17 Feb

University Advancement: book reviews, higher ed, and more

With some encouragement from my colleagues along with my admiration of several other higher ed bloggers, one of my 2010 goals is to start a blog.

My kick-in-the-pants motivation actually came in the form of a spill-on-the-pants moment.  In December, I attended the CASE V Conference “Grand Luncheon” in Chicago.  The keynoter was Dr. Earl Suttle, one of the more charismatic speakers I’ve heard.  To demonstrate the point of having a “bounce-back attitude,” he bounced tennis balls and then chucked some into the crowd for those who displayed this attitude.  My bounce-backing colleague Brindy stood up extending her arm, and Dr. Earl fired.  His aim, however, was short and wide.  Dr. Earl’s errant toss clanged my coffee cup, spilling coffee on my pants.  (John, another co-worker, was quite pleased that the coffee hit my pants instead of our gold CASE V awards.)

While the spilled coffee provided the most memorable moment, Dr. Earl’s “Pearls on Enjoying Excellence” provided some interesting advice.  His main point was that when you work harder on yourself than you do on your job, you will become more productive on your job and in your personal life.  In short, your growth determines your organization’s growth.

Dr. Earl implored each of us to be not a Rhodes Scholar but a “roads scholar” by listening to audio books when commuting as part of a personal growth plan.  I usually read a handful of books each year for personal and professional growth.  This year I want to take it to the next level and consistently read one or two books each month.

I tend to get more out of a book if I write down my reflections and key takeaways.  Therefore, the bulk of this blog will be reviews of books that I read for professional development.  I will share my thoughts on them and how their messages apply to my work in higher ed administration, specifically university advancement.

Thanks for reading.  I look forward to your hearing your comments and finding out about what you’re reading and how you’re applying it to your work.

And, if we’re fortunate enough to be back for CASE V in 2010, no coffee for me, thank you.

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5 thoughts on “University Advancement: book reviews, higher ed, and more

  1. Rob — I strongly recommend a Kindle for “roads scholars”. I never thought about purchasing one for myself and was lucky enough to win one at a recent event. The best part (in my opinion) is the text-to-speech feature. Good voices and easy to listen to while on the road. Congrats on the new blog!

  2. Thanks, Paul. A few colleagues here have gone that route and definitely recommend the Kindle as well. I may have to follow suit. Hope all is well!

    Aaron – I appreciate that. You guys do great work! And thanks for the tips and encouragement re: the blog.

  3. Rob,

    Looking forward to the book reviews. I hosted a leadership workshop once, and of all the leaders on the panel, they all were well read. I like the goal you have set for yourself and need to read more myself. I have a file of “To Read” books. If you need titles, let me know. You can check out my blog posts at http://bizblog.kelley.iupui.edu/blogs/staff/

  4. Thanks, Leslie. I didn’t know about your blog for Kelley. I will check it out! I have not seen a lot of blogging by development officers, so I’d be interested to find out how it’s gone and what’s worked well.

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