Monthly Archives: October 2016

Our Presidential Candidates’ Stance on Higher Ed


I stumbled across this article that summarizes the U.S. presidential candidates’ plan for managing the costs for higher education. Trump takes a more conservative approach, and Hillary’s plan looks as though she’s been drinking Bernie’s kool-aid.   Trump’s plan is pretty much more of the same, so I will not waste any space reviewing his plan, you can do so via this link (  However, I would like to drawn out a few points related to Hillary’s proposal.

  • Hillary is proposing a lower interest rate for those who already have student loan debt. Outstanding!
  • She also proposes that students from families with a collective income of $85 or less go to in-state 4-year colleges for free. Brakes!

While the second bullet sounds good in theory, how do you implement such a plan without ticking off those who weren’t afforded the same opportunity.  I combed through the rest of Hillary’s plan looking for a loan forgiveness clause–beyond those that already exist. There is nothing mentioned along these lines.  If Hillary becomes president, and her plan is implemented…there will be fallout.  There will be a large segment of society that are currently enrolled in school that these perks will not apply to.  Instead, they will be on a 20 year loan forgiveness track. Unfair much?

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Bad Brandi


I have had bad Brandy before, and the punishment I received for drinking it was far worse than that issued to Brandi Lyn Blaylock.  Ms. Blaylock was a graduate student and researcher who falsified research that was supported by NIDA and NIH.  Feel free to review the case summary.  My stance on this case is that the punishment does not match the seriousness of the ethical violation.  I believe we would see less of these cases if we were more punitive in our response to such matters.  For example, if you receive federal funding and you purposefully alter findings, this behavior should be treated as a federal offense.  Typically, when people misappropriate federal funds there is the chance that they will be subject to harsh fines and even jail time.  For some reason, ethical violations within the world of research are not held to the same standard.  This laissez-faire approach could place thousands if not millions of lives in danger.  Instead, Bad Brandi received supervisory restrictions and a requirement that her work be monitored.  Really?  Here’s how the case should have been handled:

  • Barred from applying for any federal and state-level funding; and
  • Barred from publishing in any peer-reviewed journal.

If we want to heighten the value and quality of scholarship, there should be no lax policies nor should there be the impression that ethical violations are but a hiccup in one’s career.

Am I violator-shaming right now? Why yes I am.


Additonal Reading:

Former Wake Forest grad student fudged data for drug study

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White Inclusion on HBCU Campuses

Graduates stand for the anthem "Lift Every Voice and Sing" during 2014 commencement ceremonies at Howard University in Washington May 10, 2014. Entertainer Sean Combs delivered the commencement address and received an honorary degree in Humanities during the ceremony.    REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst    (UNITED STATES - Tags: EDUCATION ENTERTAINMENT SOCIETY) - RTR3OLDN

Graduates stand for the anthem “Lift Every Voice and Sing” during 2014 commencement ceremonies at Howard University in Washington May 10, 2014. Entertainer Sean Combs delivered the commencement address and received an honorary degree in Humanities during the ceremony. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (UNITED STATES – Tags: EDUCATION ENTERTAINMENT SOCIETY) – RTR3OLDN

Earlier in the semester, a student asked if white students were allowed to attend HBCUs.  I think I chimed in and said “yes, and they are welcomed.” Several years ago, I had heard that it was mandatory for HBCUs to recruit students from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds.  This article supports that notion.  The article also raises some controversial elements of an ongoing conversation regarding white inclusion on HBCU campuses.  If you have the time, read the article (Click Here).  For those of you short on time, I will provide a few key opinions mentioned in the article:

Statements from Black students at an HBCU:

“I think that it is a learning experience for both cultures to blend at a majority black institution and therefore I fully support white attendance at Howard and all other HBCUs. I think white students at Howard can bring new opinions to the area and institution and receive many good lessons as well…However, I hope that the majority of HBCUs always remain predominantly black and carry on the traditions, culture, and legacy they were created for.”

“I think a white person attending an HBCU is a positive thing and fosters a couple of different perspectives. One, I think it gives white students a chance to be a minority and therefore the ability to be more sympathetic to minorities in society.”

Statements from White students attending a HBCU:

“I would only suggest it to another white person if I knew they had a strong self-esteem and were outgoing enough to make friends easily,” she said in an interview. “Being the minority is something “white people” are not used to.”

“As a school, I love it and I love the people. I really enjoy being unique and for that reason I appreciate my experience,” she said. “I feel as though you have a bit more notoriety being so different at a place like this. I think that I truly learned one hundred times more in terms of life and culture than I ever would have at a predominantly white university. It has been a blessing and a growing experience.”


What are your reactions to the opinions expressed in the article?



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Tips for Your Job Hunt



Here are a few tips regarding the application process for professorships.  I hope this post will help some of you with your planning:

1. Keep your chair informed. Make sure that your chair is aware of the timelines for each application. Your future employer will ask him/her about the status of your dissertation.

2. Be realistic with your timelines. If you plan to complete your dissertation and start work shortly thereafter, make sure you give yourself enough time to complete the dissertation. If you don’t finish the dissertation in time, the school may withdraw their offer. The situation could cause strain on both parties, and that’s not a good way to start a job.

3. Get organized! Create a document with the point of contact information for each school, the key requirements of the application and important dates/deadlines. It is easy to get things mixed up when you are applying to more than one school.

4. Know your tolerance level and job expectations. Ask yourself, would I be ok with a heavier teaching load and less pressure to produce scholarly work or vice versa. Am I open to either scenario?

5. Get to know the common hiring practices.

  • Most tenure-track positions and some adjunct positions are advertised in the Fall prior to the upcoming academic year; you would apply for a position that starts in Fall 2017 position in Fall 2016.
  • Most full-time non-tenure positions are advertised in the Spring prior to the upcoming academic year; you would apply for a Fall 2017 position in Spring 2016.

Happy hunting!

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