Finalist named for Fort Valley State president
ATLANTA — A finalist has been named following a national search for the next president of Fort Valley State University in middle Georgia. University system officials announced Friday that Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith, provost and senior vice president at York College of the City University of New York, is the sole finalist for the position. If selected by the Board of Regents, Griffith would replace current President Larry Rivers, who is stepping down in June.
Officials select FVSU presidential finalist
Griffith named sole finalist for Fort Valley State president
Adams reflects on his time at UGA and the future
BY LAURA DIAMOND – THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION
Michael Adams will step down as president of the University of Georgia June 30, having led the flagship institution for 16 years. He is the last of a trio of long-serving research university presidents. Wayne Clough left Georgia Tech in 2008 after 14 years and Carl Patton retired from Georgia State University in 2008 after 16 years. UGA became more respected during Adams’ tenure and is now consistently ranked among the top 25 public colleges in the country. Adams sat down with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution last week to discuss his time at UGA and challenges facing colleges and the state. (Editor’s note: This interview was edited for brevity and clarity.)
Access to records has price at UO
A debate centers on whether and how much students should pay for public information
By Diane Dietz
During the last basketball season, student journalist Sam Stites asked the University of Oregon for data on ticket sales at Matthew Knight Arena. Stites reports for the student newspaper, the Oregon Daily Emerald, and was assigned to cover the business of sports. Ticket revenues are part of the money needed to service the debt on the 2 1/2-year-old, $200 million arena. The university’s answer to Stites: Hand over $109.24 and wait 13 days to get the ticket sales figures. Stites was flabbergasted. “How long does it take to call somebody and say, ‘Hey, don’t you have this document? Cool. E-mail it to me. There you go.’ To me, it’s really that easy.” This and other incidents of the UO charging requesters for access to public records has sparked a debate on campus. Now, a 16-member UO committee is pondering whether to recommend that the UO stop charging student journalists for records requests. …The corporate mindset Last week, a student journalist at Georgia State University filed suit against the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia for charging him $930 for copies of e-mails related to a $25 million budget shortfall that resulted in the termination of faculty. “To a student journalist, $930 is equivalent to a denial, and the colleges know that very well,” LoMonte said.
Blazers camp in Tallahassee, hope new tuition rules attract more Leon County athletes
By Dave Griffith
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – June is the prime month for college football programs to host high school summer camps. Many teams will house those athletes on campus for several days. At Valdosta State, David Dean takes his camp on the road. The Blazer coaches just completed an eight-city camp tour with an event Friday, June 14th at Tallahassee’s Lincoln High School. “This is the fourth year we’ve done this,” says Dean. …The University System of Georgia authorized Valdosta State to provide in-state tuition to Leon County students, effective this coming fall semester. Now, instead of being responsible for an estimated $28,210 a year at VSU (according to the Valdosta State Finance and Administration office), Leon County residents can only expect to pay around $15,628 a year, a difference of $12,582. Or in football terms, almost an entire scholarship. This new tuition policy at Valdosta State is not solely for athletes, but for any Leon County students who meet admission requirements to the University.
Charity tournament to benefit Oklahoma tornado victims
Donny Karr/For The Times-Georgian
Mother Nature pounded the Heartland in late May, with massive tornadoes devastating Moore and El Reno, Okla. In the wake of the disaster, members of the University of West Georgia Bass Fishing Club decided to step up and do their part to assist the victims, as the group is organizing a fishing tournament and sending proceeds to those affected by the storms. UWG Bass Club President Kenny Johnson decided to use the momentum from the club’s recent success in competition to help organize the event. “We wanted to help the victims after we saw how bad it was. We also wanted to show that we’re more than just a fishing club,” Johnson said.
Tech Grad Students to Help Teens Interested in STEM Field
By JIM BURRESS
A dozen Atlanta high school students are spending their summer in research labs at Georgia Tech. While the thought would make many teens cringe, there were about three applicants for each opening in Tech’s “ProjectENGAGE” (Engaging New Generations at Georgia Tech through Engineering) program. But Tech grad students don’t want the high schoolers who weren’t selected to lose interest. That’s why a group is organizing a science club that will go out to schools to give students hands-on research experience.
State’s centers of innovation help small biz compete
By WALTER C. JONES
ATLANTA — When President Barack Obama announced the creation of a national network of manufacturing-development hubs, Georgia had already been down that road for a decade. “Now, if we want to make the best products, we also have to invest in the best ideas,” Obama said during his State of the Union address in January. “…Now is the time to reach a level of research and development not seen since the height of the Space Race. We need to make those investments.” Last month, he released the details of a competition to create 15 applied-research clearinghouses and a request that Congress fund them with $1 billion. …“There’s not a corner of the state that isn’t touched by what we’re doing,” said Mark Lytle, who oversaw the six centers until last month when he became vice chancellor for economic development at the University System of Georgia. …In some respects, the centers are the applied end of the state’s research pipeline that begins with the Georgia Research Alliance and the eminent scholars recruited to pursue leading-edge, theoretical breakthroughs at Georgia’s major universities.
UGA cancer researchers showcase work for NIH director
By UGA NEWS SERVICE
University of Georgia cancer research was one of several human health projects that took the spotlight recently when Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, and Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) heard reports by scientists and faculty from UGA, Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia State University and Emory University. Collins and the university representatives discussed the ongoing NIH-funded research taking place within Georgia’s university community. UGA faculty focused on glycoscience—the study of complex carbohydrates, or glycans, and their role in cancer.
Hearing Loss Linked to Vitamin Deficiency
By Geoff Michaels
Low levels of vitamin B-12 or folic acid may be associated with age-related hearing loss in women. Researchers at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia, studied the hearing function of 55 healthy women ages 60 to 71 and took samples of their blood to determine levels of folic acid and vitamin B-12. Investigators found women with impaired hearing showed a 38 percent lower level of vitamin B-12 in their blood and a 31 percent lower folic acid level than women with normal hearing.
Questions rise about seeding for ocean C02 sequestration
by Tona Kunz for Argonne News
A new study on the feeding habits of ocean microbes calls into question the potential use of algal blooms to trap carbon dioxide and offset rising global levels. These blooms contain iron-eating microscopic phytoplankton that absorb C02 from the air through the process of photosynthesis and provide nutrients for marine life. But one type of phytoplankton, a diatom, is using more iron that it needs for photosynthesis and storing the extra in its silica skeletons and shells, according to an X-ray analysis of phytoplankton conducted at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory. This reduces the amount of iron left over to support the carbon-eating plankton. “Just like someone walking through a buffet line who takes the last two pieces of cake, even though they know they’ll only eat one, they’re hogging the food,” said Ellery Ingall, a professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology and co-lead author on this result. “Everyone else in line gets nothing; the person’s decision affects these other people.”
Schools, agencies to pay higher health plan rates
By: Andy Miller
Georgia officials are raising the employer contribution rates for school districts and state agencies to cover employees in the State Health Benefit Plan. Those employees also may face premium increases for 2014, though their rates won’t be announced until later this summer. This year, teachers, other school personnel, state employees and retirees in the state’s benefit plan had an average increase in their health insurance premiums of 9.5 percent.
PolitiFact: Common Core opponent goes too far with claim about data collection
BY JANEL DAVIS – THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION
The Common Core State Standards have become a hot-button issue in some areas of metro Atlanta. Opponents run the gamut: state lawmakers, conservative groups, tea party members, parents and some school board members. Many see adoption of the standards as a backdoor way for the federal government to implement a national curriculum and take away local control of education. A self-described citizen activist from Fayette County, Angela Bean, has been one of the opposition leaders, and she has taken the anti-Common Core message on the road to various school and community meetings. In a newspaper article this month, Bean — who is also an executive board member of the Fayette County Republican Party — identifies another reason for hating Common Core:
The Answer Sheet By Valerie Strauss
Teachers’ letters to Bill Gates
Bill Gates is a central figure in the modern school reform movement, thanks to his willingness to spend billions of his own dollars for projects he likes. He, for example, spent $2 billion in an effort to break up large high schools and create a network of small schools, but he abandoned that when he decided it hadn’t worked. He and his foundation injected hundreds of millions of dollars into experiments to develop controversial teacher assessment systems, is pushing a project to videotape every teacher in the country to help them see how they do their job, spent at least $150 million to help the Common Core State Standards initiative, provided $100 million to build a controversial student database, and, well you get the idea. His money has deeply affected the course of school reform.
Time for Progress in Teacher Prep
By Edward Crowe, Michael Allen, & Charles Coble
Better-prepared teachers and greatly improved teacher-preparation programs are the essential ingredients of stronger academic outcomes for this nation’s K-12 students. Efforts to accelerate the pace of improvement in teacher preparation have been underway since at least 1998, when Congress established the Title II teacher-quality program and the federal “report card” on preparation-program quality. Despite significant expenditures of public and private funds on teacher-quality initiatives, however, the gains have rarely been more than modest. Higher education in general does not appear to be moving with a sense of urgency to improve teacher preparation, and while new alternative providers arrive on the scene almost every day, some are promising and others are not. In response, in a climate where public confidence in teacher education is quite low, policymakers are seeking to ratchet up educator accountability.
The Answer Sheet By Valerie Strauss
Race vs. class in college admissions: A false dichotomy or not?
The Supreme Court will soon hand down its verdict in a case that challenges racial preferences in admissions at the University of Texas. In this post, Richard D. Kahlenberg, a senior fellow at the nonprofit public policy research organization The Century Foundation, and a proponent of class-based affirmative action in higher education admissions, looks at the issue. This appeared on the foundation’s blog.
By Richard Kahlenberg
Sherrilyn A. Ifill, the president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund Inc., just wrote a New York Times op-ed in defense of race-based affirmative action. The future direction of such policies is likely to be decided at some time in the next two weeks when the U.S. Supreme Court issues its ruling in a challenge to racial preferences in the case of Fisher v. University of Texas.
Commentary: The bamboo ceiling on college admissions
By CAROLYN CHEN
Any day now, the Supreme Court will announce its decision in the Fisher v. University of Texas case, which could invalidate the use of race-conscious policies in college admissions. Some Asian-American groups, such as the 80-20 Education Foundation, have been among the most vocal and visible in opposing what’s broadly termed affirmative action. They believe getting rid of race considerations will work to the advantage of Asian-Americans, who on average have held more extracurricular leadership positions and have higher test scores and grade-point averages than whites, yet have the lowest acceptance rate to elite private universities. They are not wrong to worry about Asian admissions.
Why We Fear MOOCs
By Mary Manjikian
In a 2002 book the anthropologist David D. Gilmore explored our culture’s fascination with monsters. He noted that most monsters are a sort of hybrid. They defy simple explanation because they tend to straddle categories. They might be part human and part animal (like a werewolf) or part living and part dead (like a vampire). The monster is thus a mutated version of something we are already familiar with; it is both familiar and strange. It’s the monster’s amorphous nature that we find upsetting—it blurs categories, so it upsets the natural order of things, causing chaos. I think that’s why we fear MOOCs. As hybrids, they defy easy categorization and threaten to upset the tidy categories we have for judging who is and is not college-educated. Like monsters, MOOCs threaten to disrupt our social world and bring chaos in their wake.
No Country for Slow Broadband
By RICHARD BENNETT
WASHINGTON — THERE is a popular story going around about the state of America’s broadband networks: service is pitifully slow, hugely overpriced and limited to the richest neighborhoods — whereas in Europe, service is cheap, fast and widespread because regulators force big companies to make room for smaller service providers. Almost none of this is true: America’s broadband networks lead the world by many measures, and they are improving at a more rapid rate than networks in most developed countries. Much of the disparity between perception and reality has to do with timing. Before the recession, American Internet service was on a very different path, not keeping pace with large sections of Western Europe and East Asia.
Can’t Hide in the Cloud
By VIKAS BAJAJ
Most Internet users were disabused of the notion that their online activities could be kept entirely secret long before the recent revelations that the National Security Agency has been tracking the phone calls and online communications of millions of people. And to a great degree, consumers have traded privacy for convenience — like having Web retailers store your credit card number to save you some typing on your next order. Still, the scope of the government’s surveillance programs left some users and businesses wondering what, if anything, can be done to claw back more control over private information. The answer is complicated: most users could do more to safeguard themselves, but no software or service can protect them fully from determined government agencies, criminals or hackers.
Georgia, Augusta lag behind nation in college degrees
By Tracey McManus
While the number of adults graduating from college is on the rise in Georgia, the sluggish pace leaves the state 32nd in the country for those who have completed degrees beyond high school, with the Augusta metro area trailing the state and nation. According to a study released by the Lumina Foundation last week, 36 percent of adults in Georgia and 33 percent in metro Augusta held two- or four-year degrees as of 2011, the most recent data available. Even as demand for skilled workers grows, only 39 percent of adults in the U.S. held college degrees, up slightly from the year before but behind the pace needed to reach the national goal of 60 percent college attainment by 2025. …According to Gov. Nathan Deal’s Complete College Georgia initiative, more than 60 percent of jobs will require a certificate, associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree by 2020.
Florida needs more college graduates, report states
Jeffrey S. Solochek, Times Staff Writer
Florida has slightly improved its level of college attainment, but still has a distance to go if it is to meet the state’s workforce needs, the Lumina Foundation reports in its latest publication of A Stronger Nation Through Higher Education. According to the report, 37 percent of working-age Floridians held a 2- or 4-year college degree in 2011 (the latest year available), up slightly from 36.5 percent in 2010. Nationally, 38.7 percent of working-age adults held degrees. “Research from the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce tells us that 59 percent of all Florida jobs will require postsecondary education by 2018,” Jamie P. Merisotis, president and chief executive officer of Lumina, said in a release. “This means that Florida is now facing a troubling talent gap and significantly more graduates are needed to meet future workforce needs.
Montana Becomes Top State in Increasing 2-year Degrees
by Kathryn Haake, Associated Press
HELENA Mont.—President Barack Obama set a goal early in his first term for the U.S. to turn out more college graduates than any other nation, but there hasn’t been much progress as most states have stumbled in their attempts to improve. Montana, however, stands apart. By investing in junior colleges, the Treasure State boasts a 6 percent rise in adult graduation rates over a span where the rest of the country showed an increase of less than 1 percent, according to census data.
Data Reveal a Rise in College Degrees Among Americans
By CATHERINE RAMPELL
WASHINGTON — The number of Americans graduating from college has surged in recent years, sending the share with a college degree to a new high, federal data shows. The surge follows more than two decades of slow growth in college completion, which caused the United States to fall behind other countries and led politicians from both parties, including President Obama, to raise alarms. Last year, 33.5 percent of Americans ages 25 to 29 had at least a bachelor’s degree, compared with 24.7 percent in 1995, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. In 1975, the share was 21.9 percent. The number of two-year college degrees, master’s degrees and doctorates has also risen recently.
By Paul Fain
Few community college students graduate on time. One reason many spend extra time and money trying to earn associate degrees is because community colleges often require more than 60 credits to meet academic program requirements. Most four-year institutions now stick to the standard of 120 credit hours, according to a study conducted last year for Complete College America. But community colleges are a different story. The survey, which was not publicly released, was designed to be representative of public institutions in all 50 states. It looked at program requirements at 310 institutions, about half of which are community colleges.
Race vs. class: Inequality has shifted debate since Court last ruled on affirmative action
By JUSTIN POPE AP Education Writer , The Associated Press
In post-Great Recession America, which is the bigger barrier to opportunity _ race or class? A decade ago, the U.S. Supreme Court kept the focus on race as a barrier, upholding the right of colleges to make limited use of racial preferences to ensure a diverse student body. But in a ruling due this month, the court is widely expected to roll back that decision. Such an outcome would shift attention more toward a less constitutionally controversial practice: giving a boost to socio-economically disadvantaged students, regardless of race. If that happens, it would reflect more than just a more conservative makeup of the justices. Over the last decade, clogged social mobility and rising economic inequality have shifted the conversation on campuses and in the country as a whole. As a barrier to opportunity, class is getting more attention, while race is fading.
U.S. Opens Antitrust Investigation Into Colleges’ Talk of Student-Aid Reform
By Eric Hoover
The U.S. Department of Justice has begun an investigation into “a possible agreement” among colleges to reform their financial-aid policies, according to a letter sent last month to at least two college presidents. The investigation, several sources said, was prompted by recent discussions among a handful of college officials about how—or whether—they could collaborate to limit their use of merit-based financial aid and reduce bidding wars for applicants.
In Student Housing, Luxuries Overshadow Studying
By JOHN ELIGON
COLUMBIA, Mo. — Brenden Heiland had breathed the vanilla lavender-scented clubhouse air. He had seen the beach volleyball court, toured the game room equipped with billiards, Ping-Pong and air hockey tables, and learned with delight of the Friday pool parties with a D.J., free food and snow cones, spiked with rum for those of age. Now, as he and the three friends he was apartment hunting with stood peering at the pool, Mr. Heiland, 19, pondered what life might be like if he chose to live in this off-campus complex, the Grove, when his sophomore year at the University of Missouri begins this fall. “It’s like a vacation, almost,” he said. “I’m not going to go to class — that’s how I look at it.” As private housing developers try harder than ever to outdo the amenities that their competitors offer in college towns, concern is growing about the academic and social consequences of upscale off-campus student housing.
Enrolling College-Bound Students With Their ‘Match’ School Could Yield Success
by Jamaal Abdul-Alim
Washington – The conversation around increasing degree attainment often focuses on helping more students from disadvantaged backgrounds get prepared for and admitted to college. But at a recent forum on Capitol Hill, the conversation shifted toward a more nuanced aspect—helping students gain admittance to the college that represents the best academic fit. The concept is known as “match.” During an American Youth Policy Forum event titled “College Match Matters,” Dr. Crystal Byndloss, Senior Research Associate at MDRC, presented data from the College Match Program Model in Chicago, an intervention meant to combat the problem of “undermatching”—that is, students enrolling in colleges that are less selective than the kind they are qualified to enter. As a result of undermatching, research has shown that more students drop out of college than would otherwise because they are not being challenged, Byndloss and other panelists said.
UNCF Launches New Campaign to Invest in African-American Students
by Brittany Hutson
WASHINGTON—The United Negro College Fund has put a spin on its memorable tagline, “A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste,” to stress the importance of investing in a college education for young African-Americans. At an event at the Department of Education on Friday, UNCF President Dr. Michael Lomax introduced the “Better Futures” campaign, which features the new tagline “A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste, But a Wonderful Thing to Invest In” and new public service advertisements, to an intimate room of higher education leaders and advocates, including Chancellor of D.C. Public Schools Kaya Henderson, former UNCF executive director Vernon Jordan and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. The new campaign was created in partnership with the Ad agency Y&R and the nonprofit Ad Council, the team that created the original “A Mind is …” campaign in 1972 with Jordan. Lomax described the new campaign as “a call to action” to “ensure that our young people have the education they need to step up and be a part of a global economy that is tougher than ever before.”
Budget Woes Are No Excuse
By Colleen Flaherty
WASHINGTON – Citing “chilling” violations of shared governance principles under the guise of financial crises, the American Association of University Professors voted unanimously to censure two institutions during its annual meeting Saturday. “This is the thing that had to be done,” said Sudhir Trevedi, past Faculty Senate president and professor of computer science at Southern University at Baton Rouge. AAUP’s vote to censure the university followed its investigation into Southern’s declaration of financial exigency in 2011 that resulted in the firing of 19 tenured professors.
How to Prevent Votes of No Confidence
By Colleen Flaherty
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Seeking to add “teeth” to the growing number of faculty votes of no confidence in presidents, the New York State Conference of the American Association of University Professors on Saturday unveiled its “Profile for 21st Century President” to serve as a template for future presidential searches. “Under the principles of shared governance, even where primary responsibility rests with one of the other institutional components, the faculty should be afforded a meaningful participatory role in the significant decision-making processes affecting the future well-being of the institution,” reads the document, which was presented as a resolution at the annual meeting of the national AAUP.
High court to hear open records challenge
Jun 17, 2013 (Menafn – The Atlanta Journal-Constitution – McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) –Quick Start’s customized job-training program has been called one of Georgia’s key weapons for luring new business into the state. After Kia Motors announced it would build its behemoth new plant southwest of Atlanta, it identified Quick Start as a reason for choosing Georgia over other states. Today, the Georgia Supreme Court will hear arguments as to whether many of the program’s records involving the Kia plant are available to the public. The court’s ruling could set a precedent as to whether similar documents kept under the Quick Start program’s control for other economic development projects are subject to the Open Records Act. The case pits corporate interests who want to keep private any records that may expose their business practices to their competitors against open government advocates who contend the training program should not operate under such a sweeping level of secrecy.
Supreme Court’s Ruling on Gene Patents Opens New Avenues for University Research
By Paul Basken
The four-year court battle over the genetic marker of an elevated risk of breast cancer was, for many, a mind-numbing slog through complicated science. Now begins the even longer and murkier process of assessing the sum of gains or possible losses for university researchers and the wider public. The Supreme Court, in its 9-to-0 decision, issued on Thursday, ruled that Myriad Genetics Inc. did not have a right to claim ownership of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, which it discovered along with partners that include the University of Utah. The court found that the genes—segments of human DNA—are naturally occurring and thus ineligible for patent protection, contradicting years of decisions by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.