Here’s the top five articles, books, websites, etc., that we’ve been reading or thinking about the past week. Let us know your thoughts on any/all of them. In addition, if you have items you’d like us to consider for the top five, add them in the comments or send them to Tom or Mike.
1. Week in Review: Big Questions Edition touched on if Universities have lost sight of their purpose and the potential value of increased career services. The Chronicle of Higher Education opened this week with Are Too Many Students Going to College? (November 8, 2009) and What Do Parents Think? (November 9, 2009). Both articles wrestle with whether the whole population can afford or should pursue this American dream. In the survey of 1000 parents of pre-college students:
Nine of 10 parents told us that, despite the toughest economic climate in decades, they still view sending their kids to college as an essential part of the American dream … Almost eight in 10 Americans agreed that it’s very important to obtain a degree, while only a little more than half said their parents had felt it was very important for them to attend college (William F. Glavin Jr. What Do Parents Think? Chronicle of Higher Education. November 8, 2009).
2. In Why College Professors Don’t Envy the Young (Chronicle of Higher Education. November 08, 2009), Gina Barreca, professor of English/Feminist Theroy at UConn, delivers a unique perspective on midlife crisis as an older member of the academic community observing the younger members (and reflecting upon her own past).
While friends in other professions are waking up to their midlives (or what we choose to call midlife but how many people do you know who live past 100 — not counting Lévi-Strauss?) and frantically wishing they could return to their twenties or thirties, those of us who have been dealing with undergraduate and graduate students don’t want to time-travel back to those years. … To be adorable and energetic would be great, but to feel that perpetual trepidation that I’ll never find a job, a partner, a place in the world, or an apartment that I don’t have to share with six other people? No deal. To feel as if the whole world is open to me would be lovely, but to live with the anxiety that I’ll end up on the outskirts or end up an outcast? No thanks. To wonder whether I’ll ever do work meaningful to me, let alone anyone else? Not a chance. …
3. Reduce the Technology, Rescue Your Job (Chronicle of Higher Education. November 09, 2009) by Michael J. Bugeja, director of the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication at Iowa State University and author of Interpersonal Divide: The Search for Community in a Technological Age (Oxford University Press, 2004) provides a number of practical recommendations.
4. Getting Started with Zotero – Zotero is a free citation and research manager that you can add on to Firefox. Amy Cavender at ProfHacker.com started a series this week to introduce new users to Zotero, which I (Mike) have never really used but have heard great things about.
5. Someone’s Trying to Find You – In a good way. IVP Editor Dan Reid, writing on IVP’s Addenda & Errata blog, expresses his frustration, and bafflement, at how hard it is to find faculty information on some universities’ websites. Dan uses the information to look for potential new authors, but the benefit of easy-to-find, easy-to-read faculty pages goes beyond that:
This is important not just for the sake of publishers and others finding your faculty. Good academic websites also contribute to a faculty member’s platform. And it is a good thing for academic institutions to have faculty with a platform that extends beyond the classroom. This doesn’t really need to be argued, does it?