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Henrietta Post
  • RIT president blogs for Huffington Post

  • Until the Huffington Post reached out to RIT President Dr. Bill Destler and asked him to start, he had never considered blogging on his own. But after 11 blog posts with over 220 comments collectively, it is clear that Destler has put some conversations in motion.

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  • Until the Huffington Post reached out to RIT President Dr. Bill Destler and asked him to start, he had never considered blogging on his own. But after 11 blog posts with over 220 comments collectively, it is clear that Destler has put some conversations in motion.
    In his blog posts, Destler has discussed a range of issues. They vary from energy efficiency, today’s challenges in academia, to political and other issues. They are written with an intelligent, thoughtful air that challenges previous ideas and promotes innovation.
    Destler’s blog posts generally include some kind of call to action. His posts explain a situation to the readers, followed by what they can do to participate.
    Dr. Bruce Austin, a professor in the Department of Communication at RIT, explained that though change may not come right away, it could just be the voice given to the subject that is important.
    “All writers, especially all bloggers, have this nagging feeling in the back of their minds,” said Austin. “The immediate response may not be the most significant response.”
    Not all of Destler’s blog posts have received a great deal of attention and response. In fact, only a few have had a great deal of traffic.
    “I would rather have the waters calmed by rational discussion than I would just to inflame people and have a lot of people read my blogs because I’ve said such outrageous things,” Destler said. “I try to convey a tone of reasonableness. I’m not trying to communicate things with religious fervor, I’m trying to basically communicate rationally and ask people to consider various things that seem to me to be an important part of a discussion.”
    One way Destler has used the blog posts thus far is as a tool to bring attention to RIT. He said that, as a major figure at the institution, publicity has to play a role in his writing.
    “If you want to reach a broader audience, they have to have some appeal to a broader public,” said Destler. “In reality I’m always looking for topics but I want them to have more appeal than just to RIT or else I think we’ll just be preaching to ourselves.”
    He explained that his blog posts were more than that, though. Destler said he uses the blog as an outlet for his thoughts- just like any other blogger.
    “Like everybody else, I want to have an impact in what I do,” he said. “If I have opinions on things or if I think I have something to say that needs to be in the conversation, I think I want to do that just to get peace with myself.”
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