Eau de HE: the Smell of Success

A new range of fundraising fragrances from Notre Dame.

The Chronicle of Higher Education has this entertaining piece about the very serious business of making money from smells:

The University of Notre Dame has long been known for its enthusiastic sports fans. Now, the South Bend Tribune reports, all of those rabid supporters will be able to show their commitment in a new way—with perfume and cologne. But don’t worry: They won’t get the chance to smell like Manti Te’o on game day.

The fragrances will be available in his and hers versions, to be called ND Gold Eau de Toilette and Lady Irish Eau de Parfum. Fighting Irish fans will be able to purchase official scents from the university starting this fall.

Notre Dame will be joining several other universities, including the University of North Carolina and Pennsylvania State University, in selling official fragrances. Notre Dame’s scents will be produced by Steiner Collectibles and the Cloudbreak Group, which has some experience in using smells to entice sports fans, having previously produced fragrances for the New York Yankees.

Ideas for a UK equivalent #HEperfume have included:

  • Tweed (for older academics)
  • Pedagogy
  • Corduroy (for academics who don’t have to try too hard)
  • Stacks (for that traditional librarian scent) or, better still, Smell of Books
  • Selectivity (for that post-REF feeling).

(with thanks to @jpdale  @wynmorgan8 and @AlisonMcnab for those excellent pitches)

So, what would your university’s fragrances be? Will the mission groups pitch in? Will BIS seek to control the market? Does anyone else think that Notre Dame’s nickname is just a bit inappropriate? Who is Manti Te’o?

#HEperfume – for all your academic odours.

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Replacing Textbooks With iPads

Another interesting experiment

Story in the Chronicle of Higher Education about an interesting experiment at University of Notre Dame where they have tried replacing textbooks with iPads:

It was quieter this past fall in Corey Angst’s project-management course at the University of Notre Dame, but it wasn’t because he and his students were talking less.

Every student was given an iPad to use during the seven-week course, which meant fewer of them brought laptops to class to take notes.

“There was no clicking,” said Mr. Angst, who is an assistant professor of management at the university. Even external keyboards that some students used for their iPads were silent.

Mr. Angst’s class was the first of several at the university to replace traditional textbooks with iPads as part of a yearlong study by the university’s e-publishing working group into the use of e-readers. Many colleges and universities are in the midst of similar experiments, but Notre Dame is one of the first to report results from its effort.

The professor said students were more connected in and out of the classroom because of their use of the tablet device.

Laptop screens can create barriers between professors and students during class, Mr. Angst said: “Students think they can hide behind a laptop.”

Students were surveyed several times throughout the course and said that the iPad made it easier to collaborate and manage group projects.

OK, it’s probably not a panacea but it is interesting that the iPad seemed to promote collaboration rather than isolation. And that it looks like something other than e-reader functionality was the real value of it.

How many Honorary Degrees?

An honourable business for the President and the frog?

There has been a bit of controversy recently about Barack Obama receiving an Honorary Degree from Notre Dame University and not receiving one from Arizona State.

It’s not entirely clear how many Honorary Degrees the President does have but it certainly isn’t as many as Theodore Hesburgh, formerly President of Notre Dame. He has 150.kermit-barack

According to the Chronicle, Hesburgh is not the only one to achieve such a collection:

His closest competitor for the title of King of Honorary Doctorates is an actual king: Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand. In 1997, the king claimed to have 136 honorary degrees, surpassing Father Hesburgh’s total at the time. For his part, Father Hesburgh isn’t particularly impressed with the king. “His degrees are from high schools and dinky little places in Thailand,” says the Roman Catholic priest. He adds, “Thailand is a land of fantasy.” The king of Thailand is, in his own way, a man of genuine accomplishment. He is, after all, the world’s longest-reigning monarch. But sometimes honorary degrees are bestowed upon people whose accomplishments are slightly less stellar. Mike Tyson, Kermit the Frog, and Bruce Willis have all been given honorary degrees. Mike Tyson was a great boxer, Kermit is a hero to millions of kids, and Bruce Willis has been in some action movies — but they’re not exactly Father Hesburgh.

Previously noted here the Italian stance on Honorary Degrees. Perhaps there should be a worldwide cap on numbers or a constraint on awarding Honorary Degrees to muppets? Or better still, just don’t award them at all like LSE, MIT, Cornell and Stanford?