Tuesday, May 30, 2006

How will we get tenure?

I just returned from the Academy of Marketing Science conference where I presented a paper on employee blogging. The presentation went well--even if one man did fall asleep in the back row--I tried not to take it personally. This conference is small and very welcoming to doctoral students--there was a dinner and lunch devoted to us where we had an opportunity to ask questions of senior faculty about the job search and other things.

One interesting topic was tenure in the future. A couple of faculty claimed that we should be prepared to excel at teaching, research, service AND making money for the school. Now, an article in Inside Higher Ed says that patents are also being considered for tenure.

How will we social scientists compete in this landscape? Those professors in the sciences are used to writing grants and applying for patents, but this is all new to us. Guess there are more new tricks to learn.

Monday, May 22, 2006

UNC has Paul Jones...

An article in the NY Times discusses how J-School admissions are booming, yet not all are getting on the new media bandwagon.

First of all, it is sad that UNC's J-School is not even mentioned in this article. While it is true that schools are not embracing new media to the extent that we would expect them to, UNC does have Paul Jones who teaches an outstanding class on online communities. I took his class last fall and there were several undergrad journalism students in that class planning to use their knowledge of new media in their journalism careers.

Guess we need to do a better job tooting our own horn.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Multiple personalities...

I volunteered in my son's classroom yesterday helping to organize a Greek lunch after their weeks of studying Greek culture and mythology. The kids all dressed up like Greek Gods and had a wonderful lunch of chicken, rice, greek salad, pita bread and hummus. I haven't had much time to volunteer all year, so I'm trying to make up for it by doing extra things now that the semester is over.

I realized that I have to have multiple personalities to navigate in that volunteer world. Some moms work, many do not and I've only met one that is also a student. Sometimes I have to stop myself and think of something I have in common with these other moms in this very privileged world our children live in--where moms will spend many hours and hundreds of dollars to create a Greek feast to help their children learn about Greek culture.

Crisis resolved...

Open communication and offering apologies do wonders to healing fractures in relationships. It is not easy being the junior person in a research relationship, but I'm learning. Guess I'm not too old to learn a new trick.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Guess I'm not the oldest student after all...

A new study finds that 25 million people over college age are planning to take college courses in the next year: 57% from 18-34 and 42% 35 and older.

Ouch. Guess I'm in that oldest category. One interesting fact: the largest market for returning students is my favorite town, Ann Arbor.

Looks like there is a market here to talk to all of us old students. I wonder who is working on this.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Sad ending to second year...

The semester is over and it feels strange. I should be happy about completing two years of grueling coursework, while raising two young children, but I'm fighting for equal ownership of an article I helped to co-author. I've dealt with dulicitious people in the business world, but never thought I'd deal with them in academia like this.

I've had challenges, like media law, impossible deadlines, balancing children with studying and papers, but this is the most depressing issue I've faced yet. Yuck.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Thanks, Pat...We'll miss you.

Last night, we all gathered to say good-bye to one of our favorite professors, Pat Curtin. Pat (second from the right on the couch) is leaving UNC for a chaired professorship at Oregon and we students wanted to have a chance to say good-bye, and thanks.

Pat is one of those rare professors that I hope I can emulate someday: she cares enough to teach us how to write well (as well as teach us the course material) and she cares enough to know when we need help with something other than what's on the syllabus.

Thanks, Pat. Oregon's gain is our loss.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Less is more...

Lag in blogging due to finals week.

This week has been full of final papers and exams: One paper due Monday, one paper due Tuesday, one exam Tuesday, and one paper due Friday. Then, at the last minute, one professor (who shall remain nameless!), decided that we needed a final exam after all, in addition to our final paper, so he gave us a take-home final exam to be due when the final paper was due Friday afternoon. But, he must have received complaints about the exam because he had to hold a teaching session Thursday to teach us the material that would allow us to actually complete the exam. Two hours later, we knew enough to finish the exam.

Add this experience to "what I will not do when I'm a professor." By the end of a semester, students are burnt out--I know I am.

Less is more.