Academia Update

Good morning!

There’s lots of stuff going on at the university (that’s Valdosta State University)!

After some negotiations, I have decided to delay retirement and “re-up” for another year as a tenured, full professor. I will continue to split my time between the Department of Music and the Honors College. I will maintain my office in the Honors College. I will teach the honors section of Perspectives in Leadership and continue to assist Dean Mike Savoie in the administration of the college.

In the music department I will continue my online sections of Introduction to Music (Music Appreciation) and the Development of Rock and Roll, and I will do a new preparation by teaching the Song Literature I class while continuing to teach some private voice lessons.

For the Leadership class, I will again use “The Leadership Challenge” by James Kouzes and Barry Posner. I will also continue to use David Willoughby’s “The World of Music” and the Megill brothers’ “The History of Rock and Roll Online.” I have not yet selected a text for the Song Literature class, but I’m taking a serious look at Carol Kimball’s “Song: A Guide to Art Song Style and Literature.”

I will miss teaching my honors class on Creativity in the fall, but I will return to it for the spring term of 2016.

This past week I had the honor to narrate Aaron Copland’s “Lincoln Portrait” in a performance by the VSU Wind Ensemble as part of the Regional Honor Band Weekend. It was conducted by my friend and colleague, Dr. Joe Brashier.

Our VSU president, Dr. William McKinney has resigned and the University System of Georgia has already appointed an interim president – Dr. Cecil Staton. For me, this marks four presidents (Zaccari, Schloss, Levy, McKinney) since I came here in 2006. I’m afraid this indicates an ongoing problem. There needs to be a culture and vision change at the university and perhaps the speed at which the USG appointed the interim indicates that there will be a strong push to deal with a variety of issues.

I have been chairing the doctoral committee for Rebecca Lanning who is completing fascinating research on the viability of entrepreneurship studies in higher education. Last week Rebecca successfully defended her dissertation in an excellent presentation before the committee and members of the public. In May, I will have the distinct honor to “hood” Rebecca at the Graduate School graduation ceremonies.

I can’t leave the academic segment without mentioning the VSU Softball team. Since coming to Valdosta in 2006, I have become addicted to VSU Blazer softball. We were national champions in 2012 and have competed at the national level for quite a while. This talented squad of young ladies is currently ranked first in the nation in NCAA II softball with a record of 42-4 and they sit atop the Gulf South Conference at 23-3. There is plenty of excitement ahead as they pursue another national championship. Go Blazers!

Looking ahead, the next post will detail some of the family activities including a new Shrader on the way! Don’t forget to leave a comment and have a great week!  See you ONLINE!  -JAS

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