Herman Berliner

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July 31, 2011
One of my favorite birthday gifts given to me this year was a membership to the High Line, and so a few days ago my kids and I went to visit there. What is the High Line? Before I answer that question, let me answer the question that should come first — what was the High Line? It was an elevated freight train structure including of course the tracks, and freight trains ran on this structure until the 1980s. And as a kid, riding in a car down or up the west side drive, I still remember the trains running.
July 24, 2011
An earlier blog focused on my family trip to see Spiderman, Turn Off The Dark. My wife, two kids, and I thoroughly enjoyed the production. Much of the staging was spectacular, and the story – though it faltered somewhat in the second act—easily held our attention. This original version closed for three weeks for some rewriting and reopened with much more favorable reviews.
July 17, 2011
Across the country, virtually every state is trying to control spending, and nationally we are also working hard to control spending. Who could argue? No one wants additional taxes, so raising revenue (absent a more robust economy) on the state level will be difficult while raising the deficit on the national is equally unpopular. We all demand, and rightly so, fiscal discipline from our leaders.
July 10, 2011
I had the pleasure of attending my local high school graduation last week. This was a class that was recognized for their social action, for their sense of purpose, and for their involvement. A nice change in priorities from the “me” generation that we suffered through not that long ago. Early in the ceremony, there was a speech by the class valedictorian who as you can imagine was very bright and articulate, and had a sense of humor besides. Certainly an impressive young man with a great combination of positive attributes.
June 26, 2011
I’ve been waiting to write a blog with a racy message. However, my title of “passion” isn’t describing a steamy relationship; rather it describes an intellectual relationship between a dean, department chairperson, and/or tenure or promotion committee chair, and the accomplishments of the tenure/promotion candidate that is being written about. I have read thousands of tenure letters from all the participants in the process and I have written hundreds of letters recommending tenure.
June 12, 2011
On November 9, 1965, my doctor appointment in mid town Manhattan lasted longer than I expected and I needed to be at a meeting at The City College within less than 30 minutes. So instead of a casual walk from Madison to 7th or 8th Avenue to get on the subway, I decided to make use of connecting trains. I was very fortunate, the train came immediately (at about 5:25PM) and though it was very crowded, I was on my way. Well, on my way, turned out to be an exaggeration.
June 5, 2011
Earlier today, I received a phone call from an emeritus faculty member telling me that she had just heard about the passing of Robert Payton, a major figure in the study of philanthropy. I had known and worked with Bob earlier in his career and this phone call immediately made me think back to a phone call I had received from him in 1975.
May 22, 2011
I have just finished updating my profile for an accrediting agency that both Hofstra and I are involved with. The update was necessary if I wanted to be considered for a future accreditation review team. I recognize that being part of an accreditation team entails significant work but I do so gladly because I think that accreditation makes an important positive difference.
May 15, 2011
Whenever I think of commencement, I always think of President Franklin Roosevelt’s speech making quote—“Be sincere, be brief, be seated.” For any and all speakers at a commencement, there needs to be a realization that this is the graduates’ special moment. The time should not be filled by long speeches, by overly technical speeches, by politically divisive speeches, or by crude humor. And having gone – to date – to approximately 200 commencement ceremonies, I have experienced all of the above (thankfully, very rarely) as well as many commencements that were virtually perfect.

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