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academic mice

Happiness and meaning

Don’t you just love the innocence of academics? They can be oh so clever at academic writing — but when it comes to living out what they write, well, they don’t exactly do that.

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academic mice

Tuition Setting

In what other business can you be a hero by over-pricing your service and then offering discounts? The key is to call the discounts “scholarships.” Then you’re a hero.

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academic mice

Important Freedoms

The academic custom of tenure grants job security after a thorough review of a candidate’s teaching, research and service. Not all faculty are tenure-eligible. For those who do find themselves in tenured positions, there’s a lot of freedom. It can be used in many different ways, as our academic mice demonstrate in this cartoon.

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academic mice

Run Education Like a Business

Some administrators would prefer to run education like a business — but only when it suits their purposes, such as getting faculty to provide more uncompensated duty. When it comes to other practices, such as firing managers who produce nothing, they are not so enthusiastic.

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academic mice

Small, Personal Classes

What’s a tour guide to do when asked about the size of first-year classes? This academic mouse tour guide answers with the truth, sort of.

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academic mice

Professor mouse loves the masses

Elites are always concerned with the well-being of “the masses,” those who toil away every day making things work. They may even love the masses, but professor mouse shows it’s not always individual.

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academic mice

Brilliant finance prof

In this strip, the dean explains how hiring a brilliant finance professor worked out. The prof’s flawed formula wreaked havoc in the financial community, but he got paid off well. This strip was inspired by a Sept. 17 appearance at James Madison University by Nassim Taleb, author of The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable. Although Taleb didn’t make this particular point in his talk, his work has mentioned how the purveyors of flawed risk estimates seem to prosper.

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academic mice

No Caste or Class

This is the debut strip of “academic mice,” as it appeared in The Breeze on September 2. In this strip, we find a brilliant professor who doesn’t exactly apply his research to his interpersonal relationships.

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academic mice

“academic mice” debuts in print!

On September 2, 2010 “academic mice” debuted in print in The Breeze, the student newspaper of James Madison University. There was also a nice feature article about the cartoon and cartoonist. All the coverage is copyright (c) 2010 by The Breeze.

(Click on each image to get a bigger version to read.)

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academic mice

Why “academic mice”?

Some things in higher education are so funny that they deserve laughs — multiple, sustained laughs. I want to draw those things in a cartoon strip so we can laugh together, but without any hurt feelings. How angry can you get at a mouse that talks and wears a mortar board?

The strip below pokes a little good-natured fun at admissions work. Admissions staff will tell you they’re interested in recruiting an intellectually diverse student body — but they can get excited about promising student-athletes too.

The academic mice discuss admissions