Friday 24 September, 2021

The Hall at sunset

Seen on our walk the other evening.

Quote of the Day

”I am reading Henry James and feel myself entombed in a block of smooth amber.”

  • Virginia Woolf

Musical alternative to the morning’s radio news

The Dubliners | Barney’s Banjo Solo


Something you’re unlikely to ever hear in the Royal Festival Hall.

And if you’re feeling exhausted by the end, then welcome to the club.

Long Read of the Day

A manifesto for the future

Lovely critical review by Andy Beckett of Aaron Bastani’s manifesto,  Fully Automated Luxury Communism — a rare example of a lefty thinking like someone from Silicon Valley.

Andy sums it up thus:

Some readers will finish this book exhilarated and energised. Others will be unconvinced, or utterly baffled. There are more ideas crammed in here than in a whole shelf of standard politics books. And in today’s fraught world, the time to read whole shelves of politics books may have passed.

This review convinced me I should, perhaps, read the book.

Our Faculty Success Initiative Redefines Everything You Thought You Knew About “Faculty” and “Success”

Wonderful spoof by Andrew Berish. But if you think it’s off target, maybe you ought to check in at your Alma Mater.

Thank you, everyone, for completing the Faculty Success Survey. During these challenging times, we understand that many of you are feeling great stress managing your classes during a global pandemic and financial crisis. We have collected and analyzed your thoughtful responses.

As your Provost, I have spent several careful minutes thinking about the results. But before I present the findings, along with our new Faculty Success Initiative, I want to emphasize how important every part of our university family is to our continued growth: our students, our doctors, our corporate partners, our generous alumni donors, our pets, our lovely campus flora and fauna, our golf carts, and you, our faculty. You do so much—you meet, you talk, some of you exercise at the recreation center, and a lot of you teach. There are rumors that you also write things, although the library has no books, so who really knows.

The survey results show a faculty that is dedicated and happy to have employment at this university. The data is pretty conclusive: 46 percent of you are not actively looking for work, 30 percent of you feel confident your academic unit will survive the upcoming budget cuts, and 24 percent of you report feeling only slightly panicked most of the day. That means an impressive 100 percent of you are happy with the university and working hard every day to help students graduate as quickly as possible.

Yet, I still believe there are ways to improve faculty productivity and my standing as an Academic Leader at the Forefront of Success and Innovation in Higher Education. That is why I am announcing the following initiatives. Although we cannot pay you more, we believe we can transform what it means to be a successful faculty member:

And yes — you guessed it — the first ‘initiative’ is…

An e-Dashboard Tracking Faculty Best Practices.

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