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Special courts for veterans? No thanks.

04/12/2010

It’s simple arithmetic:  more and more veterans are showing signs of post-traumatic stress disorder(PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI), as more and more soldiers are coming home from war.  This adds up to tragedy.  More veterans are getting into trouble after they return home, and many of them are in the nation’s prison system. 

A recent study suggested that six percent of new inmates in the Texas prison system are recently returning veterans, and now that state is trying a new approach to address the problem:  special courts for veterans. 

Modeled on “drug courts” that offer drug users social services and mental health treatment instead of jail time, the veterans courts – which are either operating or ramping up in six Texas counties – would try to identify veterans whose crimes can be traced to combat stress or the attempt to cope with it, and offer them social and mental health services and treatment for addictions instead of jail time.

Saybrook psychologists who have worked frequently with soldiers say they appreciate what Texas is trying to do, but are skeptical about the idea. 

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"Net Neutrality" is the future of democracy

04/12/2010

The internet might rightly be called the greatest medium of free expression in human history – but just how free is the internet?

This month a federal court ruled that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) can block or slow internet content they don’t like … or charge popular sites to be accessed. 

In other words, the company that provides your internet can also decide what you see on it.

The ruling has caused an uproar, with everyone from government regulators to high-tech companies trying to decide what to do next.  Many of them argue that the principle of “net neutrality” – the idea that every site on the internet should be treated equally by ISPs – is essential to preserving the potential for the internet as a free exchange of ideas. 

For Joel Federman, a member of Saybrook’s Human Science faculty who heads its interdisciplinary concentration in Social Transformation, this discussion couldn’t be more crucial.  The future of democracy – which depends on access to information – is at stake. 

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Will "results only" rules for federal workers deliver good results?

04/12/2010

It’s one small step for 400 people – but could turn into a huge change for the federal government.

The United States Office of Personnel Management has announced that it will implement a pilot “results only” work program for 400 federal employees – allowing them to work wherever, whenever, and however they want, and evaluating them only by the results they produce.

If successful, it could lead to widespread changes, and greater flexibility, for government employees at every level.

Saybrook scholars who work with governments say they are impressed – but that programs like this aren’t always easy to get right.

“The devil is in the details, as they say,” says Gary Metcalf, an Organizational Systems faculty member who teaches at the Federal Executive Institute of the U.S. government.  “How it actually works will depend a great deal on the targets they set, and how they get measured.  Some people will do better with it than others.  Also, it takes more discipline to run your own schedule, and some people don’t do that well.”

Still, he’s excited by the prospect.  “Conceptually it sounds like a huge step forward – well beyond what many corporations are ready for yet.  If the expected amount of work for each person remains relatively the same, though, and employees feel like outcomes are evaluated fairly, I think the end result could be really positive.”

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Network with us

04/12/2010

Saybrook is expanding its social media presence to build our community and attract new communities.

Need to know what’s happening at Saybrook – and to connect with students, faculty, and alumni? Check out, join, and invite others to join our social networking sites.

Saybrook has an active presence on:

• Twitter, where job postings, faculty news, and links of interest to our community can be found;
• Facebook, where members of our community connect with one another professionally and personally;
• LinkedIn, where our social networks combine to create more career opportunity.

Signing up is easy – and keeps us better in touch.

Saybrook also has a YouTube channel featuring videos of faculty and students talking about their Saybrook experiences … and is open to video submissions from community members telling us their story.

New content is provided regularly – and Saybrook is committed to using these tools to make our resources more accessible to our community, and our community more accessible to the world. 

 

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Jung's Red Book comes to LA

04/12/2010

Saybrook community members in the Southern California area have a rare opportunity to connect with the work of Carl Jung. 

Jung’s renowned Red Book – his recording of his own psychotic break, the insights gleaned from which eventually led to the underpinnings of Jungian Psychology – will be on display at the Hammer-UCLA Museum from April 11 – June 6. 

Additionally, Dr. Sonu Shamdasani, a Distinguished Consulting Faculty Member at Saybrook and the translator of Jung’s Red Book, will give a lecture on Jung on April 23, entitled Prophecy, Divine Madness, and Psychology:  Liber Novus, the Red Book of C.G. Jung.

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Student scholarships available

04/12/2010

Saybrook is now accepting applications from students for several high-profile scholarships offered directly from the university.

They include:

The Rollo May Scholarship:  this $5,000 scholarship is awarded to a student of any of Saybrook University’s three colleges whose graduate work explicitly applies and extends the existential-humanistic contributions of Rollo May. Student work may include scholarship in the areas of personality theory, psychotherapy, art and literature, cultural criticism, existential encounters, or other topics clearly connected to the Rollo May tradition.

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Meet Saybrook's New President

03/31/2010

Earlier this month the Saybrook Board of Trustees unanimously selected Mark Schulman to serve as Saybrook’s next president.  Currently serving as President of Goddard College in Vermont and Washington, whose endowment he has tripled while increasing its enrollment, Mark has also served as President and Professor of Humanities at Antioch University Southern California; and Academic Vice President, Dean of the College, and Associate Professor at Pacific Oaks College (California and Washington). He has held faculty positions at the New School for Social Research (New York), City College of New York, Saint Mary’s College of California, and others.

Mark received his PhD in Communications from the Union Institute and has consulted and published extensively on higher education and communications strategies and issues.

He spoke with the Saybrook Forum last week.  The following is an edited transcript of that interview.

SAYBROOK FORUM:  Your degrees are in, in this order:  literature (for undergrad); instructional systems technology (as an MS); and communications (for a PhD).  Intellectually, what was the path from one to the next?  How did you get from there to here? 

MARK SCHULMAN:  “Ever since high school I’d been a print journalist, and I’d always been interested in underground media, alternative media.  In fact I put together an underground paper in high school and got in trouble with the administration because they didn’t like some of the words in it. By the time I got to college there were a lot of things involving communications as a field of study that I was interested in. As an undergraduate, I did a lot of work in film, and was very involved in it, and I was still involved in print journalism, but at the time these were all subsumed under the field of ‘literature’ as a major.  So I majored in ‘literature’ at Antioch in order to do all of that. 

The opportunity to go to Indiana University (for an MS) came in a time when jargon was accelerating – do you remember when trash collectors were being called ‘sanitation engineers?’ – and so while I was technically going to school for ‘instructional systems technology,’ what I was really interested in was educational media.  Communications again.  That’s what I was studying.  Among other things, getting this degree gave me access to equipment so that I could do my own media work.  Very practical, hands on, work - that was what I was passionate about doing.  And I did that, but then I just kind of got the bug to be a teacher, and then an administrator in the sense of setting up programs, and got more and more into communications as a department, as a field.

After about 10 years of doing that I decided to go to Union Institute, which is somewhat similar to Saybrook in its focus on the learner (that was extremely important to me) because over time I’d become much more involved in scholarship in the theory of communications.  So I did a lot of interesting work in communications theory, sort of tying everything I’d been doing together while working on neighborhood radio, and I put a non-profit low power radio station on the air for Harlem, and this was part of the new emerging field of community communication. 

So the thread between them is using media and working in media, which then became transformed into thinking about media and being engaged in media studies in a scholarly way, and then finally putting programs together for media in a scholarly context and institution.

At a couple of different points in my life I’d actually considered going into print journalism as a career - I’d always been interested in combining the skills of journalism with a commitment of social justice - and sometimes I do wonder if I made the right move going into education.  I really do love working in journalism and working with media.”

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Civilizing the Economy: what we can do if the myths of capitalism don't add up to the facts

03/31/2010

If you want to prove capitalism works, you might think back to 18th century Glasgow.  That’s where Adam Smith was when he created the theory of market capitalism – he looked around, saw open markets, saw competition, saw the industriousness and prosperity that resulted, and correctly concluded that a system of free markets based on competition benefits everyone.

Everyone, that is, except the slaves.

Because what Smith’s famous example leaves out is the fact that Scotland’s prosperity was the result not just of free markets, but of slaves in the Americas producing tobacco that could be shipped to Scotland for processing.  Without the slaves, the system wouldn’t have worked.

Smith knew it, too.  He roundly condemned slavery as an evil thing in his moral writings, but simply considered it part of doing business in his economic writings – prosperity trumped human rights, because economics has nothing to do with morality.

That’s the finding of Saybrook faculty member Marvin Brown’s provocative new book Civilizing the Economy: A New Economics of Provision. “When he’s talking about slavery in his economic works, slavery is an economic issue, and when he’s writing his moral treatises, it’s a moral issue, and he never connects the two,” Brown says. “And we’re still seeing that disconnect today.  We’re living it.  It’s at the very basis of our identity.”

The implications for capitalism are enormous.

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Alison Shapiro to present at annual "Mini Medicial School" at Pacific Medical Center

03/31/2010

The California Pacific Medical Center’s Institute for Health and Healing in San Francisco will be holding its annual “Mini Medical School” on Wednesdays in April, and the Chair of Saybrook’s Board of Trustees, Alison Shapiro, will be one of the featured speakers.

The free lecture series will explore the brain — from neuroplasticity and emotions to brain injury and aging. Nationally renowned experts will share how to keep the brain active and vital, and reveal the brain’s remarkable capacity to regenerate and adapt.

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Eugene Taylor to deliver opening address at science of consciousness conference

03/31/2010

Eugene Taylor, director of the Humanistic and Transpersonal Psychology concentration at Saybrook’s Graduate College of Psychology and Humanistic, will deliver the opening address of the first Plenary session of the annual “Toward a Science of Consciousness” conference, April 11 - 17, in Tucson, Arizona.  

Preconference workshops begin on the 12th, and the opening session is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on April 13th.

A historian, philosopher of psychology, and internationally recognized scholar on the life and work of William James, Taylor’s presentation will be called “Could Radical Empiricism Guide Neurophenomenology as the Future of Neuroscience?”

For more information visit http://www.consciousness.arizona.edu/.

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