New SJSU president starts blogging experiment

Image courtesy

SJSU President Whitmore -- Image courtesy

In a bid to find out more about his new job, newly-crowned SJSU President Jon Whitmore says he will be job-shadowing different workers in various departments across the San Jose State campus during his first 100 days — and will be blogging about his experiences here.

Says he:

I’ve decided to work shoulder-to-shoulder for an hour with different staff in various departments and around campus, to experience first-hand how this university functions, and to absorb the collective wisdom I know I’ll find there. I’m thinking of this as a “Day in the Life of SJSU,” and I’ll tell you about my experiences in my blog.

The “blog” (or rather, frequently-updated web page) will run from now until Homecoming on October 12. I put blog in quotes because it doesn’t have an embedded method of feedback, which is part of the point of blogging. Seeing other people’s comments gives readers more scope and provides more context in any campaign of openness.  But you can stil give feedback via email and cross your fingers to see if your comment appears in a future blog.

I for one appreciate the attempts at transparency, and if done well could be a huge benefit for the public to find out exactly how the university works (or doesn’t work). But how much can a president learn within an hour of job shadowing, how much detail can he (or his assistant) have time to type up, and how much criticism would he be allowed in a public forum such as this?

Well, in any case, it’s a step in the right direction, and I will wait until the blog gets going before I get going on the blog.

1 Comment so far

  1. ssloansjca on August 28th, 2008 @ 2:03 pm

    I expect more from the president of a university claiming to power Silicon Valley.

    Steve Sloan

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