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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

UGE Budget

Everybody talks about the budget, but nobody does anything about it.
Adapted from Mark Twain.

The legislature delivered a higher education bill a couple of weeks ago, and the University’s budget office delivered a collegiate budget to CLA on May 31. As I described in a blog post last fall, central typically comes up with state O&M or tuition funding to cover our compensation package (2% this year), requires us to “reallocate” (i.e., cut) a certain amount, and then allows us to ask for money back in the form of requests to make investments in various areas. This year CLA’s reallocation was $1.6 million, and our new funding for investment was $150,000. Ouch. That leaves a mark.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

2017 C. Eugene Allen Award

Last night (Monday, April 24), our very own Nanette Hanks won the 2017 C. Eugene Allen Award for Innovative International Initiatives at the GPS Global Gala. Nanette has been involved in, and a champion of, learning abroad programs for many years, including teaching a global seminar every other year on the Camino de Santiago in northern Spain. Congratulations, Nanette!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Annual Reviews

Long time, no blog posts. First of all, let me apologize for the snow this week. The family minivan has an appointment to get the winter tires removed and the summer tires installed, and the gods of irony will get their due.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Liberal Education III

When we last left our heroes, they were struggling to figure out what liberal education should be at the University of Minnesota. In today’s episode, they update their ideas based on discussion at the third liberal education open forum.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Liberal Education II

The second faculty and staff forum on the future of liberal education requirements at UMNTC was on February 23. My biggest realization while thinking about all that has been said lately about liberal education is that the framing of the discussion as “What do our students need to know?” is not the right starting point. The right starting point “Who do we want our students to be?” I don’t mean who should be admitted, but rather what should our graduates be like? The answer to that question leads us down a path toward our goal rather than simply creating “A Thing To Do.”

Monday, February 27, 2017

Choose your words wisely...

… or at least correctly. A couple weeks ago I wrote a post titled “In our Nation of Immigrants.” I used the word immigrant because in North America, everyone’s ancestors came here from somewhere else. How long your ancestors have been here might be measured in years or decades or centuries or millennia, but we all originally came from somewhere else, and thus I said immigrant.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Liberal Education

We are the College of Liberal Arts, but the University of Minnesota also has Liberal Education requirements for all students. What we call liberal education other institutions call general education or distribution requirements, but whatever you call these requirements, almost all institutions have them. These requirements effectively spell out the kinds of things that an institution believes an educated person should know or understand. Here at the U, these are split into core (disciplinary groupings such as mathematical thinking, literature, history, etc.) and themes (subject matter groupings such as the environment or technology and society).

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

In our Nation of Immigrants

The University of Minnesota shall provide equal access to and opportunity in its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. 
-- Equal Opportunity Statement, University of Minnesota (emphasis added)

I shouldn’t have to say more. But, what a mess! That’s the most polite thing I can call it when the leader of the country decides he wants to discriminate on the basis of religion and national origin. The founding fathers would be so proud.

We are all Americans, regardless of how we look, talk, or pray; we should not deny potential Americans because of how they look, talk, or pray. Support our students; support each other.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

On Elephants

Elephants figure large (ba dum boom, ching!) in English idiom.
  • The elephant in the room.
  • Seeing the elephant.
  • Blind men and an elephant.
  • White elephants.
  • Pink elephants.
  • When the elephant dances.
  • Elephants never forget.
Elephants are large, expensive, complicated, dangerous, gentle, magnificent, social, intelligent, and most assuredly non-ignorable. Sometimes other colleges at the U think of CLA as an elephant, some days beating out a trail for others to follow, and other days blundering around (see dancing elephants and mice).

Here in UGE we have a baby elephant of our own: the Career Readiness Initiative. It’s new. It’s complex. It’s going to grow into something huge and be pretty expensive. You can no longer ignore it. It’s going to establish or widen some paths in CLA, and we think it’s going to be a wonder and magnificent when it is fully grown.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Spring 2017

I hope you are all enjoying your MLK holiday. I read Dr. King’s “Letter from the Birmingham Jail” this morning, and it is just as inspiring today as it was more than 50 years ago. It’s a new semester, and we should all be inspired as we begin a new semester.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Outstanding Service Awards

Just before winter break, we learned that not one, not two, not three, but four (count em, four!) UGE colleagues were awarded Outstanding Service Awards.