Dear staff, students and faculty,
I hope that everyone is enjoying the beautiful fall in New Hampshire.
As part of our Embrace New Hampshire strategic priority, we have been reaching out to high schools around the state, arranging visits for me and eventually for other academic leaders, faculty and students at UNH. We hope that this will lead more students to apply to and to attend UNH. I recently visited Fall Mountain Regional High School in the western part of the state. The students there were very receptive to my visit and asked a lot of good questions about programs and majors at UNH. We are arranging more high school visits in the coming months, and I will keep you updated about them.
I would like to ask you a favor. This Saturday, Nov. 2, our football team will be taking on Villanova at home at 1 pm. A victory would put us in a good position to make the post-season tournament. It would be great if the UNH community would fill the stands for this game. I will be sitting in the student section, surrounded—I hope—by thousands of students! Here is a link to the website where you can buy tickets. Student tickets are free. Please join us!
If your tastes run more to classical drama than football, come to see The Odyssey in a new production by UNH’s theatre and dance department. It is playing from Oct. 30 through Nov. 3. You can get tickets here.
Our university has produced many successful graduates who have come from every corner of New Hampshire (and beyond), majored in many different disciplines and taken the world by storm in a wide range of careers. We have begun to create videos of our alums, in which they describe how UNH helped them to get to where they are now. The first is about Katie Bouton '96, founder/CEO of Koya Leadership Partners. You can watch it here . We hope these videos will inspire more young people to take their first step toward a lifetime of success at UNH.
Our Huron study of UNH revenues and costs continues, and the consultants have preliminarily identified a number of opportunities for cost management and revenue increases. I will have more to report to you on this over the next few months. Our searches for a new permanent chief financial officer and a senior vice provost for research, economic engagement and outreach are continuing, and I will update you as soon as we have completed them.
Finally, books. A few years ago, I read an article (I think it was by the late Harold Bloom) that claimed that Shakespeare, Cervantes and Proust were the best writers in their respective languages. I was intrigued. I had read and seen plenty of Shakespeare plays, so I decided to take on the Proust book I told you about last month. It also led me to read Don Quixote (Edith Grossman’s translation). This took a while, but was definitely worth it, as Cervantes is the key to so much literature that has come after. This month, I tackled a new book that is a takeoff on DQ, by celebrated author Salman Rushdie. It is called Quichotte (DQ’s name in French) and traces the quest by a modern-day DQ, a pharmaceutical salesman and TV addict, to be united with the love of his life, a talk-show host. There is a story-within-a-story element that I won’t give away, but the book is a lot of fun, and provides some incisive cultural criticism, much as Cervantes did centuries ago in the original.
All best wishes for the second half of the semester, and for a safe and fun Halloween!
James W. Dean Jr.