University of Vermont

Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President

Provost's Blog

Looking Within, Across, and Beyond: Reflections on "The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down"

The Spirit Catches You
Fall 2015
by David Rosowsky

The First-Year Reading for UVM students this year, The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman, challenges us to think beyond what we know about human health and healing, to open our minds to cultures and cultural beliefs vastly different than our own, and to consider that western medical practices and beliefs – while grounded in science – may be even more effective when practiced in parallel with the healing practices and beliefs of other cultures. But perhaps more than anything, this book looks carefully and critically – with compassion but without bias – at some of the greatest challenges and cultural failures of our society, those surrounding the practice of medicine and healing. Read more >>


Celebrating the Humanities at UVM

Celebrating the Humanities February 2015
by David Rosowsky

In my role as Provost, I am fortunate to have occasion to promote and celebrate the many accomplishments of our faculty, staff, and students. These range from academic and scholarly achievements, to successes and innovations in pedagogy, to impactful community and statewide engagement. This week’s release of Humanities, a beautiful new publication of the UVM Humanities Center, is just such an occasion and I intend to take full advantage of it!

Humanities describes many of the exciting activities underway in the humanities and fine arts and demonstrates the rich diversity of scholarly productivity, creative works, and high-impact teaching and learning taking place at the University of Vermont. Read more >>

Recapturing the Narrative on Cost and Tuition

Cost and Tuition November 2014
by David Rosowsky

Adapted from remarks at the 2014 Annual Meeting of the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU), Orlando, FL.

National four-year public universities have, per student, increased tuition revenues by less than they have lost in state appropriations, while simultaneously keeping educational and related expenses flat (over the period 2006-2011, adjusted for inflation). In other words, public universities are receiving less support from their states, and are not relying on increases in tuition to make up for this decrease in state funding. All universities are taking steps to reduce expenses and contain costs. Read more >>

Looking Within, Across, and Beyond: "The Ghost Map" as a Road Map for Students

Ghost Map Book cover October 2013
by D. Rosowsky

Steven Johnson’s book “The Ghost Map” was selected this year for reading by all incoming first-year students at the University of Vermont. This was a wonderful selection, for which I congratulate and thank the first-year book selection committee. I enjoyed this book on many levels. It spoke to my interests in the history of science, the role of science in informing policy, disruptive technologies and disruptive thinking, communication and presentation of information, engineering and public health.I also love a great mystery. As I reflected on the book, the messages it contained, and the author’s way of telling this remarkable story, it occurred to me that “The Ghost Map” can serve remarkably well as “a road map” for our students during their time at the University of Vermont. Read more >>

Looking Within, Across, and Beyond: "The Ghost Map" as a Road Map for Faculty

Ghost Map Book cover October 2013
by D. Rosowsky

“The Ghost Map”– part detective novel, part history of science, part social theory, and part futurist – beautifully describes the unraveling of the mystery of the deadly cholera outbreaks in London in the mid-1800’s. It is also the story of a remarkable time in human history, the foundation of the world’s public health systems, the conflict between emerging scientific and prevailing social theories, and even the underpinnings of today’s broad-based liberal education models.

As I reflected on the book, the messages it contained, and the author’s way of telling this remarkable story, it occurred to me that “The Ghost Map” could serve exceedingly well as “a road map” for how we prepare and inspire our students, vision and re-envision our curricular and degree offerings, and even how we posit the University of Vermont as a distinctive and impactful land grant university. Read more >>

Why Diversity Matters

Diversity Matters August 2013
by David Rosowsky

Universities and colleges are constantly being challenged to define a diversity agenda, speak to the ever growing importance of ensuring diversity in their organizations, build culture and community that both reflects and fosters diversity, and demonstrate progress towards measurable diversity goals. Academic institutions seek diversity in the broadest sense and across the broadest spectrum of definitions. We must embrace diversity not as a set of constraints, but as a strategic priority that has inclusiveness at its core. Doing anything less is not realizing the full potential of the University, and therefore not maximizing its impact, as an institution, on our world. Read more >>

Last modified August 25 2015 02:12 PM