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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Inside Higher Ed Insider Update May 2012

   May 2012

Welcome to your May 2012 Insider Update - the newsletter for readers of Inside Higher Ed. Once a month we send a quick rundown on what's happening at Inside Higher Ed: events, accomplishments and a bit of fun.


"Inside Higher Ed is the first website I open, to enjoy with my morning coffee. I am constantly surprised how relevant the information is, and how, almost daily, I am referencing something I learned from your website."

--Kimberly D. Echols, Florida State University.

Thanks, Ms. Echols -- we were thrilled by how many responders in our recent reader survey mentioned that coffee-Inside Higher Ed relationship.

A wide range of topics -- from birth control to rethinking student learning -- got people reading, writing and sharing on the site last month. Our best-read story was Scott Jaschik's coverage of a recent study of the most competitive colleges, finding that "holistic" admissions policies look very different at different colleges -- and that some kinds of applicants may compete only against each other. A vIews piece from Richard Keeling and Richard Hersh, arguing that change -- and not a little -- is needed across higher education, inspired hundreds of readers to click the "share" button. Keeling and Hersch take colleges to task for focusing too much on rankings and pushing students through, and too little on academic rigor and quality. Scott's story about a Catholic university that has allowed health insurance to include contraception, but now tells employees they will lose that benefit, drew more comments than any story we published in April.


In his new book College: What It Was, Is, and Should Be (Princeton University Press), Columbia University professor Andrew Delbanco tries his hand at answering some of the most fundamental questions about college in America: What is college for? What should college -- as distinct from university -- look like? And what on earth is to be done about it? Click here to read our interview (as well as all Inside HIgher Ed's books coverage).


Inside Higher Ed's Serena

Golden chats with Wendell Berry after the 2012 Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities. Read Serena's coverage of the event here.

OUT AND ABOUT -- Scott Jaschik travels to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor on May 4 to participate in a panel honoring the 50th anniversary of the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching.

Todd Thompson will be representing Inside Higher Ed at the Midwest Region conference of the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR) in Milwaukee, WI, May 6-8.

Scott travels to Atlanta, GA, on May 14 for a speech to a group of British university administrators. He'll be back in Washington, DC, for the World 100 Reputation International Higher Education Conference taking place at American University May 15-16. And then he travels on to Philadelphia May 17 for a meeting of the Education Writers Association, where he'll be joined by Doug Lederman.

Kathlene Collins will spend May 21-22 in Austin, TX, for the annual users conference of PeopleAdmin.

Paul Fain and Daryl Anderson will travel to Austin a little later in the month for the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development's 34th annual International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence, taking place May 27-30. Paul will present a session titled Talking to the News Media on Monday, May 28, at 2:45 p.m.

Allie Grasgreen heads to Chicago May 28-June 1 for the annual meeting of the American College Health Association.

GRADHACKER SEEKS MORE WRITERS -- GradHacker, an Inside Higher Ed blog produced by graduate students for graduate students, is seeking new writers.

Gradhacker has inhabited a space somewhere between the worlds of social sciences, humanities, and education but has had guest authors from disciplines as varied as astronomy and law. Authors have blogged about issues like Banishing Imposter Syndrome and the Perils of Perfectionism while also providing practical advice on How to Write a Course Proposal, How to Read a Book and Stripping Down the Writing Process.

If you are interested in Gradhacker's efforts, they can benefit from your input in several ways. First, Gradhacker is always looking for permanent authors who are motivated and enthusiastic about sharing knowledge. Second, the Gradhacker podcast launched its second episode last week and is open to feedback, ideas for interviews, and iTunes subscribers. Finally, Gradhacker is building networks between graduate student organizations throughout the country to help connect people and ideas. Please share this exciting project with those who may be interested at your own institution and feel free to contact co-editor Alex Galarza ( with feedback or questions.

STAFF NEWS -- Congratulations to Inside Higher Ed's lead developer Juan Risso and his wife Angie on the birth of their son Luka Benjamin.

David Epstein, who has the distinction of being the first reportorial hire of Inside Higher Ed, has been named a Livingston Award finalist, identifying him as one of the 40 best journalists in the country (in any media form -- print, online, broadcast) under the age of 35. David is currently writing at Sports Illustrated, and those wanting to check out some of his recent work can find an archive here.

RECENT VISITORS -- Lots of interesting guests sat down with Inside Higher Ed reporters and editors in April, including visitors from the Council of Graduate Schools, NASPA, University of Minnesota, University of Pennsylvania, State University of New York at Buffalo, Husson University, Valparaiso University, Pitzer College, Mills College, and Interfaith Youth Core. We're always happy to host higher education leaders in our DC offices. Contact Scott at or Doug at to plan a visit.

Inside Higher Ed's Sharon Salang (left) with Mary Beth Jordan, human resources director of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University at the CUPA-HR Eastern Region conference last month.


Taking Career Services to the Next Level

An Inside Higher Ed Webinar featuring Andy Chan, vice president for personal and career development at Wake Forest University

Thursday, May 24, 2 pm Eastern

As the economic downturn drags on, new college graduates continue to face a tough job market. And prospective college students (not to mention their parents) are increasingly looking at how colleges actually prepare students for careers. While some colleges have long embraced this mission, other colleges worry about the impact on traditional liberal arts orientations – even as they also worry about being attractive and relevant to students.

On Thursday, May 24 at 2 p.m. Eastern, Andy Chan, vice president for personal and career development at Wake Forest University and organizer of the recent conference Rethinking Success: From the Liberal Arts to Careers in the 21st Century, will offer a presentation on why and how colleges are rethinking the role of career services and career centers. Andy will discuss:

  • Why career centers are increasingly important in attracting prospective students and assuring their parents, as well as ensuring successful outcomes at graduation.
  • The importance of career development at institutions where some or all students are in liberal arts programs.
  • The role of academic programs and faculty related to careers (for students in a range of fields).
  • How career development should be revamped given the current economy.
  • Future directions for career development in higher education.

Ideal for professionals in student affairs, admissions, academic affairs and career services, the Taking Career Services to the Next Level webinar will feature a 30-minute presentation and a 30-minute question-and-answer period. The entire program will last one hour.

The Taking Career Services to the Next Level webinar costs $199 for a single registration. The presentation is conducted online and does not require a conference call; attend yourself or with a group around a shared monitor. Register early -- through Friday, May 11 -- and the cost is only $149. Click here to register.


Andy Chan became vice president for personal and career development at Wake Forest University in 2009. Chan was previously assistant dean and director of the MBA Career Management Center at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. Before joining Stanford, Chan served as president and CEO of eProNet, an online recruiting and career network based on relationships with university alumni associations. Earlier, he was president and CEO of MindSteps, a corporate education software start-up. Chan earned his B.A. and M.B.A. at Stanford University.


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