Archive for December, 2007

Chronicle.com: College administrators, faculty members, and other educators have donated just over $6.2-million to the presidential candidates so far this election season, with more than three-quarters of the donations going to Democrats.

Sen. Barack Obama is the clear favorite of academics. The Democrat from Illinois has received about one-third of the total, or slightly more than $2.1-million, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington-based nonpartisan research group.


Below is a list of colleges whose employees donate the most to presidential candidates.

1. Harvard U., $281,050

2. Stanford U., $135,850

3. Columbia U., $120,350

4. Georgetown U., $105,150

5. U. of Chicago, $92,902

6. Northwestern U., $78,450

7. New York U., $74,350

8. U. of California at Berkeley, $71,976*

9. U. of California at Los Angeles, $65,980*

10. U. of Southern California, $63,950


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According to the latest University of Missouri endowed faculty positions report, the Kenneth L. Lay Chair in Economics is still open. Paper work was being completed to make an offer this past June, and the candidate declined. Offers made in 2001 and 2003 were also declined.

Lay, an MU alumni, was most likely known for his CEO position at the scandal-embroiled energy company, Enron. He passed away in 2006. In 1999, Lay’s donation of $1.1 million, which is now valued at closer to $1.9 million, allowed MU to establish the Kenneth L. Lay Chair.

According to an August 2006 article in the Columbia Missourian, he asked MU to return his gift twice- first in October 2005 to contribute to Hurricane Katrina relief, and then in February 2006 to assist with legal fee payments. MU denied both requests.

The majority of other open endowed chairs are with the College of Business.

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Career women in America still have problems breaking through the gender-based glass ceiling. However, according to an article in the Guardian, they should take a few lessons from their colleagues across the globe.

Svafa Gronfeldt, the rector of Reykjavik University in Iceland, has worked hard to create a program introducing equal pay for men and women once they get out of the college and into the “real world.”

She built her own university around putting women and female students in high ranking positions. She is also attempting to educate the rest of Iceland and the world about how valuable women are to academia and the business world.

According to the story, Gronfeldt’s team spent the last year wading through salary levels and researching unexplained salary differences, a daunting tasks because Iceland apparently has the same sort of built-in gender bias as the U.S. However, it’s worth it for Gronfeldt, because she believes having women in positions of power reaps not only intellectual rewards, but also economic ones.

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Classes are technically over, but there are still thousands of reasons for students to drive, slide, trudge or otherwise transport themselves onto campus.

Even thought the worst of the freezing rain may be over, by looking on the MU Alert, students can find out how the roads are or if that final has been delayed due to the weather.

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Want to study for the GRE and feed the hungry at the same time? Thanks to the United Nations’ new website Free Rice, you can.The website is part of the organization’s World Food Program and asks participants to play a simple vocabulary definition game. For every word correctly defined, 20 grains of rice are donated to theWFP by one of the website’s advertising sponsors. The sponsor’s ads are displayed at the bottom of the page and alternate with each new word. That’s it- no sign ups, no strings, just free vocabulary practice and a warm-fuzzy feeling of goodness all in one website.Since the site’s Oct. 7 launch, nearly 8 billion grains of rice have been donated. According to a Truman State University article those connected to Free Rice attribute much of its growth to social networking websites (over 100 Facebook groups have been created in honor of the website) and other word of mouth facets that is the blogosphere.The Free Rice vocabulary game has a difficuly levels ranging from one to 50 that adjust automatically to a player’s answers. This reporter spent 15 minutes playing and couldn’t score above a 26. The website’s FAQ section says it’s rare for any player to score above a 48.

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A new reporting line will give University of Missouri employees an alternative way to report known or suspected fraud or fiscal misconduct. The web- and telephone-based system, provided by Global Compliance, is effective immediately and will be available 24/7, according to a news release issued Monday by interim President Gordon Lamb.

According to the release, fiscal misconduct includes:
-statements or actions that violate or conflict with internal policies, procedures or practices related to the detailed reporting of financial statements
-unlawful gifts or bribes
-theft or misappropriation of university property or assets
-misuse of funds under grants or contracts
-unauthorized alteration or destruction of financial documents or records

UM employees are currently encouraged to voice concerns of suspicious fiscal activity directly to their supervisor, said Nikki Krawitz, UM vice president for finance and administration. The reporting line provides an alternative method for employees who may be uncomfortable with that.

Employees may remain anonymous when making a report, and they can follow up on a report they’ve submitted.

Columbia University, University of Iowa, Yale University and Michigan State University all have external reporting systems, said Nilufer Joseph, UM director of financial services.

Call toll-free: 1-866-447-9821
On the Internet: https://www.compliancehelpline.com/UM.jsp

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Twenty-four women are expected to don their caps and gowns, walk across the stage, and receive their diplomas in Stephens College’s first formal December graduation ceremony on Sunday. The ceremony, which begins at 11 a.m., features keynote speaker Vicki Russell, associate publisher of the Columbia Daily Tribune and member of the Stephens College Board of Trustees, and will be followed by a complimentary brunch.

Before this year, graduating from Stephens College in December meant no cap and gown and no traditional walk across the stage. Instead, the ceremony was a reception, often featuring speakers and musical entertainment, and graduates were invited to participate in commencement the following May, said Sarah Berghorn, public relations manager for Stephens College.

But on Sunday, December graduates will have their own commencement ceremony. “Over the past couple of years, we’ve tried to make (December commencement) more formalized at the graduates’ request,” Berghorn said.

Almost 30 degrees altogether will be conferred, Berghorn said.

What: Stephens College commencement
When: Sunday, December 9, 11 a.m.
Where: Kimball Ballroom of Lela Raney Wood Hall, 6 N. College Ave.
If you need a map of the campus, click here.

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