April's supposed to be for showers that bring May flowers. The above pictures pretty much say it all for this spring. In March, the snow melted enough to see my entire mail box (that's somewhat damaged by a snow plow). My second mailbox was knocked out completely. Then heavy snow returned last week. It was even snowing during our Easter Sunrise Service yesterday at the Sunset Hill House.

I absolutely adore late snow that keeps me from having to worry about mowing and weeding. But had to shovel the deep snow on the front porch and walkway so that we can get Erika out of the house to go to Boston this morning. Until our new lift is completed inside the house, Lon and I have to take her down the outside stairs in a wheel chair.

I'm taking Erika to Boston for a more tests regarding her leg pain. Please understand if I don't answer email messages this week. I probably won't bother to pack a computer this week --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Erika2007.htm


Tidbits on April 9, 2007
Bob Jensen

For earlier editions of Tidbits go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TidbitsDirectory.htm
For earlier editions of New Bookmarks go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookurl.htm 

Click here to search Bob Jensen's web site if you have key words to enter --- Search Site.
For example if you want to know what Jensen documents have the term "Enron" enter the phrase Jensen AND Enron. Another search engine that covers Trinity and other universities is at http://www.searchedu.com/.

Bob Jensen's past presentations and lectures --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/resume.htm#Presentations   

Bob Jensen's Threads --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/threads.htm

Bob Jensen's Home Page is at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/

Bob Jensen's blogs and various threads on many topics --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/threads.htm
       (Also scroll down to the table at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ )

Set up free conference calls at http://www.freeconference.com/  

Online Video, Slide Shows, and Audio
In the past I've provided links to various types of music and video available free on the Web. 
I created a page that summarizes those various links --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/music.htm

Mediasite Search Engine for video and audio lectures on topics --- http://www.mediasite.com/default.aspx

Negro Spirituals --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMF_24cQqT0
Trivia Fact : Almost all notes in a negro spiritual are played on on a piano's black notes!

Propaganda Video Gallery --- http://www.propagandacritic.com/gallery/

Video: An excerpt from Lawrence Wright’s “My Trip to Al-Qaeda.” from The New Yorker, April 2, 2007 --- http://www.newyorker.com/online/video/2007/03/12/070312_WrightAlQaeda

Video of animation designed by bored engineers --- Click Here

Crabby Old Man --- Click Here

Little Hunter Hayes plays the accordion on a Hank Williams Jr. stage --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQPEsa5e7K0

Soundstorm ® Sound Effects Library --- http://www.audiolicense.net/sfx/

Jihad --- http://www.terrorismawareness.org/know-about-jihad/

Abide With Me --- Click Here

Free music downloads --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/music.htm

Mozart's 'The Abduction from the Seraglio' From the Salzburg Festival ---

Jules Massenet's 'Manon' From the Vienna State Opera --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=9325642

Ted Leo and the Pharmacists (entire rock concert) --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=9041739

Susan Werner's musical path has taken her from opera to pop, jazz and classic folk songs. But in her latest album, The Gospel Truth, this singer-songwriter explores America's gospel roots — an experience that leads to her own spiritual journey --- |

Latin Jazz at Its Most Thoughtful and Thrilling --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=9329285

Eradicating the Line Between Love and Hate --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=9333896

Not Quite Jazz, Not Quite Rock --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=9295210

Photographs and Art

Dirty Car Art Gallery --- http://www.dirtycarart.com/gallery/index.htm

Museum of Hoaxes Picture Gallery --- http://search.ebay.com/pranks_W0QQfclZ4QQfnuZ1QQfsopZ1 

Flickr Light --- http://flickr.mathewvp.com/

Raquel´s Aparicio portfolio --- http://www.raquelissima.com/

A tour at the "dry valley" --- http://thirdeyedumb.com/2007/04/a_tour_at_the_dry_valley.html
(Sort of looks like my back yard.)

Fluid Effect --- http://www.fluideffect.com/ 

Painted Bodies --- http://www.2photo.ru/2006/08/15/print:page,1,painted_bodies__embodied_paintings_kim_joon.html

Online Books, Poems, References, and Other Literature
In the past I've provided links to various types electronic literature available free on the Web. 
I created a page that summarizes those various links --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm

Rare Book Room --- http://www.rarebookroom.org/

The (alleged) 10 Best Places to Get Free Online Books --- http://www.friedbeef.com/2007/04/02/top-10-best-places-to-get-free-books-part-1/
(I tend to agree with the choices)

American Civil War History Site --- http://www.factasy.com/

Mansfield Park by  Jane Austen --- Click Here

Sense And Sensibility by Jane Austen --- Click Here

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley --- http://www.hedweb.com/huxley/bnw/

Maria by Mary Shelley  (1797-1851) --- Click Here

Love Poems of Rumi --- http://www.khamush.com/love_poems.html

Find a poet and/or share your poetry --- http://www.everypoet.com/

Song Meanings --- http://www.songmeanings.net/

History of the First Dictionary (400 years ago) --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2007/04/04/mclemee

  • Where Colleges Don't Excel
    But those rankings are based entirely on measures of advanced research, such as journal articles published and Nobel Prizes won -- measures, that is, of the work that's done mostly in graduate programs. And while advanced research is vital to the nation's economic competitiveness, so is producing enough well-educated workers to compete for the high-value jobs of the future. Undergraduate students are going to make up the bulk of those workers because only 13 percent of the nation's 17 million students in higher education are at the graduate level. Yet a hard look at our undergraduate programs suggests that when it comes to the business of teaching students and helping them graduate, our universities are a lot less impressive than the rhetoric suggests.

    Thomas Toch and Kevin Carey, "Where Colleges Don't Excel," The Washington Post, April 6, 2007; Page A21 --- Click Here
    Also see below for details

    Much I have learned from my teachers, more from my colleagues, but most from my students.
    The Talmud as quoted in a recent email message from Scott Dell

    The real world is only a special case, and not a very interesting one at that.
    C. E. Ferguson (Economist) as quoted in a recent email message from Ed Scribner.

    Solitude is to the soul as food is to the body.
    Lucius Annaeus Seneca  --- Click Here

    What could Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon and City Council members have been thinking when they authorized a $100 million tax subsidy for CityNorth, a private development planned for northeast Phoenix? We may never know, but businesses planning to expand or relocate have become expert at conning government officials into thinking they won’t come “but for” government incentives. The take nationally comes to $50 billion yearly, according to Alan Peters and Peter Fisher of the University of Iowa. In fact, the annual conference of the State Government Affairs Council, an organization of corporate government relations types, once heard a presentation titled...
    Thomas C. Patterson, "$100 Million Question:  Subsidy for CityNorth is strategic blunder," Goldwater Institute, April 4, 2007 --- http://www.goldwaterinstitute.org/AboutUs/ArticleView.aspx?id=1506
    Jensen Comment
    This reminded me of how the San Antonio Spurs basketball team conned San Antonio into building them what is tantamount to two domes that are huge losers for taxpayers each and every year since they were built.

    Many of our nation's colleges and universities have become cesspools of indoctrination, intolerance, academic dishonesty and the new racism. In a March 1991 speech, Yale President Benno Schmidt warned, "The most serious problems of freedom of expression in our society today exist on our campuses. ... The assumption seems to be that the purpose of education is to induce correct opinion rather than to search for wisdom and to liberate the mind." Writing in the fall 2006 issue of Academic Questions, Luann Wright, in her article titled "Pernicious Politicization in Academe," documents academic dishonesty and indoctrination all too common today....
    Walter E. Williams, "The racism of campus 'diversity'," WorldNetDaily, April 4, 2007 ---

    Scepticism in science, indeed in every realm of human affairs, is a healthy attitude. The very highest accolade, the Nobel prize, has been awarded for acclaimed breakthroughs that are later discredited, like the 1949 decision to give the Portuguese neurologist Egas Moniz the prize for inventing the lobotomy as a cure for schizophrenia. A leading Australian sceptic of man-made climate change is Ian Plimer, a professor of mining geology at the University of Adelaide. The fact that the Earth's atmospheric temperature is rising at the same time as humans emit more greenhouse gases is a correlation, and not a causation, he points out: "The Earth's temperature rose by 0.7 per cent in the 20th century, but there was also an increase in piracy. Does that mean piracy causes global warming?"
    Peter Hartcher, "Cool heads missing in the pressure cooker," Sydney World Herald, April 6, 2007 --- Click Here 

    Catch and release: Few border-crossers prosecuted:  No legal action brought against 98% of those arrested between 2000 and 2005 . . . Nearly 5.3 million immigrants were simply escorted back across the Rio Grande and turned loose. Many presumably tried to slip into the U.S. again.
    Alicia A. Caldwell, Forbes, April 6, 2007 --- http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2007/04/06/ap3591047.html

    A Fresh Take on Islamic Finance
    As financial institutions based on Islamic law proliferate, some B-schools are taking notice.
    This is one case in education where demand for graduates exceeds supply

    Francesca Di Meglio, Business Week,  March 30, 2007 --- Click Here

    Any MBA student is going to have a strong grounding in the vocabulary of finance, including interest rates and lending. But some schools are now adding programs and courses that are teaching a new vocabulary for an increasingly visible sector of the financial world—Islamic banks that conduct business according to the tenets of Islamic law.

    One of the latest schools to take an interest in Islamic banking is the Cass Business School, part of the City University, London, which in the fall is launching an Executive MBA based in Dubai featuring specializations in Islamic finance, energy and general management, and finance. The school says there's a need for more MBAs with experience in the area.

    The number of schools offering Islamic finance programs is still relatively small—and at some universities, relevant courses can be found outside the confines of the business programs. But experts say that, at the very least, business students should know something about this expanding industry. "Anyone who seeks to work in the Islamic world should be interested in this area, because it's booming," says Ibrahim Warde, author of the soon-to-be-updated Islamic Finance and the Global Economy (Edinburgh University Press, 2000). "Understanding Islamic finance is highly valued in the marketplace."

    Travel Incentives

    The basic principle behind Islamic banking—which is based on Shariah, or Koranic law—is that people shouldn't be charged interest on loans or be paid interest on investments. A venerable system of banking, Islamic finance resurfaced in the 1970s and was updated in the wake of the oil boom in the Middle East.

    Today, there's an increasing number of financial products and services available that are compliant with Islamic finance. Rising petroleum prices, increased attention on the Middle East as a result of politics, and competition between Bahrain and Dubai for the title of Middle Eastern financial center are other factors contributing to the economic surge (see BusinessWeek.com, 8/8/05, "Islamic Banks: A Novelty No Longer").

    Islamic institutions and banks offer everything from sukuks—bonds that are structured to comply with Shariah and have become hugely popular—to asset selling, where a bank purchases a car, for example, and resells it to clients rather than offering an interest-based loan for the vehicle. Islamic credit cards that have users essentially borrowing money from themselves and incentives, such as trips to the holy city of Mecca, are other examples of how institutions are drawing Muslim customers.

    Future Hub? With all this growth, there's a shortage of skilled workers in Islamic finance, says Hassan Hakimian, Cass's associate dean for Off-Campus Programs, which says Islamic finance is growing at about 15% per year and will continue to do so for at least the next decade. Hakimian is one of the creators of the school's 24-month executive MBA program, which will debut in September. The school purposefully decided to offer Islamic finance and energy concentrations, says Hakimian, because of the relevance of those two topics to the program's home in Dubai.

    Cass seems to be in Dubai's corner when it comes to the argument about which Middle Eastern capital will reign supreme. The Cass EMBA program will include online learning complemented by one weekend a month in Dubai, part of the United Arab Emirates. "I wouldn't be surprised if, in coming years, parts of the Middle East will grow, and Dubai will become the hub of business education," says Hakimian. He expects to admit 30 to 40 students in the inaugural class.

    Continued in article

    Bob Jensen's threads on Islamic accounting are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen//theory/00overview/theory01.htm#IslamicAccounting

    With a recent study showing that today's college students are the most narcissistic and self-centered in decades, a small chorus of professionals is offering a bold response: We have no one to blame but ourselves.

    "For today's kids, everything is all about them:  One study blames parents for a failure to say, 'No'," by Barbara F. Meltz, The Boston Globe, April 01, 2007 ---


    With a recent study showing that today's college students are the most narcissistic and self-centered in decades, a small chorus of professionals is offering a bold response: We have no one to blame but ourselves.

    "Things went too far," says psychologist Jean Twenge, lead author of the study and a professor at San Diego State University.

    What she means is that parents overcorrected for the harshness of a previous generation that preferred children to be "seen and not heard." She points to the soccer trophies that coaches hand out to all team members just for showing up rather than to a few for outstanding athleticism, and to a song taught in a colleague's daughter's preschool to the tune of "Frère Jacques": "I am special/I am special/Look at me."

    "If you're that child, it's not surprising that pretty soon you start to believe it," says Twenge, whose new book, "Generation Me," examines feelings of entitlement among young Americans.

    In her analysis, which uses a questionnaire that has been administered to college students periodically since 1982, a nationwide sample of 16,000 students choose among 80 statements to best describe themselves — for instance, "I think I am a special person," or, "I am no better or no worse than most people." Thirty percent more students had elevated narcissism in the 2006 survey than in 1982, although the numbers have been steadily creeping up over the years.

    Called the Narcissistic Personality Inventory, the study does not directly link children's increased entitlement to parenting style, but the connection is inescapable, says social psychologist and researcher Robert Horton of Wabash College in Indiana. Parent educators have long identified four styles of parenting: authoritative, authoritarian, permissive and passive. The styles are based on a combination of how loving and restrictive parents are.

    In the authoritarian style, parents are not very affectionate but very controlling, says Horton. Permissive parents tend to lavish love but are barely able to impose limits or consequences, and passive parents tend to be literally unavailable as well as unreliable and unpredictable.

    "The ideal is to express affection and set limits in a way that respects a child's feelings," says parent educator Nancy Samalin, director of the Parent Guidance Workshops in New York City. She's describing the authoritative style, probably the most labor intensive. It demands a careful balance between loving and restricting a child, between being involved but not suffocating. "It's a parent who sees the need for limits and is willing to be unpopular," says Samalin, author of the best-seller "Loving Without Spoiling."

    Increasingly, being unpopular makes parents uncomfortable, says psychologist David Walsh of Minneapolis.

    "Humans are born hard-wired with certain drives," he says — for instance, to fight or flee, to seek pleasure rather than pain, and to seek connection. "Think of the drives as a team of horses. If you learn how to hold the reins and manage the horses, they take you to wonderful places. If the horses get out of control — if one drive dominates — you end up in a ditch."

    Today's college kids are in the ditch called narcissism in part because the popular culture glamorizes the drive for pleasure above all others. " 'More! Fast! Easy! Fun!' " Walsh says. "That translates to parents as an allergic reaction to our children's unhappiness and an inability to say no for fear it will destroy their self-esteem."

    Discipline deficit disorder — a term he coined — is the result. "The symptoms include impatience, disrespect, inability to delay gratification, self-centeredness and rampant consumerism. Guess what? Those are also the characteristics of narcissism," says Walsh, author of "No: Why Kids of All Ages Need to Hear It and Ways Parents Can Say It."

    He tells a story of one way this played out in his own parenting. When his children were young, he and his wife assigned them chores knowing that would help build a sense of responsibility. His 6-year-old daughter's chore was the bathroom. "She was doing a 6-year-old's version of cleaning," he says. "I came by and said, 'Let me show you.' Before long, she disappeared. My wife came along and asked, 'Do you want a clean bathroom or a competent daughter?' "

    Whether it was his wish to make things easier for his daughter or easier for himself doesn't matter. Either way, he says, she got the message that she was entitled. Continually bailing children out or doing for them what they should do for themselves — the book report, the science project — describes the permissive style of parenting.

    "By not giving them practice in handling frustration and disappointment we destroy self-esteem, not build it," he says.

    Could this report end up spurring a backlash from parenting experts who call for a return to authoritarian parenting, which endorses spanking as well as a "because-I-said-so" attitude?

    "I hope not. There's a lot of research that says spanking is a bad idea," says Twenge, who is the mother of a 4-month-old. Instead, she hopes the report will prompt parents to step back and examine their parenting.

    "We live in a very individualistic culture. Telling each child he or she is special is based on the premise that building self-esteem leads to good outcomes. It works the other way around: Good outcomes lead to self-esteem. What people thought builds self-esteem turns out to build narcissism."

    The four types of parents

    The authoritative parent

    Affectionate and engaged

    Sets limits and enforces consequences

    Uses reason, logic and appropriate negotiation

    Empowers a child's decision-making

    His or her child is likely to be:

    Happy, responsible and kind

    Good at problem-solving

    Self-motivated and confident


    An excellent student

    A leader

    The authoritarian parent

    Emotionally aloof

    Bossy; likely to say, 'Because I said so'

    Uses physical punishment or verbal insults

    Dismisses a child's feelings

    His or her child is likely to be:

    Moody and anxious


    An average to good student

    A follower

    The permissive parent


    Anxious to please, ends every sentence by asking, 'OK?'


    Can't say no and stick to it

    Easily manipulated

    His or her child is likely to be:

    Demanding and whiny

    Easily frustrated

    Lacking kindness and empathy

    A poor to average student

    A follower

    The passive parent

    Emotionally removed or indifferent


    Abdicates discipline

    Inconsistent and unpredictable

    His or her child is likely to be:

    Clingy and needy

    Inappropriate and rude

    Likely to get into trouble

    A poor student

    A follower

    Also see Iraq and the Liberal Baby Boomers ---


    I'm active on two accounting ListServs called the AECM and CPA-L, both of which were formed many years ago by Barry Rice. I was asked recently by someone close to Barry to comment on these ListServs. Below is my response including why the medium is much more than the message in the case of a ListServ:

    Hi XXXXX,

    I did not know Barry Rice when he started up the AECM and CPA-L Listservs. I got to know him better by email and met him quite a few years later. Barry is a world class accounting teacher with administrative skills as well. I now consider him a great friend.

    ListServs are much like forums except that a forum usually has an assigned leader or group of leaders with their own agendas. ListServs are totally voluntary and spontaneous communities. Forums often have invited memberships, whereas most ListServs can be freely joined by any person on the world’s Internet. When a message is sent to a forum, the sender generally knows where it is going. When a message is sent to a ListServ, the sender has some idea of a few people who will receive it but no idea about all the people in the world who are lurking for messages. 

    Off the top of my head, I would say that a ListServ aids in the following:

    • Communication of news intended to be of common interest to members (e.g., accounting education news). Internet links are probably the most common and useful items shared in those communications.
    • Questions and answers where one member raises a question and others try to answer either in private or for all members.
    • Debates that follow unpredictable paths and are generally interesting until they get too tedious. Theories are often built and and/or destroyed on ListServs.
    • ListServs make us humble. Just when we think we know a lot about something, all we have to do is comment about it on the AECM. Suddenly we discover that there’s a whole lot we did not know. We learn from a ListServ because of the scholars who are willing to share what they know and feel.
    • ListServs capture moods and opinions of members more spontaneously and deeply than formal surveys.
    • Sharing of research and scholarship. For example, members may have work-in-progress that they put at a Website and then use the ListServ to inform members of where to find this work-in-progress. Members then contribute comments in private or in public about these works.
    • Archiving of communications and Web links. This library function makes ListServs more valuable than telephone and most other forms of communication that do not have easily-accessible archives.
    • Entertainment (sometimes communications are off-topic and entertaining with humor and links to outside topics).
    • Building of friendships with people in all parts of the world that are not likely to ever meet face-to-face.
    • Building of reputations where some participants reveal knowledge, talent, skills, and effort beyond what would otherwise be known about these rare diamonds in the rough.
    • Motivating some members about career choices/changes. On the AECM students get an inside peek at professors who comment about the beautiful and the ugly aspects of being in academe.

    A ListServ does not generally do all of the things listed above, although the AECM initiated by Barry comes about as close as possible to doing all those things mentioned above. The CPA-L list that Barry also formed is primarily a Q&A List that does none of the other things listed above. Practitioners on the CPA-L generally raise a question (often a tax question) and others provide answers. There’s almost nothing in the way of daily news, debates, sharing of research/scholarship, entertainment, building of friendships, or building of reputations.

    The AECM somehow evolved into a multi-purpose ListServ that accomplishes all of the things mentioned above. Its international success was primarily timing and leadership and luck. Barry offered up this service when there was very little else for accounting educators on the Internet. There were at least three other early competitors, and I honestly cannot say why the AECM emerged as the main ListServ for accounting educators around the world. I do think that time is too valuable for people to join in on very many active ListServs. Hence it’s not likely that all competitors early on would’ve flourished. Why the AECM emerged as the main general-purpose higher education ListServ for accounting educators is indeed a mystery. The American Accounting Association for a time offered another alternative, but I think bad timing and bad luck destroyed its efforts. The AAA was too late on the scene. There was also the stigma, not a fact, that the AAA’s effort was only for members of the AAA.

    I have to say that Barry’s leadership in communicating on the AECM was probably not the crucial factor at the germination stage. After a very short time Barry became more of a lurker. It was about a dozen accounting educators who emerged out of nowhere to make the AECM germinate. Then more leaders and lurkers evolved like wild flowers in a worldwide field.

    Keep in mind that Barry did not begin the AECM as a general-purpose accounting educator ListServ. In the beginning it was primarily intended for messaging about computers and multimedia technologies that could be used in new ways by teachers of accountancy. In fact the acronym “AECM” stands for “Accounting Education using Computers and Multimedia.” Today the AECM ListServ is much more than its title. Why this happened is complicated to answer, but the title is unfortunate today whenever someone is looking for the main accounting education ListServ and naively thinks that the AECM is restricted to messaging about computers and multimedia.

    A better name for the AECM as it evolved is the Internet’s “Accounting Education Communications Medium.” And the “medium is the message.” I am forever grateful to Barry for letting the original AECM evolve into what it is today. He could’ve jumped on every message that was not deemed “on topic” in the context of “computers and multimedia.” Instead he let the AECM messaging follow their own serendipitous meanderings. And he forgave us for some of the dumb things we messaged.

    In this regard we were lucky. AECM participants had the good sense to avoid some turn-off topics like politics, advertising, religion, and too much humor. But the messaging did follow many serendipitous paths that were not tied to computers and multimedia, including topics of accounting theory, fraud, student cheating, professorial cheating, plagiarism, pedagogy in general, research methodologies, and learning theories. These evolved into topics that AECM subscribers wanted to learn more and more about.

    ListServs are fragile things that in general do not work well. Leaders either emerge out of nowhere and keep a ListServ going or it dies from lack of participation. Participants must find rewards or ListServs simply fade away. Most participants in a ListServ are “lurkers” who often “listen in” but rarely if ever contribute to the membership. This puts the burden on “actives” to evolve as leaders. These actives can either be terrific and draw new ListServ members wanting to listen to what the actives have to say or ListServs can become very tedious and/or boring and causing members to resign from the ListServ.

    ListServs have interesting behavioral dynamics that emerged with newer technology. This is an interesting topic to study and needs to be studied in much greater depth. The medium is much more than the content of the messages.

    ListServs provide wonderful and unique opportunities to make a difference. For example, an accounting educator and world leader who I supremely respect is Dennis Beresford. Denny is a popular Accounting Hall of Fame speaker at academic, business, and accounting profession conferences. But a speech is a speech and is limited to a given audience and a given point in time. Denny’s published a lot of papers, but a paper is a paper that is a bleep at a fixed point in time.

    Remember that “the medium is the message” as discovered by Marshall Mcluhan many years ago. AECM messages are bleeps that resurface in new and different ways repeatedly over time on the AECM. Denny has probably had more impact on changing accounting education via the AECM than in all his speeches and all his publications combined. His messaging to the AECM is continuous over time and reacts to concerns of accounting educators around the world. His AECM audience is unlimited in terms of size and scheduled times.

    And we learn a lot about Denny just by learning when he messages. Keep in mind that I’m talking about one of the busiest accountants in the world. He teaches at the University of Georgia full time and is an extremely popular consultant and on the boards of directors of several worldwide corporations. He’s even head of the Audit Committee and a Board member for Fannie Mae after this trillion-dollar company hit the rocks. And yet he seemingly keeps his eye on AECM communications 24/7. What impresses me most is when I send messages out to the AECM at 7:00 a.m. on Sunday mornings I have them answered within minutes by Denny Beresford. Hence I learned a whole lot more about the man beyond the content of his excellent messages. I also learned that he’s respectfully a very humble man.

    Denny does not want more money or more trophies. What Denny wants is to make a lasting difference for the betterment of the accounting profession and accounting education. And he’s proved this countless times to all of us on the AECM. Those many other accounting leaders and educators who failed to grab this AECM brass ring missed out and continue to miss out of the opportunity to make a continuous and lasting difference.

    I’m also a 24/7 AECM active like Denny. And I’m certain that Denny, like me, will say that he tries to make a difference. But the AECM is so rewarding that in the end he, like me, got more than he received. That is why we’re on the AECM.

    We get more than we give no matter how much we give. That’s because so many scholars big and small contribute to our learning and loving. The Internet forever changed research and scholarship and learning. ListServs are a lasting part of this process.

    Bob Jensen

    April 5, 2007 reply from Dennis Beresford [dberesfo@TERRY.UGA.EDU]


    Thanks for your kind comments below.  And thanks to Barry for getting this whole thing started.  AECM is a wonderful learning opportunity for me and I'm just glad that you and many others are willing to share so much knowledge.


    Online Doctoral Programs (All Disciplines) --- http://www.distance-learning-college-guide.com/doctorate-degrees-online.html

    There are several types of doctoral degrees online:

    1. Diploma mills where you can simply buy a PhD and have a diploma within a matter of days. Warnings about Type 1 programs can be found at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudReporting.htm#DiplomaMill
    2. Diploma frauds that give a lot of credit for life experience and perhaps have some minimal course or paper writing assignments that in reality are a sham.  Warnings about Type 2 programs can be found at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudReporting.htm#DiplomaMill
    3. Diligent-effort programs that may require several years to complete but admit virtually anybody and have dubious academic standards even though a few teachers may try ever so hard to make it work.  Warnings about Type 3 programs can be found at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudReporting.htm#DiplomaMill
    4. Diligent-effort programs have some admission standards and varied faculty participants that try to make the program respectable. Many of these faculty participants are moonlighting in online doctoral programs but are also full-time faculty in respected colleges and universities. A listing of Type 4 doctoral programs is provided at
    5. Major universities that have extended their onsite doctoral programs to online or partly online programs.

    Type 5 programs are highly limited in number, especially programs that do not require at least one or two years of onsite residency. But there are a few programs such as the University of Colorado's online doctoral program in pharmacy. I do not know of any major universities that offer a similar doctorate in accounting and business.

    Type 1, 2, and 3 programs are virtually frauds and are wasting the student's money and perhaps her/his time.

    Type 4 programs are problematic. They offer genuine learning opportunities to students who, due to life's circumstances, are not able to enroll in onsite programs. But Type 4 programs do not yet have the status of degrees comparable with doctoral degrees of onsite programs of major universities.

    A phony argument against Type 4 programs is that students enrolled in the same program cannot learn from each other like students in onsite programs learn from each other. About the only thing that students in Type 4 programs cannot do is have beer together and otherwise socialize face-to-face. Communications technology today makes it possible to get inside the head of a professor or a student better than face-to-face in many instances.

    In fact a student may graduate from a Type 4 program and become a better teacher and/or researcher as a result of germination in a Type 4 program. But it is misleading to say that starting opportunities are equivalent to a Type 5 Program doctoral degree. They are not equivalent, and it will be quite some time before they have a chance of becoming equivalents.

    The term "accreditation" is highly misleading. An online university that has a regionally accredited undergraduate program does not make its doctoral program accredited. In fact the same is true of onsite universities. For example, the AACSB is the premiere accrediting body for colleges of business within major colleges and universities. But the AACSB limits accreditation to undergraduate and masters of business or accounting programs. The AACSB has never had an accreditation program for doctoral programs within AACSB accredited colleges.

    When it comes to doctoral programs, everything rides on the general reputation and prestige of the entire university is the most important factor. The reputation of the college or department offering the doctoral degree is the second most important factor. What goes into that college's reputation is the research reputation of the faculty involved in the doctoral program. Admissions standards are also very, very important. Any doctoral program that is easy to get into becomes suspect. This was especially the case of some major universities that during some years admitted most military retirees who applied as long as the applicant had 20 or more years of service with the military. These programs generated some fine teachers for regional colleges, but the market generally recognized that these graduates had little prospects of establishing research reputations. I think most universities no longer give such ease of admission to veterans.

    Doctoral programs should probably be judged more on the quality of the dissertations. Fortunately or unfortunately, many  dissertations are pretty well ignored unless papers published from them are accepted by major research journals. A dissertation may be important for landing that first faculty job in a prestigious college or university. This depends heavily on level of competition. In fields like accounting and finance there is such a shortage of doctoral graduates from major universities that applicants can usually get great job offers before the quality of the dissertation can really be judged. Job offers are frequently made in the very early stages of a mere dissertation proposal subject to huge changes later on before the degree is granted. Sadly, many great dissertation proposals are never carried to fruition.

    In any case, you might be interested in the new online Type 4 doctoral degree alternatives listed at http://www.distance-learning-college-guide.com/doctorate-degrees-online.html

    Many excellent online undergraduate and masters education programs are linked at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Crossborder.htm
    A few good doctoral programs are also linked.

    April 5, 2007 reply from Mitchell A Franklin [mifrankl@syr.edu]

    Dear Bob,

    One of my colleagues on your ACEM listserv forwarded me the below E-mail, and I wanted to add to some of your responses. This past month, I completed my PhD in accounting from Walden University, one of the schools that you classify into category 4 of online programs. A few things I’d like to add based on personal experience:

    Though called an ‘online’ program, the program is more than just online independent study via the internet. As part of the degree requirements, students are required at various points in the program to attend mandatory face to face residencies in which they attend intensive format classes/seminars and take part in research based colloquia with other students in the same program. Students are in close interaction with each other on an academic and social level, including your reference of ‘having a beer together’ which some type 4 programs may lack. A vast majority of the faculty I worked with all have PhD’s from schools that are considered ‘top tier’ business schools. Not only did they hold their degrees from ‘top tier’ schools, but they also hold full-time senior faculty appointments at other top tier major business schools. These faculty members have their own reputations to uphold, and wouldn’t be involved in this type of program signing off on dissertations if they didn’t believe in the quality of the work and quality/merit of this type of program. I would also agree that at present, many people may not recognize this type of education as comparable and put someone starting out at a disadvantage if looking at major schools for tenure-track placement, but the number of people who DO recognize it as comparable is growing at a good clip. Over the long-run I do feel that at some point it will be equally recognized. As anything different, it will just take time and a concentration of alumni to show that their teaching/research skills are comparable, if not better, as you state in your post.

    As someone who has been through this program, I would wholeheartedly recommend it for someone who needs/desires a PhD but can’t enroll into an onsite program because of whatever the personal reason may be.


    Mitch Franklin

     April 6, 2007 reply from Steve Doster [sdoster@SHAWNEE.EDU]

    I graduated from Argosy’s DBA program (management major—the accounting major was added a few years later) in about 2002 and was very pleased with the program. My experience was that the 1 to 2 week on-site course format that involved a considerable amount of pre and post study was much more useful, less work, and more satisfying than the exclusively on-line courses. Two of my colleagues have since enrolled Argosy’s DBA—Accounting program and are satisfied with program.

    Steve Doster, DBA, CPA, CMA
    Professor, Accounting & Management
    Shawnee State University
    Portsmouth, OH 45662

    Nontraditional Doctoral Degree Programs: Some With No Courses

    "New Ideas for Ph.D. Education," by Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, August 18, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/08/18/grad

    For educators and state officials who want to reform doctoral education, “it’s easy if you just want to make it easier,” said E. Garrison Walters, interim chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents.

    The challenge, he said, is to undertake reforms that don’t sacrifice quality. “It’s difficult to keep the core values of a Ph.D. and keep it flexible,” he said. Walters spoke this week at a conference in Chicago of the State Higher Education Executive Officers — the officials who approve new Ph.D. programs in their states and periodically review such programs, sometimes with an eye toward saving money by eliminating them.

    At a session on new approaches to doctoral education, state officials were briefed on two new approaches — both of which were warmly received. One involves non-residential Ph.D. programs for students who are older than most who earn doctorates. The other involves doctoral programs that are run by more than one university — and that sometimes cross state lines and public/private distinctions. Officials at the meeting said they believed there was strong demand for both kinds of programs, and wanted to find ways for their agencies to encourage such innovations.

    Laurien Alexandre, director of Antioch University’s Ph.D. program in leadership and change, said it was easy to see that there is interest in the kind of non-traditional doctorate her institution has created. The students are already far along in their careers and lives — 85 percent are over 40, with many in their 50s and 60s — and they don’t need the doctorate as a credential. “No one is coming at 55 because they need it for their job,” she said. “So why are people paying $80,000 for a doctorate?”

    Her answer is that Antioch’s doctoral students are on an “evolved path” in which they are seeking to take their understandings of organizations to a higher level, and want to conduct the kind of in-depth research associated with doctoral programs. The program attracts students from all over the country, who periodically meet in person at Antioch’s campuses around the country, but conduct much of their work in close collaboration with faculty members, who are also spread out around the country and communicate with students via phone and videoconferencing.

    The program is “courseless,” Alexandre said, and students must demonstrate their competencies in knowledge and research skills after completing “multiyear learning paths” that are supervised by faculty members. Only then, Alexandre said, can they write their dissertations. And while Alexandre clearly relishes the way Antioch is “pushing the envelope” on most aspects of the program, she said that the dissertation process is traditional: committees, chapters, defense, and so forth. “The dissertation is the gold standard,” she said.

    The concept underlying this approach, she said, is “rigor without rigidity,” and that approach may be what it takes to encourage doctoral education from older students. She noted that Antioch just graduated its first students in the program and that retention rates are well above the typically low rates for many Ph.D. programs.

    If the Antioch model demonstrates flexibility within a graduate program, two new biomedical engineering programs may represent the ability of universities to be flexible in how they put together a graduate program in a hot science field — and one that can be expensive to support. One program joins forces of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University, and the other combines offerings at Virginia Tech with Wake Forest University. Both programs have one institution with a medical school (Chapel Hill and Wake Forest) and one institution with an engineering school (N.C. State and Virginia Tech).

    Stephen Knisley, director of the North Carolina program, said that it grew out of a stand-alone program at Chapel Hill that officials there felt would be strengthened with more ties to engineering. To make the program effective, Knisley said, real partnerships are needed. That means admissions decisions, curricular requirements and the like are all decided jointly. And to really have students be able to move back and forth to the two campuses, officials have also had to make sure they can get dual ID cards, parking spaces, and access to all facilities. There are currently 103 graduate students in the program, and North Carolina hopes to double that number in the next few years.

    In a similar approach, Wake Forest and Virginia Tech decide matters together — and have managed to do so even though the former is private and the latter is a public university in another state. Brian J. Love, a professor at Virginia Tech, noted that the two universities don’t observe the same holidays or have the same class schedules, so everything must be negotiated. “This program now has its own calendar,” he said.

    But he said that’s a small price to pay to have combined resources that neither institution could otherwise create. “This can really be a win-win situation.”

    One difficulty such collaborations sometimes face is with accreditation. Gail Morrison, interim executive director of the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education, said that the Medical University of South Carolina and the University of South Carolina recently merged their pharmacy schools. While both entities had been accredited, they needed an entirely new review, even though it seemed to Morrison that the new school was clearly stronger than the two separate ones of the past.

    Her story brought knowing nods from the audience of state officials, several of whom said later that specialized accreditation was a barrier to the kinds of collaboration being encouraged at the session.

    Of course some collaborations don’t require any accreditors’ approval. Morrison said that generally breaking down institutional boundaries was a great way to encourage more efficiency and that formal units aren’t always needed. For example, the state’s three doctoral institutions are opening a building in Charleston that will bring professors together. No outside approval needed.

    Jensen Comment
    The problem with the some of these is that, when students are allowed to customize a curriculum, they often take the easiest way out. Success of these nontraditional doctoral programs rests heavily upon admission standards for getting into the programs and a successful track record of graduates from the programs. If low GRE (or GMAT) students are accepted, the schools will have a difficult time overcoming image flaws. Older adults seeking nontraditional doctoral programs often do not have strong admission test scores.

    Museum of Hoaxes --- http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/

    To seriously investigate claims on the Web, begin with http://www.snopes.com/

    Bob Jensen's threads on consumer fraud are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudReporting.htm

    Question for Professors
    How much would you charge to help restore the tarnished image of a CEO you never knew?

    "Academics' 'PR' work raises eyebrows:  Ethicists questioning efforts for Greenberg," by Robert Weisman, Boston Globe, April 5, 2007 --- Click Here

    "Academics are supposed to be independent thinkers," said Jim Hoopes , professor of business ethics at Babson College in Wellesley. "Once academics start getting paid for their opinions in this way, there is less confidence in the integrity of their ideas."

    The academics, working with eSapience, a little-known Cambridge company calling itself a new media and research firm, included Richard Schmalensee , dean of MIT's Sloan School of Management; David S. Evans , adjunct professor at University College London; and Richard Epstein , a University of Chicago law professor.

    Their mission was "to change the public conversation about Maurice Greenberg ," according to a confidential plan summary. This was to be accomplished, in part, by organizing invitation-only events where "influencers" would hear Greenberg weigh in on insurance issues and by penning papers, editorials, books, and other content aimed at putting the executive in a favorable light, the summary said.

    The document was filed in US District Court in Boston last month as part of eSapience's lawsuit against Greenberg's current company, New York investment firm C.V. Starr & Co., for allegedly refusing to pay $2 million in bills from the image campaign.

    Continued in article

    Bob Jensen's threads on the AIG scandal are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Fraud001.htm#PwC 

    MOVIE CLICHE OF THE DAY --- http://members.aol.com/robincam2/cliche.htm

    They're Talking About Me

    "Utilizing America’s Most Wasted Resource," by Robert M. Diamond and Merle F. Allshouse, Inside Higher Ed, April 6, 2007 ---  http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2007/04/06/diamond

    How often have we heard, “People with talent and ideas are America’s greatest resource”? And yet, while colleges and universities have as their primary goal the delivery of top quality academic programs, few take full advantage of the talents that are available to help meet this goal from the retired professionals in their communities.
    In most university and college communities there is a growing pool of talented retired or transitioning individuals who would like nothing more than to make a difference by using their knowledge and experience to improve their communities and institutions while continuing the process of their own personal development.

    Added to this resource is the emerging wave of boomers who will be not retiring in the traditional way. They will be reinventing themselves as they enter new careers and develop new active roles of service. These will be professionals from a wide variety of fields (education, health, government, the arts, business and nonprofit executives, scientists, engineers, and retired military etc.) who have the energy, interest and ability to continue as active contributing members of society for a longer period of time than any preceding generation. With each year thousands of highly trained individuals are added to this growing but under-utilized pool of talent.

    Unfortunately, few colleges and universities have made any formal attempt to develop a successful working relationship between the institution and this exciting and capable source of talent. Relationships have been more a matter of chance than conscious planning.

    Most of these focus on the use of retired faculty living in the area or local professionals to serve as part-time faculty to meet a very specific and unmet instructional need. For many retired individuals, this form of relationship is inappropriate, of little interest, or impractical since they may be available for periods of time that do not mesh with the academic calendar. The question then becomes how to best take advantage of more diverse individuals to improve the quality of our institution?

    There are a wide range of possible options for involving transitioning or full-time retired persons in the day to day operation of every institution. The alternatives have the potential not only of being extremely beneficial to a college or university and to the community, but at the same time can significantly improve the personal well-being of those who are offering their services. The institution, the community, and the volunteer can all gain from this relationship.

    Using the Talent

    In addition to teaching a course for credit, other services that these individuals can provide are:

    Professional Expertise: Building on their backgrounds, they can serve as guest lecturers, members of panels or as special advisers to students working on team projects In addition, they can be tutors for students who enter courses with special needs or mentors to those students who would like assistance as they address advanced topics in greater depth. The challenge here for faculty is finding the right person or persons with the right set of competencies who will be able to mesh into the instructional sequence that is planned.

    Life Experiences: One area of possible service that is often overlooked is the ability for these individuals to bring to the classroom a perspective that may have little or nothing to do with their professional fields of expertise. For example, in every community there are individuals who have lived through the depression of the early 1930’s, served in the military in WWII or the wars that followed, individuals who have lived through the Holocaust or other major genocides, people who have had to face religious or racial intolerance, were active in the Civil Rights Movement, have lived through the challenges of moving to the United States from another country, or have spent parts of their careers working overseas. In each instance, their participation can add a unique dimension to any class studying these periods or subjects. Bringing experts in music, art, or theater into a discussion of a particular period of time or social movement or inviting natives of other countries to discuss the culture and attitudes of different societies can add a texture to a discussion that is otherwise impossible. The key, once again, is the creative use of these various talents within the context of courses and programs.

    In nontraditional settings: As more institutions view the out-of-classroom environment as a vital element of the academic and learning experience, these individuals can be used as guest resident counselors, club advisers, program consultants, discussion leaders, etc. Not only can they add a vital element of reality that is so often missing in such activities but, in many cases, they may be available to students at times and in places when most faculty are not.

    Adding another dimension: There is one additional use of these citizens that, while rarely taken advantage of, can be of significant benefit to the entire institution. Recent research on how people think has shown that as people mature they become what has been called “transformative” or “critical” thinkers, willing and able to question assumptions, beliefs and traditions. With their extensive backgrounds, these individuals have the potential of adding a unique element to a classroom and the campus. These mature and experienced people can help both students and institutional leaders make plans for the future and address new and often unique challenges.

    Some Examples

    Continued in article

    Bob Jensen's threads about higher education controversies are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm

    At last some colleges (at least in New York) are paying the price of accepting student loan kickbacks from lenders
    Cuomo announced at a news conference (at high noon, to boot) that facing the threat of legal action, several universities had signed settlement agreements obligating them to repay funds they had received from lenders and to abide by a “code of conduct” that will require them to give up or change certain aspects of their relationships with student loan companies. And one of the student loan industry’s biggest players, Citibank, agreed that it too would abide by the code of conduct, and no longer offer to pay colleges a portion of their private loan volume to use for financial aid — a practice Cuomo had derided as “kickbacks.”
    Doug Lederman, "The First Dominoes Fall," Inside Higher Ed, April 3, 2007 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2007/04/03/cuomo

    "The Student Loan Trap," by Mark Shapiro, The Irascible Professor, April 4, 2007 --- http://irascibleprofessor.com/comments-04-04-07.htm

    Colleges and universities often claim that they are helping students to meet the rising costs of a college education by expanding financial aid for students. What they fail to mention is that these days a "financial aid" package -- even for the neediest of students -- includes a large loan component in addition to whatever scholarships and grants the college or university may be able to provide. For many years the maximum Pell grant was just over $4,000 per year. On July 1, 2007 this will increase to slightly over $4,300 per year. However, for most students even in public colleges and universities this amount is far less than the annual cost of college. The difference is made up from student loans. The poorest students can obtain Perkins Loans. These are government subsidized loans that carry a 5% interest rate, and are made directly by the college to the student from a very limited pool of funds.

    By far the majority of money for student loans comes from two other programs, the Stafford Loan program and the Parent Loan Program for Undergraduate Students (PLUS). Some of the Stafford Loan money comes from directly from the government, but a large fraction is provided by private lenders. The interest rate on Stafford Loans is fixed at 6.8% and the rate for PLUS loans is fixed at 8.5%. Students who qualify based on need, may obtain "subsidized" Stafford Loans. The student with a subsidized Stafford Loan makes no payment until six months after graduation or six months after ceasing to be at least a half-time student. The federal government pays the interest in the interim. Students with unsubsidized Stafford loans must begin payments immediately.

    While the interest rate for Stafford Loans is relatively attractive, that does not tell the whole story. The federal government collects both a 3% "origination" fee and a 1% "insurance" fee on these loans. These fees are used to cover loans that go into default. Thus, to a large extent, private lenders who originate student loans or who purchase them in the secondary market are protected against defaults by the government. But the the private lenders have another great advantage when they provide Stafford or PLUS loans; namely, these debts last forever. If a person who has outstanding student loans falls on hard times, he or she cannot use the bankruptcy laws to discharge the debt. The individual (and often his parents who may have cosigned for the loan) has very limited options available to them if they are unable to make their loan payments on time and if full. In some circumstances, if a person becomes completely disabled the loan may be forgiven. In some limited situations, a person in default on a student loan may obtain deferment or forbearance on their loan. But short of that, the loan simply goes into default and the interest, late fees, and interest on late fees just continues to build.

    Private lenders who hold student loan paper have been very aggressive in their collection efforts; and, because the government aids them by garnishing the debtor's income tax refunds and Social Security benefits the lenders seldom get stiffed. Instead, the hapless debtor continues to pay for decades while the amount he or she owes may actually increase owing to the late fees and interest on the late fees.

    Private lenders have found the stream of income generated by aggressively applying late fees coupled with vigorous collection efforts to be quite lucrative. In fact, it's not unusual for a person who has gone into default on student loans to end up paying more than twice the original debt before everything is settled. Horror stories abound of individuals whose lives essentially have been destroyed by the efforts of the student loan debt collectors.

    At the same time that these private lenders are extracting the last dime from their less fortunate customers, they have developed cozy relationships with college financial aid offices. In a March 29, 2007 New York Times article Jonathan D. Glater reported that a number of well-known colleges and universities have agreements with private lenders to answer telephone queries to their financial aid offices. In many cases students are not told that they are talking to a representative of the private lender rather than a school financial aid staff person. College and university financial aid officials also often receive favors from private lenders who are on their "preferred lender" lists, and some colleges actually have received kickbacks from their preferred lenders from loans taken out by their students.

    The situation had gotten so bad that New York's attorney general, Andrew M. Cuomo, had started investigations into student loan practices at numerous colleges. The Chronicle of Higher Education reported on April 3, 2007 that Cuomo had reached settlements with 36 of these institutions that would prevent administrators from "accepting gifts from lenders, serving on paid lender-advisory boards, and entering into revenue sharing contracts with private lenders." Six of the institutions that had entered into such revenue sharing agreements also agreed to refund the money that they received to the students who actually took out the loans.

    Continued in article

    Also see the scandolous updates at http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2007/04/06/lenders

    Bob Jensen's threads on financial and academic lack of accountability in higher education ---

    American Civil War History Site

    April 4, 2007 message from tagate [tagate@gmail.com]

    Hello my name is Ann And i found your nice site and i have a history site about the american civil war and i wonder if you can link me on your site. I think that my site can be a good school resource

    American Civil War http://www.factasy.com 

    It´s about the American Civil War 1861-1865 and the slavery history and it´s greatly with information. It´s includes the history of the slaves in america, i have also civil war letters in the catagori (Family War Stories)

    Regards Ann

    Please tell me if you can link me

    Jensen Comment
    I added the above link to the following two pages:


    Networks Show Power Laws
    Why the Rich Get Richer:  New Theory Shows How Wealth Sticks to Some and Not Others

    A new theory shows how wealth, in different forms, can stick to some but not to others. The findings have implications ranging from the design of the Internet to economics.
    PhysOrg, April 3, 2007 --- http://physorg.com/news94753105.html

    Real-world data -- whether distributions of wealth, size of earthquakes or number of connections on a computer network -- often follow power-law distributions rather than the familiar bell-shaped curve. In a power-law distribution, large events are reasonably common compared to smaller events.

    Networks often show power laws. They can be caused by the "rich get richer" effect, also known as "preferential attachment," where nodes gain new connections in proportion to how many they already have. That means some nodes end up with many more connections than others. The phenomenon is well known, but had been assumed to be just a fundamental property of networks.

    Raissa D'Souza, an assistant professor at the Department of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering and the Center for Computational Science and Engineering at UC Davis, together with colleagues at Microsoft Research in Redmond, Wash., UCLA and Cornell University, looked at how "preferential attachment" can arise in networks.

    "'The rich get richer' makes sense for wealth, but why would it happen for Internet routers?" she said.

    D'Souza and colleagues found that they could make tradeoffs between the network distance between nodes and the number of connections between them. By tweaking the conditions, they could make preferential attachment -- a power-law distribution of the number of connections -- stronger or weaker.

    These tradeoffs in networks are an underlying principle behind preferential attachment, D'Souza said. The general framework could be extended to all kinds of different networks, in biology, engineering, computer science or social sciences.

    "It's exciting because it shows the origins of something that we had assumed as axiomatic," D'Souza said.

    The other authors on the study, which is published online in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, are Christian Borgs and Jennifer T. Chayes at Microsoft Research, Noam Berger at UCLA and Robert D. Keinberg at Cornell University. A figure from the study will also be used for the cover art of the April 10 print issue of the journal.

    Source: UC Davis

    Jensen Comment
    I think they forgot the all-important cheating factor. But then again, maybe that’s part of networking as well.

    When Honesty is Not the Best Policy at Work
    A new book argues that honesty may not be the best policy in the workplace. From Hire to Liar: The Role of Deception in the Workplace says lies may not be so bad — they're an essential part of how business gets done.
    "Making Lies Work for You at the Office," NPR, April 4, 2007 ---

    ALPFA:  The Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting offers career and community resources --- http://www.alpfa.org/

    Bob Jensen's career helpers are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob1.htm#careers

    March 30, 2007 message from


    "Wikis are Web pages that can be viewed and modified by anyone with a Web browser and Internet access. Described as a composition system, a discussion medium, and a repository, wikis support asynchronous communication and group collaboration online." ("7 Things You Should Know about Wikis," from EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative;


    In "Wiki as a Teaching Tool" (INTERDISCIPLINARY JOURNAL OF KNOWLEDGE AND LEARNING OBJECTS, vol. 3, 2007, pp. 57-72), Kevin R. Parker and Joseph T. Chao review the current state of wiki use in education. Some of the uses include "webpage creation, project development with peer review, group authoring, tracking group projects, data collection, and class/instructor reviews." They also discuss how wikis can be used in online learning. The paper is available at

    Interdisciplinary Journal of Knowledge and Learning Objects [ISSN:

    Print 1552-2210, CD 1552-2229, Online 1552-2237] is published by the Informing Science Institute, 131 Brookhill Court, Santa Rosa, CA 95409 USA. For current and back issues, go to http://www.ijklo.org/.

    For a report on how a well-known wiki, Wikipedia, handles links to research and scholarship see:

    "What Open Access Research Can Do for Wikipedia"

    by John Willinsky

    FIRST MONDAY, vol. 12, no. 3, March 2007 http://www.firstmonday.org/issues/issue12_3/willinsky/index.html


    The University of North Carolina system's Board of Governors recently proposed controlling the rising cost of textbooks by instituting rental or buyback programs. Triggering such a recommendation is the increasing costs of college textbooks, with prices rising faster than the rate of inflation. Students, administrators, bookstores, and publishers argue who or what is causing these increasing costs. One argument places the blame on faculty who demand not only frequent new editions, but also want students to have access to materials that technology enables -- CD-ROMs, e-books, course-related software, private-access websites.

    Instructors may find themselves caught in the middle of this blaming game. Publishers say that if textbook authors and adopters did not insist on having additional bundled materials, the costs could be kept down to a reasonable level. Students argue that in many courses the extra materials are seldom or never used. In addtion, these extras drive up prices, but often make it hard for students to resell their texts.

    For more about the textbook cost discussion and the UNC Board of Governors' proposal see:

    "Who Controls Textbook Choices?"

    INSIDE HIGHER ED, March 16, 2007


    For textbook publishers' perspectives, see:


    The Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs) campaign to lower textbook prices:



    MySpace and Facebook pose serious threats to increasing numbers of students
    College students are flocking to social networking sites on the Internet in stunning numbers, often unaware of the potential dangers that can arise there. These dangers primarily arise from posting personal information online that can be viewed by criminals, potential employers, and school administrators, which can result in identity theft, loss of job opportunities, and violations of school rules. Campus administrators should inform their students about the potential dangers of using social networking Web sites — but they should be cautious not to do so in ways that could make them liable if the students engage in illegal behavior.
    Sheldon Steinbach and Lynn Deavers, "The Brave New World of MySpace and Facebook," Inside Higher Ed, April 3, 2007 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2007/04/03/steinbach

    Liberal Professors Advertise Support for Ward Churchill's Tenure
    Eleven scholars have published a full-page ad in The New York Review of Books to try to rally support for Ward Churchill, who is facing possible dismissal from his tenured job at the University of Colorado at Boulder. The text of the ad is available at a Web site called “Defend Critical Thinking,” and focuses on the way charges of misconduct were brought against Churchill, not the charges themselves. The ad warns scholars to “be wary of opportunistic attacks on scholarship that are disguised means of sanctioning critics and stifling the free expression of ideas,” adding: “It may be that aspects of Churchill’s large body of published writings were vulnerable to responsible academic criticism, but the proceedings against him were not undertaken because of efforts to uphold high scholarly standards, but to provide a more acceptable basis for giving in to the right-wing pressures resulting from his 9/11 remarks.” Among those signing: Derrick Bell of New York University, Noam Chomsky of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Juan Cole of the University of Michigan, and Howard Zinn of Boston University.
    Inside Higher Ed, April 3, 2007 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2007/04/03/qt

    Discussions must move beyond tenure processes. We must now examine the tenure system itself, future career pathways for our increasingly diverse and mobile faculty, and standards of performance in a global academic marketplace. There may be alternative models to explore. Those discussions must involve a variety of stakeholders who focus on one key question: How do we create and maintain a rigorous and competitive tenure system that best meets the needs of our students and our publics, and best positions America for long-term success? Tomorrow’s students and the next generation of Americans deserve nothing less.
    Hank Brown (President of the University of Colorado), "Tenure Reform: The Time Has Come," Inside Higher Ed, March 27, 2007 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2007/03/26/brown

    Jensen Comment
    The Ward Churchill saga is a major factor behind a high-level study of the entire tenure system at the University of Colorado. The CU president's remarks on this study can be found at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#Tenure

    Bob Jensen's threads on the Ward Churchill saga are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HypocrisyChurchill.htm

    Given the dire shortage of accounting doctoral students, there's an explosion in part-time accounting faculty.
    This is also the trend in most other disciplines.
    "Inexorable March to a Part-Time Faculty
    ," by Doug Lederman, Inside Higher Ed, March 28, 2007 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2007/03/28/faculty

    New data from the U.S. Education Department confirm what faculty leaders increasingly bemoan: The full-time, tenure-track faculty member is becoming an endangered species in American higher education.

    A new report from the National Center for Education Statistics shows that of the 1,314,506 faculty members at colleges that award federal financial aid in fall 2005, 624,753, or 47.5 percent, were in part-time positions. That represents an increase in number and proportion from 2003, the last full survey of institutions, when 543,137 of the 1,173,556 professors (or 46.3 percent) at degree-granting institutions were part timers. (The statistics may not be directly comparable because the department reported part-time/full-time figures only for degree-granting institutions in 2003, and for all Title IV institutions in 2005.)

    The new report, “Employees in Postsecondary Institutions, Fall 2005, and Salaries of Full-Time Instructional Faculty, 2005-06,” also finds the proportion of all professors who are tenured or on the tenure track to be shrinking. Of the 675,624 full-time faculty members at degree-granting colleges and universities in 2005, 414,574, or 61.4 percent, were either tenured or on the tenure track. That is down from the 411,031 of 630,419 (or 65.2 percent) of professors at degree-granting institutions who were tenured or tenure track in 2003.

    Full-time Faculty at Degree-Granting Institutions, 2005 and 2003

      Fall 2005 Fall 2003 % Change
    All faculty 675,624* 630,419 7.1%
    With tenure 283,434 282,429 0.4%
    Tenure track 131,140 128,602 1.9%
    Not on tenure track/
    no tenure system
    235,171 219,388 7.2%

    *Figure includes 25,879 staff members with faculty status.

    The NCES report contains a wealth of other information about faculty and staff members at colleges and universities. Among the other highlights:

    • The proportion of full-time faculty members at degree-granting institutions who are women rose slightly, to 40.6 percent in 2005 from 39.4 percent in 2003.
    • The proportion of full-time faculty members who are white dropped slightly, to 78.1 percent in 2005 from 80.2 percent in 2003. The biggest gain was among Asian/Pacific Islanders, whose share of the full-time professoriate rose to 7.2 percent from 6.5 percent. The proportion who are black dipped by a tenth of percentage point (from 5.3 percent to 5.2 percent), while the share who are Hispanic rose to 3.4 percent from 3.2 percent.
    • Men were significantly more likely to be tenured or tenure track than were women. Of full-time male professors, 47.5 percent were tenured and 18.1 percent were tenure track, while 33.9 percent of women were tenured and 21.3 percent were tenure track.

    Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies are at

    Bob Jensen's threads on the Obsolete and Dysfunctional System of Tenure: 
    Over 62% of Full-Time Faculty Are Off the Tenure Track --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#Tenure

    March 28, 2007 reply from Elliot Kamlet [ekamlet@STNY.RR.COM]

    I am a low esteem lecturer, albeit full time not part time. Eliminating us is very expensive, especially at a State University like mine. For example, say we hire a brand new PhD at (to use a low but round number) $100,000 per year. (S)he teaches, say, 2 sections per semester at 40 students each. That is a total of 160 students per year or, on average $625 per student. The student takes 8 courses per year for about $4350 in tuition. Therefore there might be a problem growing if we want to pay our professor benefits, turn on the lights, run the buildings, run the administration, etc. Of course our professor will research and publish. While that brings additional recognition to us, it takes a while before it might bring some money. Like it or not, that’s the way it is.

    Elliot Kamlet

    March 29, 2007 reply from James M. Peters [jpeters@NMHU.EDU]

    The problem is far worse in larger state schools. When I was the Department Chair at the U. of Maryland, we would have had to pay $180,000 for a new PhD, including summer support, which pretty much had to be guaranteed as long as they were research active, to teach 3 sections per year. We still couldn’t hire a new PhD because we couldn’t compete for any that had a chance of making tenure at Maryland. The last assistant that was tenured at Maryland was in 1976, 31 years ago, and they currently have no assistant professors and are not hiring any. We required 5 JAR, JAE, or TAR hits in their first five years for tenure. Nothing else really counted. So we tried to hire tenured Associates at higher rates. However, again because of the tenure standards and the short supply, most of the new hires wanted 2 section teaching loads (per year).

    As our Dean was famous for saying, every business school in the US is working with a “going out of business” model. We just can’t continue to pay research faculty more and more to teach less and less. That is a “going out of business” economic model. Given the importance of research to a major school’s reputation, however, the top school must continue to compete for research faculty.

    I believe the only solution is to do what Maryland did (and CMU did when I was there), and develop a cadre of full-time teaching faculty that are consider full faculty members, except for Tenure and PhD issues. This is the European model. It means downsizing the research faculty and it also means a form of enforced specialization. It isn’t that most research faculty aren’t dedicated teachers, it is just that the competition in the research market, particularly in the “big three” journals, is so intense that they cannot afford to put time into the classroom and survive on the research side.

    So, we need to move to a model with fewer research faculty that form the intellectual core of our departments and who regularly interact with the teaching faculty to share their research results. However, the core of teaching cannot be done by research faculty anymore. We just can’t afford them.


    March 29, 2007 reply from Peters, James M [jpeters@NMHU.EDU]

    The problem with trying to affect tenure requirements is that they are driven by free labor and free "reputation" markets, and not under anyone's control. Also, there is an excellent theory developed by an MIT economist who speaks to this issue and explains why, due to basic human overconfidence, a ratcheting up of both review standards and tenure requirements is inevitable. Any University that unilaterally dropped tenure requirements would have their reputation trashed.

    As for the classic argument that research benefits teaching, I see very little in the articles published in the "big three" that I can bring into a graduate classroom, much less and undergraduate one. And, again, it isn't because doing so might not be a bad idea, it is because research faculty can no longer afford to focus on teaching.

    The bottom line is the system is badly broken and out of control, but no one can fix it. The system is a free labor market and a free "reputation" market for schools that no one controls and will have to correct itself, probably after a "train wreck."

    Jim Peters

    March 29, 2007 reply from Paul Williams [Paul_Williams@NCSU.EDU]

    On 29 Mar 2007 at 12:34, Richard C. Sansing wrote:

    > Perhaps the best solution involves evaluating research by reading and
    > thinking instead of just categorizing and counting.

    Bravo Richard. this is now an ongoing debate in our college at the moment: a journal list of "elite" "high quality" and "other." There is simply no substitute for reading your colleagues' work regardless of where or how it is published. Counting is likely a feature of administrators creating butt covering criteria to make hard decisions easier. I remember when Maryland got to where it is and Robin is quite correct. Maryland hired a new chancellor who proclaimed the institution would be a top tier school and issued a ukase that only publishing in the so-called elite journals would count (this was 30 years ago). The accounting program at Maryland has yet to recover from an administration that opted to make the autocratic way the way to greatness: do it, or else. For many programs at Maryland it appears that "or else" was their choice. In D. McCloskey's The Rhetoric of Economics she discusses the dangers of modernist pretensions of science (what commentators on this net mean by rigorous). She provides this little ditty on page 52:

    Little wonder that youths in science are durnk with methodology. "Ale, man, ale's the stuff to drink For fellows whom it hurts to think. And faith, 'tis pleasant till 'tis past The mischief is that 'twill not last Output, man, output's the stuff to get SO DEANS AND CHAIRMEN WILL NOT FRET.

    April 3, 2007 reply from

    Dr. Williams,

    As a soon-to-be academic and recent practitioner of 10 years (Big 4), I wholeheartedly agree with your comment about lack of intellectualism in the practicing community, in general. Yes, there are pockets of folks in the larger firms that work on research. Grant Thornton operates a research think tank comprised of ex-academics from a variety of different universities. However, they are clearly in the background. The Grant Thornton office managing partner and the other partners here in Central Florida had never even heard of the research group until I mentioned it.

    Practice becomes so consumed with the grind to complete audits and secure new, more profitable business that they can hardly see past the current engagement, concentrating on chargeable hours, realization rates, and the like. I must admit, as a senior manager, I was one of those headed down that narrow path. My annual sales goal as a KPMG manager was $750k with an increase to $1m at senior manager. There was no time between audits to concern myself with anything other than finding new business just to be rated as "meeting expectations" and keep my job. I also recognize that I would never have paid much attention to the academics sitting in their "ivory towers" (general feeling out there) had I stayed on to pursue partnership.

    All is not lost, though. If the Grant partners here are any indication, many folks would have an interest in research if academics made a concerted effort to raise the general awareness and speak in layman's terms (i.e. no scientific bluff and bluster).

    Randy Kuhn

    April 6, 2007  reply from Paul Williams [Paul_Williams@NCSU.EDU]


    Thank you for the reply. There were at one time mechanisms for practice and academe informing each other, but those were severed during the early 1970s with the triumph of the U. of Chicago group. They had contempt for practice (normative) and a dogmatic persistence that accounting should be "positive" (which is merely rhetoric to tell the big lie about one of the most blatantly normative movements in U.S. political history). Nick Dopuch and his minions have a lot to answer for.

    I do see some hopeful signs. Bill McCarthy's associate editorship, Judy Rayburn's diversity initiative seems to have some traction in that Shyam Sunder is acting as if he wants to keep its momentum going. Rumor has it that there will be speakers at the Chicago meeting that are other than the typical fare, representing diverse disciplinary perspectives. I don't usually look forward to AAA annual meetings, butI am for this one.  The theme of "imaginary worlds" at least gives legitimacy to accountants being permitted to use their imaginations!

    I also (respect) Gary Previts as president elect, and a historian, understands from personal experience what the damage has been to both academe and the profession of the absence of diverse perspectives. To Gary's great credit, he accepted the invitation to attend the diversity section's mid-year meeting. For the first time in AAA history we may have a succession of presidents who understand the depth of the problem and understand that many things have to change. We shall see. Stay in touch.

    If you are in Chicago this August, look me up.


    March 29, 2007 reply from J. S. Gangolly [gangolly@CSC.ALBANY.EDU]


    I completely agree.

    AACSB requirements on PHD AQ faculty is a ploy to support PhD programs (irrespective of their quality or relevance), to artificially inflate salaries to monstrous proportions, and create artificial shortages (to justify the salaries) totally out of line with what the market would pay PhDs in the profession with little practice experience..

    I find it unconscionable to have to pay an ABD, with NO real world experience in the chosen profession IN WHICH EXPERTISE IS CLAIMED, salaries higher than what we pay world-renowned scholars who have won Lancaster Prizes, Guggenheim Fellowships, McArthur Fellowships, Pulitzer Prizes,... Justification based on the "market" shortage is a phony argument, since the "market" has been rigged.

    We are buying an option, in many cases with taxpayers' money, that has often a high probability of becoming worthless in a few years.

    I think there has to be a balance. However, to denigrate practice to a second-class status in a professional field is preposterous.

    Can you imagine a medical school where you are a second class citizen if you do not have a PhD? Or a law school where a person without a PhD is a second class citizen?

    In begging for respectability in the academia, by denigrating the profession, we have forfeited our rightful claim to the status of a learned profession. By ignoring the profession in our research, we also have forfeited our right to be serious academics in a profession. We have become Finance wannabes, Economics wannabes,... just plain whatever wannabes, without gaining respectability of serious disciplines.

    We also have become irrelevant to both the academia and the profession.


    March 30, 2007 reply from Bob Jensen

    Hi Paul and Jagdish,

    I'm hesitant to call this a "ploy." The word "ploy" implies some type of planned conspiracy to create shortages of doctoral students in accountancy and increase salaries. The root causes are much more complicated and indeed even naïve.

    I think the only "conspiracy" or "ploy" (both words are too pejorative in this well-intended context) commenced in the 1960s on the part of deans and business faculty in reaction to the Pierson Carnegie Report [1959] and the Gordon and Howell Ford Foundation Report [1959]. The intent was to instill scientific research skills (especially mathematics, statistics, econometric, and psychometric skills) into virtually every accounting doctoral student.

    Added funding such as grants to doctoral programs from the Ford Foundation initially increased enrollments in accounting doctoral programs. In fact I would never have become one of Stanford's three accounting doctoral students in the 1960s had it not been for Ford Foundation money given to Stanford. Stanford laundered that money and gave me five years of room, board, tuition, and incidental funding. In those five years I took only one course (from Bob Jaedicke) in accounting. The rest of the courses in all those years were taught outside Stanford's business school. Stanford wanted to make me a scientist.

    And I was not unique. Under Tom Burns at Ohio State did any accounting doctoral students take accounting courses? When I was on the faculty at Michigan State a doctoral student named Jim McKeown used to brag that he was not required to take a single accounting course in the doctoral program.

    New doctoral programs in accounting emerged across the U.S. and around the world. At the same time the AACSB made it more difficult in the business school accreditation processes for accounting programs to use doctoral graduates from other disciplines such as from economics and education departments. I think this was somewhat an effort to strengthen accounting doctoral programs. But I do not think it was a ploy to create shortages and higher salaries.

    In the 1960s academic accounting research journals started to give preference to empirical and quantitative analytical submissions. The eventual outcome by the end of the 20th Century is that virtually all accounting doctoral graduates are applied mathematicians, econometricians, and/or psychometricians. This is necessary for any hope of publishing in top academic accounting research journals.

    The problem with this is that most accounting doctoral students are now drawn from the pool of younger professionals in public accounting firms who have 1-10 years experience. Many of these professionals would like to enter doctoral programs that focus to on accountancy rather than science. They have little interest in spending the next four years of their lives studying quantitative research methods that are increasingly more rigorous in virtually all accounting doctoral programs.

    The bottom line is that we have a mismatch between the interests and aptitudes of the potential doctoral studies pool of accounting professionals and the scientific requirements of virtually all doctoral programs. Many solid accountants, especially auditors, AIS, and tax specialists, simply do not want to become mathematicians, statisticians, econometricians, and psychometricians. They would rather study accountancy.

    You can read more about the evolution these phenomena in the 20th Century at

    The bottom line is that our five-year programs churn out accountants who then enter the practicing profession. Our doctoral programs subsequently try to lure them back to become scientists. In the process we perhaps accidentally created a huge mismatch between the doctoral candidate pool and the doctoral program content. 

    In the 1960s doctoral programs had four choices:

    Keep the status quo and rely on economics department doctoral graduates to become the lead research scholars in our accounting departments.

    Make schools of accountancy more like law schools where accounting students study accountancy for three years after their baccalaureate degree. Faculty in schools of accounting would then be generated much like faculties are generated for schools of law.

    Teach accountancy in undergraduate and masters professional programs and make doctoral programs advanced professional programs for financial, managerial, AIS, and tax advanced concentrations. The intent here would be for doctoral programs to create super professionals much like law schools create super professionals in legal specialties and legal philosophy.

    Teach accountancy in undergraduate and masters professional programs and make doctoral programs applied science programs for accounting research. In the process almost all accountancy is removed from doctoral programs in favor of mathematics, statistics, economics, and other social science research content.

    For whatever reasons, Alternative 4 above transpired over the past 60 years. Alternative 4 created a relatively small number of outstanding researchers who know virtually nothing about accounting beyond what they learned as undergraduates and masters students plus a few years of on-the-job experience. This means that practicing accountants with more than 10 years experience really know more financial accounting, managerial accounting, AIS, and tax than our tenured accounting professors who, often reluctantly, have to teach professional accountancy courses in undergraduate and masters accountancy programs.

    Alternative 4 also created the shortages and high salaries that greatly limits number of applicants for accounting faculty positions. This in turn has created the explosion of the so-called second class non-tenured teachers of accounting that are increasingly necessary to enrollments in accountancy course.

    I close with one of my most depressing quotations from an Accounting Horizons referee who rejected publishing the remarks of Dennis Beresford’s address to the AAA membership at the 2005 Annual AAA Meetings in San Francisco. The arrogant referee wrote the following to the Editor of Accounting Horizons:


    1. (Professor Beresford's) paper provides specific recommendations for things that accounting academics should be doing to make the accounting profession better. However (unless the author believes that academics' time is a free good) this would presumably take academics' time away from what they are currently doing. While following the author's advice might make the accounting profession better, what is being made worse? In other words, suppose I stop reading current academic research and start reading news about current developments in accounting standards. Who is made better off and who is made worse off by this reallocation of my time? Presumably my students are marginally better off, because I can tell them some new stuff in class about current accounting standards, and this might possibly have some limited benefit on their careers. But haven't I made my colleagues in my department worse off if they depend on me for research advice, and haven't I made my university worse off if its academic reputation suffers because I'm no longer considered a leading scholar? Why does making the accounting profession better take precedence over everything else an academic does with their time?

    As quoted at



     Bob Jensen

    March 31, 2007 reply from Denny Beresford [DBeresfo@TERRY.UGA.EDU]


    Your comments are very interesting to me as a "nontraditional" academic. (After ten years I'm not sure I can still say I'm a complete neophyte.) Someone from Financial Executives International recently asked me how many accounting classes the accounting PhD students at the University of Georgia were required to take. When I looked it up on our website I found the total to be zero, just as suggested in your message. On the other hand, some of the students' research methodology classes are taught by accounting faculty and I know they discuss articles from the Accounting Review and the like. Once (in ten years) I was even asked to make a guest presentation to one of the PhD classes.

    I teach "Accounting Policy" to our 5th year MAcc students, which I would describe as a sort of applied advanced accounting theory class. Fairly early in my time here I suggested to a couple of the senior faculty that it might be a good idea for the PhD students to take my class. I don't recall the exact response but I think it was something along the lines of "they already have enough accounting." One of the PhD students did take my class for credit and another took it as a directed study but both of these were on their own initiative rather than encouragement from other faculty to the best of my knowledge.

    Somewhat naively I thought that an opportunity to take a class from a former FASB board member and current audit committee chair for three very large corporations would be something an accounting PhD student would jump at. Of course, I also naively thought that Accounting Horizons might be interested in publishing my remarks at the AAA annual meeting, which, as you point out, was a very bad assumption.

    Notwithstanding the relative lack of response to my various offers to help, I keep trying!

    Denny Beresford

    April 2, 2007 reply from Ed Scribner

    I keep reminding Bob of the quote attributed to economist C. E. >Ferguson, "The real world is only a special case, and not a very >interesting one at that."

    April 2, 2007 reply from Denny Beresford [DBeresfo@TERRY.UGA.EDU]

    Spending three and a half years inside of WorldCom/MCI and now nearly a year inside of Fannie Mae has actually been pretty interesting. Guess how many questions about these experiences I've had from PhD students? Or, for that matter, from faculty members?

    March 31, 2007 reply from J. S. Gangolly [gangolly@CSC.ALBANY.EDU]


    Perhaps ploy is a loaded word I should have avoided. A better characterisation would have been to term the faculty shortage an unintended consequence of AACSB acreditation policies.

    My experience recruiting for my school has been the paucity of PhDs with working-world professional accounting experience. The market does not discriminate between PhDs with no such experience and those who have such experience.

    Those with practice experience have attractive alternative opportunities, while those with PhDs but no practice exposure do not (unless they have specific skills which have markets). That being the case, it does not make much sense to treat the two groups identically.

    We need to learn from the medical schools where there are both PHDs and MD, PHDs. The former do not have the same alternative job opportunities that the latter have, and the difference is reflected in differential compensation. Also, PhDs in medical schools are required to bring in external research funding in addition to publications, quite unlike in accounting where not many bring in external funding during early years of careers.

    One way to accomplish this in accounting would be for AACSB to say a specified percentage of faculty (say, 80% for example) should be certified and/or hold licenses and have adequate recent relevant experience. Those who have PhDs but no relevant certification and relevant experience could have a much smaller presence, say 25% (the percentages are only illustrative)..

    Also, we need to bring in the practice to evaluate research on the dimension of relevance, for example, by requiring practice referees for all discipline-based research. This may be too radical a step, but AAA could provide support by implementing it for AAA journals.


    March 31, 2007 reply from Amy Dunbar [Amy.Dunbar@BUSINESS.UCONN.EDU]

    I cannot imagine our faculty without both of these former partners. They add tremendous value. I am sure the rest of the faculty would agree wholeheartedly.

    On another point, I think the starting salaries are high because we have a shortage of faculty, in part because people with accounting skills aren't too thrilled to give up at least five years of their life for PhD student hell. To go from a decent salary to a TA stipend and the status of whale doo doo seems to be a bit irrational to me. I was divorced mother of a five-year old daughter, and I made the choice to move from Denver to Austin to enter a PhD program. I made more money before I went into the PhD program than I made in my first position after getting out of the PhD program.

    I have no problem with the new PhDs getting high salaries. They gave up a lot of money-making years and then they take on a lot of risk trying to get tenure and knowing they will probably not succeed at their first school. Our tenure-track faculty are under tremendous stress, and they work incredibly hard.

    Amy Dunbar

    March 31, 2007 reply from Ramsey, Donald [dramsey@UDC.EDU]

    1. My comprehension of AACSB's history is that it was intended to achieve respectability in a university context, especially in terms of tenure. This in context of the old "Business Colleges".

    2. Most academic disciplines do not operate in fields with professional certifications as potentially part of the qualifications of faculty and graduates.

    3. How does Accounting compare, in terms of salaries and tenure policies, to such professions as law and engineering (we've already discussed medicine, which is economically in a class by itself, I think). At our institution, for example, the law school is not part of the union, due to its consolidation history. Go figure.

    4. Qualification in pedagogy seems to have fallen by the wayside. How many university professors have any kind of teaching credentials? How much teaching at accredited universities is actually done by their glorious and expensive researchers, in Accounting or any other field?

    5. Some institutions reportedly have three tracks: teaching, research, and a combination of those two.

    6. What exactly is the purpose of tenure? Academic freedom (which presumably everyone has anyway)? Completion of an apprenticeship? Filling slots for a maximum of 6 years, despite only a marginal hope of continuation?

    7. Somewhere I saw an article about learning institutions (in contrast to research institutions and teaching institutions). Will have to look that one up.

    Cheers on a Saturday morning, [someone in accounting practice once said, "If you like casual Fridays, you'll love casual Saturdays and Sundays!]


    Donald D. Ramsey, CPA,
    Department of Accounting, Finance, and Economics,
    School of Business and Public Administration,
    University of the District of Columbia,
    Room 404A, Building 52 (Connecticut and Yuma St.),
    4200 Connecticut Ave., N. W., Washington, D. C. 20008.
    (202) 274-7054

    March 31, 2007 reply from Bob Jensen

    Hi Don,

    Comparing salaries is a bit like comparing apples and oranges. Often law professors are the highest paid in terms of straight salaries. But this is misleading, because the student-faculty ratio is extremely high in even the most prestigious law schools. This means that the total faculty budget per student for the law school may actually be less than for other schools in the university. Also law schools never seem to be bothered by having to frequently use part-time faculty for specialty law courses.

    The highest paid faculty are generally in the medical school, but it is almost impossible to compare medical school faculty budgets with other schools in the university. Some universities have a "profit sharing plan" where the profits from medical school hospitals are shared with the medical school faculty. Income may thus vary depending upon those profits. Other medical schools allow faculty both to draw a salary and to bill patients served in the university hospital.

    If you look at the AAUP faculty salary data for most universities, medical school faculty are generally the highest paid.

    Then there is always the problem of comparing research grant income that often comes on top of the contracted salaries. There are various ways that top scientists make more than top accountants.

    As far as the purpose of tenure, I have some threads on tenure and its problems at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm 
    Tenure used to be a protection against having administrators being able to easily fire some faculty because they happen to have different philosophies or politics or religions. It's more complicated these days.

    Keep in mind that a seniority system is tantamount to tenure if a college does not have a tenure system but abides by a seniority policy. Hence the villain sometimes is not the tenure policy if the seniority policy is in effect.

    But there are some added advantages and disadvantages to tenure versus seniority systems. Most tenure policies force universities to make hard decisions about keeping or dropping new faculty after seven years. Tenure forces the weeding out of the weak performers, but it may give too much weight to publication performance.

    I personally don't like the AAUP tenure rules because I think that the seven-year up-or-out policy is too arbitrary and dysfunctional. For one thing it leads to short-term research focus to pile up publications. It encourages "paper splitting" for publication. It also encourages joint authoring games. Three professors can each write a paper and list the other two professors as joint authors arising from minimal input. That way the three professors get credit for three papers rather than the one they primarily wrote. I attribute the explosion of joint authorship in accounting and business research journals to this unethical survival tactic of faculty.

    Bob Jensen

    April 1, 2007 reply from Roger Collins,

    Hello Bob. I thought you might appreciate this article, not as a reflection on the state of cancer research but as a reflection of research in accounting. Best wishes to Erika and yourself.
    Roger Roger Collins
    TRU School of Business

    "To Break the Disease, Break the Mold," by Susan Love, The New York Times, April 1, 2007

    WITH the cancer recurrences of Elizabeth Edwards and Tony Snow the question arises: Why does this still happen? As is often the case, the answer isn’t very satisfying: not all cancers are alike, early detection doesn’t always work and treatments are still far from perfect.

    But there’s another problem: we keep focusing on doing the same thing better rather than trying something new. It is as if we are wearing blinders that let us see only one path and not the alternatives.

    If you look at most cancer research journals you will see that our focus remains on finding smaller cancers, doing less surgery and radiation and developing new drugs to add to the old ones in an attempt to treat the cancers we detect. This approach — finding the enemy, and then slashing, burning and poisoning it — hasn’t changed since I was a resident in training 30 years ago. We have certainly refined it over the years — two publications just came out that recommended expanding the use of M.R.I. scans in women who have breast cancer or are at risk for it — but, as in this situation where the additional exam only identified 3 percent more cancers, each progressive development leads to a smaller increment in benefit.

    Why do we lack new approaches? One of the key problems is the way research on cancer is carried out. In the past it was common for clinicians to observe their patients, come up with a hypothesis regarding diagnosis or treatment and then head to the lab to test it out. For instance, in 1983, two Australian clinicians — one was a pathologist, the other a gastroenterologist — observed bacteria in stomach biopsies and went on to prove that ulcers were caused not by acid, as had been assumed, but by a bacterial infection. Ulcer researchers, who had spent their careers studying gastric acid, thought the idea was absurd but much to their amazement it turned out to be true.

    The curious clinician is becoming increasingly rare. Medicine and science have become so complicated that it is almost impossible for one person to be an expert at both. Researchers tend to take a discovery from the lab and apply it to patients; the reverse trip is more and more uncommon. More often than not, someone makes an interesting discovery in the lab and then tries to find a clinical application. There is little chance, much less financing, for the wild idea that might prove revolutionary.

    This situation is not helped by the incentives we give to young cancer researchers but not to experienced clinicians who want to test a hypothesis developed over years of treating patients. It is difficult indeed to obtain a grant to do research if you haven’t spent your career in the laboratory. As the baby boomer generation of doctors approaches retirement, we should harness their experience and wild ideas by offering training in science or partnering them with younger research colleagues. Otherwise we risk inventing and discovering without reference to actually helping cancer patients.

    Another aspect of the problem is our peer review system for financing research. It works well at eliminating poor investments, but it squelches innovation and fosters the old boy network. Organizations that give out “innovator” and “pioneer” awards claim to want to support new ideas but end up giving money to better ways of doing the same thing. And our academic and research institutions reward projects with clearly defined objectives that have a good chance of quickly leading to publications and tenure. If you have a wild idea or a completely new paradigm, forget about it.

    Cancer of the cervix is one of the few cancers where we have been able to break the mold. We have moved from the Pap smear, which merely discovers abnormal cells, to a vaccine that can prevent the resulting cancer by protecting women against the virus strains that cause it.

    At a breast cancer conference in San Antonio last December, a leading cancer researcher, James Holland, presented evidence suggesting that breast cancer may also have viral associations. A wild idea indeed; however, rather than being greeted with enthusiasm by the attending scientists and members of the press it was dismissed. Might there be something to it? We’ll probably never know.

    Continued in article

    April 2, 2007 reply from Eileen Taylor [eileen_taylor@NCSU.EDU]

    With reference to the disconnect between research and one practice:

    One can look at the opportunities (or lack thereof) for an accounting PhD in practice, compared with opportunities for JDs and MDs to see that we are quite removed from the accounting profession. The worth of a PhD in practice appears close to nil.

    It seems the question is: "What indeed do we offer practice, and what should we offer practice?" Keep in mind that we are the educators of future practitioners!

    Eileen Z. Taylor, PhD Assistant Professor,
    Department of Accounting
    North Carolina State University
    Campus Box 8113,
    Nelson Hall Raleigh, NC 27695-8113


    April 2, 2007 reply from J. S. Gangolly [gangolly@CSC.ALBANY.EDU]

    I think we need to study the evolution of professional education in the US in relation to the same in Britain and Europe to get an understanding of why we are where we are today.

    Till the first world war, professional education in the US closely paralleled that in Britain in that the first professional degree is Bachelors and not doctoral, or required no preparation beyond high school for entry (for example, in medicine MB,BS or MB,ChB and not MD, in law LL.B and not JD, in business B.Com and not PhD or dottore Commercialisti as in Italy).

    After the first war, interestingly, professions in the United States (medicine and Law; engineering, architecture and business including Accounting continued with the British model) switched to the European model with liberal arts education followed by a professional doctoral degree. Actually, it is my understanding that Harvard and Yale switched from LLB to JD not too long ago.

    Both medicine and law have considerably enhanced their stature with this move.

    There is a considerable difference between medicine and law. Much of the "research" done by MDs in medicine is little more than of "drug testing" variety often bankrolled by pharmaceutical companies. Most "real" research in medicine is done by PhDs and MD, PhDs and bankrolled by federal taxpayers through NSF, NIH, NIMH,... Except at some selected schools, MD has virtually no research component except for those in the MD, PHd programs. Also, there seems to be a dichotomy between "research" oriented medical schools (Harvard, Yale are examples) as opposed to "practice" oriented medical schools (Northwestern or UCLA for example).)

    A typical MD is not trained in research unless (s)he does a year or more of post-residency research fellowship in the chosen specialty, and even then it is usually of the drug-testing variety.

    In case of law schools on the other hand, there has always been a tradition of scholarship quite unlike in medicine, specially in surgery (in Britain surgeons are not even referred ti as Dr.).

    Both in medicine and surgery, there are ways in which the education and practice are brought together in synergistic ways. In medicine you have rotations, internships, and rounds/grand rounds; in law you have moot courts and law reviews.

    I think we in accounting should try to find out how we can leverage the experience of medicine and law to come up with an education model that meets our professional and research needs.

    I agree fully with Paul that we need to address the issue of the wall of separation that exists between the academe and the profession on accounting.


    Where Highest Ranked Colleges Don't Excel

    Thomas Toch and Kevin Carey, "Where Colleges Don't Excel," The Washington Post, April 6, 2007; Page A21 ---
    Click Here

    Millions of anxious high school seniors have been hearing from college admissions offices in recent days, and if one believes the rhetoric cascading from campus administration buildings, corporate headquarters and the U.S. Capitol, students lucky enough to get acceptance letters will be entering the best higher education system in the world.

    Hardly a week goes by without a prominent politician or business leader declaring America's advantage in the global battle for brainpower, citing as evidence a study from Shanghai's Jiao Tong University that rates17 American universities among the world's 20 best.

    But those rankings are based entirely on measures of advanced research, such as journal articles published and Nobel Prizes won -- measures, that is, of the work that's done mostly in graduate programs. And while advanced research is vital to the nation's economic competitiveness, so is producing enough well-educated workers to compete for the high-value jobs of the future.

    Undergraduate students are going to make up the bulk of those workers because only 13 percent of the nation's 17 million students in higher education are at the graduate level. Yet a hard look at our undergraduate programs suggests that when it comes to the business of teaching students and helping them graduate, our universities are a lot less impressive than the rhetoric suggests.

    Seventy-five percent of high school graduates go on to higher education, but only half of those students earn degrees. And many of those who do graduate aren't learning much. According to the American Institutes for Research, only 38 percent of graduating college seniors can successfully perform tasks such as comparing viewpoints in two newspaper editorials.

    And it's an open secret that many of our colleges and universities aren't challenging their students academically or doing a good job of teaching them. In the latest findings from the National Survey of Student Engagement, about 30 percent of college students reported being assigned to read four or fewer books in their entire senior year, while nearly half (48 percent) of seniors were assigned to write no papers of 20 pages or more.

    Ironically, our global dominance in research and persistent mediocrity in undergraduate education are closely related. Both are the result of the same choices. The 17 institutions atop the Shanghai rankings are driven by professional and financial incentives that favor research and scholarship over teaching. Funding from the federal government, publish-or-perish tenure policies, and college rankings from the likes of U.S. News & World Report all push universities and professors to excel at their research mission. There are no corresponding incentives to teach students well.

    Take the U.S. News rankings. Ninety-five percent of each college's score is based on measures of wealth, fame and admissions selectivity. As a result, college presidents looking to get ahead focus on marketing, fundraising and recruiting faculty with great research credentials instead of investing their resources in helping undergraduates learn and earn degrees.

    This problem can't and shouldn't be fixed by government regulation. Independence and diversity make our higher-education sector strong, and that shouldn't change.

    The way to drive higher education institutions to stop ignoring undergraduates in favor of pursuing research is to provide more information about their performance with undergraduates to the consumers who pay tuition bills: students and their parents.

    By investing in new ways to gauge the quality of teaching and learning and by requiring taxpayer-subsidized colleges to disclose their performance to the public, the federal government can change the market dynamics in higher education, creating strong incentives for colleges to produce the caliber of undergraduates we need to compete in the global marketplace, incentives to make the rhetoric of being first in the world in higher education a reality.

    Thomas Toch and Kevin Carey are, respectively, co-director and policy manager of Education Sector, a Washington think tank.

    The Current President of Harvard Takes a Dark View of the State of Learning and the Future State of Learning
    Both Harry Lewis and Derek Bok have entered a devastating judgment on contemporary university leadership --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#Bok

    Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm

    I guess this could be called the Budd Light of automotive history

    Research suggests Ford was not the true father of mass automated car production
    Henry Ford has long been heralded as the father of modern mass automotive production. However, a controversial new paper by two Cardiff University researchers suggests that history may have got the wrong man. Dr Paul Nieuwenhuis and Dr Peter Wells of the Centre for Automotive Industry Research, Cardiff Business School, suggest it was Edward G Budd of Philadelphia whose development of the pressed steel car body truly developed mass production as it is known today. While Ford did develop mass production of key mechanical components and sub assemblies, as well as the moving assembly line, the making and painting of early car bodies proved a bottleneck. Cars were built around a separate chassis, with the body fitted on top to enhance drive and passenger comfort. Bodies were built around a wooden framework clad with steel, aluminium or plywood, then painted. The paint could take many days to dry. Attempts to speed up the drying process by heating car bodies resulted in the wood catching fire, with disastrous consequences. The only answer was to remove all wood from the bodies. By 1914, Budd had a number of patents for a pressed steel car body - and a new start-up firm, Dodge Brothers (run by two ex-Ford directors), was interested in trialling the technology.
    , April 5, 2007 --- http://physorg.com/news94993480.html

    "Rising Up Against Rankings," by Indira Samarasekera, Inside Higher Ed, April 2, 2007 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2007/04/02/samarasekera 

    Canadian universities are listening with great interest as the call to boycott U.S. News & World Report rankings continues to increase in volume among our colleagues to the south. Many of our American colleagues say that they would like to resist the rankings, but fear it can’t be done, especially if only a few institutions act. I write to let you know that institutions can take on the rankings. About a year ago, a growing number of Canadian institutions began to raise the same alarm, ultimately resulting in 25 of our 90+ institutions — including many of our leading universities — banding together to take just such a stand against the fall rankings issue of Maclean’s, our Canadian equivalent.

    Why we did it:

    It’s time to question these third-party rankings that are actually marketing driven, designed to sell particular issues of a publication with repurposing of their content into even higher sales volume special editions with year-long shelf life.

    While postsecondary education always like grades and ranks — they’re the trophies in our competitive arena – presidents and other top administrators at our institutions also have an obligation to do what’s right for our institutions in terms of championing our values and investing our resources.

    Currently, many American colleges and universities have new presidents — as there were here in Canada a year ago. It is the role and obligation of a new president to question the status quo, especially long-standing practices that may have started a decade or two ago and have since evolved into a much larger administrative burden with less advantage or validity than they appeared to have at their inception.

    Setting the stage:

    For years Maclean’s collected various sets of data for its fall undergraduate institution rankings issue – some objective, some subjective, some pertinent, some irrelevant – and turned them into aggregated averages to arrive at one overall score for each institution. These aggregated scores are listed in “league tables,” supplemented with some editorial coverage on our universities (and advertising by many of our institutions) to create the rankings issue. Sound familiar?

    This annually annoying methodology is initiated with a request to each institution to assist them by collecting and reporting data to them in the format Maclean’s desires, typically not the format that we use in institutional research, thus requiring a special effort and investment of time and resources.

    Assistance is also requested in administering a student survey for the fall undergraduate rankings issue and a graduate survey to our alumni for the spring graduate school rankings, a product line extension added in 2004 to double the burden. As an alternative they ask us to provide e-mail addresses to the magazine if we don’t conduct the survey for them.

    The showdown:

    The new presidents’ examination of this process was triggered by the request for data and survey assistance for the spring 2006 graduate school rankings. Our uprising started when my colleagues at the University of Calgary, the University of Lethbridge and I — presidents of the three largest universities in Alberta — wrote a letter to Maclean’s and met with the rankings editor and the publisher in January 2006 to express our concerns about the methodology of their undergraduate and graduate surveys and rankings.

    Along with raising technical issues regarding methodology, we pointed out that a vastly different educational and grading system in Alberta – one of the highest performing K-12 systems in the world – make comparisons of the grades of our incoming undergraduate students with the grades of incoming students in other provinces inappropriate. Our high schools employ a different grading system – believed to be more rigorous – and a student’s final achievement level is defined by a graduation exam not used in other provinces. In the case of the graduate survey, we argued that surveying alumni reflects an institution’s past, not its present, particularly in a province such as Alberta, where the government has poured billions of dollars into postsecondary education in the last few years.

    In our letter and meeting we offered to deploy the expertise at our institutions, from statistics to education evaluation, to improve the methodology. We also advised the editor that we would not participate further if the methodology remained unchanged. We got no reply.

    In the meantime, we enlisted the support of David Naylor, who had recently assumed the role of president at University of Toronto, a major research university that has historically landed at the top of the overall rankings. He weighed in, supporting our Alberta perspective from a national vantage point, affirming: Institutions have different strengths and aggregated rankings diminish those differences. Having this support was crucial. Rankings czars love to pretend the only reason to criticize their work is if you didn’t come out on top, so our movement gained credibility with Toronto’s backing.

    As President Naylor wrote in a newspaper op-ed last spring: “As academics, we devote our careers to ensuring people make important decisions on the basis of good data, analyzed with discipline. But Canadian universities have been complicit, en masse, in supporting a ranking system that has little scientific merit because it reduces everything to a meaningless, average score.”

    Equally important to our concerns about methodology were our growing concerns, as public universities, about using our resources to respond to the increasing number of data requests for rankings as more and more magazines, newspapers and associations are jumping into the entrepreneurial game of rankings. Using taxpayer money to feed sales-generating exercises by for-profit organizations does not align with our values or our responsibility to be accountable to the public — now matter much it is alleged the public loves the rankings.

    As the deadline for the spring graduate student issue approached with no response on addressing the methodology, the presidents of the Universities of Alberta, Toronto and Calgary were joined by McMaster University, and together we officially declined to participate in the graduate survey. When faced with a demand to supply data for rankings with dubious methodology, we could no longer assist in misleading the public and our prospective students.

    Into the fray:

    We did not go public with our decision; Maclean’s itself started a buzz about our boycott – a preemptive strike – knowing that controversy sells issues. At this point, we all still anticipated participating in the fall undergraduate rankings and continued trying to obtain a response from Maclean’s staff on fixing the methodology for the fall issue. Months wore on as we attempted to work with the magazine, resulting in many unanswered phone calls that culminated with the staff basically dismissing our concerns, asserting that the magazine staff certainly knew more about statistical analysis than some academics.

    Faced with this unwillingness to consider the requests of the universities, punctuated by the annual request for a sizeable amount of data for the fall issue, we four once again opted out of that rankings issue. But another buzz was growing among the universities. We were quickly joined by seven other presidents who asserted to Maclean’s that they, too, would withdraw if the methodology didn’t change. Solidarity mounted and, in the end, 25 colleges and universities refused to participate in the fall issue.

    Truth is, most of us already had much of the data sought on our Web sites, but not always in an easy-to-locate places or formats since they are posted as institutional research. The “boycott schools” countered by organizing themselves to post their data – albeit not reworked into identical form or the way Maclean’s requested it – and heighten ease of access on our sites.

    (The University of Alberta’s information can be found here and also here; for comparison, the University of Toronto data are here.)

    Just before their fall deadline, Maclean’s filed a freedom of information request, but it was too late to for us to respond. Most of us had already posted the data online, and we directed Maclean’s staff to our Web sites. In instances where the magazine staff couldn’t find data on our Web site, they chose to use the previous year’s data.
    Did it work?

    We think that it did and continue to hope that collaboration with Maclean’s to improve the methodology and arrive at rankings we all find valid and useful lies in our future. Yet, while many allege that the rankings influence student and parent decisions significantly, particularly international students, at the University of Alberta we have seen no indication of that in our applications. In fact, our international applications are up 36 percent over last year.

    We feel that if we have succeeded in advancing our objective (it’s still early and time will tell) it is because:

    • Institutions of all types were involved, from the leading research institutions to small liberal arts colleges. None of us could have done this alone.
    • All the presidents involved had a joint communications strategy with a unified message, and all stayed on message. We stood united. None caved at the last moment to his or her own advantage.
    • Students at all 25 institutions were on our side.
    • Governing boards, faculty and staff came on board.
    • School counselors were contacted early on, explaining our position and supplying them with information on where to find institutional data on our Web sites.
    • We stood united to the end: we did not react after the issue came out, and all agreed not to use Maclean’s rankings to promote our institutions.

    Our coalition of the fed up continues to work together. Our goal: to adopt a common format for institutional data reporting on the Web so all those in the ranking business can take what they want and leave us to our business of research, teaching and service.

    Stay tuned to Canada for Part 2 as we’ve just learned that Maclean’s is introducing an issue ranking professional schools and graduate programs. Sound familiar?

    Continued in article

    Jensen Comment
    Although I see many problems with rankings by the media, it seems to be unfair to single out US News. Other media outlets provide rankings that would be difficult or impossible to "boycott." For example, The Wall Street Journal rankings of MBA programs are based upon recruiters employed by business firms and other organizations. College officials do not supply the data for those rankings.

    Should Higher Ed Should Generate Its Own Rankings to Discredit Abusive Media Rankings?

    Existing tools and measurements could allow colleges to develop meaningful rankings to replace widely discredited rankings developed by magazines, according to a report being released today by Education Sector, a think tank. The report repeats criticisms that have been made of the U.S. News & World Report rankings, saying that they are largely based on fame, wealth and exclusivity. A new system might use data from the National Survey of Student Engagement and the Collegiate Learning Assessment as well as considering new approaches to graduation rates and retention, the report says. Current rankings reward colleges that enroll highly prepared, wealthy students who are most likely to graduate on time. But a system that compared predicted and actual retention and graduation rates — based on socioeconomic and other data — would give high marks to colleges with great track records on educating disadvantaged students, even if those rates were lower than those of some colleges that focus only on top students.
    Inside Higher Ed, September 22, 2006

    Jensen Comment
    I don't think this alternative ranking system will ever get off the ground. Colleges will debate endlessly about ranking criteria. Having higher education do its own rankings will badly upset colleges who come out in the lower end of the spectrum, because having higher education do its own rankings lends more legitimacy to the rankings. Lower ranking colleges in a particular set of media/publisher rankings can always claim "lack of legitimacy" under today's ranking systems put in place by the media.

    There is an added problem of colleges racing toward the bottom in terms of academic standards. Since "learning" is difficult to measure for ranking purposes and "graduation rates" are easy to measure for ranking purposes, graduation rates will probably be high in terms of higher education's ranking system. One way to improve graduation rates is to virtually eliminate academic standards.

    April 2, 2007 reply from J. S. Gangolly [gangolly@CSC.ALBANY.EDU]


    I too have developed an aversion towards rankings of any sort. They inflate the awe with which some schools are held, and such awe is usually based on past (and in some cases really past) faded glory.

    Besides, there can not be meaningful rankings that are not dictatorial in some sense (thanks to Arrow et al).

    Rankings are, after all multi-criteria based, and ther criteria are in the eyes of the beholder.

    There is one sight that caught my attention, and I really like it, for you can come up with your own rankings on-the-fly. You can find it at:


    An article based on this is at:


    What I like about it is that we can use our own mission in order to come up with our peer schools, or the set of schools that we would aspire to be.

    The data is quite reliable since it is based on NRC data. I think US News & World Report and other operations that squeeze money out of rankings have already started dumping on the idea.


    Bob Jensen's threads on ranking controversies are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#BusinessSchoolRankings

    Good Advice From One of My Favorite Commentators

    "Worry about the right things," By John Stossel, Jewish World Review, April 5, 2007 --- http://jewishworldreview.com/0407/stossel040507.php3 

    From The Washington Post on April 5, 2007

    What salary did the three executives who run Google Inc. receive last year?

    A. $1
    B. $1,000
    C. $100,000
    D. $1 million

    From The Washington Post on April 3, 2007

    Which news Web sites saw a 40 percent increase in audience from last year?

    A. Political news
    B. Celebrity gossip
    C. Foreign newspapers
    D. Sports news
    Right-click here to download pictures. To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download of this picture from the Internet.

    Updates from WebMD --- http://www.webmd.com/

    All-Drug Rehab (Commercial Site With Useful Information) --- http://www.all-drug-rehab.com/

    German scientists claim discovery in fight against Alzheimer's
    German researchers on Thursday claimed they have found a way of blocking the formation of a toxin blamed for the onset of Alzheimer's disease.
    PhysOrg, April 5, 2007 --- http://physorg.com/news94997498.html

    Eat Less and Prolong Life:  It's never too late to get it back!
    Aging interrupted Much research has shown that reduced calorie intake can increase health and longevity. Professor Stephen Spindler (University of California) and his collaborators* have discovered that reducing calorie intake later in life can still induce many of the health and longevity benefits of life-long calorie reduction. Importantly, this also includes anti-cancer effects. They are using this knowledge to establish a novel screening technique to find drugs which mimic this longevity effect.
    PhysOrg, April 2, 2007 --- http://physorg.com/news94706896.html

    In spite of all the hype, not there's not enough infant breast feeding in the U.S.
    "With so much concern for what they put into their own bodies, it may be surprising to learn that almost one-third of all new mothers still don't breastfeed," said John Messmer, a physician with Penn State's Family and Community Medicine center in Hershey. "After five months, two-thirds of nursing mothers have stopped breastfeeding altogether." While there's nothing wrong with formula, said Messmer, even the companies that make it concede that breastfeeding is best. Why? "Breast milk is designed specifically to feed human babies," he explained. "Breastfed babies digest their mother's milk more easily than formula and absorb more nutrients from it." In contrast to formula, babies are never allergic to their mother's milk.
    "Probing Question: Is breastfeeding really best for babies?" PhysOrg, April 6, 2007 --- http://physorg.com/news95091799.html

    British researchers grow heart tissue from stem cells
    British researchers said Monday they have grown human heart tissue from stem cells, raising hopes for the transplant of replacement valve tissue within a few years.
    PhysOrg, April 2, 2006 --- http://physorg.com/news94713415.html

    Cannabis could hold the key to ending multiple sclerosis misery
    Researchers investigating the role of cannabinoids - chemical substances contained within cannabis – in the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS), have found they could significantly enhance therapy, not only by reducing nerve damage and erratic nerve impulses, but perhaps even by hindering development of the condition.
    PhysOrg, April 2, 2006 --- http://physorg.com/news94743932.html

    Memory is Part and Parcel to Teaching and Learning:  Five Best Books on Human Memory

    "Unforgettable:  A Nobel-winning neurologist's favorite books on memory," by Eric Kandel, The Wall Street Journal, April 7, 2007 --- http://www.opinionjournal.com/weekend/fivebest/?id=110009912


    1. "Ficciones" by Jorge Luis Borges (Grove, 1962).

    Memory is the scaffold that holds our mental life together. One of its most remarkable characteristics is that it has no restraints on time and place. Memory allows you to sit in your living room while your mind wanders back to childhood, recalling a special event that pleased or pained you. This time-travel ability, often sparked by a sensory experience that opens the floodgates of memory, is central to much great fiction. It is described in the most detail in Marcel Proust's million-word classic, "Remembrance of Things Past," in which a madeleine dipped in tea famously prompts an onrush of images from the protagonist's childhood. But one of the most fascinating descriptions of memory in fiction can be found in Jorge Luis Borges's seminal short-story collection, "Ficciones," first published in 1945 in Spanish. Borges, who knew for much of his life that he was slowly going blind from a hereditary disease, had a deep sense of the central and sometimes paradoxical role of memory in human existence. This sense informs much of "Ficciones" but particularly the story "Funes, the Memorious," which concerns a man who suffers a modest head injury after falling off a horse and, as a result, cannot forget anything he has ever experienced, waking or dreaming. But his brain is filled only with detail, crowding out universal principles. He can't create because his head is filled with garbage! We know that an excessively weak memory is a handicap, but, as Borges shows, having too good a memory can be a handicap as well--the capacity to forget is a blessing.

    2. "Memories Are Made of This by Rusiko Bourtchouladze (Columbia, 2002).

    There are several good introductions to the biology of memory storage for the general reader, but I particularly like Rusiko Bourtchouladze's. A gifted writer who is also a behaviorist, she discusses both of the great themes of memory research: the "systems problem" of memory storage (the areas of the brain recruited for different forms of memory) and the "molecular problem" (the molecular mechanisms whereby memory is stored at each site). In considering the system problems of memory, Bourtchouladze describes the now famous patient called H.M., who underwent brain surgery that left him with a devastating memory loss. H.M. could not store any new information about people, places and objects. The great Canadian psychologist Brenda Milner studied H.M. and, in a classic analysis carried out over two decades, succeeded in localizing this component of memory storage to the medial temporal lobe. Bourtchouladze brings these riveting discoveries to life.

    3. "Memory and Brain" by Larry R. Squire (Oxford, 1987).

    "Memory and Brain" is a classic in the biology of memory. In it, Larry R. Squire, a professor of psychiatry and neuroscience at the University of California at San Diego, provides a superb historical overview of the key experiments and insights that have given rise to our current understanding of the problem of memory storage. Squire himself has played a vital role in this history: He pioneered our understanding that memory exists in two major forms: declarative memory (this is the kind of memory that H.M. lost) and procedural memory (for motor and perceptual skills such as riding a bike or hitting a backhand--this is the memory that H.M. retained). His later work includes such breakthroughs as identifying the hippocampus in the medial temporal lobe as critical for the storage of declarative information.

    4. "The Seven Sins of Memory" by Daniel L. Schacter (Houghton Mifflin, 2001).

    In "The Seven Sins of Memory: How the Mind Forgets and Remembers," Harvard professor Daniel L. Schacter shows that declarative memory (the kind involving people, places and objects) is highly fallible and susceptible to distortion and suggestion. The seven "sins" refers to memory's various weaknesses: its transience, absentmindedness, blocking, misattribution, suggestibility, bias and persistence. Schacter, another pioneer in the study of human memory, employs his insights not only to reveal the fragility of memory and its extraordinary vulnerability to influence by authority figures but also to indicate effective ways of understanding how memory is normally encoded.

    5. "Memory From A to Z" by Yadin Dudai (Oxford, 2002).

    Any question that remains unanswered after reading the above works by Bourtchouladze, Squire and Schacter can be answered by Yadin Dudai, a professor at the Weizmann Institute in Israel. This is an entertaining, wide-ranging and well-written primer (subtitle: "Keywords, Concepts and Beyond") with more than 130 entries that range from discussions of memory on the molecular level to examinations of the philosophical issues that confront researchers. "Memory A to Z" begins with "A priori" and runs through subjects such as "False Memory," "Metamemory" and "Synapse," before ending at "Zeitgeist." The book is a handy reference, accessible to the general reader.

    Dr. Kandel is University Professor in the Center for Neurobiology and Behavior at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He is the author of "In Search of Memory: The Emergence of a New Science of Mind" (Norton, 2006). He won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2000 for his studies of memory.

    Bob Jensen's paper on metamemory and memory is at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/265wp.htm

    Bumper Stickers --- http://funny2.com/bumper.htm
    These are some of the best!

    Forwarded by Moe

    Why We Love Children

    1. A nursery school pupil told his teacher he'd found a cat, but it was dead. "How do you know that the cat was dead?" she asked her pupil. "Because I pissed in its ear and it didn't move," answered the child innocently. "You did WHAT?" the teacher exclaimed in surprise. "You know," explained the boy, "I leaned over and went 'Pssst' and it didn't move"

    2. One summer evening during a violent thunderstorm a mother was tucking her son into bed. She was about to turn off the light when he asked with a tremor in his voice, "Mummy, will you sleep with me tonight?" The mother smiled and gave him a reassuring hug. "I can't dear," she said. "I have to sleep in Daddy's room." A long silence was broken at last by his shaky little voice: "The big sissy."

    3. When I was six months pregnant with my third child, my three year old came into the room when I was just getting ready to get into the shower. She said, "Mummy, you are getting fat!" I replied, "Yes, honey, remember Mummy has a baby growing in her tummy." "I know," she replied, but what's growing in your bum?"

    4. A little boy was doing his math homework. He said to himself, "Two plus five, that son of a bitch is seven. Three plus six, that son of a bitch is nine...." His mother heard what he was saying and gasped, "What are you doing?" The little boy answered, "I'm doing my math homework, Mum." "And this is how your teacher taught you to do it?" the mother asked "Yes," he answered. Infuriated, the mother asked the teacher the next day, "What are you teaching my son in math?" The teacher replied, "Right now, we are learning addition." The mother asked, "And are you teaching them to say two plus two, that son of a bitch is four?" After the teacher stopped laughing, she answered, "What I taught them was, two plus two, THE SUM OF WHICH, is four."

    5. One day the first grade teacher was reading the story of Chicken Little to her class. She came to the part of the story where Chicken Little tried to warn the farmer. She read, ".... and so Chicken Little went up to the farmer and said, "The sky is falling, the sky is falling!" The teacher paused then asked the class, "And what do you think that farmer said?" One little girl raised her hand and said, "I think he said: 'Holy Shit! A talking chicken!'"

    6. A little girl asked her mother, "Can I go outside and play with the boys?" Her mother replied, "No, you can't play with the boys, they're too rough." The little girl thought about it for a few moments and asked, If I can find a smooth one, can I play with him?"

    7. A little girl goes to the barber shop with her father. She stands next to the barber chair, while her dad gets his hair cut, eating a snack cake The barber says to her, "Sweetheart, you're gonna get hair on your muffin." She says, "Yes, I know, and I'm gonna get boobs too."

    Unverified "Facts" Forwarded by Moe (Maureen)
    Some are very questionable, especially the paper folding claim and the duck echo claim.

    A dime has 118 ridges around the edge.

    A cat has 32 muscles in each ear.

    A crocodile cannot stick out its tongue.

    A dragonfly has a life span of 24 hours.

    A goldfish has a memory span of three seconds.

    A "jiffy" is an actual unit of time for 1/100th of a second.

    A shark is the only fish that can blink with both eyes.

    A snail can sleep for three years.

    Al Capone's business card said he was a used furniture dealer.

    All 50 states are listed across the top of the Lincoln Memorial on the back of the $5 bill.

    Almonds are a member of the peach family.

    An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain.

    Babies are born without kneecaps. They don't appear until the child reaches 2 to 6 years of age.

    Butterflies taste with their feet.

    Cats have over one hundred vocal sounds. Dogs only have about 10.

    "Dreamt" is the only English word that ends in the letters "mt".

    February 1865 is the only month in recorded history not to have a full moon.

    In the last 4,000 years, no new animals have been domesticated.

    If the population of China walked past you, in single file, the line would never end because of the rate of reproduction.

    If you are an average American, in your whole life, you will spend an average of 6 months waiting at red lights.

    It's impossible to sneeze with your eyes open.

    Leonardo Da Vinci invented the scissors.

    Maine is ! the only state whose name is just one syllable.

    No word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver, or purple.

    On a Canadian two dollar bill, the flag flying over the Parliament building is an American flag.

    Our eyes are always the same size from birth, but our nose and ears never stop growing.

    Peanuts are one of the ingredients of dynamite.

    Rubber bands last longer when refrigerated.

    "Stewardesses" is the longest word typed with only the left hand and "lollipop" with your right.

    The average person's left hand does 56% of the typing.

    The cruise liner, QE2, moves only six inches for each gallon of diesel that it burns.

    The microwave was invented after a researcher walked by a radar tube and a chocolate bar melted in his pocket.

    The sentence: "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" uses every letter of the alphabet.

    The winter of 1932 was so cold that Niagara Falls froze completely solid.

    The words 'racecar,' 'kayak' and 'level' are the same whether they are read left to right or right to left (palindromes).

    There are 293 ways to make change for a dollar.

    There are more chickens than people in the world.

    There are only four words in the English language which end in "dous": tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous

    There are two words in the English language that have all five vowels in order: "abstemious" and "facetious."

    There's no Betty Rubble in the Flintstones Chewables Vitamins.

    Tigers have striped skin, not just striped fur.

    TYPEWRITER is the longest word that can be made using the letters only on one row of the keyboard.

    Winston Churchill was born in a ladies' room during a dance.

    Women blink nearly twice as much as men.

    Your stomach has to produce a new layer of mucus every two weeks; otherwise it will digest itself

    The liquid inside young coconuts can be used as a substitute for blood plasma.

    No piece of paper can be folded in half more than seven (7) times.

    Donkeys kill more people annually than plane crashes.

    You burn more calories sleeping than you do watching television.

    Oak trees do not produce acorns until they are fifty (50) years of age or older.

    The first product to have a bar code was Wrigley's gum.

    The king of hearts is the only king without a mustache.

    American Airlines saved $40,000 in 1987 by eliminating one (1) olive from each salad served in first-class.

    Venus is the only planet that rotates clockwise.

    Apples, not caffeine, are more efficient at waking you up in the morning.

    Most dust particles in your house are made from dead skin.

    The first owner of the Marlboro Company died of lung cancer. So did the first "Marlboro Man."

    Walt Disney was afraid of mice. Pearls melt in vinegar.

    The three most valuable brand names on earth: Marlboro, Coca Cola, and Budweiser, in that order.

    It is possible to lead a cow upstairs...but not downstairs.

    A duck's quack doesn't echo, and no one knows why.

    Dentists have recommended that a toothbrush be kept at least six (6) feet away from a toilet to avoid airborne particles resulting from the flush.

    Richard Millhouse Nixon was the first U.S. president whose name contains all the letters from the word "criminal." The second ? William Jefferson Clinton (Please don't tell me you're SURPRISED!)

    And the best for last..... Turtles can breathe through their butts. (I know some people like that; don't YOU?) Now you know everything there is to know.

    How did we survive till now without knowing all these things?


    Tidbits Directory --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TidbitsDirectory.htm

    Click here to search Bob Jensen's web site if you have key words to enter --- Search Site.
    For example if you want to know what Jensen documents have the term "Enron" enter the phrase Jensen AND Enron. Another search engine that covers Trinity and other universities is at http://www.searchedu.com/.

    Three Finance Blogs

    Jim Mahar's FinanceProfessor Blog --- http://financeprofessorblog.blogspot.com/
    FinancialRounds Blog --- http://financialrounds.blogspot.com/
    Karen Alpert's FinancialMusings (Australia) --- http://financemusings.blogspot.com/

    Some Accounting Blogs

    Paul Pacter's IAS Plus (International Accounting) --- http://www.iasplus.com/index.htm
    International Association of Accountants News --- http://www.aia.org.uk/
    AccountingEducation.com and Double Entries --- http://www.accountingeducation.com/
    Gerald Trite's eBusiness and XBRL Blogs --- http://www.zorba.ca/
    AccountingWeb --- http://www.accountingweb.com/   
    SmartPros --- http://www.smartpros.com/

    Bob Jensen's Sort-of Blogs --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/JensenBlogs.htm
    Current and past editions of my newsletter called New Bookmarks --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookurl.htm
    Current and past editions of my newsletter called Tidbits --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TidbitsDirectory.htm
    Current and past editions of my newsletter called Fraud Updates --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm

    Online Books, Poems, References, and Other Literature
    In the past I've provided links to various types electronic literature available free on the Web. 
    I created a page that summarizes those various links --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm

    Shared Open Courseware (OCW) from Around the World: OKI, MIT, Rice, Berkeley, Yale, and Other Sharing Universities --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

    Free Textbooks and Cases --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm#Textbooks

    Free Mathematics and Statistics Tutorials --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#050421Mathematics

    Free Science and Medicine Tutorials --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Science

    Free Social Science and Philosophy Tutorials --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Social

    Free Education Discipline Tutorials --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm

    Teaching Materials (especially video) from PBS

    Teacher Source:  Arts and Literature --- http://www.pbs.org/teachersource/arts_lit.htm

    Teacher Source:  Health & Fitness --- http://www.pbs.org/teachersource/health.htm

    Teacher Source: Math --- http://www.pbs.org/teachersource/math.htm

    Teacher Source:  Science --- http://www.pbs.org/teachersource/sci_tech.htm

    Teacher Source:  PreK2 --- http://www.pbs.org/teachersource/prek2.htm

    Teacher Source:  Library Media ---  http://www.pbs.org/teachersource/library.htm

    Free Education and Research Videos from Harvard University --- http://athome.harvard.edu/archive/archive.asp

    VYOM eBooks Directory --- http://www.vyomebooks.com/

    From Princeton Online
    The Incredible Art Department --- http://www.princetonol.com/groups/iad/

    Online Mathematics Textbooks --- http://www.math.gatech.edu/~cain/textbooks/onlinebooks.html 

    National Library of Virtual Manipulatives --- http://enlvm.usu.edu/ma/nav/doc/intro.jsp

    Moodle  --- http://moodle.org/ 

    The word moodle is an acronym for "modular object-oriented dynamic learning environment", which is quite a mouthful. The Scout Report stated the following about Moodle 1.7. It is a tremendously helpful opens-source e-learning platform. With Moodle, educators can create a wide range of online courses with features that include forums, quizzes, blogs, wikis, chat rooms, and surveys. On the Moodle website, visitors can also learn about other features and read about recent updates to the program. This application is compatible with computers running Windows 98 and newer or Mac OS X and newer.

    Some of Bob Jensen's Tutorials



    Professor Robert E. Jensen (Bob) http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen
    190 Sunset Hill Road
    Sugar Hill, NH 03586
    Phone:  603-823-8482 
    Email:  rjensen@trinity.edu