Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Big Changes at RSI for New Year

Who's Going to Win in Iowa. That was the biggest question asked at the New Year's Eve Party of the Morehead gliterati last night. My answer: I have no idea. Will it be snowing in Iowa on Thursday? How many first-time caucusers are going to show up? Who's got the real momentum. Hillary's still the strongest candidate on the Democratic side and I'm sticking with my Hillary endorsement. Hillary is very smart, energetic, and determined. She's been involved in policy-making at the highest levels. She's been through the white heat and come out stronger and she knows the lay of the land in Washington. I like Obama a lot, but I believe that Hillary will make a better president for the next four years. Edwards would be a disaster as as Democratic candidate and a disaster as president if he were lucky enough to win.

It's too close to call on the Republican side as well. It's safe to say that Mitt Romney has replaced Rudy Giuliani as the favorite to win the Republican nomination. Giuliani's "shag fund" for his mistress was the last straw. But Romney's only a slight favorite and the race is extremely volatile. If Romney wins in Iowa, it could boil down fairly quickly after New Hampshire to Romney vs McCain with Huckabee, Giuliani, and Thompson stalking as strong second tier candidates. If Romney loses in Iowa, it would be wide open but Romney would still be a slight favorite because of his strong support from the Republican establishment. In the final analysis, it's tough to see any of these guys landing a knockout punch. As a result, there's a real chance that the Republican battle could go to the convention.

Changes at RSI. This blog has a lot more readers at the end of 2007 than it did at the end of 2006. But I'm going to be making some changes. Because of Greg Goldey's death and the upcoming Morehead State University reorganization, I'm going to be much more heavily involved in university politics this year than last. I also want to refocus on my research. As a result, I'm going to try to write more on university politics and my research and less on national politics over the next year.

Mergers in the Air. Speaking of university politics, the upcoming university reorganization (or "academic audit) got off to a bad start when new governor Steve Beshear forced a 3% reduction in the university budget. Reorganization goes down a lot harder when the pie's shrinking. My home program--Government (I'm government "program coordinator")--is a likely candidate for merger or amalgamation. There's a chance that my whole department of Geography, Government, and History will be merged with the Sociology, Social Work, and Criminology Department to form a monster academic unit. But that's not something I particularly mind. It's even more likely that the GGH Government program will be merged with the IRAPP (Institute for Regional Analysis and Public Policy) Government program. That's more dicey because the IRAPP Government program is home to two or three right-wingers who are very paranoid about people like me. Perhaps they can read my blog to see how friendly I actually am toward the right.

Academic Writing. An article I wrote on delirium tremens in ante-bellum Philadelphia came out last fall in Pennsylvania History. I was also approved for a sabbatical beginning next fall. My big task for the spring is to revise one of my articles on Philadelphia popular culture so it can serve as a sample chapter for my book--"Displays of Degradation: Cultural Transformations in Philadelphia, 1785-1850." I got a little bit of a start on that while I was in Florida for Xmas.


Anonymous said...

Maybe you should consider branching out and adding to the RSI writing staff. I'm sure some of the civic minded students would be willing to blog a couple of times a week, and if you get say two or three then you would have a daily rotation of writing. That would allow you to broaden the focus of the blog instead of narrowing it.

Ric Caric said...

Thanks for the suggestion. Actually, I have made efforts to find other writers for the blog and two other people have contributed top posts. Unfortunately, it hasn't panned out on any kind of regular basis.

Having students write isn't a bad idea either. I have a number of students with writing ability, but I can see problems there as well.

If anybody has ideas on people who could write for this blog, I'd be interested in seeing them.

Anonymous said...

You would hate that, wouldn't you? Having to defend your drivel by those who have the intellectual capacity to call you on it.

John Hawkins said...

I have really enjoyed reading this blog over the fall semseter. I like the focus on national politics and then the mention of university politics as well.

As for the provosts academic audit and the govs 3% cut I wish they whould leave GGH alone. While I whouldnt mind seeing them maybe make the Department of history and goverment and then put geo over in earth space science ( ESS ) and geology .... becuse lets face it. The geo and geology classes are the same classes they barely differ.

A merger with IRAPP whould just suck becuse it whould have to be dictated by the rules of that IRAPP god please no.

Well thats my take on all that.