Scott Walker and Republicans try to increase faculty teaching

Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin is joining Republicans in other states across the country in seeking to push professors to earn their salaries by teaching more. Walker cites raising college costs and a decrease in the among of time professors spend in the classroom. In today’s post, I am sharing a thoughtful piece by the Associated Press that looks at Walker’s proposal as well as similar efforts in other states. I provided background information and a quote to the story.

Scott Walker pushes faculty

Photo Credit: Associated Press

Republicans Press Professors to Spend More Time Teaching

By Todd Richmond

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — University of Wisconsin chemistry professor Robert Hamers has a jam-packed day ahead: an hourlong lecture, a conference call with colleagues about nanotechnology, meetings and plans to check on students in the lab.

Backward design can help you plan your research

Research is more than simply collecting data and writing up results. Particularly if you’re a pre-tenure assistant professor looking to establish your research agenda, research is also about planning and arranging your publications. Without a sufficient guide, you can miss opportunities or fall short of your institution’s research expectations for tenure and beyond. In today’s post, I want to share how backward design can help you plan your research activities.

backward design can help you plan your research

Photo credit: Paul Albertella

Backward design is an approach to curriculum development that calls for creating learning goals and then working backward from those goals to determine instructional methods and assessments.

The goal with backward design is to teach toward specific goals which helps to focus and organization a course. Backward design provides a roadmap to guide the instructor.

Similarly, backward design can help you develop a roadmap for your research activities. 

Tips for publishing with students

Graduate and undergraduate students can be tremendous assets to your research endeavors and can serve as the embodiment of a merger between your teaching and research activity. For all the benefits of working with students, some concerns and challenges exist. In today’s post, I want to share some tips for publishing with students that you can use to make sure that your publishing relationships with students go well for everyone involved.

tips for publishing with students

Photo credit: Alan Levine

Use Mailbutler to supercharge your Apple Mail

I hate email. I really, really do. Rarely does good news come through my inbox. Instead, I receive everything from administrative requests to complaints to spam. Over the course of the last couple of years, I’ve tried to do everything possible to scale back how much I have to use email. We’ve started using Slack which dramatically cuts down the email my staff sends and I’ve implemented other strategies to reduce the overall amount of email that I receive on a daily basis. Unfortunately, I can’t get away from using email entirely as much as I would love to do so. Resigned to this fact, I’m constantly on the lookout for ways to help me manage and minimize the stress from my email inbox. Over the past six months, I have started using the plugin Mailbutler and I highly recommend you use Mailbutler to supercharge Apple Mail.

Use Mailbutler to supercharge your Apple Mail

As longtime readers know, I’m a big fan of Apple products including many of the built-in programs that come on Mac laptops and computers.

Apple Mail, the email client that comes with Macs, has been my primary email software for probably a decade if not longer. The look, feel, and usability have led me to continue with Apple Mail even if the program lacks the bells and whistles available with other email clients.

Fortunately, I came across a new plugin for Apple Mail that I’ve been using for about six months now. I love it and it really takes Apple Mail to the next level.