Ivy League vs. UCLA: Garcetti and Greuel’s paths to power

He’s a Rhodes scholar. She’s UCLA. He can burn up the piano keys. She loves to watch her son playing soccer. He could become Los Angeles’ first Jewish mayor; she would be the first woman elected to the job, the Associated Press reports. Eric Garcetti and Wendy Greuel, rival Democrats headed for a May 21 runoff, would put a different stamp on the top office in the nation’s second most populous city. But despite the contrasts, what really stands out about them is how much they are alike. Both come to the race with left-leaning pedigrees, roots in the San Fernando Valley, where each grew up, and years of experience working the hallways and committee rooms inside City Hall. A key challenge for both will be standing out and connecting with voters who supported someone else in the primary, or didn’t go to the polls Tuesday.

“In order to win the election, you have to change people’s minds,” said Raphael Sonenshein, executive director of the Pat Brown Institute of Public Affairs at California State University, Los Angeles…

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Columbia College and Second City to provide comedy degree

While students can earn a Bachelor’s in Puppetry or Turf Grass Management, Columbia College in Chicago has a new degree that will really make people laugh: Comedy Writing and Performance, the Huffington Post reports. On Tuesday, the liberal arts college announced a partnership with the famed Second City comedy club for its new degree program in the Theatre Department that would school future side-splitters in the ways of improv, joke making and more.

“Columbia’s location in Chicago, arguably the most active and influential city in the world of improv and sketch comedy, makes the college uniquely suited to offer a comedy concentration,” Columbia College President Warrick L. Carter said in a statement. Anne Libera, coordinator of the new program, told the Hollywood Reporter the college’s connections to local iconic comedy establishments like Second City and The Onion give the students in the program a huge advantage…

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Virginia’s Liberty transforms into evangelical mega-university

The small Baptist college that television preacher Jerry Falwell founded here in 1971 has capitalized on the online education boom to become an evangelical mega-university with global reach, the Washington Post reports. In the almost six years since Falwell’s death, Liberty University has doubled its student head count — twice. Total enrollment now exceeds 74,000, with nearly 62,000 working toward degrees online in fields such as psychology, business, education, criminal justice and, of course, religion. That makes Liberty the largest university in Virginia — with more than double the number of students at No. 2 George Mason — and the largest private, nonprofit university in the country. With a slogan of “training champions for Christ,” Liberty also is the nation’s largest university with a religious affiliation…

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New study explores ResNet trends, challenges

Colleges are struggling to contend with the rising costs and inevitable expansion of ResNets.

Residential networks (ResNets) are essential to today’s college students, and universities are working tirelessly to secure and maintain them. A new report highlights important ResNet trends and challenges that campus administrators should be aware of.

The second installment of a five-year study from the Association for Information Communications Technology Professionals in Higher Ed (ACUTA) and the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) revealed that colleges struggle to contend with the escalating costs of ResNets, especially with shrinking budgets. Most of the 251 colleges and universities surveyed are meeting bandwidth demands, but they anticipate future obligatory expansions.

“The ACUTA/NACUBO study paints a vivid picture of the intensifying tug-of-war between rising ResNet costs and tightening budgets at many of our nation’s universities and colleges,” said Dee Childs, ACUTA’s Environmental Scanning Committee chair, who is also an associate provost and chief information officer at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. “It is our hope that the study will provide a comprehensive and coherent inventory of practices, perceptions, and priorities to help administrators rise to the challenges of the coming  years.”

The rising cost of ResNets is becoming a chief concern among campus administrators. As high-bandwidth applications and streaming services continue to expand, so do costs. To help combat this problem, colleges are attempting to provide greater connectivity options. Some colleges have offered students the option to pay for additional bandwidth.

“Reaping the rewards of technological leaps while maintaining both administrative and budgetary efficacy is a delicate balance for administrators,” said John Walda, NACUBO’s president and CEO. “This study is a positive step toward fostering greater cooperation and dialogue among stakeholders and an important contribution to helping higher-education institutions develop successful ResNet strategies.”

(Next page: How colleges are preparing for ResNet expansion)


SAS® Web Editor: easy, no-cost SAS® programming for professors, students

SAS® Web Editor: easy, no-cost SAS® programming for professors, students

Available through SAS OnDemand for Academics, now supports Mac users, soon to go mobile

CARY, NC (Mar. 06, 2013) – SAS® programming has never been easier for higher education professors and students thanks to SAS Web Editor, a Web-based tool for writing and running SAS code. Available at no cost to these educators and their students, SAS Web Editor requires no software installation. Users simply connect to a website to access code, files, projects and libraries, anytime and anywhere.

Available through SAS OnDemand for Academics, SAS Web Editor supports multiple browsers including Safari, letting Mac users take full advantage of the new offering.

SAS Web Editor will be familiar to anyone with SAS programming experience, providing similar functionality to the classic SAS windowing environment. Students can upload their own data sets or program files, or use SAS Web Editor’s sample data sets. The sample data sets correspond to e-learning content that helps students learn SAS. Students pursuing SAS Certification can use SAS Web Editor to run code from SAS Certification courses.

“The demand for graduates who can analyze data to solve problems is skyrocketing,” said Armistead Sapp, Senior Vice President, SAS Education Practice. “Since SAS Web Editor is offered at no cost and is easily accessed, professors can integrate SAS data analysis into coursework and students can gain marketable skills.”

Ease of access will soon increase even further with SAS Web Editor for mobile devices. Now in beta testing, SAS Web Editor is available on iPads® that support iOS 6 or greater. Support for other tablets will follow.

SAS OnDemand for Academics is an online service for teaching and learning data management and analytics. Users register and access SAS software via the Web and perform processing by connecting to a hosted server at SAS. Users have access to multiple SAS applications such as SAS® Enterprise Guide® and SAS® Enterprise Miner™. SAS Web Editor provides access to a Base SAS programming environment, which professors can complement with the other on-demand applications.

The use of SAS OnDemand of Academics increased more than 200 percent last year. To accommodate further growth, SAS OnDemand for Academics is exploring the use of various cloud providers in regions around the world to enhance the international user experience.

SAS analytics and business intelligence software is used at more than 3,000 educational institutions worldwide for teaching, research and administration. SAS has more than three decades of experience working with educational institutions.

About SAS
SAS is the leader in business analytics software and services, and the largest independent vendor in the business intelligence market. Through innovative solutions, SAS helps customers at more than 60,000 sites improve performance and deliver value by making better decisions faster. Since 1976 SAS has been giving customers around the world The Power to Know® .


JES & Co. Announces Achievement Standards Network Search

New service transforms U.S. learning outcomes into searchable graph.

Tucson, AZ – March 6, 2013

JES & Co. is proud to announce the release of the Achievement Standards Network Search Service (ASN Search), a high throughput, low latency search API for U.S. learning outcomes including the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). This new web service enables free-text and faceted search with the ability to search and sort learning outcomes using any of twenty-five provided fields. ASN Search transforms U.S. learning outcome data into an “educational graph” organized by facet that allows for a high degree of result-set customization. ASN Search can integrate into any website or application that requires learning outcomes for meta-tagging, content correlation and/or data analysis. ASN Search is powered by the ASN open-source dataset.

ASN Search also allows you to find and compare CCSS verbatim adoptions with state modifications, traverse the hierarchy of sets of standards, and always have access to the latest frameworks in the ASN open-source dataset. ASN Search gives publishers, content providers, and developers access to a cost effective, enterprise level service that aides in correlation and open meta-tagging.

“We are excited to bring this powerful, easy to use web service into the education marketplace,” explained Joseph Chapman, ASN Data Solutions Architect. “ASN Search makes it simple to do complex things with learning outcomes. We are moving beyond just basic search into being able to dissect and analyze what our students are learning in the classroom.” continued Chapman.

For more information on ASN Search, please visit: http://toolkit.jesandco.org

About JES & Co.

JES & Co., a publicly funded 501(c)(3) education research/development organization, is a world leader in the development and deployment of education programs based on open standards. With over 20 years of experience in interoperability and portability of educational resources, organizations around the world come to JES & Co. for leadership and guidance. For more information visit: www.JESandCo.org.

About the Achievement Standards Network

The Achievement Standards Network (ASN) is an open framework for the representation of educational expectations. The ASN provides for: (1) the text of an educational expectation; (2) rich metadata describing that expectation and its context; and (3) a description of relationships between the expectation being described and other related expectations. The ASN provides both a resolution service that returns machine-readable text and associated metadata, and Web Services that ease the network distribution of the achievement standards data. JES & Co. is the home for ASN-US, an open source repository of state and national education standards. Visit the ASN at: http://asn.jesandco.org.


Higher Ed Firm TargetX Opens Its 2013 CRM Users Conference to Prospective Clients

CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. — TargetX, one of the leading providers of Enterprise CRM technology to colleges and universities, has announced its 2013 users conference. The “CRM Summit” will feature client-led sessions and other opportunities for attendees to share experiences and best-practice advice for building relationships with students, alumni, potential donors and other key constituencies.

The conference will be held in Philadelphia on July 11 and 12 and will be open to colleges considering the purchase of TargetX’s CRM system, as well as current clients.

“We believe that prospective clients will get nearly as much from the sessions and networking as the clients who are actually using the tool,” said TargetX CEO Brian Wm. Niles. “We place such an emphasis on CRM best practices, effective use of electronic communication and other fundamentals of good relationship-building, that every attendee will benefit, regardless of their level of experience with the TargetX CRM.”

“Our users conference is unique,” Niles added, “because it includes a ton of practical information that goes beyond TargetX products or services. We spend nearly as much time talking about industry trends and best practices as we do about the tools.”

The conference will bring together admissions and advancement professionals and information technology staffs from colleges around the country to learn how to make better use of the company’s products and services and to share their successes and challenges with colleagues.

TargetX offers both technology tools and consulting services to help colleges build relationships with their most important constituencies. Its flagship product is the first CRM built expressly for higher education on the development platform of Salesforce.com, the worldwide leader in CRM and a pioneer in cloud computing.

Among the strengths of TargetX’s cloud-based CRM is built-in electronic communication, including the leading email broadcasting tool in higher education marketing. It is also fully integrated with a powerful event manager and online application for student recruiting.

Clients planning to attend the CRM Summit are invited to submit a presentation proposal. To learn more, visit www.targetx.com/CRMsummitproposals

Prospective clients interested in attending should contact Annemarie Nagle, who is coordinating the Summit, at 877.715.7474, ext. 122. For more information on the conference, visit www.targetx.com/CRMsummit2013

About TargetX

TargetX is a higher education CRM company that provides an enterprise-wide solution to help colleges build relationships with their most important constituencies, including prospective students, current students, alumni and potential donors. The company’s Enterprise CRM is built on the powerful development platform of Salesforce.com — the worldwide leader in customer relationship management and a pioneer in cloud computing. With its 15-year reputation for innovative technology and industry expertise, TargetX has become one of the most trusted CRM providers in higher education.

To learn more, visit www.targetx.com


Lawmakers take steps to protect drone economies and universities involved

The introduction of legislation Wednesday to ban drone use in Kansas has raised concerns over the potential impact of a ban on the state’s economy, a subject that has been debated in several other Plains states also considering such bans, the Huffington Post reports. The Kansas drone ban bill, introduced by Rep. Travis Couture-Lovelady (R-Palco), would prohibit law enforcement from using drones in the state without a warrant, which is similar to measures pending in a several other states. The bill’s scope has raised concerns that it could end the drone pilot training program at Kansas State University in Salina as well as other drone training and manufacturing industries in the state. Similar bills pending in North Dakota and Oklahoma — where aerospace industries and aviation education programs have thrived — have incorporated exemptions into the text. Kansas and North Dakota are among the states competing to be one of six federal test centers for drones…

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Unusual $50 million gift for writing at Michigan

The wife of billionaire real estate mogul Sam Zell is giving $50 million to support the University of Michigan’s acclaimed graduate writing program, the Associated Press reports. The donation, to be announced Thursday, is believed to be by far the largest ever gift to such a program, and comes at a time when most major gifts to higher education are supporting science, not the humanities. Helen Zell, who earned her English degree at Michigan in 1964, has been supporting the Michigan program with smaller gifts totaling more than $10 million over more than a decade. Five long bookshelves, nearly covering an entire wall of her Chicago apartment, are filled with books written by the graduate program’s faculty and alumni, she said, and she looks forward to adding more. Graduates include writers Elizabeth Kostova, Hanna Pylvainen and Jesymn Ward…

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Best college towns 2013

Turns out, the rankings for best college towns depend on way more than how many bars are featured in each town square and how many half-smoked cigarettes litter the gutters come Monday, the Huffington Post reports. The American Institute of Economic Research pulls data from a host of federal agencies — the Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, National Science Foundation and Small Business Administration — to create the “AIER College Destinations Index,” or AIER CDI for short.

“The characteristics that make up a great college destination often make a location ideal for business, retirement and tourism,” said Steven Cunningham, director of research and education for AIER. “A top AIER College Destinations Index ranking should be just as important to the town or city as it is to the schools located there and the families and students attending or considering them…”

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