The Daily Madness

Friday, February 24. 2006

I initially thought the lectures would distract my attention from my rough start into the day, but somehow it doesn't work out. It even gets a little worse atm. Setting my alarm clock to 8:15am didn’t help me to reach the lecture on time: First I didn't get moving before 8:35am, I then had to wake Peter by phone (he had asked me to do this the evening before) and checked my computer for news. Realizing that my GF had a rough night, I at least had to send her a message. Then at 8:40am time already was limited. However, I managed to shower in 5 minutes and hurried for the university. So I arrived at the first lecture a few seconds late, and Prof. Ferstl hat already introduced the first candidate. Now unluckily the batteries in my PDA keyboard were somehow leaking and while typing my fingers are really sticky :-(. Anyway, the good thing is that after a start like this, it can only get better.
At least I will be able to register at the dean’s office for the assessment committee, where I will be the student representative, and I’ll finally visit Mrs. Henninges and sign my assistant contract (for which the work has already been done..).

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Universities - and momementi of their own

Tuesday, February 14. 2006

Today we can hear the end of a story in our newspapers, about a Dr, who wanted to become an ordinary Professor at the University of Münster. But his colleagues, who’s task it was to care about this, somehow didn’t like the idea and managed to block the process for some twenty five years. But somehow universities seem to be institutions with a lot of momentum… It’s too sad, to see that comparable arbitrariness has been exercised at your own university. I still remember a good friend of mine, who was really pissed on our ministry because he thought they would slow down the re-staffing of a professorship in his faculty. Since he has some connection to our government he decided to make some efforts to find out about the problems the ministry had about this re-staffing (according to our university administration the problem was at the ministry). Due to his good connections my friend than found out that the issue could not be put down to a problem the ministry, but at our own university administration! So our own administration had unnecessarily slowed down the process! Asking about the why, you might think that something like this can happen if people are a little clumsy, or in such turbulent times like right now, but can this explain a delay of a whole year? Or is there another reason… (We are currently researching some possible reasons.) I think it is quite sad, that in our academic circles problems like this can’t be addressed openly.

Some of the relevant persons obiously understood Prof. Eickels anectode at his inaugural lecture very well:

He was talking about voting processes in the medieval times. At a certain occasion the voting between the cardinals for a new pope took far too long. So the cardinals were put under a little pressure from outside. (As you know the cardinals do their votings and talks cut from the outside world). First their food got limited: From initially three to two meals, then to one meal, and at the end to water and bread. Since this didn’t help the decision process, it was decided that it was no longer be taken care about their excrements. And then even the soldiers guarding the voting were ordered to help a little and add their excrements (I don’t think that it is much fun, if someone puts real shit on your roof, when everything else is already quite unhygienic..)

After Professor Eickel finished this story and said that something similar could have been of use to accelerate the re-staffing of his position, some people felt obviously quite insulted and left the event...

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How much innovation can we take?

Sunday, February 5. 2006

So finally I will finish my article about the new university logo.. Somehow I didn’t find the sufficient time during last week.. Now I’m a little late, since the discussion is already calming down, and both Nils and Sabine have already covered that issue. But I want to articulate my thoughts, too ;-)

Last week a very interesting discussion about a new logo about our university has evolved. Last year our quite innovative press office initiated a competition to get proposals for a new logo for our university. In the end a very “odd” logo won this competition. Within only a few hours more than ten students posted their aversion against the new design. After this the manager of the press office Dr. Fröhlich, felt urged to make a statement about the decision process for the logo and stated, that their goal was to get a innovative logo which symbolizes creative progress. Therefore it may very well break with traditional concepts. If you take a close view onto the new logo and reading the underlying concept, everything sounds quite consistent. But regardless this concept in my opinion the logo design has the appearance of some early Corel Draw attempts of a graphics newbie. And this is obvious even for amateurs.
An immediate opposing view to Dr. Fröhlich’s “innovation” concept, states that people would be expecting something conservative. Especially in a situation, where the University of Bamberg is not part of the Bavarian elite “excellence sponsorship”, such a “rebellious” move might endanger the view on the quality standards, which are being expected.
We are facing a discrepancy here between the concept which our press office has developed for our university’s further presentation and the expectation of some (probably most of its students). At this point it has become clear that a big image campaign both internally and externally is needed to explain the new logo. I really appreciate the performance of our press office, but I have got the feeling that this explanation process has been underestimated. Although some of the discussion partners have become more compliant with the logo draft after listening to Dr. Fröhlich’s explanations a majority of people is highly opposed to the logo draft. I hope that she will catch up at this point and turn the mood.

Edit: And I got a strange feeling that the only way to turn the mood will be to overthrow the logo-draft...

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Workshop on Social Software

Friday, February 3. 2006

I'm currently occupied by a very promising workshop on "Social Software - Networking im Internet". I'll get you a detailed report later :-)

Edit 3:53pm: Jan puts me a little under pressure, since he already managed to get a decent article about this workshop online here. Somehow I feel like live-blogging is not my cup of tea.. But Martin Wilbers is doing a good job here. Florian Renz has also started to talk about the Workshop in his Weblog.

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Panel discussion on political magazines in German TV

Wednesday, February 1. 2006

Due to a lot of financial resource gained through a nude calendar, my student group is able to sponsor interesting lectures, talks and discussions at our university. One of them was held yesterday by the chair of communication science. Three renowned talkers had been invited to Bamberg, and were discussing whether half an hour of time would be sufficient to cover political issues in Germany (German readers might find a more detailed view of the discussion in Sabine’s Blog.) One addressed problem was that the audience of those magazines is quite old. In my opinion this is a problem which is a result of the used media channel. So the question that was raised for me is: Why do all those people thinking their TV-Format is the key to communicate with people in Germany? Since I don’t own a TV I definitely won’t be reached by their TV-magazines. Even if I had a TV, I think I would barely be able to watch the magazines, at the fixed time-slot, when they are broadcasted. Because of this I think they should try alternative ways to broadcast their material.
I would suggest that they should build up an online on-demand service, where you can chose the interesting reports, and download them directly. I think this is a great chance to reach a younger audience. I would be glad to spice up my daily lecture of SPON, with some video-reports. And I’m sure the number of (young?) people who are thinking that way is growing..
My official task at the discussion was to shoot some pictures for, and I also got a little 3gp coverage, to push multimedia blogging ;-)

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