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The Administrivia of March/What I’m Not Doing

In March I have performance reviews, the spring budget variance, and the initial draft of next year’s budget to complete. This month, I’m also working on our strategic plan, in addition to the usual project cruft. If it weren’t for this perfect storm, I would be pursuing these two efforts more vigorously:

  1. The Teaching Open Source site
  2. The Immersive Education Initiative


At a previous job, I had an email directory I called “clobberation.” It referred to an initiative to promote “collaboration” between various entities. However, the initiative wasn’t clearly serving a mutual benefit; often it felt like you were getting assimilated into a Borg-like collective. Hence, clobberation. I was reminded of the whole “dude, I got clobbered” feeling when I met with our diversity team to discuss how technology can promote diversity. The diversity team has asked us to create a “diversity audit tool” to allow each department to report on its diversity initiatives. I suggested they change “audit” to … Continue Reading

Chance of Wasting Time Piloting Prediction Markets? 100%

I’ve been asked to participate in a “prediction markets” pilot to help inform decision making regarding IT in higher education. Say what? Well, the idea is cool, in theory. We have a simulated market with each trader given “funny money” and a web interface to the markets and our performance dashboard. Folks make various propositions and then we lay our money down, see how the pool changes, sell, buy, etc. Like an eBay for ideas.

Unfortunately, many of the propositions are poorly stated, i.e. participants don’t necessarily “get it,” and the concept is genuinely hard to understand. Here are … Continue Reading

Hunter S. Thompson on Web 2.0

I read a Circuits post (thanks, Christopher P!) today that reminded me of a blog on social networking which recalled some themes I’ve heard from both faculty and administration. Basically, they feel obliged to pay tribute in some way to some aspect of social networking (a soupcon of a blog, a whiff of a wiki) but only if they or a minion can exert absolute control over the process.

They are operating with fear and loathing. Never a recipe for success. To continue with the 60’s references: they need to be … Continue Reading