H1N1 presents a real risk to college campuses this fall and developing an effective emergency response plan is critical to effectively handling an outbreak. During my tenure at American University, I oversaw emergency preparedness planning for the SARS pandemic, the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the Pentagon, Anthrax exposure, the D.C. Sniper, and the discovery of U.S. military toxic weapons on campus.

Based on my past experience, I had the opportunity to share a few pointers for colleges on handling H1N1 with The Greenville News:

Upstate colleges see few swine flu cases
Prevention takes center state as some Southern schools report spike in disease
Liv Osby
Greenville News
September 14, 2009

Swine flu has been sweeping through the nation’s college campuses in recent weeks with a spike in the Southeast, but most Upstate colleges are reporting just a handful of cases — at least so far.

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The State featured my op-ed today on the current struggles in the Episcopal Church. This topic is of particular interest since the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina has spoken out against the direction of the national church.

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Words are the upsurge of silence. Indeed, all human expression is in a peculiar but definite way attended and upheld by silence, which both precedes and follows expression.

We are so used to trafficking in words that we rarely pause to pay attention to silence itself. The overwhelming technical advances in speed, amplification, and access that are enhanced by our control and manipulation of words and images only increase our infatuation and addiction. No doubt this is both unavoidable and fulfilling since we find ourselves in expression.

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I had the pleasure of speaking with Dan Holly who writes the Raleigh City Buzz Examiner about the impact the economic recession has had on our cultural values. Will real reform stick around? Read Dan’s article below and share your thoughts:

Among recession’s benefits: less pretentiousness, more humility

I had the opportunity to share my thoughts with CNN.com’s Blogger Bunch on the release of the two U.S. journalists in North Korea.

CNN.com Interview on North Korea

Click on the image to watch.

I recently blogged about UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s annoucement that he is willing to visit North Korea in an attempt to ease tensions on TPMCafe. You can read my thoughts here.

I had the opportunity to speak with the Associated Press this afternoon about the diplomatic significance of former President Clinton’s visit to North Korea and its broader implications for U.S.-North Korea relations.

I spoke with Christian Science Monitor reporter, Howard LaFranchi, today about why former President Clinton was best suited to secure the release of the two journalists in North Korea. For North Korea, his visit signaled a broader symbolic gesture that could influence future relations between North Korea and the United States.

You can read the full story on the paper’s site at: http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/0805/p02s04-usfp.html

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Ladner: The Sanford saga — enough!


Guest Columnist, The State

July 2, 2009

Governor Mark Sanford’s life and career are in a terrible tangle, and the harder he tugs on this or that thread, the more tangled they become. Some wonder whether the threads this former national GOP leader, touted as presidential material, are pulling are also unraveling the Republican Party itself.

In another time and place — say, Medieval Rome — an explanation of what happened to Sanford and what it means might have been easier: He sinned, or the devil made him do it, or his soul is being fought over by God and Satan, and he’s suffering the curse of the damned.

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About Benjamin Ladner!

September 1, 2008

Dr. Benjamin Ladner’s formal educational career began at Baylor University (B.A.), followed by Southern Seminary (B.D.), and finally his Ph.D. at Duke University. His dissertation explored the poetic and epistemological works of Elizabeth Sewell against the background of contemporary culture.

From that strong academic foundation, Ladner went on to fashion a distinguished national and international career. From early beginnings as a young assistant professor teaching philosophy and religion at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, to his leadership of the National Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Sciences, a prestigious non-profit academic organization founded by Phi Beta Kappa, the American Council on Education, and other leading academic societies. The NF worked in every state and at every educational level to improve teaching and academic quality.

His outstanding academic, management, and fundraising experience caught the attention of American University in Washington, DC, where he became president in 1994.  Dr. Ladner took hold of an institution in crisis and moved it during his tenure (1994-2005) to a place of preeminence in global education. From reorganizing the administration to setting fundraising records, from stabilizing finances to strategic planning, from improving academic quality and diversity, to boosting enrollments, Ladner’s vision and energetic refashioning of the image and quality of the university was recognized in every area of the institution.

Dr. Ladner’s commitment to international education was especially noteworthy. Under his leadership the number of students studying abroad doubled, programs and partnerships with foreign universities multiplied, and he negotiated contracts to create and manage two new American-style universities in the United Arab Emirates and Nigeria. Additionally, he undertook a program of “academic diplomacy,” which built bridges of understanding and cooperation in such difficult areas as North Korea, China, Cuba, Uzbekistan, and Iraq, to name a few.

Universities in two countries, South Korea and Uzbekistan, have recognized his work with honorary degrees.