The worries began as soon as the economic news was released. After three months of strong economic growth, the March figures just recently announced were a major disappointment. The gain in March was a modest 120,000 jobs, half of what the gains were from December through February. And of course as soon as the statistics were announced, both the economic doubters as well as the political opponents of the Obama administration began to question the strength of the recovery. For me, one month of bad news doesn’t represent the start of a new recession just as one month of good news doesn’t represent a vibrant recovery.
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April 15, 2012
April 8, 2012
I read with interest the recent article in Inside Higher Education regarding the retiring President of Westminster College preparing for retirement by compiling an eportfolio. President Bassis prepared the eportfolio both “to reflect on his 41 years in higher education…but also as a way to communicate to students and faculty members his steadfast belief in electronic portfolios as a method of cataloging and assessing student work.”
March 25, 2012
We are just completing our search for the founding dean of our School of Engineering and Applied Science. The finalists are all impressive but the search process itself has also been impressive.
March 18, 2012
We have a very active and respected Center for Civic Engagement on our campus. The Center has undertaken many worthwhile initiatives including the development of “a brief workshop for students who will be working with off campus communities.” This workshop, which is slightly over an hour in length, examines how students feel about working with off-campus communities and how these communities feel about working with students.
March 11, 2012
I am just back from a family vacation in Hawaii. And it really is a family vacation when we go to Hawaii. Not only is it a great venue for a vacation with always spectacular weather, but since we also have family living there, we also get a chance for some valuable family time. This time we split our visit to Hawaii between two vacation clubs.
March 4, 2012
I was reminded a few weeks ago, in response to a situation I will outline in the next paragraph, of how important customer service is throughout education and especially at the very competitive higher education level. And by customer service, I am not suggesting a weakening of standards; rather, I am just suggesting that we, especially in private higher education, do all that is necessary to minimize administrative hassles and in that way help our students succeed.
February 26, 2012
All my suits are either a shade of blue (usually dark) or a shade of gray varying from medium to dark. My blazers are all differing shades of blue and the accompanying pants are either gray or blue. My shirts are all white and my ties vary from shades of blue to sometimes shades of maroon or dark red. Why am I writing this? Is this my application to be a model for GQ? Or am I about to start a fashion consulting business?
February 19, 2012
At last week’s breakfast meeting with all the department chairs and deans, I talked about the enrollment situation for this semester and this year. A substantial increase in the freshmen class, strong quality indicators, and some of the best retention numbers in our history make for a very positive picture. And a Presidential Debate on our campus next fall, further helps enhance the forecast for next year’s entering class.
February 12, 2012
On Friday, February 3rd, I was waiting for the economic update. The jobs picture is a key indicator (even though it is considered a lagging indicator) of economic recovery, and I was looking to see if there were tangible signs that a real and perhaps more robust recovery was underway. But even though I was tuned into the economy, my greatest attention was focused on the decision by the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation decision to cut off funding for Planned Parenthood.
February 5, 2012
I am today philosophically close to where I was when I was in graduate school. I am a middle of the road economist. I recognize the importance of government fiscal and monetary policy and yet government needs to make sure it doesn’t micromanage where it isn’t necessary, and government needs to make sure that the laws are constructed in the fairest way possible.