Friday, August 24, 2007

Met and greet - the last weekday before classes begin

American university is becoming energized with new students and with events that herald the coming year. I thought some might be interested in my day’s schedule.

5 AM - Arise. Reading. Review the day’s schedule. Answer emails. Briefing on Audiovisual jobs for the day at 6:30. Identified a scheduling problem with a talk to be given later in the day and left voice-mails intended to resolve the problem.

9 AM - To office. Begin preparations for todays events. Check emails.

10 AM - Meeting with Dean of Academic Affairs, along with his and my principal staff members about the the Orientation for New Faculty Colleagues that we co-hosted on Monday for about 80 new faculty. Reviewed the schedule of a very successful even and made some minor adjustments to be incorporated in next year’s event.

11 AM - Convocation. Listened to speeches by the Vice President for Campus Life, the Student Government President, AU’s President Elect and the “Scholar Teacher of the Year.” These events are also a time to touch base with individuals whom I might not contact otherwise in the normal course of business but with whom face-to-face contact can be helpful.

12:15 - Gave a “fireside chat” to about twenty-five graduate students attending the SIS Orientation (called the SIS portal). This is a two-day event. I talked about the importance of linking an MA degree to career objectives, about some of my experiences in Sri Lanka, about my research and about areas of the world where the students and had both traveled.

1:45 - Met with CTE’s Assistant Director about a problem involving a staff member and a faculty member.

2:00 - Met with AU’s new Librarian to begin mapping out joint programs involving the Center for Teaching Excellence and the Library for the coming year.

3:15 - Followed up with a another staff member on the problem mentioned above.

3:30 - Met with CTE’s Assistant Director for our weekly review of budget expenditures (in this case we had not met last week because of scheduling conflicts, so our discussions needed to be more detailed. I believe that the disciplined budgeting and spending is an important key to effective management, so a detailed reviewing of the budget , expenditure by expenditure, is a regular weekly priority.

4:30 Was introduced to the new staff members of CTE’s “New Media Center” and made a brief speech.

4:45 Arrived late at the SIS “Opening of the School” event. Was, along with other faculty, introduced by the Dean.

5:30 At the reception after the event, spoke with the head of AU’s University College about a new “learning communities” program, with the head of the SIS Undergraduate Council about ideas for involving students and faculty more actively outside of the classroom, with the SIS Associate Dean about a technology problem and with three of the students whom I had met earlier during the ‘fireside chat” event.

6:15 Attended the “Great American Barbecue” but did not eat. Spoke with a number of administrators with whom I do business and who were participating in the event; also with a number of students.

6:45 Held a brief conversation with a colleague in the SIS International Development Program and her assistant who were moving into a new office.

7:00 Began catching up on the day’s accumulation of emails and other deferred tasks, including the writing of two blog postings.


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