Budgets and Buck Rogers
It’s spring break and I’m up to my eyeballs in Excel spread sheets. Yes, it’s budget time. About 700 line items. So much fun. But as they said in The Right Stuff, no bucks, no Buck Rogers. Or, put your money where your mouth is. Or: Show! Me! The! Money! The dollars need to be allocated in the best interests of our students and our educational mission and that’s never a given, never going to “just happen.” So it’s tedious but also something I care about deeply and something that takes the concentrated effort of a week without classes and the usual busyness.
But in between all of that, I’ve been following the exploits of three of our Rosary College sponsored groups who are out and about over the break.
First, our post-baccalaureate pre-medical studies students are in Ecuador volunteering with MEDLIFE, which is “a network of medical professionals, motivated students and trained staff who work together with communities in need to deliver better access to Medicine, Education and Development.” Here’s our students’ blog. When you get there, be sure to scroll down to the tooth brushing video. It’s adorable. Meanwhile, they’re doing wonderful work. Here’s a picture of my colleague Dr. Lance Wilson with one of the children at one of the clinics.
A second group of students is in Haiti on our newest service learning study abroad program. “In partnership with Matthew 25 House, St. Joseph Home for Boys, Wings of Hope and Mother Teresa’s Home for Children, our students serve with the people of Haiti, while learning about their social, cultural, historical, economic, political, and religious reality.” I can’t wait to hear about their experiences. Email reports say all’s well and it’s a very powerful experience.
A third group, all faculty and staff this time, are involved in a study tour in Cuba all week. This trip is co-sponsored in Cuba by FLACSO-CUBA, the University of Havana and the Cuban Friendship Institute (ICAP/AMISTUR).
The goals of the trip are threefold:
1) foster academic ties between Dominican University, FLACSO-CUBA, and the University of Havana;
2) evaluate the current Cuba program offered to undergraduate students; and
3) learn about Cuban history, the contemporary political and economic system, the cultural landscape, and social institutions from the perspective of Cuban academics.
I’ve gotten emails reporting that my colleagues are learning so much, and I look forward to hearing about their insights and experiences, and seeing some of the ways their learning further “internationalizes” our curriculum to the benefit of our students.
So it’s back to the budget. But I’m so happy to be connecting all week with our students, faculty and staff. They’re Buck Rogers.