The Power of a Writing Routine

Routines can be powerful drivers of human behavior. When we do certain things the same way every time, we are able to save our focus and brain power for the things that really need our attention. Moreover, a routine helps prepare you for engaging in a certain activity. In today’s post, I want to explore the power of a writing routine to help supercharge your writing activities.

the power of a writing routine

Photo credit: thespyglass

One of my favorite ways to think about academic work is to learn about the daily habits and processes of experts. My goal isn’t to copy what these experts do verbatim, but to think about how their process can inform my own.

Selecting external reviewers for tenure

One of the most critical aspects of any tenure and promotion case are the letters from external reviewers. The number of reviewers varies by institution, but typically anywhere from 6-10 letters will be solicited from scholars who can speak to the quality and impact of your research. Often, these letters play a significant and even outsized role in the evaluation process. In today’s post, I will share some suggestions for selecting external reviewers for tenure and advice for navigating what can be a confusing process.

Selecting external reviewers for tenure

Photo credit: Flickr Karen

Use backward design for project planning

As we get ready to move into the summer months, have you thought about your goals and what you want to get accomplished? Before we know it, August will roll around and it will be time to gear up for another academic year. Whether you are planning a productive summer or just thinking about a large project, there are some specific steps you can take to make sure you have a plan to achieve your goals. In today’s post, I will share how the principles of backward design can be used to come up with a plan to get your work done.

Photo credit: Crispin Semmens

Without a concrete plan of action, you may struggle to complete your most significant work. 

Alan Alda on teaching science

Alan Alda is an award-winning actor known for his roles on the hit television shows M.A.S.H. and The West Wing. However, Alda is now more passionate about improving teaching science. He has spoken across the nation and world about his work at the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University. I recently attended a lecture by Alda and want to share my insights from his talk in today’s post.

Alan Alda on teaching science

I’ve always loved Alan Alda. He is such a classic actor to me. He seems to really embody the character.

Given a personal health crisis and his own experience as a T.V. doctor, Alda has begun to use his celebrity to support the cause of communicating science better.

While much of his work is talking about communicating with a broader public, there are some specific lessons for anyone involved in college teaching— in the sciences and beyond.

Happy 3rd Birthday Higher Ed Professor

When I began this blog, I had no idea that it still be going three years later. Yet, today is the 3rd anniversary of Higher Ed Professor going live. During these years, I’ve attempted to share content to help inform faculty and administrators and offer my take on the current higher education environment. I have tremendously enjoyed the process and getting to know so many readers.

Photo credit: Roberto Cancho Toca