Posts Tagged: Higher Education

Professor Caveman

“That’s my blood, not the deer’s,” said Eden Kloetzli, a senior at Washington College, in Maryland, as she gazed at the red liquid staining her palm. She and about a dozen other students were busy slicing and dicing four deer carcasses laid outside the school’s new archaeology laboratory. Making the task harder, the novice butchers were using tools that they had knapped themselves out of obsidian, basalt, and flint.

Academic Consultant Doesn’t Know Why Professors Won’t Be His Twitter Friends

suit-consultantBoston—Rookie academic consultant, Nick Sileon, is frustrated. After years of working in higher education and blogging on the topic, academics don’t wants to be his friend since he’s become a consultant.

“I just don’t get it,” said Sileon, “I’m trying to fix a broken system and they seem totally uninterested.” His recent book, Technology Tenure-Hack, a Washington Times notable book of the year, outlines how teachers can be replaced with cybernetic text-books, the rise of wearable learning devices, and a lottery system for credentialing students with good hygiene.

“I used to have tons of friends who were professors. We’d see each other at conferences. Go out for a drink. Tweet each other ironic phrases. But, for some reason they’ve faded away.” Sileon, whose Twitter following is approaching 10,000 appeared dejected. “EdTech guys love me. Twenty-four-hour news channels love me. I’ve spoken at numerous conferences. In the new future, credentials won’t matter.”

When asked about decreased levels in state and federal funding affecting budgets in higher education, Sileon stared with a look that contained annoyance and exasperation. “The whole system is broken,” Sileon said, “and our job is to completely dismantle it until it looks like an Apple Store had a baby with Peter Thiel. Why is that so hard to understand?” Turning back to his phone, Sileon grew quiet and focused on the screen, hopeful for a new follower from the professoriate.

Media credit:

Toddler Delivers Commencement at Smith College


Kaylee, age 4

Northampton, MA—Breaking new ground in graduation, Smith College, became the first institution of higher education to have a toddler deliver a rousing commencement speech after Christina Lagarde backed out. Though some students criticized Kaylee for her support of Baby Gap and her union-busting tactics against imaginary friends, the protests were muted amongst suggestions that the students might appear guilty of reverse ageism. In her words to the class of 2014, Kaylee urged the students to:

How to Get Faculty Support for an Institutional Repository

Your library tech geek has been working overtime.  You’ve got a sweet open source repository online.  Resolutions were passed.  Buzzwords like, scholarly communication and open access, were tossed around like creative commons used to be.  The future, someone whispered, is now.

Then, nothing happened.  Your library tech geek uploaded his prayers to Github and meandered through message boards.  Librarians burned old DVD’s of Field of Dreams.  James Earl Jones had never led them so far astray.

When all seemed lost, at one university, a young, naive librarian asked, why aren’t we looking at this from the user’s perspective?  What do faculty care about besides tenure?

The answer?  Parking spaces.  By tying together institutional repository submissions to parking lot proximity, librarians have finally found a way to gather those submissions.  Now, instead of supporting an unused infrastructure, the library tech geek was requisitioning more server space!  When interviewed, one faculty member said, “I didn’t work twenty years to park by the athletic complex and take a shuttle.”

Remember, if you’re having trouble gathering faculty support, step back and look at the problem from a broader perspective.  How can you get those submissions?  Maybe an IR that blends citation count and ego is perfect for your institution.