In connection with my recent post, "Other people's children," I am pleased to offer a full-length video of
This news, celebrated by the entire UofL community, warrants notice for reasons besides the natural (if rather venal) desire to curry favor with the boss. Business First chose our university's president as a business leader. Our university's own press release highlighted President Ramsey's leadership in hiring top researchers, boosting economic development, improving the university's academic profile, and beautifying the campus. Business First and the university named two specific projects: the Cardinal Covenant (which enables low-income students to attend college and to graduate free of debt) and the Signature Partnership (which commits the University to improving education, health, social welfare, and economic development in Louisville's West End).
President Ramsey's honor reminds all of us at the University of Louisville, and in higher education generally, of the fundamentally important relationship between education and business. Though our university is not operated for profit, it must be run as a business. And running our university as a successful business, as President Ramsey has done, enables us to contribute to the higher training, useful education, and economic well-being of the community we serve.
Holiday season approaches, and with it our cherished traditions return. One of my rituals will be watching, for the fifty-seventh time, It's a Wonderful Life.
I know what the detractors say. This movie is overplayed. It's "Capra-Corn," the prime instance of director Frank Capra's excessive sentimentality. Science fiction writer Connie Willis, in her story "Miracle," discards It's a Wonderful Life in favor of Miracle on 34th Street, which (unlike Wonderful Life) emphatically does not let an evil deed go unpunished. I don't care. It's my favorite Christmas movie, and I mean to watch it again.
One scene always has particular resonance for me. At his very nadir, George Bailey resorts to praying (something he admits to doing only rarely). A belligerent man seated nearby slugs George. Evidently, one Mr. Welch is upset with the way George has berated Mr. Welch's wife:
And the next time you talk to my wife like that you'll get worse. She cried for an hour. It isn't enough she slaves teaching your stupid kids how to read and write, and you have to bawl her out . . . .
Teaching other people's children to read and write. If we lay aside the premises of the argument between Mr. Welch and George Bailey — it isn't nice to trash people over the phone or, for that matter, to slug them in person — we'd see that this scene from It's a Wonderful Life defines an essential truth about education. Teachers at every level do their best, at often substantial personal sacrifice, to serve other people's children.
As an update on my earlier stories (November 2 and December 3) on the University of Louisville Legal Studies Research Paper Series, I am pleased to share Professor Virginia Smith's latest report on our Law School's performance on the Social Science Research Network (SSRN):
- We are currently ranked #43 among U.S. law schools.
- We have 20 authors who have uploaded a total of 159 papers.
- There are 5,557 subscribers to our research paper series.
Professor Tony Arnold has enjoyed great success on the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) with his paper, The Structure of the Land Use Regulatory System in the United States. Professor Arnold's paper recently ranked among the ten most frequently downloaded papers in SSRN's Law School Research Papers — Legal Studies Series.