Replacing absences and extensions with sick days and personal days

There's one week left before the end of the semester. That makes it crunch-time for students. (Then it's crunch-time for faculty who have to grade. Some of my students calculated that I'd have over 600 pages of work to grade just from one class.) With crunch-time comes the inevitable barrage of requests for excused absences …

Continue reading Replacing absences and extensions with sick days and personal days

How rest can save the conversation on vocation from itself

If your college is anything like mine, conversations on "vocation" or "calling" have become integral to campus life. Many of us have become more intentional about helping students prepare for a life of discernment when it comes to making meaning or finding significance, making an impact, and making a living. I've invested quite a bit …

Continue reading How rest can save the conversation on vocation from itself

This summer’s books on writing

Every summer, I read at least one book on teaching, one book on writing, and one book on higher education. In recent years, I’ve posted those lists, and sometimes even reviews, to this blog.I won’t be reviewing the books at length this summer, simply because I have too many other writing deadlines and too much …

Continue reading This summer’s books on writing

Back to Basics

Whatever you think of the many and various surprises of 2016, you’d have to admit it was a very unusual year. Many of this year’s unusual turns (the campaign, the election, and more) demanded our attention. Unfortunately, it’s very easy to let the basics slip away in the midst of all the craziness. So as my year …

Continue reading Back to Basics

Unity Begins with Grief

Last night someone asked me what it is that Wheaton College faculty need right now. I sent a list of seven items, which has now been shared (with my permission) on a few Facebook pages. I elaborate on that list below.We should realize that this has been a lose-lose-lose situation. There are no winners here. …

Continue reading Unity Begins with Grief

What I’m Reading: ‘Billion-Dollar Ball’

My Chronicle of Higher Education quick-hitter on Gilbert Gaul’s Billion-Dollar Ball: A Journey Through the Big-Money Culture of College Football.“The book prompts reflection upon what is at risk if students and teaching faculty abandon their ideals for higher education because of the demographic and cultural dynamics that put pressure on academic programs to become, like …

Continue reading What I’m Reading: ‘Billion-Dollar Ball’

Speaking Out on the Current Controversies at Wheaton College

In recent weeks, many have asked why more Wheaton College faculty have not spoken publicly about the recent controversy surrounding the college’s actions against our colleague, Dr. Larycia Hawkins. To some outside of higher education, the relative quiet of our faculty has seemed to suggest either fear or agreement. There are indeed some who fear …

Continue reading Speaking Out on the Current Controversies at Wheaton College

The Gravest Threat to Colleges Comes From Within – The Chronicle of Higher Education

The Vulnerable Reader“Around the country, students have been rebelling against certain assignments, topics, or speakers. Some students object to material presented and readings assigned, asserting that assignments are upsetting, triggering anxieties or violating personal beliefs.”If this problem were isolated to college campuses, it would be bad enough, but it’s actually quite pervasive. This dysfunctional approach …

Continue reading The Gravest Threat to Colleges Comes From Within – The Chronicle of Higher Education

Oliver Lee Bateman, Quitlit, and the Higher Education “Staypieces” We Really Need

In a by-now-more-or-less-viral post to Vox yesterday, Oliver Lee Bateman (posting under the name Oliver Lee) announced he would be quitting his tenure-track faculty position in history at University of Texas - Arlington.  Bateman’s post can be added to the burgeoning list of “quit lit” focused on departures from academia.Today, some respondents took Bateman to task. Georgia …

Continue reading Oliver Lee Bateman, Quitlit, and the Higher Education “Staypieces” We Really Need