What I’m reading: Chris Maples & Dave Rathbun

Chris Maples, President at Oregon Institute of Technology and Dave Rathbun, President of Mt. Bachelor ski resort share what they’ve been reading.

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0214 BOOKrev1Chris Maples got his Ph.D. in geology/paleontology because he loved working outdoors and collecting fossils; wearing ties and going to meetings, not so much.

Dr. Maples, who has been president of the Oregon Institute of Technology since 2008, prefers to read mysteries and other “problem-solving books.” A firm believer in the egalitarian purpose of education, he is especially interested in books about why things fail — from bridges to polar exploration. “Because we all learn more from failures than from successes,” Maples says.



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The Zen of Zombie: Better Living Through the Undead
by Scott Kenemore

“Modeled similarly to so many self-help and business-philosophy books today, Zen of Zombie focuses on the single-minded pursuit, group effort and adaptability of zombies in their quest for brains. It is a tongue-in-cheek approach to an otherwise boring topic, but it is remarkable how applicable focus, adaptability and playing to strengths are to so many walks of life.”

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Presidencies Derailed: Why University Leaders Fail and How to Prevent It
by Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, Gerald B. Kauvar & E. Grady Bogue

“The authors dissect details of a number of failed university and college presidencies. To adapt Tolstoy, all successful presidencies resemble each other; each failed presidency fails in its own way. That said, the authors do an excellent job of classifying and organizing presidential failures in a way that facilitates a clearer understanding of similar threads of failure.”


0214 BOOKrev2I’m not naturally a recreational reader,” says Dave Rathbun, the president of popular ski resort Mt. Bachelor. “However, if time, circumstance and topic align, I occasionally read for pure pleasure. I consider myself a lifelong learner and, as such, read many business-related articles online and on my smartphone. I also try to share interesting and relevant articles with our management team to help broaden their horizons. As time and opportunity present themselves, I will pick up a book, but if I could be outdoors skiing, playing golf, mountain biking or fishing, I would be happier!”



American Triumvirate
by James Dodson

“A biographical account of the three great professional golfers who grew up during the Depression and ushered in the modern era of golf: Byron Nelson, Sam Snead and Ben Hogan. They shared common experiences growing up as caddies and becoming enthralled by the game and the world of their well-to-do clients. The book conveys many colorful stories illustrating why these three golfers should be remembered as the founding fathers of modern golf.”

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Physics of the Future
by Michio Kaku

“The view of what life could be like at the end of this century is fascinating and a little scary. Kaku examines forward-looking work in the fields of computers, medicine, energy and space exploration. My grandmother lived to the age of 99, growing up in the roaring 20s, and living through the 20th century’s monumental events. Having read Kaku’s book, I have a better understanding now of how she felt about  ‘all our gadgets’ and how our generation will likely view the world dominated by our children and grandchildren in the not-so-distant future.” 

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