Wednesday, 27 September 2017

HE Explained: Academics are potentially almost always never right or wrong

How often do we hear others speak without thinking, or speak too soon - or even "mis-speak", a US phrase used largely by politicians when their "ignorance" of key facts is exposed?

In these days of instant news and instant comment - often by tame academics, media trained by their Universities - so much comment is "correct", even "politically correct" to render it almost meaningless.  Sure, it fills air time and seems to provide the "evidence" that journalists seek to underpin their sensationalism.
Picture by RoyaltyFree Corbis
 But do call a spade a spade and not a "sharp edged digging impliment".  Have the courage of your convictions - if your research tells you that the globe is NOT heating up, then say so.  Don't feel obliged to be swept along by the tide of "majority opinion".

In the world of Business and Management research whilst is a struggle to say anything different, original or with clear implications for actual business, it is a marvel to watch academics try...

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Blogging 101: I wish I hadn't said that!

But you did, Oscar, did.

Writers (1895) by Python, M (YOUTUBE LINK)

Bloggers should take note that once released, blogs can never be completely eradicated - so if you are going to say something controversial or "witty" in a way that you understand but others may feel offensive - think before clicking "publish".

For me, George Bernard Shaw (as played by Michael Palin)'s excellent rejoinder is a stock response to all detractors.  Edwardian wit at its best...

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

HE Leadership explained: The VC

Apparently you get a VC for gallantry in the face of the enemy.  So, why do so many Higher Education detractors vilify the VC?

Picture by: EyeSerene Original: Richard Harvey
The VC means gallantry:

  • Keeping a straight face when someone asks if the TEF really indicates Teachng Quality.
  • Finding something positive to say both in public and to Professors when your institution only got BRONZE.
  • Setting a rapid change agenda in an environment where change is measured in decades.
  • Showing that you are worth it when the size of your "Total Remuneration Package" is revealed in the press.
  • Delaying that Freedom of Information request about international trips. the face of the enemy:
  • Students ?
  • Staff ?
  • Council ?
  • Accreditation bodies ?
  • HEFCE ?
  • Jo Johnson ?
  • Other Universities ?
Personally I think that VCs get everything they deserve.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Cutting your toenails with a scythe

This week's post is really cutting edge stuff - groan!

How many times do we sit in a presentation, talk or lecture and zone out or reach for the mobile phone to look at our Twitter feed because the speaker has totally missed the target and has not understood the needs of the audience?

Lecturing (and I have waxed lyrical in the past about labelling all Learning events as "Lectures") are designed to do one thing - to deliver something (opinion, facts, argument, information) to an audience.  Lectures are one type of Learning event but are enshrined in expectations, in geographies of HE institutions, in staff titles and so on...

Would you cut your toenails with a scythe?  Would you brush your hair with a broom?

So why would you deliver a lecture when you actually want to achieve a learning goal for which that blunt instrument was never designed?