Sociology majors beat business majors on the GMAT

4/18/2011: I sprung for the NYT 99 cent trial:

Business majors spend less time preparing for class than do students in any other broad field, according to the most recent National Survey of Student Engagement: nearly half of seniors majoring in business say they spend fewer than 11 hours a week studying outside class. In their new book “Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses,” the sociologists Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa report that business majors had the weakest gains during the first two years of college on a national test of writing and reasoning skills. And when business students take the GMAT, the entry examination for M.B.A. programs, they score lower than students in every other major. …

At the beginning of freshman year and end of sophomore year, students in the study took the Collegiate Learning Assessment, a national essay test that assesses students’ writing and reasoning skills. During those first two years of college, business students’ scores improved less than any other group’s. Communication, education and social-work majors had slightly better gains; humanities, social science, and science and engineering students saw much stronger improvement. 

In case you were skeptical of a liberal arts education.

Off topic: Rajneeshees in Oregon and 4J School Board

4/17/2011: Les Zaitz of the Oregonian has just wrapped up a great 5 part retrospective on the Rajneeshee movement in Oregon. The Oregonian is a consistently interesting newspaper with an excellent website.

Meanwhile the 4J school board has stabbed the 4J teachers and the supporters of a Eugene income tax in the back, by first giving a fat compensation package to the incoming Superintendent, and then arguing that they had to give the same to the outgoing one, out of fairness. From the RG editorial:

Berman starts off making significantly more than retiring Superintendent George Russell is being paid after 12 years on the job. Russell topped out last year at just less than $150,000, a figure that was reduced this year by 10 days of unpaid furlough. The implication is that either Berman will be paid too much, or that Russell has been paid too little. To address the imbalance, the school board will make a one-time contribution to Russell’s tax-sheltered annuity equal to the two superintendents’ difference in base pay — $35,838, under Berman’s tentative contract terms.

Fairness to whom – not the teachers, students, or taxpayers. Whose interests does the board represent?

42 years since death of UO President Charles Johnson

4/16/2011: Steve Duin of the Oregonian gives the background, stirred by the memory of UO journalism professor Ken Metzler. You can read excerpts from Metzler’s book on Johnson here:

This is just one little incident – caused by the Daily Emerald printing the phrase “Mother Fuckers” on state owned equipment. And you think Lariviere has it hard?

financial impropriety

3/10/2011: Rachel Bachman of the Oregonian has a story on Ethics Point. They contract to state agencies, including OUS, to allow employees to make anonymous reports about financial improprieties. I’ve used this with mixed success. The reports are forwarded to OUS auditor Pat Snopkowski, but she often sits on them if they are embarrassing to her boss. They do provide you with anonymity, and some protection from retaliation, at least in theory. The link to make a report about UO is right on Frances Dyke’s page. Convenient!

Donor attacks President, praises Faculty Senate

3/6/2011: POCATELLO —One of Idaho State University’s major financial donors has some harsh words for both ISU President Arthur Vailas and the State Board of Education about the escalating turmoil on campus.

    “The president is not there to be supported entirely by students and by faculty,” said James E. Rogers, the owner of Intermountain West Communications, which operates KPVI-Channel 6 in Pocatello. “The president is there to support the faculty and support the students because, as we all know, your end product is not great presidents, your (end) product is great graduates.”    …

    In giving his opinion on Wednesday, Rogers praised the importance of the Faculty Senate, taking Vailas to task for an ugly climate at the university that has included an overwhelming vote of no confidence by the faculty against the university president last month. ISU students will hold their own confidence vote on Vailas March 30-31. …

    Rogers also spoke about the important role a faculty senate can play in university governance, saying all the faculty senates he has seen in years’ past have typically been held in high regard by their respective university presidents.

UO featured in NY Times

3/5/2011: The academic side pays $2 million for the Jock Box tutoring, and millions more for other athletic subsidies. Including the $250,000 for our suddenly very busy Public Records Officer, Liz Denecke. But hey – look what the Ducks do for our national reputation! Two mentions in the NY Times today. One in an article on the general cesspool that is college sports, one on the new 7-on-7 football camps that we are currently recruiting HS players from. Where they play without helmets.

Go Ducks.

only obscenities are worse than Duck Athletic Fund donors

2/25/2011: Experiences of a student, soliciting donations for UO academics:

My biggest pet peeves are three-fold: getting hung up on in the middle of a call, being told that you only support the Duck Athletic Fund so you can get access to better football tickets, or worse, being sworn at.

Seriously, this is why Lariviere needs to tell Rob Mullens that donors to academic causes will also get seating priority. Imagine how that would change these fundraising calls!

faculty governance

2/20/2011: Wisconsin is getting all the attention, but read about the faculty governance fight in Pocatello. From Insidehighered.com:

Siding With President, State Governing Board Suspends Idaho State’s Faculty Senate

The Idaho State Board of Education on Thursday suspended the Faculty Senate at Idaho State University, which voted no confidence last week in the university’s president, Arthur Vailas, The Spokesman-Review reported. Officials of the board, which governs all public education in the state, said the decision was “the most reasonable action to take at this time” given what it characterized as the disconnect between the faculty and Vailas, for whom the board had recently expressed support. “The impasse between the leadership of the senate group and the administration has reached a point where the prospect of any kind of progress was simply non-existent. It’s time to start over.” The board directed Vailas to develop an interim faculty body, the newspaper reported.

The statement from the ISU Faculty Senate Pres is here:

The bottom line if we do not fix this leadership crisis it will harm the education of students. And that is the primary mission of ISU. You cannot have even 10 percent of a group questioning your ability to lead if you wish to lead that group. And the 80 percent rejection of President Vailas simply is untenable for leading ISU. ISU badly needs competent and inspired leadership for the students and for the state. We want a strong university and we want to be the economic engine for Pocatello and southeast Idaho and the State of Idaho in general. The internal strife at ISU is killing ISU. We need an administration that cares for the faculty, staff, and students, the future of the institution,  the community of Pocatello, and for the state of Idaho. We need a leader who understands how to find and build on consensus.

The Idaho higher education board responded by suspending the faculty senate. Crazy shit.

Charitable giving

2/18/2011: Report from the UO component of the state employee Charitable Fund Drive:

The 2010 CFD received 810 pledges in the amount of $251, 083. This is an increase of 30% in pledges and 3% in total dollars pledged compared to 2009. Although the average pledge decreased in 2010, more people participated in the CFD than ever before.

Of the OUS-wide fund drive, the UO accounted for 66% of all pledges and 58% of the total dollars raised. Perhaps even more impressive, the UO campus accounted for about 25% of the total dollars pledged by all state employees.