USG eclips August 10, 2015

University System News:
State Board of Regents to set retiree health care contribution
Janel Davis
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Retirees from the state’s university system are likely to find out next week how much the system will pay toward their health insurance costs for the upcoming year. The state’s Board of Regents is scheduled to set the employer contribution rates during its monthly meeting on Wednesday. The system has made some changes to its health coverage over the past few years aimed at cutting ever-increasing costs. The most notable change has been the decision to no longer provide Medicare-eligible retirees secondary health coverage on the system’s health plan. Instead, beginning Jan. 1, those retirees would be given a set amount of money to buy their own co-insurance through a private health exchange.
TCSG Appoints E.D.of Ga Film Academy
CVN News
University System of Georgia (USG) Chancellor Hank Huckaby and Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) Commissioner Gretchen Corbin today announced the appointment of Jeffrey Stepakoff as the executive director of the Georgia Film Academy. The concept and rationale for the Georgia Film Academy was identified through Governor Nathan Deal`s High Demand Career Initiative (HDCI) which was launched in January 2014 by Deal and led by Commissioner Chris Carr and the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) to address Georgia`s important workforce needs. The HDCI focuses on the future needs of strategic industries in Georgia, including film, television and interactive entertainment.
Creating a Qualified Workforce for Georgia’s Film Industry
Jennifer Klein
As the booming Georgia film industry grows more quickly than it can find qualified workers, Fulton County Schools in metro Atlanta knew it was time to implement training programs to meet those needs. Outside of the few glamorous acting and directing jobs on set, hundreds of crew members play an equally essential role. Their jobs can include catering three meals a day to hungry extras, constructing a city street corner set inside a giant warehouse, and spending hours meticulously editing footage. Developing A Workforce
In addition to the new pathways, Fulton is entering a post-secondary partnership with Clayton State University, a business partnership with 404 Studio Partners, and a city partnership with nearby Union City, GA. Through these partnerships, one senior from each of the six South Fulton County high schools will receive a scholarship to Clayton State’s Digital Film Technician Certificate Program, which was developed in early 2014 to help increase qualified crew members to fill growing jobs. The two-semester movie production apprenticeship program lasts six months and aims to fast-track students into the industry and give them long-term, well paying jobs.
Dougherty County School System committee approves phase-out of Albany Early College
Instructional Accountability Committee gives nod to two-year draw down.
By Terry Lewis
ALBANY — The Dougherty County Instructional Accountability Committee voted 3-0 Friday to approve a proposal from Associate Superintendent for Academic Services Ufot Inyang to begin gradually phasing out Albany Early College (AEC). Inyang said the phase out would occur over a period not to exceed two years. “Albany Early College was originally conceived to fill the same role as our Move On When Ready (MOWR) Program which encourages dual (high school and college) enrollment,” Inyang said. “The question is do we need to continue AEC as currently constructed? Over the years MOWR has gained more prominence and AEC has become a watered down concept.” …By contrast, the four DCSS high schools already have more than 250 students dually enrolled in post-secondary institutions at Albany State University, Darton State College, and Albany Technical College. Phasing out AEC, when complete, would also save the DCSS $700,000 a year. …According to the University System of Georgia web site, AEC is one of 10 early colleges scattered throughout the state.

USG Institutions:
VSU Faculty Members Laid Off Wednesday Say ‘Low Enrollment’ Explanation Doesn’t Add Up
By: Winnie Wright
Valdosta, GA – The numbers just don’t add up. That’s what professors at Valdosta State University are saying after they were told their contracts wouldn’t be renewed next year. On Wednesday, 33 faculty and staff members at Valdosta State University were told their positions were being cut for the 2016-2017 school year. “We moved up here, set roots in, and planned to stay here for the rest of my career. I’ve hit all the benchmarks, I’ve performed very well in the department, but it didn’t matter. Our positions were cut regardless of how well we performed,” says Assistant Professor, Joshua Reece. He goes on to say that only the newest professors were affected by the cuts.
University of North Georgia STEM students get boost
5 years of funds will provide scholarships
By Kristen Oliver
Students at the University of North Georgia now have access to years of funds that could help them focus on and earn their degrees. A recently awarded $615,000 grant will help students afford degrees in science, engineering, technology and math.
Harrison Scholars grateful for support at Medical College of Georgia
By Tom Corwin
Staff Writer
Sitting in a building that bears his name, in front of a mural about his life, Christine Gross and John Ahn are grateful to the late Dr. J. Harold Harrison and his family for their generosity. “I just want to express my gratitude to the Harrison family and to Dr. Harrison for giving us this opportunity,” Gross said. They were among 12 Harrison Scholars in the incoming class at Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University. The scholars and a series of endowed chairs at MCG are funded out of a $66 million gift the Harrison family made to MCG Foundation, where Harrison had been chair.
What they felt the town really needed was an evening business school
Reconstruction was the term given to the period following the Civil War during which the United States set conditions under which the rebellious Southern States would be allowed back into the Union. Coming out of Reconstruction, the City of Atlanta was experiencing growing pains but one of the more positive results of Atlanta’s emergence as an up and coming city was the founding of the Georgia Institute of Technology.+
Georgia Tech had been founded in 1885 as part of a plan to build a Southern industrial economy. At its inception, the only degree it offered was one in mechanical engineering but, in the decades to come, other engineering degrees were offered. And though Tech’s reputation as a top notch engineering school rapidly grew, some of the school’s alumnus began to notice a problem.
Local college forced to relocate students because of unsafe stairwells
CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. — A local university is relocating students after the fire department determined stairwells to some dorms are unsafe. The university is reaching out to students and their parents about the change in housing assignments just one week before school starts. Clayton State University says the fire department told the university no students can live on the top two floors of the phase one Clayton Station dorms because the stairwells aren’t safe. “Just over time, it’s been about 20 years, so just because of weather and moisture there was some damage to the wood areas,” said university spokeswoman Maritza Ferreira. That means students already staying on the upper floors now have to be relocated.
Intel Expands Efforts to Diversify Workforce
By Jeffrey Burt
Intel last week stepped up its efforts to bring more minorities and women into the tech field and into the company, giving employees greater incentives to find new employees that help the chip maker reach its diversity goals and teaming with a university to expand engineering opportunities for unrepresented parts of the population … At the same time, Intel executives announced that the company is partnering with the Georgia Institute of Technology and investing $5 million over five years to create solutions that will encourage women and underrepresented minorities to earn computer science and engineering degrees. Officials with Intel and Georgia Tech expect that the program could result in retaining more than 1,000 of such students and improve access to thousands more … The goal of the effort with Georgia Tech is to broaden the pool of future tech innovators, according to Rosalind Hudnell, vice president of human resources and chief diversity officer at Intel.
A rising tide of concern
State agency’s warning on climate change in Georgia spurs action, skepticism.
By Dan Chapman and Greg Bluestein
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
ST. MARYS — Georgia’s wildlife agency minced no words recently in declaring climate change “a threat inherent with uncertainty,” perhaps the state’s starkest warning ever on a politically sensitive subject dismissed by many elected officials. Here, though, on Georgia’s 100-mile-long coast, most everybody takes seriously rising seas and dying marshes caused by drastic changes in the Earth’s climate. They live already with the proof: greater tidal surges; flooded roads; and ages-old trees killed by salt water creeping further inland. …“Every storm that comes ashore will intrude further inland and will become more dangerous, and we will have more days of nuisance flooding,” said Alexander of the University of Georgia’s Skidaway Institute below Savannah, where scientists study marine and environmental sciences. Georgia Tech researchers estimate that 30 percent, or 419 square miles, of Chatham, Liberty and McIntosh counties will be under water by 2110 if the sea keeps rising at its current rate. Georgia’s barrier islands will be swamped, and some coastal towns will experience billions of dollars of damage to municipal infrastructure — road, water and sewer — and private property.
Skidaway Researcher Studies Release Of Ancient Carbon In Arctic
By Emily Jones
SAVANNAH, Ga. — A researcher from the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography in Coastal Georgia has been spending a lot of time lately in Siberia. He’s studying ancient carbon locked in the permafrost there – and what happens when the frost melts and the carbon is released. GPB’s Emily Jones talked with researcher Aron Stubbins about his latest findings.
A Guide to the Coming Weirdness of El Niño
By Ali Swenson, John Walsh
Wildfires torched 2 million acres in Australia. A blistering heat wave killed 2,800 in Indonesia. Thailand’s rice crop failed, causing prices to spike 80 percent. An “atmospheric river” flowed over Northern California, making it rain in San Francisco on 27 days in a single month. These are just a few of the dramatic effects of the El Niño years of 1982–83 and 1997–98, two of the strongest on record, in the Pacific Rim. This year’s El Niño, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, could be even stronger, and researchers are finding strong evidence that global climate change could be a cause … While Trenberth expects, as a result of global warming, more severe effects from El Niños when we get them, Kim Cobb, a climate scientist at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and her colleagues published a paper in Science in 2013 indicating El Niños are getting stronger, if not more frequent. Though more-frequent strong El Niños can be expected, says climate modeler Wenju Cai of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation in Australia.
Could Obama’s Clean Power Plan Lower Your Electric Bill?
Daniel White
Critics of President Obama’s plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. energy sector have asserted for more than a year that the plan will do more harm than good, costing homeowners and businesses by slashing jobs and driving up prices. But researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have concluded that the Clean Power Plan will actually lower electricity bills.

Higher Education News:
Law change means alcohol more likely to mean ticket, not arrest
By Janel Davis – The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Georgia police officers will issue citations to underage drinkers, instead of arresting them, starting this fall. Before a revision in the law this year, officers could issue citations to minors possessing alcohol, but some would go a step further and take the violator to jail. The new law doesn’t change the penalty for the violation — a $300 fine and up to six months in jail for first offenders — but keeps youngsters — in many cases, college students — out of jail. “It will prevent underage offenders from having to go to jail, get a mug shot and post bond, and it will save our communities the related expenses,” Senate Majority Leader Bill Cowsert said in a statement to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Cowsert was a co-sponsor of Senate Bill 160, which led to the change. For college students, the new law means fairer punishment, said Grant Thomas, an officer with the student government association at the University of Georgia.
A Prudent College Path
Frank Bruni
EVERY year the frenzy to get into highly selective colleges seems to intensify, and every year the news media finds and fawns over the rare students offered admission to all eight Ivy League schools. This year Ronald Nelson, from the Memphis area, was one of those who sopped up that adulation. But his story had a fresh wrinkle. Nelson turned down Harvard, Yale, Princeton and the rest of them and chose instead to stay in the South, at the University of Alabama, where he’ll begin his studies later this month. The lower price tag of Alabama, which is giving him a bounty of aid, was one reason.
Search for Success
By Jacqueline Thomsen
Last year 11 institutions partnered to share strategies for getting students to graduation, particularly low-income students. And one of the most promising schemes launched by a member of the University Innovation Alliance is a scholarship program at the University of Texas at Austin, which is aimed at students who are considered the least likely to graduate on time. UT-Austin has stepped up its efforts to admit more low-income students, most notably by automatically admitting students who graduate in the top 7 or 8 percent of their class from Texas high schools. But getting into one of the more prestigious public research universities often isn’t enough — these students tend to need additional support to pass courses that they are underprepared by their high schools to take.
Judge Faults University for Requiring Student to Prove He Was Innocent of Sexual Misconduct
By Peter Schmidt
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga erred in finding a student guilty of sexual misconduct based on his inability to prove he had obtained verbal consent from a woman who described her own memory of their encounter as clouded by intoxication, a state judge has ruled. The state-court judge held that Steven R. Angle, the campus’s chancellor, had rendered an “arbitrary and capricious” decision last December in ordering the expulsion of Corey Mock, a senior.
Hillary Clinton Proposes Debt-Free Tuition at Public Colleges
Plan, which would cost $350 billion over 10 years, is way for Democratic front-runner to woo young voters and provides ammunition against surging Bernie Sanders
WASHINGTON— Hillary Clinton is proposing an expansive program aimed at enabling students to attend public colleges and universities without taking on loans for tuition, her attempt to address a source of anxiety for American families while advancing one of the left’s most sweeping new ideas. The plan—dubbed the “New College Compact” and estimated to cost $350 billion over 10 years—would fundamentally reshape the federal government’s role in higher education by offering new federal money, but with strings attached.