Provost Prose

Provost Prose

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

April 29, 2012 - 5:39pm
This is the season.  Winter gray is replaced by the color of spring and the blank spots on my schedule are filled with more and more end of the semester, as well as end of the academic year, activities.  Plus my school board activities also escalate as the Board works to provide a clear understanding of the proposed budget before the community votes and hopefully approves the budget.
April 22, 2012 - 8:10pm
I’m was not at all surprised when Santa Monica College abandoned their  proposed two-tier fee schedule.  Charging more for more popular courses alienates both students as well as faculty.  And if one three credit course earns as much credit toward graduation as another three credit course, how can there be a differential pricing mechanism?
April 15, 2012 - 5:42pm
The worries began as soon as the economic news was released.  After three months of strong economic growth, the March figures just recently announced were a major disappointment.  The gain in March was a modest 120,000 jobs, half of what the gains were from December through February.  And of course as soon as the statistics were announced, both the economic doubters as well as the political opponents of the Obama administration began to question the strength of the recovery. For me, one month of bad news doesn’t represent the start of a new recession just as one month of good news doesn’t represent a vibrant recovery. 
April 8, 2012 - 5:50pm
I read with interest the recent article in Inside Higher Education regarding the retiring President of Westminster College preparing for retirement by compiling an eportfolio.  President Bassis prepared the eportfolio both “to reflect on his 41 years in higher education…but also as a way to communicate to students and faculty members his steadfast belief in electronic portfolios as a method of cataloging and assessing student work.”
April 1, 2012 - 6:45pm
Earlier this week, I sat through an excellent presentation on social media.  And in terms of my skill set in this area, I consider myself to be an effective communicator.  I was a very early adopter of email.  I enjoy using PowerPoint.  I blog on a regular basis.  In addition, I text message regularly;  I Google often; and I  Iook at various YouTube postings relatively often.  I also have a Facebook page that I hardly ever look at and a LinkedIn page that I look at occasionally.  After the presentation, I have come to the conclusion that this is not good enough and that I need to upgrade my social media skills. 
March 25, 2012 - 6:49pm
We are just completing our search for the founding dean of our School of Engineering and Applied Science. The finalists are all impressive but the search process itself has also been impressive. 
March 18, 2012 - 6:38pm
We have a very active and respected Center for Civic Engagement on our campus. The Center has undertaken many worthwhile initiatives including the development of “a brief workshop for students who will be working with off campus communities.” This workshop, which is slightly over an hour in length, examines how students feel about working with off-campus communities and how these communities feel about working with students. 
March 11, 2012 - 4:40pm
I am just back from a family vacation in Hawaii.  And it really is a family vacation when we go to Hawaii.  Not only is it a great venue for a vacation with always spectacular weather, but since we also have family living there, we also get a chance for some valuable family time.  This time we split our visit to Hawaii between two vacation clubs. 
March 4, 2012 - 6:25pm
I was reminded a few weeks ago, in response to a situation I will outline in the next paragraph, of how important customer service is throughout education and especially at the very competitive higher education level.  And by customer service, I am not suggesting a weakening of standards; rather, I am just suggesting that we, especially in private higher education, do all that is necessary to minimize administrative hassles and in that way help our students succeed.
February 26, 2012 - 6:33pm
All my suits are either a shade of blue (usually dark) or a shade of gray varying from medium to dark. My blazers are all differing shades of blue and the accompanying pants are either gray or blue.  My shirts are all white and my ties vary from shades of blue to sometimes shades of maroon or dark red. Why am I writing this?  Is this my application to be a model for GQ? Or am I about to start a fashion consulting business?

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