The Sounds of Silence

Things have been quiet here lately – not only at the schools, since we are on break, but also on Don’s Desk and on the Harold Lounge. My excuse is managing two schools has finally overwhelmed me during budget season. I am working on a post once the budget is made public, but for now I will say only that the stress of working on two college budgets in a time of declining state revenues has taken its toll by draining any reserves I have left for extracurricular activities, like posting to Don’s Desk.

I am curious about the Lounge, though, which has also been unusually quiet this past semester. I understand PhiloDave’s absence, as he is on a well-deserved sabbatical, following his FY12 Distinguished Professor award. Time spent on the Lounge would dilute whatever benefit he derived from the mental separation from the community. Realist, though, has been unusually quiet as well. I can only assume s/he is working on an epic response to the evisceration delivered by 12KeyStrokes. While some aspects of 12KeyStrokes’ posts were over my head, and I lacked the energy to devote more time to decode some of the meanings, they appeared to be thoughtful and well-researched, at least in the context of the echo chamber of Lounge/Don’s Desk blogs. I look forward to the Realist’s response.

With classes starting Wednesday, I expect things to pick up. I saw Les White on the street yesterday, looking rested and relaxed after his semester sabbatical. He seemed eager for a new school year. I, too, look forward to students coming back to the colleges. The colleges are spooky and useless without them, even though Rich and Pat and their crews have made good use of the break to perform some well-needed maintenance.

The prospect of returning to a single college also has me a little more energized this weekend. There are increasing signs that a new president may be in place at Wright College sometime before Faculty Development Week. I know my return to HWC full-time disappoints some detractors on the Lounge, who openly pleaded for me to stay at Wright. Despite them, or maybe because I like a good row, because of them, I look forward to resuming my full-time duties and spending more energy at the College and less energy trying to figure out on any given day where I am supposed to be. I have enjoyed my time working at the pyramids, but I look forward to spending more time in one place. And more time breaking the sounds of silence.

Published by Don Laackman

Leader with higher education, non-profit and private-sector consulting experience.

2 thoughts on “The Sounds of Silence

  1. Running the day-to-day operations of a college in a comprehensive and effective manner is at best a full-time job adding a second college with a separate set of goals and idiosyncrasies would have to be exhausting, add the significant increase in pressure during budget time and it’s incomprehensible. In spite of this during this time, no matter the situation, Don has remained supportive and measured in his approach. His calmness, professionalism and ability brush away the superfluous information to quickly reach a thoughtful decision has been of tremendous value. These are marks of a true leader and in my opinion HWC has an incredible leader that will guide and mentor the college staff (faculty, staff & students) hopefully for years to come. Although I look forward to having a full-time President, I will surely miss Don’s presence here at Wright. Our new President will have some large shoes to fill.

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