News and Notes

Chinese Students

A startling number of Chinese students are getting kicked out of American colleges. According to a white paper published by WholeRen, a Pittsburgh-based consultancy, an estimated 8,000 students from China were expelled from universities and colleges across the United States in 2013-4. The vast majority of these students—around 80 percent—were removed due to cheating or failing their classes. As long as universities have existed, students have found a way to get expelled from them.

But the prevalence of expulsions of Chinese students should be a source of alarm for American university administrators. According to the Institute of International Education, 274,439 students from China attended school in the United States in 2013-4, a 16 percent jump from the year before. Chinese students represent 31 percent of all international students in the country and contributed an estimated $22 billion to the U.S. economy in 2014. “American universities are addicted to Chinese students.”

Source: The Atlantic, 30 May 2015

The University of Maryland Children’s Hospital Tuesday unveiled a new expanded $30 million neonatal intensive care unit that will offer more specialty treatments. The Drs. Rouben and Violet Jiji Neonatal Intensive Care Unit was opened in conjunction with the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Department of Pediatrics. The school’s division of neonatology will provide advanced treatments for premature babies, including nutritional management and surgical interventions for birth defects including congenital heart disease, abdominal wall defects, cleft lip/palate repair and brain malformations. (Balt.Sun)

UM virology institute to fight HIV/AIDS in Botswana with $24.5 million grant

The Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine has received a $24.5 million federal grant to combat AIDS in Botswana. The institute will use the funds from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to partner with the government of Botswana to create treatment programs. (Balt. Sun)

Kevin Kornegay, Morgan State

A Morgan State University research team has received a grant for nearly $1 million from the National Science Foundation. The funding will go toward a project addressing security data issues in electronic devices. The research team — led by Morgan State electrical and computer engineering professor Kevin T. Kornegay — received a Research Infrastructure for Science and Engineering award, which targets historically black colleges and universities.

Hopkins and UMD

Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland have opened one of the country’s largest computing center. State support for the facility is $30 million. The joint supercomputing center is made up of 19,000 processors and 17 petabytes — or 17 million gigabytes — of storage capacity, officials said, and will provide digital processing power to researchers from both institutions. It is roughly the size of 100 refrigerators. The center is to be located near the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center campus in Baltimore but will also be accessible remotely to researchers.

Patrick O’Shea, vice president for research at the University of Maryland, thinks that the center reflects a trend of data analytics. “Taking advantage of the revolutionary potential of research involving large data sets to transform knowledge and improve human lives requires expanding the computing resources available to researchers. This new joint supercomputing center will do just that.”
Source: Baltimore Sun 7 July 2015

Tenure

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, a Republican candidate for president, faces criticism from higher education circles because his state budget makes significant cuts to the University of Wisconsin system and significantly reduces tenure protections for faculty.

Getting Computing Ready

“Professors from two University of Maryland campuses are hoping to draw more women and minorities into the field by implementing a new high school course across the state. ‘There are many schools in Maryland where the only computer class is keyboarding,’ said Marie desJardins, professor of computer science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. ‘Our goal is to get college-preparatory computer science classes in every school in Maryland.’

“DesJardins teamed up with Jan Plane, a computer science professor at the University of Maryland, College Park to develop a course that will prepare high school students for a new Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles exam that will be offered by the College Board at the end of the 2016-2017 school year.”

Source: The Daily Record

Government Rating System

It won’t happen. The Obama administration has backed off its plan to set up a national rating system. Lots of leaders in higher education opposed the rating system, surely because of issues of validity – e.g., does a high graduation rate indicate something positive or negative? And maybe a few of them were scared of an official rating that would discourage students from applying to their campus.

Confederate Flag

South Carolina did it. Now it’s time for Maryland: Some people by request have Maryland license plates with the Confederate flag, and UMCP has a stadium named after a racist (Harry Clifton “Curley” Byrd) who served as a football coach and then campus president for 18 years ending in 1954. When will our state be rid of these reminders of racial repression?

From Testudotimes: “The 50,000-plus seat home to the Terrapins football team since the 1950s, the stadium gets its name from a known racist. Curley Byrd was the university’s president from 1936 to 1954, and a coach and administrator for 25 years before that. He ushered Maryland through booming growth and helped it become the academic and athletic behemoth it is today. He also actively prevented blacks from playing sports at Maryland until 1951 and pushed as hard as anybody for the state’s separation of black and white college students.”

Not surprisingly, there are quite a few Confederate memorabilia around the state. In Baltimore, the Robert E. Lee Park may be renamed.

School of Pharmacy

Faculty members at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy have received a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Eugene Washington Engagement Award to support the development of a training program on patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR). Eleanor Perfetto, PhD, a professor of pharmaceutical health services research (PHSR) at the School of Pharmacy, will lead the engagement project. “Patients and patient groups want to become more engaged in PCOR, but when they try to take an active role or are first approached by a researcher, they may feel uncomfortable, unprepared or intimidated,” says Perfetto. “Some don’t know what is expected of them or how they can most effectively contribute. Some may also be unfamiliar with the technical lingo used by medical researchers.

Opera and Law

The study of law can inspire students to make remarkably creative use of their many talents, as Maryland Carey Law alumnus Derrick Wang ’13 has proven. During the spring semester of 2011, Wang was a student in Professor Robert Percival’s first-year Constitutional Law class. He was intrigued by the colorful rhetoric in the opinions of Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the fact that they nearly always were on the opposite sides of the Court’s decisions. After learning that both Justices were huge opera fans, Wang, a talented composer before entering law school, approached Professor Percival with a seemingly crazy idea—to write an opera using the words of both Justices. On Saturday, July 11, Wang’s opera Scalia/Ginsburg had its world premiere at the Castleton Festival in a theater set on a hillside in rural Virginia. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was in the audience!

Digital Dentistry

Since the turn of the 21st century, digital technology in dentistry has exploded into the mainstream. University of Maryland School of Dentistry (UMSOD) faculty members have produced a new learning tool for the digital age – one of the first comprehensive textbooks that focuses on clinical applications of these emerging technologies.
The book, Clinical Applications of Digital Dental Technology, which was recently published by Wiley-Blackwell, contains a detailed overview of many of the most important digital technologies, such as digital radiography, digital impressions, virtual planning and CAD/CAM (computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing). Co-editors Carl Driscoll, DMD, professor and director of the postgraduate prosthodontics program, and Radi Masri, DDS, PhD, MS, associate professor in the Department of Endodontics, Prosthodontics and Operative Dentistry, set out to develop a textbook that would be practical for many different audiences, from dental students to practicing dentists and specialists.

Finish Faster!

Robert L. Caret wants students to graduate faster. The new chancellor wants to keep costs down for students and schools by getting more undergraduates to finish their degrees in four years. (The Daily Record, 22 July 2015). One way to speed the degree work is to require less of students and to increase the grades further. No homework! All As! In and out with speed!

Free Community College

President Obama has called for an exploration of the free possibility. Well, maybe it is possible; already, there are three examples that appear to work: in Tennessee, Oregon, and Delaware. Might this be Maryland’s future?

UMBC

Work on the new campus’ event center is scheduled for the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, is scheduled to begin this winter, said the university architect, Joe Rexing, and be completed in time for the start of the 2017-2018 basketball season.

Secretary Duncan at UMBC

Here is the flavor of his remarks on higher education: “Our higher education system isn’t delivering what [students] need, or deserve.” “Institutions must be held accountable when they get paid by students and taxpayers but fail to deliver a quality education,” “state disinvestment — and the expectation that the federal government will cover the shortfall — has to end. States, as well as Washington, need to remember that higher education is a public good.” ““We must shift incentives at every level to focus on student success, not just access. When students win, everyone wins. But when they lose, every part of the system should share responsibility.”

UMCP

We may never again refer to College Park as a sleepy university town. That’s because the university, city, and county are in the midst of upgrade with new condos, restaurants, and more. Arelis Hernandez writes in The Washington Post (30 July 2015): “The university, Prince George’s County and city officials have struggled for decades to see College Park mature into the kind of college town where faculty would enjoy living and students would want to stay after graduation and start businesses. But good shopping and entertainment is still a rarity around the campus, and many housing options have traditionally been shabby — even for students. Now the opening of the Target¬Express — the first of its kind on the East Coast — is being hailed by local officials as a harbinger of change.”

Liberal Arts

Dean of Education at U. Virginia David W. Breneman offers this assessment of the trend in the liberal arts. He asks: What does the trend away from liberal arts tell us about America? And his answer: I don’t think one should get melodramatic about this, but we are drifting toward turning college into a trade school. And that is ultimately harmful. The original ethos of education was that it prepared people for citizenship, for enlightened leadership, enhanced their creativity. There was a tradition going back to Jefferson, who founded the University of Virginia, that a liberal arts education was the core of our democracy. If we lose an educated populace, we’re open for demagogy. We need broadly educated people.

Source: The New York Times

Hear Ye, Hear Ye

Now that universities are not requiring the SAT or ACT, and courses can be taken on line without supervised testing, we would like to offer members of the Faculty Voice staff as surrogates for preparing applications and completing course requirements. Perhaps each task requires payment of $1,000, but we do bargain.

Violence Against Women

The U.S. Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women unveiled a new website to help guide colleges on how to address sexual violence on campus. The website, changingourcampus.org, is billed as a one-stop-shop for administrators, faculty and staff at colleges and universities. It includes round ups of research and resources specific to dating and domestic violence and stalking, both issues that colleges are obligated to address in addition to sexual assault due to the gender equity law Title IX.

Anne Simon, UMCP/Biology

Praise to the team behind the X-Files television programs. Their science advisor is College Parl’s Prof. Simon. There’s a nice article about her in The Washington Post (9 August 2015), and for a more complete report of her adventure, her book is The Real Science Behind the X-Files (1999).

Frostburg State Nursing

Frostburg State University has received nearly $2.5 million from the Maryland Higher Education Commission to develop collaborative programs with some community colleges to streamline the four-year nursing degree process.

UMBC’s Urban Water Research

The Baltimore County campus faculty with other campus faculties is sharing a $12 million grant from the National Science Foundation to develop strategies for keeping urban water systems healthy. The Urban Water Innovation Network, or UWIN, led by Colorado State University, will develop a set of best practices that can be shared with cities across the country,

UMB/Law

The University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law will offer a fall class studying the unrest in Baltimore in the wake of the death of Freddie Gray. “Freddie Gray’s Baltimore: Past, Present, and Moving Forward,” is planned as an eight-week course beginning in September, taught at the Baltimore school by University of Maryland faculty members as well as elected officials. From the School web site: “The idea for this course emanates from the recent disturbances in Baltimore arising from Freddie Gray’s arrest and his resulting death. These events have highlighted and/or uncovered serious on-going social and financial dislocations within the City. The course will examine the recent unrest itself and then examine the causes of, and possible solutions to, those dislocations, including an examination of problems in policing; criminal justice; housing; health care; education; poverty; and community development and joblessness.”

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