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Week in Review

Earlier this week, I was in a groove working and was suddenly disturbed by a commotion outside. Initially, I was grumpy as I went to investigate—I don’t like having my groove thrown off—but my frown quickly turned upside down when I saw this:
Seriously, how cute are they??? Squealing in delight, I was immediately distracted from my previously mentioned groove as I tried to sneak one of the ducklings away to come live in my bathtub as a pet. Ducks and cats can be friends, right? Sadly, Mother Duck convinced her full flock to flee from me.
For news outside of waterfowl sightings this week, scroll on.
What’s new this week:
President Karen Haynes of California State University San Marcos wrote that women college presidents should not stand out just for being female in a male-dominated field, but must also be trailblazers in higher education.
It was another twofer week for Drake University with two fantastic pieces in The Conversation. Professor Anthony Gaugin weighed in on Jeb Bush’s Super PAC problem. Keeping it presidential, Professor Jennifer Glover Konfrst discussed the nuances of commencement speeches given by US Presidents.
Wheelock College instructor and psychoanalyst William Sharp’s expertise was included in an article about student happiness and grades in the Deseret News.
Financial aid award letters can be very tricky, even for professionals like W. Kent Barnds of Augustana College, but colleges usually aren’t trying to intentionally confuse students and families.
What we’ve been talking about:
We are very excited to announce the Call to Action blog on Inside Higher Ed—a space to discuss marketing and communications in higher education, led by Teresa Valerio Parrot, Kristine Maloney, Michael Stoner, and Mallory Wood. Read Teresa’s introductory post and join the conversation!
Teresa Valerio Parrot offered her take on the top ten rules for crisis communications management.
What we’ve been reading:
Ali Lincoln
This was a short article, but I cringed the entire time I was reading it. I can’t imagine being this person’s dissertation reader. Punctuation is important, people!
I found this article interesting, but not true to my college experience. I highly valued my professors as thinkers, awestruck by their expertise. I was open to mentoring whenever I could get it, and still try to stay in touch with professors who filled the role. I hope they don’t have the same sentiments as the professor who wrote this article.
Kyle Gunnels
It’s no secret that we have a long way to go in addressing the equity gap that exists in both the K-12 and higher education systems in the U.S. This piece has a chart that visualizes how, specifically within higher ed, this gap has worsened over recent years.
I am always interested in how Facebook continues to evolve to stay relevant, as all of my social networks play a very specific role in how I connect with others. That’s why I was so intrigued by the news earlier this week about Facebook’s experiment that will allow different media companies to embed articles directly in their interface, without relying on external links. If this takes off, not only could it revamp how many use the network, but it could also vastly speed up traditional media’s continued decline in quality and content (think articles that are written specifically to meet Facebook guidelines, solely to garner likes, etc.). Time will tell, but definitely something to watch.
Teresa Valerio Parrot
Those who don’t live in the West may not know that one of our favorite topics of conversation is water. River levels, precipitation rates year-to-date and who gets how much of the Colorado River’s flow are popular at dinner tables, formal events and coffee shops. With widespread focus on California’s drought, this piece provides a nice summary of what limited flow will mean for all states along the Colorado River’s path.
My heart is heavy for those killed and hurt on this week’s derailed Amtrak train. This was a beautifully written tribute to one of the passengers—I wish I had been lucky enough to know him.
Erin Hennessy
In this job, we all spend a lot of time on planes. In the last year and a half, I’ve gotten a lot more blasé about flying though there are still some turbulent flights that put me on edge. But this lovely piece, written by a first officer for British Airways, is soothing and meditative. I’ll be bookmarking it to read on my next bumpy flight.
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Are you following the TVP Communications team on Twitter? Here’s a look at what we were tweeting this week:

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