Ostrow departs for sabbatical Reply

Natalie Kfoury – Co-Editor-in-Chief

Jim Ostrow, Lasell’s Vice President for Academic Affairs, will be on an eight-month sabbatical for the Spring 2014 semester. Ostrow will be a Visiting Scholar for the New England Resource Center for Higher Education and the College of Education and Human Development at University of Massachusetts- Boston. He will be leading discussions with doctoral students on leadership in academic administration.

Ostrow’s sabbatical is slated to run from January 1 to August 31, 2014. When he returns to Lasell for the Fall 2014 semester, he plans on making a presentation to the Lasell community where he will summarize his sabbatical work, lead a discussion, and describe how the work he did will be relevant to the future of Lasell.

Ostrow, who has been the chief academic officer of Lasell for 13 years, has concentrated his work on developing and fulfilling the college’s Connected Learning philosophy. Much of his ideas he will be working on during his sabbatical have roots in Connected Learning. Through his sabbatical, Ostrow hopes that he will be able to bring back ideas to further refine and develop this philosophy.

“I believe, and I believe the president and the board agree, that it can be simply good publicity for Lasell to have someone in my position, who has carried that focus [of Connected Learning], researching and writing about fundamental issues in higher education,” said Ostrow.

As Ostrow will be absent from Lasell, Steve Bloom will be the Acting Vice President for Academic Affairs and Cathy Zeek will serve as Acting Dean of Undergraduate Education.

Bloom and Zeek will work on one of the college’s key initiatives, the development of the new Core Curriculum, which will begin in the Fall 2014. In addition, they will work on following up on the Wabash study results to better the school, new graduate programs and service learning trips, keeping partnerships, and eight or nine faculty searches.

“[Ostrow] and I have been working together…so it was a seamless transition,” said Bloom. “It’s cool, this doesn’t happen often that administrators get to go on sabbaticals, but it’s a good opportunity for him, for me, and for the institution. It’s a win-win overall.”

Ostrow says that while he will miss the faculty, staff, and students of Lasell, he is excited to start work on his sabbatical. “I am really looking forward to having the time to explore and write about things that have been on my mind for many years,” said Ostrow. “Bringing back all that I have learned, through research, through my explorations, will be very exciting.”

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