Higher Education Webinars

Provost Prose

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

June 13, 2010 - 9:01pm
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 - 4:52pm
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 - 9:31pm
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 - 9:38pm
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 - 10:46pm
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 - 9:12pm
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 - 10:49pm
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.
April 11, 2010 - 9:09pm
My first full-time teaching schedule was a four course, Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule where I taught my first class at 9AM and my last class (a once a week graduate course ) ended shortly after 8 PM. For as long as I was a full time faculty member, my schedule was virtually identical. Only once did I complain to my department chair about my schedule – in my second year he presented me with a schedule that started at 8 AM and ended (one day a week) at 11PM. I thought the hours were unreasonable and he agreed and modified it back to the way it had always looked.
April 4, 2010 - 9:31pm
Just recently I came across an organizational structure for a School that had both Directors and Associate Directors as well as Associate and Assistant Deans (plus, of course the Dean). The individuals holding the various dean and director positions were all very clear as to who did what and who reported to whom. The question was whether anyone outside of the administration had the same level of clarity. As it turned out, Assistant Deans reported to Directors but how would anyone know that or even expect it?
March 28, 2010 - 10:03pm
Given the severity of our current recession, everyone I know has either been touched directly by this economic malaise or knows someone who has been adversely impacted – jobs lost or not found, salaries reduced or not increased, houses lost or not purchased, health insurance foregone, vacations foregone and the list goes on and on. People are clearly hurting. But the impact of this and any recession is on more than people; colleges and universities are good examples of institutions adversely impacted.

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