Edward II’s Internal Struggle

Recently, I’ve posted a few short papers that I wrote during my PhD coursework. Today, I want to share a piece that I found stuck between the pages of David Bevington’s Complete Works of William ShakespeareI wrote this piece, I think, in a research methods course during my MA coursework back in 2004. For the course, we looked at texts by Christopher Marlowe and other British Renaissance writers. The paper below is on Marlowe’s Edward II. It’s interesting for me to revisit these pieces, looking at my academic journey, especially in regard to scholarship. 

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Case Study: “10% Across the Board Higher Education Cut”

Last year, I took a class on the president’s role in higher education. One of the requirements of the class was to address possible issues that may arise at an institution. These were called ” case studies.” One of the case studies involved a 10% across-the-board cut for all higher education in the state.  In one month, the governor wants to see my plan for these cuts. Students, faculty, staff, the local news, and other stakeholders are, understandably, anxious. The SGA asks about the increase in tuition. The faculty senate wants the president to address the cuts at the next meeting. The Office of Governmental Affairs has received calls from legislators asking what they can do.

In my response, I had to answer some of the following questions.

  • What talking points will I stress for various stakeholders?
  • Will I consult with other higher education institutions? If so, which ones? Why
  • Where will I make cuts?
  • How will I prepare for a possible budget surplus or potential additional cuts in years to come?

In today’s post, I share my response. I am not a university president, so there are numerous aspects that I do not address. However, I do think I lay out the beginnings of a feasible plan to weather the storm. If you would like to see some more of my case study responses, let me know in the comments below.

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The Canary in Davis’ “Life in the Iron Mills”

When I taught Rebecca Harding Davis’ Life in the Iron Mills (1861) this semester, I asked students to think about the opening paragraphs where the narrator describes the scene and implores the reader to come right down with her “into the thickest of the fog and mud and foul effluvia.” The opening images bring to mind Gothic texts as the narrator describes the trash and soot clogged river as it meanders around the iron mill through the town. Amongst this description, the narrator provides a couple of key symbols that help with understanding Davis’ novella. One is the image of the “broken figure of and angel”  who cannot fly because its smoke and soot cover its wings. Along with this image, the narrator also describes a canary, and it is this image that I want to focus on today.

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