Higher Education Webinars

XProv Prose

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

September 25, 2011 - 5:20pm
For almost a year, I have received a series of recommendations to see the film Race to Nowhere by filmmaker and parent Vicki Abeles. Early last week I had that opportunity and I certainly agree that the film presents a powerful message on the state of K-12 education. The film focuses on the over scheduling and then consequent stress (and possibly worse) we inflict on the current generation of students. Too many classes, too much memorization, too much homework, too many after school obligations, too little downtime, too little sleep.
September 18, 2011 - 8:34pm
As I write this blog on Labor Day, I am looking forward to the next day when fall semester classes will begin. For me a campus during the time period after summer sessions are over and before fall student move-in/the first day of classes is lacking in energy. I’m not suggesting that administrators lack energy; they don’t, but without students and without faculty, a campus has lost its heart and soul.
September 11, 2011 - 5:06pm
I am writing this blog in a hotel in Seattle. I picked the hotel because it has LEEDS certification and in this way I am supporting businesses that share my priorities. I am here to attend the Bat Mitzvah of a close family friend's daughter and I am viewing the weekend as a nice change of pace.
August 28, 2011 - 9:25pm
On Saturday just before Hurricane Irene hits Long Island, I venture, very early in the morning, into the local supermarket to make sure I have extra bread at home. My food passions are dark chocolate and good bread and if I’m going to be stuck at home, I may as well have the necessary comfort foods. As I am waiting to pay, there is a middle age man nearby loudly complaining and getting a sympathetic response from those around him.
August 21, 2011 - 11:19pm
With the growth of on-line services has come a wealth of convenience. I log into the Hofstra portal and my email around the globe. I rarely step inside of a bank. I purchase more and more products on-line, I pay more and more bills on-line, and I even access much of the national, regional and higher education news on-line. The rapidly increasing transition to more and more on-line products and services in the last decade has been a welcome change. I know I am more productive and efficient as a result and I even believe I have slightly more discretionary time.
August 21, 2011 - 11:19pm
With the growth of on-line services has come a wealth of convenience. I log into the Hofstra portal and my email around the globe. I rarely step inside of a bank. I purchase more and more products on-line, I pay more and more bills on-line, and I even access much of the national, regional and higher education news on-line. The rapidly increasing transition to more and more on-line products and services in the last decade has been a welcome change. I know I am more productive and efficient as a result and I even believe I have slightly more discretionary time.
August 14, 2011 - 9:06pm
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.
August 7, 2011 - 6:04pm
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 - 7:12pm
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 - 7:50pm
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.

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