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Letters

first_imgLettersOn 9 Sep 2003 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article This week’s lettersInvolving middle managers can raise the strategic gameCheer up HR. There is an obvious antidote for the depressive HR profession(Off Message, 6 July), which can add meaning, prove the worth of your existenceand add value to your organisation in business transformation. It’s called‘being more strategic’ and has proven highly effective for middle managers inHR – and for their counterparts elsewhere in the organisation. Traditionally, HR has targeted the middle management layer as an easy optionwhen downsizing. However, there is high risk in taking out a pool of talent andexperience that in reality could be leveraged for moving the organisationforward. Why should senior managers and executives be expected to come up withall the answers when they yearn for more information to be fed upwards to makebetter, higher quality strategic decisions? The wake-up call to the profession – and the key finding of PersonnelToday’s UK Line Managers Survey – is that line managers do not have thenecessary skills to drive their organisations forward. At Roffey Park, our ownManagement Agenda Survey 2003 echoes these results, highlighting that middlemanagers are not providing a clear direction to their team – and that this isholding organisations back from high performance. So how does HR look outward and be less operational, more strategic? Wewould suggest that middle managers in HR can help themselves and ultimately theorganisation by seizing more opportunities. External and internal scanning ispart of this, but they should also engage in the language of strategy andcommunicate in a way that ensures alignment to business goals. The language of strategy used in organisations can be confusing. Forexample, take the word ‘strategy’. Ask for a definition and several answerswill be forthcoming. This will be the same for ‘vision’, ‘goal’, ‘purpose’,‘objective’, and so on. HR can play a meaningful role by ensuring that thesedefinitions are discussed and agreed. A number of HR activities can be defined as strategic, such as successionplanning. However, middle managers should also be assessing and communicatingthe business implications of new information to senior managers. They should besearching for new opportunities and bringing these to the attention of seniormanagers, easing policies and procedures to get new projects started andmonitoring activities to ensure they support top-level management objectives. HR middle managers must understand the link between strategy and change.Their role should not just be to implement policy; they should understand theneed for change, help prepare for it, stimulate it and manage it. This hasimplications in terms of updating role descriptions, performance measurementand ultimately pay. However, it’s a real opportunity to add value and beinstrumental in achieving business goals. HR can take a lead role in encouraging its own middle managers to seek anenhanced role for themselves in addition to encouraging middle management intheir organisation. Yes, this will make it more challenging for HR to identifyin tough times where downsizing needs to occur. But it is far better to createa management force that will ultimately be able to get the organisation whereit needs to go. There are obviously strong business benefits in getting a wider group ofpeople thinking and acting strategically and able to contribute to thestrategic development of the organisation. By supporting the involvement of middlemanagers, HR can help organisations create a higher sense of purpose, improvethe quality of strategic decision-making and increase, through more ideas,strategic options. Middle managers themselves will be able to add further value to theorganisation and will have a greater sense of ownership of the resultingstrategy. So HR middle managers, take heart. Being more strategic could be your answerto looking outwards instead of inwards and thus finding more meaning in whatyou do. Claire McCartney, Researcher Linda Holbeche, Director of Research Roffey Park Editor’s reply: Look out next week for our continuing new series onHR Strategy, which offers our readers a unique chance to solve strategicdilemmas. Count to 10 to keep stress levels down For industry, the signing off of employees as sick can create a considerableburden, both financial and in terms of day-to-day production. And employees aretoo often being signed off with no consideration given to whether they are fitor not to do their jobs (news, 19 July). The system as it stands needs to be radically changed so that those doctorssigning people off sick are held more accountable for their actions. Onesolution could be that the hospital, practice or clinic foots the statutorysick pay bill for the duration that the person is ill, unless the illness isdirectly attributable to the ‘sick’ person’s work environment – ie, a workplaceaccident. We currently employ staff in a manual capacity that involves the repetitivestacking of product. The basic requirement is that they can count to 10. Whereis the stress in that? It would appear, however, that our local GPs feel that this is aparticularly stressful line of work judging by the sick notes received forstress, depression and so on. Stressed out personnel manager Details supplied Heal thyself: get an on-site physician I could not agree more with your front page article (News, 19 August). GPs should be held more accountable for their inability to diagnoseproblems. And it is not simply a question of signing someone back to work ornot. The reasons provided are at times insulting to the employer. For instance,diagnosis comments such as ‘sore knee’ or ‘bruised hand’ are surelyobservations more than anything else. But who are we to argue as their word ison its own unquestionable. Therefore, the only effective route is for companies to use either in-houseor contracted occupational physicians. But lets not tarnish all GPs with the same brush. It is a few, and theretends to be a pattern especially with localised surgeries and particular GPs. Jonathan Moffat HR manager, OCS Security Services High-stress culture is often embedded The reaction of the Institute of Directors (IoD) and the CBI to the healthand Safety Executive’s (HSE) landmark enforcement notice against West DorsetHospitals NHS Trust – requiring it to assess stress levels among its doctorsand nurses, and introduce a programme to reduce these or face prosecution if itfails – is at the best misguided and at the worst misleading (News, 19 August).Not all managers are as caring for their employees as the IoD and CBI wouldlike them to be, and there are organisations in which a stress-inducing workculture is as ‘institutionalised’ as racism or sexism were until similarlegislation was introduced to stop them. Some managers are even proud of thisfact, believing that unrealistic deadlines and work pressures are the best wayof getting their employees to perform. This is not the way forward for UK plc. To create an environment thatfosters old-fashioned tenets such as loyalty and commitment, employers andemployees need to work together for the overall benefit of the business. Thoseorganisations that fail in this regard should rightly face prosecution, as theHSE is proposing. The HSE’s actions have been interpreted in some quarters as supporting therights of employees against those of employers. Yet the fact is that bullied,overworked and mismanaged employees will not be as productive as those who workin an environment that encourages health, well-being and resilience. By forcingorganisations to take positive action to ensure this, the HSE is acting in thebest interests of employees and employers alike, and should be applauded fordoing so. Carole Spiers Business Stress Consultant, Carole Spiers Group Long hours do not cause extra stress The Government is suggesting longer holidays. The EU wants a shorter workingweek. The courts have ruled workers can sue for stress. These stories are saidto be symptomatic of an overworked Britain. In fact, the latest survey shows that 41 per cent of Britons are ‘verysatisfied’ at work, compared with only 25 per cent of the French, whose workingweek is capped at 35 hours. In our experience in the recruitment industry, long hours and responsibilitydon’t cause stress by themselves. When work is enjoyable and rewarding, hoursfly by. Problems occur when people are placed in the wrong positions. Afterall, one person’s stressful situation is another’s exciting challenge. We have a responsibility to help more people find fulfilling roles. Thatway, we will create a more prosperous economy and a happier country. Julia Fraser Managing director, Recruitment Solutions Group Top-level stagnation holds back UK plc I was not at all taken aback to see that research released this month foundthat just one in five senior managers throughout FTSE100 companies have atechnical background, whereas 90 per cent of chief executives are degreeeducated. At a time when boardroom diversity is under the spotlight, particularlyfollowing the publication of the Higgs Report, this survey highlights the greatextent of the skills divide at the top. And this should come as no surprise to HR practitioners, who for decadeshave been considered secondary to other disciplines when it comes to board promotion.While the situation has improved to a great extent in recent years, the valuethat a strategically focused HR practitioner can add to a business has yet tobe realised by many senior management teams. Given that technology and people form the backbone of almost everyorganisation, it does confound that such little emphasis is placed upon theirmanagement at the highest level. It appears shortsighted and stagnant thatBritish business has failed to transform the make-up of management inaccordance with changing business processes. Some may argue that technically-minded professionals and HR practitioners donot have the skills necessary to ascend to the board. However, while there is aneed for an understanding of the intricacies of the corporate world, of equalimportance is the sheer wealth of knowledge and ability to manage complexprocesses and issues that they bring. Certainly, I wouldn’t suggest that all management professionals besuperceded by IT and HR specialists, but in light of the present imbalancechange does need to occur. Balance sheets, profit and loss and financial reporting are essential to thecontinuation of a business, but equally important are the people that make ithappen. Ian Sharland Managing director, LogicaCMG Enterprise Services Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. last_img read more

Four major house builders under investigation for leasehold mis-selling

first_imgHome » News » Four major house builders under investigation for leasehold mis-selling previous nextRegulation & LawFour major house builders under investigation for leasehold mis-sellingFive months after saying it would look into the scandal, the CMA says the firms to be probed are Barratt Developments, Countryside Properties, Persimmon Homes and Taylor Wimpey.Nigel Lewis4th September 202001,630 Views Four of the UK’s best-known house builders are under investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) for potential breaches of consumer protection law in relation to leasehold homes.And estate agents selling new homes on behalf of these developers may have reason to worry; the CMA’s Chief Executive Andrea Coscelli has said that “everyone involved in selling leasehold homes should take note: if our investigation demonstrates that there has been mis-selling or unfair contract terms, these will not be tolerated.”The house builders involved are Barratt Developments, Countryside Properties, Persimmon Homes and Taylor Wimpey.Each of the developers are accused of four types of mis-selling activity in relation to leasehold homes as well as the use of unfair contract terms to charge leaseholders escalating ground rents.Mis-selling accusationsThe shocking mis-selling accusations include not explaining what ground rents are, telling buyers that properties are only available as leasehold when they were later sold as freehold, misleading buyers about the cost of converting leasehold to freehold at a later date and unfair ‘pressure sales’ tactics including short completion deadlines.CMA investigators will also look at unfair contract terms that force homeowners to pay exorbitantly escalating ground rents, making it hard to sell homes and often doubling every ten years, and look at how those linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI) are explained to home buyers.The CMA will also be investigating certain firms who bought freeholds from these developers and have continued to use the same unfair leasehold contract terms.Once the investigations are over, it will either seek legal commitments from the house builders to change their way or take them to court.“It is unacceptable for housing developers to mislead or take advantage of homebuyers. That’s why we’ve launched today’s enforcement action,” says Coscelli.Barratt is the only developer so far to respond the news, saying: “The Group is committed to putting its customers first and will continue to cooperate with the CMA whilst it completes its investigation.”Reaction“This was abusive corporate behaviour on a massive scale, and it is utterly shameful that professionals recommended by the plc house builders – solicitors and valuers – went along with it,” says Sebastian O’Kelly of the Leasehold Knowledge Partnership.Mark Hayward, Chief Executive, NAEA Propertymark: “It’s promising to see the CMA is taking enforcement action against four house builders on the grounds of mis-selling and unfair contract terms in relation to leasehold homes.“The NAEA Propertymark ‘Leasehold: A Life Sentence?’ report revealed three in five (62 per cent) leasehold property owners felt they were mis-sold and a further 93 per cent wouldn’t buy another leasehold property. This means that for too long house builders and developers have not been transparent enough about what it means to buy a leasehold property, leaving many in financial difficulty as they have become trapped in confusing contracts with their freeholder.”Read more about the leasehold mis-selling scandal.builder mis-selling Barratt Developments Countryside Properties Persimmon Homes CMA Competition and Markets Authority Taylor Wimpey September 4, 2020Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021last_img read more

Where’s the originality in student journalism?

first_imgby Peter BowdenAll student journalists must die; every single one, rounded up and shot in the face at point-blank range, for the good of humanity. I don’t exaggerate; we’d lose nothing. Hear me out.We are not in a golden age of student journalism. Whatever the opposite of gold is, that’s the age we’re in – the age of soil, or gonorrhoea, or festering cats.Originality is dead: this is an age in which it’s hard to find a non-news article starting with anything other than (1) a vapid rhetorical question, (2) “You probably think some baseless stereotype is true – well, THINK AGAIN!!!”, or (3) some needless recitation from the Big Book of Oxford Clichés, as though Pimm’s were offering ballgowns lined with crack for every reference.This is an age in which the whole stinking shebang is run by grey, insufferable sub-humans who the words “malaise” and “brainstorm”, and still think they’re going to change the world. Change the world, rather than – say – spend five years “in media” fetching lattés and spellchecking the sudoku, before getting their only break as a stand-in online Guardian columnist explaining how the new Lily Allen album really reminded them of the Palestine situation. Before dying alone. And poor. Probably.My first contact with the world of student journalism was in my first term here, at a meeting of the Features department of the Oxford Student. Going to this was, naturally, a bad idea on more levels than I can ever find words. We did start with “brainstorming”, which in itself was enough to make me want to gouge out the vocal chords of everyone in the known world, armed only with a biro, and grim, righteous determination. I held back.The format went as follows: one of them would give a broad, sweeping topic idea, unoriginal to anyone who’d as much as scanned the contents page of an in-flight magazine. Then they would end the sentence with the words, “maybe we could do a feature on that?”, and then there’d be nods, and that would be it. Idea. Conclusion. Repeat. Nothing else was ever needed.The first was “Abortion. Maybe we could do a feature on that?”, as though they just expected to splash some dead foetus pictures over a centre-spread, slap on a quick point-counterpoint, and call this an article. Next we had “houses”. “Prostitution”. Then, for some reason, “China”. Few of us had been bemoaning a recent lack of China-centric OxStu journalism, but still this got the nods.Here I abandoned all hope, and considered the use of the biro in self-lobotomy. In retrospect, this might not have helped: most likely they’d just have seen the blood gushing through my nostrils, then they’d wait, point, and say, “maybe we could do a feature on that?” They’d snap a few polaroids, and use me as a tragic example in a poignant piece on student self-harm. Clearly, I’d be a popular, handsome student, and their first sentence would probably be along the lines of: “You probably think life in the ‘dreaming spires’ is heaven for everyone. Well, THINK AGAIN!!” They’d call this a “scoop”. Death’s too good for them.There might be a case made for their existence, if only they didn’t insist on being taken quite so seriously. On the way into the meeting, we were told not to leak anything to Cherwell. This made me laugh on two levels. First of these was at the thought that they were half-expecting Cherwell spies to sit for an hour, make notes, and report back: “An article on China, you say? We must outmanoeuvre them! Get me a typewriter!”Secondly, more importantly, I laughed at the implication that anyone would truly care that much about student papers: they don’t. Contrary to their own delusions, Cherwell v OxStu isn’t actually World War VI with Fit College and pashminas. As battles of wit and guile go, it’s closer to Soggy Biscuit – an analogy which, coincidentally, works on a number of levels.If the infamous million typewriting monkeys could manage Hamlet, it’d take them half an hour to shit out an Oxford Student, before moaning at being overqualified, and applying for jobs in telesales. Kill all the student journalists – and now I’m here, I’ll be happy to start with myself.last_img read more

Oxford applications soar

first_imgOxford University received a record number of applications this year, with the majority of additional hopefuls applying from the state sector.The University received 17,085 applications, compared with 15,277 last year. The extra 1,808 included 1,110 more applicants from UK state schools than were received in 2008, with 399 more independent school and 299 more from other, mainly international, students.Of the UK students that applied, 63.6% of the total were from state schools and 36.4% from independent schools.Mike Nicholson, Director of Undergraduate Admissions at Oxford University was enthusiastic about the figures “This is great news. We have worked hard to ensure that all students with the potential to succeed at Oxford apply, regardless of their background. I believe we can now say that this work is beginning to bear fruit. We have had a 17% increase in state-educated applicants this year, which suggests that our efforts to challenge stereotypes and mythology about Oxford are having an impact.”Jonny Medland’s OUSU’s VP for access and academic affairs agreed, “It’s great to see such a large increase in applications to Oxford for the second year in a row. The work which the university, colleges and the Target Schools campaign do is invaluable in breaking down myths about Oxford and hopefully our hard work is now being reflected in the numbers. Our work now needs to continue – these figures show we can make a difference and how important it is that student-led access schemes continue to enjoy the enthusiasm and dedication of current undergraduates here in Oxford.”Nicholson added, “The increase in the number of highly qualified applicants does create challenges. But we are confident our rigorous selection process meets these challenges by using a range of measures to select the very best candidates from the very good.”Carys Roberts, JCR access officer at University college, commented, “This year’s applications show that access should still be at the top of the university’s agenda, as despite a 63.6% rate of applications from the maintained sector, acceptance rates fail to reach a similar level every year. Oxford should be doing more to improve the acceptance rate, but this does not necessarily have to amount to social engineering. Candidates from the independent sector are often at an advantage at interview because they are used to similar situations, know what to expect and have experience of demonstrating their argumentation abilities.”Daniel Webb, a student at Worcester College added that state school applicants might be deterred from applying due to stereotypical perceptions of Oxford. “Despite the application statistics, my personal experience in visiting state schools shows that certain myths which put them off Oxford still prevail. These myths seem to be self-perpetuating, partly through the media, and therefore I think Oxford will always have a social responsibility to dispel them. To this end, Worcester College regularly goes on school visits as well as regularly welcoming schools for tours with question and answer sessions; it also participates in the FE Access Initiative.”Joe Staines, Jesus JCR’s access and careers officer, argued that there was still more work to be done, “The University does a lot of good outreach, but could of course be doing more. The principal difference seems to stem from a greater expectation for Oxbridge applications at independent schools, so the impetus is really with state schools in that respect, and comes from a wider problem of insufficient provision for talented young people.”last_img read more

Mann Wins Award As Top DNR Law Enforcement Field Officer

first_imgIndiana Conservation Officer Tony Mann was presented with DNR Law Enforcement’s Pitzer Award at a statewide meeting on Aug. 17.The award is given annually to the top field officer in the state, as selected from 10 District Officer of the Year award winners.Since 1997, Mann has served in District 7, where he is assigned to Martin and Dubois counties. He began his career as a conservation officer in 1990, when he was assigned to Boone County.During summer 2017, Mann made 104 enforcement actions in an attempt to educate the public in boating. He logged more than 170 hours of boating-related activity for the year. He also completed the Indiana Department of Homeland Security’s search and rescue program at Camp Atterbury, earning certification as a search and rescue (SAR) technician.Mann also serves DNR Law Enforcement as a defensive tactics instructor, National Archery in School Program (NASP) instructor, and tree-stand accident investigator. Considered the division’s expert on tree-stand safety, he reviews and documents all tree-stand accidents and has done several public service announcements in the last few years on the topic. He does frequent personal appearances for the division regarding hunter and boater education.During his 26 years of service as an Indiana conservation officer, Mann previously had received recognition as District 7 Officer of the Year, District 7 Boating Officer of the Year, and the District Hunter Education Officer of the Year.The Pitzer Award is named for James D. Pitzer, who was killed in the line of duty on Jan. 1, 1961, in Jay County while investigating illegal hunting activity.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

SWIRCA & More Receives $30,000 Grant from the Glick FUND

first_imgFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailShare SWIRCA & More’s Nutrition Department recently received a $30,000 grant from the Glick Fund, a fund of the Central Indiana Community Foundation. This money will be used to serve hot, nutritious lunches to senior citizens and people with disabilities at the Carriage House Apartments here in Evansville.Annually, SWIRCA serves over a quarter of a million meals, 4,875 of which are served through the Carriage House Apartment meal site. The Nutrition Department’s funding was reduced by $175,000 last year and then another $9,000 in 2015. Because of these cuts, meals are only being served four days a week. For many of these people, this is the only meal they have each day. This grant received by the Glick Fund will cover the cost for the close to 5,000 meals over the next year.SWIRCA & More serves lunches throughout twenty two congregate meal sites and sixteen home delivered meal routes throughout Vanderburgh, Warrick, Posey, Perry, Pike and Gibson counties. Meals are served Monday- Thursday. Home delivered clients receive a frozen meal to be heated up and consumed on Friday. For many of the clients, this is the only meal they have each day. For more information on SWIRCA’s Nutrition Department, visit www.swirca.org/nutrition.SWIRCA & More is a not for profit organization fulfilling a mission of “Enhancing Opportunities for Independent Living.” SWIRCA & More focuses its efforts on empowering individuals of all ages to remain living safely in their own homes by providing information and supportive services to older adults, persons with disabilities, and their caregivers.last_img read more

NJ Transit meeting on Union Dry Dock site in Hoboken cancelled

first_imgHOBOKEN – According to a notice on the NJ Transit website a meeting of the board of directors scheduled for today has been cancelled.NJ Transit was scheduled to meet at 2 p.m. to vote on whether to purchase the former Union Dry Dock site now owned by NY Waterway on Hoboken’s northern waterfront. The city of Hoboken wants to acquire the property for public open space.If approved, the agency would’ve purchased the property and then leased it back to NY Waterway for their use as a ferry maintenance and repair facility. That action would have prevented Hoboken officials from seizing the property through eminent domain.The meeting was cancelled due to an agreement between Hoboken, Gov. Phil Murphy’s office, and NJ Transit, in which the parties agreed that if Hoboken withdrew eminent domain proceedings to acquire the land NJ Transit would not have its scheduled special meeting.The meeting was cancelled in order to facilitate negotiations between the stakeholders to work cooperatively towards a solution. ×last_img read more

Malloy’s reflection on Hesburgh

first_imgEditor’s note: University President Emeritus Fr. Edward “Monk” Malloy spoke during the Tuesday night wake service for University President Emeritus Fr. Theodore Hesburgh, who died Thursday. The following is his speech in its entirety.“Come, Holy Spirit.“A couple weeks ago Fr. Charlie Kohlerman, the superior of Holy Cross, our healthcare and retirement facility where Fr. Ted lived for a number of years, called me and a number of other of Ted’s close friends and said, ‘The end is near. If you want to have a last, final conversation with Ted, you’d better do it quickly.’“I knew that I would be traveling, and so I was a little worried about when was the best time. When Melanie came back, she said to Joan, my assistant, ‘He’s in the office. We never thought he’d come back here.’ So I thought I would visit him there, but then somebody came to visit me and I wasn’t able to catch him there. So I went over to the Holy Cross House. I went up to his room. The television was on, but there was nobody there. So one of the nurses said, ‘Follow me.’ So we went down to the first floor and out into this bubble, which was the approved place for smokers.“Now, you have to know that this is not enclosed as far as walls. And so there was a gigantic heater and Ted was wearing a hat and three layers of clothes and blankets on his feet. And he had a stogie in his mouth and he was puffing away, but it wasn’t lit. And I didn’t know if I should tell him or not. A little later, another resident of Holy Cross came by and he wanted to smoke a cigarette. He, too, was close to 90, so who am I to give him a word of reproach? He said, ‘Now don’t worry about me; I can’t hear anything.’ So he just watched us the whole time. About halfway through our conversation, which was very personal, I thought, well, maybe I should tell Ted that his cigar was not lit. So this guy said, “Well, I have a lighter.” The guy would light the thing, Ted would lean over and the wind from the heater would blow it out every time. Finally Ted was satisfied and went puffing away.“I said, ‘Ted, what have you been thinking about?’ He said, ‘Eternity.’ He said, ‘The phrase that keeps coming into my mind: no eye has seen nor ear heard what God has in store for those who love Him.’ I was blown away, of course. And I recognized at that point that he knew that he was going to die soon and that he was full of utter gratefulness for his life and all of the gifts that he had enjoyed along the way.“I said, ‘Let’s talk about people.’ And we started with Ned Joyce, who he often described as his best friend in his whole life. For 35 years, they were colleagues and friends and companions, Ted as president, Ned Joyce as executive vice president. You couldn’t have found two people that personality-wise were more different. Their politics, their ecclesiology — all different.“But Ted was proud when he said, ‘We never had a fight.’ I think that was influenced by the fact that Ted had the last word. But those of you who have had a chance to read the wonderful book ‘Travels with Ted and Ned’ — I always wonder what the book would have included if it had been ‘Travels with Ned and Ted.’ Well, we’ll never know.“He talked about Helen Hosinski, his secretary-assistant, whose gnarled hands didn’t prevent her for years from getting everything done, taking dictation, making sure she could prevent the wrong people from getting access, organizing his schedule and otherwise making his life easier. Ted used to say, ‘We’re just figureheads. It’s the women of Notre Dame like Helen who really run the place.’ That, of course, is very true.“We talked about Ed Stephan, who became the first chair of the Board of Trustees in its modern version, who wrote the constitutions and the by-laws of the University in the transition from Holy Cross ownership to a shared responsibility of the Fellows and the Board of Trustees. … Notre Dame would never have been as successful if this dramatic transformation had not taken place. The skill, the enthusiasm, the generosity of so many trustees through the years has been transformative for Notre Dame.“And a lot of that goes back to Ted’s doctoral dissertation in Catholic University on the role of the laity in the modern church. Ted was always open to new ideas, new perspectives, including new structures.“Ted was very thankful for the wonderful care he received at Holy Cross House. From the doctors and the nurses to his companions there, other Holy Cross religious. Shortly before he died, around lunchtime, they anointed him and he was able to say words of thanksgiving to the whole community assembled there. What a gift they were to him.“Melanie Chapleau. How can we describe what Melanie was to Ted? She ordered his life, she was able to make sure that he was attended to as he went through the decline to his health. She became a weightlifter when he had to get in and out of wheelchairs and in and out of cars and all those sorts of things. She represents all the best of what the staff are like at Notre Dame.“Marty Ogren and the drivers who took him everywhere; the police security department, who were always on call, in a sense, when he had to go from point A to point B. They were generous, and he would always give them a blessing at the end, no matter what their religious heritage. Ted was appreciative at the end of his life of all those who had been so generous to him along the way.“If you’ve read the obituaries, you know that his autobiography starts rather simply: upstate New York, a loving, Catholic family, thinks he wants to be a priest in grade school — too young. In high school he sees the group of Holy Cross religious giving a mission in his parish. He says, ‘That’s the group I want to belong to.’ He’s accepted, goes through formation, and the next thing you know, he’s studying in Rome at the Gregorian. And, fortuitously, it helped him become a linguist, which in so many of the things he did later was a great asset.“But then, before World War II breaks out, he was able to get back to the States, gets ordained and goes and does his doctorate at Catholic University. He comes back. We all know the stories about wanting to be a Navy chaplain. He comes back; he gets assigned to be the rector of Farley Hall, to be the chaplain for Vetville for all those returning veterans and their spouses or about-to-be-spouses and children. He loved it. It allowed him to be a pastor in the full sense of the term.“Then he gets appointed the head of the theology department, writes textbooks and then, he made that quick jump and became executive vice president. Because of the canon law requirements of the day, when Fr. John Cavanaugh, who was both president and superior, had to step down, Ted became his successor. He talks about, it was just kind of obedience: you go to the chapel, they give you your obedience, somebody gave you the keys and that was it. Notre Dame didn’t have a budget in those days. He didn’t even know how to turn the lights on.“But what a transformative effect he had right from the beginning. His aspirations were high, but the resources were low, and so one of the things inevitably, he had to be a proclaimer of what Notre Dame could be. The Ford Foundation had seed grants that became pivotal for Notre Dame and through the years we began to accumulate the capital necessary to become a great university.“Once Ted asked me and a group of people, on the basis of an experience working with nuclear disarmament and peace issues, if we would form a little committee to think about how we would form an institute for peace studies. We thought, like most academics, things would last about a year. We had one meeting. Ted was invited to give a talk in San Diego about his dream of a peace institute.“After it was over, a woman came up he had never met before and she said, ‘How much would it cost?’ He said, ‘Who are you?’ She said, ‘I don’t know, but I can find out for you.’ So she gave him her card. ‘Joan Kroc,’ it said, as he found out soon, the inheritor of the McDonald’s fortune. We came back — we had five meetings in five days. We sent her prospectives. He said, ‘It’s going to take 6 or 7 million dollars. We’ll be happy to come out and meet with you.’ She said, ‘That won’t be necessary. I’ll send it to you in the overnight mail.’ He went, “What?’“And then, between the time she sent it and when we were ready to cash it in, it accrued by $100,000. So we offered to send the $100,000 back, and she said, ‘Because you’ve been so honest, you can keep it.’ And that was the beginning of an extraordinary relationship with someone who’s not Catholic, who’s not very active in church life but wanted to be a generous person in every possible way.“One of Ted’s things — if he had to choose where to die, would have been, I think, to be celebrating Mass in the chapel at Land O’ Lakes. He loved to go there at the end of the academic year to fish, to read, to be himself in nature, in this aquatic research facility that was facilitated by the Hank family and so many others. He was at home there. When I was having my last meeting with him, I said, ‘Did you ever hear the rumor that when you were out fishing, when you couldn’t see anymore, that somebody in a wetsuit would go down below the boat and hook the fish on the line?’ He said, ‘No, that couldn’t possibly be true.’“One of the most extraordinary things about Ted Hesburgh was his interest in civil and human rights. When he was appointed to the Civil Rights Commission by President Eisenhower and made the head of the group by President Nixon, he … did not have much personal experience in dealing with this issue, this great scourge on American life. But he was a quick learner, and someone who believed deeply about civil and human rights in every possible fashion.“And so one of the most iconic pictures of him that many of us have seen is holding hands, or locking arms, with Martin Luther King, Jr. and several others up at Soldier Field in Chicago, singing ‘We Shall Overcome.’ He went from somebody without much experience in this important issue in our common life to someone who was responsible, in a sense, for the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Hard to explain it, but many times he played a providential kind of role in the events of our time.“Ted was a polymath, a quick learner. He wasn’t so much a specialist at any one thing, but he learned about science because it was important. He learned about civil rights because how else would he effectively play that role? And he learned one time, he decided, enough about Islam, so he rented passage on an oiler, got a bunch of books and simply spent the whole time reading about Islam and celebrating Mass with the people on the crew. That was the kind of person that Ted Hesburgh was. Find the issue, get invited by presidents and popes and try to make a difference.“He had a great friendship with Pope Paul VI, and Pope Paul and he would gather periodically and exchange gifts close to their own hearts. And eventually, Pope Paul asked him to found an ecumenical institute in the Holy Land. Originally, it was in Jordan. Now, it’s sitting in Jerusalem looking into Bethlehem. It was one of the places that was closest to Ted’s heart, and his goal in life was to see the antagonists in the Holy Land gather for however long it took at Tantur and come up with a peace plan that would bring final and lasting peace to the region. That’s a wonderful dream, even to this day.“Ted was a daredevil. He liked challenges. Once I was with him at Jericho, reportedly the oldest city in the world, and it was about 108 in the shade. And Ted was about 82. I said, ‘We can just look at it, Ted.’ He said, ‘Oh no, we’re going to the top.’ We went up there, both of us sweating but not holding back from taking the risk and experiencing the fullness of that particular place.“He celebrated Mass in a submarine between California and Hawaii and on aircraft carriers. He went to the Antarctic, and then he flew in a supersonic transport, which was one of the most important items in his office area. But his great dream in life was to be the first priest to celebrate Mass in outer space as an astronaut. He and Walter Cronkite were lined up, but then the tragedy of the Challenger disaster happened, and he was never able to fulfill that dream.“Ted was in 100 countries, I think. One time, I was able to go to Tibet, and he said, ‘I’m so envious of you. I’ve only been to Nepal and Afghanistan and China and India and — but I’ve never been to Tibet.’ I said, ‘Too bad, Ted.’“One of Ted’s great lines: ‘A Catholic university is the place where the Church does its thinking.’ He really meant it. Upholding the motives of the Church, but wanting us to be a full-fledged Catholic university, in every sense of the term, to appropriately acknowledged faculty prerogatives, to establish institutes and centers that were close to our Catholic mission and identity, to celebrate the achievements of the members of the Congregation of Holy Cross.“I used to have lunch with Ted every couple of weeks, sometimes with Tim O’Mara, a former provost, Bill Sexton and others from the University administration. I used to say to people, ‘If you want to know what we talk about, I’d have to kill you.’ But we had great conversations and one of the thing we talked about frequently was our great admiration and regard for Fr. John Jenkins, our contemporary president. How happy we were that someone of such great talent and enthusiasm and holiness was serving in succession to us. For me, one of the iconic moments in my time at Notre Dame was when the two of us put our hands on John’s shoulders at his inauguration and said a prayer of blessing. What a privilege that was, as we passed the mantle on.“Finally, Ted was a man of prayer. He celebrated Mass every day, except for one or two times when it was impossible. He carried a black bag everywhere he went which had all the elements that are necessary to celebrate mass. He would invite Russian politicos and scientists to come to mass. He would invite people who were of other religious faiths. He would invite atheists, or whoever, and generally they always said yes, and they went away fully embracing a kind of sense of God’s presence in their life.“He was the first priest to celebrate Mass at Lambeth Palace, which is the headquarters of the Archbishop of Canterbury, at that time George Carey. The first Mass there from the time of the Reformation, right there where Thomas Camden wrote the Book of Common Prayer, and a little bit away from where Thomas Moore was tried and hung. What a dramatic moment that was for both of us.“One time, on one of his birthdays, we celebrated Mass right along the Sea of Galilee in a motel in a room with a Christian-Arab driver. And all I could think of, here was Ted, right next to where Jesus would have been doing the same thing in his ministry. He celebrated the holy office; he prayed the rosary; he visited the Grotto. He tried to be a pastor to anyone who came into his presence. When he lost his eyesight, he had the blessing that he could then invite people, undergraduate students particularly, to come and read for him, and they had the concrete experience of the person in the flesh, so to speak.“When I left him on that last meeting, I asked him to bless me, which he did graciously. Now I want to say on behalf of all of us, Fr. Ted Hesburgh, C.S.C., you have been a great and holy priest. You have been our pastor here at Notre Dame, as you have for the country and the world. Now, go to God, and may you rest in peace.”Tags: Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Fr. Hesburgh, Monk Malloy, Ted Hesburghlast_img read more

University hosts breakfast series for nonprofit workers

first_imgFor the fourth year in a row, the University’s Office of Public Affairs and Nonprofit Executive Programs in the Mendoza College of Business are giving back to the local community in the form of a breakfast series for nonprofit workers. According to Marc Hardy, director of Nonprofit Executive Programs, the breakfast series is a way to provide the local nonprofit community with expert education on different parts of the nonprofit sector in a way that is sensitive to the busy lifestyle of the nonprofit worker. This year’s theme focuses on human resource tips for nonprofits.The series has four parts, one each month from January through April, each lasting 90 minutes, Hardy said. Each attendee must pay $100 to attend the whole series, which includes a hot breakfast each of the mornings. Hardy said the goal for the University is not to make money but to give back to the community.“It’s really kind of a public service. Most of the people that come are going to be local. If they’re alumni, they’re probably going to be local,” Hardy said. “It’s Notre Dame’s giveback. … It’s basically, for us, a break even. Sometimes we lose a little money, [but] it’s not something we try to make money on.”While the series is directed at a local audience, Hardy said it is open to anyone who wants to know more about the subjects being discussed. Undergraduate students can benefit from this series as well, especially if they are interested in the nonprofit sector, he said.Each part of the series is taught by a different expert in the field, Hardy said, with the goal that the presenters would be from Notre Dame, if possible. According to information on Notre Dame’s news website, Matt Bloom, associate management professor and principal investigator for the University’s Wellbeing at Work research program, will present Jan. 26, and Barbara Fick, associate professor of law, will present Feb. 23. Eric Love, director of staff diversity and inclusion, will present March 22, and Jill Bodensteiner, senior associate athletics director, will present April 26. The speakers will discuss topics including the benefits of diversity, multicultural competencies, worker wages, employee protections and leadership in the workplace.“The sessions will be held in Jordan Auditorium in the Mendoza College of Business beginning with breakfast from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. and presentations from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. A question-and-answer session between participants and presenters is conducted during each session. Registration is available online at community.nd.edu,” the website stated.Hardy said this nonprofit breakfast series is important because it is unique.“Nobody else is doing it. The only executive education for nonprofits that is being done in this area is being done by us,” Hardy said. “So, unless you’re in one of those programs, you probably don’t have this education open to you. And even if it was open to you, the cost [is] usually pretty high … or the time commitment [is] too much. So here you have very low cost … and you have a very doable schedule, and you have top experts in their areas.”Tags: mendoza college of business, Nonprofit Breakfast Series, Nonprofit Executive Programs, Office of Public Affairslast_img read more

Odds & Ends: Idina Menzel to Let It Roll at the White House & More

first_img Star Files Here’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today. Idina Menzel Will Sing at the White HouseTony winner and Frozen queen Idina Menzel is about to get presidential. No, not in Hamilton. The Broadway.com Audience Choice Award winner is set to perform at the White House’s 2016 Easter Egg Roll on March 28. Menzel will also sing the national anthem at the Easter event, because the White House is the only way you can possibly top the Super Bowl. Sing it with us now: “Let it roll, let it rolllll…”Kinky Boots Gets a New Cast RecordingHaving been nominated for seven Olivier Awards earlier this week, the West End production of Kinky Boots will soon release a live cast recording. The album will drop on April 1 and is available for pre-order beginning March 11. The Tony-winning musical’s London engagement stars Killian Donnelly, Matt Henry and Amy Lennox.Audra McDonald to Be Honored by New DramatistsSix-time Tony winner Audra McDonald will receive the New Dramatists’ 2016 Distinguised Achievement Award at its 67th annual spring luncheon. The event is set for May 12 at the New York Marriott Marquis. Before then, you can catch McDonald in her newest Broadway show, Shuffle Along, Or, The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed, beginning March 15 at the Music Box Theatre.Jonathan Larson Grant Recipients AnnouncedThe American Theatre Wing has named four emerging composers, lyricists and book writers as 2016 Jonathan Larson Grant recipients. This year’s honorees are César Alvarez, Nikko Benson, Carson Kreitzer and Sam Salmond. Each will receive a $10,000 grant to continue creating new work. Past recipients include Pulitzer-winning Next to Normal team Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey, Dear Evan Hansen composers Benj Pasek and Justin Paul and Old Hats’ Shaina Taub.Seyfried and Sadoski: A Pair On Stage & Off Who doesn’t love an off-Broadway showmance? Amanda Seyfried and Thomas Sadoski, who co-starred in The Way We Get By at Second Stage last year, are now dating, according to Us Weekly. The two recently concluded shooting the upcoming film The Last Word together. View Comments Idina Menzel Idina Menzel(Photo: Bruce Glikas)last_img read more