President's Corner

What I'm Up To Paul LeBlanc

reading
I'm reading:

Susan Orlean’s wonderful The Library Book, a love song to libraries told through the story of the LA Central Library.  It brought back cherished memories of my many hours in beloved libraries -- as a kid in the Waltham Public Library, a high schooler in the Farber Library at Brandeis (Lil Farber years later became a mentor of mine), and the cathedral-like Bapst Library at BC when I was a graduate student. Yes, I was a nerd. This is a love song to books certainly, but a reminder that libraries are so, so much more.  It is a reminder that libraries are less about a place or being a repository of information and, like America at its best, an idea and ideal. By the way, oh to write like her.

watching
I'm watching:

What else? Game of Thrones, like any sensible human being. This last season is disappointing in many ways and the drop off in the writing post George R.R. Martin is as clear as was the drop off in the post-Sorkin West Wing. I would be willing to bet that if Martin has been writing the last season, Sansa and Tyrion would have committed suicide in the crypt. That said, we fans are deeply invested and even the flaws are giving us so much to discuss and debate. In that sense, the real gift of this last season is the enjoyment between episodes, like the old pre-streaming days when we all arrived at work after the latest episode of the Sopranos to discuss what we had all seen the night before. I will say this, the last two episodes -- full of battle and gore – have been visually stunning. Whether the torches of the Dothraki being extinguished in the distance or Arya riding through rubble and flame on a white horse, rarely has the series ascended to such visual grandeur.

listening
I'm listening to:

I usually go to music here, but I was really moved by this podcast of a Davis Brooks talk at the Commonwealth Club in Silicon Valley: https://www.commonwealthclub.org/events/archive/podcast/david-brooks-quest-moral-life.  While I have long found myself distant from his political stance, he has come through a dark night of the soul and emerged with a wonderful clarity about calling, community, and not happiness (that most superficial of goals), but fulfillment and meaning, found in community and human kinship of many kinds. I immediately sent it to my kids.

tweeting
I'm tweeting at @snhuprez:

Pop Picks

Pop Picks — May 19, 2019

Posted on May 19, 2019

May 19, 2019 What I’m listening to:  I usually go to music here, but I was really moved by this podcast of a Davis Brooks talk at the Commonwealth Club in Silicon Valley: https://www.commonwealthclub.org/events/archive/podcast/david-brooks-quest-moral-life.  While I have long found myself distant from his political stance, he has come through a dark night of the soul and […]

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A President's Reflections
celebrate

Commencement 2019: Hope, Heroes, and Love

Posted on May 19, 2019

Click to expand infographic. I’ve been thinking a lot about our Commencement exercises a week ago. It was a special couple of days, record setting days really. We had this year some 21,000 graduates, many of them coming to Manchester to march and receive their diploma, in four ceremonies over two days. Yes, my hand […]

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A President's Reflections

Pop Picks – March 28, 2019

Posted on March 28, 2019

March 28, 2019 What I’m listening to:  There is a lovely piece played in a scene from A Place Called Home that I tracked down. It’s Erik Satie’s 3 Gymnopédies: Gymnopédie No. 1, played by the wonderful pianist Klára Körmendi. Satie composed this piece in 1888 and it was considered avant-garde and anti-Romantic. It’s minimalism and bit of dissonance sound […]

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A President's Reflections

What Gets Left Out and What Stays In: Reflections on Storytelling

Posted on March 28, 2019

When reporters reach out and tell us they are doing a story about SNHU, we always open our doors, welcome them in, and give them as much accurate information as we can. While not everyone agrees with me that we should do so (call it basic mistrust of the media), I have always felt that […]

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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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