January 20, 2014
Every revolutionary idea seems to evoke three stages of reaction. They may be summed up by the phrases: 1- It's completely impossible. 2- It's possible, but it's not worth doing. 3- I said it was a good idea all along.
--- Arthur C. Clark, author of 2001: A Space Odyssey
Arthur C. Clark had it right, especially when it came to blogs and provosts. The idea that a provost would use one as a means of communicating seemed at first impossible given the onerous task of saying something of interest in a timely manner. A bit later I came to the realization that it would be possible but certainly not worth doing when there were other ways of sending updates. And now, well, clearly it is a good idea since here we are. So I welcome you to the inaugural posting of the Provost’s Reflections.
Why do a blog? Mostly because there are times when it would be helpful to have a venue to share some topics that have surfaced and to put them out there for the campus community to read and comment. After all, a blog facilitates a dialogue and I believe this will be a welcome addition to the other forms of communication I use. While I intend to use this venue to elaborate on the announcements, I also hope that these reflections will be more off-the-cuff and informal.
Over the course of the next several weeks I hope to communicate our progress on key priorities as well as on topics such as promotion and tenure, collegiality, and the impact of scholarship. I also hope to highlight some great stories about the successes of our students, our faculty, and our staff. And I expect that there will be ideas for postings that come from the broader domain of higher education itself.
The Provost's Reflections will join the other modes of communication that I intend to support. We will still email the Monthly Updates but they will be shorter and now point to various postings when appropriate. The Updates will continue to share information about our progress on our strategic priorities and initiatives. The eZine will come out twice a semester via e-mail but will be renamed the Academic Affairs Newsletter. The Newsletter will provide updates to the campus community on the accomplishments of our academic affairs units. And of course, we will still share important announcements as needed and continue to support the website as a mode for further communication.
In the spirit of Web 2.0, I encourage feedback postings or sending me an email with your thoughts. My email is Jeremy.firstname.lastname@example.org. Above all, it is my hope that you find these writings informative and, perhaps, even entertaining!