President's Corner

What I'm Up To Paul LeBlanc

reading
I'm reading:

Two related books: Humanocracy, a new book by Gary Hamel and Michele Zanini, and Bureaucracy: What Government Agencies Do and Why They Do It, a 1989 book by James Q. Wilson. They offer very different explorations of how organizational bureaucracies work and how they might work differently and better (the Wilson book) or be reconceived for the world in which we live (Hamel and Zanini). I’ve been doing a deep dive into SNHU’s own bureaucracy, not in the pejorative sense that is often used, by the way, but in the simple sense of how things get done. How we do our work within our own system. Humanocracy is most helpful, as we push to better empower people throughout our organization and draw on the expertise and knowledge that exists at all levels. It’s one of the best things I’ve read in ages and brings a framework to efforts we’ve had underway for over two years.

watching
I'm watching:

I didn’t watch the first three seasons of Fargo, but this new season has become a go to Sunday night show for us. Set in 1950s Kansas City, it pits Italian and Black gangs against each other, and brings the full Coen Brothers toolkit to bear: the quirky characters, sequences that feel visually original when you think you’ve seen everything, the violence lurking right there under the surface and sometimes breaking through with quick, gory suddenness, and amazing clothes and cars that remind you that the Fifties had more great design than our historical narratives sometimes suggest. I’ve always thought the Coen Brothers have their roots in Southern Gothic and this reaffirms that theory for me. Also, the cast is great, and Chris Rock leads the way with more gravitas and presence than I might have expected.

listening
I'm listening to:

Listening or watching? Technically the latter, but Hip-Hop Evolution on Netflix is a joyful journey through the history of hip hop and we can’t get enough of it. It’s a chance to revisit some of the music our youth, understand the history and development of a world changing music genre, and be reminded that the moral reckoning with racism underway in this country in many ways finds its most powerful expression in hip hop. The first episodes are particularly compelling and expertly pull together the developments that came together to create hip hop. Fascinating, fun, sometimes painful, and incredibly well done. And lots of terrific music for which I have a new or renewed appreciation. Also, sadly, it offers a stunning reminder of how uncool I am and have always been.

 

tweeting
I'm tweeting at @snhuprez:

A President's Reflections

Asking Better Questions

Posted on October 12, 2020

Learning is an act of humility. In my experience, our best learning often comes when we are at our worst, when we have been most humbled. I’ve often learned more in my stumbles than in my victories and there was some hubris in every instance. Whether our foray into China, launching a start-up, or rapid […]

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Pop Picks

Pop Picks – October 12, 2020

Posted on October 12, 2020

What I’m reading: Two related books: Humanocracy, a new book by Gary Hamel and Michele Zanini, and Bureaucracy: What Government Agencies Do and Why They Do It, a 1989 book by James Q. Wilson. They offer very different explorations of how organizational bureaucracies work and how they might work differently and better (the Wilson book) or be reconceived […]

Read More »
Pop Picks

Pop Picks – June 15, 2020

Posted on June 15, 2020

What I’m reading:  I am almost in despair for the way the pandemic has reduced my reading time, some combination of longer days, lack of plane time, and mental distraction, I think. However, I just finished Marguerite Yourcenar’s magisterial Memoirs of Hadrian, a historical novel, though I hesitate to call it that because A) she would likely reject […]

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SNHU News

The Decision to Stay with Remote Study and Work: A Deeper Dive

Posted on June 12, 2020

Our announcement this week that we will not bring students and employees back to campus in September has predictably disappointed a lot of people and I’ve received lots of messages from students and parents. A number of students have asked for a more detailed explanation, something I’m happy to do. While our communications outlined our reasoning, let […]

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A President's Reflections

Steps to Offer Hope and Empowerment: A Message to the SNHU Community

Posted on June 1, 2020

MEMO To: SNHU Community From: Paul LeBlanc Date: June 1, 2020 Subject: Steps to Offer Hope and Empowerment I have written to you after other events that have shocked our collective conscience – white nationalist violence in Charlottesville, the shootings at the Pulse nightclub, the school shootings in Parkland. With each of those terrible incidents, we felt […]

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Current Issues
Pop Picks

Pop Picks – April 1, 2020

Posted on April 1, 2020

What I’m listening to:  Out of nowhere and 8 years since his last recording, Bob Dylan last Thursday dropped a new single, the 17-minute (the longest Dylan song ever) “Murder Most Foul.” It’s ostensibly about the murder of President John F. Kennedy, but it’s bigger, more incisive, and elegiac than that alone. The music is gorgeous, […]

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A President's Reflections

Smart, Curious, and Civil – Let’s Give It A Try

Posted on February 3, 2020

The political season has gone from warm to red hot as we move into the presidential primaries and then the general election. As always, New Hampshire is ground zero for much of the nation’s political drama, at least in the first act, though we share that space with the Iowa caucuses and the impeachment trial […]

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Current Issues
Pop Picks

Pop Picks – February 3, 2020

Posted on February 3, 2020

What I’m listening to:  Spending 21 hours on airplanes (Singapore to Tokyo to Boston) provides lots of time for listening and in an airport shop I picked up a Rolling Stones magazine that listed the top ten albums of the last ten years. I’ve been systematically working through them, starting with Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. I […]

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A President's Reflections

2019: An Extraordinary Year for SNHU

Posted on January 9, 2020

2019 was an extraordinary year for Southern New Hampshire University. Throughout the year, we celebrated more than 21,000 graduates, gained new friends and colleagues in Tucson, and supported more than 40 organizations across New Hampshire. As the year comes to a close and the SNHU community continues to grow, I wanted to share some of […]

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Pop Picks

Pop Picks – January 2, 2020

Posted on January 2, 2020

What I’m listening to:  I was never really an Amy Winehouse fan and I don’t listen to much jazz or blue-eyed soul. Recently, eight years after she died at only 27, I heard her single Tears Dry On Their Own and I was hooked (the song was on someone’s “ten things I’d want on a deserted island” list). […]

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