Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A Provost and Librarian Walk Into a Meeting...

Dear Chief Academic Officer (who isn’t my own):

I’m the head college librarian. I’ve been here for years, even outlasted several provosts. Just got in good with the last one — then she left. Now, a new person is on his way and I don’t want to lose any ground. Should I meet with him right away, and what should I say? Please help.

Speaker after speaker in the audience posed variations on that scenario Monday at a session of the American Library Association’s annual conference that was part roundtable, part “Ask Amy.” During “The Art of Persuasion: Strategies for Effective Communication with Chief Academic Officers,” organized by the Association of College and Research Libraries, the provosts and vice presidents for academic affairs on the panel shared a list of their do’s and don’ts when approaching new college officials in their positions.

To read the entire article, and the do's and don'ts, click here.

The information in this post was taken directly from an article written by Elia Powers in inside highered.com dated 26 June 2007.

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Monday, June 25, 2007

When ‘Digital Natives’ Go to the Library

College and university librarians got some unconventional advice Saturday: Play more video games.

At a packed session for academic librarians attending the annual meeting of the American Library Association, in Washington, the topic was how to help students who have learned many of their information gathering and analysis skills from video games apply that knowledge in the library. Speakers said that gaming skills are in many ways representative of a broader cultural divide between today’s college students and the librarians who hope to teach them.

George M. Needham, vice president for member services of the Online Computer Library Center, stressed that he was not suggesting that college libraries “tear up the stacks to put in arcades,” but that they rethink many assumptions.

“The librarian as information priest is as dead as Elvis,” Needham said.

Fortunately, Needham offered thoughtful suggestions on how librarians can meet digital natives on their turf. You can read these, and the entire article (from which all of the information in this post was taken) by clicking...here (Inside Higher Ed, 25 June 2007, written by Scott Jaschik

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Proposal to Reduce NJKI Funding

In all likelihood, funding for The New Jersey Knowledge Initiative will be reduced from $3M to $2M for fiscal year 2007-2008. Voting on the budget is scheduled for 21 June. If funding is reduced, it is obvious that the number of databases available to businesses and residents of New Jersey will also be reduced. If information is indeed power, a diminished number of high-quality information resources available to our many small business entrepreneurs, university and college students, pharmaceuticals, and others can only lessen New Jersey's appeal to future residents and businesses.

Read the resolution to reduce funding here (PDF)

The New Jersey Knowledge Initiative Website

Find your New Jersey legislator here

In rare turnabout, student accuses teacher of plagiarism

This story reads like a soap opera.

Passing off someone's work as your own is a cardinal sin in college research. Students can be expelled. Professional reputations can be wrecked. While student plagiarism grabs headlines, allegations against teachers happen more than people realize, experts say. Because students rarely fight back, most accusations fade in the grumbling over beers after class.
This time, though, the student is suing.

Scheduled for trial this summer in Anoka County (MN), Mary Swenson's lawsuit against Sharon Bender may offer an unvarnished look at who controls ideas in the give-and-take of college research. It also may open a window on the complex ties between teachers and students who need a mentor's help and influence - and who understand they are unlikely to get the benefit of the doubt.

Swenson, 46, didn't expect confrontation in 2000 when she signed up at Capella, a for-profit, online university based in Minneapolis. Already a consultant based in Ham Lake, she liked the flexible scheduling she could have online. Capella offered a doctoral program in organizational psychology; the school said it was seeking accreditation from the American Psychological Association. It all seemed to fit nicely. (Capella has not received the accreditation.)

All the information in this post is taken directly from an article by Paul Tosto at TwinCities.com dated 18 June 2007. Read the entire article by clicking here.

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Monday, June 18, 2007

The End of Books as We Know Them?

Seattle Post-Intelligencer - Bill Gates recent prediction that all reading will soon be done online gives us plenty of food for thought.

"Reading is going to go completely online. We believe that as we get the smaller form factor, the screen has gotten good enough. Why is reading online better? It's up to date, you can navigate, you can follow links." stated Gates at Microsoft's Strategic Account Summit in Seattle.

Yet to be perfected is the device that will bring all this knowledge to our fingertips. According to futurist
Ray Kurzweil, one the best devices currently on the market is the Sony Reader. For more on ebook readers see the article, E-books, has your time come? from C/Net News.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Wanted: Savvy Grads in Math and Science

As this year’s college and university graduates head into the work force, New Jersey’s pharmaceutical and medical technology companies continue to be a leading source of jobs, offering excellent pay and benefits and promising career opportunities. The industry employs 60,000 workers statewide and modest growth is expected in all job categories for 2007-2010. The question is, will New Jersey’s graduates have the right educational preparation, especially in math and the sciences, to compete for jobs in this important sector?

A new report issued by the HealthCare Institute of New Jersey (HINJ) warns that there may not be enough qualified workers to fill projected job openings during the next several years.

Five of the six high-demand occupations identified in the report, titled “The Workforce Needs of New Jersey’s Pharmaceutical and Medical Technology Industry,” require a solid grounding in both math and science. However, relatively low numbers of New Jersey college graduates earn bachelor’s degrees in biochemistry, chemistry, animal science and marketing.

Gov. Jon Corzine’s administration and HINJ member companies are committed to developing a far-reaching work force development strategy to address these concerns. The New Jersey Commission on Higher Education is also supporting an Innovation Partnership Institute in the Life Sciences, housed at Rutgers University, whose purpose is to increase the number of graduates in critical fields of study.

The information contained in this post is taken directly from an article at NJBIZ.com dated 11 June 2007. The entire can be found here.

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Thursday, June 07, 2007

As stays in college get longer, costs grow

Only one in three college students in America gets a bachelor's degree in four years. In fact, the federal government uses a six-year rate to measure graduation success, but still only 56 percent ever graduate from the college they entered as freshmen.

"We need to ask ourselves: Why has six years become the norm?" said Danette Gerald of the Education Trust, a Washington, D.C. think tank. "We have a good deal of success in getting students into college, but not in getting them out."

Overall, New Jersey's state colleges have rates that are closely aligned with how selective they are in the first place. The College of New Jersey in Ewing Township, the most selective, has a four-year graduation rate of 66.2 percent, while New Jersey City University, one of the least selective, has a four-year rate of just 7 percent.

The state's private schools also have rates that closely reflect how selective they are. Princeton University, one of the most selective in the country, tops the list in New Jersey with a four-year graduation rate of 89 percent and a six-year rate of 96.4 percent. Bloomfield College has the lowest four-year rate of 5.5 percent and a six-year rate of 33.5 percent.

All of the information in this post has been taken directly from an article in NorthJersey.com dated 27 May 2007. The entire article is available here. The article includes some tips on graduating in four years.

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Stanley Measure Creating Task Force on School-University Partnerships Released

The Assembly Education Committee today released legislation Assemblyman Craig Stanley sponsored to establish a task force to study and promote best practices for school-university partnerships that seek to improve the education of public school students in low-income communities.

"In some urban neighborhoods, partnerships among universities and local public schools are bridging gaps for young students," said Stanley (D-Essex), who chairs the education panel. "Whether they provide after-school, tutoring, or mentoring programs, these partnerships need to effectively meet the needs of the community."

"Some of the country's finest institutions of higher education sit within a stone's throw of some of New Jersey's neediest schools," Stanley continued. "The resources and people available at our colleges and universities must be utilized to effect real, positive changes in our elementary schools students."

The bill (A-2082) was released by a vote of 10-0. It now goes to the Assembly Speaker, who decides if and when to post it for a floor vote.

The information in this post was taken directly from PoliticsNJ.com dated 21 May 2007. The entire article is available here.