Entries in "campus life"

November 03, 2006

the journey toward perfection: a status report

On Sept. 1, I posted a blog entry about the speaker at Fall Commencement, entitled food for thought. In it, I discussed speaker Michael Ruhlman's words, both during his speech and in his book, which was assigned as a common reading for all entering first-year undergraduates in August of 2007. The book is entitled The Soul of a Chef: The Journey Toward Perfection. One week later, an article about Fall Commencement was published in the Case campus newspaper, the Observer -- Soul of a Chef Author Addresses Case.

One week before, Mano Singham had also written about his reactions to the book, as a professor who teaches first seminars here at Case. He tells a bit of the story of how Ruhlman's book was selected as a common reading for Case first-year students, and outlines how he dealt with his initial lack of enthusiasm for reading the book. Professor Singham makes two important points which may be helpful reminders for students in MGMT 250: (click through to read more)

Continue reading "the journey toward perfection: a status report"

October 22, 2006

BAWB event open to NEO community coming up...

I will have handouts at BAWB on Tuesday or Wednesday, with the table of contents for the forthcoming Handbook of Transformative Cooperation. It is expected to be in print next summer at Stanford University Press.

I hope you see some of my BFD and/or REALNEO connections at the regional event! If you don't know what I'm talking about, please leave a comment and I'll find out if there is still space available for you to join us at Veale on Tuesday.

For now, let me leave you with a teaser about the forthcoming Handbook:

Continue reading "BAWB event open to NEO community coming up..."

October 20, 2006

Mena Trott evangelizes personal blogs

This is a quick, reflective post in the role of the web in general, and blogs in particular, in how adults learn, make and keep connections to friends and family, and get things done (both for heir hobbies and avocations and in their paid work).

Yesterday, I taught a MGMT 250 class session on the training design process. Twelve different student teams prepared and delivered 3-minute impromptu speeches on different training methods. The list of 12 different methods included: distance learning, learning portals, and at least one other method that involved the use of technology in some way. I was really struck by how differently this semester's group of 40 students respond to the different training options, in terms of their perceived advantages and disadvantages, than the group of students I taught back in 1998 or 1999 when I first came to Case Western Reserve.

I think I first started using blogs as one way of getting students to capture and share their reflections with me and with their classmates sometime around 2002 or 2003. Lots more students, this fall, have some previous experience with blogging. But there are still some who don't blog, and may not read any blogs on a regular basis. At the other end of the spectrum, there have been a few students in my class who were very internet-savvy in high school, learned to do web design for fun, and then converted their new skills into a way to make money. Things are clearly changing.

And yet, our local paper of record still seems to portray the dominant culture image of blogs -- they're just personal diaries on the web, they're not worth reading, they aren't going to change the entire media industry.... all while developing their own site for the newspaper, which now includes blogs by a few reporters.

I just came across Mena Trott's blog recently (click through to read more)

And will someone please post a comment on this entry, so I can be reassured that the Blog@Case spamfilter isn't overfunctioning again?

Continue reading "Mena Trott evangelizes personal blogs"

September 01, 2006

food for thought

NB: This blog entry was redistributed with permission in the CoolCleveland eNewsletter, also available online.

Yesterday I attended Convocation, drawn by the promise of ritual and the prospect of hearing Michael Ruhlman, author of Case's Common Reading for this year, speak. He wrote The Soul of a Chef: The Journey Toward Perfection more than 5 years ago, and so I hoped that his speech would go beyond the book into more elaborated thinking about what it takes to become an expert in one's chosen field. He did not disappoint.

He addressed head-on a criticism he has probably heard many times about his writing on cooking: Isn't it frivolous to write about fancy food in a time when there is so much serious stuff happening in world politics? His answer started with this assertion:

"Great cooking, in the end, has such power because it allows us to connect with our past, our future, and all of humanity, if we let it. I believe that America's insatiable appetite for food and cooking know-how is really the beginning of a spiritual quest for the bigger things: a search for meaning, order and beauty in an apparently chaotic and alienating universe."

President Eastwood looked quite comfortable listening to Ruhlman's speech up until that point, but when Ruhlman made his next main point, suggesting that sharing what he learned about master chefs brought into relief how all of America has become a culture of mediocrity, the President started to look a little nervous...

Continue reading "food for thought"

August 24, 2006

welcome, first year students!

My daughter and I enjoyed the last Wade Oval Wednesday last night, featuring Revolution Pie, a Beattles cover band, and we certainly noticed the return of Case students to University Circle. To facilitate Orientation activities for Case's 1,031 newest students, there is a large tent on East Boulevard, next to Kelvin Smith Library and across from the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Cleveland Institute of Art. Welcome, to all those students, and congratulations to the Office of Undergraduate Admission staff who brought us such a diverse class!

PS -- don't miss the last Wade Oval Wednesday, coming up on 8/30, and featuring a favorite from Parade the Circle -- the Steel Drum PANic Band!

April 25, 2006

developing a career, growing a family...

How can one develop a career and grow a family at the same time? Especially in academia, this is a sticky question. The Tomorrow's Professor blog recently explored the question of whether there is a global warming trend toward women in academia, but concludes that in many traditionally male disciplines, the climate for women is still chilly. And in all this focus on women, the broader point about how men in two-career marriages can play more egalitarian roles in their growing families while moving into academic careers sometimes gets lost. (This is a more specific version of the broader question which I addressed yesterday in my post on what fathers want.)

I was particularly struck by this series of posts at Mommy Ph.D....

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April 12, 2006

Anne Lamott at Amasa Stone at Case -- part 2

If you missed Anne Lamott's visit to the Case campus last Friday, I have written a little bit about it already... but part 1 was more about me than about her. In part 2, I want to try to remember what she said, which is tricky, because I did not take many notes.

John Ettorre called Anne Lamott "a poet and a mystic and a prophet and a patriot and the most honest, most moving, most luminous, soul-stirring Christian writing today, perhaps in the entire English language. And all from lefty Marin County, across the bridge from San Fran."

Continue reading "Anne Lamott at Amasa Stone at Case -- part 2"

April 08, 2006

A spiritual experience in Amasa Stone Chapel - part 1

The first thing I did after dropping my daughter off at preschool on Friday morning was to drive to Borders to pick up copies of the books by Anne Lamott, which I hoped to have her sign after her keynote appearance at the end of Case's Humanities Week. All day I was giddy with anticipation.

I walked over to the chapel just before 3:30, and as a Case community member I was allowed to enter. I was chagrined to discover that they had books for sale in the vestibule, and had worked with Joseph-Beth to arrange these sales. I knew that I was going to need to do penance for spending money on Anne's books at a "non-independent" bookstore... and sure enough, during her conversation with Tim Beal, Anne reminded us more than once to go look someone up at Amazon, but buy our books from an independent bookstore. In penance, I'm posting a link to this about.com listing of independent bookstores in Cleveland, which includes my favorites, Appletree books and Mac's Backs. I promise to buy all the books that Anne recommended during her visit, and to buy them from one of these stores.

(click through to read more)

Continue reading "A spiritual experience in Amasa Stone Chapel - part 1"

March 09, 2006

how are universities managed?

No, this is not a post about the budget issues and faculty-leadership tensions on my home campus. (Be sure to read what Aaron had to say about that, though.)

This is the seventh of a series of posts introducing the NEO community to the intrepid students who have taken on an optional assignment in MGMT 251 this spring. The seventh student I am highlighting is Takanori Kido, whose blog focuses on Contrasts in University Management: the US vs. Japan. He has made several entries so far, and his latest addresses the challenge of firing employees. Would you add any considerations to his list? Read his entry and leave him a comment, please!

P. S. The previous entry in my series highlighting students' blogs is here, and has trackbacks to the earlier entries as well. Any support you can give to these novice bloggers is most welcome!

March 03, 2006

the unfolding story of a challenge to leadership

The common wisdom is that any publicity is good publicity, and clearly recent campus events have the local community buzzing about Case and its President. In the season of the year when admitted students are making decisions about where they will enroll next fall, though, I'd rather have the publicity about our campus focusing on positive signs instead of internal discord.

I have not written anything about this story because I feel very uninformed. The best reporting I have found on the no-confidence vote here on campus yesterday is the story in the campus paper. Much like the members of the Undergraduate Student Government, who called earlier this week for faculty to postpone the vote, I think caution is appropriate. Clearly, more dialogue is needed. Weatherhead faculty meet with President Hundert late this afternoon. I'm hoping that something concrete and constructive will emerge from that conversation.

February 23, 2006

natural consequences of missing class

There was an interesting article in the New York Times recently about college students -- it focuses on the sense of entitlement that the current generation of undergraduates seems steeped in. My first reaction was that the article overstates the prevalence of these kinds of student attitudes. After all, by far the majority of my students are courteous, dedicated, and driven to exceed expectations.

Then I began reflecting on what happened last week, when I delegated class to my TAs to run a presentation skills workshop while I was fulfilling a professional service responsibility in Chicago. The rate of unexplained absences went up dramatically, even though I had explained to students in advance that they would be given only on this date an opportunity to express their preferences regarding their team assignments for the course's final project. What makes students think that it's OK to show disrespect to the TA in this way? Did they not realize that not having information about their preferences would make my work to construct teams, working in consultation with the team leaders selected from among their peers, more difficult? Certainly, the TA is less likely to offer those students informal feedback on a draft paper before it is due. And clearly, if I don't know which team leaders they want to work with, their wishes are unlikely to be taken into account in the team construction process (which we finished last night).

I have a fairly lax attendance policy -- as long as students notify me in advance about an absence, they are excused. And yet still, some students do not email or call. It's just not that hard to memorize the university's general number -- 368-2000 -- and find a phone to call from if you discover yourself stuck off campus and unable to return before a scheduled class. The students who cannot make that small effort are definitely damaging their reputation in my eyes, and dramatically reducing the likelihood that I would agree to write them a recommendation letter later on.

So, I'm glad that the article pointed out some of the natural consequences of inappropriately cavalier behavior for students who make the mistake of treating professors as mere service providers. Yes, students are customers, and we owe them a level of fairness and consistency... but students are also apprentices, learning the world of professional responsibility, and they owe us as their mentors a certain minimum level of respect.

February 20, 2006

Global Discover Contest

The Weatherhead School of Management’s Center for Business as an Agent of World Benefit (BAWB) has partnered with Net Impact to develop the Global Discover Contest, which invites people to offer suggestions on new ways for business to live in mutual benefit with the earth’s ecosystems and world’s societies. The deadline is April 1. Learn more at this URL.

February 17, 2006

Would you be able to forgive him?

Biswanath Halder was sentenced to life in prison on Friday. One of the brothers of Norman Wallace, the Weatherhead MBA student who Halder shot and killed on May 9, 2003, forgave the shooter after the sentencing... another spoke bitterly. I can understand both of their reactions.

I never had a chance to meet Norman Wallace, and yet I know that his death was a tremendous loss.

Continue reading "Would you be able to forgive him?"

January 16, 2006

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."

December 13, 2005

Earlier this month...

... the Case email system was broached by unnamed artist(s) practicing "poetic terrorism". The words from the email that was sent have been playing in my mind over the last few weeks, and particularly during the a capella performance by Speakeasy last week of the song "Mad World". I'm not sure why I have connected the two in my mind, but perhaps you can figure it out. The words to the song are in the link above, and if you click on "read more" below, you can read the poetic terrorism.

Continue reading "Earlier this month..."

December 09, 2005

those young voices

I almost did not venture out for lunch today, since the wind is so fierce. Fortunately, one of my students stopped by this morning and mentioned that she would be singing in the a cappella concert at Amasa Stone, scheduled today to celebrate the end of classes. I'm so glad I went! Five student singing groups presented three songs each, and reminded me what lively, creative, bold and talented students walk around this campus.

November 20, 2005

Halder trial to visit campus on Monday

Ted Diadun made some good points in his article this morning commenting on the timing of the story last week which previewed the Halder murder trial. The original article ran last Monday, on the day that jury selection began, and it would be a shame if otherwise impartial potential jurors were eliminated from potential selection just because they had read that article. Fortunately, jury selection is now complete, so I can blog about the events in a limited way.

The judge and jury are scheduled to visit the Peter B. Lewis building tomorrow, to familiarize themselves with the locations of the 7-hour siege allegedly carried out by Halder on May 7, 2003. I was not in the building, but was still affected by the event; here's an old blog I wrote at the first anniversary, after returning from a remembrance ceremony. Professor Collopy has also shared an email archive of the event and its aftermath.

The building will not be accessible tomorrow, presumably so that the jury will not be exposed to any unsolicited statements from individuals during their visit. Also, it is possible that the accused, Halder, will participate in the visit as well, and the dean and the President did not want to expose any survivors from the incident to the possibility of an encounter with him.

I have scheduled office hours tomorrow afternoon, so I will be on campus, but relocated to Wolstein Hall. If you need to find me, please call my voicemail...

October 17, 2005

Creating Sustainable Leaders through Mindfulness, Hope, and Compassion

Resonant Leadership: Creating Sustainable Leaders through
Mindfulness, Hope and Compassion

Dr. Richard Boyatzis, Professor of Organizational Behavior and expert in Emotional Intelligence.
Dr. Boyatzis' discussion will address:
• How great leaders move us through a deep emotional connection called resonance;
• What resonance looks and feels like; and
• How to develop resonant leadership in yourself and others.

Monday, November 14, 2005
George S. Dively Building (on the Case campus)
11240 Bellflower Road
7:30 - 9:30 am
Cost: $30/program includes breakfast and parking
The event is open to the public.

To attend, please register by November 7 - seats will fill quickly.
Phone: 216-368-6413
Web: www.weatherhead.case.edu/breakfast

October 12, 2005

article about SAGES in the Observer

There was an article in the campus newspaper last Friday with two key words in the headline: SAGES and disappointing. I could not get a sense of how typical the varied reactions to the program have been, though it seems important to find out. It might be easy to dismiss student complaints about the program as just stemming from Case's broader student culture of criticism and complaint, but it's hard to say whether the squeaky wheels are attracting the reporter's attention, or if there are not many students out there singing the praises of their First Seminar instructors.

If SAGES is a change initiative, bumps along the road to implementation are to be expected. How do we make sense of this feedback? Do we need to adjust our marketing so that it gives more of a sense of realistic preview? Do we need to provide more training and support to SAGES instructors? Do we need to surface the enthusiastic voices so that they cannot drown out the naysayers? This would make an interesting consulting project for an action research team.

August 25, 2005

I'm not the only one experimenting....

Youngjin Yoo will also be using blogs again in his classes this fall, and he's also teaching a hybrid online/face-to-face Saturday MBA course.

Short blog entry today because I want to get some more research done before I meet our new MGMT 250 students next Tuesday!

June 27, 2005

The Future at Our Front Door

There's something very cool about walking toward PBL on a Monday morning and finding two Sparrow Classic electric cars on display. They are three-wheeled, single-passenger vehicles that look a bit like a motorcycle with a roof. According to the website, the company is based in Tallmadge, Ohio!

The Future at Our Front Door

There's something very cool about walking toward PBL on a Monday morning and finding two Sparrow Classic electric cars on display. They are three-wheeled, single-passenger vehicles that look a bit like a motorcycle with a roof. According to the website, the company is based in Tallmadge, Ohio!