Writing

The ‘Teacher-Scholar Model’ and Boyer’s Definitions of Scholarship

In my writing and speaking about US higher education, I frequently highlight the three pillars of our mission at University of Vermont (UVM) as a land-grant university: teaching, research and scholarship, and service. This includes our pedagogical innovations and commitment to excellence in teaching; our research activity; our investments in support of faculty research and scholarship; the success of our faculty in securing extramural support for their research and scholarship; and the impact of our research, innovation, and discovery.

The University: Agent of Change in a Changing Age

I have always regarded America’s top universities as agents of change. Social movements are started on our campuses, come of age on our campuses, and move out into our communities. Political and economic theories emerge from our lecture halls and scientific revolutions are born in our laboratories. Our college and university campuses are places where ideas are hatched, theories are examined, practices are studied, and philosophies are debated.

Budgets and Budget Models: Can there be too much transparency?

Increasingly, as universities face fiscal challenges and concerns over long-term financial sustainability, they are looking at their budget models to incent behaviors or capture previously unrealized opportunities and revenue. These models also are being pointed to by critics as mechanisms being used by nefarious senior administrators and boards to dismantle academic programs, disrupt longstanding academic culture, and surreptitiously shift institutional priorities.

The Power of Partnerships and Pairings: Why STEM and Liberal Arts are Better Together

I feel as though I have “come of age” as an academic leader in this time of growing tension between STEM and the liberal arts. While it has been important to pay attention to and take time to fully understand the genesis of these tensions and the reasons they have increased and caused communities on our campuses to entrench, put up defenses, and even do battle, it is perhaps more important to continue to seek to remove barriers, engage productively, and create deeper and more purposeful partnerships.

Reflections: Why the week after Commencement is my favorite week

Two of my favorite events in the university’s academic calendar are Convocation and Commencement. As provost, I played a role in both ceremonies and always looked forward to the festivities surrounding these milestone markers in our students’ academic journeys with us. But when asked about my favorite time of year at the university, I always say it is the week immediately following Commencement.

January 2019

I always enjoy reflecting on possible themes for these campus-wide updates. Writing this memo, coming in the middle of my sixth year as Provost and a year in which we plan for both the conclusion of a highly successful capital campaign and a presidential transition, provided a wonderful opportunity to reflect on progress, provide updates, and look ahead to the future.

August 2018

The start of the academic year is a time of renewed focus, refreshed energy, and tremendous excitement. There is a buzz in the air. You can feel it walking across campus. You can see it in our students’ eyes. And, of course, there are the tell-tale signs of fall in Vermont: leaves turning colors, cooling temperatures, crisp nights, and (my favorite) the apples.