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UThink, IThink, Who Knows What OurProvost Thinks?


Yesterday I received an email about the latest decision concerning the blog formerly known as Conversations - the one OurProvost promised us last September (2007).

from Katherine Himes to bgleason@umn.edu

date 04 Mar 2008 10:34:59 -0600

subject Re: Provost Academic Update

Dear Bill,

After much consideration, we have decided not to launch a blog at this time.


Katherine Himes, Ph.D. (on behalf of Provost Sullivan)

Sad. And what a glorious idea it was. As of November 30th the following entry could be found on OurProvost's blog on UThink. The next day the entry was gone, but the template hung there for months like an empty suit. Now, even the empty suit is gone.


In the spirit of strategic positioning, and exploring new methods of communication, I have decided to launch a blog. I plan to make biweekly entries into the blog, on such topics as:

Law (as former dean of the Law School and a faculty member, this is of particular interest to me)

Art and design (a personal passion)

Travel (currently, I am planning a trip to Italy)

Twin Cities Culture (we are so fortunate to have such resources as the Guthrie Theater, Walker Art Museum, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the Minnesota Orchestra, and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra)

The strategic positioning effort, “Transforming the U� (of course!)

Academic initiatives and trends

Other personal observations

We’ll moderate blog submissions for relevance and redundancy, but we hope for a free exchange of thought, thought-provoking, and wide-ranging entries. We hope our experiment with a blog will be successful, but we need your help. Please join the conversation!

Upon reflection, OurProvost seems to prefer one-sided conversations. As with other university matters, the Bruininks/Sullivan regime is a lot better at the talk than the walk.

If OurProvost blogs some crank might publicly question him about the administration's "ambitious aspirations to be one of the top three public research institutions in the world [sic]."

We couldn't have a thought-provoking, free exchange of ideas on a topic like that could we? Those kinds of conversations take place at top universities. Tom? Bob?

Memento Mori.

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