Things aren’t looking good for the I Drink Your Milkshakers over here in NC. The recession means that a lot of schools have frozen hiring, which does not bode well for soon-to-be-graduated PhD candidates. But, what the hell, it ain’t over til the fat lady sings and she’s still warming up her vocal chords, so I’m going to keep on keeping on with this series and cross my fingers. Last time I mentioned we’d be doing The OC for our next installment, but, well, I lied. We’re instead going to enjoy a Strawberry Banana Split Hot Fudge milkshake in . . .
Johnson City, TN
Campus Look – 6
Campus Feel – 4
Town – 4
School Size – 11,000
Student:Faculty Ratio – 28:1
Faculty – 550
4BR 3BA – ranges widely, but around $275,000
I could live here.
A large part of the appeal of this school is its proximity to our families, I have to say. It’s 2.5 hours from the one set, and 4 hours from the other – a lot closer than we are now. But it has some other things going for it. It’s a nice size, I think. It’s in a lovely area of the country, if not the most prosperous town. It has a real focus on Appalachian and bluegrass music, which is right up my alley. It’s a little bit conservative for my tastes, and a bit unsophisticated – a recent incident of a fraternity dressing up in black face at a Halloween party resulted in a flurry of Letters to the Editor of their student newspaper, which told me a lot about the student population (most were angry that the frat was punished . . . ahem.)
Per Wikipedia, Johnson City is currently ranked the #10 "Best Small Place for Business and Careers" in the USA by Forbes, and #8 "Best Place for African-Americans to Retire" in the USA by Black Enterprise Magazine, which is a nice surprise, given its relative lack of diversity in the population. It is a little economically depressed, but has some pretty cool music festivals and a great deal of outdoor activities. The school system here looks pretty good – they all meet AYP for No Child Left Behind, but the result of that is there seems to be lack of focus on the arts. In their five year plan I found no reference to arts in schools at all, and not a lot of dollars spent in this area. But that’s the state of the country at this point, and at least Johnson City has good graduation rates and high scores on standardized tests.