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Week in Review

I have two statistics for you today.
There are 51 ½ weeks until the presidential election.
There are eight weeks until the end of 2015.
Whether these are depressing or uplifting depends on your perspective, I suppose. For my part, I am not sure I can handle another year of campaigning when I’m already so tired and the incessant political ads haven’t even started yet. And I’ve only locked down one Christmas gift so far and probably haven’t accomplished a single New Year’s resolution. Thinking back, I’m not even sure I made resolutions this year.
Either way, you should resolve to end your week with all the great higher education news below.
What’s new this week:
This week, Lumina Foundation announced a new paper series focus on how outcomes-based funding can support completion efforts at institutions across the country. The series, which was noted in Inside Higher Ed, is worth digging into, as is the excellent infographic.
The Chronicle of Higher Education profiled Jonathan Gibralter, the new president of Wells College and a long-time leader of efforts to reduce risky and harmful behaviors among college students.
The GEDWorks announcement continued to garner attention for its employer-based, no-cost approach to test preparation and completion, this week in Seattle and Tuscaloosa.
University of Wisconsin Colleges and University of Wisconsin-Extension Chancellor Cathy Sandeen gleaned important insights about innovation in higher education from “Becoming Steve Jobs,” her review of which was featured in the Chronicle’s “What I’m Reading” column.
With just a few days to go before the next Republican presidential debate, Drake University Professor and The Conversation columnist Anthony Gaughan looks into whether or not the surging Ted Cruz is even eligible to be president. His piece was also picked up by Newsweek, the Sioux City Journal, and Raw Story.
What we’ve been talking about:
This week, Kristine Maloney issued her annual reminder about expressing thanks to those across campus who partner with us to engage the media. She also shared some great ideas about how to do just that.
Over on Inside Higher Ed’s “Call to Action” blog, two great posts this week: First, Deb Maue answers the question, “What is the role of higher education marketing?” And Teresa Valerio Parrot seeks clues about public perception of higher education in a recent episode of “The Good Wife.”
What we’ve been reading:
Kristine Maloney
I don’t tune in to ESPN very often, but when I do it’s usually to watch an episode of their “30 for 30” series. And while they never disappoint, this “30 for 30” short on the life of marathoner Joy Johnson was, by far, the best I’ve seen. I just can’t seem to get it out of my head. It’s inspirational, beautifully written and directed, and most of all, it’s an important reminder about the possibilities available to us all each and every day. You won’t regret taking 12 minutes to watch Joy’s story. Just be sure to have a few tissues on hand
Bobby Mathews
I’ve seen the arguments against “cultural appropriation” for awhile now, but the author of this article really does a great job pointing out that the viewpoint where certain art, literature or clothing that does not belong to you because of your racial, ethnic or religious identity can stifle creativity, communication and diversity.
Kyle Gunnels
There is a great ongoing debate in higher education about the role athletics does and should play on campus. While an outlier compared to many institutions, my alma mater, the University of Alabama, has increased its academic profile concurrently with achieving athletic success. No, this isn’t solely due to hiring a great football coach—a strong athletics program was part of a much larger strategic plan to grow the university’s profile nationally (and the credit for that goes to President Robert Witt and his tenure). This New York Times piece gives a glimpse into how Bama has achieved athletic and academic growth in tandem, albeit with a heavier focus on athletics.
Erin Hennessy
My podcast habit is pretty serious. I’m well beyond the “I can quit any time I want to” stage and I’m okay with that. While I’m subscribed to all my current favorites, sometimes I have a hankering for something new in my ears. That’s where comes in — it’s a website created by NPR that currently includes more than eight entire days worth of fantastic podcasts recommended by NPR broadcasters, podcasters, podcast lovers and others. You can also sign up to get excellent podcast episodes emailed to you every weekend.
Teresa Valerio Parrot
As I type, it is snowing outside of my window and in Colorado we are preparing for a pretty rough winter due to the anticipated weather patterns. Here’s what’s keeping me warm— expert citations. The El Nino story in Bloomberg Businessweek’s print edition was filled with experts from a number of institutions and academic fields. The inclusion of so many perspectives really made the story shine. It’s rare that I dive into a piece due to its subject matter and am hooked based on how beautifully areas of expertise are strung together. Well done!
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