All of us are used to reading ads and seeing commercials for products and services that are characterized as “brand new” or “totally new.” And the reality often is that these products and services aren’t really new but they aren’t really “old” either. What they are, and there isn’t anything wrong with this, reflects evolutionary changes. We know change is a continuum and that over time these evolutionary changes can be an effective vehicle for significant change and enhancement.
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July 11, 2010
June 27, 2010
On almost every college or university campus, there are various awards given out on a regular basis. Most typical are awards for student achievement: academic, co-curricular, or community service are just three examples. Also very common are awards for faculty, most likely based on the quality of teaching, or innovations in teaching, or the quality of research. Teaching awards often are based on student input while innovation and research awards are based on faculty/administration input. For me a “teacher of the year” award based on student input is particularly meaningful.
June 20, 2010
Anytime a semester ends, there are always multiple conversations about final examinations. And final exams come in all sizes and shapes. Not surprising, faculty focus their attention on the quality of the student work be it in response to short or multiple choice questions or in response to essay or term paper assignments. Students tend to talk about whether an exam was “fair”: in other words did it cover the materials that the students were responsible for. After that, the students tend to focus on whether the exam was clear or confusing and whether it was easy or hard.
June 13, 2010
From my earliest days as an economic major, almost at the same time as I was studying supply and demand, I learned the phrase ceteris paribus which translates into “all other things remaining the same” (or remaining equal). Almost every concept in economics was learned by manipulating one variable so that you could measure the impact of that variable while other variables were kept constant. Going back to supply and demand, you would gauge the demand for a product (be it a car or a coat or a croissant) by keeping the price and the preferences for all other products exactly the same.
June 6, 2010
In addition to having a long weekend, Memorial Day should be appreciated for its original meaning. And during the actual day or during the weekend, we should all make time to remember, reflect and honor those who gave their lives to protect our country and our quality of life.
May 16, 2010
Commencement is one week away and the end of the semester activities are in full swing. I presented my annual comprehensive report to the full faculty last Monday, the University’s major annual fundraising gala was last Thursday and before, after, and in between there were and are end of the semester gatherings covering virtually every area of the University from the Phi Beta Kappa induction ceremony to the Senior Athletes Recognition Dinner.
May 9, 2010
At this time of year, I spend a lot of time with accepted students and their families. My primary goal is to convince our accepted students to attend Hofstra. But inextricably interwoven into this goal is the corresponding desire for these students to make the best informed decision possible, the decision that best fits their needs, goals and aspirations.
May 2, 2010
After about a year of serving as Assistant Provost, the Provost called me in and indicated that he was more than pleased with my job performance and was ready, especially given the added responsibilities I had taken on, to recommend promotion to Associate Provost. I was thrilled and very appreciative and indicated as much to the Provost. He repeated that it was well deserved and then said there was one stipulation regarding the promotion. He made it clear that this wasn’t a “requirement.” However, he also made it clear that this was more than a casual suggestion.
April 25, 2010
In last week’s blog, I talked about the importance of remembering key individuals in the history of an institution. Remembering key events and how those events happened is also critical and here, too, higher education doesn’t do well. All too often key events are mentioned briefly and clinically only in Board of Trustees’ minutes and in more detail, but often with substantial inaccuracy, in student newspapers.
April 18, 2010
Recently I was asked to sit for an oral history interview covering my years at Hofstra. Since my years at Hofstra go back more than half the time the University has been in existence, I enjoyed talking about and recounting key happenings. At the same time, I was asked to suggest names for special 75th anniversary awards to those key individuals who made a major difference in the development of Hofstra from 1935 to the present. Having been here so many years, I was able to suggest individuals who clearly made a difference but who are also mostly forgotten today.