Archive for November, 2008

The UM System-wide hiring freeze will not apply to fully-funded grant and contract positions, fully-endowed positions or work study student positions at MU, Chancellor Brady Deaton said in a e-mail Tuesday.

No other positions will be filled unless the department can meet at least one of seven criteria showing sufficient need for the position. High-level administrators will have final say in approving new hires.

Here’s the text of Deaton’s e-mail.

Here’s the Missourian story.


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Apparently football fans in the student section started throwing snowballs at various football players, camera guys and police officers during Saturday’s game between Notre Dame and Syracuse.

Read more here.

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The Scorecard is a nifty calculator-esque application that can project what MU’s budget could look like under specific circumstances (using the best possible estimates of how much tuition might be and how much money the university might get from the state).

MU Budget Director Tim Rooney showed me and about 20 faculty and staff members his projections at an open forum Friday using the Scorecard. Here is a sample of what he came up with:

  • Best-case scenario: MU’s general operations budget pretty much breaks even for fiscal year 2010.
  • More realistic best-case scenario: MU’s general operations budget sees a $13 million deficit for fiscal year 2010.

Read more at ColumbiaMissourian.com. For more budget information, go to budget.missouri.edu.

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Missouri schools obviously aren’t the only ones suffering from a sluggish economy. From the New York Times:

Hard hit by budget cuts, the California State University system is planning to cut its enrollment by 10,000 students for the 2009-10 academic year, unless state lawmakers provide more money.

“We can’t continue to admit more and more students without receiving adequate funding,” Chancellor Charles B. Reed said Monday.

It would be the first time in its history that the university system turned away students who met admissions standards, and the announcement was greeted with disappointment and anger.

Read more at NYTimes.com.

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Want to finally quit smoking? Tomorrow the American Cancer Society urges you to quit just for one day. The press release has information about a hotline (1-800-227-2345) you can call into to receive free advice for how to quit. 

“Each year, smoking accounts for an estimated 438,000 premature deaths, including 38,000 deaths among nonsmokers as a result of secondhand smoke. Half of all Americans who continue to smoke will die from smoking-related diseases.”

For some strategies to stop smoking, check out this article. Did you know acupuncture can help? There are also prescription drugs available to help smokers who want to quit. 

Let’s be honest, it is a good time to quit. Who wants to be outside in this weather?

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satellite image

Courtesy of NOAA; satellite image

This morning, I layered on my clothes and zipped up a combination of jackets and fleeces before heading out the door to class, bracing myself for the burst of winter air I was sure I would encounter. As I stepped outside and began my trek to class, however, the warm sun penetrated through my fleeces and sweats and I began to sweat. I asked the friend I was walking to class what the temperature was, and she said that it was surely in the 60s. Where, yet again, did this unpredictable weather come from? A week ago I was shocked by the cold, and now I was shocked by the warmth. As I searched for the weather myself, I found that today’s weather was sunny and 60 degrees exactly.

I have decided to prepare for my day a little better by checking the weather online as part of my morning e-mail checking routine.  A good site to bookmark is weather.com or you can just check the Columbia Missourian home page as you read the morning news.

But what does the future hold? NOAA (or the National Weather Service) has a predictable and detailed 7-day forecast. You can also access advanced radar and satellite images for your local area, so you can do some weather predicting for yourself.

So what can we expect for tomorrow? Looks mostly clear, with a nighttime low of 15 degrees. Go figure.

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Apparently there are some exceptions to UM System President Gary Forsee’s hiring freeze.

MU Chancellor Brady Deaton says that about 50 positions will remain open, either because they are high priority positions or because people have already been hired for them. Research and grant- and contract-funded positions are also exempt.

What’s not exempt? The rest of the 300 faculty, staff, student and part-time positions currently open at MU.

Read more at ColumbiaMissourian.com. And check out this story for some background information.

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