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Daniel J. Howard

Inside the Front Porch

Inside the Front Porch was written by my good friend and former colleague Dan Howard, who lived“inside the porch” as both a university administrator and as a supporter of student-athletes. Must reading for those who enjoy collegiate sports. The book has fascinating characters, drama, intrigue, and a little sex which makes it a great read for anyone.
Garrey Carruthers, Former Governor of New Mexico, Chancellor Emeritus New Mexico State University 

Inside the Front Porch

A mid-major university with a struggling football program gains nationwide notoriety when it attracts one of the top high school quarterbacks in the country, Todd Stevens. Todd proves to be everything the university hoped for when he was recruited, but his singular focus on athletics begins to dissolve when he meets and falls in love with another elite athlete on campus, Diane King. Diane enjoys her sport of swimming, but takes her studies seriously and sees all too clearly the inequities in college sports. Diane's willingness to speak out brings her in conflict with the athletic director of the university and leads to an altercation that will reverberate across the university and impact the lives of everyone touched by it, including the university president.​


Athletic programs are often touted as the "front porch" of universities. In this engaging and well-crafted tale, Dan Howard examines the dark realities and outsized influence of college sports on American campuses before and during the Covid-19 pandemic through the eyes and experiences of a university president, a gifted football player, and an indomitable swimmer. The novel provides an insider's look at university politics as well as the risks accepted by individuals and institutions to achieve excellence in the realm of college sports, all the while  telling a more universal story about the uncertainty and power of love. It should resonate with a broad audience.

The book, which is published by Aakenbaaken & Kent, is available at many local bookstores, such as COAS books and Bookworks, and on Amazon at Inside the Front Porch.

About Dan Howard


I grew up on army bases scattered around the world, and attended Stanford University where I studied biology and graduated with distinction and honors. I then went on to Yale University where I received an M. Phil. and a Ph.D. While at Yale I met and fell in love with Jenifer Lichtenfels, and we have been married for more than 40 years. I spent most of my academic career at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico eventually becoming a Regents Professor and Chair of the Department of Biology. I left NMSU for five years to serve as Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Colorado Denver, but returned in 2013 as Executive Vice President and Provost, the chief academic officer of the university. I retired from NMSU in 2018 to take up a life of farming and writing in Mesilla, New Mexico. When I am not writing or caring for my orchards, I enjoy long walks with my dogs and slow evenings in the kitchen with Jenifer, who joined me in retirement in 2020. Jenifer and I have two wonderful daughters, who are both physicians, following in the footsteps of their mother. We also have two grandchildren, who help keep our sense of wonder alive

Let’s Connect

Inside the Front Porch confronts and provides insights into a variety of topics: the role of personal relationships in health and well-being; modern love; the educational mission of higher education and who should manage those institutions; the exploitation of student-athletes; and, threats to health posed by participation in contact sports. I am happy to discuss these issues with you personally. All you have to do is click on the Let's Chat link. You can also use this link to arrange my participation in your book club meeting via Zoom. 


With all best wishes,

Dan Howard

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