Prevention First: Policymaking for a Healthier America

by eea | Tuesday, December 3, 2019 - 12:00 PM

The central theme in Prevention First: Policymaking for a Healthier America is that policymakers must place disease prevention at the center of our nation’s health policy. This is critical to improving the health of the United States – which is declining relative to other comparable peer countries around the world – and enhancing our economic outlook, military readiness, and cohesiveness as a nation.

Early in my career as a physician, I found myself mostly caring for patients with multiple concurrent chronic conditions. Improving the quality of life and health status of these medically complex patients subsequently became a key policy focus area of mine while I served at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Somewhere along the away, I came to the realization that most of the conditions I had been treating could have been prevented in the first place. To a certain extent, we had been failing our patients as well as the public by not partnering with them to forestall diseases in the first place. Our health care system was really a “sick care” system, and our health policies were really “sick care” policies. I knew if we were to have...Read More

Intuitive Physics is Inside Everyone

by eea | Wednesday, November 27, 2019 - 9:00 AM

What do you think of when you hear the word “physics”? Does it conjure up a slew of equations on a chalkboard? How about a tough university course you just had to pass? I’ve been a physics professor at the University of Lynchburg for nearly two decades, and I happen to be one of the few people in the world who chose a career in physics because something else was too hard. I grew up wanting to play professional baseball, but an inability to consistently hit the curveball sent me to my fallback career – physics. I couldn’t shake the sports itch, though, because physics of sports is my chosen research area.

In my latest book, The Physics of Krav Maga , I take perhaps the first scientific look at one of the fastest-growing martial arts in the US. Unlike karate, a system that employs elegant katas as part of its training regime, Krav Maga emphasizes more realistic fighting. We get in close with our sparring partners. We practice with sticks, knives, and guns. Hostage situations and terrorist attacks are part of a Krav Maga student’s curriculum. We begin training with a “whatever works”...Read More

How University Budgets Work: Q&A with author Dean O. Smith

by eea | Monday, November 25, 2019 - 12:00 PM

Why did you decide to write How University Budgets Work ​?

I just finished writing a rigorous book on university finances that featured just one chapter on budgets. I welcomed the opportunity to expand this coverage in a book solely about university budgets. Moreover, because budgets are so important in university operations, I welcomed the opportunity to explain them in pragmatic terms, helping readers from various academic backgrounds feel comfortable with the fundamental aspects of budgets.

What were some of the most surprising things you learned while writing and researching the book?

I was surprised to learn how vigilantly the university budget office monitors expenditures to avert overspending. Looking back, I shouldn’t have been surprised—but I was—at how much of this oversight is performed in real time by the university’s enterprise accounting software. Also, I was surprised to learn how thoroughly the enrollment management and budget offices analyze demographic and economic data when forecasting tuition income for future budget years. Ultimately, however, the forecasts contain an element of inherent uncertainty that the budget office must accommodate.

What is new about How University Budgets Work ...Read More

The New American College Town

by eea | Friday, November 22, 2019 - 9:00 AM

So we are sitting on the airport tarmac in Elko, Nevada getting ready for our next visit to Saint George, Utah, then up to Redding, California, and finally over to Ashland, Wisconsin.

What these several placebound locations have in common is that they are surrounded by splendid isolation wrapped around a higher learning campus culture. This cultural paradigm is the DNA of the New American College Town, far from the venerable heritage of Cambridge with Harvard dating back 350 years and the other Ivies – Brown, Princeton, Yale, et al. These New American College Towns also share in common a meaningful relationship with their home college or university.

Whether you are a town without a college or a college without an authentic relationship with your home town, your institution needs to be on the lookout for College Town co-development opportunities. What we know about College Towns is that they serve as magnetic attractors for outside investment and future co-development. These College Town partnerships are typically the pistons of downtown economic and workforce development – i.e., key drivers in the new creative economy .

So, why did we write our new book, The New...Read More

Adjuncts Are Only Part of the Problem: Sizing Up the Gig Academy

by eea | Wednesday, November 20, 2019 - 12:00 PM

The rise of “academic capitalism”—a term for the broad shift to market-centered university planning and administration since the early 1980s first theorized by Slaughter, Leslie, and Rhoades ( 1997 ; 2004 )—has transformed nearly every aspect of the postsecondary system, especially its relations of production. Anyone following higher education over the last decade or more has likely noticed a steady stream of polemic criticizing the state of the academic job market, with its withering opportunities for secure scholarly employment, and an ever-growing army of PhDs relegated to the precarious churn of adjunct pools at every type of institution. We are likely aware that contingent faculty—a minority of the workforce just a few decades ago—now comprise nearly three-quarters of college instructors. Denunciations of the “adjunctification” crisis have become an increasingly common refrain in mainstream discourse around education.

If only the crisis stopped there. Faculty work and hiring is but one dimension of a much larger collective problem that few scholars of higher education have taken up comprehensively. The truth is, today an overwhelming majority of all university workers, not just academic ones, work on a part-time, temporary, or contingent basis, (also called ‘at-will,’ ‘on-demand,’ or ‘just-in-time’ employment)....Read More