Provost Prose

Provost Prose

A provost examines the world on campus and in higher ed.

February 13, 2011 - 8:33pm
We are in the process of preparing our next five year plan which will cover the years 2012-2017. Our previous plan focused on providing additional resources to enhance the academic profile of the University and very substantial progress was made in enhancing undergraduate student quality as well as adding additional faculty lines and other resources. This new plan will again have an academic orientation but not the luxury of focusing just on what we would like to add.
February 6, 2011 - 7:38pm
Last Saturday, I took my older daughter and her best friend to a performance of Nearly Lear at New York’s New Victory Theater. The show stars Susanna Hamnett as the Fool. She also plays every other role in this adaptation of the Shakespeare tragedy and she and Edith Tankus wrote the play besides. I am a major fan of the work done by the New Victory and have been taking my kids to shows there regularly for the last ten years, but I really hesitated to buy tickets to this show. I first read King Lear in high school and have seen it performed multiple times.
January 30, 2011 - 7:21pm
I was fortunate enough to get an opportunity to teach after just one year of graduate school. At that time, I was appointed as an adjunct to teach a basic macroeconomics course at the same institution that I had just graduated from a year earlier. My name appeared in the course schedule but thanks to the efforts of a friend of mine, no one knew that I was teaching this course. All my friend did was start a rumor that the Berliner who was teaching the economics course, was a “famous economist” by the name of Berliner who had taught at Leipzig before the war.
January 23, 2011 - 6:05pm
I welcome the opportunity to provide recommendations for outstanding students. I believe it is part of our mission as faculty and as administrators to facilitate continued success for the top students. I always try hard to capture the essence of the student I’m recommending so that whoever reads the recommendation has both a better understanding of the student and of my motivation for providing the recommendation.
January 17, 2011 - 7:36pm
In my household, I am typically the designated grocery shopper. I go once a week, and both my wife and I buy whatever remaining items we end up needing in between. Within about a mile, there are five major supermarkets. All have their strengths and weaknesses but I know from experience that they don’t have the best goodness of fit with the needs of my family.). So instead of choosing based on convenience, I choose based on the selection and go to another major supermarket that is almost 20 by car minutes from my home.
January 9, 2011 - 7:38pm
I really look forward to the December holiday break. Though the University is always prepared and staffed if any emergency arises, all offices (with the exception of admissions and public safety) are closed from just before Christmas to just after New Year’s Day. Emails decline precipitously during this time but fortunately I have no trouble adjusting to this change in volume. I use this time period to just relax and recharge and get ready for the January session and the spring semester.
December 20, 2010 - 8:47pm
When I was in college, it took me a long time to decide what to major in. I started thinking about Psychology; next considered Philosophy; and ultimately settled on Economics. Actually there were a few more disciplines along the way that I considered. When I encountered a terrific teacher, that swayed me toward a particular major and, not surprisingly, when the faculty member was the opposite, my reaction was also the opposite.
December 12, 2010 - 5:39pm
It is typical at the end of both the fall and spring semesters that there are extra meetings as every committee and aspect of University governance does all it can to complete the semester’s agenda. And, of course, the tempo in courses is similar; as hard as we try to maintain an even pace in our courses, very often we accelerate at the end to cover all the material that should be covered.
December 5, 2010 - 6:51pm
I am not in a position to gauge whether Cathleen P. Black should or should not be granted a waiver from the normal credential required by NY State law in order to serve as New York City Schools Chancellor. That responsibility lies with New York Commissioner of Education. If she is qualified, she should receive the waiver. If she is not qualified, the waiver should not be granted. And yet, the actual conclusion regarding the granting of a waiver is neither the first alternative stated above nor the second.
November 28, 2010 - 5:17pm
My expertise is in education and I have tried hard to keep my blog focused on just that topic. I know from reading other blogs that many authors feel qualified and empowered to comment on almost any imaginable topic. These authors are certainly empowered, they certainly have the right, and for the most part they write well. It’s just that the expertise isn’t there and therefore for me the comfort level isn’t there. And yet, I am about to violate my own guideline and talk about an area where I certainly have strong feelings but limited technical expertise.

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