FBI investigation into college basketball

College basketball is a big-time enterprise. From the thrill of March Madness to a potential future in the NBA, money plays a major factor in college basketball. While few would be surprised to learn that the money involved leads to bad actors and rule breaking, the recent news that the FBI and Justice Department are investigating and pursuing federal charges against a host of coaches, agents, and others is shocking. I firmly believe this investigation will have far reaching consequences. In today’s post, I want to share a recently published an op-ed that I wrote in the Texas Tribune’s TribTalk that discussed what higher education should do to clean up college basketball.

Photo credit: Getty Images

What Google’s team research can teach higher ed

The importance of teamwork is increasingly understood as important across many work contexts. In higher education, we talk a great deal about the need for teamwork to support innovation, creativity, and productivity. There’s been a fascination for years about the potential of interdisciplinary activities to break down silos and build connections across campus. Whether we are talking about faculty or administrative offices, higher education leaders desire to promote teamwork, but how do we do this in the construct of the university. In today’s post, I want to share what Google’s team research can teach higher ed about teamwork.

Photo credit: Google

A research group inside of Google’s human resources unit (what they call People Operations) sought to understand what makes a Google team effective. 

Teaching with the news

On a daily if not hourly basis, we are bombarded by breaking news. The proliferation of news channels and social media increases the volume and speed of how news spreads. Given turbulent news, instructors can leverage current events to demonstrate the applicability of course content. In my book, Teaching for Learning:  101 Intentionally Designed Educational Activities to Put Students on the Path to Success, my co-authors and I described how faculty can accomplish the goal of teaching with the news. In today’s post, I want to share our In the News IDEA so help instructors think about how they can use current events in the classroom.

Photo credit: Brad Montgomery

IDEA #16:  In the News


It has long been known that students are more likely to learn and to retain information for which they see practical use and relevance (Dewey, 1938). The In the News IDEA can be used in a variety of different formats and course subjects to illustrate to students that concepts learned in class are directly relevant to societal issues. Students may bring in news stories of their choice to discuss, or the instructor may select a “hot topic” for the class. The core concept is to cold-call on students to describe their news story or share thoughts about a current event to encourage class discussion and application of course content to contemporary contexts. In the News is particularly engaging when controversial topics are brought to class that provide fodder for discussion. 

The role and purpose of a research agenda

A research agenda plays a valuable role in helping design scholarly activities for graduate students and faculty. Simply put, a research agenda means identifying the areas you will research and the methodologies you will use to answer questions. You probably have heard from professors in graduate school and beyond that you can’t research everything so you need to pick what you can feasibly study. Moreover, a scattershot approach can keep you from focusing on important questions and pull you in a number of different directions. In today’s post, I will describe research agenda and why they can be of benefit for researchers.

Photo credit: Paul Albertella

How productive are you?

As longtime readers know, I strongly believe in the power of productivity to improve our work and impact in higher education. Both faculty and administrators can strive to improve their productivity to not only get more done, but to focus on what really matters. New York Times best-selling author and productivity expert Michael Hyatt has developed a wonderful tool that can help you assess where you currently stand and how to think about improving your productivity.