Globalization and the Importance of Understanding Cultures

America has been accused by many of being insensitive to the importance of cultures.  Eugene Burdick and William Lederer’s1958 book The Ugly American argued that America was losing the struggle against Communism in Southeast Asia in large part due to its inability and /or unwillingness to understand the local cultures there.  There clearly was a disconnect between Burdick’s and Lederer’s thesis at the time and U.S.

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The Last Lecture

At the Chronicle’s Executive Leadership Forum, Jeffrey Zaslow spoke about Randy Pausch the Carnegie Mellon professor who was the subject of a Wall Street Journal column last fall.  Zaslow, a Carnegie Mellon alum and reporter for the WSJ, heard about Pausch’s lecture and received permission from his editor to cover it.  At the last minute, he decided to video some of the lecture and post it on the Journal’s website before the article was published. 

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Looming Teacher Shortage in K-12 Schools

Much has been written about the looming teacher shortage as the current generation of Baby Boomer Teachers nears retirement.  Teacher salaries versus the escalating cost of a college degree are an often-cited reason why many of today’s students do not choose a career in teaching.  USA Today estimated in February 2006 that the average college graduate would carry at least $19,000 in student debt upon graduation. 

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Fourth of July

If you were born in the U.S.A. (apologies to Bruce Springsteen), you have memories of July 4th.  My favorite memories are mainly from my youth when we would celebrate the nation’s birthday and my grandfather’s birthday (July 4, 1888) with our family reunion.  Aunts, uncles, cousins; it was a well-attended event and we would have a softball game or two if the weather cooperated. 

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The Big Switch

Nicholas Carr is known to many for his book,
Does IT Matter His new book, The Big Switch, is just as provocative and one that I recommend for stimulating your thinking about many of our businesses today.  Carr provides the reader with a background on the electric industry and its evolution from private company and municipality driven systems to standardized and large public utilities empowering the widespread usage of electrical appliances. 

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Accountability in Higher Education

American Public University System has focused on assessment and learning outcomes since 2004. Dr. Jennifer Stephens, our Dean of Assessment, publishes our learning outcomes on the web at We are committed to continuous improvement and making sure that we are providing online programs that match our students’ needs. I asked Dr. Stephens to provide me with a guest blog article summarizing the trends in accountability and our participation in the Transparency by Design initiative.

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Is it reasonable to assume a goal of achieving carbon neutrality?

I attended The Chronicle of Higher Education’s annual Executive Leadership Forum in Washington, DC and had the opportunity to listen to a panel discussing the pros and cons of signing the Presidents Climate Commitment. David Oxtoby, President of Pomona College and former Dean of Physical Sciences at the University of Chicago, made a point which was similar to my thinking that he had some reservations about his and any institution’s ability to achieve carbon neutrality but thought that the process of examining efforts and pledging a commitment was important.

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Changing Trends in Higher Education

One of the more stimulating conversations occurred during the recent Chronicle’s Executive Leadership Forum. “Will Your College Close in 2012: Surviving the Demographic Shift” was the topic and it was moderated by Travis Reindl, Program Director of Jobs for the Future. In the future, “fewer applicants will be white and fewer will be from New England” were the lead issues for comment from the panelists who included Sarita Brown, President of Excelencia in Education, Roger Goodman, Vice President at Moody’s Investor Services, and Dawn Terkla, Associate Provost at Tufts University.

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Affordability of Higher Education (Part 1)

It’s almost impossible to pick up a newspaper or magazine these days without reading an article about the affordability crisis in higher education. For the past twenty years, tuitions have increased at a rate about twice that of the consumer price index. Many institutions cite the national statistics on the value of a college degree as the justification for charging increasingly higher tuition.

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