A middle level administrator I know was faced with a dilemma. The person had agreed to make a program recommendation and immediately after sending the very strong recommendation began to have serious reservations about the program. To some extent these reservations were the result of information that became available subsequent to the recommendation being sent. And to some extent the reservations were the result of a more careful look by the administrator at the program being recommended. The end result was a 180 degree change from recommend to really can’t recommend.
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August 14, 2011
August 7, 2011
In my early days in administration, many years ago, I had the opportunity to serve on negotiating committees for various labor contracts and the position I held on these committees was the exalted chair-filler position. A chair filler has minimal involvement with the actual negotiations so expertise is not necessarily a prerequisite. Instead a chair-filler is selected based on his or her ability to fill a chair and look both intelligent and engaged at the same time.
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 19, 2011
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.