What has IT done for HR

first_img Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. What has IT done for HROn 25 Nov 2003 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Technology is becoming increasingly important to HR. Keith Rodgers looks at the areas it hasbenefitedCentral HR management The emergence of employee and manager self-service comes as a welcome relieffrom HR administrative functions that have wasted time rekeying data orproviding employees with basic information. Opening access to central systems allows employees and managers both to viewdata (such as benefit entitlement or compensation history) and amend it. MostHR processes – including recruitment, payroll and training – can now benefitfrom some element of self-service. But while self-service grabs the headlines, it’s important not to forget thecore HR management (HRM) system that drives HR transactions. In many cases,these application suites contain components that users haven’t implemented,particularly modules designed to support basic HR disciplines such ascompetency management and succession planning. Although it will cost money to implementthem, the license fee will usually have been included in the original price –so if you’ve paid for it, why not use it? Strong reporting functionality is also essential here, as the central HRdatabase contains key data to establish HR metrics. Many vendors supplementtheir core reporting tools with separate analytical applications, designed bothto measure HR efficiency and provide broader business metrics, such as rates ofattrition. One alternative to managing these administrative processes in-house is tohand them over to a business process outsourcer. It may not be noticeablycheaper, particularly in the short-term, but outsourcers do bring with thembest practices for HR processes. Payroll Self-service has also crept into the payroll domain – many organisationsallow employees to view their pay history securely online and some distributepayslips electronically. Not only does this cut the cost of printing, it alsousually means that pay advice arrives earlier – an important benefit for employeeswhen a mistake needs correcting. Outsourcing payroll remains a popular option for many HR functions, althoughsome fear for the security of their data and remain concerned that the functionwill lose control over a highly-sensitive process. But unless the payrollfunction is providing unique services to the business, it’s usually worth atleast considering a third-party service provider, whether simply to manage theIT application or to take on the entire payroll function. While vendors often claim to support payroll across a range of countries,it’s worth checking the small print to understand their ability to meet tax andregulatory requirements and the degree to which different country payrollapplications are integrated. Recruitment Face-to-face interviewing is so critical in recruitment that manyorganisations don’t even consider internet-based recruitment or processautomation. But while it will never fully replace traditional techniques,internet-based recruitment extends the reach of organisations way beyondtraditional print advertising, and at a lower cost. Allowing candidates to apply for jobs online – either directly or throughthird-party sites – is merely the starting point. Companies can ‘sell’themselves online through techniques such as ‘virtual tours’, and sendpersonalised information about future vacancies when candidates register ageneral interest. Recruitment process automation is another cost saver, particularly whereorganisations can manage CVs electronically and automate scheduling. Training and learning Most HRM systems contain some kind of training management capability, andthere are often gains to be made in centralising training administration andsign-up procedures. Organisations are also increasingly focusing on trainingmetrics, from basic data such as the level of course completion to moresophisticated analysis that attempts to determine the business impact oftraining. E-learning has yet to live up to the hype, but it demonstrates the hugepotential for providing and managing training information. Ultimately, anysystems should accommodate the learner’s needs – from a two-day residentialcourse to a 10-minute burst of sales information distributed to a shopflooremployee. Skills planning It is still hard to believe how many companies go through an exhaustivefinancial budgeting process, yet fail to apply the same principles to peopleplanning. Many companies have only a tenuous grasp of their people capability,so some kind of competence measuring system is essential. It should includedata on part-time workers and contractors, who often comprise a sizeableelement of the workforce. Workforce planning is no different from financial planning – it’s aboutassessing the potential of the existing workforce, and establishing where newskills need to be developed or acquired. The latest software applications caterfor ‘what if?’ modelling – allowing organisations to test scenarios – and alsolink into budgeting applications so the financial costs of different scenarioscan be assessed. Performance management At an individual employee level, automating the appraisal process may not betop of your HR IT agenda, but it has its benefits. Like recruitment automation,the aim is not to replace the face-to-face experience, but to ensure that theconclusions of the appraisal are acted upon. Rather than filling out a form,filing it in a cabinet and pulling it out one year later, appraisal actionpoints can trigger requests for training and be used to update competencymanagement applications. Performance management, however, goes way beyond the individual. Ultimately,it’s about measuring performance in the context of corporate goals. A range ofapplications exists to help organisations set metrics and measure theircorporate performance – including balanced scorecard applications – as well asdistributing them to employees. That’s where the concept of an employee portal– effectively, an in-house home page for employees – really comes into its own.Incentive and reward It’s impossible to separate performance from incentive and reward. Incentivemanagement, often viewed from the perspective of sales but actually applicableto other roles, is an emerging area. The idea is that organisations should beable to consolidate the different systems used by sales managers and finance,manage them centrally, and model different incentive packages. Compensationshould then be linked to successful performance, which requires some level ofintegration between the relevant applications. last_img read more

Effects of VLF transmitter waves on the inner belt and slot region

first_imgSignals from very low frequency (VLF) transmitters can leak from the Earth‐ionosphere wave guide into the inner magnetosphere, where they propagate in the whistler mode and contribute to electron dynamics in the inner radiation belt and slot region. Observations show that the waves from each VLF transmitter are highly localized, peaking on the nightside in the vicinity of the transmitter. In this study we use ∼5 years of Van Allen Probes observations to construct global statistical models of the bounce‐averaged pitch angle diffusion coefficients for each individual VLF transmitter, as a function of L*, magnetic local time (MLT), and geographic longitude. We construct a 1‐D pitch angle diffusion model with implicit longitude and MLT dependence to show that VLF transmitter waves weakly scatter electrons into the drift loss cone. We find that global averages of the wave power, determined by averaging the wave power over MLT and longitude, capture the long‐term dynamics of the loss process, despite the highly localized nature of the waves in space. We use our new model to assess the role of VLF transmitter waves, hiss waves, and Coulomb collisions on electron loss in the inner radiation belt and slot region. At moderate relativistic energies, E∼500 keV, waves from VLF transmitters reduce electron lifetimes by an order of magnitude or more, down to the order of 200 days near the outer edge of the inner radiation belt. However, VLF transmitter waves are ineffective at removing multi–megaelectron volt electrons from either the inner radiation belt or slot region.last_img read more

Oxprentice produces an iPhone application

first_imgA University-wide competition to design a new iPhone application has had entries of such high quality that there were two winners.One winning design was an app which tells you how many minutes it will be till your bus arrives, using existing GPS technology already on buses in many UK cities. The other is a business organisation tool, which allows users to give objects, for example emails on their phone, a voice tag to make them easy to find again.In “The Oxprentice”, a competition organised by Oxford Entrepreneurs society, ten participating teams brainstormed an idea for an app. They then considered what were the necessary features, designed the app, and came up with a marketing strategy.The competition was in partnership with technology firm Inside Mobile. Teams also received advice from marketing company Happen. The winning apps will be developed by Inside Mobile and sold in the iPhone store. Although the teams will not be paid for their ideas, they will stay involved in the creation and implementation of their apps.Karl Curtis, designer of the winning bus timetable app said, “The information on when your bus will arrive is already on bus stops, but would be much more useful if it were portable. You would be able to see it in the pub or when you are leaving for work, and so not waste time waiting for the bus.“The day was very useful; the experts advising us were very informative and knowledgeable about the industry as a whole. For instance, it is useful to look at Japan, which is more technologically advanced, to see where the UK mobile industry is heading. Lots of apps make very little money in the iPhone store, and are primarily used to raise brand awareness.”Jordan Poulton, President of Oxford Entrepreneurs, said that the organisation was “trying to reinvent the traditional workshop model. We want to give students the opportunity to experience business in the real world, so that they can make things actually happen, rather than just make-believe. All our events aim to give students the opportunity to do real business.”Future Oxprentice events include a competition to invent and market two new flavours for popular Oxford ice-cream parlour G and D’s. The winners will have their ice-cream sold throughout Oxford.last_img read more

Cuteness Captured at Ocean City’s Baby Parade

first_imgSisters Shannon, and Kendall Donnelly, 1, of Egg Harbor Township, were crowd pleasers in Ocean City’s Baby Parade in 2018. By Maddy VitaleThe cute factor ran high as babies adorned in adorable outfits, dressed as princesses, cowboys and even “the claw” arcade game, rolled down the Ocean City Boardwalk in the 109th Baby Parade, one of the oldest in the country.The parade began at Sixth Street and kept onlookers entertained through 14th Street Thursday morning.Crowds lined the Boardwalk to catch a glimpse of the spectacle. They “oohed and “aahed” at the inventive, very colorful and creative floats, wagons and strollers. Isla Sykes, 2, of Ocean City, waves at parade participants.Isla Sykes, 2, of Ocean City, and her family found a comfortable spot under a gazebo to watch the parade. But the last thing the little girl wanted to do was sit. She jumped up and waved at the parade participants. “This is fun,” she said.Some kids in the parade really got into their roles. Kevin Kohlmann, for example, entertained the crowd from his western themed float: “Cowboy Kevin on the Tail East.” He took off his brown felt cowboy hat and waved it at the crowd. Another crowd favorite was the float “Ocean City Knows This is the Greatest Show.” The judges liked both floats, also making them winners in their individual categories.Thane Messick, 11 months, of Middletown, Pa., has a cool ride.Pam Donnelly toted her girls Kendall, 2, and Shannon, 1, of Egg Harbor Township, in their “princess” carriage, which also was a crowd and judge pleaser. “This is the Princess Tea Party,” Donnelly said with a laugh.The girls pretended to pour some tea, while seated in their carriage, amid lots of “aahs” from spectators.Baby Parker Cornick, of East Windsor, is a winner as “The Pearl of Peck’s Beach.”Liz Cornick dressed up her five-month-old daughter Parker in a seafoam green outfit.“She is the pearl of Peck’s Beach,” Cornick, of East Windsor, said with a chuckle. Blue and white balloons surrounded the baby, who appeared unfazed by all the hoopla. She was asleep in her glittery attire.Former Miss New Jersey Kaitlyn Schoeffel has fun emceeing the event.Former Miss New Jersey Kaitlyn Schoeffel enthusiastically emceed the event from the main viewing area in front of the Ocean City Music Pier. At one point, a winner of another pageant who was in the parade shouted out to Schoeffel, “I miss you.” Schoeffel laughed and replied into the microphone, “I miss you, too!”Throughout the parade there was something for everyone, from floats to watching lively performances from bands and the OCTC Spotlight Performers Show Choir. The Give and Take Jugglers engage the crowd.Spectators also caught a glimpse of something you don’t see every day – The Give and Take Jugglers. A man and woman amused the crowd with their antics. The man rode a unicycle, weaved around other parade participants, engaged the crowd and waved streamers. At one point he slowed down to high-five a child. The woman juggled nonstop and smiled a lot. The OCTC Spotlight Performers Show Choir revved up the crowd with a dynamic performance. Other parade participants included Miss New Jersey Jaime Gialloreto, who rode in a blue sportscar, flashing a bright smile. Miss Ocean City Madison Leigh Kennelly was aboard an Ocean City lifeboat, while Junior Miss Ocean City Hope Aita and Little Miss Ocean City Ginger Mumman waved from cars. Mr. Mature America Bill Quain was also involved and interacted with spectators.Netflix series “Maniac” star Aaralyn Anderson, 8, and the Ed Coles Band and Queen Infanta 2018 also entertained the crowds.Miss New Jersey 2018 Jaime Gialloreto is all smiles.This float was a crowd pleaser.Spectators enjoy the vibrant floats.Kids have fun.Baby Scarlett Bernacki with mom Janae, of Pemberton, is in her “Miss Scarlett Fresh From the Gardens” float.OCBP Twins Tyler and Summer Freeman capture the crowd with their cuteness.This elegant princess appears content.The circus comes to Ocean City with this fun float.This little girl is the queen bee.last_img read more

Craft Bakers’ Week 2015 to launch with new look

first_imgCraft Bakers’ Week (28 September to 3 October) has been rebranded for 2015 with a ‘new look and feel’ for the event. The new branding will be launched with a refreshed website, and new point of sales material, including posters and bunting which will be provided to participating bakers.The week will encourage consumers to ‘Love Your Baker’ with a range of activities and events and a competition during the week. There will also be a campaign tour around the company visiting bakeries. Registrations will open later this month.Now in its seventh year, the week will raise money for Make-A-Wish Foundation UK- the campaigns charity partner.Hannah Marriage, of W&H Marriage & Sons millers and chair of Craft Bakers’ Week 2015, said: “By taking part craft bakers can both raise the profile of their business at a local level and help promote the industry nationally.We are also delighted to be once again working with Make-A-Wish Foundation UK and are aiming to raise even more money for this excellent charity. Craft Bakers’ Week has lots to offer bakers and we would urge everyone to get involved.”Nearly 400 craft bakery businesses took part in the week in 2014, and between them raised £20,000 for Make-A-Wish.Craft Bakers’ Week is funded and supported by the Craft Bakers’ Association and Scottish Bakers and stakeholders from across the bakery sector including British Baker, California Raisins, CSM, Bakels, Bako, BFP, Dawn, Ireks, Marriage’s, Macphie, Puratos, Reynards and Zeelandia.last_img read more

Is John Mayer Co-Hosting HQ Trivia On Sunday?

first_imgWill John Mayer be co-hosting the 9pm ET edition of HQ Trivia on Sunday, June 17th? The signs point to yes.On Wednesday afternoon, the popular quiz show app posted a pair of tweets that seem indicate the Dead & Company guitarist will be joining host—and noted jam band aficionado—Scott Rogowsky on the program. Check them out yourself: If you didn’t notice, the song playing that second tweet is Mayer’s new single, “New Light”. It’s also worth mentioning that Dead & Company will be playing a pair of shows at New York’s Citi Field on Friday and Saturday, so it’s no stretch to assume Mayer will be sticking around the Big Apple, where HQ Trivia is filmed, on Sunday.A Mayer sit-in would be a huge coup for Rogowsky, who hasn’t been shy about his jam band fandom during his stint as HQ Trivia’s host. The comedian even dropped by the Governor’s Ball Music Festival earlier this month to bombard crowds of adoring fans with hilarious jam band references that most of them almost certainly did not understand. It’s a tactic Rogowsky also puts to use during his main gig, where he regularly drops Phish references despite being fully aware that they’re going over most HQ Trivia users’ heads.“Most people don’t even realize what I’m doing—they probably think I’m being fanciful with my word choice when I say, ‘I’m broadcasting live from Gamehendge,’” Rogowsky told Relix back in February. “Sometimes I wonder, ‘Are people Googling that and trying to figure out what Gamehendge is? What is the land of the big baboon? What is he talking about?’ So to me, it’s funny. And I just love that people get a kick out of it.”Anyway, here’s a hilarious video of Rogowsky doing his thing at Gov Ball:last_img read more

Relive The Glory Of Dead & Company’s Summer Tour Finale [Audio/Photos]

first_imgPhoto: Bill McAlaine On Saturday night, Dead & Company returned to Boulder, CO’s Folsom Field for the second time in as many nights, finishing off the band’s summer tour with a standout showing. With no shows left on the books in 2018, save for a two-night appearance at LOCKN’ in August, the Grateful Dead-inspired six-piece left a lasting impression on the packed arena. The tour closer saw Dead & Company deliver an outstanding setlist, a double encore, and an energy from the band that rippled throughout its entire fanbase. Read L4LM’s full review of 7/4/18 here.“Post tour depression is a real thing,” wrote guitarist/vocalist John Mayer in an Instagram story last night. “I stand with you, Deadheads. Come down gently.” Welp, one way to get through this is by listening to the music play. Thanks to taper lucas9000, you can relive the glory from Dead & Company’s tour closer in the audio below. A full soundboard recording of the performance is also available to stream via Nugs.net.Dead & Company – 2018 Summer Tour Closer – Boulder, CO – Full Audio[Audio: lucas9000]You can also check out a gallery of photos from Dead & Company’s tour closer in Boulder, CO below courtesy of photographer Bill McAlaine.Setlist: Dead & Company | Folsom Field | Boulder, CO | 7/14/2018Set One: China Cat Sunflower > I Know You Rider, Shakedown Street, Brown Eyed Women, Althea, Cassidy > One More Saturday NightSet Two: Scarlet Begonias > Franklin’s Tower > Fire On The Mountain > He’s Gone > The Other One v. 1 > Drums/Space > The Other One v. 2 > Days Between, Sugar MagnoliaEncore One: Uncle John’s BandEncore Two: RippleDead & Company | Folsom Field | Boulder, CO | 7/14/2018 | Photos: Bill McAlaine Load remaining imageslast_img read more

Q&A with departing Dean Ellwood

first_imgDavid T. Ellwood, the eighth dean of Harvard Kennedy School (HKS), will step down on June 30, the School announced today. Ellwood ’75, Ph.D. ’81, was appointed dean in 2004 by President Lawrence H. Summers, succeeding political scientist Joseph S. Nye Jr.During his 11-year tenure, Ellwood more than doubled the financial aid for prospective students, from $11 million to $23 million per year, to help free those drawn to public service from student loan debt after graduation, a priority of his deanship. He also shepherded HKS through the recent recession, strengthening its financial stability and endowment. Thus far, the School has raised more than 70 percent of its $500 million campaign goal. His departure comes as HKS prepares to embark on a dramatic campus expansion next spring, pending regulatory approval.A leading scholar on poverty, welfare, and family, Ellwood, 61, the Scott M. Black Professor of Political Economy, joined the HKS faculty in 1980 and twice served as academic dean. From 1993 to 1995, he took a leave to serve as assistant secretary for planning and evaluation in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under President Bill Clinton, playing a major role in national welfare reform, a top priority of the Clinton administration.Ellwood spoke with the Gazette about his time as dean and what’s next for the School and for him.GAZETTE: Why have you decided to step down now?ELLWOOD: When I became dean, I promised myself and my family that I’d serve for eight to 10 years; it’s now been 11. I believe that institutions need and benefit from change, new ideas, and new leadership. The future’s looking very bright for the School. I think we’re in good shape. I still love this job, but I’m looking forward to some new challenges — getting back in the classroom, which I badly miss, and taking on some of the important issues around social policy and inequality that have been so much a part of my life. For all those reasons, I think it’s the right time to step down.GAZETTE: What are you most proud of during your tenure?ELLWOOD: Honestly, I am most proud of our mission to educate exceptional public leaders and to provide the ideas to solve the most important public problems. I meet extraordinary alumni around the world who lead nations and social enterprises. I see the impact of ideas nurtured here. And I meet with our deeply committed, inspirational donors, who feel like their investments have really paid off. It’s a great honor to be dean.Certainly, my top priority throughout my time as dean has been to attract the best possible people into the School and to public service by lowering the cost of education through increasing financial aid. We’ve more than doubled the financial aid we provide to our students, going from $11 million to $23 million a year. The reason that’s so important is that the people who are attracted to the Kennedy School most often have other opportunities for a graduate education. Some consider other public policy schools, but some think about other professional schools such as law or business, so strong financial aid makes it much easier for people to come to HKS. But even more importantly, if they do come and they have a lot of debt, then that’s going to affect their job choices after they graduate. I’m thrilled if people want to go into jobs in business or government or civil society, but I want them to go where their highest and best uses are, where they believe they can make the world a better place and have the greatest impact, not where they’re simply going to have the easiest time paying off their debt.The Kennedy School is now strong financially. In spite of the 2008 recession, we’re in excellent condition. I’m very proud of the faculty we’ve been able to recruit. We have a very exciting group of people, including a significant number of women. And now we’re embarking on an exciting development project, which I think will transform the campus. I’m committed to making sure we pay for it all with philanthropy so that my successor can help lead this School to a brighter future.GAZETTE: What are some of the major challenges that the new campus project will address?ELLWOOD: For most of my time as dean, I had been skeptical about developing new buildings, because I’ve seen too often how the process of building one can become so expensive and complicated. But in the end I concluded that for us to move forward academically and strategically as a school, there were three things that were essential. One, we had to change the nature of how we teach, with far fewer lectures and far more active learning. Unfortunately, we have a set of classrooms that are designed for lectures. We need a different, more flexible set of spaces.A second feature that seemed absolutely critical has to do with our ideas. When you look and see what organizations around the world are doing when they want to create really innovative, novel solutions to hard problems, they ensure that their physical space supports collaboration. They have smaller offices around more common spaces. We currently have a classic office arrangement, with long, thin corridors of faculty on every side, and often closed doors. It seems to me that if we’re going to take on the really exciting and important public challenges, we need to have a physical space that helps people work across boundaries. That is essential.And finally, our space should build community and provide opportunities for students, faculty, and visitors to interact, formally and informally. Honestly, our public spaces are so constrained right now that it’s becoming impossible even to find a room. So our new campus plan will provide much more useful common spaces. One element that’s the most exciting of all is what’s going to happen to our courtyard. The plan is to raise it up a whole story so it’s level with the street and our buildings, making it much more pedestrian and bicycle friendly and, just as School’s Forum does today, providing an ideal place to connect and engage. The transformed campus will also be much more open to the community, providing a more welcoming space to Cambridge and beyond.GAZETTE: What was the School like when you started here 34 years ago, and what is it like today?ELLWOOD: A bunch of things have changed. One is just our sheer size. We are vastly larger in every way. But even more importantly, our mission has grown. When we first started as a School, we thought our mission was to train people for government in the way that the Business School trained people for business. We have a much more comprehensive view of our mission now. We are about making the world a better place, about training public leaders, leaders who care about something larger than themselves or even their own organizations, who care about the public interest. Those public leaders can be in government, but also in civil society, nonprofit NGOs [nongovernmental organizations], and in business. The goal here is to get spectacular public leaders out and into the world.We are so much more international than we once were; now our student body is almost 50 percent international. We have students in our degree programs from 90 countries and in our executive programs from 140 countries. Because of our scale, we have had the chance to influence the world in many settings, whether it’s reducing the threat of nuclear war or helping to launch community policing, welfare reform, and dozens of other policy solutions. Ideas that were born or nurtured at the Kennedy School have made a huge difference. So all this together makes it an institution of significance and weight.GAZETTE: The scope of work at HKS is quite broad, and the School is perhaps more decentralized than most at Harvard. What has it been like to helm such a diverse institution that has a tangible, global reach?ELLWOOD: What holds this place together — the “secret sauce” — is this passion for making the world a better place. Everyone here believes deeply that it’s his or her opportunity and responsibility to make the world better. Many people regard it as a very naive notion — in which case I say I’m thrilled to be leader of one of the largest groups of incredibly smart, successful, naive people in the world [laughs]. We really are united by that. It also means that you have to walk the walk. It’s easy to talk about making the world better, but if you’re really going to lead, you have to be seen as a place that makes its decisions based on mission. And that’s certainly what I’ve tried to do throughout the time I’ve been fortunate enough to be dean.To me, it’s setting a clear agenda, setting a clear set of missions, having an operational and organizational structure that is, I hope, as strong as anybody’s at the University, while at the same time being flexible to allow the kind of entrepreneurship and passion that motivates the faculty and the students and staff here.When I first came here, we were so worried as a faculty about never creating artificial boundaries that might limit our capacity to solve problems that we actually had no departments, no structure, nothing! So part of what we did was to put together an internal structure, whereby each faculty member is in one of six substantive areas (for example, International and Global Affairs, or Social and Urban Policy). Each course is in an area, and each research center is connected to one. But these are not regular departments; many faculty teach courses in multiple areas. And the areas do not have hiring authority. The overall faculty hiring strategy remains at the School level. So we have the best of both worlds. We work across boundaries, we do work in different domains, but we’re not so scattered that we’re nothing.GAZETTE: We’re in a time of tremendous global conflict. How does HKS further its public service mission amid very real obstacles — political, religious, ethnic, financial — to that effort?ELLWOOD: It does require some innovation; it does require new ways to think about public service. So as part of our academic planning and now our capital campaign, we’ve tried to focus on some really big, hard problems that require us to work more creatively, things like making democracy work, creating shared, sustainable prosperity, and harnessing the forces reshaping our world. The reason it’s so important that we build the new buildings and have new leadership is to figure out how to bring together the skills of the institution — our convening capacity, our students, our alumni, our remarkable set of donors and supporters — to really try and focus and answer some of those problems.In the end, our graduates will always be our most powerful tool. As dean, one of the great joys is to go around the world and see what our alumni are doing. Among our alums are the secretary-general of the United Nations, the Nobel Peace Prize–winning president of Liberia, and the presidents of Singapore and Colombia. Our alumni serve as ministers and very senior government officials. We also have alumni who are social entrepreneurs, who are finding ways to help farmers or create strategies to deliver vaccines more effectively, or dozens of similar things. We have alumni who are working on job programs in rural India and rural Indiana, and others work in consulting firms, in NGOs, the World Bank, and other settings far and wide. What is so striking is how much they continue to be motivated by their passions to make a difference in the world five, 10, or even 20 years after they’ve graduated. I watch all that they’ve done and the impact they’ve made. And they feed their ideas, their insights back to the School and help us think about where we’re headed.GAZETTE: In an era of rising institutional distrust, attributable in part to governmental dysfunction and political polarization, what role can HKS play to reverse this trend? And does the School need to rethink how it approaches the teaching of government and politics given this environment?ELLWOOD: We do need to teach and think differently. There’s no question about it. We need to train our students to solve real-world problems. When I talk about our big themes, one is to train our students to make real-world change happen. The example I love to tell involves Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone. He came to the Kennedy School for an executive program for new mayors that is hosted by the Institute of Politics. He met one of our faculty members, Linda Bilmes, who was doing a class session on performance-based budgeting. Now, it doesn’t sound like a very exciting thing, but he got excited. He convinced a group of our students from her classes to come to Somerville to help him reshape Somerville. And now, Somerville, you can just see, it’s taking off. The excitement of that is, one, you can turn around a city, you can make government work. Second, the students who participated — and they worked very hard — a large number of them learned more about how to make real-world change happen using budgeting and other tools than they ever could have in a classroom alone, yet the tools of the classroom were essential. So that kind of interactive, active/engaged learning — whether it’s in Somerville or in Somalia, or California or Calcutta — those are the kinds of things that have such enormous potential. It’s why we need to think about our physical structure. It’s also why we need to think about how we teach and where we focus.There are really fundamental challenges to self-governance. Throughout history, at some level, some people have always been attracted to authoritarian modes because those institutions seem to be able to get things done. And right now we seem to be in a bad spot, particularly at the national level, where the problems are large and complicated. And our political systems are mired often in partisanship and, frankly, symbolic rather than substantive answers. The Kennedy School has been and really needs to be a place where scholars, practitioners, and leaders from various sectors work together and think about better alternatives and workable solutions; I’m absolutely confident that the School will do that.GAZETTE: How will you feel when you finally pass the baton, and what’s next for you?ELLWOOD: I’m sure I’ll feel decidedly mixed. Being dean has just been such an enormous honor and such a great pleasure. I will miss two things more than anything. I cannot tell you how compelling it feels to me to work in a place whose mission is to solve all these hard problems, where it really is about making the world a better place. Even more than that, I will miss the collaborative nature of being dean, and the people I work closely with. Being a scholar is, by its nature, a fairly solitary pursuit. As dean, I work with a group of people who do everything they can to make students as successful as they can be, to change the world. I am going to miss that camaraderie, that shared sense of purpose. After a sabbatical, my current plan is to stay at the School, to get back to teaching and research, and to focus on poverty, inequality, and the many other issues I care about.One last thought: It is in the nature of academia that you have to announce your planned departure long before the end of your time, but there is no way I’m going to be a lame-duck dean. This year is as important and maybe more important than all the rest. I want to make sure the new campus development project is in great shape. I want to continue to put pressure on us to think hard about enhancing our teaching. I want to make sure we work effectively on bringing together people and building community around the School. So I have a lot of work to do, I have a great group of people to work with, and I’m going to enjoy and work hard every minute, until I hand off the keys to the next dean.This interview has been edited for clarity and length.last_img read more

Professor critiques China’s Classic of History

first_imgDr. Edward L. Shaughnessy, professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago, recounted the compilation process of the Classic of History in a lecture Monday titled, “Unearthing China’s Classic of History.” Shaughnessy recapped the history of China’s Classic of History over the past couple of centuries, from its compiling by Confucius in sixth century BC to a recent discovery of bamboo strips from approximately 300 BC that challenge the authenticity of the current version of the Classic.“The Classic of Poetry and The Classic of Documents — they have the same status in the Chinese tradition as the Bible,” Shaughnessy said. Shaughnessy said he uses the Classic of Documents to refer to the Classic of History because the translation is more accurate.The Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies sponsored the lecture as part of their Distinguished Speaker Series because the Classic of Documents is one of China’s “Five Classics” that have a “a role in Chinese tradition analogous to the Bible in the Western tradition.”Shaughnessy said the documents in the Classic of Documents are divided up by type.“There are consultations,” Shaughnessy said. “These are supposed to be conversations between ministers and the King. There are instructions, which are sort of teachings that the ministers give to the King. There are announcements which are royal announcements to the people at large. There are declarations which are battlefield speeches and then there are commands, or appointment documents, where the king is appointing someone to be an official.”Shaughnessy said the Classic of Documents was thought to be lost following a mass book burning in 213 and 212 BC. Scholar Fu Sheng recounted and recorded 28 chapters in the third or second century BC. This account is known as the “New Text,” Shaughnessy said. Shaughnessy said the other 17 chapters of the text were discovered in the wall of Confucius’ mansion in second century BC and are known as the “Old Text.”Shaughnessy said the parceled past of the Classic of Documents caused various Chinese scholars to question the validity of the version of the Classic of Documents rediscovered by the scholar Mei Ze, adopted by the Chinese emperor in the fourth century and the version referred to today.“This one text that was found that corresponds to a text in the ancient script Classic of Documents, there’s only one phrase in the two texts that is the same … we can see how the forger made this text,” Shaughnessy said, referring to the Old Text rediscovered by Mei Ze. “He found a phrase quoted in another text, put that in the middle of his text and then built up a text all around it. That seems to prove yet again that the ancient text Classic of Documents chapters, at least this one, is a fake. If this one is a fake, since all of them seem to have the same flavor, then presumably all of them are fakes.”Shaughnessy said Tsinghua University in Beijing received around 2,300 bamboo strips that were donated anonymously after being excavated during a tomb robbery in 2008.“The strips date to around 300 BC,” Shaughnessy said. “They had four different texts in this first volume of the Tsinghua manuscripts that are related to the Classic of Documents.”Shaughnessy said Tsinghua University plans to release one volume of the bamboo strip manuscripts a year for 18 years, providing for much more research and debate about the Classic of Documents.Tags: Classic of Documents, Classic of History, Confucius, Tsinghua Universitylast_img read more

Holiday Exercise

first_imgNovember and December seem to be the time of year that everyone throws their exercise routines to the wind. Putting together parties, buying presents and preparing tons of good food makes it tough for anyone to set aside time for exercise.The catch is that exercise can make the holidays merrier by relieving some holiday stress. Here are some tips and advice from University of Georgia Cooperative Extension’s Walk Georgia program that will help you keep a healthy routine throughout the holidays.Take a BreakThe constant stress of getting your house ready for the arrival of friends and family can drive anyone over the edge. Take 30 minutes in between errands and take a walk in the brisk winter air or go for a short jog. Short bursts of exercise can give you energy when you’re about to crash. It also produces those much-needed endorphins that can help jump-start that Christmas spirit. A little exercise can have mood-boosting effects, lasting well past the holiday season.Just One More CookieLimiting how much you eat can be tough, especially when you’re surrounded by pecan pie, sugar cookies and plenty of warm casseroles. Instead of grabbing one of those holiday cookies your neighbors made for you every time you walk into your kitchen, take them to work and share them with your co-workers. It will make you feel better about your eating habits and popular around the office.Treat YourselfBalance is key when it comes to the holidays. Too much of anything, whether presents or food, can become problematic. After a Thanksgiving or Christmas feast, you can burn off some those decadent treats by playing a few rounds of football with everyone or taking a long walk around the neighborhood. It is inevitable that you will accumulate some cheat days around the holidays, and that is perfectly fine. Don’t feel bad about having a few heavy and heavenly meals with your loved ones — just make sure you do a little something extra to keep that healthy balance.Set Goals The holidays come and go just like that, but make sure your health doesn’t do the same. After the holidays, make a list of health and exercise goals for the next year and try to stick to it. Trying not to break New Year’s resolutions is something we all struggle with, but remind yourself daily that you will look and feel better by sticking with it.For more advice on maintaining a healthy lifestyle, visit www.walkgeorgia.org/.last_img read more