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Public Writing in Uncertain Times

Katie Rose Guest Pryal,

Don’t write for the general public to “be productive.” Do it because, in this anxiety-producing year, it will help you or someone else to make sense of our senseless times.
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Distracted Minds: Why Your Students Can’t Focus

Jim Lang,

Not only have we always been distracted; we have always been unhappy about it. Here’s Part 1 of a new series on distraction in the college classroom, and what to do about it.
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Diversity Without Dollars

You think you can’t afford to transform your faculty? The University of Houston begs to differ.
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Scholars Talk Writing: Martha S. Jones

Rachel Toor,

A Johns Hopkins historian, whose new book on Black women’s suffrage is out this month, shares the legal, academic, and artistic influences that come together in her work
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Scholars Talk Writing: Vincent Brown

Rachel Toor,

A Harvard social historian of the African diaspora and Atlantic slavery seeks to tell unfamiliar stories “without letting the power of anti-Blackness stand in for Black history.”
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Your Students Will Be Different This Fall

David Gooblar,

After a summer of discontent, some college students may not defer to authority simply because it is authority. What does that mean for college instructors?
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Scholars Talk Writing: Eve L. Ewing

‘For some academics, inaccessibility is the coin of the realm. For some, you prove your expertise by restricting your own legibility to as few people as possible.’
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When Should You Recruit Again? How About Now?

If your institution has a critical leadership position open, your best chance of attracting top candidates might be while other campuses have suspended all hiring amid Covid-19
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Admin 101: How Good Leaders Say No

David D. Perlmutter,

The economic fallout of Covid-19 means administrators will be killing more ideas than they approve. But you can lessen the odds that your no will be taken as a personal or political affront.
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5 Ways to Connect With Online Students

In remote teaching, it’s easy to forget that students are real people. Here’s why connecting early and often with them is vital, and how to do it.
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Why It’s Important to Write a Proposal for an Academic Book

Rachel Toor,

Back in the old days, a prospective academic author could submit a manuscript — sometimes even a barely reworked dissertation — and book editors would consider it for publication. Now, even if you’ve finished the writing, editors want to see a book proposal first.
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Remote Teaching While Introverted

No, faculty introverts actually have not “been training our whole lives” for remote work amid Covid-19. Imposed social distancing at home is not the same thing as solitude.
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Covid-19 and the Academic Parent

Scholarly reading and writing require long hours of solitary work. So how do you get any of it done in the Covid-19 crisis, when you’re surrounded by kids 24/7?
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What About the Health of Staff Members?

David Perry,

Telling students and professors to work remotely, while demanding that all academic staff members come in, sends a clear message about whose health matters.
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How to Make Your Online Pivot Less Brutal

Kevin Gannon,

It’s not a matter of if, but rather when, you will need to rethink things like grading, due dates, assignments, and your definition of “rigor.”
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Teaching While Introverted

Jim Lang,

The college classroom, it turns out, can be the ideal playground for those of us who identify as introverts.
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How to Make Smart Choices About Tech for Your Course

Choosing the right tech tools for your teaching means making strategic choices, weighing costs against payoffs, and staying laser-focused on your course goals — and that is what this guide aims to help you do.
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Admin 101: How to Manage the Strategic-Planning Process

David D. Perlmutter,

Some strategic plans fail because they are perceived as top-down mandates. Others collapse under the weight of too much input from too many committees. Here’s how to navigate the middle ground.
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How to Get Started in Freelance Writing

If writing for general magazines and websites is something you really want to do in graduate school or after, prioritize it — even if your mentors see it as unimportant.
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How to Read a Faculty Job Ad

Manya Whitaker,

Here is a primer on the jargon of the academic-job market, aimed at early-career scholars preparing for their search this fall.
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Becoming Full Professor While Black

A black woman’s recent promotion to the top faculty rank happened, she writes, "not because times have changed, but because I beat the odds."
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3 Questions That Can Improve Your Teaching

David Gooblar,

Many instructors have an intuitive sense of how to behave at the front of a classroom but have never really given much thought to how best to teach.
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8 Tips to Improve Your CV

Leonard Cassuto,

It’s not just a written record of your credentials. It’s an argument in favor of you. Draft it with that in mind.
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How to Start Off Right in Your New Job

Manya Whitaker,

Yes it’s still summer, but if you’re beginning a new faculty post this fall, it’s time to start preparing for what’s coming.
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Outcome-Based Graduate School?

Leonard Cassuto,

Perhaps it’s time to teach our doctoral students things they actually need to know for the nonacademic careers some of them want to pursue.
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How to Fix the Dreaded Survey Course

Kevin Gannon,

A good intro course is, most emphatically, not a content-driven information transfer. It’s more like a well-curated collection.
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Step Away From the Delete Button

Rebecca Schuman,

Many struggling scholarly writers delete too much too soon. Why not save your ugly prose for a bit, and give it a chance to bloom?
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To Chair or Not to Chair?

Whether to lead your department is a question that every faculty member must answer. Here are some factors to help you make the call.
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The Ph.D. Identity Crisis

Just as you near or cross the doctoral finish line, it hits: the "Who am I? What now?" conundrum.
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The Art of Executive Feedback

Rob Kramer,

A great failure in our current academic system is the inconsistency of managers receiving — or providing — regular, specific, quality feedback on job performance.
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How to Succeed at a Teaching Demo

Kevin Gannon,

Here’s what job candidates need to know about preparing a sample class for an opening at a teaching-oriented college.
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Ready for Your Close-Up?

Just because academics have grown up with video doesn’t mean they are masters of self-presentation on camera. Here is a primer.
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‘Is It Ever OK to Lecture?’

David Gooblar,

New instructors — trained in the importance of "active learning" techniques — often aren’t sure when lecturing is still a valid teaching strategy.
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Why Your HR Officer Is Leaving

Allison M. Vaillancourt,

An uptick in vacancies in campus human-resources and equity offices highlights the frustrations of those jobs.
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Why Grades Still Matter

High standards coupled with high expectations — including encouragement, not derision — create real student success.
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The Worst Writing Advice in the World

Rebecca Schuman,

In Episode 2 of the "Are You Writing?" series: Some much better advice to replace a popular productivity tip that doesn’t work for most people.
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The Way We Hire Now

A faculty-search process that used to be finite and uniform is now year-round, scattershot, and ruthless.
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Why I'm Easy: On Giving Lots of A's

The importance of encouraging students who are weighed down by preprofessional courses to take a class for — dare I say it? — pleasure.
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6 Ways to Beat Writer’s Block

Rachel Toor,

Too many academic writers come to believe the lie they tell themselves — that their work is not good enough.
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‘Why Is This Course Required?’

David Gooblar,

It is precisely because students had no choice in taking a required course that we should offer them more choices within it.
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4 Ideas for Avoiding Faculty Burnout

David Gooblar,

Teaching is the main source of faculty burnout. So doesn’t it follow that our teaching — and our students’ learning — will suffer the more stressed and exhausted we become?
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Historians Behaving Badly

As scholars. we do all sorts of small, self-interested things that undermine collegiality and our own interests, too.
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I’m Not Ready to Quit Grading

David Gooblar,

But I am ready to ask students to do more self-assessments, and to give their "grading" as much weight as mine.
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Scholars Talk Writing: Carlo Rotella

Rachel Toor,

"There’s deep pleasure in working on your chops, and deep reward in being part of a community of inquiry with students who are working on theirs."
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Candidacies Killed by a Typo

Instead of being a deal breaker, a mistake on a cover letter should be a chance to build trust on an executive search committee.
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Another New Provost?

Terry McGlynn,

How relentless administrative turnover makes it hard for me to do my job as a faculty member.
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Ghost Advising

The distressingly unsurprising story of what happens when prominent (usually male) dissertation advisers fail to do their job.
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The Case for Inclusive Teaching

Kevin Gannon,

If we can’t recruit additional students, we need to make every effort to keep more of the ones we have.
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The Grief of the Ex-Academic

Leonard Cassuto,

And what the decision to leave the professoriate behind says about graduate education.
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Why I Collapsed on the Job

Academics are silent workaholics — so free to work whenever we want that many of us end up working all the time.
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A Fine Rejection Season

Rebecca Schuman,

In Part 4 of "Ice Skating in Hell," a Ph.D. comes up short on the faculty job market for a fifth year — but it’s OK. Really.
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Is Ambition Always Bad?

Allison M. Vaillancourt,

While campaigning for your next job, don’t lose the one you’ve got.
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The Benefits of Doing It Wrong

David Gooblar,

Why you should invite your students to write badly, perform an experiment incorrectly, or botch an equation.
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Reinventing the Survey Course

Jim Lang,

When it comes to putting innovation into practice, a new book argues, not all classes are created equal.
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Carrot Versus Stick Teaching

Rob Jenkins,

Students try harder, and learn more, when your grading includes rewards, rather than just punishments.
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The 21st-Century Academic

Manya Whitaker,

How an emphasis on diversity, in all its forms, is reshaping faculty roles and academic culture.
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Welcome to the Jungle

Jonathan Rees,

Don’t cede the online-education terrain to people whose courses are nowhere near as good as your own.
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On Faculty and Mental Illness

Katie Rose Guest Pryal,

Finally, academe has a guide for how to better treat its psychiatrically disabled workers.
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Stuck With Someone Else’s Mess

Allison M. Vaillancourt,

What’s the best way to respond when your dream job in administration quickly turns into a nightmare?
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Playing With Technology

Why I gave peer instruction and polling a try, and how they’ve changed my teaching.
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Facing My Own Extinction

Nina Handler,

An institution eliminates its English major, but more has been lost than a degree program.
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Rate My Job Applications

Rebecca Schuman,

In Part 2 of the series "Ice Skating in Hell," a Ph.D. offers a rundown of where she applied, and why.
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Don’t Avoid Risk — Manage It

Melanie Nelson,

Formal risk-management methods might be overkill, but you can learn how to informally evaluate the potential hazards facing your projects.
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How to Escape Grading Jail

Kevin Gannon,

In the end-of-the-semester crush, our students don’t do their best work in all-night cram sessions, and neither do we.
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Yes, You Have Implicit Biases, Too

David Gooblar,

Teaching techniques like "the progressive stack" is a way for faculty members to circumvent our own buried prejudices.
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Becoming a Woman

A librarian at a small college chronicles the ups and downs of transitioning in academe.
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Administration 101: The Vision Thing

David D. Perlmutter,

The hiring profile for a campus-leadership position is often an elaborate, committee-drawn projection of myriad hopes and contradictory needs. Certain meta-qualities, however, tend to stand out as universally sought after, whether the opening is f...
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The Wrong Kind of Famous

Jonathan Rees,

If the good ship Academic Freedom sinks, under the weight of Twitter attacks on controversial profs, we will all drown.
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The Kids Are Still Alright

Rob Jenkins,

Maybe it’s your own generational bias that is getting in the way of appreciating today’s undergraduates.
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Stop Flaunting Your Flaws

Allison M. Vaillancourt,

Self-awareness as a leader in higher education does not mean being proud of your faults.
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So We Went to Prison …

What three faculty members learned about teaching from a course they offered to incarcerated students.
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Social Media Is Scholarship

Mark Carrigan,

Used properly, it’s not just an unwelcome drain on productivity but a way to manage your research activities more effectively.
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Why I Don’t Take Attendance

Kelli Marshall,

Taking roll always seemed more laborious than necessary, but I never really thought not to do it.
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Lessons on Productivity

Rachel Toor,

Three books offer different theories and solutions on what helps us get our work done.
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Cute Outfits and the Academic Career

Holly Genovese,

Clothing is just one more minefield for female graduate students that their male counterparts do not encounter in the same way.
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A Welcoming Classroom

Jim Lang,

As more students request accommodations, you may find that meeting their needs can help all of your students.
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Podcasting in Plain Sight

Hannah McGregor,

How two academics created a popular Harry Potter podcast, and didn’t come to regret it.
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Searching Without a Search Firm

If you are running a search without a consultant — and sometimes you should — do it under the right conditions.
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Are They Doing Their Own Work?

Stephanie Reese Masson,

Some institutions are requiring professors to do more to confirm their students’ identities in online coursework.
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Endless Summer

Rebecca Schuman,

The (unpaid) dog days of August in grad school.
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Reeling Them in Early

David Gooblar,

Getting students invested in your course is the most important objective to aim for in the opening weeks of the semester.
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The Worst F-Word

John Kehayias,

A tenure-track dream you’ve spent 14 years pursuing is not an easy thing to give up.
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The Awkwardest Hug

JH Pearl,

In a job interview, you don’t have as much power to ruin everything as you think.
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How to Survive Permanent Austerity

Jonathan Rees,

If your institution is going to be dependent on tuition dollars to keep its doors open, how can you as a faculty member help recruit and retain students without sacrificing your integrity?
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5 Ways to a Faster Ph.D.

How graduate schools could shorten time-to-degree without watering down program requirements.
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Fixing Our Job-Market Problem

Kevin Gannon,

Career diversity must become the new norm, not an exceptional trend, if graduate education is to thrive in the future.
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The ‘So What?’ Question

Theresa MacPhail,

You may be convinced that your paper has a solid central argument. Here are three ways to tell when it doesn’t.
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Evil Deans and the Academic Novel

In this summer’s fiction recommendations, faculty are taking out their frustrations on overworked and under-respected middle managers.
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All in Favor of Quitting?

Kelly J. Baker,

When things get tough, people tell you to stick it out, persevere. But sometimes quitting is the smart thing to do.
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A Memoir on Leaving the Faculty

Katie Rose Guest Pryal,

A Q&A with Kelly J. Baker: “Academic notions of success are remarkably narrow, and the world around us has more possibilities than we might think.”
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Banish the Smarm

Effective networking isn't slimy — it's sincere, deep, and generous.
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The Art of Peer Pressure

Rebecca Schuman,

Hello prospective grad student. Come in under the shadow of this red rock.
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Why You Need a Writing Group

Louise Seamster,

A writing group is automatically subversive — a parallel universe outside of the isolation of academic culture.
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Fair Use Too Often Goes Unused

Noah Berlatsky,

Scholarly publishers want authors to get permission to reprint any image, but does the law always require it?
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How to Craft a Pitch

Kelly J. Baker,

Six tips to help you craft an effective pitch that will get your article published.
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You. Yes, You!

Allison M. Vaillancourt,

Warning: You may be surprised by the realities of an administrative position.
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The Future of Work

Also this week: Being human might be a pre-existing condition; what’s driving administrative bloat; and other news.
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A Summer Reading List

Annie Berke,

You ran/walked/crawled across the finish line of the spring semester: Reward yourself with a few good books.
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ISO … a Peer Mentor

Jessica Pesce,

Why is it so difficult to find a midcareer mentor near my own age?
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You Can’t Automate Good Teaching

Jonathan Rees,

Any professor who cares one whit about teaching understands that education involves a lot more than just conveying information.
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What You Do Does Matter

John Schwiebert,

Notes on teaching for those days when it seems as if no one is listening.
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Does Diversity Training Work?

Also this week: Why older workers might be better workers. Segregation is alive and well, but no one cares; and other news.
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We Keep Ignoring the Audience

David Gooblar,

Teaching graduate students to pay attention to who they’re writing for could go a long way toward improving academic writing.
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Now You're in Charge

Allison M. Vaillancourt,

Warning: You may be surprised by the realities of an administrative position.
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Recommendation Inflation

Howard Gardner,

Recommendation letters don't generally reflect candid professional judgments, but here are some tips on making them at least a little more helpful.
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Unexpected Careers

Jenny Furlong,

Our Career Talk columnists talk with three Ph.D.s who ended up finding satisfying work outside their disciplines.
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Grumps in the Workplace

Also this week: the secret to keeping tenured professors happy; unfair pay practices; the remarkable benefits of biking to work.
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How to Stop Sneering

Maria Shine Stewart,

Just because you can disparage a student or a colleague doesn’t mean you have to.
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In Praise of the First Person

David Gooblar,

Why you should be encouraging your undergraduate and graduate students to write in the first person.
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Stuck in the Assessment Swamp?

Kevin Gannon,

It’s little wonder that “assessment” is one of those words that make faculty break out in hives.
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Have Postdoc, Will Travel

Andrew Thaler,

Before you accept that fellowship, consider the high costs — financial and otherwise — of short-term relocations.
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Yes, I Send Fanmail

Rachel Toor,

Once in a while, it’s OK to fawn over writing you admire, even if the author is still breathing.
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Why I Teach Online

Devoney Looser,

It turns out that online instruction is a feminist issue.
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Why Informal Job Interviews Are Worthless

Also this week: the importance of mentoring people who aren’t like you; when a professor is a victim of a racial slur; why you should think like a nonagenarian.
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Stalled in the Writing?

Amy Benson Brown,

The problem may be that you are approaching your project from the outside in, rather than from the inside out.
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Getting Our Students Wrong

David Gooblar,

Why is it always so surprising when our initial impression of a student turns out to be mistaken?
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Mastering the Boring Basics

Nicole Matos ,

Much of teaching is procedural. But making the most of those routine moments can have a big impact in your classroom.
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The Distracted Classroom

New research may help us break the impasse over how to cope with digital diversions in the classroom.
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Conserving Your Teaching Energy

neil baldwin,

In today's college classroom, where affect often supersedes subject, we expend a lot of effort monitoring our students’ feelings.

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