UV Letters

Leapfrogging to the 4G University

May 22, 2015
As East Africa is the world's fastest growing market for higher education, I find myself there frequently. On one of my recent trips to Kampala, the capital of Uganda, I met with the founder and CEO of a start-up university. Having invested tens of millions of dollars to launch the new institution, he calls the university a "gift to his country" - albeit one that appears likely to add substantially to...
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Distance Traveled

May 8, 2015
Prior to University Ventures, I created Wellspring, which ran scientifically-based weight loss summer camps and boarding schools - the first of their kind, and pejoratively called "fat schools" by the media. Working with children and their families over 5+ years, we changed...
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Double Myopia

Apr 24, 2015
As we walk around our neighborhood, my youngest son (4 years old) invariably asks the same question. He points at an electrical line and asks: "Is that a zip line?" My eldest son laughs and tries to explain to his brother that it's an electrical...
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A Snowball's Chance in Hell

Apr 10, 2015
In college, my roommates and I inherited a GE fridge that was 30 years old and built like a Sherman tank; it seemed like it weighed as much as one - so says my muscle memory from room-storage-room moves each year. It was so cumbersome that when it came time to finally dispose of it, our...
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Take Off, Eh?

Mar 27, 2015
If there's one place you'd think it would be easy to buy beer, it would be the home of Bob and Doug McKenzie: Ontario, Canada's largest province. But having grown up in Ontario, I can assure you this is not the case. (So, American friends, add this to your list of misconceptions about...
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Al Alburquerque: The Importance of Admitting Mistakes

Mar 13, 2015
Mike Francesa, the "Mike" half of "Mike and the Mad Dog" of sports radio fame, is a man who prides himself on knowing everything about sports in New York, a media market where everybody thinks they know everything...
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That Voodoo that MOOCs Do

Feb 27, 2015
Young people often have a very different perspective. Consider that one of the most viewed, highest revenue producing channels on YouTube is DisneycollectorBR. DisneyCollectorBR posts videos of her hands (with colorful nail polish and bracelets) unboxing Disney toys and playing with...
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What Happens in Vegas (Doesn't Stay in Vegas)

Feb 13, 2015
"The intensity of gambling reinforced by the presence of the desert all around the town. The air-conditioned freshness of the gaming rooms, as against the radiant heat outside... Night of gambling sunlit on all...
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Grit U.

Jan 30, 2015
Recent literature on predictive factors for success has focused heavily on perseverance and resilience - both wrapped up in the term "grit," which could not be more in vogue. But I haven't had to read the literature; I learned about it in college, as a keen observer of the great bathroom war of...
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The Smartphone Challenge

Jan 16, 2015
For any medium, some messages are more appropriate than others. For example, a message that typically would be communicated in an office memo would look a bit out of place, say, on a birthday cake...
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