By Cynthia-Marie O’Brien The Dartmouth

HANOVER, N.H. – The faces are changing, and changing rapidly, in the galleries showcasing portraits of Ivy League presidents. The 1990s saw the institution of the college presidency begin to evolve and change.

Two of the eight Ivies – Harvard University and Princeton University – are conducting presidential searches to replace their presidents. In an analyzed extreme example of turnover in higher education, Brown has its second new president in three years, prompting much speculation about the proper role and duties of a college president, as well as questions about the preferable qualities of the individuals being chosen to lead colleges.

A report in the Chronicle of Higher Education last year noted that schools are now hiring more people who have previously held college presidencies.

Gordon Gee has held the top spot at five colleges. Gee landed his new position as the chancellor of Vanderbilt after serving as president at four previous colleges, most recently stopping off at Brown from 1998-2000. His career, though still the exception rather than the rule, shows the tremendous difference between the longevity that was once the norm in college presidencies and today’s standards.

Statistics from the American Council on Education, as reported in the Chronicle of Higher Education, indicate that in 1995, the average tenure for college presidents was 7.3 years.

This is a significantly lower number than was seen in the past at many of the Ivy League schools, where presidents lingered for decades in the early history of the schools. There are indications that the atmosphere of rapid change that has been characteristic of American corporate culture is creeping up into the ivy towers of academia.

“Gone are the days when you were a sleepy school,” Harvard’s Director of News and Public Affairs Joe Wrinn said.

Observers of the academic scene have noted that college presidents face a different sort of scrutiny and pressure in today’s environment that may not have existed in years past.

Wrinn said an era of constant questioning exists as schools have become more complicated from legal and fundraising viewpoints. Wrinn pointed to fundraising as just one of the tasks faced by the modern college president, especially as money from federal sources dries up.

The emergence of a new type of career that takes an individual from school to school, rather than being the pinnacle point of one’s service to a particular institution has received varying responses.

Commenting on the current Harvard search, Wrinn said the “right kind of person” for the job would want to stay at Harvard for a significant amount of time, to oversee the new cycle of planning and endeavors that is beginning at the university.

He declined to name specific criteria for the position, saying only that the school is seeking a “very smart, talented individual.”

This broad approach is evident in the job description advertising the position, “The successful candidate is expected to be a person of high intellectual distinction and demonstrated leadership qualities.”

Rather than seeking someone with specific experiences or a certain type of resume, the school is conducting an extensive search that began with 500 names of individuals under consideration.

Texas A&M Requests Second Presidential Library from Bush

By Rolanda Garcia The Battalion

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – George W. Bush’s administration is only days old, but Texas A&M University is already considering his legacy as it competes to house his presidential library.

At its Jan. 16 meeting, the Board of Regents adopted a resolution honoring Bush.

They also asked him to consider A&M when selecting the location for his future presidential library.

“Right now it’s just a dream on our part, and we’ll have to wait for a response from them,” said A&M President Dr. Ray .Bowen.

Also, a Board of Regents member pitched A&M’s cause in informal discussions with the Bush team during the inauguration festivities, Bowen said.

Baylor University in Waco and Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas have also expressed interest in hosting the George W. Bush Library. First lady Laura Bush received her undergraduate degree from SMU.

A&M is already home to former President George Bush’s library, which opened in 1997.

Having both libraries in the same location would underscore the historical significance of the Bushes being the second father-son pair to occupy the White House, Bowen said.

Having the elder Bush’s library has been a tremendous boon to the University, Bowen said.

In addition to showcasing A&M for thousands of visitors and scholars, the museum and the George Bush School of Government and Public Service, which offers graduate programs in political science, have enhanced Texas A&M’s academic prestige.

If A&M lands the younger Bush’s library, an academic program will capitalize on the major themes of his presidency, Bowen said.

“Former President Bush’s emphasis on public service made the Bush School a really good fit. This president is very much interested in education, so we might have some kind of school in the College of Education,” Bowen said. “That’s just one possibility, and it would be his [Bush’s] call.”

The convenience of having both libraries in one location, the unique father-son connection and the importance of putting a public figure’s library at a public university are all points in A&M’s favor, Bowen said.

The library would likely be located on West Campus near the existing Bush Center, Bowen said.

Further planning is on hold until Bush solicits proposals from any other universities interested in housing the presidential library.

Iowa Legislators Consider Legalization of Industrial Hemp

By Wendy Weiskircher Iowa State Daily

AMES, Iowa – State legislators are working to legalize industrial hemp as another cash crop in Iowa’s agricultural economy, but opponents said the proposal is too risky due to ties with hemp’s hallucinogenic cousin, marijuana.

The Senate Agriculture Committee passed the bill on a voice vote Tuesday to legalize the plant, which can be used for building materials, twine, textiles and fiber, said Sen. Mark Zieman, R-Postville.

“The benefit that I’m looking at in [hemp] is an alternative cash crop that we, as Iowa farmers, may be able to develop in the future,” said Zieman, one of the bill’s sponsors. “We just want to take a look at it and see if it’s something we would want to pursue.”

Zieman, a full-time farmer in Northeast Iowa, said hemp is used in more than 25,000 products being shipped to the United States from other countries, such as Canada.

He said hemp is used in the cosmetic and automobile industries, and may be developed as a fuel source.

“That might be the big unknown, the one we need to take a look at,” he said.

On the 15-member agriculture committee, only two senators voted against the bill. Sen. Sandy Greiner, R-Keota, and Sen. Ken Veenstra, R-Orange City, opposed the bill, based on the risk involved in legalizing the plant.

However, Zieman said comparing hemp and marijuana is like “comparing sweet corn and popcorn.”

The level of hallucinogenic substance, THC, is between 7 percent and 20 percent in marijuana, Zieman said. Hemp, he said, has less than 1 percent THC.

“There’s really no risk, although there is a perceived risk,” he said. “As far as a hallucinate, it just isn’t going to happen. But we’re having some problems convincing people.”

Becky Terrill, former president of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, said even people who have no experience with the plants could tell the difference in appearance between marijuana and hemp, and there is no way hemp could be used as a drug.

“You couldn’t even really smoke enough of it to get high,” said Terrill. “You’d just get more of a headache.”

“I know that hemp is extremely efficient as a crop,” said Angela Sokolowski. “It takes one growing season, and it has tons of uses and it is a lot more sustainable than wood products. It has a high-quality fiber similar to wood fiber that takes decades to grow.”

Playboy Targets BYU Students

By Shaughan Sparks The Daily Universe

PROVO, Utah – Advertisements offering a special student discount for a year’s subscription to Playboy magazine have been mailed to BYU students, as well as Utah County teens, according to the Associated Press.

Eric Lassen, a 22-year-old business major from Camarillo, Calif., received one of the advertisements, as did his roommates. He said that it featured a picture of scantily clad women. Lassen said he was surprised to receive such an advertisement and wondered how Playboy got his address.

Lassen said the advertisement was specific in its address. The mail was not simply addressed to the resident living at Lassen’s address, but included his name and the names of each of his roommates.

Ryan Cole, 25, a senior from Yorktown, Va., who lives in Wymount Terrace, also received the mailer.

“It’s such a bad influence,” Cole told the Associated Press. “It shouldn’t be exposed to people who are trying to live their lives right.”

Cole’s wife, Kimberly, who graduated last year in family science, was the one to receive the mail, although it was addressed to her husband.

“I was disgusted. I think it’s pretty sad that (the advertisements) were sent here because people can have a weakness,” she said. “The Playboy advertisements can prey on people’s weaknesses and lead them to pornography addiction.”

Two Players Among Dead in Oklahoma St. Plane Crash

By Cassie DeLozier, Justin Juozapavicius, Ryan McNeill and Greg Elwell Daily O’Collegian

STILLWATER, Okla. – Choking back tears and wrestling with the news of the Saturday evening plane crash that killed two Oklahoma State University basketball players and six program personnel, state and university officials reflected during the weekend on memories of those who died and the rocky journey of healing ahead.

A chartered plane carrying eight team members, trainers and broadcasters crashed about 6:35 p.m. in a snowstorm 40 miles east of Denver after taking off from Jefferson County Airport, Federal Aviation Administration officials said.

Two pilots also died in the crash.

No flight-data recorders from the Beechcraft King Air 200 Catpass – which seats 11 passengers – were found Saturday, according to Associated Press reports. There was no distress call from the crew before the crash, according to National Transportation Safety Board reports.

“This is indeed a very sad day for Oklahoma State University,” said University President James Halligan. “This is really tough and so tragic – we have to focus on the players now.”

OSU players Nate Fleming and Daniel Lawson, Coordinator of Media Relations Will Hancock, OSU Director of Basketball Operations Pat Noyes, Athletic Trainer Brian Luinstra, Student Manager Jared Weiberg, Broadcast Engineer Kendall Durfey, Oklahoma City Broadcaster Bill Teegins and pilots Denver Mills and Bjorn Falistrom were on the plane, said Steve Buzzard, OSU sports information director at a late evening press conference Saturday.

At a Sunday afternoon press conference in Gallagher-Iba Arena, where many well-wishers left flowers, photographs and cards in memory of those on the plane, Buzzard announced that a memorial service would take place at 3 p.m. Wednesday in the arena.

Harry Birdwell, OSU vice president for business and external relations, promised to “leave no stone unturned” as the university investigates the plane crash and the methods OSU student-athletes use to travel.

“We are going to have a complete review of our policies,” Birdwell said.

In a statement issued Sunday from Big 12 Athletic Conference Associate Commissioner Donnie Duncan, OSU’s Tuesday game at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, will be postponed.

Buzzard, however, said the team plans to play the remainder of the season and to continue to use planes for travel to away games.

OSU officials first gathered late Saturday at the rain-soaked Stillwater Regional Airport to provide thumbnail details to the media and offer their sympathies to the families of those on the plane.

“We have to let our loved ones embrace, and try to … and try to …,” said a teary-eyed Halligan as he walked away from media members for a moment of solitude.

OSU Athletic Director Terry Don Phillips also was visibly shaken when he offered condolences to the players and their families.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the players, trainers and coaches,” Phillips said.

State and local officials took time late Saturday and early Sunday to pay tribute to the those on board.

“It’s a horrific tragedy, which will be remembered for many years to come,” Gov. Frank Keating said early Sunday. “Cathy and I will hold the families in our prayers, as we hope everyone else will.”

Keating ordered all flags across the state be lowered to half-staff in memory of the tragedy and announced plans to attend the memorial service at OSU.

“My son, Chip, and his friends have already lowered the flags at the mansion,” Keating said.

In a statement, University of Oklahoma President David Boren wrote, “The entire University of Oklahoma family extends its deepest sympathies to the families and friends of those who have been lost in the tragedy.”

Teacher Shortage Predicted

By Megan Marz Daily Illini

CHAMPAIGN, Ill.- Carol Mills, a doctoral student in education, guides her Educational Psychology 202 discussion section on Wednesday at the Education Building. Mills said education is a “ghetto-ized profession,” not appealing to a lot of people, which partially explains the shortage of teachers at all grade levels.

Although its teacher certification programs are filled to capacity, the University of Illinois’ College of Education continued its efforts to encourage prospective teachers at a meeting Thursday sponsored by the Minority Association of Future Educators.

The meeting was one of the college’s many efforts to combat impending Illinois teacher shortages in some areas of study.

“We’re going into area elementary schools and high schools (to start promoting careers in teaching),” said Department of Curriculum and Instruction Head Violet Harris. “In March, I’ll be at the open house as a representative of the College of Education.”

An Illinois State Board of Education release predicted that teacher shortages might reach “crisis” proportions by 2003, but the university’s teacher education programs remain full. In fact, Harris said the program has exceeded its maximum number of participants. More than 600 students are currently enrolled in the college’s teacher certification programs.

The university’s shortage is not in the overall volume of prospective teachers, but in the factions within that group. Math and science teachers, many of whom could command much higher salaries in another profession, are in great demand. Minority students and male students of any race are also being strongly encouraged to pursue teaching careers.

Seventy-five percent of all teachers in Illinois are women, and less than 15 percent are minorities, according to the ISBE release.

Students willing to teach for districts in dire need of teachers, such as Chicago public schools, are also in great demand. The College of Education sponsors trips to Chicago public schools for prospective teachers.

“We encourage students to go to Chicago public schools to see that they’re safe, they’re clean and that they do have technology and students who are willing to learn,” Harris said. “But you can’t force people to be teachers.”

Harris also said that even though a deficit remains in some groups of prospective teachers, the university’s program cannot expand in part because of limited student teaching positions.

“Some of the schools won’t let us in,” Harris said. “Schools want to limit the number of teacher education students.”

Harris said some Champaign area parents complained about the large number of student teachers in their children’s schools.

U. Penn Graduate Students Seek Pay Hike

By Samantha Melamed Daily Pennsylvanian

PHILADELPHIA – University of Pennsylvania graduate students are finding it difficult to ignore the 20 percent raise that their Yale University counterparts will receive next year.

The raise will increase the stipends of Yale’s humanities and social sciences doctoral candidates from $11,500 to $13,700, with health care included.

And Penn’s Ph.D. candidates – who make a minimum of $11,800 per year without health insurance – are taking notice, and may soon ask the university for similar increases.

At a meeting on Tuesday the Graduate Student Associations Council created a committee to assess the cost of living in Philadelphia, in preparation for discussions with the University about the possibility of a pay increase.

Although graduate students have historically been denied the right to unionize, the National Labor Relations Board granted this right to students at New York University. On Nov. 1, 2000, the Board mandated that teaching and research assistants now be regarded as “statutory employees.”

Penn has already planned for an 8 percent increase in stipends for graduate teaching assistants, said Joe Farrell, director of graduate studies at the School of Arts and Sciences. The projected increase will raise pay to $12,700 for next year. The administration will also triple the number of multi-year recruiting packages, which means more security for students who enroll.

“There is pressure from the cost of living, and there is also competition from the best graduate programs for the best students,” Farrell said. “We want to create a situation that is a living for graduate students, and that will prevent them from having to take other [secondary] jobs.”

Report Shows Technological Gender Gap

By Lindsey Olsen The Daily Free Press

BOSTON – Young women entering college have less confidence than men in their computer skills, according to a study conducted at the University of California at Los Angeles. The study found only a 2 percent difference in regular use between the genders, yet men are twice as likely to rate their computer skill levels above average.

The UCLA researchers surveyed the attitudes and habits of 400,000 incoming college freshmen nationally, revealing a record number – 78.5 percen t – of college freshmen reporting regular use of computers in the previous year of high school. However, the gap in confidence levels between men and women was the widest since computer-related questions were first included in the study in 1985.

According to researchers at UCLA, a popular explanation for the study’s findings involves childhood toys. While a large majority of boys have grown up playing computer and video games, researchers said girls have traditionally played with dolls. This theory is based on the findings that women are less likely to frequently partake in Internet chat room discussions and spend much less time playing video games than do males.

A number of organizations have been founded recently in attempts to encourage women to become better educated in computers and to prevent them from being disadvantaged in the future, something study organizers fear. The Association for Women in Computing (AWC), founded in 1978, is a non-profit organization promoting the advancement of women in computing professions.

Their work is in addition to the work of companies like Mattel, which is also trying to attract women to computers. They have begun to target young girls by creating computer software that appeals to them, including a number of games featuring Barbie.

Have a reaction to this article? Write a letter to the editor.

Comments are closed.