Archive | 2012

The Click Moment: Seizing Opportunity in an Unpredictable World

Frans Johansson (author of The Medici Effect) has written a book, The Click Moment: Seizing Opportunity in an Unpredictable World, with two provocative ideas.  The first thought is that success is random.  The second is that individuals and corporations can do more to shape their success by identifying and focusing on the opportunities as they occur.

In Part 1 of the book, Johansson presents a number of real world examples of the random nature of success.  He disputes that there are formulaic patterns for success and only allows for high chances of success for a profession where the rules don’t change such as tennis (court size remains the same), chess, and mastery of a musical instrument. … Read the rest

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Disruption in Higher Education

You can’t read a recent issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education or Inside Higher Ed without seeing an article discussing the disruption that technology or MOOCs (Massively Open Online Course) are having or will have on the higher education sector.  Because of the publicity, I receive questions from colleagues at conferences and other events asking me for my opinion about the potential for higher education disruption, the roadmap that it will take, and who will survive.  I have written about MOOCs in the past (see “What is a Massive Open Online Course?Read the rest

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What to Make of All the Rapid Innovations in Higher Education?

I was a panel participant at a conference last Thursday in Washington, DC.  The conference was sponsored by the American Enterprise Institute and was called Stretching the Higher Education Dollar.  The five panels that were convened included:  The Case for Reform, Opportunities and Obstacles at Existing Institutions, Unbundling College Degrees in Theory and Practice, College in Pieces: Cost Effective Approaches to Student Services and Credentialing, and Implications for State and Federal Policy.  Videos of the discussions are available at the previous link and papers written by some of the panelists on the topics will be available as well.… Read the rest

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College: What It Was, Is, and Should Be

Judging from Andrew Delbanco’s experience as a professor of Humanities at Columbia University, I thought his new book, College: What It Was, Is, and Should Be, would provide the standard defense of a liberal arts education. While he strongly advocates the merits of critical thinking utilizing a broad knowledge of history and philosophy, it’s not the dominant theme of his arguments. One sentence in his introduction, “it is a nightmare society that affords the chance to learn and grow only to the wealthy, brilliant, or lucky few,” foreshadows the book’s conclusion.… Read the rest

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Commencement 2012

Last Thursday and Friday, American Public University System (APUS) hosted its annual commencement recognizing all students who graduated over the previous 12 months.  While degrees and diplomas are conferred and distributed quarterly, we have held an annual commencement ceremony in the Washington, DC area for more than a decade.  This year’s was held at the Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center at National Harbor, MD.

Our students and graduates reside in all 50 states and more than 100 countries and many of the attendees at graduation travel from long distances. … Read the rest

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Interactive Learning Online at Public Universities: Evidence from Randomized Trials

Researchers at Ithaka S+R including William G. Bowen (former president of Princeton University), Matthew M. Chingos (also a fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Brown Center on Education Policy), Kelly A. Lack, and Thomas I. Nygren, have followed Ithaka S+R’s recent report titled “Barriers to Adoption of Online Learning Systems in U.S. Higher Education” with a second that reports the findings of a series of randomized trials related to online learning conducted at six public universities. … Read the rest

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Barriers to Adoption of Online Learning Systems in U.S. Higher Education

Ithaka S+R recently published a report funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and titled, “Barriers to Adoption of Online Learning Systems in U.S. Higher Education.”  I have written extensively on this blog about the economic constraints facing institutions of higher education, issues of student persistence and retention, and the litany of other issues daunting the American higher education system today.  In their report, the authors explore many of these same topics explaining why they believe online education could be a boon for higher education in general and students, faculty, and individual institutions specifically. … Read the rest

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APUS Opens Largest Solar Array in West Virginia


President Boston, Mayor Hamill, Vice Mayor Clendening, Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito, and CFO Harry Wilkins cut the ribbon officially opening the APUS Solar Array.

Today I had the honor of hosting the ribbon cutting event for American Public University System’s (APUS) latest addition to its Charles Town campus, a 1,660 panel solar array. The array is the largest solar project in the state of West Virginia and will produce approximately 480,000 kWh of energy. The energy produced will provide between 40 and 50 percent of the energy needed to power the 105,000-square-foot green Finance Center which is under construction adjacent to the array and being built to US Green Building Council’s LEED Gold standards.… Read the rest

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APUS Green Initiatives

It has been a little while since I’ve provided an update on American Public University System’s (APUS) sustainability efforts.  There seems no better time to do so than Earth Day.  Despite my lack of updates on this blog, the APUS Sustainability Committee has been working diligently and partnering with other groups on campus to promote sustainability and make APUS a greener place to work and learn. 

One of the most visible sustainability efforts that we have undertaken relates to buildings. … Read the rest

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Sustainability in Higher Education: Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Going

In celebration of Earth Day, and in the spirit of giving more than just one day to the consideration of our planet and our impact on it, this is the first in a series of articles which I’ll post this week and into next related to sustainability in higher education.

In September 1962 Rachel Carson published her groundbreaking work, Silent Spring, documenting the negative impact of pesticides on the environment, specifically on birds. The book received nationwide acclaim and landed on the New York Times best-seller list where it stayed for 31 weeks.… Read the rest

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