Everyone is in the idea business

Everyone is in the idea business.

You may make or sell something else, but you are in the idea business.

Photo credit: Caleb Roenigk


Today’s economy values and rewards knowledge more than production. The changes created by an increasingly flat world require companies to be nimble, innovative, and forward-thinking.

Of the 500 companies listed on the first edition of the Fortune 500 in 1955, 87% are no longer on the list.

Higher education’s interactions with the environment

Higher eduction institutions act as open systems interacting with a variety of stakeholders and environmental factors that influence their behaviors and activities. These interactions are critical in helping develop and support the institutional diversity that exists in American higher education. Having diversity in the types of institutions allows higher education to serve multiple needs and missions. In today’s post, I want to share an excerpt from my monograph on institutional diversity describing how these interactions play out and their value to the higher education system.

Photo credit: Antony Stanley

Students, faculty, administrators, broader economic trends, state legislators, alumni, federal policy, and demographic changes represent only a few of the inputs into the higher education system.

I’ve got nothing for you

In light of the shooting in Charleston, it didn’t feel right just going back to talking about higher education issues or how to write more productively. Instead, I’m going to take a page from Jon Stewart’s book and share his monologue on the Charleston shooting.

“I didn’t do my job today, so I apologize. I got nothing for you, in terms of jokes and sounds, because of what happened in South Carolina.

How to read student course evaluations

After the conclusion of each semester, I always eagerly await my student course evaluations. I know many faculty that dislike student evaluations. I share the concerns about the overweighted importance that evaluations can sometimes hold over an instructor’s career. However, I also appreciate hearing from my students and trying to improve. In today’s post, I will share how to read student course evaluations to reflect upon and improve your teaching.

Student course evaluations may be like the oft-quoted Winston Churchill line, “democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried.”

I firmly believe that if you follow the five steps I describe below that you will find student course evaluations productive and useful for improving future classes.

Use a model to write better journal articles

One of the joys and curses of academic writing is that we can always do better. Writing is a skill that can be continually improved. Before I begin any writing project, I identify a model that I use as a guide for how to structure my article, chapter, or book. I find this to be a tremendous help in thinking about my project and provides me a concrete targets to shoot for when writing. In today’s post, I will share how to use a model to write better journal articles and improve your success at academic publishing.

Photo credit: Getty Images North America

Model articles can offer important tips such as how long various sections should be or how to craft the implications for your study.