Links for 2011-07-20

  • “This interchangeability of visions for the future underscores the fact that the precise content of most colleges’ strategic plans is pretty much irrelevant. Plans are usually forgotten soon after they are promulgated. My university has presented two systemwide strategic plans and one arts-and-sciences strategic plan in the past 15 years. No one can remember much about any of those plans, but another one is in the works. The plan is not a blueprint for the future. It is, instead, a management tool for the present. The ubiquity of planning at America’s colleges and universities is another reflection and reinforcement of the continuing growth of administrative power.”
  • “The son of some family friends is starting college this Fall. They know where I work, so they’ve asked for pointers, and I’ve shared them freely. It occurs to me that some other folks might find them useful, too. So in the spirit of openness, some advice for students starting at a community college this Fall:”
  • “What daily practice may help American Christians become more concerned about issues of poverty, conservation and civil liberties?

    Reading the Bible.

    The answer may come as a surprise to those locked into viewing religious practices in ideological boxes. However, a new study by Baylor University researcher Aaron Franzen found frequent Bible reading predicted greater support for issues ranging from the compatibility of science and religion to more humane treatment of criminals.

    The study, one of the first to examine the social consequences of reading Scripture, reveals the effects of Bible reading appear to transcend conservative-liberal boundaries.”


  1. #1 AcademicLurker
    July 20, 2011

    I’ve been consistently amazed at how much time administrators can waste on strategic plans. They role out a new one every 5 years like clockwork and their measurable impact on the school appears to be 0.

    A colleague of mine once attended one of these planning sessions. She told me afterwords that 2 days of 9 to 5 meetings resulted in the conclusion that everyone was in favor of “excellence”. Apparently most of those involved considered the meetings a great success.

  2. #2 Academic Lurker
    July 20, 2011

    Make that “roll”.

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