Info for Advisees
ARTICLES ON COLLEGE LIFE
Oct. 17, 2012
Professor analyzes primary season in review, how outcome affects this year’s election
By May 2012, the Republican primary season was largely over. Candidates had come and gone. Mitt Romney had prevailed. He would be the Party’s candidate in November.
Mar. 27, 2012
Satan goes to college; promptly expelled
For too long Satan’s precise strategy to bring about America’s downfall had been a mystery. What exactly was the devil up to?
Satan had of course made a rousing appearance in Biblical times, but that was a long time ago. He disappeared for a while after that, but then, in the fourteenth century, the circles of hell in Dante’s Inferno gave him a fresh lease on death. But, alas, that too proved to be fleeting, and it wasn’t till the twentieth century that Satan really came into his own. ...
Feb. 23, 2012
Research on eating less helps scone lover
When Dr. Jane Cavender introduced the speaker in Gibble the other day, she was aware that the audience consisted of biology students and faculty interested in learning about the relationship between calorie intake and longevity. ...
Feb. 20, 2012
Workplace policies create monetary strife
The air is thick with talk of employment policies. Discrimination, harassment, workplace bullying — all, we’re reminded, stuff to be avoided. Training sessions for employees are being conducted, with the College’s lawyers holding forth with unseemly relish on statutes and Title VII and suchlike. ...
Feb. 12, 2012
Assault on free enterprise, top banker’s knighthood revoked
The report from Britain is not reassuring. The Tories, supposedly the ally of business interests, are showing signs of hostility to capitalism. It is as if Mitt Romney were to propose an individual mandate as part of health insurance reform. Or Newt Gingrich were to accept honorariums from Freddie Mac to impart history lessons to a government-sponsored enterprise. ...
Nov. 18, 2011
Business chair sympathizes with Wall Street bankers
Department chairs and Wall Street bankers have a lot in common. They lead the good life, collect hefty year-end bonuses and do God’s work. (The last, by the way, was what Goldman Sachs’ CEO claimed to do when he was questioned about the firm’s practices at a Senate hearing on the 2008 financial crisis.) ...
Nov. 3, 2011
Professor discusses unexpected benefits of strategic planning
Strategic Planning (SP) at Elizabethtown College continues at a furious pace. If you are not a member of one of the five committees involved in SP, you probably have little idea about the work being carried out by these committees (and especially by the co-chairs). ...
Oct. 27, 2011
Professor Considers Implication of Online Advertisements
The Etownian recently published a piece on Convocation. The Sept. 15 article dealt with speeches made at the event, and was also published online at etownian.com, and as Homer perused it, his eyes were drawn to links at the end of the article. These links, presumably generated by Web technologies that scour global databases to ferret out the most relevant matches, offered recommendations for further reading. Perhaps, thought Homer, there would be links to articles dealing with convocations, earthquakes, college presidents, even scones or iPads (all mentioned in the original article). ...
Sept. 15, 2011
A Presidential Charge at Convocation
The life of a college president is largely a mystery to most faculty. We suspect it involves meetings of various kinds where serious conversations occur with serious people of serious means. Possibly there is talk of donations, all conducted in hushed whispers. There might be mention of funds for a building, perhaps, or an endowment for a scholarship. Occasionally, someone might bemoan the state of the stock market. ...
Revolution in Hoover - II
The standoff in Hoover continued for several days. Down in the parking lot, now renamed Hoover Square by the protesters to link it directly to Tahrir Square and Pearl Square, tents had sprung up. Men, women and children spent the days walking around carrying signs saying “Down with the Tyrant!” and “Homer is Toast!” At night they played cards, read passages from Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations, and sang songs of liberty. ...
Revolution in Hoover - I
The revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt have not left Elizabethtown College’s ruling elites unscathed. How could they? After witnessing how effectively the autocratic regimes in these countries were brought down by sheer popular will, the faculty at the College have risen to demand changes in what they see as arrogance, nepotism and downright lack of bonhomie among the administrators. ...
Nov. 11, 2010
The Billionaires Shall Inherit the Earth (Soon, We Hope)
November has turned out to be the cruelest month for Democrats. They have lost the House, they have lost a bunch of governorships, and they have been shellacked in state legislatures around the country.
The elections were not kind to the Department of Business either. ...
Sept. 30, 2010
Gift of gab not enough to carry Gingrich, The Etownian.
Newt Gingrich, former House speaker and future Presidential hopeful, recently used strong words to describe President Obama. He suggested that Obama had cleverly conned America into electing him to the highest office, and that to really understand Obama, one had to consider his “African anticolonial behavior.”....
Mar. 25, 2010
New fiscal reality startles, The Etownian.
At a chairs meeting last spring, we were told the bad news. The departmental budgets would be cut by 10 percent. There would be no exception. Every department’s budget would be reduced — and each chair had to figure out how to reach that goal....
Feb. 25, 2010
Scheduling disrupts good life, The Etownian.
You live a life of glamour. You are constantly hobnobbing with the rich and famous, traveling to exotic places and attending social functions where people with trays offer you things to nibble on.
Who are you?
A department chair. ...
Feb. 13, 2010
Salary Increases: How to Do It?, The Etownian.
The big thing in academia is salary increases. (The other big thing is outcomes assessment — see Jan. 28 issue.)
Suppose you are the president of a college, say Ecity College. You wish to make sure your faculty are being paid well. After all, if they are not, their morale goes down, they start looking for work elsewhere and they may even pass motions in faculty meetings. All very unpleasant — no president wants that. ...
Jan. 28, 2010
Mission-writing adversities overwhelm, The Etownian.
The big thing in academia is outcomes assessment. (Another big thing is salary increase, but that’s for another day.) Are you sure your program — your major curriculum, or your core curriculum or your coffee-making division — is doing what it is supposed to do? Do you have a mission and clear goals for your program? Are these goals associated with outcomes that can be observed and measured? Are your goals consistent with the goals of your institution? (Fat lot of good it will do if your coffee division brews the kind of coffee that does not advance the mission of your college.)
Mar. 20, 2009
Amtrak experience parodies consumerism, The Etownian.
Homer took the train the other day. He was headed to New York for a conference, and Amtrak was convenient. Homer looked up the fares online. $77 for a one-way trip from Elizabethtown. That seemed a bit high. He looked at other times. There was a train leaving an hour later — the fare was only $45. Seeing that arriving in New York an hour later wouldn’t really make a difference, Homer decided to take the later train.
So here was his first saving!
Oct. 16, 2008
Sarah Palin influences economics class, The Etownian.
These are difficult times. The stock market has been decimated, causing investors to lose dollops of money. The economy is in bad shape—firms are laying off hundreds of thousands of workers each month, consumers are cutting back on spending, banks are going bankrupt. Comparisons with the Great Depression appear to be increasingly apt...
Feb. 28, 2008
“Virtuous” living expensive, disheartening, The Etownian.
How quickly should one begin living a virtuous life?
All in good time, said St. Augustine, who implored God to grant him chastity and continence, but not yet! Ah, but conservation, that epitome of personal virtue (according to modern day philosopher, Dick Cheney), may not admit of much delay. The future of the earth hangs in the balance (as Al Gore has shown in his Nobel Prize-winning PowerPoint slides), and any tardiness in implementing virtuous conservation behavior might rise to the level of original sin....
Jan. 31, 2008
Some scones icing-less, Blue Bean still satisfies, The Etownian.
Several months ago, shortly after the Blue Bean had opened for business, I had suggested to the proprietor that the café might consider adding scones to its repertoire, a suggestion they had, to my delight, acceded to with alacrity. Less to my delight, however, I discovered that you must be careful what you wish for, since in short order the cafe was not only selling scones, but scones with icing on them....
Sept. 20, 2007
Chicly Dressed Faculty Questions Class Attentiveness, The Etownian.
Professor Homer had never heard such a compliment before - well, certainly not from students. But here were two of his students, Nyasha and Martina, jointly remarking appreciatively on his sartorial choices. ...
March 29, 2007
“Why this Air of Persecution?”, The Etownian.
In an article published in the Patriot-News Feb. 26, I wrote about the student movement on certain college campuses to ban the sale of Coca-Cola. Subsequently, the Etownian's editorial board (or at least two-thirds of it) chastised me for having “belittled their professionalism and demeaned students like those he instructs at Elizabethtown College.”
Really? I did all that? ...
Oct. 27, 2006
Late-Night Hauntings, The Etownian.
It might have been a dark and stormy night.
One of the virtues of staying in the office late, noted Homer, is that you get to meet some people you would otherwise never meet - security folks, for instance. Just the other day, at around 11:30 p.m., a security officer dropped by Homer's office in Hoover. They talked about burning the midnight oil - although not too much, oil being very expensive these days and what not, ha, ha - and then he got down to the matter at hand. ...
Sept. 29, 2006
Art: Home Sweet Home in Hoover, The Etownian.
As dedications go, this one was brief, efficient and pleasant. The Hoover Center dedication Sept. 14 featured words of praise for the donors, warm acknowledgement of the services of myriad people and offices involved in the project and a pretty decent offering of victuals for the assemblage
Nov. 12, 2005
A Scandal in Nicarry Hall—and an Investigation, The Etownian.
It all began on November 11. Homer Paulsan was upset. His advisee Jennifer B. was waiting in his office to go over her spring course schedule, and he couldn't locate her advising folder (or dossier, as it was called in the department). It was supposed to be in the filing cabinet in the department office. It wasn't there. Someone had taken it. Who? ...
Oct. 27, 2005
Customer Service at Blue Bean: Sweet as Icing, The Etownian
Are you against sweets?" asked the genial proprietor of the Blue Bean Café. "No, no," I protested, but even as I uttered the words, I realized how weak my denial sounded. ...