Entries for January 2006

MGMT251: a second chance to make a first impression

Tomorrow, I will be reunited with most of the students from MGMT 250 last fall, when MGMT 251 begins. It's an interesting dynamic, working with the same students for more than one semester. On the one hand, I feel that I get a running start during this second course, because I know some of the students and have a sense of what kinds of approaches will help engage them in learning. On the other hand, there is always some baggage from the previous semester, and figuring out how to address that and move beyond it is a relatively new challenge for me.

I hope that we will be able to move promptly beyond students' frustrations and concerns about grades next semester, and get to the real work of learning, rather than the superficial issues of grades. I hope that students will open their minds again to the possibility that this semester might be both useful and enjoyable.

Click here to read a student's testimony on this possibility... and a preview of MGMT 251 in contrast with MGMT 250.

Continue reading "MGMT251: a second chance to make a first impression"

Martin Luther King, Jr.

I will be humming a song today in honor of MLK... it's "Shed a Little Light", which I sing along with James Taylor. Lyrics are behind the cut, so click to read more... and if you want to buy your own copy, here are links from Buy.com, iTunes, and Amazon (the whole live album). I would love to hear a campus group perform this someday...

Continue reading "Martin Luther King, Jr."

CEOGC needs a clean sweep

Bill Callahan's Cleveland Diary this morning makes a strong case for a Federal takeover of the Council for Economic Opportunities in Greater Cleveland (CEOGC). The agency owes the state of Ohio $3.3 million because of deficits from 2005 and 2004. He does not give any sources which explain the original reasons for the 2004 deficit. There were irregularities in spending identified during an audit last year, though not of a magnitude sufficient to explain the entire deficit, as far as I can tell.

The agency needs new leadership and new spending controls put in place -- and probably a bailout for the old debt, too, but there's no way that will happen without the new leadership and spending controls. At this point, it doesn't matter whether the spending irregularities were unintentional recordkeeping errors or something worse. It's time to step aside so others can clean up the mess and get the agency refocused on meeting the needs of the region's poor.

I especially appreciate Bill's post because it backs up a Plain Dealer editorial from this past Thursday -- and Bill is no blind supporter of that team -- with links to old news stories documenting how long the problem has been in the public eye. The time for action is long past due.

my 2005 in cities

Inspired by Jason Kottke, here is the list of cities where I spent time in 2005:

Cleveland, Ohio*
Manchester, UK
Paintsville, Kentucky
Parkersburg, West Virginia
Honolulu, Hawaii
Waimea, Kauai, Hawaii
Portage Point, Michigan

Those cities marked with an * were visited multiple times on non-consecutive days.

Now, it's your turn: Blog your list of cities and get your friends to do the same. It'll be fun.

If you're feeling really generous, you can open a free account at 43 places and volunteer yourself as an information source regarding the places you have already visited. (If you're feeling jealous, you can also write your wish list of places you have not yet seen, but hope to visit someday.)

Areas of Moral Clarity

Last year I made two posts about Tracy Kidder's book, Mountains Beyond Mountains, which have both been very high in my blog stats. The first was this brief entry back in June which included a link to the questions in the essay contest about Tracy Kidder's book. The second was this entry with context on Case's Common Reading Program, made in early August.

However, I never actually returned to the questions in the essay contest. They are wonderfully rich questions, though, like this one: When you look at situations in the world, do you see mostly areas of moral ambiguity or of moral clarity? Take an issue that matters deeply to you, and identify the major obstacles to resolving it? Does the main difficulty lie in determining what "ought to be done," or does it lie in "the doing?"

Any human being who suffers from disease deserves high-quality treatment, regardless of whether the individual can afford to pay for that treatment or not. This is Paul Farmer's area of moral clarity, and I stand with him in his assertion that any human being deserves health care. On this basis, he has motivated himself and a large team to deliver treatment for Tuberculosis, HIV, and other medical conditions in Haiti, Russia, Africa, and other areas beseiged by poverty. Farmer's work with Partners in Health offers powerful evidence that disease and the suffering that comes with it can be effectively treated.

My assertion is that health education for preventive care is as much a moral imperative as is free treatment of disease in poor communities.

Continue reading "Areas of Moral Clarity"

my favorite reads in the blogosphere

In honor of my birthday, and of the WCPN segment by Dan Moulthrop on blogs and the civic sphere, I have added a list of my 12 favorite reads in the blogosphere to my main page. I wanted to point it out because I know a fair number of my readers only look at individual posts via RSS... here are the folks who most often inspire me to keep blogging:

In the summer months, and between semesters, I add Mano, Jeremy, and Lev to the weekly reading list, but I'm being honest, folks -- a hardworking assistant professor can only read so many different sites on a regular basis, and during the teaching semester, reading blogs comes after teaching and writing on my to-do list.

the need for comprehensive immigration reform

The first half of 90.3 at 9 this morning was focused on the contested deportation of Manuel Bartsch. Cindy Deutchman-Ruiz hosted (I really like how she is shaping up as a radio reporter!) and her guest was David Leopold, Manuel's lawyer.

One caller expressed the point of view that our existing laws need to be enforced, and visitors to the United States who act as if they should be entitled to relocate here permanently are just being uppity. (I know this isn't an accurate paraphrase, but his point of view was so different from my own that it's hard for me to find reasonable words to summarize his view.)

I called in to ask a question about whether any kind of amnesty has been considered for young people with problems in their immigration status who have been in US educational systems for a specific period of time. The response of the lawyer was that Congress has been unwilling to take actions in support of immigration reform in the post-911 climate, and if we want our government representatives to be more bold, we need to write to them and encourage them to support comprehensive immigration reform.

I guess I'll be investigating these issues in more detail and writing to the Ohio Senators and to my Representative, Stephanie Tubbs-Jones.

Ask not what the next generation can do for you...

... ask how you can help them learn about a new charter school opening in the city of Cleveland in the fall of 2006. Read about the Entrepreneurship Prep Academy at E-City Cleveland and email john.zitzner@ecitycleveland.com if you can attend a lunch meeting on Wednesday, January 11, to find out how you can help them with recruiting students for next fall.

Ask not what your city can do for you, but what you can do for your city!

Sustainability in the City: A Working Session

An Entrepreneurs for Sustainability Third Tuesday Network Event
Featuring the City of Cleveland’s Sustainability Programs Manager, Andrew Watterson

Tuesday, January 17, 2005
5:30 - 6:15 P.M. Networking
6:15 - 7:30 P.M. Presentation/Work Session
7:30 - 8:30 P.M. Networking

What are the top five sustainability projects that will put Cleveland on the map as the leading sustainability city in the United States? How can the E4S Network (business, academia, government, media, funding and non-profits) help Cleveland and the region become leaders in sustainability?

Andrew Watterson, Cleveland’s Sustainability Programs Manager, will share some of the projects they have started, results to date, projects he would like to do and assistance he needs to meet his goals. Following a brief question and answer period, the E4S Network will go to work discussing how we can help the city lead.

Come prepared to discuss and document your top one to two sustainability project ideas that will have the most impact on our region. At the end of the evening we will ask a few people from the E4S Network to share their ideas and how they will play a part in making them a reality! E4S staff and Andrew will gather all the input from the meeting and report our findings to the E4S Network, the city administration and the new Mayor, Frank Jackson.

Location: Great Lakes Brewing Company - Tasting Room

Registration is required: RSVP for this free event today!
Please include your full name, the names of any guests, your organization or business and contact information when you RSVP. Email events@e4sustainability.org or call 216-451-7755.

Click here to go to the January 17 event Web page.

Academic job searches

One of the great ironies of the past 7 years I have spent advising doctoral students is that they turn to me for job search advice. There seems to be an assumption that since I graduated from the University of Michigan Business School, and got a job at Case, I must know what I'm doing. The full professor who hired me likes to say that I was a tough negotiator, which amuses me, since I accepted the job offer within 10 days of receiving it, and the only negotiation of substance that I remember was about my desire to receive a laptop instead of a standard-issue desktop computer. Perhaps, like many professors, I used to have wisdom on this subject and have merely forgotten it.

The fact of the matter is that I don't have much experience. I interviewed for 13 different job openings at the Academy of Management conference in August, 1997, and had received signals from 2 schools by mid-November that they might invite me to give a job talk. Case pre-empted the market by inviting me to give a job talk in November instead of January or February (which is the typical interview time in my field) and made me a job offer almost immediately. I decided to take it, and never went on those other 2 potential job talk trips.

Of course, I probably have more experience than most of my colleagues, since many of them haven't been on the job market (to my knowledge) since the late 1980s. MBA enrollments were booming then and it was easy to get a job teaching in a business school, even without a completed dissertation (or so I've been told). The hard part was getting a job at a "good school" -- which is, of course, defined differently depending on who is looking for the job.

Perhaps I make up for the experience that I lack by reading essays like this one by "Barney Rogers" (a pseudonym) in the Chronicle of Higher Education. Perhaps it is healthy that I consider testing the market to see what is out there for someone like me, with a strong research focus and publication record 7 years after earning my Ph.D. Perhaps it is not only good for me, but also for my current school, that I generate interest in my research by giving talks at some good schools... even if it means that the school must take on the risk that I might actually be enticed away from Case and Cleveland.

Still, it has always seemed a bit odd that Deans rely on job offers made to their professors by faculty at other schools to gauge a professor's market value. Why would we trust a relatively unknown group of people at a "prestigious school" more than we trust senior colleagues in the professor's home department? I guess I may be learning more about this process over the next year or two. Maybe when I'm finished with my own mid-career job search, I can write a column for the Chronicle under my own pseudonym.

Writing about metaphors

This week I am focused on documenting trends in scholarly writing about work-life issues. The working title of this piece is "Balance, Integration, Harmonization: Selected Metaphors for Managing the Parts and the Whole of Living" and I am enjoying my selective review of research on work-family balance, work-life integration, and harmonization of activities in different life spheres. I first heard the metaphor of harmonization at the conference I attended in Manchester, UK, in March, 2005, when I heard Richenda Gambles interview Rhona Rapoport. I have used this writing assignment as motivation to track down their coauthored work, and I'm finding it very stimulating.