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July 12th, 2010

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

Published by: philosophyandrew

research guides in their classes will be less likely to bring their students for library instruction or collaborate with librarians to incorporate information literacy into their curriculum. Either way, it will be interesting to see how our subject guides develop once they’re on the wiki. If your library creates collaborative subject or research guides with faculty, what have your experiences been?

A Guide, or a Crutch?
Source: By Maura Smale on July 12th, 2010

We’re moving the subject guides on our library website from HTML pages into a wiki, which we hope will make them easier for us to update and customize. It’s been a nice opportunity to freshen the content, weed out the dead links, etc. We plan to encourage faculty across the college to contribute to the subject guides as well as collaborate on custom research guides for their courses. I’m finding myself with a couple of nagging concerns as I start the conversion project. Are we making it too easy for our students when we create subject or research guides for them? If they start with a subject guide, are they fully learning how to do research–how to find, select and evaluate information? Are we missing an opportunity for information literacy instruction, or even intentionally removing that opportunity? Or, do subject guides help us take advantage of technology to extend our instructional efforts? Subject guides can definitely be useful to students, especially those in the early years of their college careers who may not be familiar with college-level research. Instructors can encourage students to use the subject guide as a starting point (and require them to incorporate resources beyond those included in the guide). Since students often take courses in disciplines that are entirely new to them, getting a research foothold is a challenge that a subject guide can facilitate. However, when we give students a subject guide for them to use to start their research, we’re not exposing them to an actual, real-world research situation. It’s true that it’s more difficult to do research on a topic that’s unfamiliar, but throughout their lives our students will likely need to find information about lots of topics with which they have no prior knowledge. It’s much more challenging to start researching from scratch, but it is difficult to develop the ability to create and iterate search strategies when research resources are provided in a subject guide. Subject guides can also benefit students in courses that, for whatever reason, can’t accommodate library instruction. I prefer the opportunity to incorporate information literacy into a course in the classroom, but surely some subjectspecific research assistance is better than none, right? But I also wonder whether instructors who make use of subject or

Pennies of Prosperity
Source: July 12th, 2010

Even a little bit would make a big difference - for health, for education, for prosperity. Equity is the best predictor of educational achievement. The top 1 percent of Canadians makes 155 times more than the bottom 50 percent of Canadians. Or, put another way, if Canada's wealth were divided evenly, each family would have $360,000. And Canada is among the more equitable nations in the world. Various Authors, Public Service Alliance of Canada, July 9, 2010 [Tags: Canada ] [ Link ] [ Comment ]

Job Satisfaction and Gender
Source: July 12th, 2010

Numerous studies have pointed to a gap in job satisfaction between men and women in academe, with men generally happier with working conditions. A new study by the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education confirms those studies, but finds -- among assistant professors at research universities -- that these satisfaction gaps vary by discipline. In many measures of satisfaction with various policies or conditions, the gaps between men and woman are not statistically significant in many disciplines, but are significant in others, especially in the social sciences. The finding is significant and potentially challenging to many universities, because the social sciences, on average, are more likely to have significant numbers of women in departments than are some other fields. “The fact that these differences cut across disciplines and, in fact, are most evident in disciplines in which women are relatively well-represented is important to keep in mind," said Cathy Trower, research director of COACHE, which is based at Harvard University. In other

July 12th, 2010

Published by: philosophyandrew

words, any university that thinks it has solved problems related to gender just by recruiting a critical mass of women may find otherwise. Some gaps in job satisfaction (all with men as happier than women) were evident across several disciplinary categories. These job areas include: reasonableness of scholarship expectations for tenure; the way professors spend their time as faculty members; the number of hours they work as faculty members; the amount of time they have to conduct research; their ability to balance work and home responsibilities; and whether their institutions make raising children and the tenure track compatible. In terms of overall job satisfaction (across gender lines), the analysis found that assistant professors in the physical sciences and humanities were satisfied with more aspects of their work lives, while faculty in education and the visual and performing arts were satisfied with the fewest aspects. The dramatic figures, however, were when gender was added to the equation. Looking at areas where job satisfaction had a gender gap, the social sciences come up far more than other disciplines. Of 45 categories in which at least one disciplinary area was found to have a gender gap in job satisfaction, with men feeling more satisfied, the social sciences came up in 36. Further, in 13 of the job categories, the social sciences were the only disciplinary area with such a gender gap, and in another eight, social sciences were one of two fields with gender gaps in job satisfaction. (In five other categories, there was a statistically significant gender gap in satisfaction, with women more satisfied.) Statistically Significant Gaps in Job Satisfaction, With Men Happier Category Clarity of tenure process Disciplines Social sciences; medical schools and health professions Social sciences Social sciences; education Social sciences Humanities; social sciences; agriculture, natural resources and environmental sciences; business; education Social sciences

Clarify of tenure expectations as a scholar Clarity of tenure expectations as a teacher Clarity of expectations as a colleague in department Reasonableness of expectations as a scholar

Social sciences Social sciences Engineering, computer science and mathematics Social sciences; biological sciences; health and human ecology; agriculture, natural resources and environmental sciences; business; education; medical schools and health professions Social sciences; education Education; medical schools and health professions Social sciences; engineering, computer science and mathematics; health and human ecology; business; education; medical schools and health professions Humanities; social sciences; engineering, computer science and mathematics; health and human ecology; business; education; medical schools and health professions Social sciences Social sciences; visual and performing arts; medical schools and health professions Social sciences; physical sciences; education; medical schools and health professions Biological sciences Social sciences; education Social sciences; education Medical schools and health professions Education

Reasonableness of expectations as a teacher Reasonableness of expectations as an adviser Way you spend your time as a faculty member

Number of hours you work as a faculty member

Quality of facilities Access to teaching assistants, research assistants Clerical/administrative services

Clarity of tenure criteria Clarity of tenure standards Clarity of tenure body of evidence Clarity of sense of achieving tenure

Number of courses you teach Degree of influence over which courses you teach Discretion over course content Number of students you teach Upper limit on teaching obligations

Consistent messages about tenure from tenured colleagues Tenure decisions based on performance Upper limit on committee assignments

Social sciences Education

July 12th, 2010

Published by: philosophyandrew

Amount of time conducting research

Humanities; social sciences; physical sciences; biological sciences; engineering, computer science and mathematics; health and human ecology; agriculture, natural resources and environmental sciences; business; education; medical schools and health professions Social sciences; health and human ecology; education; medical schools and health professions Social sciences; health and human ecology Education Social sciences; physical sciences; visual and performing arts; education; medical schools and health professions Social sciences; physical sciences; biological sciences; visual and performing arts; education; medical schools and health professions Social sciences; medical schools and health professions Social sciences; biological sciences; business; medical schools and health professions Social sciences; agriculture,natural resources and environmental sciences; education Humanities; social sciences; biological sciences; visual and performing arts; engineering, computer science and mathematics; health and human ecology; agriculture, natural resources and environmental sciences; business; education; medical schools and health professions

Fairness of immediate supervisors' evaluations Opportunities to collaborate with tenured faculty

Social sciences Social sciences; physical sciences; health and human ecology; medical schools and health professions Social sciences

Value faculty in your department place on your work Amount of professional interaction with tenured colleagues Amount of personal interaction with tenured colleagues Amount of professional interaction with pre-tenure faculty How well you fit Institutional collegiality Department as a place to work Would again work at this institution Overall rating of institution

Expectations for finding external funding

Social sciences; physical sciences; medical schools and health professions Physical sciences

Influence over the focus of research Research services Institution makes having children and tenure track compatible

Agriculture, natural resources and environmental sciences Social sciences; business Social sciences Social sciences Social sciences Social sciences

Institution makes raising children and tenure track compatible

Colleagues make having children and tenure track compatible Colleagues make raising children and tenure track compatible Colleagues are respectful of efforts to balance work and home

Statistically Significant Gaps in Job Satisfaction, With Women Happier Category Travel funds Paid/unpaid research leave "Stop the clock" tenure policies Disciplines Engineering, computer science and mathematics Engineering, computer science and mathematics Humanities; social sciences; engineering, computer science and mathematics; agriculture, natural resources and environmental sciences Engineering, computer science and mathematics Visual and performing arts

Ability to balance between professional and personal time

Paid/unpaid personal leave Tuition waivers

The obvious question from the data: Why do social sciences professors have larger gaps by gender in job satisfaction than do other disciplines? Kiernan Mathews, director of COACHE, noted that the surveys used didn't ask the assistant professors why they ranked various policies or environments as they did, so there is no clear indication of why the social sciences differ as they do. He

July 12th, 2010

Published by: philosophyandrew

noted, however, that when he briefed some provosts and deans about the findings, those who were in the social sciences were "not surprised." The key finding, he said, is that "critical mass isn't going to be the silver bullet" in female job satisfaction. "The job of our institutions doesn't stop with recruitment," he said. Trower said she hoped that research universities would use the data as a starting point for discussions, discipline by discipline, to see where there are gender differences in job satisfaction (or lower satisfaction overall than is desirable). "This study is set up to start conversations with the faculty," she said. Several women in the social sciences who are involved in disciplinary efforts to promote equity said that the findings made sense to them. Rosanna Hertz, the Classes of 1919-50 Professor of Sociology and Women's Studies at Wellesley College, is a member of the Council of the American Sociological Association and is that board's liaison to the association's Committee on the Status of Women in Sociology. As a senior faculty member, she said she has noted frustration among junior faculty about the tenure process. "Many say that they don't understand the tenure criteria," she said. "They ask 'Do I need a book? How many articles do I need?' They want to quantify it in a way that's not always quantifiable." Hertz said that she thinks the problem is exacerbated -perhaps especially for women -- by the way online connectivity enables people to work remotely in the social sciences. She noted that in many of the physical and biological sciences, there is regular contact, in person, in a lab. "In the social sciences, people for the most part toil away on their own, and there is more of a sense of isolation," she said. "If I go to any of the science buildings on campus, there are people there 24/7, but sometimes in the social sciences it can be a ghost town. The days of open office doors and people congregating are gone," she said. For women who are starting their careers, and want mentors, that means it can be more difficult to chart a path. Barbara M. Fraumeni, chair of the American Economic Association's Committee on the Status of Women in the Economics Profession and chair of the Ph.D. program in public policy at the University of Southern Maine, said that her committee regularly documents the pipeline issues in the field. The latest report on doctoral granting institutions -- consistent with recent years -- notes that far larger shares of those earning doctorates are women than are associate professors and that the associate share is far larger than the full professor share. Fraumeni said that women have been earning doctorates in the field for long enough that the lack of female full professors is something that needs an explanation. "In economics, I would be surprised if women weren't less satisfied than men," she said. (She also noted that, within the social sciences, economics has more of a gender gap in total numbers than do other fields.) Fraumeni said she regularly hears from frustrated female economists who feel that they are passed over for promotions in favor of men. She said she just heard from someone (not at her campus) who described how two men with lesser

qualifications were promoted, and that the chair talked about these men as 'being like sons" to him. Stephanie Seguino, a professor of economics at the University of Vermont who is president-elect of the International Association for Feminist Economics, said that she also wasn't surprised by the COACHE findings. She said that, in economics, research agendas may play a role. "The mainstream of economics is dominated by neoclassical economists who argue that markets are the best allocators of resources and are efficient," she said. "Many women do research on gender and inequality issues and they find that their work is marginalized." As a result, Seguino said that she sees many talented female economists shifting to gender studies or other departments. "Very talented women economists have difficulty getting tenure if their research is in the area of gender," she said. 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 ...

Harvard vs. Steve Jobs
Source: July 12th, 2010

I've never doubted there was a connection between certain professors, their corporate connections, and how much press they get. But I've never gone as far in my allegations as Emily Brill in this piece on Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet & Society. "What most readers don't know," she writes, "is that the Berkman Center and many of its leading professors have financial and personal ties to Google and other tech companies-ties that are not disclosed when these academics speak or publish." The connections have nothing to do with what they write, these gurus may reply - but don't bother trying getting a Microsoft sponsorship or Google support if you're not writing highly convenient articles, because you know and I know it's not going to happen. Emily Brill, The Daily Beast, July 9, 2010 [Tags: Apple Inc. , Books , Google , Academia , Microsoft ] [ Link ] [ Comment ]


July 12th, 2010

Published by: philosophyandrew

Why Was Investment Firm Going After For-Profit Colleges?
Source: why_was_investment_firm_going_after_for_profit_colleges July 12th, 2010

Bogart. You will do it: not today, not tomorrow, but soon — and for the rest of your life. At base the iPad is an anything box that replaces a seemingly endless plethora of other things you already own: It's a TV, a radio, an MP3 player, a compass, a flashlight, a level, a deck of cards, a calculator, a photo album, an alarm clock, a Bible, the Talmud (yes, the Talmud has been ported to the iPad)... the list goes on and on. The crucial question for academics is: What in our current arsenal will the iPad replace? After using the device, the answer surprised me: the iPad makes a lousy computer replacement, but it does a great job of replacing paper. Let me begin by getting one thing straight: When it comes to weaning professors off of traditional computers, the iPad fails. It is simply not a good device for people who do serious productive work, whether that be reading, writing, or working with multimedia. The iPad’s on-screen keyboard simply cannot hold a candle to an actual keyboard, even for academics who are veteran texters well-versed in the use of autocomplete functions. You could get a keyboard for the iPad… but then you’d be using a netbook. Apple deserves credit for making the thing as usable as it is, but it is still not quite there. You can browse on it, but you can’t quickly and effectively search databases. You can read e-mail messages, but it takes a tad too long to write them. The screen is much more generously sized than a cell phone… but such a comparison simply damns the iPad with faint praise. Over time the iPad may get more usable as the software improves, but its size will not. And so until the human visual field shrinks and our fingers no longer require tactile feedback, we academics will be sticking to our keyboards and screens. Where the iPad does shine is as a paper replacement. The iPad is the long, long awaited portable PDF reader that we have hoped for. Finally, we have a device that preserves formatting and displays images, charts, and diagrams. After decades of squinting at minuscule columns of photocopied type we can now zoom in on the articles we are reading and perfectly adjust the text to the width of the screen. You can even highlight and annotate documents and then send the annotations back as notes to your computer. True, some people do not prefer a backlit screen, but it’s great for reading at night, and despite some early evidence to the contrary, LED screens don’t cause eyestrain any more than eInk. The device is slightly heavier than the Kindle and Nook, but it is still ultra, ultra portable and ultra usable. It makes you read more and saves paper — which is clearly a good thing. Because of the iPad I’m finally untethering myself from paper files. In fact these days I’d rather buy an eBook and export the annotations to my notebook program than add another underlined book to my library — an amazing turnaround for someone who once ranted on this very website about his passion for paper. The reason the iPad is such a great paper replacement is Apple’s app store. Devices like the Kindle sell you content from a single source and allow you to read it in a single way. The iPad, on the other hand, allows third-party developers to create (and sell) different "apps," or programs, that live on

For-profit colleges were embarrassed recently by reports about some institutions recruiting students in homeless shelters, attracting students with little chance of finishing a program once they had borrowed money and paid the colleges. ProPublica reported that some of the reporting on these incidents was pushed by an investment firm, which may have encouraged homeless shelter directors to blow the whistle on the practice. According to the article, the motive may be that some investors have "sold short" on for-profit education stocks, suggesting that they would gain if the companies' stock value dropped.

Matters of the Heart
Source: July 12th, 2010

I once thought of having a conference booth for OLDaily. That was back before my NRC days, when employment was uncertain and I thought I'd have to survive on my speaking and writing. And after I saw Farhad Saba's booth I thought, "I could do that." I already knew, from my days at MuniMall , that booths, especially in more traditional communities, were one of the best ways to drive traffic. Maybe a bit less so now, but I certainly wouldn't blame Sheryl Nussbaum Beach for trying. As she says, "having a booth is actually a very positive thing for a company whose premise is building community, connections." Sheryl Nussbaum Beach, Powerful Learning Practice, July 9, 2010 [Tags: none] [ Link ] [ Comment ]

The iPad for Academics
Source: July 12th, 2010

Teachers and students have always been an important market for Apple — a fact made clear by the tremendous amount of spit and polish that went into the new education website the company recently unveiled. But honestly: What do Apple’s slickly produced promo videos of adorable multicultural elementary schoolers have to do with us? And just how relevant is their newly-released iPad for what we do? Do academics really need to shell out five hundred bucks for what is essentially a big iPod touch? After having used an iPad shortly since its release I can safely say that the device — or another one like it — deserves to become an important part of the academic’s arsenal of gadgets. Choosing to plop down the money for an iPad is like Ingrid Bergman’s regret over leaving Casablanca with Humphrey

July 12th, 2010

Published by: philosophyandrew

your iPad. This means developers can build better and better apps for reading PDFs, and we can use them without having to buy a new device. Now, it is currently early days for the iPad and the software is still developing: I have to get my PDFs onto my iPad with one program, and open and read them with another. But clearly things will improve. The makers of the überbibliography program Sente are already working on an iPad app, and soon they and others will make the device even more useful. The only thing you’ll need that can’t be downloaded to the iPad to help you read documents is a stylus — that you’ll have to buy yourself, and trust me, it is actually quite useful, even on a "magically" touchable device like an iPad. That said, the revolutionary thing about the iPad is not software for reading content, but for finding (and buying) it. The iPad represents the genuine retailization of academic content. Let me explain: Currently folks like Elsevier act as content wholesalers, selling greats bucketfuls of the stuff to libraries, who then make it available to students and professors. As journals have slowly transitioned away from paper, they have pursued business models of the "purchase this enormous bundle of journals you don’t want or else our Death Star will destroy another planet of your Rebel Alliance" variety. Individual articles are prohibitively expensive, and academics must fight through a tangled, messy mass of proxy sign-ins and authentication web pages while their IT guys make embarrassing, eye-averting administrative decisions to not think too much about the copyright of what is being posted on class Web sites. Amazon and others have led the way in producing apps that allow you to read content across different devices: once you purchase an ebook or from Amazon you can read it on a Kindle, an iPad, a Mac, or a PC. This in turn raises the question: What would happen if journals went straight to consumers and sold articles like they were mp3s? What if you could log on to your ScienceDirect or JSTOR app and get a complete browsable list of your favorite journal articles, available for purchase for, say, 25 cents each? Academics are ready for this development. We’ve spent years suffering from Amazon’s fiendish "get drunk and use our oneclick purchase feature" to buy books online, and we often download tons of PDFs to make us feel productive. Apps with alerting and micropayment systems could provide for massive distribution that would push new issues of journal to your digital reading device. As such they offer a world where everyone can read exactly the articles they want. Individuals, not institutions, could purchase content — exactly the content they’re like, regardless of whether their library subscribes to it or not. In such a system publishers might object that piracy would be a concern, but honestly: If you’re selling content to universities that license it to tens of thousands of students living in highly-networked dorm rooms, is an app store really going to make the problem worse? There are plenty of outlandish scenarios to imagine: professors who create specialized current content lists or anthologies of classic or cutting-edge articles, essentially filtering wholesale content and retailing it to increase their academic prestige (or even a chance to dip their beaks). Classrooms where student

readers are easy to assemble and cheap — something textbook companies have tried unsuccessfully to do for some time. Librarians free to give up their increasingly restrictive role as purchasing agents and get back to old (and new!) roles of developing collections and enriching their institutions. A key feature of the retailization of scholarly content is that it be reasonably free of digital rights management -- and here academic publishing should learn from the music industry’s failed attempts to sell copy-protected music. The more open and reusable academic content is, the more reasons people will have to buy it. The great thing about PDFs is that, like MP3s, they are not copy-protected. While some, like the Google book settlement, have sought to meter content down to the word in the name of "choice," such a move will ultimately prove equally stifling. Neither locking down our ability to move texts around nor micrometering them to death are good outcomes for the future of scholarly communication. As an anything box, the iPad has the potential to replace a whole variety of devices that we use in our research, from voice recorders to GPS units to tuning forks. To be honest, however, I am not sure just how many niches there are here for Apple to fill. The iPad is an expensive device to take to the field, and a lot of times it just cheaper and easier to buy a tuning fork. And in addition, the app store lacks the super-deep selection of specialized programs that are currently available for normal computers. I'm sure there are certain cases where an iPad might make a great mobile device: photographers who want to view, edit, and upload their photos on the fly, for instance. Overall, however, by splitting the difference between dedicated devices and genuine computers, the iPad doesn’t show a lot of promise as a mobile platform for research and teaching. Of course if everyone is always carrying around an iPad already then they might start replacing voice recorders. It's hard to tell. My bet is that tuning forks and compasses are not going away. Finally, I’ve been talking about how the iPad helps academics do academe better — but does it offer the ability to do academics differently? Is this device truly "magical" in a way that will radically innovate academe? While I can imagine some innovative pedagogic uses of the device, what academics do is still narrowly defined — and tied to institutional, political, and economic imperatives. Some imagined the Internet would cause us to rethink what it meant for a text to be coherent — and it has, to a certain extent. But really it has just reinforced our chunky, discrete notions of texts by making it easier to share PDFs and .docs. The academy might be too obdurate to be easily transformable. At heart, an anything box like the iPad might not be such a dramatic agent for change anyway. The iPad is a chameleon, able to assume the form of other things but lacking (so far) its own unique identity. You can introduce Twitter into the classroom, but Twitter is the innovative factor here, not the iPad. It may be that someone will write the killer app for the iPad that will mutate our activities in unimaginable ways. But for now those ways remain…. unimaginable. Indeed, it may be that the iPad is just the harbinger of some future tablet device that is yet to come. That future device might not be from Apple, but it will owe a lot to

July 12th, 2010

Published by: philosophyandrew

the iPad. Ultimately, academics need a world full of devices they can pour information in and out of. The more open and interoperable our new ecology of applications, devices, and content providers are, the more our learning will enrich human life — whether the people selling us our readers, software, and content are Apple, Amazon, or someone else entirely. This position oversees a number of curriculum designers who produce online course content and assist faculty in instruction and students in course ... Keiser University is a regionally accredited, private, career university that provides educational programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels ... Job Requirements Master's degree in instructional technology, instructional design, or education with a minimum of two years work experience in an ...

$235 million bond in 2004. Additionally, the district survey reported that 70 percent of the participants “would oppose an increase to property taxes unless the revenue is used only for critically needed projects that support important academic objectives.” There is no doubt in the mind of some district officials these project identified for bond money are “critically needed.” District staff reports note that one of the main classroom buildings on the campus of West Valley College, originally built in 1968, is “unsafe,” “inefficient in energy consumption” and “structurally unsound.” The learning resource center there, originally built in 1972, also “has over a dozen leaks in the ceiling which have damaged books and have cause mold to grow in the stacks." At Mission College, there is also a threeyear-old, board-approved plan to replace the main academic building that has yet to be enacted.

Seriously? You Call This Flash Bashing Journalism??
Source: July 12th, 2010

Yet more "brand-mongering, SEO-sucking, sensational sillines" from the Chronicle. Never one to miss an opportunity to run shrieking in fear from technology, the Chronicle posted this fear-piece warning of the 'dangers' of Flash. There are no such dangers, except in the minds of the article's author and the technophobic editors. Ellen Wagner, eLearning Roadtrip, July 9, 2010 [Tags: none] [ Link ] [ Comment ]

John Hendrickson, district chancellor, acknowledged that he would rather have the funds now than later. Still, he does not second-guess the trustees’ decision – saying that they are in a better position than him to judge the electoral climate – and agrees with their determination that it will be better to try again for a bond referendum in 2012. “We would be best serving our students by telling those bonds to produce revenue ASAP,” Hendrickson said. “But we will continue to fund major maintenance needs in order to carry us through until those bond monies become available. The board members are concerned about not adding any tax pressure on the local economy right now.” No matter what the economy looks like in two years, Hendrickson remains confident locals will support a bond referendum. If anything, he thinks his college’s lack of an annual tax levy for operational needs – only one of the 72 districts in California levy a local property tax – makes voters in his district more likely to support the occasional bond measure. “The voting public can more easily put their tax dollars into facilities and equipment than wages,” Hendrickson argued. “We always must be frugal and efficient with tax dollars that are used so that the public has faith that you’ve been smart with their money.”

Deciding Not to Ask
Source: July 12th, 2010

Amid fears of a possible “double-dip” recession and simmering anti-tax sentiment, community colleges with pressing facilities needs are deciding they cannot risk a defeat in a bond vote – and so are not going before voters on this November’s ballot to ask for the funds to properly address them. For example, after months of testing the electoral waters, the Board of Trustees of the West Valley-Mission Community College District, located in California’s Silicon Valley, recently voted down a plan to put a referendum on the November ballot for a bond issue that could have been as large as $400 million. The trustees wholeheartedly agreed that the money was desperately needed to upgrade and replace aging buildings. But, as one trustee put it at the June meeting, “I don’t think the timing could be any worse.” The trustees’ decision comes in spite of the results of a recent district-wide survey of voters that revealed support for a $400 million bond, and slightly more support for a $200 million bond -- in both cases, above the 55 percent supermajority required to pass bond referendums in California. This local support comes on the heels of a successful campaign for a


July 12th, 2010

Published by: philosophyandrew

West Valley-Mission is hardly alone in failing to get a bond on this November’s ballot. It is just one of the few districts where the debate to discuss the possibility made it to the public sphere. Scott Lay, president of the Community College League of California, mused that some districts in his state ditched the idea long before there could have been formal discussion about it. For example, he noted that when West Valley-Mission officials asked around if any of their colleagues were strongly considering a bond, so that they could provide guidance to their own board months ago, there were no responses. Typically in a state as large as California, several districts have bond campaigns in the works before any election. “When you’re cutting back on faculty and staff – even though there are separate pots of funds – it’s a hard message to say, 'Let's build some new buildings,' ” said Lay, adding that such discussion nipped talk of a statewide community college facilities bond in the bud months ago. Economics difficulties of California aside, a poor overall economy does not necessarily mean that community college bond passage is impossible all over the country. J. Noah Brown, president of the Association of Community College Trustees, said he thinks voters are typically “pretty supportive of and sympathetic to supporting education and community college,” arguing that such pleas for funds are generally less divisive by political ideology than other electoral issues. “I think it really comes down to how well the board and president understand where the community is on something,” Brown said. “In most instances, boards or presidents won’t want to move forward with a referendum unless it has a good chance of passing.” Duties and Responsibilities Develop, implement and maintain a power station job skills training program that is firmly based on the tasks and high ... Position Summary: In our Butler Wilson Dining facility the selected candidate will perform a variety of tasks relative to dining access and customer ...

The combination of these various realizations can leave dedicated summer writers feeling frustrated and the procrastinators (who haven’t yet started their writing) hesitant to begin. I want to encourage you to keep observing and working with your resistance to writing this summer. Last week, I described surface-level resistance: when you know you should write, but you’re just not putting any energy into doing it. This week, I want to start discussing the deeper levels of resistance that get triggered by the physical act of writing. The broad array of behavioral tips and tricks I’ve described in previous columns will get most people to the computer, but actually writing is a different ballgame. In fact, for many academic writers, sitting down each day to write is tremendously anxiety-provoking. So much so that our inner bodyguard springs up to protect us in the form of procrastination, avoidance, and/or denial. I have worked with thousands of academics, and the most common demons that underlie resistance to writing are: 1) unrealistically high expectations, 2) disempowerment, 3) a hyperactive inner critic, 4) unclear goals, and/or 5) a fear of success (or failure). I’m going to exorcise each of these demons one by one this summer in a way that encourages conscious reflection on each one. I’m also going to suggest some concrete strategies that I’ve seen writers use effectively to release the anxiety-producing elements and respond in a way that reduces resistance so you can move forward in your writing. Examining Your Expectations High expectations are tricky. On the one hand, if you're reading this column, you've already experienced tremendous educational success and that is likely tied to having high expectations for yourself. On the other hand, when our expectations about who we should be, how we should feel, what we should achieve, and the impact our work should have in the world are too high, unexamined, inappropriate for our current career stage, or generated from a desperate need to prove ourselves, they become a straitjacket. I’ve seen high expectations manifest in a variety of ways among academics, including: Super-Professor: There are so many roles that I must perform perfectly NOW! I want to be a cutting-edge researcher, institutional change agent, transformative teacher, inspiring role model, community activist, and public intellectual all at the same time. Regrettably, I’m so busy running around trying to do all of these things simultaneously that I’m not accomplishing much of anything. Instantaneous Superstar: My first book must be a disciplineshifting magnum opus! Unfortunately, I can’t actually get any words on paper because my initial attempts at a first draft feel feeble, small, and incompetent when compared to the brilliant, flawless, and award winning book I imagine producing. Super-Mom/Dad: My standard of parenting is so high that I’m perpetually exhausted (particularly in the summer months). As a result of my perfect parenting standards, I have difficulty carving out time to write during the summer and experience debilitating guilt when taking time for my writing (or myself). Maybe these sound familiar, and I’m sure you could come up with more examples of high expectations run amok. Let’s be clear, I’m not writing this column to judge anyone. Instead,

Lower Your Standards
Source: July 12th, 2010

The middle of the summer has a way of throwing many writers into a panic. Even the most diligent academic writers who have formulated a summer plan, created support and accountability mechanisms, developed a relationship with their bodyguard, and are dedicated to daily writing, can feel the summer slipping away. There’s just something that sets in after the July 4th weekend that makes those long summer months start to look more like weeks. As a result, the first week of July is a time when many of us begin to realize that: 1) academic writing is a very slow process, 2) the brilliant ideas we started the summer with may not be quite as groundbreaking as we imagined, 3) we have grossly underestimated the amount of time our summer projects will take to complete and 4) our summer plans may need some downward revision.

July 12th, 2010

Published by: philosophyandrew

I’m describing these examples because if you suffer from the kind of high expectations that induce writing paralysis, guilt, shame, or feeling not good enough, smart enough, or dedicated enough, then I want you to consider trying one of the strategies described below. At a minimum, they will provide you with ideas about how to identify immobilizing expectations, release the unhealthy components and respond in a way that gets you back to daily writing. Strategy 1: Rethink Your Career as a Book With Many Chapters Take 30 minutes of time to journal about your career from a long-term perspective. In other words, instead of feeling that you have to do everything all at once, imagine that your career is literally a book with many chapters. Each chapter represents a five-year span of time in which one type of activity is front and center. Imagine that there’s one big goal for each chapter (the title) that serves as the guiding force for your professional activities. If you’re on the tenure track, Chapter One is going to be entitled Research and Writing. But the later chapters can focus on becoming a master teacher, working as a public intellectual, engaging in activism for social change, creating organizational change at your particular institution, or whatever is important to you. This type of reflection about your career over the long run often frees early-career academics from a sense of having to do everything now, and instead allows you to imagine your goals as unfolding over the length of your career. Strategy 2: Develop a Metaphor to Understand Your Writing Process Unrealistic expectations for the production of writing often emerge from a lack of awareness of the length, depth, and oscillations of our own writing process. I used to be in a writing group with a political scientist named Michelle Boyd who described writing as birthing. She developed an elaborate metaphor in which each stage of pregnancy (from conception to birth) had a parallel to her writing process. Fully developing this metaphor required an awareness of her own process, the time frames in which her writing occurred, and the desire to understand how her writing unfolds over time. The benefit to developing your own metaphor is that it enables you to release yourself from the idea of producing a perfect first draft (because that’s just not how anyone’s process really works). Instead you learn to understand how you move from a new idea to a complete manuscript so that you can appreciate your ideas when they are in the fragile and unformed early stages, nurture them along through revision, share them regularly with others, and watch them grow into mature and polished manuscripts. Strategy #3: Create a 0 – 100 Percent Reviewer List One of the best ways to keep unrealistically high expectations from paralyzing your writing is to share your work throughout the writing process. At any given time, I understand my own manuscripts as somewhere between 0-25 percent, 25–50 percent, 50-75 percent, or 75-100 percent complete. I keep a corresponding list of reviewers for each stage. For example, when a manuscript is 0-25% complete, I ask a particular group of people (my husband, my writing group, and my long-standing graduate school friends) to read it and provide quick feedback about the central idea. If a manuscript is

75-100 percent complete, then I send it to a different group of readers (people who are experts in my subfield) for more comprehensive feedback. The key is to avoid holding onto manuscripts until they are almost complete before you request feedback. Waiting until something is “perfect” only heightens anxiety and encourages over-investment, over-attachment and holding onto manuscripts too long. Instead, you want to continually share your work with trusted readers and ask for feedback that is appropriate to the stage it is in. Get comfortable saying things like: "Can you read this in the next week? It's at 25 percent and I just want to know what you think about the idea." Doing so will help you to hold expectations that accurately correspond to your manuscript’s stage of development. Strategy #4: Experiment With Lowering Your Expectations One of the homework assignments I give my Faculty Success Program participants is to lower one of their standards every day for a week. The only rule is that they can’t lower their standards in the areas of research, writing, or personal care. But everything else is fair game: summer course preparation, household cleanliness, e-mail responsiveness, etc…, It’s amazing what happens when high achievers try lowering their standards each day. If you regularly operate with uniformly high standards across every area of your life, then lowering your standards and learning how to make conscious decisions about when and where to invest your best time and energy can feel positively liberating! Most of the time nobody even notices and you will increase the time you have available for the things that really matter. Weekly Challenge This week I challenge you to: • Write every day for 30-60 minutes. • If you find yourself procrastinating or avoiding your writing, patiently ask yourself: What’s going on? What are my expectations? And what am I afraid of? • If your resistance to writing is driven by unrealistically high standards, try journaling about your career as a book with many chapters, or developing a metaphor for your writing. • Expand your sense of the writing process to include ongoing feedback and conversation with others by creating a 0-100% reviewer list. • Try adjusting how you approach your first drafts from perfectionist judgment to compassion by treating your initial writing with the same loving gentleness you would give to a baby, a puppy, a seedling, or whatever is small and fragile but will grow into something big and strong. • Lower one standard each day this week (other than writing and self care) and see what happens. • Try reading Peg Boyle’s excellent series on Procrastination and Perfectionism in order to better understand these issues. • If you’re completely lost and have no idea what you’re doing, read Wendy Belcher’s Writing Your Journal Article in 12 Weeks: A Guide to Academic Publishing

July 12th, 2010

Published by: philosophyandrew

Success – it will provide you with a framework, process, and timeline for moving from idea to complete draft. I hope this week brings you new insights on how your resistance works, the freedom that comes from lowering your standards to appropriate and achievable levels, and forward movement on your summer writing project. Peace and Productivity, Kerry Ann Rockquemore Working Title: Curator Posting Information: The Mountain Heritage Center of Western Carolina University a growing regional museum interprets the ... Valdosta State University's English Department continues to take applications for an Assistant Professor of English with a specilization in African ... Position Summary: The Department of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University in conjunction with the Program in Judaic Studies invites ...

Possible Gift to SUNY Linked to Tuition Legislation
Source: possible_gift_to_suny_linked_to_tuition_legislation July 12th, 2010

Dispute Over Frederick Barthelme's Departure at Southern Miss.
Source: dispute_over_frederick_barthelme_s_departure_at_southern_miss July 12th, 2010

A possible gift to the State University of New York at Stony Brook is yet another factor in the ongoing debate over giving SUNY and the City University of New York new flexibility on tuition rates and more control over the use of funds raised with tuition, The New York Times reported. Gov. David Paterson, with strong backing from the university systems, is pushing the legislation, which is facing legislative skepticism. Now word is circulating that James Simons, a former mathematics professor at Stony Brook and already a major donor, may give as much as $150 million, but only if the tuition bill passes, the Times reported. Simons agrees with the governor that more control over tuition policy is essential for the state's universities to improve. Some legislators are not happy about the linkage between the gift and the bill. Deborah J. Glick, an assemblywoman who opposes the legislation, told the Times: “I don’t think it’s out of bounds for someone to say, ‘I want to make a really strong commitment.' But we’re not supposed to be considering legislation on the basis of what could be viewed as some quid pro quo.”

Removing an Honor
Source: July 12th, 2010

Frederick Barthelme, the noted writer, has brought considerable acclaim to the creative writing program he directs at the University of Southern Mississippi. But The Hattiesburg American reported that he's on his way out, ahead of his planned retirement a few years down the road. Barthelme said he is being pushed out prematurely, but university officials said that -- facing cuts in funds -- they have been forced to set priorities for other programs, and not to continue "phased retirements" like the one Barthelme wanted.

Dispute Over Adjunct's E-mail on Gay People
Source: dispute_over_adjunct_s_e_mail_on_gay_people July 12th, 2010

Thomas D. Russell, a professor of law at the University of Denver, said that his friends have varying reactions to the impact of a scholarly paper he published in March. His friends in public relations can't believe it took so long for the subject of the paper to respond to an image disaster. His historian friends, however, are amazed by the speed with which history research is having as concrete a result -- especially since this involves a decision in higher education, where change comes slowly. Russell's paper -- published on the Social Science Research Network -- drew attention to William Stewart Simkins (1842-1929), for whom a dormitory at the University of Texas at Austin was named in the 1950s. Simkins was a longtime law professor at Texas, but before that, he and his brother helped organize the Florida branch of the Ku Klux Klan -an organization he defended throughout his life, including while serving as a law professor. Russell's paper led to public discussion in Austin of the appropriateness of naming a university building for a Klan leader. On Friday, William Powers Jr., president of the University of Texas at Austin, announced that he will ask the university system's Board of Regents this month to change the name. Colleges and universities periodically debate whether to rename buildings or programs that honor those who are subsequently indicted or linked to scandals or who have failed to make their pledged gifts. But debates over honors for the long-dead are complicated. Many argue that the Rhodes Scholarships represent

An adjunct professor who has taught courses on Roman Catholicism at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is not being asked to teach again, following a dispute over email messages he sent students about homosexuality, The News-Gazette reported. The instructor says that the loss of his position is a violation of academic freedom, while the university states that he is simply not having his contract renewed and that adjuncts do not have an expectation of such renewals. Part of the dispute concerns whether the adjunct was simply explaining Catholic teachings or advocating them in ways that would hurt some students. The newspaper's Web site includes the e-mail that set off the complaints about the adjunct, as well as other documents related to the dispute.

July 12th, 2010

Published by: philosophyandrew

something quite different from the colonialist, racist ideas of Cecil Rhodes, the man for whom they are named. Russell's research may lead, however, to uncomfortable questions at other institutions. He doesn't argue for renaming every building or taking down every statue of people who fought for ideas now considered to be wrong. But he wants the history behind these honors out in the open, discussed and debated. And he thinks certain kinds of associations -- specifically those with Klan leaders who never changed their views -- don't deserve places of honor at colleges and universities. The move at Texas comes at a time that a number of universities have recently examined the ties of their institutions or their founders to slavery. And the issue is expected to gain more attention when scholars from around the country, including Russell, convene at Emory University in February for a conference called "Slavery and the University: Histories and Legacies." Organizers hope that they will encourage closer study of colleges and universities everywhere -- many of which haven't told their own histories and a number of which still have buildings honoring Klan leaders. "The openness or lack of openness around these issues at universities sends messages to people about what issues are legitimate and deserve attention," said Leslie M. Harris, associate professor of history at Emory University and one of the conference organizers. "In terms of names of buildings, who we honor matters." Russell taught at UT-Austin for a decade before a recent move to Denver, and he was at Texas during intense debates over affirmative action in admissions -- which a federal appeals court banned until a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in another case made clear that public colleges could consider race in admissions. Russell's research mixes history, law and issues of race. After the Hopwood decision (which barred affirmative action), Russell said he noted the pressure on minority students and found himself thinking about a portrait of Simkins in the law school. "For the most part, people had no idea who he was, but some faculty knew exactly who he was," said Russell. Part of what led him to study Simkins was that he is commonly described in Texas histories as "colorful" or "eccentric," or as a devoted professor -- all true, but leaving out the key detail of his having been a Klan leader in the reconstruction era -- a time when the Klan was particularly violent (even by the organization's later history). "This is about someone who engaged in what we today call terrorism," Russell said. And that's why he distinguishes between Klan buildings and the statues of Confederate leaders in Austin (and throughout the South). Many soldiers, he said, "served honorably, in the Confederate and Union armies," feeling that they were doing their duties. The Klan was something altogether different. Russell's paper focuses in the 1950s -- long after Simkins' death, but at the time when the University of Texas was facing pressure to admit black students. The Texas law school was the subject of a key 1950 Supreme Court ruling, Sweatt v. Painter that ordered the university to admit a black law student, finding that the "separate but equal" offerings of the state for a legal education were not close to equal. While the decision didn't go as far as Brown v. Board of Education in rejecting

segregation in its entirety, the decision was a key step toward desegregation. Russell's paper looks at the way the university altered admissions standards in the 1950s to create new ways to exclude black students at a time when it couldn't rely solely on de jure segregation to do so. It was in this era, Russell's paper notes, that the university decided to honor Simkins: "The memory and history of Professor Simkins supported the university’s resistance to integration." In the interview, he said that he thinks the discussion at Texas shows that "universities ought to engage professional historians" to study their pasts, and not just rely on generally sympathetic depictions. "The history of a university should not be left to the alumni association." While not saying that all buildings named for those with Klan ties should be renamed, Russell said that places that have such buildings "should certainly think hard about it" and not assume that decisions made long ago can't be revisited. "Whom we choose to honor is an important thing for society and important for universities," he said. "Every day that anybody's name is on a university building is a decision that day by the university to honor that person." Some universities with such buildings in the past have renamed them. The University of Oklahoma's chemistry building was once named for a longtime faculty member who was a Klan member, but after protests in the 1980s, the name was removed. Some universities have tried to change names and been blocked. Vanderbilt University wanted to remove the word "Confederate" from the facade of "Confederate Memorial Hall," but a Tennessee appeals court blocked the move, saying that the university had committed to the name when it accepted a gift from the United Daughters of the Confederacy. (The university, after losing in court, said it would simply stop using the word "Confederate" in its own publications and maps.) Other universities have had periodic protests and kept names linked to the Klan. Saunders Hall at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is named for William L. Saunders, who was a Klan organizer in North Carolina (and also served as secretary of state in North Carolina and as a university trustee). In protests in 2001, black students called for the university to change the name of the building. At Middle Tennessee State University, Forrest Hall -- where the Reserve Officer Training Corps programs take place -- is named for Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Confederate military leader who was a Klan leader after the Civil War ended. In 2006 and 2007, there was a push by some students to rename the building. The university declined to do so, and the issue has been quiet since. Facebook groups created at the time show that while some students pushed for a name change, others argued for keeping the name and mocked those who wanted to remove it. The university held several forums and debates at the time. The group Students Against Forrest Hall stated its rationale this way: "The irony of the situation is the very building that symbolizes democracy and trains our future military officers, who will protect our country and freedoms, is the same building that’s named after a racist bigot!!!!" Others, perhaps

July 12th, 2010

Published by: philosophyandrew

not taking the situation that seriously, proposed changing the name to instead honor Stephen Colbert. Others, however, argued and organized petition drives to keep the name. The group Students Against Students Against Forrest Hall gave as its view: "In 4 years it will be out of your life forever. LET IT GO! Are you REALLY that offended by it?? I mean REALLY offended. Were you even offended by it before it became an issue? LET IT GO!" One student posted this on the site: "if they change the name of a building, then whats next? will they have to change our state's name because Tennessee was part of the Confederacy?... I mean every object, idea, person, etc. on the planet is offensive to someone if its put into a bad context." A spokesman for Middle Tennessee State said that the view of the institution was that "we weren't going to rename the hall, because it would be trying to erase history and it's a part of history," but he added that the honor was for Forrest's "military prowess," not his Klan activity. Russell said that the Klan member with the most campus buildings named after him is Bibb Graves, who was governor of Alabama from 1927-31 and 1935–39. He was a Klan member, elected with Klan support. According to one report, there is a building or complex named for Graves at every four-year public college or university in the state -- including historically black Alabama A&M and Alabama State Universities. Graves is also honored outside the state, with a dormitory at Bob Jones University, whose founder was a friend of Graves. Glenn Feldman, a historian at the University of Alabama at Birmingham who has written extensively about Alabama history and the Klan, said that he cannot recall anyone protesting the honors for Graves. Leaving aside issues of race, he said, Graves was "probably the most progressive governor Alabama ever had," Feldman said. Graves was a prominent New Dealer, a close friend of Hugo Black (who became a Supreme Court justice despite his Klan past), and he devoted himself to building the infrastructure of the state, including its public colleges. Governors who paid for buildings at state colleges and universities typically had buildings named for them, Feldman said, and Graves built more than others did. Feldman said that the lack of outrage over honoring a Klan member may relate to just how common Klan membership was among the white political elite in Alabama in the 1920s, when the Klan had about 140,000 admitted members in the state. Feldman said that Graves was in some ways like Robert Byrd, whose recent death drew attention to his Klan membership early in his career. "Graves was probably more liberal than Byrd on everything but race," Feldman said, adding that while he was providing context for the times, he did not mean in any way to excuse Graves for his attitudes about race. Russell, the Denver professor who studied the Texas history, said that he has been asked by many people what he would say about the buildings and other honors -- many of them on campuses -- that Byrd received. His answer is that "Byrd apologized again and again for his early Klan activities," and after a certain point in his career, he voted in favor of civil rights. "Simkins was unrepentant his entire life," he said.

Working Title: Curator Posting Information: The Mountain Heritage Center of Western Carolina University a growing regional museum interprets the ... Summary of Duties: Under the direction of the Department Chair of History & Political Science, the faculty member will teach five courses per semester ... RESPONSIBILITIES: This 12-month position will be responsible for teaching 2 courses per long semester and 1 course in the summer; engaging in high ... Wake Forest University seeks a tenure-track assistant professor of British history for appointment beginning July 2011. Research focus is open, ...

Obama's Missed Deadline on Science
Source: obama_s_missed_deadline_on_science July 12th, 2010

More than a year has passed since President Obama stated his goal for all federal agencies having a new directive on how to promote scientific integrity in decisions, The Huffington Post reported. The pledge was among a series made by the president, who campaigned on a pledge of reversing what many scientists saw as a willingness by the Bush administration to disregard sound scientific advice. John Holdren, director of the White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy, recently posted a notice stating that developing the directives was "more laborious and timeconsuming than expected at the outset."

Governors Get Behind College Completion
Source: July 12th, 2010

President Obama has used his bully pulpit to focus attention on the "college completion" agenda like no one else can. But if the United States is actually going to make meaningful progress on increasing the number of Americans with college credentials, it's going to be up to the states -- whose public institutions enroll roughly four of every five students -- to get the job done. And systemic change in the states will occur only if their chief executives -- governors -- get with the program. That's the underlying message that Gov. Joe Manchin III of West Virginia delivered Sunday in announcing that he would make higher education productivity the focus of his yearlong term as chair of the National Governors Association. (The governors' group lets its incoming chair choose an initiative on which to focus.) In a presentation at the association's annual meeting and a news conference with reporters, Manchin outlined the steps the governors' group will take to encourage its members, and the states they oversee, to try to increase the number of college- and career-ready residents despite what is virtually certain to be a time of continued fiscal austerity. "As states face the worst economic crisis in modern history, we must collaborate to develop common performance

July 12th, 2010

Published by: philosophyandrew

measurements and take concrete steps to increase completion rates within our available resources," he said in unveiling "Complete to Compete." "From transforming first-year coursework to implementing performance funding, it is up to states and institutions to create policies that can improve degree attainment and more efficiently use the dollars invested by states and students." Failure to do so could have significant implications for the country's (and individual states') futures, Manchin said, with recently published data showing that by 2018, there will be far more jobs requiring postsecondary training than trained workers ready to fill them. "I truly believe that for our next generation to go to the next level, and for the country to be a superpower well into next century and beyond, we need to achieve better graduation" of our students, Manchin told reporters. Those who've watched the parade of foundations, higher education groups, and other organizations start their own completion initiatives, backed by the Obama administration's own rhetorical and financial might, might be wondering: Really? This is what the the world really needs -- another one? But governors are uniquely positioned to propel movement in their states, and this year could provide a unique opportunity to generate momentum among state chief executives, given that a potential record number of new governors -- at least 25 -- could take office next January, Manchin and his aides say. "I chose higher education [as the issue to focus on] because almost every governor has a tremendous amount of input over public higher education, in terms of appointing trustees and chancellors" and helping to set budgets, Manchin said. "With that being said, I felt we could drive policy a lot more, and governors would have a lot more input" if they worked more closely together. Under the NGA initiative, they would do so in a few key ways. The first is by agreeing on a set of common definitions and measures that they will commit their states to using to measure their performance both in showing educational progress and in achieving outcomes. The outcome metrics would include degrees and certificates awarded, graduation rates, transfer rates, and time and credits to degree; the progress metrics would include enrollment in remedial education, how students fare after they leave remedial education, success in firstyear college courses, credit accumulation, retention rates, and course completion. While many institutions and states already collect data on many of those measures, the NGA initiative envisions improving on existing information by having states commit to collecting and publishing data for transfer students (as opposed to just first-time, full-time freshmen), by socioeconomic income, and in other ways that they don't now. Manchin said he would exhort all of his colleagues to agree to adopt and begin reporting their performance on the new metrics -- and to commit as much in their State of the State addresses next winter. "Comparable, reliable data are particularly important as states face more limited resources over the long term," the governors' group said in a document describing the proposed

metrics. "Information on the progress and completion of students in higher education allows state leaders to track whether policies were successful and informs future funding decisions. Collecting and reporting data is a necessary first step for states as they seek to improve completion rates and efficiency in higher education" -- especially once those data are disaggregated by income, race and other factors that allow college leaders and policy makers to see how their policies and practices are playing out with specific, and narrower, groups of students. Collecting data only takes you so far, though, by diagnosing the current situation and helping to set goals. The other parts of the NGA completion initiative involve a set of efforts aimed at drawing attention to (and potentially funding, through a grant program) successful practices that certain states have adopted in recent years in areas such as performance-based funding, remedial education, and more efficient ways of teaching lowerlevel courses and offering academic credit, especially for adult and other nontraditional learners. The organization plans to host a national summit next winter in which it will bring together governors, state higher education executive officers, and public university presidents to work on comprehensive, cross-state strategies, hold a "learning institute" for governors' higher education, work force development, and finance aides, and provide grants to states for model programs and policies. Responsibilities The Recruiting Specialist is a member of the Graduate School of Professional Accounting (GSPA) reporting to the Director of Graduate ... Hofstra University Associate Dean of Admission Hofstra University seeks a fulltime Associate Dean of Admission, reporting to the Director of ... The University of Montana-Missoula's Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER) has a unique opportunity for two Research Foresters in the ...

War of Words Over Dana
Source: July 12th, 2010

The accreditor of Dana College wants the world to know that it didn't revoke recognition of the college or order its closure. At the same time, the accreditor is standing by a decision that critics say is tantamount to ordering such a closure. And in an unusual move, the accreditor on Friday issued a public defense of its decision. The debate over a small liberal arts college in Nebraska may be significant for many people who don't have any particular connection to Dana. The decision in question denied a request by Dana to continue its accreditation after a planned purchase by a for-profit entity. The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, the accreditor, applied relatively new rules governing changes in ownership -- rules that require a new owner to be committed and able to maintain the college's original mission. (A new owner can also start from scratch and apply as a new institution, but that process is longer and more rigorous, and

July 12th, 2010

Published by: philosophyandrew

so less attractive to those trying to assume ownership of a college.) While accreditors make unpopular decisions with some regularity, frustrating some of the colleges they regulate, the Dana decision has focused attention on the Higher Learning Commission. Educators who view the purchase of nonprofit colleges by for-profit entities with skepticism -- saying that businesses are engaged in "accreditation shopping" -- praised HLC. But in Nebraska, a barrage of news reports have portrayed HLC as destroying a college, given that immediately after the accreditor's decision, the college announced that the proposed sale was being called off and that the college would close. A television station (incorrectly reporting that HLC had barred the change in ownership, which actually isn't something it controls) ran a story about students "forced to pack up and move on." Newspaper headlines such as "Students Feel Blindsided" focused on the negative impact on students. Letters to the editor largely were consistent with the view of the investors that HLC was unfair in its analysis. For "the Higher Learning Commission to deny accreditation without fully understanding the circumstances of Dana College’s change in ownership is a shame and an embarrassment," read one in The Omaha World-Herald. Amid all this discussion, politicians called on HLC to change its mind -- especially since the investors made clear that they would not buy the college without its continued accreditation assured and Dana officials said that they could not continue to operate without a sale. All of this led HLC to issue a statement late last week defending its handling of the case and trying to clarify points it believes have been misconstrued. Among the points made by the acceditor: • The college was warned that transfer of accreditation wasn't a sure thing. While Dana officials and the investors clearly thought that approval would be forthcoming, the HLC statement says that it warned everyone involved that this might not be the case, and went so far as to require a "teach-out plan" -- a plan for helping students finish their educations when a college shuts down. The college filed such a plan. • The college and the investors both have options they haven't taken. The HLC statement notes that the accreditor didn't revoke accreditation or deny the right to sell the college. The college would be within its legal rights to sell to the investors and to have them apply for new recognition and HLC considers Dana today to be accredited. • The proposal to take over accreditation failed to meet key, specific requirement for approval. Rather than focus on an "extension of the [current] mission" as required, the plan would have added "educational programs that would bring in new populations of students and change the residential liberal arts nature of this institution"; had governance plans that gave inappropriate authority to investors (as opposed to the college's board); lacked enough money to assure success; and put forward

a leadership team that lacked experience in leading residential liberal arts colleges. The investors who were trying to buy Dana continue, however, to dispute the HLC analysis. Raj Kaji, president of the Dana Education Corporation, has stressed in a series of interviews that the plan of the investors was to build up Dana as a liberal arts college, not to add numerous master's and online programs. Kaji has suggested that he believes HLC fears such a shift, and is assuming such a shift will take place, but is being "unfair and unjust" in basing its decisions on an assumption of the investors' plans rather than the plans they submitted. Those plans, he said, did not request any authority to offer programs not already offered at Dana. And he said that the only reference the investors made to possible future online or master's programs came in a supplemental report on future possible plans, requested by HLC, and that even in this report, those were references only to long-term possibilities. He further noted that those expansions would have been subject to future HLC approval, so the college couldn't have just started them, had the transfer of accreditation been approved. Given that Kaji has suggested HLC had no reason to suspect that the investors wanted anything but to continue Dana as a residential liberal arts college, and has suggested reporting on this issue, Inside Higher Ed asked him to provide the petition filed for a transfer of accreditation. He responded by saying that the names of investors are in the documents and that he has pledged to keep those names confidential. Inside Higher Ed said it would be happy to review the entire petition without the names of investors. But Kaji said on Saturday that he still could not provide the petition, and said that was because of references to the current leadership of Dana, and that Dana has not agreed to the release of the document. On some of the other specific issues cited by HLC, Kaji said its governance standards amounted to unfair treatment of forprofit entities. He said that in the governance plan, the Dana Education Corporation would act as the board of the college, and that it in turn would be owned by another for-profit entity, existing solely for the purpose of owning the corporation. Those investors would have had the right to veto any decisions by the board to hire or fire a president, and would also have been able to approve the annual budget of the college. Kaji said it was unfair for HLC to reject this setup, given that many for-profit colleges report to corporate boards and that many public colleges operate with their budgets approved by state legislatures. Further, he said it was unfair for HLC to suggest that the proposed new ownership of Dana lacked familiarity with liberal arts education. He said that several of the current Dana administrators had agreed to stay on, as had faculty members, so the college would have had substantial continuity and would have been led by many people with experience in residential liberal arts education. He said it was true that the new leaders of the corporation didn't have direct experience with liberal arts colleges, but noted that C. Ronald Kimberling would have been provost and chief academic officer. While Kimberling has worked in senior positions in a variety of for-profit colleges in the last decade, Kaji said he had broadly relevant experience, given that he

July 12th, 2010

Published by: philosophyandrew
July 12th, 2010

worked at the University of Southern California and in the Reagan administration's Education Department. While HLC and the investors continue to debate the fairness of what happened, the issues may be moot for Dana and its students. The investors do not plan, Kaji said, to submit another application, and efforts to get the accreditor to change its mind on the last proposal "have ceased." While the Director of Learning Outcomes Assessment has the primary responsibility for implementing the college's outcomes assessment plan, the ... The Executive Assistant Dean will lead the College’s Office of Career Planning and Professional Development, report directly to the Dean, and work ... Duties The Executive Director will assist and report to the Vice Dean of San Francisco in the implementation of all strategic plans and operational ... RESPONSIBILITIES: Reporting to the Associate Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations, the Executive Director of the Alumni Association ... 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. ...

By Joshua Kim July 11, 2010 10:01 pm Technology will be one of the essential factors if we hope to bend the educational cost curve. Like health care, but unlike other consumer goods and services, tuition in the past two-decades has risen much faster than either real wages or inflation. Where in real dollars the costs of products such as computers, cars, durable goods and food have decreased while quality has improved, education costs have risen between 4 and 6 percent each year. The cost of paying for education is increasingly shifted from public to private payers, as states reduce support for public institutions, forcing students to borrow more to pay the tuition bills. How can technology help bend the higher ed cost curve? --Hybrid Classes: We are at the point in the evolution of learning technology platforms that we can create technology enabled courses that both increase class quality while reducing the number of "in-classroom" hours that need to occur. Moving one hour out of every three to an online asynchronous environment using a learning management system (LMS) can dramatically free up classroom space. These free classrooms can accommodate more courses, therefore increasing enrollments. Creating more output (students educated) with equal or less inputs (classroom buildings), while maintaining or improving quality is the definition of an increase in productivity. Learning technology platforms are much less expensive and can be scaled faster and more efficiently than new buildings. The argument that quality suffers with hybrid courses is no longer tenable given the twin developments in pedagogy and technology that define the last decade in higher education. --Non-Traditional Online Courses: By non-traditional, I mean using online courses to serve the existing student population more efficiently. I've long thought that too much time is wasted in a traditional 4 year degree, and that educational technology platforms and online learning could reduce timeto-graduation (and increase retentionl). We could offer online courses to students during the long breaks that they would otherwise not be on campus, such as summers or over longholiday breaks. Why do we stick with the traditional 3 credit course, when we could design mini 1-credit courses that students could string together to get closer to meet graduation requirements? Can we get some course work done online during high school, so that students arrive on campus maybe knowing some of our professors and understanding what college level work is all about. What about adding a few extra online courses in each year so that students can receive a bachelor and masters degree in five years? --Bigger Classes: I know the idea of increasing class size, so that schools can admit more students and therefore increase overall tuition while reducing costs for individuals, will seem unwise. We all like small classes. Nor would I recommend this methodology for every institution, as hybrid classes and the creative use of online courses may be more appropriate for increasing productivity in some settings. But the fact is that we know how to make big classes feel and act like small classes if we can invest the proper inputs into each course. These inputs include a partnership with the faculty member to build in active, authentic and personalized learning

Stanford's Aging Professors
Source: stanford_s_aging_professors July 12th, 2010

An article in The San Jose Mercury News explores the challenges facing Stanford University as more faculty members delay retirement. Officials talk about their great respect for the senior faculty, but fears that the university is unable to bring in enough new talent. Stanford has tried a series of incentives to encourage retirement, including phased retirement. Between 1993 and 2008, the share of the faculty 60 and older increased from 16 to 22 percent, while the share under 45 decreased from 42 to 33 percent.

Male Pioneers at Moore College of Art
Source: male_pioneers_at_moore_college_of_art July 12th, 2010

Philadelphia's Moore College of Art has its first male students, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. For the last 162 years, the college has enrolled only women, and that is still the case for its undergraduate programs, but the college recently started some graduate programs and they will be open to all. So far, two men are enrolled.

Bending the Educational Cost Curve
Source: bending_the_educational_cost_curve

July 12th, 2010

Published by: philosophyandrew

opportunities facilitated by both technology and advanced learning design methods. This is a case where investing upfront dollars in courses yields downstream results of improved quality and higher productivity. I am not saying anything new here, as NCAT has demonstrated time and time again that their methodologies for large-scale course redesign can increase quality while reducing costs. One of the main points that Kamenetz brought home to me in DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education is that tuition trends will not moderate (or decrease) until higher ed becomes more productive. This means educating more students without spending more money. We need our institutions to become less selective, to admit more applicants, while at the same time increasing the quality and relevance of the education that is received. The leadership within our institutions, the presidents and provosts and deans and chairs etc., should be asking the CIOs and the academic technology directors about how we can increase productivity. And people in educational technology leadership positions should be making this our number one priority. We all need to participate and succeed in the bending the educational cost curve. Do you have any success stories you can share of projects you were involved with to utilize technology to increase enrollments while both holding costs steady and increasing quality? If your president or provost came to you tomorrow, what specific steps would you recommend?

Developing relationships with colleagues from around the world helps us to entertain multiple perspectives, to think outside the box, and to create radical global solutions. At University of Venus people raise questions that are not being raised and draw attention to issues that are being ignored. We share best practices for the work we do in higher education and the lives we lead as GenX women. University of Venus is a global space for building community, empowering people to share their voices and inspiring them to make change happen. We launched the University of Venus blog in February 2010. Since the launch, we have had almost 20,0000 visits from readers in over 100 countries. Twenty writers from 10 countries have contributed over 100 posts. We are thrilled to be partnering with the expertise of Inside Higher Ed and to be joining with you in creating a larger conversation about the future of higher education. If you are interested in writing a guest post or being interviewed for the blog, please send us an e-mail. We look forward to meeting you here at University of Venus. Mary Churchill and Meg Palladino Founding Editors, University of Venus

Summer Bonus
Source: confessions_of_a_community_college_dean/summer_bonus July 12th, 2010

Mission of Venus
Source: mission_of_venus July 12th, 2010

By Dean Dad July 11, 2010 9:10 pm Put down the flamethrowers, I’m not talking about money. In the summer, with fewer people on campus and some of the committees that usually fill my calendar on hold until September, I’ve discovered an unexpected bonus: time for wide-ranging, unstructured conversation. I don’t just mean shooting the breeze, either. I mean the kind of discussions in which people have the time and implied permission to go off-agenda and really explore a topic. Last week I had a long and unexpectedly meandering conversation with a colleague in which we gradually realized that the college was missing something pretty fundamental, and not all that hard to implement. It wasn’t part of the agenda for the original meeting; I don’t think I’d heard it discussed before at all. But since we both had time to actually follow ideas where they led, we were able to move from the planned topic to an unplanned topic to an actual (potential) solution. We had time to explore, and complete, a thought. That’s hard to do during the regular semesters. Then, meetings are six to a day, and they need to be pretty tightly planned. Just getting all the relevant people together in a room takes planning; with time at a premium, we have to get to the issue quickly. That’s not to say that the meetings are entirely free of tangents -- we are academics, after all -- but the tangents are more a form of social glue (or comic relief) than real exploration. With the faculty away and with staff and administrators staggering vacations, though, the summer is a different

By Mary Churchill and Meg Palladino July 11, 2010 9:15 pm University of Venus: a place for inspiration, change, and solutions. There is a crisis in higher education and we see this crisis as an opportunity for change. We created University of Venus because we are passionate about education and we want change: change for students, for faculty and teachers and for staff and administration. Around the world, many recent PhDs encounter a market flooded with overqualified applicants and junior faculty budget lines that are quickly disappearing. The focus at universities is on rankings and revenue. The debates over students define them as customers or clients rather than as partners or learners. Tuition prices in the U.S. continue to skyrocket and private and for-profit institutions are opening up in countries where higher education has had a long history of being tuitionfree and state –funded. Costs are rising as students face the worst economic situation in decades. We believe that the very definition of education is at question. This is a time for change and new ideas. University of Venus is a place to exchange cutting-edge ideas and brainstorm solutions to the problems we see in our lives as faculty, staff, students and administrators. We are using our global networks to forge ahead in rethinking higher education.

July 12th, 2010

Published by: philosophyandrew

animal. I wouldn’t call it slow, but it’s less fast. There’s time to ask the second question, and even the third. Some people try to achieve the same thing with retreats, but in my experience, even the better retreats fall victim to too many people in the room. With that many people competing for floorspace, you still don’t have time for freefloating discussion. The most effective venue for the free-range conversation is two people; three can work if you’re really, really lucky. Go beyond that, and it’s just not the same. I used to think that the best breakthroughs came from individual reflection. But experience, and blogging, have taught me that the best breakthroughs come from unpredictable interaction. Sometimes I don’t know what I think until I say it; I’ve actually surprised myself in conversations. In formal meetings, that doesn’t work, but when there’s time to hash something out one-on-one, the openness can lead to good surprises. I’ll call that my summer bonus. Wise and worldly readers, have you found the same thing? Have you found a setting in which your best breakthroughs happen most often?

University. But for some reason there was a long-term inability and unwillingness to talk through and compromise on what were minor differences. Tenure, for all its positives, is also a constraint. As needs change in different areas and programs, the ability to respond to those changes is sometimes limited by a workforce that brings tremendous strengths to one area but doesn’t have the expertise in another area. Having a structure that includes untenured faculty as well as adjunct faculty helps you maintain needed flexibility. I have had the pleasure over the years of being in a lead role for the establishment of two new schools on the Hofstra campus (the School of Communication and Honors College) as well as numerous programs and other initiatives. In virtually every case, “new” was built on an existing framework and existing constraints. I think the end results were excellent and moved the University forward but the magnitude of change had to be limited by the reality of constraints. Just now, on the Hofstra campus, another new school has been formed. The Hofstra University School of Medicine in partnership with the North Shore/LIJ Health System has received preliminary accreditation and will bring in its first class for the fall 2011 semester. The School began with a broad vision from Hofstra’s President, and that vision was translated into reality by a Dean and his team. This team designed an innovative curriculum that was much more integrated and patient centered and brought in those individuals that fit best with that vision. The end result is a new vision of medical education that would have been virtually impossible to implement at an existing school. Yes, cost is still a constraint (as it is in everything we do) but the magnitude of change and progress at this new school is stunning. The new medical school is an exception; virtually all change is evolutionary. But we should all make a commitment, within the constraints we operate under, to make as much meaningful progress as we can. Glacial for the sake of glacial just has a chilling effect on a college or university campus.

When New Is New
Source: when_new_is_new July 12th, 2010

By Herman Berliner July 11, 2010 8:38 pm All of us are used to reading ads and seeing commercials for products and services that are characterized as “brand new” or “totally new.” And the reality often is that these products and services aren’t really new but they aren’t really “old” either. What they are, and there isn’t anything wrong with this, reflects evolutionary changes. We know change is a continuum and that over time these evolutionary changes can be an effective vehicle for significant change and enhancement. Evolutionary change often reflects constraints that make complete or total change (to something totally new) not possible. On the product level, even if a car looks like it is totally new, the high cost of product development may dictate that the engine, the transmission, and much of what you don’t see is a carryover. Or at times, much of what you see is unchanged or slightly changed but sometimes with (and sometimes without) new mechanicals; nevertheless, the car is promoted as “the all new” 2010 or 2011. New is clearly relative. In education, new is also grounded in constraints. Programs and majors (and organization frameworks) change and evolve but often the pace is measured and sometimes it is glacial. A measured pace makes sense to me. Collegiality is best served by a full airing of the issues. Glacial, though a comforting thought when the temperature outside is approaching 90, is not a productive approach for change. A number of years ago, when a unit was unable after years of trying to pass by-laws, I involved the Provost’s office in continuous negotiations with all the different factions until the by-laws (and a framework for shared governance) were a reality. Do we really need the Provost’s Office involved? Certainly all the faculty members involved were intelligent and had a commitment to the

Life Without a Real Job
Source: life_without_a_real_job July 12th, 2010

By Susan O'Doherty July 11, 2010 6:57 pm For most of my working life — including school vacations in high school and college — I have worked at full-time, onsite jobs. This was what my father did, and my mother when she returned to work after my younger brother entered high school, and it’s how I had always defined "working." I took time off to be with my son when he was small, but that was understood to be temporary, and it was. Several years ago, though, I lost the job where I had intended to spend the rest of my working life, and a combination of medical and family circumstances made it inadvisable to plunge right into another demanding position. I also got a book contract, which occupied much of my time for the better part of a year without bringing in significant income. Fortunately, my husband was working, and I kept up my small private practice,

July 12th, 2010

Published by: philosophyandrew

so we were able to get by, though it was clear that we couldn’t coast forever, with college looming for my son. When I’d recovered from the illness and family crises, I knew it was time to return to the workforce, but I found the idea of regular, full-time employment stultifying. It was as if I’d taken off my shoes after a long, hot walk, and now finding that my feet refused to squeeze back into them. So, instead, I’ve cobbled together several part-time and freelance gigs, which seem to add up to more work for less money than I ever made working for other people, but which allow me at least the illusion of freedom. Since others repeatedly express either envy or horror when they hear my schedule, I thought it might be fun to keep track of what I’m doing for a week when normal people are working, going home to dinner, and socializing and sleeping at usual times. So: Sunday, July 4: We live in a 20th-floor apartment in Brooklyn Heights with a great view of the East River, so we traditionally have a fireworks party. This year is no exception, but I’m copyediting a fascinating but problematic novel that’s due Thursday, so I’m reading and writing frantically between bouts of cooking and shopping. Sometimes I try to do both at once, which accounts for the cookie-dough grease spot on p. 207 (sorry, Kristin). I stash the manuscript just before the first guest arrives. The party is great. Monday, July 5: More work on the manuscript, and on an essay I committed to write several months ago, which I just realized is on the verge of being due. My husband and son are both home, watching the ball game in the living room. The living room table is the only surface large enough to spread out everything I need to deal with this manuscript. Friends keep calling to thank us for the party or to ask about items they left behind. I am happy to hear from them, glad we’re all home together, but I don’t get much done. In the evening I have my voice class, where, unusually for me, I don’t get much done either. Tuesday, July 6: I wake up in a panic at 4 AM, realizing that yesterday was not Sunday, as I kept thinking all day because my husband and friends were home, and that this manuscript is due in two days. However, I have already committed to go to the beach with a friend who also works weird hours. We end up compromising — we work in the morning, then go in the afternoon. I get a lot more done, because my husband is back at work and my son sleeps in. And the beach is fabulous. Wednesday, July 7: Clients all day, starting at 9AM, with a hole in the middle through which I race into Manhattan for a song rehearsal. I stay up most of the night finishing the manuscript. Thursday, July 8: I slap together a cover letter for the manuscript and race into Manhattan to hand-deliver it, then back to Brooklyn for a singing gig in a nursing home. Everything goes wrong technically but the audience is very sweet. Then back to Manhattan to visit a friend who is ill, then back home for a special dinner for my son before he leaves for camp. Friday, July 9: I commute to Queens for my Friday and Saturday job supervising clinicians in a psychotherapy center

that serves high-risk clients. I use the 1-1/2 hour train ride to write this column and prepare for Litopia After Dark, the British literary podcast on which I’m a regular guest panelist, thanks to Skype and a flexible clinic director. In the fifteenminute breaks between sessions (& the show), I will try to catch up on paperwork, polish off that essay, and tackle my part of a book proposal a friend and I are collaborating on. That is, if there are no emergencies. I’ll repeat the process tomorrow. Sunday, I’m leaving for a week’s vacation, but I’ll bring along any unfinished projects. This is not the career I envisioned in graduate school. I don’t think I work harder than my former classmates who have gone on to work full-time in hospitals, schools, and clinics. But I know I’m more scattered, more likely to drop balls, to let friends down through forgetting birthdays and neglecting correspondence, and that I have more difficulty committing to regular dates. And I’m exhausted much of the time. Yet this life suits me — at least for now.

Meal planning
Source: meal_planning July 12th, 2010

By G. Rendell July 11, 2010 5:10 pm Whenever I think about feeding students on campus, a question comes into my mind. I've eaten meals on probably 100 campuses, most often in the same dining halls (or other facilities) the students use. Most of these operate on a basis of a single check-in (meal ticket, ID card swipe, give your name to the lunch lady, whatever), and then it's off the the races . . . buffet counters . . . food court. All you can eat, including as many trips as you want to make. A few operate, instead, on the basis of cash or point value, deducted from a declining balance. My impression is that commuter schools more often do the declining balance thing, while residential schools tend towards the "all you can eat" model. I can see the logic of that correlation. Residential students present predictable demand patterns, in that they'll be eating the vast majority of their meals on campus. The management challenge, thus, becomes minimizing administrative cost and effort while pricing a semester's worth of food appropriately. Commuter students, on the other hand, eat on campus when it's convenient, eat elsewhere whenever they desire, present a demand pattern which has to be managed much more at the margins than on any average. It's likely that commuter students, if they weren't eating on campus, would be consuming their selection from the country's wide array of the finest in fast food. That's what campus dining facilities have to compete with, and that's the model that -- since they can't beat it -- they've joined. I don't know whether commuter students tend to gain a "freshman 15" or not, but I know a lot of residential students do. So let's concentrate on residential schools . . . It's not just the availability of all that food, at no apparent cost. It's also the selection available. The constant access to familiar favorites and comfort foods -- each of them appropriate on an occasional basis, but most of them excessive when consumed

July 12th, 2010

Published by: philosophyandrew

as a regular diet. Lasagna. Pizza. French fries. Mac and cheese. Ice cream. Cake. Lots of carbs, lots of unhealthy fats, lots of salt. When I raise the subject with the Food Services people at Greenback, I always get the same story: that's what the kids want. Which is no doubt true. But they're kids. If the legal drinking age were lower, they'd want all the beer they could drink thrown in as well; would that be a legitimate reason to build it into the meal plan? "It's what the kids want, and they complain when we don't offer it" is a cop-out. Residential students complain about campus food, regardless. On probably every residential campus I've ever been on, the quality/variety of the food is either the #1 or the #2 student complaint. And on any campus where food isn't the #1 complaint, either the institution is in deep financial trouble or the administration is screwing up real bad. So student complaints about campus food are a given. Nobody drops out of college because they don't like the food. Kids adapt. Kids will eat just about anything. The classic student gripe is that the food is inedible and there isn't enough of it. But what about parent complaints? I don't know of any responsible parent who sends a healthy kid off to college hoping that (s)he will gain fifteen pounds of blubber by the following May. A meal plan regime which kept kids well fed, but not over-fed or over-fat, might actually appeal to parents. And such meal plans used to exist. The university where I was an undergrad had a one-year housing requirement. I moved off campus (and saved quite a bit of money) as soon as I could, but I did spend two semesters living in dorms and eating in dining halls. The dining halls followed the old cafeteria model, with the main plate (protein, starch, two veg) dished out by staff. Salads, beverages and desserts were pre-portioned. And, unlike commercial cafeterias, the desserts came at the end of the serving line, not the beginning. Servers would give you extra veg on the side if you asked, but seconds on anything else meant getting back in line. That level of inconvenience meant that seconds were the exception, not the rule. The system wasn't able to make sure each student ate a balanced diet, but it made that outcome far more likely than the "all you can eat of whatever you choose, maximally available and maximally convenient" model can even hope for. So other models are possible, even if they mean more work for Food Services staff. At Greenback, dining plans are differentiated and priced based on how many meals per week a student is entitled to -- how often you eat. But dining plans could just as well (I won't say just as easily) be priced by what you eat, or how much you eat. Why couldn't there be a dining plan which includes only vegetarian food or restricted animal protein (like a classic Mediterranean diet)? Or one which covers just first portions at each meal? Couldn't such an arrangement avoid contributing to student obesity while potentially saving students (and parents) money? While food consumption is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, I don't know of any school which figures what students eat into their GHG totals. Part of the reason is that estimating life-cycle emissions for a wide range of foods which originate around the world is nearly impossible, and part of it

is based on the assumption that if our students weren't eating on campus they'd be eating somewhere else so no net increase in emissions is created. But even with no impact on published GHG totals, universities could contribute to society's sustainability with more intentionally designed meal plans. Not encouraging students to overeat would be a step in the right direction. Not encouraging students to mis-eat would be another. Teaching kids that eating well, being nourished, getting re-energized isn't just about grease, sugars, starches and salt would likely lead to healthier and wealthier alumni in decades to come. And -- if we want to get radical here -- introducing actual flavor and variety to the menu, educating kids' palates at the same time we try to educate their minds, might set the stage for a significant shift in this, the most over-fed society (and college campuses are one of its more over-fed segments) the world has ever known.

Book Review: Poetry in Person
Source: the_education_of_oronte_churm/book_review_poetry_in_person July 12th, 2010

By Oronte July 10, 2010 1:53 am “Who was it that said, ‘To be human is to be a conversation?’” Pearl London asks Philip Levine. “I don’t know, but I’ll say it,” he replies. This week I’ve been readingPoetry in Person: Twentyfive Years of Conversation with America’s Poets, edited by Alexander Neubauer (Knopf 2010). Those poets— Philip Levine, Maxine Kumin, Robert Hass, Muriel Rukeyser, Louise Glück, James Merrill, Derek Walcott, C.K. Williams, Robert Pinsky, Ed Hirsch, Frank Bidart, LiYoung Lee, Charles Simic, Eamon Grennan, and many others —were interviewed in a course called “Works in Progress,” taught for more than two decades by Pearl London, at the New School. London’s class, largely ignored by students when she began teaching it in 1970, became a “coveted destination” for winners of the Nobel, the National Book Award, and the Pulitzer, and for eight U.S. poet laureates. (The students came after all.) The poets not only came to class to talk with London and her students, they came as many as five times to get “examined, dissected, valued and exposed” for recent or unfinished work that in some cases became their best-known. “Within four walls for an hour and a half every other week, London quietly brought a generation to light, the best poets and poetry of the last quarter of the twentieth century,” editor Neubauer writes. “This is a course concerned essentially with the making of the poem, with the work in progress as process—with both the vision and the revision,” London wrote in letters when asking poets to come to her classroom. “In a sense, the shaping spirit of the imagination is what it is all about.” Some of the selections here (portions of fewer than a quarter of extant interviews are included) don’t detail the revision process; the talk is more general, on context, reactions to other

July 12th, 2010

Published by: philosophyandrew

poets, the writing life, how ideas came, and so on. The most useful interview for poets learning their craft might be with Derek Walcott, who offers in-depth explanation of specific choices for at least four drafts of his poem “XLVIII” from Midsummer. At least one of the poets seems ambivalent about the idea of being examined or dissected at all. Rukeyser invites students to speak (“Anybody want to talk?), but it’s a challenge and a trick. Apparently without allowing for exchange, Rukeyser quickly goes on, I myself have never talked after hearing poems. I’ve been silent. And I know that in schools and colleges, criticism and showing-off talk is considered a very high form of response to poetry. I have thought making a poem is a higher response to poetry, making love is a higher response to poetry, silence is a higher response. Criticism may be well down the line, maybe number 17. But I’m inviting questions of criticism or anything you like, and this is all out of character for me. I’ll keep quiet now. She sounds like my mother, who said she hated baseball but that if I really wanted to play she’d come to every game. I never played baseball. Because the interviews are edited, the book truncates and makes briefer and lighter the experience, obviously, of being in London’s class. The portions chosen as representative also don’t read like shaped craft essays on a topic or theme, as they do in the excellent book series Poets on Poetry from The University of Michigan Press. Except in cases of certain longer and more fluent passages, they don’t have the concentrated presence of what I’ve called the recursive self. But the poets are usually brilliant—all the more admirable given the impromptu context, even if, as with any speaker or teacher, they have their stock phrases and pet topics long-prepared—and London’s style is that of the best teachers: democratic, curious, sensitive, engaged, a little wily, holding up for admiration the deserving yet not holding back on informed judgments. That is, she models what she expects of her students, her poets, and their poetry. "[I]t seems to me that the invitation of poetry is to bring your whole life to this moment,” Rukeyser says to London’s class. Pearl London was the daughter of M. Lincoln Schuster, cofounder of Simon & Schuster, and she married a lawyer who defended artistic expression. She wrote poetry herself from an early age (Orson Welles read her official poem of the 1939 New York World’s Fair over the radio) and earned a master’s in English from NYU, but despite rumors and hints of her own book one day, she never published one and any manuscripts have gone missing. (“[T]his brilliant selection of her conversations with other poets…is, finally, you might say, that missing book,” writes Robert Polito, Director of the New School Writing Program, in a postscript.) It’s well known: Teaching often drains vital juices, even if it’s the thing you were meant to do. Worse, brilliance, if and when it does occur, remains afterward only in a few memories. Imagine if Brando had acted twice a week for three months in performances for only 12 at a time, no cameras allowed. If not for the discovery of a hundred audiotapes hidden in boxes in London’s closet, after her death in 2003, only bits and pieces

of these performances would exist in the minds of the few who were there on a given day. Besides, not all of us can go to schools where such opportunities exist, and this book is a rare reminder of and insight to what is often lost whether you were there or not. Transcribing tapes is an act of translation too; choices are made, such as ignoring pauses for consideration, verbal stumbles, tics, uncertainties, confusion, chitchat, and the like. Even more importantly is setting typographically what in poetry would be line and stanza breaks—the breaths and phrasing—and their emphases. It’s odd, given the various poets’ backgrounds, that the voices in these interviews begin to sound alike in their erudition. Some, such as Maxine Kumin, are more conversational—nearly equal space is given on the page to her and London—while others, such as Philip Levine, need only a brief prompt from London to deliver a formal lecture. Topics are all over the place, as one might hope of any good discussion. (Derek Walcott: “Can I say something [off topic]?” London: “You can say everything.”) But the speakers tend to return to the main thing, choices and fate in the act of writing. It’s instructional to hear the same topic articulated in different ways: Muriel Rukeyser: “It’s very hard to talk about the rewriting that goes in [poems] because the major rewriting is likely to be in the matter of sound, the sound that is deep in the structure, almost a crystalline structure of sound in the poem.” Robert Hass: “The patterning of vowel sounds, the patterning of breath, is the way a poet actually reaches into and takes over your body while you’re reading and experiencing his poem. The terrific simple example of this is that wonderful old poem of Keats, ‘La Belle Dame sans Merci’…. I think I swooned when I read it…’She looks at me and she did love / And made sweet moan.’” Amy Clampitt: "…I think most poets [such as Keats] who do write sonorous poetry do not do it by any science but simply hear echoes—one word will suggest another because of the sound.” There are facsimiles here of some of the poems discussed in class, and even multiple drafts in a few cases, but you’ll need to keep a dozen other volumes at hand to get the most from this book. Online searches will find some of the texts or allusions, such as Frost’s “Silken Tent,” not reprinted here, which Glück and London argue over . One bit in the book particularly struck me, since writing for a periodical—or just periodically—can lead to habits that become crutches or routines or the only doors out. Glück says: [W]hat happens is, you learn to write a poem that breaks stanzas in a certain way, that takes certain kinds of linguistic, syntactic turns to stand for closure. […] You look at a tree, and you turn that into a tree poem, and you look at a rock, and you turn that into a rock poem. They all have the same arc. As soon as you can recognize a consistent shaping principle, recognize that a certain kind of sentence is always a cue to you for an end, then you’ve got to resist the cue. She says when she realized some of her endings were “summaries” or the poems “bulletproof,” “I had stopped

July 12th, 2010

Published by: philosophyandrew

learning, because I could convert all I saw only into one kind of truth. And it was no longer interesting. So I wanted to see what I could do when those habitual devices were refused.” This act of process and the supreme challenge it offers inspires both highs and lows. Derek Walcott, after detailing why a phrase of his, which the class loves, is all wrong, goes on to explain why his combination of the words “vague sea” was the perfect choice, based on “a French word, vague, which is wind [agitation of the water]”: I was exultant after I got it, and I went up to a friend and I said, “Jesus, you know…I just got it, ‘the vague sea.’” Again, the idea of blur and mist and melting. Because you have vague, which is the wind and the sea, then you have “vague,” which is a sea itself being blurred, right? And what may work for it is within the tonal quality of the two words, the sibilants. “Vague sea.” It’s like one word “vaguesea,” one stroke almost, a small stroke. Walcott starts to say he’s always trying to get the “effortlessness that comes…” but then cuts himself off. “There is no rest, really, there is no rest, there is just a joyous torment all your life of doing the wrong thing.”