Monday, August 31, 2009

Provost's Welcome

In recruiting new undergraduates, which any provost spends considerable time doing, you always stress all the benefits of attending the college or university you are promoting. As Hofstra’s Provost, I thoroughly enjoy my involvement in this process and am passionate about the vast curricular and co-curricular benefits that are inherent in a Hofstra education. And as a person who has been at Hofstra for forty years, I know all the facts that demonstrate and verify the high quality student centered education we provide. But in addition to the benefits we provide, there are clear expectations we have, which we ask students and all members of our community to meet. How do you make these expectations known? And how do you make this happen sooner rather than later?

As Provost, I am given the opportunity to speak to new undergraduates at the beginning of our welcome week (a few days before classes begin),shortly after the students arrive on campus. To be a truly welcoming experience, we all agree that these days should come together as an entertaining orientation and bonding opportunity. How does a very serious message to the students that stresses the importance of embracing diversity, the importance of recognizing the value of “difference” and the importance of academic integrity resonate with an upbeat welcome experience? How do you help ensure that new undergraduates listen and hear such a message? In summary, can very serious expectations be made known “loud and clear” within an entertaining framework? My venue for this year’s “Provost’s Welcome” was Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. The movie was this summer’s blockbuster film, and the book was a clear must read for many in the class of 2013 when it was first published in 2005. And I’m a Harry Potter fan besides.

Did the speech succeed? Please use this link to access my remarks and I would welcome your thoughts and feedback.

1 comment:

  1. I will never donate another dollar again to Hofstra now that they cut the football program. The president should resign.