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Cynthia Huggins
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Cynthia Huggins earned a bachelor's degree in music from Furman University and a doctorate in English from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, specializing in the Brontës, Victorian literature, and literary biography. Since 2005 she has served as president of the University of Maine at Machias, a small public Environmental Liberal Arts college. A proud native of the Carolinas, Huggins resides with her partner, Laurel, on the Downeast coast of Maine.

Entries by Cynthia Huggins

Hattie Biscuit Clementine Fred Sidney Captain Foosey: Take a Dog to College!

(0) Comments | Posted May 4, 2014 | 3:00 PM

I'm a Saint Bernard. The dog, not the saint. Definitely not the saint.

As part of my goal of reaching the end of the day without checking off a single item from my "Do These Things Today or Your Life Is Over" list, I recently invested a few minutes in...

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My Year of Fear: Facing Down Cancer

(7) Comments | Posted April 19, 2014 | 12:06 PM

I've been scared for the past fourteen months. Since Wednesday, November 21, 2012, when a very kind voice on the phone said to me, "I'm sorry, but you have breast cancer."

It was the night before Thanksgiving. Otherwise I would have received the diagnosis in Dr. Collins' office, but she...

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Index Cards, Typewriters, Trollope, and Mac: Honoring Old School

(2) Comments | Posted November 11, 2013 | 7:29 PM

My dissertation director was old school. A Princeton graduate, he refused to answer to "Dr. Bulgin," insisting on "Mr. Bulgin" instead. Similarly, he never addressed his students by their first names, so I had to get used to the awkwardly formal "Miss Huggins." But to those of us lucky enough...

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College Graduates Building Meaningful Lives: Don't Measure Success by Your Paycheck

(1) Comments | Posted November 4, 2013 | 10:46 AM

In our country's relatively new meta-conversation about postsecondary education, one persistent topic -- among the swirling plethora of topics -- has to do with getting a job after graduation. You'll often see this referred to as a college's placement rate, a term that I personally dislike because I can't decide...

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The Danger of 'Efficiency': Don't Shut Out First-Generation College Students

(2) Comments | Posted September 16, 2013 | 9:32 AM

They landed on campus exactly two weeks ago--this year's freshman class. Actually I'm not supposed to call them "freshmen" anymore. Now they're "first-year students," much like "dormitories" have given way to "residence halls" and "nontraditional students" have morphed into "adult learners." I understand and agree with the rationale behind the...

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The President Will See You Now -- Or Anytime, Really

(2) Comments | Posted September 3, 2013 | 8:58 AM

I was in my office yesterday afternoon, talking with a colleague about... oh, something terribly important. The outer office door, which opens directly onto the first-floor hallway, was open. I don't have an assistant these days -- more on that later -- so I usually leave my inner office door...

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The President Has Left the Building

(1) Comments | Posted August 25, 2013 | 5:01 PM

Last fall I actually took a vacation -- my first real vacation in eight years, I'm embarrassed to admit. My partner and I spent a month backpacking on the Camino de Santiago in northern Spain, all the way out to Finisterre. This was our first backpacking experience, so we spent...

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Business 101: Tuition In, Teaching Out

(2) Comments | Posted August 2, 2013 | 5:18 PM

"Holy bachelor's degree, Batman! This tiny public college looks a lot like a business! Is that possible?"

"Why, yes, Robin. This tiny public college is, in fact, a business. They advertise and sell a product called education, to customers called students, for a price called tuition. And just like other...

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The Disappearing of Small Public Colleges

(5) Comments | Posted July 29, 2013 | 10:28 AM

I prefer "recipe for disaster" to "perfect storm," but it all boils down to the same thing. Take one very small public residential college, preferably with a microscopic endowment, and drop it in a rural location with high poverty and unemployment rates, rapidly declining demographics, and an aging population. Then...

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