JHU Press Blog

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

Lazy, Crazy, and Disgusting: Stigma and the Undoing of Global Health

by eea | Monday, November 18, 2019 - 12:00 PM

Stigma is all around us – messages communicated about how you don’t fit, don’t belong, or have no value. Mostly though, unless you happen to be the one being stigmatized, it’s pretty much invisible. Think of the discomfort of flying. As a New Zealander who lives in the US, and an American married to a Paraguayan who do research together in many other countries, we are all too familiar with the experience of the 16.6-18 inch economy seat for many hours at a time.

Six years ago, our team at Arizona State University began a project tracking the experiences of patients undergoing weight loss surgery at a large nearby hospital. It changed the way we see physical spaces around us, including that narrow airline seat. Our participants began their treatment with high body masses. They detailed the many ways that the world around them constantly reminded them that they literally didn’t fit. Like the effort to exit parked cars in tight spaces and the lack of chairs that could hold them in public buildings. Some planned their entire day around navigating between spaces that could accommodate them. Of all the places they went, many told us that planes were...Read More

The Empowered University

by eea | Tuesday, November 12, 2019 - 12:00 PM

Higher education matters, now more than ever, for our students, our colleagues, and our society. And because it does, the culture of our campuses also matters now more than ever, because our values, attitudes, goals, and behaviors either encourage or limit what is possible. In The Empowered University , we discuss how we have shaped our institutional culture at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) to incentivize inclusion and innovation through the questions we ask, the achievements we measure and applaud, and the initiatives we support.

We wrote The Empowered University as we reflected on our institutional progress over the past 30 years. This allowed us to look at our accomplishments, from doubling our six-year graduation rate, to developing a national model for supporting underrepresented minorities and women in science and engineering, to pioneering the use of data analytics to support student success. It also allowed us to reflect on two events that framed our work: our upset win over the University of Virginia in the 2018 NCAA men’s basketball tournament, and a student protest on our campus later that same year over sexual assault and Title IX processes. These two...Read More

Read. Think. Act.

by mktstu | Thursday, November 7, 2019 - 10:34 AM

I’m at the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association. Every year, I come to this meeting and talk to people who are, in a sense, trying to save the world. Climate change, gun violence, the opioid crisis—there’s almost no terrible news that I won’t hear here. But the spirit here is one of strong, practiced, and even professional optimism. These people believe that if they work hard enough they can change things for the better. So what’s the role of a university press editor when it comes to problems with a national or global scale?

I read articles, books, tweets, the back of cereal boxes, and then I come to places like this and I think. Sometimes things fit together slowly, and others it happens at 4G speeds. When I came to Johns Hopkins University Press a couple of years ago, it was just a month before Freddie Gray’s death in police custody and the uprising that followed. The city was thrown into turmoil that was as strong in our minds as it was on the streets. One day I read some words on Twitter that focused on why this happened in Baltimore, and all of the...Read More

Law and People in Colonial America

by eea | Wednesday, November 6, 2019 - 2:00 PM

How did American colonists transform British law into their own? What were the colonies' first legal institutions, and who served in them? And why did the early Americans develop a passion for litigation that continues to this day? These questions and more are answered in Law and People in Colonial America – an essential, rigorous, and lively introduction to the beginnings of American law. To mark the publication of the second edition of the book, author Peter Charles Hoffer writes:

"I have taught early American history for nearly 50 years, and American legal history for 35 of those years. So much has changed in our emphases over these years, but one change stands out. When I began teaching, slavery was one of the many subjects we covered, but only one. In the past 15 years, it has become a central, for some the central, subject of interest and study. The second edition of Law and People in Colonial America devotes a full, up-to-date chapter to slave law and slavery in the law, including comparative materials on slave law throughout the Atlantic World. As I prepared the new chapter, I...Read More

Mergers In The 21st Century Higher Education Landscape: Why A New Book Was Needed

by eea | Tuesday, October 29, 2019 - 2:00 PM

Sometime between the summer and winter of 2012 a few of us were presented with a new and mandatory challenge – a challenge that could readily overwhelm even the best of college and university leaders. “Merge your institution with another… do so successfully… and do so quickly,” we were told, with the additional admonition that “By the way, we have never done this before...” Such was the test of what was to eventually become the grand transformation we now call the ‘Georgia Experiment’. An effort that is the first (and to date only) large system-wide planned wave of mergers in a public four-year higher education system.

For those of us tasked with completing this seemingly Herculean task, there were no ready roadmaps available. And yet we were not the first. Many others had successfully led mergers of higher education institutions, from system-wide mergers of technical and two-year colleges, to mergers of health science universities and nearby colleges and universities, to mergers of single-discipline colleges, such as law and business, with more comprehensive institutions. The experience was a global one with many countries, including China, the Scandinavian nations, Australia, and South Africa, undertaking large scale systematic mergers. Still, no blueprint...Read More