Interview with Alison Levine – NACAS Keynote Speaker


As the second part of our interviews with the NACAS keynote speakers, we’re speaking with Alison Levine today.  Alison can be described as adventurer, explorer, professor, and author of The Edge: The Art of High Impact Leadershipa New York Times best seller.

Alison holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona in Communications, and a MBA from Duke University – The Fuqua School of Business.  She has served as an Adjunct Professor with the United States Military Academy, an investment banker with Goldman Sachs, and as deputy finance director for Arnold Schwarzenegger.

She serves on the advisory board of the Coach K/Duke University Center on Leadership and Ethics and is a strategic advisor for the Thayer Leader Development Group at West Point.

As we mentioned earlier, Alison will be a key note speaker at the National Association of College and Auxiliary Services (NACAS) annual conference in San Antonio, Texas, speaking at the closing session on Wednesday morning, November 4th.

To hear our interview with the other keynote speaker at the conference, Tim Sanders, click here to find it on our blog or search for “Student Housing Matters” iTunes.

The Buzz: Intuition

The Buzz is a feature on the blog where we ask multiple people in the higher education world to give us their thoughts about a single topic. Today the word we’re focusing on is:  Intuition

Click the image below for the full sized article.


Landscaping Woes? Get Some Goats!

The staff at Towson Place Apartments had some landscaping to do, so they hired some help.  Gretchen Smutney, the site director, had recently seen an article in the Baltimore Sun about how their school found a creative and environmentally smart way to manage overgrowth and invasive plants.  They brought in goats, who will, over time, get rid of up to 98% of all invasive plants.


So Towson Place Apartments, a student community at Towson University, decided to give it shot.  Managed by a mildly electrified fence to tell the goats where to work, they just started on the first section. The plan is to clean up weeds, ivy growing on the ground and the tree trunks, and even poison ivy.


The goats come from Harmony Church Farm, in Darlington, Maryland.



Interview with Tim Sanders – NACAS Keynote Speaker

nacasThese next two weeks, we’re excited to bring you interviews with the two upcoming keynote speakers at this year’s NACAS annual conference, held at the beginning of November

NACAS, or the National Association of College Auxiliary Services, is an organization providing the higher education community extensive opportunities for members to share ideas, develop business solutions, enhance programs and revenues, and develop meaningful professional relationships. Housing, Physical Plant, Food Service, Card Systems, and recreation are just a handful examples of these campus services.  And all of them provide something critical for a college campus to function. 

So if you’re going to be attending the NACASTimSanders annual conference in the next few weeks, this will be some excellent groundwork for what you’re going to hear. 

In today’s episode we have Tim Sanders talking with us.  Tim was an early team member of Mark Cuban’s In 1999, was acquired by Yahoo, taking Tim with it, where he became Chief Solutions Officer and named its Leadership Coach. Now, Tim is the CEO of Net Minds, based in Los Angeles, and founder of Deeper Media Incorporated, a research firm.  Tim is also an author of four books:

 Tim holds an undergraduate degree from the Loyola Marymount University and studied in the graduate school of communications at The University of Arizona.

What We’re Reading: Negotiate This

NegotiateThis (600x800)I am re-reading one of my favorite books.  It’s called “Negotiate This,” written by Herb Cohen back in 2003.

This is a great book for anyone in higher education and in fact, for anyone who wants to improve their negotiating skills.  And if you don’t think you negotiate in what you do every day – this book will be an eye opener on how much you really do negotiate.  As he likes to frame it, “Negotiation is the game of life.”

It’s a combination of some really great concepts and lots of personal stories, including his involvement as a player in the Iran hostage crisis negotiations (he predicted the exact date the hostages would be released).  His humor, most of it self-deprecating, makes this the kind of book that’s difficult not to laugh out loud while you’re reading it (at least for me).

As Herb consistently says in the book, one of the most important things to learn in any negotiation is to detach yourself emotionally.  As he likes to phrase it, learning how to care, but not t-h-a-t much.  He also provides great ideas on “magic words” for the toughest negotiations, how to never take no for a final answer, how to play not to the power you’ve got, but to the power the other side thinks you’ve got, and how to laugh off even the most dire threats.

So you see, I have been negotiating by writing this blog to get you to read this book.  So how have I done?airwin

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