Tips On How To Be More Positive At Work

Fear in Higher Ed… Fear in the workplace…

I’ve been thinking a lot about this concept of fear in the workplace.  What causes it?  What are the signs and  symptoms?  How do you reduce it?  A big part of positive organizational culture change involves “getting the fear out.”  But what is the nature of fear?  Specifically in higher education? Fear is multi-dimensional, cultural, and individualized.  Because of this, it’s hard to discuss fear as a monolithic concept or something that has a single prescribed fix.  In general, however, there are some ways of understanding fear as a broad concept. What is fear?… Read More

The University-as-Theater: Are we just putting on a performance?

Is the university just an act of theater obscuring what is… or isn’t going on?  Are we caught up in traditions that have shielded us from realizing our own faults?  from public criticism?  Are we ready for the impending changes to higher education as a whole?  Thinking about higher education as a theatrical performance exposes some of these questions. Organizational theorists Bolman and Deal recognize two bodies of theory that make up this notion of the university-as-theater. The first, dramaturgical theories, focus internally. They describe performative acts that involve “social interaction among individuals… Read More

University in the New Millennium: Threats, Opportunities and Change

I’m excited to be presenting on one of my research passions at the 2014 national conventions of both ACPA-College Student Educators International and NASPA-Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. My session on the future of higher education (see below) is something I’ve presented on before, but I’ve been able to update this presentation with about 50-60% new content as my understanding of the topic has evolved.

Bowling Leagues, Cheers Bar, and Central Perk: Cultivate a Third Place, Cultivate Your Brand

In his 1989 work, The Great Good Place, Ray Oldenburg floated the idea of our needing a “third place.” Our first place is our home, where we live. Our second place is our work, where we spend a large portion of our time. Our “third place,” however, is an informal space that brings us together in community and where we interact with others and build social bonds. Classic “third places” in pop culture have included the bar from the television show Cheers and Central Perk, the coffee shop from Friends. At our… Read More