by AndrewMc | 10/02/2009 10:15:00 AM
Hooray! Now, I'll leave the KCTCS Board of Trustees alone. However, the initial decision and the reversal is a good example of two things. One is the corporatization of higher education. Under this model students are customers and faculty are employees. Nothing more. This is a trend dating back a couple of decades, and undoes what is a hallmark of higher education in the United States--the idea of the university as a place that is operated by faculty for the benefit of students, the community, the state, and the nation. The nationwide trend to abolish tenure is a grave danger to what makes higher ed in the U.S. so great.

More ramblings below . . . .

I understand that we need to have qualified candidates running universities, and I understand that a candidate pool can be "thin." Still. Call me old school, but I think that people who work in administration in higher ed should have some teaching experience. Not all, maybe. But most. A university is a unique place. More on this Sunday.


Annette Gordon-Reed, Professor of Law at New York Law School and Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard University, has been selected as the winner of the 2009 Frederick Douglass Book Prize, awarded for the best book written in English on slavery or abolition. Gordon-Reed won for her book, The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family (W.W. Norton and Company). The prize is awarded by Yale University’s Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition, sponsored by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

No kidding:

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We're used to hearing about school dress-code issues as they relate to a few things. One category is religious in nature, mostly as related to Muslims women who want to wear head scarfs. Another involves ongoing efforts by school administrators to control what they see as clothing that indicates gang affiliation, that promotes "lax standards" or is in general divisive (ie. Confederate flags). In that context, it will be interesting to see how this plays out:

Unexpected school expenses can stress any parent. But for many with students in the Cheyenne-Eagle Butte School District, finding gas money or a ride to an affordable store can prove all but impossible, much less paying for the clothes if they get there.

The Cheyenne River Sioux reservation covers Dewey and Ziebach counties, which encompass 4,265 square miles. About 8,000 residents live among the rolling, grass-covered prairie of north central South Dakota.

What I found particularly interesting was that this article was about the hidden costs of dress codes, and less about the plaintiffs being American Indians. Well-written.

Jessica Alba, thoughtful blogger.

Paraphrasing Winston Churchill: Standardized tests are the worst way to measure students' performance. Except for all the other ways we've tried. Still, these folks have a point about continuing the Bush policies.

When the President of our university and our Athletics Director wanted to build a new stadium and move our football team from Div I-AA to Div I [now FBS], we were subjected to talk after talk about how the program would lose less money this way, and how going to bowl games would bring greater national attention to our school, and all the other crap that goes along with trying to foist big-time college athletics on a university. (Oh, that reminds me. This is a great book. Must-read.)

Anyway, the Chron [paid subscription] discusses how the piper is coming for hir payment.

Swank new practice facilities and 100-acre athletics villages may be magnetic recruiting tools, but they can be awfully rough on a balance sheet.

[By the way, Chron-volk, the operative word there is "may." As in they "may" be magnetic recruiting tools. But if they are, it's only for recruiting more athletes. The idea that a successful college football season [ie. the "Flutie Effect"] has a direct correlation with bringing in more students is largely a myth.]

A second aside: only in college football is the argument "we won't lose as much money if we spend more" an argument that doesn't get you laughed out of the room.

Apropos of nothing historical, nor progressive: I love this time of year. I'm picking sweet potatoes, squash, and regular potatoes out of my garden. I'm picking onions.I'm picking peppers. I'm trading some of this to a friend for chicken eggs. Herbs are in. This is about as good as food gets right now.

My veggie garden is about 5000 square feet, and supplies most of our veggies for the summer and fall. All organic, not a drop of manufactured chemical. It gets about 2 tons of local cow and chicken manure, plus straw, leaves, and grass each year. A local guy comes in and tills it for me, and claims it's the healthiest, finest soil in the county. After it's tilled, the whole area smells like loam, and when you walk across it, you sink to your ankles. It's light.

[Garden, with shovel in foreground, and 8 year old child at back corner.]

What a luxury to live in a country where I can grow my own food as a leisure activity.

And the beer of the week is:

Great Divide Brewing. The folks are in Denver, Colorado, and have been making pretty good beer since 1994. They get generally good marks from, and their six-packs are priced in the $7 - $9 range. That's pretty good for an above-average beer. That's a Sam Adams price for a better beer.

I had two different styles the other night: The Titan IPA, and the Hades Belgian-Style Ale. The IPA style has a history dating back to the British occupation of India. Troops wanted beer, but the time it took to ship beer around the horn of Africa meant that most of it spoiled before it arrived. The answer was to radically increase the hops (plant family cannabaceae, same as marijuana), the alpha-acids of which acts as a preservative. Thus a new style was born.

In recent years American breweries have gone hop-crazy, overloading beers with hops and largely destroying the natural balance that beer should have. A recent hop shortage seems to have stemmed that trend, although not completely. The nice thing about the Titan IPA is that while it is fully-hopped, as an IPA should be, the hops do not overwhelm the beer. I give it an "A." This is a great beer.

The Great Divide Hades Belgian-Style Ale is not quite as good as the Titan, but it's a decent beer. Belgian beer should be full, citrusy, with a bit of clove to the aftertaste. This beer has flavor, and has those notes, but it's a bit hoppier than you would expect from a Belgian-style beer. Still, it's good. Drinkable and refreshing. A solid "B." I have yet to have a bad beer from Great Divide.

[I'd like to individually link to each of the beers I mention above, but since everything on Great Divide's website is flash-driven, it's not possible. Too bad. But a classic web-problem: cool-looking design, crappy utility.]

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