News highlights for August 16, 2010

CisionPoint news monitoring provides this small sampling of the university's daily news coverage. Click headline to read full text via Cision or link directly to the online article where available. For questions or comments about this service, or to add or delete a name from the mailing list, please contact Gerry Everding.

The New York Times
Outdoors and out of reach, studying the brain

GLEN CANYON NATIONAL RECREATION AREA, Utah — Todd Braver emerges from a tent nestled against the canyon wall. He has a slight tan, except for a slim pale band around his wrist. For the first time in three days in the wilderness, Mr. Braver is not wearing his watch. “I forgot,” he says. Mr. Braver, a psychology professor at Washington University in St. Louis, was one of five neuroscientists on an unusual journey. They spent a week in late May in this remote area of southern Utah, rafting the San Juan River, camping on the soft banks and hiking the tributary canyons. For Mr. Braver and his companions, these moments lead to a question: What is happening to our brains? Link to Article Law Blog
‘A Big Ponzi Scheme’: More on the ire directed toward law schools

The law-job market is starting to turn around. Still, it’s not happening fast enough for a handful of bloggers who continue to hammer the law schools for allegedly selling a false bill of goods. The push for more transparency is gaining traction even among some law professors. “There are certain ways to paint statistics, and schools paint it in a way that’s most favorable to them, said Brian Tamanaha, a professor at Washington University Law School in St. Louis. “This is not one school or two schools, this is a lot of schools doing this….I’m not sure I would go to law school today. People have to think very hard about whether they want to take on this debt for uncertain returns.” Link to Article See also ABA Journal

Christian Science Monitor
Protecting women and girls in China, where one child per family is the rule – and a boy the preference

China’s one-child policy, in which officials force pregnant women to abort their babies, continues to draw protest in China. Carl Minzner, an associate professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis, says China’s one-child policy is a “breeding ground of bad abuses” as local officials are pressured to meet targets for the number of births. China will need to use a wide range of incentives to address its widening gender imbalance, he says, which has created a large surplus of boys, who may not be able to find wives when they grow up. Link to Article

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Area hospitals battle infections ‘Changing the culture of medicine’ is vital, expert says

Ten hospitals in the greater St. Louis area logged annual infection rates in 2009 that were worse than the national average in one or more of their intensive care units, according to data the hospitals provide state health officials. Barnes-Jewish Hospital’s infection rate in its surgical intensive care unit is exemplary, but the hospital’s coronary intensive care unit lags behind. Dr. David Warren, the hospital’s epidemiologist and a faculty member at Washington University School of Medicine, attributed the coronary unit’s higher infection rates to the high-risk nature of its cases, which includes cancer patients, transplant patients and others with underlying chronic conditions. Link to Article

Belleville News-Democrat
State test scores continue to fall in District 189
Historically low state test results for high school students in East St. Louis School District 189 have sunk for the fifth straight year, according to the Illinois State Board of Education. “The solution to improving the ability of high school students to meet or exceed state standards must begin in the lower grades, even in kindergarten,” said William Tate, professor and chairman of the education department at Washington University in St.Louis. He said the state data only reveals that the percentages are declining, not why. “You don’t know where the glitches are in the system.” Tate said. Link to Article

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Heat blitzes playing fields: Area high schools take cautious approach as football practice begins

Practices for more than 200 area high school sports teams officially begin this week. With the temperature soaring, coaches and trainers must walk a fine line between pushing their athletes hard enough to get them in tiptop shape for games at the end of the month and putting them in danger. In an ideal world, high school football players would have the same amenities at practices that NFL players do, said Dr. Matthew Matava, medical director of the Rams and co-chief of sports medicine at Washington University. He rattled off a list of those amenities, which include a ready supply of sports drinks with electrolytes, tents with misting fans, an ice pool and several doctors and athletic trainers on hand, closely monitoring every player at every moment. Link to Article

News in higher education

The New York Times

Room for Debate: The Professors Who Won’t Retire


If tenured professors are retiring later, with some working well into their 70s and beyond, does that block the career paths of their brilliant young students? A recent article in The Chronicle of Higher Education examined the effects of the aging professoriat, and quoted administrators who said that turnover was crucial to hiring new professors. Link to article

Wall Street Journal

The Old College Try: A flood of new entrepreneurs find it often pays to go back to school


Community colleges are helping entrepreneurs along by offering more courses that teach the ins and outs of running a company. Along with classes on preparing plans and judging the feasibility of a business, schools offer training in everything from management to marketing. Many colleges also offer business incubators and networking events, where students can rub shoulders with local owners. Students have been flocking to these courses as the downturn drives people into business for themselves. Enrollment in for-credit classes in entrepreneurship jumped 40% in 2009 from 2008, according to a recent survey. Link to article

Christian Science Monitor

Yale gets an F? New assessment of colleges’ required education

8/16/2010 grades more than 700 colleges and universities on what classes they require students to take. Just over a third of the schools earned an A or B in the assessment of required education. Link to article

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

States’ college savings plans perform in clutch


When investing for your child’s education, any port in the storm will do. But beware: 529 programs, though offered in all 50 states, are not all alike. State-administered 529 college plans that give tax breaks to savers have been one of the better ports for your money since their introduction in 1996. Nonetheless, market volatility, divergent investment results and differing costs mean this is not a completely trouble-free harbor. Link to Article

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The Chronicle of Higher Education
Inside Higher Ed
University Business

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