Future Shock

Outdoor Colleges

Fueling the soul of Olympic competitors

As we prepare for the Games of XXX across the pond, nestled in the Adirondack Mountains is a quiet Olympic engine fueled by the hopes of tomorrow’s great athletes.  Nowhere is this Olympic ethos more evident than the site of the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics amid the lakes and mountains of Northern New York.

Q&A With the Authors of The Sustainable University

Having worked closely with college and university presidents, provosts, and trustees, James Martin, a professor of English at Mount Ida College (Mass.) and James E. Samels, president and CEO of The Education Alliance, recognize just how complex sustainability leadership in higher education has become. Their new book, The Sustainable University (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012), identifies four formidable challenges facing campus leaders, as well as promising solutions.

Increased Accountability or Political Powergrab?

Here we are at Sox Spring Training, listening to fans complain about tuition debt, a burden for which the promise of spring baseball brings little comfort. States are rethinking their higher education systems—unifying control of what some see as unwieldy public systems. Restructurings can result in non-duplication of programs, cost avoidance, and profit improvement­.

Incubating 21st Century Healthcare Professionals

Here we are at a coffee shop in South Boston, commiserating over the latest higher education buzz. Boston, a place that hosts 50 colleges and universities, is the kind of college town that often drives national higher learning megatrends. The talk here is about President Obama taking aim at at student debt load, gainful employment, and health care.  For Obama, “The question isn’t how we can afford to focus on healthcare. The question is how we can afford not to…because in order to fix our economic crisis and rebuild our middle class, we need to fix our healthcare system, too.”

Colleges of the Arts and Artisans

Inspiring the new creative economy

Futurist Richard Florida moved the needle with his book The Rise of the Creative Class (Basic Books, 2002)—establishing creativity as a 21st century learning and earning skill, and a driving force of economic growth, jobs creation, and cultural enrichment in today’s competitive global society.

Smartcollar Colleges

Educating 21st Century Middle Skills Technologists

When asked to reflect on the role of higher education in preparing future workers, Bill Gates replied: “Life is not divided into semesters. You don’t get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you find yourself...At Microsoft there are lots of brilliant ideas but the image is that they all come from the top—I’m afraid that’s not quite right.” Gates reminds us of the importance of practical, real-world, learning by doing for tomorrow’s Smartcollar science and technology workers.

Beyond Facebook

What's next for social media in higher ed

Last November, Facebook wunderkind Mark Zuckerberg paid a visit to Harvard for the first time since dropping out of sight in 2004. In his address to students, the social media guru proclaimed that Facebook “is just getting started.” Remarkably, social networking has, in the past five years, forever changed the higher learning landscape. It will profoundly shape the higher ed marketplace in the next decade. Today, it’s estimated that more than 800 million people around the world depend on Facebook.

Treasure Island: The Next Generation of Cost-Conscious Colleges and Universities

Steve Jobs once opined, “It’s more fun to be a pirate than to join the Navy.” Today, this classic metaphor provides us with a cogent expression of Jobs’ counter-intuitive resistance to the temptation of conformity, and his passionate desire to explore uncharted territory and discover unfound treasures.

Coming of Age in Mississippi

State of Higher Learning

For many years, Mississippi ranked near the bottom in higher learning aspiration, academic attainment, and state support—but times have changed. Today, the state's economic and workforce development organizations are teaming up to launch a new collaboration between southern business, industry, and the Mississippi public system of higher education—a dynamic plan aptly named Blueprint Mississippi 2011. And who better to serve as Blueprint's Chair and chief spokesperson than Hank Bounds, commissioner of higher education.

Rubber Soul: Leading Polymer Science Universities

Think about everyday gizmos like cell phones, iPods, Kindles, and Cuisinarts. We take items of convenience for granted, yet without polymer science discovery and product development research, these consumer devices would not exist.

For over a century, polymer science faculty and graduate students have explored applications of a wide range of polymer materials, including nylon, neoprene, PVC, silicone, Kevlar, and even old-fashioned natural rubber. So, we offer a guided tour of today’s leading polymer university programs.

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