UT Headlines

Archive for January, 2009

UT enrollment up again

It doesn’t solve our budget problems, but it certainly helps mitigate some of the negative effects. And, hopefully, it helps remind everyone that more and more people are recognizing the value of a UT degree.

Some local colleges break enrollment records

At UT, spring enrollment of 20,775 stu-dents is a 5.4 percent increase over the 19,709 enrolled in spring, 2008.

Part of the reason is a larger fall class, which stayed through this spring. The university’s continuing student base is up 4.6 percent, said Kevin Kucera, UT’s associate vice president of enrollment services. 

UT also had increases in new adult students and transfer students.

Kudos, guns, steel and prostitution

A quick roundup of some new and missed stories:

The Blade offers its praise for the UT Guarantee and its expansion in an editorial:

IN THESE tough economic times, the University of Toledo deserves special credit for expanding a program to offer free tuition to even more qualifying high school students in Ohio.

UT’s largesse will help boost its minority enrollment and increase government financial aid with all low-income students. And, because it gives hope to high school students who had little chance of attending college, it should prove to be a good idea that’s gotten better.

Dr. Brian Patrick is quoted in a Newsday article about gun buyback programs:

Still, some analysts say the [gun buyback] events are more about making people feel good than stopping crimes.

“It’s a nice symbolic effort but it’s unlikely that it will really affect gun crimes,” said Brian Patrick, a professor at the University of Toledo who has studied gun culture and gun-control issues.

The College of Business Administration is highlighted in today’s Blade for its program with Northstar Bluescope Steel in Delta, a company that worked with UT to institute a successful on-site MBA program:

[UT College of Business Administration Dean Tom] Gutteridge said this is the first such program done on-site in northwest Ohio and it required a strong partnership among the university, the company, and the employees to make it work.

“It takes a company that’s ready and willing to go the extra mile and it takes faculty who are willing to do that,” he said.

And Celia Williamson, UT associate professor of social work who has long studied prostitution and helped hundreds of women escape and reclaim their lives, is quoted in the Ann Arbor News about the unfortunate role technology is playing for some women ensnared by prostitution:

It’s a new twist on the world’s oldest profession – police say prostitutes are increasingly turning to the Internet to offer their services.

Celia Williamson, an associate professor of social work at the University of Toledo who has studied prostitution, said college students getting involved in prostitution isn’t new.

“The only thing that has changed is the use of Craigslist,” she said. “It is making it easier to connect.”

STEM, false choices and single-celled organisms

Some of the best blogs are short, to the point and avoid the soapbox. This one is neither the first nor the third, but hopefully drifts into the second.

At the risk of wading into two controversial topics instead of just one, the debate about the value and utility of STEM always seemed a false choice in the same way I’ve always felt the debate between evolution and creationism was a false choice.

As someone who would lean more toward the evolution end of the spectrum, and while I don’t personally believe the Earth is 6,000 years old, I have no trouble with the notion of a divine entity creating a universe where a process as infinitely complex as evolution is possible.

Now, having solved that problem in less than 50 words, and, acknowledging the analogy may be a bit grandiose as compared to a current political hot-button issue for some, I think the same polarizing false choice exists when it comes to STEM.

Consider the words of President Jacobs speaking recently to the Business Alliance for Higher Education and the Economy:

How will you know if you should be for or against the bank bailouts; how will you know if you need to invest the time to learn a new computer program or if you need a new medical procedure if you aren’t fluent in at least the basics of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math?

The primary focus of my job is to get the University into the news, ideally into the national news. Rarely do I do that by pitching UT alone and by itself. I pitch the institutions’s knowledge base, connecting UT to a larger national trend, like the auto industry, alternative energy or the economic stimulus.

STEM advocates have effectively used the things they’ve learned in their social science and humanities educations to communicate with political leaders the importance of STEM disciplines and make it the trend.

It seems to me (and no doubt thousands long before me) that the key for those disciplines that don’t help spell “STEM” isn’t to push away from STEM, but to show how the social sciences and the humanities are inextricably linked to the end goal politicians want STEM to produce: a vibrant economy.

So why not highlight more prominently to students the fact that those who know two – or three – foreign languages or who understand and can assimilate into a foreign culture will be leaps and bounds ahead in their international business careers as compared to those (like me) who know about 1.3 languages?

Why not point out louder that the creativity and adaptive abilities needed in English and Theatre are the same qualities needed by non-profit organizations struggling to help more with less money or businesses working to do more with more?

Is there any more important topic in the world right now than the social science of economics?

If the goal behind STEM is economic development and prosperity, show me an economically prosperous city or region without a strong artistic center. As UT President Lloyd Jacobs has pointed out as he advocates Toledo position itself as a University town, art and economic prosperity go hand-in-hand.

I would love to put out a press release to NBC Nightly News saying “UT is great, come cover UT” and avoid the clutter of external linkages to outside trends that don’t 100 percent coincide with my goal of UT news coverage. But Brian Williams‘s assistant’s assistant’s assistant is busy, doesn’t know UT and I’ll have more luck coupling the work of UT’s Environmental Sciences Department to “green” national trends.

In the same way, linking other disciplines to STEM will probably develop better outcomes and greater appreciation for those disciplines than going the Job 38:11 route.*

* Shameless Da Vinci Code reference

UT Guarantee expansion expands coverage

The expansion of the UT Guarantee has generated as much or more coverage as the initial announcement last fall.

Much of the recent coverage has been of UT’s visits to Toledo Public Schools to highlight the Guarantee:

(A quick note that the $16,000 price tag mentioned at the start of the story is the sticker price for out-of-state students. Most students don’t come from out of state and of those that do, most don’t pay sticker price as UT, the feds, foundations and others help out with scholarships, loans, grants, etc.)

An event, similar to the one in Cleveland in December, is planned for Columbus public school students Jan. 28.

But UT’s also seen coverage of the Guarantee and its expansion in U.S. News & World Report, the Cleveland Plain Dealer (again), the Independent Collegian, the Blade, Jon Strunk’s hometown newspaper the Mansfield News Journal, and on WKSU radio, a Channel 11 news story and editorial and Channel 13.

So if you know any Pell-grant eligible high school seniors with a 3.0 GPA from any of Ohio’s 21 largest cities, spread the word.

Catching up

Having fallen a few days behind, a quick recap:

1.) The Blade writes about some of UT’s key economic development people going to Abu Dhabi for the Second Annual World Future Energy Summit.

“We have some technology that’s really in demand in the world,” said Frank Calzonetti, vice president of research development for UT. “We’re trying to take this to the world.”

More than 15,000 people are expected to attend the conference and exhibit, including international businesses and political leaders.

UT will have a friend next door as UT-spinoff company Xunlight hosts a display right next to the University’s

2.) Also, an, um… unique story in the Chicago Sun-Times about Tony Packo’s Toledo’s solar energy push.

3.) Dr. Gary Moore, chair of UT’s Finance Department, talks about the economy in a Channel 13 story about the closing of the Textileather plant in town. (Video available)

4.) Also, a local and a national story touching on the UT Guarantee. More on that Tuesday Wednesday.

Dr. Dan Johnson in UAE

I don’t know what you plan to do during your retirement, but former UT President Dr. Dan Johnson decided to spend his retirement not retiring.

First it was his constant pressure, encouragement and participation in Toledo’s economic development efforts. And today, as is highlighted in a great story in today’s Blade, Johnson is leading Zayed University, located in the United Arab Emirates.

According to the story:

[Johnson] is helping lead a newer university, which is about 10 years old, in a newer country that is about 30 years old. Dubai is one of the seven emirates and the most populous city of the United Arab Emirates. It is along the southern coast of the Arabian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula.

“It’s a region that believes in itself and its capacity to succeed in bold projects,” Mr. Johnson said. “There are bold ideas surfacing from almost every corner for new projects in the future. There is a level of ambition and entrepreneurship here that is unlike anything I’ve ever seen.”

The new career of the Field House & The economy

Two stories from Channel 13:

Channel 13 takes a quick look at the Memorial Field House on its first day of classes:

Also, Dr. Gbenga Ajilore, assistant professor of economics, talks about Americans increasingly saving greater proportions of their money.

“In terms of trying to boost the economy, we can’t rely on consumers anymore. We need to focus more on businesses and the government. The problem with focusing on consumers is they don’t have stable jobs. It’s okay to focus on consumers if they have stable jobs.”

The entire story, including video, is available here.

Joel Lipman: Lucas County Poet Laureate

In case you missed it, go back and take some time to read the story in Monday’s Blade about Joel Lipman and his work as Lucas County Poet Laureate.

“Words have meaning. Words Matter,” I still remember hearing from Dr. David Tucker in a UT communication class when I was an undergrad. For whatever reason it was that short phrase by Dr. Tucker that first came to my mind reading J.C. Reindl’s story about Joel.

In a world where* communication is increasingly lazy and cliche, people, like Joel, who take time to focus on what words mean and which words to use are increasingly rare and increasingly important. That he helps others find their own words, as the story highlights, is equally important.

Even if you did catch the story, you may not have seen the video the Blade also has up on its Web site.

* The phrase “in a world where” = totally cliche.

UT physician’s research featured in NY Times

My Google alerts sophisticated news monitoring technology let me down a little bit on this story, but my delayed notification doesn’t diminish the reality that on Jan. 10, UT had two experts featured in two New York Times stories.

The research of Dr. Fouzia Siddiqui, a neurologist at UTMC, was featured in a New York Times story about sleep e-mailing.

You’ve Been Talking (or Pressing ‘Send’) in Your Sleep

The Sleep Medicine article — prepared by Dr. Fouzia Siddiqui, a neurologist at the University of Toledo Medical Center in Ohio, and two colleagues — describes one woman’s e-mailing while sleeping as the first reported case of “complex nonviolent cognitive behavior.” It involved not just composing messages, but also navigating past two separate levels of password security to reach the e-mail software.

According to the article, the patient suffered from severe insomnia and was taking zolpidem, which is marketed under various brand names, the best known of which is Ambien. She decided on her own to increase her daily dose to 15 milligrams, from the 10 milligrams prescribed by her doctor, to counteract what she perceived as diminished efficacy of the drug over time.

Dr. Siddiqui has also received international media coverage for the topic, including newspapers in Great Britain, Australia and on ABCNews.com.

The other NY Times story, as my mom loyal readers will remember, was Prof. Rapp’s story, which I wrote about yesterday.

UT hit in NY Times kicks off new semester

UT law professor Geoffrey Rapp has been quoted again in the New York Times on his expertise on the areas where sports and the law intersect.

Rapp talks about whether the Portland Trail Blazers threat to sue other National Basketball Association teams is above board in an article published Saturday:

Threat of Lawsuit and Talk of Collusion in Miles’s Attempted Comeback

Rapp is an editor at the Sports Law Blog

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A journal devoted to a look at local, national and global media reports about the way higher education is changing our society and those trends higher education must engage to maintain relevance in the 21st century.

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