President's Corner

What I'm Up To Paul LeBlanc

reading
I'm reading:

Jane Mayer’s New Yorker piece on Christopher Steele presents little that is new, but she pulls it together in a terrific and coherent whole that is illuminating and troubling at the same time. Not only for what is happening, but for the complicity of the far right in trying to discredit that which should be setting off alarm bells everywhere. Bob Mueller may be the most important defender of the democracy at this time. A must read.

watching
I'm watching:

Homeland is killing it this season and is prescient, hauntingly so. Russian election interference, a Bannon-style hate radio demagogue, alienated and gun toting militia types, and a president out of control. It’s fabulous, even if it feels awfully close to the evening news.

listening
I'm listening to:

Sitting on a plane for hours (and many more to go; geez, Australia is far away) is a great opportunity to listen to new music and to revisit old favorites. This time, it is Lucy Dacus and her album Historians, the new sophomore release from a 22-year old indie artist that writes with relatable, real-life lyrics. Just on a second listen and while she insists this isn’t a break up record (as we know, 50% of all great songs are break up songs), it is full of loss and pain. Worth the listen so far. For the way back machine, it’s John Prine and In Spite of Ourselves (that title track is one of the great love songs of all time), a collection of duets with some of his “favorite girl singers” as he once described them. I have a crush on Iris Dement (for a really righteously angry song try her Wasteland of the Free), but there is also EmmyLou Harris, the incomparable Dolores Keane, and Lucinda Williams. Very different albums, both wonderful.

tweeting
I'm tweeting at @snhuprez:

People and Places

Of Fado, Longing, and National Character

Posted on April 25, 2018

I’m speaking at EUNIS 2018 in Porto, Portugal this week. EUNIS is a meeting of the heads of European universities and John O’Brien, President and CEO of EDUCAUSE, and I will be the Americans in attendance and speaking. Having to be there on Wednesday, we decided to take the first two days of the week […]

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A President's Reflections

Reflections on Receiving the Theodore M. Hesburgh Award

Posted on March 21, 2018

I recently received the TIAA Institute’s Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence in Higher Education (phew, that’s a mouthful), named for the storied president of Notre Dame, Father Ted Hesburgh. In front of a packed ballroom of some 2,000 colleagues from across higher education, I accepted the award (here’s the video) and as I’ve […]

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Pop Picks

Pop Picks – March 18, 2018

Posted on March 18, 2018

March 18, 2018 What I’m listening to: Sitting on a plane for hours (and many more to go; geez, Australia is far away) is a great opportunity to listen to new music and to revisit old favorites. This time, it is Lucy Dacus and her album Historians, the new sophomore release from a 22-year old […]

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A President's Reflections

Pop Picks – March 8, 2018

Posted on March 8, 2018

March 8, 2018 What I’m listening to: We have a family challenge to compile our Top 100 songs. It is painful. Only 100? No more than three songs by one artist? Wait, why is M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes” on my list? Should it just be The Clash from whom she samples? Can I admit to guilty […]

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A President's Reflections

Funding the Dream & Living Our Mission

Posted on March 7, 2018

We announced on March 1 a new initiative to educate 1,000 DACA recipients across the country using our affordable, high quality, competency-based degree program, College for America. The initiative came about when Ed Shapiro, a generous supporter of some of our work with refugees, asked what we might do for DREAMers, the name given to […]

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A President's Reflections

Balancing the Polarities: the Challenge of Leading in a Complex World

Posted on February 13, 2018

Back in the 1930s, F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote, “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.” We live in an era where that ability seems to elude many, especially our politicians, who often stake out […]

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Pop Picks

Pop Picks – Feb. 12, 2018

Posted on February 12, 2018

February 12, 2018 What I’m listening to: So, I have a lot of friends of age (I know you’re thinking 40s, but I just turned 60) who are frozen in whatever era of music they enjoyed in college or maybe even in their thirties. There are lots of times when I reach back into the […]

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People and Places

A Lesson from Argentina on Climate Change

Posted on January 15, 2018

We recently did a family trip to Argentina. In trying to better understand Argentina’s history and ongoing struggles with inflation, corruption, and wealth inequity, I asked our guide about his theory on the source of the issue. He posited that there was an enormous opportunity for Argentina at the end of WWII, when Europe and Asia […]

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Pop Picks

Pop Picks – Jan. 15, 2018

Posted on January 15, 2018

  January 15, 2018   What I’m listening to: Drive-By Truckers. Chris Stapleton has me on an unusual (for me) country theme and I discovered these guys to my great delight. They’ve been around, with some 11 albums, but the newest one is fascinating. It’s a deep dive into Southern alienation and the white working-class […]

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A President's Reflections

Why Travel?

Posted on January 4, 2018

Growing up in a working-class family in Waltham, the only people in the neighborhood who traveled and had been outside the U.S. were the unlucky older brothers and cousins whose draft number had come up and were sent off to Vietnam. The closest thing to a vacation we ever had was a trip back across the […]

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