Monthly Archives: June 2014

Walk jog run . . . We can teach that!

Colleagues and I who are more deskbound than individuals who teach P.E. have joked about, I mean entertained the thought of, teaching walk jog run classes. We should be able to do it, even if our advanced degrees are in accounting, biology, or English. A fact that many faculty do not know is that in […] … learn more→

5 Things researchers have discovered about MOOCs

In December 2013 a group of academics gathered during a Texas snowstorm and began the second phase of a discussion about massive open online courses. They were not terribly impressed by the hype the courses had received in the popular media, and they had set out to create a better body of literature about MOOCs—albeit […] … learn more→

Community Service: It’s for the birds or is it for the dogs?

A number of years ago when it came time for my annual evaluation, which included pre-inked lines on a form to fill in, as if any human could possibly have fit much within those boundaries, I had left a few marks of my commitment to the community by listing such things as attending art shows, […] … learn more→

Collateral damage: The problem with proposed institutional performance standards for Federal financial aid

It is easy to teach good students. The “star teachers” at Harvard or Stanford can assume a certain knowledge base as starting points in their classes and can set expectations that the majority of their students can reasonably meet. They have a narrow range of students, all of whom have been carefully selected through an […] … learn more→

Reflections from a global Provost

One of the reasons I wanted to become the provost of George Mason was the opportunity to help shape a more global university. Of course, given Mason’s Northern Virginia location near the nation’s capital and faculty talent, a good bit was going on already, but as an institution we had the chance to accelerate global […] … learn more→

Across Europe’s schools, push for national values is infringing religious freedoms

The ongoing debate on radicalisation and schools in both the UK and France is missing an important point: we are still not agreed on exactly what religious radicalism is. The fact that the British secretary of state for education asked a former head of counter terrorism to investigate the Trojan Horse “Islamist” plot at a […] … learn more→

“In the summertime” or “Summertime” faculty and teachers . . .

I often return to the quote, “We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, but of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry,” by William Butler Yeats, which I first became aware of through his Irish countryman and fellow poet and Nobel Prize recipient, Seamus Heaney. I don’t take this utterance to mean that what we […] … learn more→

Please stop telling me to ‘manage’ my supervisor!

I’m pretty over being told to manage my supervisors. What I’d like to know, is what were they meant to be doing, and how do I plug the gaps? Before I started my Phd, I’d read a lot of advice about it being my responsibility to manage my supervision, and in my first meeting, I […] … learn more→

Restructure the Humanities Ph.D.

The Modern Language Association’s report on doctoral study in language and literature, released last month, does well to avoid framing the question of the humanities Ph.D. in terms of a \”crisis in the humanities.\” Instead, it focuses our attention where it belongs—on the underlying institutional structures that inhibit the evolution of the humanities Ph.D. The […] … learn more→

How not to fire a Higher Ed CEO

One of the most frustrating things about higher education (and the business world, too) is how failed CEOs get golden parachutes. At my institution, Illinois State University, everybody is still fuming that former president Tim Flanagan received a $480,000 golden parachute for being fired after a few months on the job. Although the trustees could […] … learn more→