I am grateful for the warm summer days and blue nights of this special time of summer. Joan Didion says in Blue Nights, her wonderful, sad memoir (is that the right way to describe it?); "Blue nights are the opposite of the dying of the brightness, but they are also its warning".
At the end of a long, hot July day of work yesterday, I walked outside to one of those blue nights. Even in the middle of summer a deep blue sky somehow signals that the end of summer is coming. So, I am doing my best to enjoy this beautiful season, and I hope you are as well.
Just last week, I was lucky enough to attend the 2015 Harvard Seminar for New Presidents, conducted by the Harvard Graduate School of Education. College and university presidents must be in the first year of their tenure to be accepted into the program. Coordinated and developed by the insightful and talented Dr. Judith Block McLaughlin, the intensive five and a half day training covered many topics including strategic planning, advancement, governance, as well as financial leadership, innovation and opportunity in the changing landscape of higher education. Speakers included Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust, former President of Tufts University Larry Bakow, Freeman Hrabowski, President of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), Paul LeBlanc, president of Southern New Hampshire University, and many others. My head was reeling with the plethora of pertinent, enlightening and inspiring information.
I attended with 55 other college and university presidents from many states, as well as from Australia, Kuwait, Canada and Norway. Our institutions were as small as 300 students, as large as 16,000, liberal arts universities, business colleges, medical colleges, engineering schools, community colleges, private not-for-profit colleges, and tribal, Navy, Coast Guard and Air Force, religiously affiliated and secular. The youngest president was in their early 30's and the oldest in their 70's. The largest campus takes 4 hours to fly over in a plane and the smallest just 1 building, and us, The College of Westchester.
My new colleagues will tell you that all I talked about was all of you; my colleagues, our students, our employers, our 100 year anniversary and the wonderful metropolitan White Plains area.
I came back from the Seminar renewed and excited to get back to CW, the greatest college!
|Harvard New Presidents Class of 2015 (I am in the 3rd row, 4th from right)|