USG eClips

Faculty Surprise
By Ry Rivard
Some faculty leaders were surprised this week when state systems and flagship universities in nine states announced a series of new business partnerships with Coursera, the Silicon Valley-based ed tech company. The universities plan to work with Coursera, a provider of massive open online courses, to try out a variety of new teaching methods and business models, including MOOCs and things that are not MOOCs. Administrators and the company hailed the effort as new way to improve education. Some administrators said the faculty were involved or were part of the effort and the contracts themselves make clear faculty have some decision-making authority. But some faculty leaders were nevertheless caught off-guard by the deals that were widely reported Thursday in national and local media. Some faculty accused Coursera and the state-funded universities of working together to experiment on students.
Georgia university system to offer more ‘massive’ online courses
The University System of Georgia and big university systems in nine other states have announced a joint partnership with a large educational technology company to offer massive open online courses, or MOOCs. The company, Coursera, started working with four elite universities in 2012 and since has added dozens of university partners. Just what Coursera will do for the University System of Georgia is unclear, as is what and how courses will be shared among the new partners.
University of Kentucky in new partnership with leading online course provider, Coursera
The University of Kentucky, in an effort to enhance student readiness and performance, has launched a partnership with the country’s leading massive open online course (MOOC) platform, Coursera. UK is one of 10 flagship state universities or systems that make up this first wave of large public universities to announce a partnership with Coursera. And, as importantly, this partnership — unlike a number of providers for massive open online courses — is targeting high school students to ensure that they are prepared for college. “This partnership is one more example of our innovative approach to fulfilling our university’s commitment, as the Commonwealth’s flagship institution, to provide high-quality education and create a brighter future for Kentuckians,” said UK President Eli Capilouto. …The nine other universities partnering with Coursera include: the State University of New York (SUNY), the Tennessee Board of Regents, University of Colorado, University of Houston System, University of Nebraska, University of New Mexico, University System of Georgia, University of Tennessee, and West Virginia University.

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Web Courses Woo Professors
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First of four FVSU presidential candidates speaks
FORT VALLEY — Phyllis Dawkins knows what it’s like to build up a college. As provost of Dillard University in New Orleans, Dawkins was instrumental in jump-starting several new programs and reaffirming accreditation for the university. Now, Dawkins has plans for Fort Valley State University as she vies to be its next president. The Asheville, N.C., native kicked off a week of presidential candidate forums at the university, where four candidates will state their case for leading the institution. The position will be vacated when President Larry Rivers steps down June 30.
FVSU presidential candidate ‘poised’ for leadership
FORT VALLEY — Sandra Westbrooks initially had no aspirations to go into higher education. But after years as an elementary teacher, colleagues noticed her passion for transforming lives and convinced her to pursue a career on the college level. Now, as provost of Chicago State University, Westbrooks is one of four candidates vying to be the next president of Fort Valley State University. Westbrooks was the second candidate to make her case for the position during forums being held this week. That position will be vacated when President Larry Rivers steps down June 30.
FVSU presidential candidate looks to come home
Daniel Wims is third FVSU presidential candidate
FORT VALLEY — Daniel Wims’ experience at Fort Valley State University stretches back to sixth grade, when the Lumpkin native traveled to the university for summer camp. After graduating from FVSU and spending time as the university’s executive vice president, Wims hopes to return as its next president. Wims was the third presidential candidate to make his case during weeklong forums at the university. The role will be vacated when President Larry Rivers steps down June 30.
Going back to school: Can you afford it?
By Tacoma Perry, FOX 5 reporter
When you feel your career isn’t working for you anymore, many job experts say it’s time for a change. But is going back to school an option? “Having my high school diploma only, I was really kind of in a box,” Returning adult student Terri Thompson said. “And I was limited to what kind of job opportunities were available even with experience.” That’s why Thompson says she decided to go back to school. The single mother enrolled at Georgia Perimeter College, where she went on to graduate with an associate’s degree. She says she expects to graduate from Georgia State University with a bachelor’s degree in little more than a year. …And she’s not alone. According to Georgia State vice provost and chief enrollment officer Timothy Renick, more than 100,000 students who were enrolled at GSU this spring were over the age of 25.
Meeting to address GreenBelt routing near UWG
Winston Jones/Times-Georgian
Friends of Carrollton GreenBelt is seeking input from residents in a neighborhood near where the trail will connect the University of West Georgia segment with the Maple Commons shopping center on Maple Street. …The Carrollton GreenBelt is a paved, 12-foot-wide, trail system designed for pedestrians and non-motorized vehicles. When completed, it will form a 16-mile loop around the city of Carrollton, connecting existing neighborhoods with the city schools campus, University of West Georgia, city parks and several commercial shopping centers. About five miles of the loop have been completed and city officials hope the entire trail can be completed within five years. It is being built mainly through funding by grants and private donations. Carrollton Assistant City Manager Tim Grizzard said the trail through the university will likely be completed this summer, while campus traffic is relatively slow. “The city has done a lot of joint ventures with the university and they have agreed to let us route the GreenBelt through their property,” Grizzard said.
Sun Belt, GSU release new logo
Georgia Southern AMR
NEW ORLEANS — As part of its new logo and brand development, the Sun Belt Conference unveiled a school specific conference logo for Georgia Southern, using the school’s primary colors of blue and white. The Sun Belt Conference unveiled its new logo and brand, which came after a nearly yearlong examination of the impact, sustainability and core values associated with the conference, at its spring meetings in Destin, Fla., last week. As part of the program, the logo was also designed in all of the Sun Belt’s members’ official school colors for use on uniforms, fields and playing courts. Georgia Southern’s original design contained a majority of blue and gold, but after gaining feedback from the University and Eagle fans, the Sun Belt Conference and SME, Inc., contracted by the league to lead the rebranding campaign, redesigned the mark so that it contained GSU’s traditional colors of blue and white.

Dynalectric/EMCOR wins contract for new building at Georgia Gwinnett College
by Jim Lucy in Electrical Marketing’s LiveWire
The Dynalectric subsidiary of EMCOR Inc., Norwalk, Conn., recently won a contract for the installation of electrical systems at Georgia Gwinnett College’s new Allied Health and Science Building in Lawrenceville, Ga. Dynalectric will install a range of electrical systems in this 90,000-square-foot, LEED silver-certified facility that will contain three physics laboratories, six biology laboratories, seven chemistry laboratories, and one lab each for psychology, exercise science, IT systems and digital media.

Student to help Gainesville with urban design in pilot program
By Carly Sharec
Gainesville is one of three Georgia cities to benefit from the Downtown Renaissance Fellows pilot program, in which the city is paired with a college student in a 10-week improvement project. University of Georgia student Elizabeth Lawandales will be working with city leaders to provide them with her expertise and skills on projects like green space planning and other streetscape improvements. “We just had an initial meeting with her,” said Regina Mansfield, Gainesville Main Street manager. “We sat down with her, looking at long-term projects, things we are wanting to do. We definitely are utilizing her with her design skills.” Lawandales, a landscape architecture undergraduate with the UGA College of Environment and Design, is expected to begin her position in Gainesville next week.
Cadet Challenge at Fort Benning trimmed to cut 75 students
By Ben Wright
Columbus Ledger-Enquirer
FORT BENNING, Ga. — Federal budget cuts trimmed about 75 slots from the JROTC Cadet Challenge Camp at Fort Benning, but 310 students will still take part in the week-long event. Under the sequester cuts that went into effect on March 1, the Army required high schools to trim about $100,000 from the June 10-14 camp on post, said Lt. Col. Robert Koester, senior Army instructor at Dooly County High School and public affairs spokesman for the event. …Students with the Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps live in dorms at Columbus State University during the camp. Buses transport them to the post daily for activities. “The Army leases a couple of sets of housing from Columbus State to house the kids and cadre” Koester said.
Ga. Center Takes Pets When Families Have To Evacuate
Even as parts of the U.S. are being devastated by tornadoes, hurricane season it just beginning – officially this Saturday. One of the toughest decisions for people when a storm is approaching is whether to evacuate. Pets add to that dilemma, since most shelters don’t accept animals. Georgia Public Broadcasting’s Adam Ragusea tells us about a new evacuation center that’s trying to change that. ADAM RAGUSEA, BYLINE: The SAFE Center is at Fort Valley State University. That’s right in the middle of Georgia, near the crossroads of two major hurricane evacuation routes – one from Florida, the other from the Georgia coast. The center was the vision of George McCommon, now its interim director.

UGA research uncovers cost of resiliency in kids
Children living in poverty who appear to succeed socially may be failing biologically. Students able to overcome the stress of growing up poor are labeled “resilient” because of their ability to overcome adversity, but University of Georgia researchers found this resiliency has health costs that last well into adulthood. “Exposure to stress over time gets under the skin of children and adolescents, which makes them more vulnerable to disease later in life,” said Gene Brody, founder and director of the UGA Center for Family Research.

Related article:
Resiliency May Come at a Physical Cost for Some Kids
Stroke patients respond similarly to after-stroke care, despite age difference
(NewsRx) — By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Mental Health Weekly Digest — Athens, Ga. – Age has little to do with how patients should be treated after suffering a stroke, according to new research from the University of Georgia. Historically, younger stroke victims receive different after-stroke intervention strategies than those over a certain age. However, Neale Chumbler, a UGA professor and head of the department of health policy and management in the College of Public Health, found patients responded equally to care efforts.
Robot arm wrapped in sensitive skin has gentle touch
by Sara Reardon
IT MAY be a robot, and it may not have a body – but it definitely has feeling. A robot arm wrapped in sensor-laden skin has been given the ability to navigate using a keen sense of touch, a development that allows it to work closely and comfortably alongside humans. Most robots are taught to avoid bumping into people and objects, complicating the simple task of reaching for an object in a cluttered environment, like a salt shaker on a dinner table crowded with plates and glasses. To tackle this, Charlie Kemp of the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta and colleagues created a flexible electronic skin studded with 384 sensors that detect very slight touch.
The Pros and Cons of Killer Robots
by Josh Dzieza
Welcome to the future: the U.N. is debating whether to halt the fast-growing business of machines that can shoot without human intervention—before it’s too late. By Josh Dzieza.
The United Nations on Thursday was dealing with a surprisingly pressing issue: killer robots.
In Geneva, the U.N.’s special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, Christof Heyns, called for a moratorium on the development of drones that are programmed to target and fire without human intervention. “War without reflection is mechanical slaughter,” he said. “In the same way that the taking of any human life deserves at the minimum some deliberation, a decision to allow machines to be deployed deserves a collective pause, in other words, a moratorium.” Such technology is not as far off as you might think. Missile defense systems like Israel’s Iron Dome and the United States’ Phalanx automatically detect, track, and shoot down incoming missiles. Then there’s the tangle of humanitarian and legal problems autonomous weapons would create. Some people, like the roboticist Ronald Arkin (Georgia Tech), argue that killer robots would actually be more humane than human soldiers, because they’d never fire out of fear for their own safety and would never act out of vengeance or spite.

Don’t look at me — someone else did it!
Dr. Beheruz Sethna/For the Times-Georgian
This is an update of a column I have written two to three times during my term as president of this great institution — the University of West Georgia. You have, I suspect, heard this phrase or one like it: “Don’t look at me — he or she did it!” The phrase is typically intended to deflect blame. This column too is intended to point a finger away from me, and towards someone else. However, it is intended to deflect, not blame, but praise. We have accomplished some wonderful things in the past 19 years, and I want to be sure that all our friends realize and appreciate that most of these things have been accomplished through the great work of several faculty, staff, and administrator colleagues of mine, our students and alumni, and our friends and supporters. Don’t look at me — they did it!
Moore: Profit motive behind Common Core Standards
Michael Moore is a literacy professor at Georgia Southern University.
The rhetorical war on the Common Core Standards Initiative is heating up and Georgia’s participation is in the balance. To stave off mutiny within his party over implementation of CCSI, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has weighed in with his support for CCSI, and — more importantly — affirmed that the standards are not federal intrusion into education. He is only partially correct.
Our Discussion of “Higher Ed in 2018”
By Joshua Kim
Last week, Jeb Bush and Randy Best published a Views column titled Higher Ed in 2018. In this piece they made the case for “transformational” change in higher ed, arguing that the next 5 years will see a fundamental shift from a “provider-driven” model to a “consumer-driven” one. Is higher ed a community of “providers”? I’ve never thought of us in this language, reserving “providers” to the medical world. Bush and Best argue that the days of a system designed around the needs of us providers is nearing its expiration date. Metrics of success, such as class size or alumni giving, will recede in favor of new measures such as enrollment growth, completion rates, graduate employability and job performance. This will be a shift from measuring the quality of a higher education institution by our inputs to judging success by our outputs.
There Is No Gene for Finishing College
By Paul Voosen
A couple of years ago, Daniel J. Benjamin, a behavioral economist and associate professor at Cornell University, noticed a disturbing trend in genoeconomics, the nascent discipline that seeks to tie human genetics to traits relevant to the social sciences, like risk aversion, happiness, or even self-employment. Most of the work was statistically weak, he found, conducted on small samples of a few hundred people. Benjamin calculated that scientists could legitimately conclude almost nothing from those studies. It was a black mark on a charged discipline, one that invariably brings up the hoary nature-nurture debate and past associations with eugenics.;_ylt=AkybTOFf_RUXzMKuTDJB5e3QtDMD
How to Cure the College Dropout Syndrome
Jeffrey Selingo, the former editor of The Chronicle of Higher Education and currently an editor at large there, is the author of a new book, “College (Un)Bound.” In it, he argues that the higher-education system is both vital to the American economy and “broken.” My exchange with him, edited slightly, follows.
In the U.S., 21st Century Skills Linked to Work Success
Real-world problem-solving most strongly tied to work quality
by Jenna Levy and Preety Sidhu
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Young U.S. adults who say they “often” developed 21st century skills — such as real-world problem-solving and global awareness — in their last year of school are more likely to self-report higher work quality. Gallup, in collaboration with Microsoft Partners in Learning and the Pearson Foundation, developed a 21st century skills index measuring seven specific areas: collaboration, knowledge construction, skilled communication, global awareness, self-regulation, real-world problem-solving, and technology used in learning. According to the study, 21st century skills prepare and equip youth for the challenges and demands of work in today’s knowledge-based, technology-driven, globalized environment.
The New For-Profits
By Paul J. LeBlanc
Southern New Hampshire University is probably the fastest-growing nonprofit institution in the country, driven by the expansion of our longstanding online program. When it comes to large-scale online programs, for-profit colleges dominate the list, which includes only a handful of national nonprofit players.That may change soon. Eduventures, the marketing research firm, predicts that hundreds of nonprofits will seek to move online more aggressively. A good number of them have been visiting us.

Education News
Tea party groups mobilizing against Common Core education overhaul
By Peter Wallsten and Lyndsey Layton
Tea party groups over the past few weeks have suddenly and successfully pressured Republican governors to reassess their support for a rare bipartisan initiative backed by President Obama to overhaul the nation’s public schools. Activists have donned matching T-shirts and packed buses bound for state legislative hearing rooms in Harrisburg, Pa., grilled Georgia education officials at a local Republican Party breakfast and deluged Michigan lawmakers with phone calls urging opposition to the Common Core State Standards.
Georgia Pre-K In National Spotlight
By Joshua Stewart
ATLANTA — U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan visits Atlanta Friday to highlight Georgia’s pre-kindergarten programs and the president’s plan to expand access to early learning programs nation wide. The president pointed to Georgia as an example of successful pre-K and early learning opportunities starting in his State of the Union speech and in a subsequent visit to Atlanta. (Photo Courtesy of Barnaby Wasson via Flickr.)
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan visits Atlanta Friday to highlight Georgia’s pre-kindergarten programs and the president’s plan to expand access to early learning programs nation wide. The president pointed to Georgia as an example of successful pre-K and early learning opportunities starting in his State of the Union speech and in a subsequent visit to Atlanta. “We have focused on research and assuring that we are on the cutting edge of what it is to provide high-quality early education,” said Bobby Cagle, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning. “I think that’s the draw for the federal government.”
Obama: Rising college costs hold back middle class
The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Friday urged Congress to prevent an increase in student loan rates, saying rising college costs hold back the entire middle class and unfairly saddle young people with more debt just as they are starting out in their adult lives. Interest rates on new subsidized Stafford loans are set to double, from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent, on July 1. Lawmakers from both parties say they want to avoid the increase but are divided over how to act. Obama made his case flanked by college students dressed in business suits and dresses during remarks in the Rose Garden on a steamy Washington morning. The event marked the beginning of a public campaign by the president to temporarily extend current student loan rates or find a long-term compromise to avoid the July 1 rate increase.
Income-Based Diversity Lags at Many Public Universities
Opponents of race-based affirmative action in college admissions urge that colleges use a different tool to encourage diversity: giving a leg up to poor students. But many educators see real limits to how eager colleges are to enroll more poor students, no matter how qualified — and the reason is money. “It’s expensive,” said Donald E. Heller, dean of the College of Education at Michigan State University. “You have to go out and identify them, recruit them and get them to apply, and then it’s really expensive once they enroll because they need more financial aid.” The Supreme Court is expected to rule soon in a closely watched case over admissions at the University of Texas at Austin, and the court could outlaw any consideration of race. …Legacy admission — the practice of giving preference to the children of alumni or donors — overwhelmingly favors well-off, white students, leaving less room for poor students. Some schools, after dropping affirmative action for ethnic minorities, also dropped legacy preferences, notably Texas A&M and the University of Georgia.
For low-income students, price of college is surprisingly high
Star-Telegram Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON — Many public colleges and universities expect their lowest-income students to pay a third, half or even more of their families’ annual incomes each year for college, a new study has found. With most American students enrolling in in-state public institutions in the hope of gaining affordable degrees, the new figures show that the net price — the full cost of attending college minus scholarships — can be surprisingly high for families that make $30,000 a year or less. As of 2010-11, the average net price for in-state tuition at four-year public institutions in Texas, charged to people in families earning $30,000 or less per year, was $8,907.
Your Brain on Study Abroad: The Experience Changes Lives, and Neurons, a Scholar Says
By Karin Fischer
St. Louis
Ask anyone who has ever studied abroad about the experience, and they’ll say it changed their life. Turns out, international study actually changes students’ brains. Going overseas, said Yuliya Kartoshkina, a doctoral student at the University of North Dakota, “rewires the brain.” The reason study abroad can pack such a neurological wallop is related to how memory works, said Ms. Kartoshkina, who is writing her dissertation on the subject.
Tracking Student Health
By Allie Grasgreen
BOSTON — If American universities are spending millions of dollars a year on health services for students, shouldn’t they at least know what they’re dealing with? Duh: yes, says James C. Turner, director of student health services at the University of Virginia. “We have no aggregate data on either the health trends of college students or their utilization of health services,” Turner said here at the annual meeting of the American College Health Association. That’s why, last year, Turner started the College Health Surveillance Network, which compiles data from volunteer institutions to track how many students are visiting campus health centers, how often and why.
Looking Past China
By Elizabeth Redden
ST. LOUIS – China has in recent years dominated the flow of international undergraduates coming to the United States – but that’s an old story. A session Thursday at the annual NAFSA: Association of International Educators conference focused on identifying “the next big thing” (or place) in international student recruitment, drawing on data from the College Board and the experiences of recruiters at two different types of institutions.
Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems
By Kevin Kiley
After a 25-year drought of state bond money for higher education capital projects, the $750 million general obligation bond recently approved by New Jersey voters was a welcome influx of funds. “This will not only help our institutions of higher learning attract and retain students, and in turn, industries looking for a capable work force, but it will create jobs as improvement projects get under way. It’s an all-around win,” Sheila Y. Oliver, speaker of the state’s General Assembly, said shortly after the measure passed.
5 Ex-New Jersey Governors Gives Rutgers Chief Vote of Confidence
by Angela Delli Santi, Associated Press
NEWARK, N.J. — Five former New Jersey governors, who served from the 1970s through 2004 representing both political parties, have given the embattled president of Rutgers University a vote of confidence. The three Democrats and two Republicans appeared at a public forum in Newark on Thursday, where they were asked about the president’s handling of a student athlete abuse scandal that reignited after Rutgers announced the hiring of a new athletic director whose former players later resurfaced to say she was a verbally abusive coach.
Paterno Family, Others at Penn State Sue NCAA
by Genaro C. Armas, Associated Press
BELLEFONTE, Pa. — The NCAA is facing a new legal attack after the family of the late coach Joe Paterno was joined by former players and others connected to Penn State in a lawsuit seeking to overturn the landmark sanctions for the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal. Long rumored to be under development, the 40-page lawsuit filed Thursday tries to show that the NCAA and its top leadership overstepped the organization’s own rules in levying penalties against the football program with uncharacteristic speed, representatives for the Paterno family have said. They hoped it would raise new questions about the university’s internal investigation led by former FBI director Louis Freeh, along with how and why the NCAA used Freeh’s report as a basis for its sanctions in July.
Ohio State’s President Apologizes for Joking About Catholics and Notre Dame
Ohio State University’s president, E. Gordon Gee, has apologized for remarks he made last year at a meeting of the university’s Athletic Council in which he suggested that the University of Notre Dame had never been invited to join the Big Ten Conference because “those damn Catholics” couldn’t be trusted, according to the Associated Press. The AP obtained a recording of the meeting through a public-records request. Mr. Gee said in a statement to the AP that his remarks were “just plain wrong, and in no way do they reflect what the university stands for.” He added that they were “a poor attempt at humor and entirely inappropriate.”