News highlights for September 24, 2010

p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {margin:0in 0in 0.0001pt;font-size:12pt;font-family:'Times New Roman';} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} 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.

Business News from The Birmingham News
Birmingham Blueprint group culled the best from other communities (with poll)

A Birmingham, Alabama, civic group has included the St. Louis’ CORTEX business incubator district on a short list of civic initiatives nationwide that routinely draw inquiries and are widely viewed as success stories. The nonprofit CORTEX partnership, which includes Washington University and other St. Louis nonprofits, is cited as an example of best practices in Blueprint Birmingham, a strategic plan for the region released Thursday. Link to Article

St. Louis Magazine
MVVA and the Arch: Where do we go from here?

It was announced Tuesday that Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates’ proposal for work at the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial had won the jury’s decision and would be announced as the winner of the City+Arch+River 2015 Competition. But are they the right choice to redesign our hallowed Arch grounds? The answer is emphatically yes, writes Brian Newman, a practicing architectural designer and an adjunct faculty member of the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University where he teaches graphic and representational strategies. Link to Article
Area school districts awarded grant money for improvement

More than $9.3 million in federal grant money is headed to 21 St. Louis area troubled schools that are seeking to improve. “We are pretty excited,” said Gary Jansen, principal at Hazelwood East Middle, which will receive more than $1.7 million this year, more than any other school in the state. “We’re ready to go.” Jansen will use the money for a literacy program, teacher training and partnerships with Washington University’s business and social work schools. Link to Article
$1 million grant to boost science, business in region

Efforts to create businesses around scientific innovations in the St. Louis region got an important boost Thursday through a $1 million government grant to a collective of area research and business entities that includes Washington University in St. Louis. The project, headed by the Coalition for Plant and Life Sciences and BioGenerator, is part of an effort to help the region capitalize on the scientific innovation taking place here. Link to Article

See also St. Louis Business Journal
The arts could be Granite City’s cup of tea
Granite City, an aging Illinois industrial center just across the river from St. Louis, has the potential to become a destination for sculptors and those that gravitate toward outdoor sculpture as an art form, suggests Noah Kirby, a senior sculpture lecturer with the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts at Washington University. Quietly and without fanfare, Kirby and fellow lecturer Ron Laboray have been transporting students across the river for more than a year now, drawn to Granite City by the abundance of a material held near and dear by sculptors: scrap steel. Link to Article

Food Management
Washington U. opens Bear’s Den, an exploration in sustainability

On August 26th, Washington University in St. Louis opened its new 800-seat Bear’s Den in the also-brand-new 61,000-sq. ft. South Forty House residential center. The multi-concept dining destination, a part of the university’s larger “living and learning” concept, offers local, sustainable fare to what is estimated will be some 3,000 diners a day. The new Bear’s Den is sustainable and committed to fresh, authentic cuisine. Link to Article

Scientific American
How time flies: Ultraprecise clock rates vary with tiny differences in speed and elevation

Newly developed optical clocks are so precise that they register the passage of time differently at elevations of just a few dozen centimeters or velocities of a few meters per second. Early milestones in this research include a 1971 test in which Joseph Hafele of Washington University in Saint Louis and Richard Keating of the U.S. Naval Observatory flew cesium atomic clocks around the world on commercial jet flights, then compared the clocks with reference clocks on the ground to find that they had diverged, as predicted by relativity. But even at the speed and altitude of jet aircraft, the effects of relativistic time dilation are tiny—in the Hafele-Keating experiment, the atomic clocks differed after their journeys by just tens to hundreds of nanoseconds. Link to Article

The Times-Picayune
Woman brings soccer to Ugandan girls

This past July, Melissa Cochran stood on the sidelines of a field in Namayumba, Uganda, watching two all-female soccer squads face off. The match was the finale of a 10-week girls’ soccer camp run by Cochran, an effort financed by a social change grant she received from Washington University in St. Louis, where she attends college. While traveling to Uganda previously to teach as a volunteer in primary schools, Cochran noticed the scarce athletic resources were predominantly used by boys. Girls rarely, if ever, engaged in sports, and when they saw Cochran playing soccer, they were shocked. Link to Article

News in higher education

Bloomberg Business News

Penn endowment rises 13% on credit, public equities

The University of Pennsylvania, the Ivy League school founded by Benjamin Franklin, said the fund that manages most of its endowment gained 13 percent in the past year, helped by investments in credit and public equities. Link to Article

Bloomberg Business News

Amherst-to-Yale funding need follows Harvard’s crisis over cash

Harvard University, Yale University and Stanford University, with combined endowments about equal to the gross domestic product of Lithuania, are among 15 of the wealthiest colleges and universities that borrowed $7.2 billion because their high brow investing left them suddenly strapped for cash. The unprecedented borrowing took place as the universities eliminated at least 2,000 jobs, froze faculty salaries and scaled back expansion plans. The taxable bonds are also straining their operating budgets, currently costing the 15 institutions about $360 million a year in interest, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The loans and interest are the continuing price the colleges are paying for embracing the endowment investing model pioneered by Yale’s David Swensen. Link to Article

The Associated Press /

Degree Plan B: Economy forces college compromises

Sending a child to college takes more than good grades and a big check these days. More than ever, it requires compromising on where to attend or taking on a mountain of debt — or both. Two-plus years of economic malaise have made four years of college that much harder to pay for. This has prompted many families to delay or alter their plans.They are shifting from private to public colleges, taking “gap years” after high school to save money or attending school part-time while working, based on enrollment figures and anecdotal evidence from admissions counselors and other experts. To cover the extra costs, parents are increasingly dipping into retirement savings and loading up on debt. So are their children. Link to Broadcast

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The Chronicle of Higher Education
Inside Higher Ed
University Business

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