhythms of life. People are often surprised when I tell them that I continued running during the last few months. Running is my main form of stress relief, and it really mattered when I could get away for an hour or so as we sat in vigil by my mother’s bedside. I think we all tend to forget that we owe it to ourselves and our loved ones to continue to take care of ourselves regardless of the circumstances. There will be times when that doesn’t work, but whenever possible it is the key to the well-being of both mind and body. I’ve also been fortunate to have friends to rely on, and a large family to help carry many of the burdens. One of the things I love about being a professor is the flexibility it provides. Of course, it helps to have a spouse who can manage the home and kids while I am away. Luckily the family is joining me during my research in Europe this summer, something we can manage because my husband’s boss is willing to allow him the flexibility to telecommute from Europe. But going forward, I plan to spend more time with my children and taking care of projects at home. I know that priorities will change over time, and unexpected opportunities and challenges are part of life. Finding the balance between family and career is a never ending challenge. As I have faced loss during the last few months, I have found refuge in promoting both my physical and spiritual well-being. When I return from Europe I expect to take some time to focus on my spiritual side, perhaps through a retreat of some kind. I realize that I am still processing the major changes that have occurred in my life over the last year, both good and bad. However, the most important thing I keep reminding myself is that when people ask how I’m doing, sometimes it’s ok to say “life sucks” although I usually say something more like “I’m hanging in there.” As I jump back into the full swing of academic life this fall, teaching large lecture courses and dealing with the new rules on syllabuses and textbooks, it will be interesting to see how I work back into that regular schedule. I don’t know that I’ve every truly been on a regular faculty schedule, and I’m not sure how it will turn out this year. My second son was born during my first year at UT, I’ve been in administration for 5 years and on leave during the last year. As I ponder the lessons of the last year, I wait in anticipation of the life that will unfold during the upcoming year.
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First Reactions to Blackboard Buying Wimba and Elluminate
Source: http://www.downes.ca/cgi-bin/page.cgi?post=52839 July 9th, 2010

Reactions to the Blackboard acquisition of Wimba and Elluminate. Joshua Kim says this is very smart for Blackboard, but customers should be worried about lockin. Steve Kolowich surveys Twitter reaction. Barry Dahl says "Blackborg rides again." George Siemens comments (accurately) that the messaging from Blackboard on this is meaningless. Nothing like starting a new product line with a misrepresentation. He nonetheless has a well played compliment to give the company. Matt Crosslin says "the point of education is to collaborate and learn, not just buy everyone." Joshua Kim, Inside Higher Ed, July 8, 2010 [Tags: Audio Chat and Conferencing , Twitter , Blackboard Inc. ] [ Link ] [ Comment ]

Lessons From Loss
Source: http://www.insidehighered.com/advice/running/givens7 July 9th, 2010

In the last few months I have lost my mother, and a former colleague/friend. No loss is ever easy, and even though my mother’s recent passing was expected, it is hard to come to terms with the fact that, having lost my father nine years ago, I have become part of the elder generation in my rather large family (I’m the youngest of seven). My friend was only 46, just a year older than me. Although I feel the loss of my mother in a much deeper way, the loss of my friend has also caused me to take stock of my life in a way that losing my mother hasn’t. His death was so unexpected that I didn’t have time to see him while he was in the hospital. In the case of my mother, it helped that I was on leave this year. I could drop everything at a moment’s notice and hop on a plane when needed, allowing me to be there before, during and after her passage. Taking stock of the last year, I realize that despite having left administration, my life has not slowed down much. I still travel a great deal, particularly since my research is in Europe. In fact, I just hit the million mile mark with American Airlines – something I consider a dubious distinction. Unfortunately, many of those miles came during the eight times I traveled from Austin to Seattle to visit my mother and family in the last nine months. Despite taking some time during my mother’s

July 9th, 2010

Published by: philosophyandrew

The Faculty of Education (FEDU) consists of four (4) departments: Curriculum and Instruction, Foundations of Education, Special Education and ... RESPONSIBILITIES: This 12-month position will be responsible for teaching 2 courses per long semester and 1 course in the summer; engaging in high ... RESPONSIBILITIES: This 12-month position will be responsible for teaching 2 courses per long semester and 1 course in the summer; engaging in high ... Position Summary: Assistant Professor to primarily teach classes for Early Childhood majors, with specialty in birth through age five. The Department ...

35-49

49%

30% 28%

20% 17%

11% 11%

50 and up 54%

An age gap was also evident in reading frequency, with older readers more likely than others to read every issue. Reading Frequency of Alumni Magazines, by Age Age Every Issue 38% 54% 62% Most Issues 27% 27% 25% 21% Occasional Never Issues Read and Issue 23% 15% 11% 8% 12% 4% 2% 2%

Under 25 25-34 35-49

What the Alumni Read (or Ignore)
Source: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/07/09/alumni July 9th, 2010

50 and up 70%

The days when alumni eagerly turned to "class notes" sections of alumni magazines to find out about their old friends seem quaint in the era of Facebook. So the question for alumni magazines becomes: How do they stay relevant? In an effort to answer that question, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education has conducted the first-ever national survey of alumni magazine readers. The results show plenty of good news for the magazines in terms of loyal readers who read every issue, who in fact care about more than class notes -- and who link their readership to their connections to alma mater. But the survey also suggests that alumni magazines, long seen as a key part of the way institutions maintain close ties to graduates, are much less popular with younger alumni than with older alumni. The findings could be significant. They come at a time when many colleges are worried about declines in giving rates by younger alumni, and when some colleges -- as part of budgetcutting moves -- have been cutting the number of issues of the magazine they publish each year. The overall questions about engagement will cheer alumni magazine supporters. Of their readers, 58 percent agree and 30 percent strongly agree that the magazines strengthen their "personal connection" to their institutions. But the role the magazines play clearly differs for younger alumni. For example, a majority of alumni 50 and older "generally" get information about their alma maters from their alumni magazines, but only 21 percent of alumni under the age of 25 say that. Younger alumni are much more likely than their older counterparts to visit a college Web site for information or to rely on word of mouth. How Alumni Generally Get Information About Their Colleges Age Magazine E-mail Web Site From Institutions 43% 34% 40% 23% Word of Mouth 37% 22%

Similar data suggest that older alumni are more likely to read more of the magazine and to spend more time with each issue. And that points to a key finding for those who hope that a quality alumni magazine will yield other positive results for a college or university: that alumni who spend more time with the magazine on average are more likely to do a number of things institutions want. Among those who spend 10-29 minutes with an issue, only 29 percent said that they were encouraged to give more financial support and only 7 percent said that they were motivated by their reading to volunteer. In contrast, among those spending at least 60 minutes with the magazine each issue, 48 percent said that they were encouraged to give money and 15 percent said that they would try to volunteer. The readers of alumni magazines also appear to think that there is some spin, but generally not an intolerable share, in the publications. How Alumni Publications Magazine Readers 24% 41% 19% 3% 13% Rate Credibility of

Consistently accurate and objective Some spin, but generally accurate and objective Usually portrays institution only in positive light Not good source of objective information No opinion

While the data show several age-related splits among readers, there was general support -- across age groups -- for keeping alumni magazines in print, although younger readers are also interested in blends of print and online. Jeffrey Lott, editor of the alumni magazine at Swarthmore College, led the efforts to create the national survey, and said he hoped it would help his counterparts consider their own survey results in light of national trends.

Under 25 25-34

21% 41%

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Lott said that several of the trends identified in the survey did represent concerns. On the age issue, he said that it was important to recognize that the trend of younger alumni being less involved with a magazine is something he has seen throughout the 20 years he has edited an alumni magazine. "Loyalty to an institution builds up over time," he said. "For many people, when you first get out of college, you are happy to get out." At the same time, he said that he believed the age gaps evident in the survey results were real and likely were larger than they would have been in the past, had national surveys been conducted earlier. Rae Goldsmith, vice president of advancement resources at CASE, said that concerns about young alumni engagement are much broader than for alumni magazines alone. "It is a major issue in that research on the younger graduates indicates that they are very interested in different types of causes" than their alma maters alone. "There is a real need for institutions to connect with their younger alumni." While alumni magazines can be part of the process of building those connections, Goldsmith said she was concerned that colleges cutting back on the number of issues may be engaged in "penny-wise, pound foolish" decisions, in that it will be impossible for the magazines to become a regular part of the lives of alumni without enough issues per year. Most alumni magazines don't come out that much to start with. Of those in the survey -- which Goldsmith said she thought was generally representative -- nearly half (48 percent) come out only twice a year, while 27 percent come out three times a year, and 21 percent come out 4 times a year. Lott said that the results suggest to him that quality articles are going to be more effective in that they will encourage people to spend more time with the magazine, which in turn will have a range of positive results for the college, from making gifts to recommending the institution to high school students to volunteering. "I think our goal is connection, some kind of connection," and not just pitches for money. Dale Keiger, associate editor of The Johns Hopkins Magazine, has been calling for more emphasis on good writing in alumni magazines, and he applauded the extent to which the CASE survey supports such a view. Keiger is the founder of UMagazinology, a blog with a credo that states, among other things, that "[t]he only people required to read our magazines are our life partners, and half of them duck out on us. For everyone else, reading a university magazine is voluntary" and "If your magazine is not being read, then every dollar that your school pours into it might as well be poured down a storm drain." Keiger said that the results in the survey about age, and about the value of having readers who spend real time with the magazine, both point to a need for the publications to recognize that they are no longer delivering news. Younger alumni and, increasingly, all alumni "go online to check on classmates, to find out about lacrosse scores," he said, and aren't turning to the magazines for that. "I think [that] the news function has shifted to the Web, and that anybody who wants to know what's going on, they know that long before we come out."

The surveys Hopkins has done all suggest that the magazine's readers are most devoted to "features about big ideas and complex subjects," pieces that run 3,000-6,000 words and with which a reader will spend real time. That kind of writing, he said, can attract readers from all alumni age groups, but he thinks magazine editors won't get good results focused on "letting a reader just skim for a picture that makes you nostalgic." Marketing and Communications. As a member of the Office of Marketing & Communications, the Media Relations Manager will assist with development and ... The State University of New York at Oswego was founded in 1861 and is now a highly regarded comprehensive institution in the SUNY system. Today, 500 ...

U. of Washington Police Spied on Activist Group
Source: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/07/09/qt/ u_of_washington_police_spied_on_activist_group July 9th, 2010

The University of Washington police department authorized an undercover officer to attend and participate in planning meetings of a student activist group that was organizing on behalf of employees at the university, The Seattle PostIntelligencer reported. University officials acknowledged that the monitoring took place, and said that it was not consistent with university policy and had been stopped.

A Quiet Campus Upgrades Its Security
Source: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/07/09/letourneau July 9th, 2010

LeTourneau University's website points out that the small Christian institution in East Texas is "a 1,568 mile journey from L.A. and 1,452 miles from the Big Apple," and the distance is more than geographical. The university's 1,300 students are barred from drinking and smoking, and the most severe crime in a typical academic year at LeTourneau might be a stolen iPod or a freshman prank, like putting a car on a high pedestal so it can't be driven. The Longview, Tex., campus has not grown any more like Los Angeles or New York in recent years. But despite the low and stable crime rate, LeTourneau has decided to beef up its security measures, and has, for the first time, supplemented its longstanding system of student security guards with a fullscale police department. “As the university grows and the community grows around us, we felt that it was time to improve the professional presence that we have on campus as far as safety is concerned,” says Terry Turner, LeTourneau's chief of police. For about 30 years, security at LeTourneau has rested in the hands of a force of unarmed but vigilant student security guards, who patrolled the campus and reported anything they saw -- from a broken lock to vandalism. After the university was founded in 1946 (as LeTourneau Technical Institute),
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a Longview police lieutenant was hired to watch over the campus at night, and students were added as means of additional campus protection. Not only did this benefit the university and provide sufficient safety, Turner says, but it gave the students a financial boost and a chance to learn valuable skills. The security guards, who will not be replaced by the new police officers, are the university's "eyes and ears in the night." The dozen or so student guards are dedicated to protecting the safety of the campus and aren't afraid to report on their peers. Nick Yeakley takes a full load of classes and chooses to wake up in the wee hours for his four-hour patrolling shift at 4:00 a.m. Some of the guards come from military backgrounds, and some, like Yeakley, hope for a career in law enforcement after they graduate -- but none of them take their responsibilities lightly. Though Yeakley hopes to gain experience, his primary reason for choosing the job, he says, was his "great desire to serve and protect [his] fellow students." Though LeTourneau is not unique in its security guard system, it was in the minority without its own police department. “It is probably more common for colleges and universities to have some sort of police or security department,” says Christopher Blake, associate director for the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators. As of 2005, 74 percent of institutions with at least 2,500 students had law enforcement agencies employing sworn police officers, according to the most recent Campus Law Enforcement Study, released by the U.S. Department of Justice in 2008. Statistics on smaller institutions like LeTourneau were not available, but the numbers are similar, Blake said. Driven partly by national concerns about incidents like the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting, Turner determined that a campus police department would help instill confidence in campus security for parents and prospective students. Over the past several years, biannual student surveys have shown an increase in students’ desire for stronger security, and so the university administration was willing to accept Turner's plans. Even though the university has never had a "historical need" for a police department, Turner says LeTourneau is adapting with the times. The campus now has four sworn police officers, in addition to the 11 student security guards, but Turner’s ultimate goal is to hire enough police to have an officer patrolling the grounds 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To meet this goal in the next few years, the police department is now in the process of expanding its facilities. But getting there wasn't easy. Creating a full-fledged campus police department took time, consideration and money. “It is a rather challenging prospect,” Turner said. “The first thing you have to have is a realization across the board that there is a need for that.” Since Turner joined LeTourneau in 2000, he has been considering ways to grow and improve the security force; after it reached its full potential, he began lobbying the administration for police. He developed three potential models, drawing on ideas from about 30 other colleges and universities similar in size and circumstance. He considered outsourcing police officers, creating a hybrid force of police officers and security guards,

or completely rethinking the security guard system, leaving police entirely out of the picture. Together with university administrators, Turner settled on the hybrid option and began to set goals and timelines to get the plan under way. “I wouldn’t say the decision was difficult, but I think it was deliberate. We were deliberate in our choice which way to go,” says William McDowell, LeTourneau’s executive vice president for business and administration, who was involved in the process. After clearing it with the university, Turner secured a state agency number and discussed the burgeoning police force with the municipal police department in Longview. Then he was ready to hire his staff, but with more personnel come more costs. The university must provide training, equipment, uniforms, and facilities in which the officers can train and operate. “We’ve been adding a new officer every year to the operating budget -- it’s a pretty significant investment, but with the growth we’ve had, it’s a worthy investment," McDowell said, but declined to give a specific sum. The first two officers to join the department were men Turner knew from his career as a municipal police officer. Others heard of the new police department and became interested in the job and the situation. “As a career law enforcement officer of 30-plus years, I wanted to work in an environment in which I could pass on my life experiences to students and teach them the importance of making ethically sound and moral decisions,” Officer Scott Sartain, one of LeTourneau’s new additions, said via e-mail. He added that he is also interested in working in the university setting, functioning as it does with a slightly different philosophy than a regular police department. Because of LeTourneau's Christian standards, its police force filters its decisions through a religious lens. “The legal system is based out of Judeo-Christian research in the first place, so we’re already on good ground there,” Turner says. His police take a more redemptive -- rather than punitive -- approach to crime, offering a disciplinary process involving counselors and restitution instead of a citation, for example. “There are areas of the law where we use the full force of the law,” Turner says. “But there are circumstances in young people’s lives where they make really poor decisions, and we have the opportunity to guide someone away from that decision… to want to make better decisions, so as they go through their college career they do a little bit more growing up.” Position Summary: The Police Officer is the principal agent responsible for carrying out the functions of the Division of Public Safety Police ... Job Description: The Director for Student Safety & Services will provide leadership with University initiatives and support services that enhance the ... Job Summary/Basic FunctionGeorgia Gwinnett College, the 35th member of the University System of Georgia, is a premier 21st century four-year liberal ...

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Job Summary/Basic FunctionFounded in 2005, Georgia Gwinnett College (GGC) is the 35th member of the University System of Georgia. GGC is a premier ...

• Eric Murray, vice president for student services at North Idaho College, in Idaho, has been appointed president of Cascadia Community College, in Washington. • Ephraim P. Smith, vice president for academic affairs at California State University at Fullerton, has been selected as executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer for the California State University System. • Darrel Staat, president of Central Virginia Community College, has been named president and executive director of the South Carolina Technical College System. PRESIDENT The Board of Trustees of Florida Memorial University (FMU) is extending its search for the position of President. The Board seeks a ... Chatt G. Wright, who has provided visionary leadership as the President of Hawai‘i Pacific University for over 40 years, has announced his ... Olivet College is an independent, liberal arts institution located in south central Michigan in the community of Olivet. The college was founded in ... In 1990, the University of Detroit and Mercy College of Detroit consolidated their resources to establish the University of Detroit Mercy, now ... If you enjoy working for a organization who understands what drives the success of a campus, this company may be the right one for you. ...

Moody's Warns of 'A Few' Defaults of Public University Debt
Source: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/07/09/qt/ moody_s_warns_of_a_few_defaults_of_public_university_debt July 9th, 2010

The financial pressures on state universities are significant enough that they could cause downgrades of the institutions' creditworthiness and "even a few idiosyncratic defaults" of the universities' debt, Moody's Investors Service said in a report issued Thursday. The report, the latest in a line from Moody's and other credit agencies predicting significant financial stress on higher education, is available to subscribers to the ratings agency.

New Presidents or Provosts: Bay Path College, California State U. System, Cascadia CC, Coppin State U., Edinboro U. of Pennsylvania, Green River CC, Missouri Southern State U., South Carolina Technical College System
Source: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/07/09/presidents July 9th, 2010

Duke's Board Is First to Adopt New Pledge for Art Museum
Source: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/07/09/qt/ duke_s_board_is_first_to_adopt_new_pledge_for_art_museum July 9th, 2010

• A.J. Anglin, former vice president for academic affairs at Waynesburg University, in Pennsylvania, has been chosen as vice president for academic affairs at Missouri Southern State University. • Eileen Ely, president of Western Nebraska Community College, has been selected as president of Green River Community College, in Washington. • Philip E. Ginnetti, dean of the Beeghly College of Education at Youngstown State University, has been named provost and vice president for academic affairs at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. • Cynthia Jackson-Hammond, dean of the School of Education and Human Performance at Winston-Salem State University, in North Carolina, has been chosen as provost and vice president of academic affairs at Coppin State University, in Maryland. • Melissa Morriss-Olson, dean of the Graduate School and director of the master of science in nonprofit management and philanthropy program at Bay Path College, in Massachusetts, has been promoted to provost and vice president for academic affairs there.

Duke University's board issued a formal statement of support for its art museum -- becoming the first institution to meet a new requirement for art museums to be accredited. The American Association of Museums recently announced new accreditation standards, requiring specific statements of support from parent institutions when museums are part of universities or other larger organizations. The new standards were a response to several controversies in which colleges or universities have sold or planned to sell works of art in their collections -- a move that museum official view as something that should take place only in limited circumstances and not as a fund raising strategy. Duke's Nasher Museum of Art is up for accreditation renewal and so the executive committee of Duke's board passed a resolution stating, among other things that the university would abide by the association's standards "to protect the museum's assets, both tangible and intangible."

Busting Perps
Source: http://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/ confessions_of_a_community_college_dean/busting_perps July 9th, 2010

By Dean Dad July 8, 2010 9:02 pm I have to admit enjoying this article a little too much.
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Anyone who did time with Foucault will immediately think ‘panopticon’ when reading this piece about the anti-cheating technologies at the University of Central Florida. But I remember vividly the frustration as a teacher when students would cheat, and I remember the palpable sense of relief among the better students when I interrupted a cheat in progress. At least for me, student cheating was a serious morale issue. It made me feel foolish for having poured so much energy into teaching when the students couldn’t even be bothered to try to learn. And I had good students tell me that faculty indifference to obvious cheating bugged them, because it made them feel like dupes for actually doing the work. When the ones who follow the rules feel like suckers, something is fundamentally wrong. I served for several years on the academic dishonesty review board, which ‘tried’ cases in which students were accused of plagiarism or other cheating. (The majority of the board was faculty, but it needed a token admin.) Based on what I saw there, I have to admit a certain impatience with the idea that Gen Y doesn’t grasp the concept of plagiarism. Granted, things sometimes got murky on ‘group assignments,’ in which one member would coast on the labor of others, but the whole “copy my paper off the internet” thing wasn’t ambiguous. In those cases, when presented with the evidence, there wasn’t really much argument either way. Nobody even tried to argue that copy-and-paste was kosher. I’ve heard arguments to the effect that in-class tests are artificial environments and not reflective of what students will encounter in the real world. There’s some truth to that, but there’s also a basic truth to the assertion that any environment will have rules of the game. Certain rules are necessary for the integrity of the game. And showing the ability to adapt to rules and work hard seems like it should carry some weight in the real world. Policing cheating can be a real challenge with online classes, since you don’t know who’s sitting at the keyboard. (“On the internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.”) Anecdotally, the biggest threat there is usually the spouse or girlfriend/ boyfriend. But that doesn’t strike me as an argument for giving up; it strikes me as an argument for cleverness. Call it the broken windows theory of plagiarism. If it looks like nobody else cares, then following the rules can seem like selling out. But if you see people get nailed, and the flagrant cases lead to real punishments, then following the rules looks like a better deal. This is where the “law and order” part of my “law and order liberalism” comes through. I define “law and order liberalism” as the simultaneous belief that laws should be both fair and enforced. Banning copy-and-paste papers strikes me as utterly fair, and therefore enforceable without apology. If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime. So bravo, UCF! May you make “just doing the work” the easy way out.

My Google Cover Letter GMoodle
Source: http://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/technology_and_learning/ my_google_cover_letter_gmoodle July 9th, 2010

By Joshua Kim July 8, 2010 8:39 pm Dear Google. Thank you for this opportunity to apply for the Vice President of Global Higher Education. Rather than talk about my experience, strengths, etc. etc., I'd like to use this opportunity to lay out my plans for Google Higher Education in my first year at the company. Within One Year, Google Will: --Offer a free Google Moodle (GMoodle) learning management system (LMS) to any educational institution. --GMoodle will be re-developed to include full integration with Google Docs and Google Apps for Education. GMoodle becomes another module in the Google Apps for Education suite. --The re-development of GMoodle will allow faculty and students the choice to make any course content private (only course members), open to their institution, or open to the world. Learners will be able to easily attach Creative Commons copyright protections to any piece of content loaded into a GMoodle course. --Tools will be provided to allow seamless automatic migration from commercial LMS vendor platforms into GMoodle. Why Create GMoodle? --Google's mission has always been to "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful." A great deal of the world's best information is locked up in closed and siloed learning management systems. Learners and educators have no good way of easily sharing their course content and learning interactions with the world. --GMoodle aligns with Google's ambitions to utilize technology improve lives. There is no more important goal than that of spreading and improving education. A free GMoodle, when combined with the Google Apps for Education, will allow education institutions to focus investments on their core competencies of teaching and learning. By reducing the fixed costs of providing high quality, Web based education, GMoodle and Google can be part of the movement to bend the educational cost curve and insure that high quality learning is not restricted to the most affluent. What is the Business Case for GMoodle: --GMoodle offers the greatest ROI in the educational space. Moodle is a stable and mature open source platform to build on. The architecture of Moodle lends itself to efficient integration with the existing Google Apps offerings. --For a relatively modest investment, Google will offer a system that insures that the company's services are critical and relevant to the everyday lives and tasks of learners and educators. Thank you again for this opportunity to apply for the position of Vice President of Global Higher Education. I look forward
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to further detailing the specifics of how I'd lead the GMoodle effort in my first year of employment at Google. Yours truly, Joshua Kim

Not just desserts
Source: http://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/getting_to_green/ not_just_desserts July 9th, 2010

By G. Rendell July 8, 2010 8:31 pm Part of getting students/kids/people interested in their food is having food that's interesting. And part of using fruits and veg as tempters is using them -- particularly the fruits, in my experience -- where they're not entirely expected. Even in kitchens where actual cooking occurs, often "dinner" is defined as meat, a starch, and a token green veg, followed (optionally) by dessert. Having two green veg would be considered radical, as would having no meat. Mrs. R. and I fairly rarely have adults over for dinner, but our kids have very often had friends (often, multiple friends) stop by the house right around 5:30 or 5:45 pm and then hang around as long as it takes. Sometimes the visit is known ahead of time; sometimes, we just add a salad or some such and portion everything a bit smaller. It's the "salad or some such" that can get interesting. Provocative, if not truly radical. Fruity, perhaps insouciant, definitely not ostentatious. Because one of our rules of thumb is that any reasonable combination of fresh fruit, with a touch of salt, pepper and maybe some herbs, constitutes a salad. Apples -- pretty much our only fresh winter-time fruit, although we generally can a few others -- get dressed up more, just because otherwise they can get boring after a couple or three months. But peaches, plums, cherries, apricots, pears, grapes, citrus of various varieties, melons, pretty much anything else becomes "salad" with just a little bit of seasoning -- certainly, nothing most folks would consider "dressing". I prefer to mix one fruit that's more sweet with one that's more tart -- kind of like blending the flavors for a good barbecue sauce, but without the vinegar. Mrs. R. tends to work more with combinations of sweet tastes, and then sometimes add a dash of lime juice to take the edge off. The kids seem to like it. A number of them have mentioned reporting it back to their parents, although I have no idea whether any of those parents have had a go at it. But anything that gets people thinking differently -- or even thinking positively at all -- about what they, and we, and all of us eat is (to my mind) a step in the right direction.

There is a concept in Labor Economics known as "internal labor markets," which notices that many firms hire employees only at specific points in their career paths and then train them with very firm specific training once they are there. This is a concept that most of us in academics readily acknowledge, as many faculty members are hired at the assistant professor level and then progress on their career paths within that one institution. As I write about in my essay in “Mama, Ph.D.”, my first attempt at this labor market was not terribly successful, and I soon found myself looking for a way to repackage my Ph.D. in economics into some other marketable form. Ironically, one place I looked, long before finding my job here, was at Ursuline College. Ursuline College has a program that is rather popular called the “Master’s Apprentice Program” (or M.A.P.) This program allows students who already have a degree in some subject to attend school for one year and earn educational certification that would allow them to teach that subject in the school systems. I have seen many students successfully complete this program, and am particularly proud of one former math major who is completing the program now and of one former student who completed it several years ago. The latter went on to teach in a poorly-funded school system where she teaches science. She is known for spending Saturday afternoons rounding up her students for extra study sessions so they have a better chance of passing the mandatory standardized tests that are the hallmark of Ohio public education. I learned recently that a class in the M.A.P. program in Special Education was looking for parental volunteers to come speak to the students about their experiences navigating the world of Special Education. As I looked at the questions that the teacher hoped someone would share with her students in this important area, I was reminded of several people I have met throughout my life. I thought first of the couple who raised a child with (mild) Cerebral Palsy to adulthood, through Catholic grammar and High School (where she was a member of the National Honor Society) and almost all the way through a large public university before anyone ever noticed that their daughter also had a serious learning disability. Today that daughter has a Master’s Degree and works with people with developmental disabilities, while spending the rest of her time raising the beautiful (and very smart) child she parents with her husband. And I thought of the family that I know whose child has a degenerative muscle disease. The child goes to “mainstream” school in a wheelchair with a helper dog and an assistant. The whole school rallies around him as he triumphs over this horrible illness. Then there is a pediatrician that I know who has made a life commitment to making sure that all children have access to appropriate education. This commitment is shown clearly in the way she parents her oldest child who had Down’s Syndrome. Thanks to Special Education programs, she proudly tells us that he read “To Kill a Mockingbird” with his classmates last year. I also remember the parents of a friend from high school who, long before I grew ill, had a run-in with a brain tumor herself.

Math Geek Mom: Exceptional Children
Source: http://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/mama_phd/ math_geek_mom_exceptional_children July 9th, 2010

By Rosemarie Emanuele July 8, 2010 7:48 pm

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Surely there are many parents out there who could share their wisdom with this class of students! And so, I want to open this up to you. I am copying the list of questions that the teacher hopes her visiting parents will address. Should I receive any thoughts from my readers here, I will share this link to this site with that class, so they can hear from you themselves. The questions are: • What is your child’s, disability, age, and grade? • What type of services do they receive? • Your experience with teachers in regards to placement and academic issues-do you feel like they have worked with you? • The challenges you have faced raising your child? What impact if any has this had on your family? • What type of support you have received from others? • As a parent of a child with special needs, what do you want teachers to know? I, and I assume they, would love to hear your thoughts on these questions. This is your chance to speak to a new crop of teachers, all of whom will be teaching and helping our children succeed in less than one year.

helped support me through graduate school, and she became the first person to whom I sent news of my awards, honors, or recognition. Over the years, particularly after she became a widow, I called her more and more often. I realized that she was a very satisfying conversationalist: she might not like everything I said, but she paid attention. She was self-sufficient until she was 93, when she moved in with my mother and stepfather. They did an extraordinary job of taking care of her — redoing their spare room to resemble the home she’d left, driving across town for the muffins she liked, and then later performing the grueling duties of caring for a bed-ridden invalid. Compared to how most elderly people end their lives, my grandmother was incredibly lucky. Yesterday, we went through my grandmother’s things: beautiful clothing (sadly, not my size!), jewelry, scarves, souvenirs of her many world travels, and a small packet of old letters. Although they’re both dead now, it still felt like an invasion of my grandparents’ privacy to read their love letters. I was shocked to discover sorority dance cards from 1930! I knew that she had loved college; for years she would describe the fur-lined gowns she wore at formals and she stayed in touch with many of her college friends. Still, I was surprised she kept these relics of the three semesters she spent in college before the Depression caused her father to lose his money. My mother once asked my grandmother why she didn’t go back to college when she had the chance. By that time, my grandfather – the son of immigrants who worked his way through Northwestern while supporting his mother and sister — was a college professor. My grandmother told my mother that she worried she’d embarrass him by not performing well. I grew up defining my life against my grandmother, whose life seemed so conventional, so limited. And yet I realize that some day my daughter will sort through my belongings, and confront those items that mark my own unfulfilled goals, disappointments, achievements, relics of youthful passion, and select something to remember me.

Motherhood After Tenure: death of a matriarch
Source: http://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/mama_phd/ motherhood_after_tenure_death_of_a_matriarch July 9th, 2010

This past month, I have been trying to follow fellow blogger Kerry Ann Rockquemore’s advice on how to eliminate summer regret by breaking up my writing goals into small tasks and plotting them onto a calendar of available days. I scheduled weekly dates with my writing “coach”/colleague. I made progress by forcing myself to write drafts even before I felt quite ready, instead of circling around and around a project. Perhaps, I thought happily, by summer’s end I would have made substantial progress on my book, prepared for my new administrative duties, and organized my courses! I was on a roll. And then my Grandmother died. She was 98, so her death was an event we’d been expecting for so long that we’d started to believe it would never happen. Death disrupts our schedules, our plans, or lives. And so it should. My grandmother was the matriarch of our family and an important figure in my life, but our relationship was also fraught with criticism, disappointment, and occasionally anger. She criticized me more than any other person in my family. My hippy upbringing upset her notions of proper decorum, and I often thought her life as a wife and mother limited. But her attitude changed markedly when I began achieving in school. When I graduated from college with honors, she surprised me by breaking into tears. Later, she

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