President's Corner

What I'm Up To Paul LeBlanc

reading
I'm reading:

Just finished Marilynne Robinson’s Home, part of her trilogy that includes the Pulitzer Prize winning first novel, Gilead, and the book after HomeLila. Robinson is often described as a Christian writer, but not in a conventional sense. In this case, she gives us a modern version of the prodigal son and tells the story of what comes after he is welcomed back home. It’s not pretty. Robinson is a self-described Calvinist, thus character begets fate in Robinson’s world view and redemption is at best a question. There is something of Faulkner in her work (I am much taken with his famous “The past is never past” quote after a week in the deep South), her style is masterful, and like Faulkner, she builds with these three novels a whole universe in the small town of Gilead. Start with Gilead to better enjoy Home.

watching
I'm watching:

Sex Education was the most fun series we’ve seen in ages and we binged watched it on Netflix. A British homage to John Hughes films like The Breakfast ClubFerris Bueller’s Day Off, and Pretty in Pink, it feels like a mash up of American and British high schools. Focusing on the relationship of Maeve, the smart bad girl, and Otis, the virginal and awkward son of a sex therapist (played with brilliance by Gillian Anderson), it is laugh aloud funny and also evolves into more substance and depth (the abortion episode is genius). The sex scenes are somehow raunchy and charming and inoffensive at the same time and while ostensibly about teenagers (it feels like it is explaining contemporary teens to adults in many ways), the adults are compelling in their good and bad ways. It has been renewed for a second season, which is a gift.

listening
I'm listening to:

Raphael Saadiq has been around for quite a while, as a musician, writer, and producer. He’s new to me and I love his old school R&B sound. Like Leon Bridges, he brings a contemporary freshness to the genre, sounding like a young Stevie Wonder (listen to “You’re The One That I Like”). Rock and Roll may be largely dead, but R&B persists – maybe because the former was derivative of the latter and never as good (and I say that as a Rock and Roll fan). I’m embarrassed to only have discovered Saadiq so late in his career, but it’s a delight to have done so.

tweeting
I'm tweeting at @snhuprez:

Pop Picks

Pop Picks – February 11, 2019

Posted on February 11, 2019

February 11, 2019 What I’m listening to: Raphael Saadiq has been around for quite a while, as a musician, writer, and producer. He’s new to me and I love his old school R&B sound. Like Leon Bridges, he brings a contemporary freshness to the genre, sounding like a young Stevie Wonder (listen to “You’re The One That I […]

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A President's Reflections

Confronting Racism, Past and Present

Posted on February 11, 2019

Our Board of Trustees meets in mid-winter for what we have called a “learning retreat,” going with my leadership team to a place where we can expand our thinking, to learn from some other area of work or industry, and to engage with thinkers and doers in other fields. One year it was Washington, D.C., […]

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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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