President's Corner

What I'm Up To Paul LeBlanc

reading
I'm reading:

Just read Clay Christensen’s new book, The Prosperity Paradox: How Innovation Can Lift Nations Out of Poverty. This was an advance copy, so soon available. Clay is an old friend and a huge influence on how we have grown SNHU and our approach to innovation. This book is so compelling, because we know attempts at development have so often been a failure and it is often puzzling to understand why some countries with desperate poverty and huge challenges somehow come to thrive (think S. Korea, Singapore, 19th C. America), while others languish. Clay offers a fresh way of thinking about development through the lens of his research on innovation and it is compelling. I bet this book gets a lot of attention, as most of his work does. I also suspect that many in the development community will hate it, as it calls into question the approach and enormous investments we have made in an attempt to lift countries out of poverty. A provocative read and, as always, Clay is a good storyteller.

watching
I'm watching:

Just watched Leave No Trace and should have guessed that it was directed by Debra Granik. She did Winter’s Bone, the extraordinary movie that launched Jennifer Lawrence’s career. Similarly, this movie features an amazing young actor, Thomasin McKenzie, and visits lives lived on the margins. In this case, a veteran suffering PTSD, and his 13-year-old daughter. The movie is patient, is visually lush, and justly earned 100% on Rotten Tomatoes (I have a rule to never watch anything under 82%). Everything in this film is under control and beautifully understated (aside from the visuals) – confident acting, confident directing, and so humane. I love the lack of flashbacks, the lack of sensationalism – the movie trusts the viewer, rare in this age of bombast. A lovely film.

listening
I'm listening to:

My listening choices usually refer to music, but this time I’m going with Malcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist History podcast on genius and the song Hallelujah. It tells the story of Leonard Cohen’s much-covered song Hallelujah and uses it as a lens on kinds of genius and creativity. Along the way, he brings in Picasso and Cézanne, Elvis Costello, and more. Gladwell is a good storyteller and if you love pop music, as I do, and Hallelujah, as I do (and you should), you’ll enjoy this podcast. We tend to celebrate the genius who seems inspired in the moment, creating new work like lightning strikes, but this podcast has me appreciating incremental creativity in a new way. It’s compelling and fun at the same time.

tweeting
I'm tweeting at @snhuprez:

A President's Reflections

The Government Shutdown and Our SNHU Community

Posted on January 15, 2019

As the shutdown of the federal government continues with no immediate end in sight, we want to make sure we are doing all we can to support any of our students, faculty, and staff that may be impacted. We have had some inquiries and questions and because no one item stands out, it’s hard to give […]

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Pop Picks

Pop Picks – January 3, 2019

Posted on January 3, 2019

January 3, 2019 What I’m listening to: My listening choices usually refer to music, but this time I’m going with Malcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist History podcast on genius and the song Hallelujah. It tells the story of Leonard Cohen’s much-covered song Hallelujah and uses it as a lens on kinds of genius and creativity. Along the way, he brings in Picasso and […]

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A President's Reflections

A Look Back at 2018: A Record-Breaking Year at SNHU

Posted on December 19, 2018

2018 was a record-breaking year for SNHU. Along the way, we passed several impressive milestones, including hitting the 100,000 mark for both current students and alumni, opening four additional sites in Africa and the Middle East to expand access to education for more refugee learners worldwide, and hosting the University’s largest Commencement to date — […]

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A President's Reflections

Our Single Most Important Fight

Posted on December 4, 2018

I’m back from my travels in New Zealand and Australia and while it was amazing and often gorgeous (and we saw lots of great wildlife), I was disheartened by the constant drumbeat of “But climate change is….” Then fill in the blank. Shrinking habitats and declining numbers of species, bleached coral reefs, forests dying off, […]

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Current Issues
Pop Picks

Pop Picks – December 4, 2018

Posted on December 4, 2018

December 4, 2018 What I’m listening to: Spending a week in New Zealand, we had endless laughs listening to the Kiwi band, Flight of the Conchords. Lots of comedic bands are funny, but the music is only okay or worse. These guys are funny – hysterical really – and the music is great. They have an uncanny ability to […]

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A President's Reflections

Unveiling SNHU’s 2018-2023 Strategic Plan

Posted on October 16, 2018

Strategic planning efforts in higher education usually elicit resigned eye rolling from those who have seen strategic planning as a form of participatory theater, with lots of stakeholders involved and endless meetings and a product that has something for everyone and thus little focus or use. Those plans often sit on a shelf gathering dust […]

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SNHU News
Pop Picks

Pop Picks – October 15, 2018

Posted on October 15, 2018

What I’m listening to: We had the opportunity to see our favorite band, The National, live in Dallas two weeks ago. Just after watching Mistaken for Strangers, the documentary sort of about the band. So we’ve spent a lot of time going back into their earlier work, listening to songs we don’t know well, and reaffirming that […]

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Pop Picks

Pop Picks – September 7, 2018

Posted on September 7, 2018

What I’m listening to: With a cover pointing back to the Beastie Boys’ 1986 Licensed to Ill, Eminem’s quietly released Kamikaze is not my usual taste, but I’ve always admired him for his “all out there” willingness to be personal, to call people out, and his sheer genius with language. I thought Daveed Diggs could rap fast, but […]

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Pop Picks

Pop Picks – August 16, 2018

Posted on August 16, 2018

What I’m listening to: In my Spotify Daily Mix was Percy Sledge’s When A Man Loves A Woman, one of the world’s greatest love songs. Go online and read the story of how the song was discovered and recorded. There are competing accounts, but Sledge said he improvised it after a bad breakup. It has that kind […]

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A President's Reflections

Building an Inclusive SNHU

Posted on August 16, 2018

Following the anniversary of the deeply troubling incidents in Charlottesville a year ago, I want to update you on our efforts to build a more inclusive community here at SNHU and the considerable progress of the last two years. This is an update on our ongoing efforts and while I will focus this message largely […]

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