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Get your idea out there

Participated in a workshop offered by our Director of Faculty Development at Georgia Tech, Dr. Rebecca Pope-Ruark, on publishing for higher education audiences, specifically for the Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed, and Times Higher Education (the latter recently acquired IHE). Engaged audience with good questions and comments, and the usual and typical enthusiasm and entrepreneurial attitude towards amplifying the institute and our programs to broader audiences. Questions of selecting topics, pitching the topic, defining a piece for a specificic (often mixed) audience came up. We also discussed being mindful of knowing some of the risks about addressing controversial topics in one's articles (are any topics still non-controversial these days?) and how to collaborate with college and university communications teams about such questions.

Remember what the ethics blogger for the NYT ("Can we talk about Religion, please?") once wrote: The passionate intensity unleashed by religious matters is evinced in responses to The Ethicist, my other column for The Times Magazine. When I take up a secular question that provokes broad disagreement, I typically receive a few hundred responses by e-mail that begin: “Dear Sir, I am appalled…” When I write about religion, I cause a tidal wave. The week I rebuked an Orthodox Jewish real estate agent whose beliefs forbade his shaking the hand of a female client, I stopped counting after receiving 4,000 ferocious messages, lambasting not only my argument but my character, my appearance and my parentage: it was speculated that dogs played a part.

Oh, and another reminder: A sizeable percentage of the US NEWS rankings of academic institutions depends on its reputation score. And if the academic leaders tapped with ranking institutions have never heard about you, you won't get ranked highly. Just saying. Get your idea out there.


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