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Farm land in the city

Spent time this afternoon at the College of Veterinary Medicine and was struck by the view of the city’s skyline from campus.  It’s not often when you can have a major research and teaching facility literally next door to downtown.  I’m sure pet owners in the area know how fortunate they are (we are) to have the college so close by, but I wonder just how much others in the community know about the research and discovery thaking place on campus.

Last week had a similar experience at the College of Textiles.  Biggest in the nation, I suspect, and the best.  Right next door to downtown Raleigh.  The list goes on because NC State is so close to the city.

At UF, the university is the city…well, almost.  The population of Alachua County where UF is located is about 180,000.  UF has more than 50,000 students.  And Santa Fe College is just up the freeway with another 15,000 or so.  And when you add faculty and staff to the list; well, you get the picture.  Easy to see why people call Gainesville a college town.

Even though it’s larger by magnitudes — not to mention being the seat of government in the state — Raleigh still has a lot of that college town feel.  With two great public universities, a top private university and a number of other private universities and colleges within miles of each other, you can’t miss that hometown support.  Obviously, lots of differences too, but we’ll save that for a later date.

Wednesday will be talking about State COMM and the strategic communications planning process.  I’m looking forward to having the entire group of communicators together for the first time since I’ve been here.  I think I’ll start by talking a little about my thoughts regarding the future of communications in higher education.  Hit some of the strategic issues as well as the tactical considerations we all have to deal with.  Then get into some more detail about State COMM and strategic planning.

And I realized today that my Wisconsin winter coat is too much for Raleigh and my  Gainesville winter coat is too little.  Need to find the middle ground soon, although the weather guy says it’s going to warm up this week.  But, if it can get this cold this early, I bet it can get quite a bit colder as we move into the season.  And I’ll admit it up front, I love the change in weather, but I’m a wimp.  I do not like the cold.  So, I dress (many would say overdress) for it.

That Mount Everest event at Textiles a few weeks back (Climb Mount Everest today at NC State from 9-23-09) got me thinking about cold weather gear and how far we’ve come, thanks in large part to some of the kind of work done at the college.  Used to be you looked like the Michelin Man when it got cold (if you wanted to stay warm.)  Now the guys climbing Mount Everest look like they are wearing a windbreaker and long underwear.  Need to ge me some of that stuff.

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1 comment

1 John Taylor { 10.20.09 at 6:33 am }

An Inspector Clusaeu trench-coat is all you need my friend. Well, we did have 21 inches of the white stuff earlier this decade . . .

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