Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Blogging at Troy University

As regular readers know, I have a general policy against blogging about Troy University -- even positive things, since I don't want people to take my silence when there is a dearth of news as some sort of condemnation. I have occasionally violated my own policy, such as when I directed local readers to Hurricane Katrina relief service opportunities, and when I discussed the death of one of our students, but for the most part I am pretty good about the policy. Occasionally I'll write "I had a student once who..." or "I had a colleague once who..." but I try not to identify if said student or colleague was here at Troy or at one of my previous schools.

The way I figure it, as long as Troy is signing my paychecks, I ought not be using my blog to trash the school ... nor, frankly, would I be trashing it if I ever left. Neither will I use my blog as a running infomercial about the school. I figure if people think my blog is relatively smart and interesting, they'll assume that Troy is a place of relatively smart and interesting people. If, on the other hand, they think my blog is the crayon-scrawled natterings of a madman ... well, you get the drift.

BUT I recently received the following e-mail (partially censored to protect the innocent), and I thought it might be OK to share it with you all:

Dr. Nokes,
Hello! My name is [So-and-So], and I am a student worker for University
Relations. Currently, I am writing a story for TROY Today on the topic of
blogging. I spoke with Dr. Steven Taylor earlier this week, and he said
that you blog, as well. If possible, I would like to set up a time to
speak with you either in person or by telephone to better understand your
thoughts about blogging. I hope to hear from you soon!

TROY Today isn't the student newspaper; it is the public relations organ of the University. So, if I'm reading the subtext here correctly, far from trying to distance itself from its blogs, the University is trying to promote the blogging of its professors. Given all the anxiety around the academic blog-o-sphere about potential Ivan Tribble attitudes toward blogging, I thought it might be a relief to hear about this e-mail.

Depending on what she asks about, I'll probably pontificate with my usual shtick about how all professors need to strive to be public intellectuals, about how the blog is another outlet for that responsibility, etc. They usually post an electronic version of the TROY Today on the university website, so I'll probably include a link here when it comes out.


  1. Anonymous4:18 AM

    But it could be a trap......!

  2. When you talk to her, let her know that I accidentally listed your url as the same as Glenn's (poor cutting and pasting on my part).