Archive for the ‘Just Interesting’ Category

| posted by Joe Hice |

Governor visits Moffitt

Gov. Rick Scott talks investors, state funding with Moffitt Cancer Center officials Rep. James Grant, R-Tampa, joined Gov. Rick Scott on a tour of the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa on Thursday. If you remember, House Speaker Dean Cannon yanked Grant from a leadership post during the 2011 session after he broke ranks with party leadership and voted against a sweep of a $50 million Biomedical Trust Fund funded by a cigarette sales tax. . The sweep would have cost Moffitt $10 million. In a compromise with the Senate, the final budget left $25 million in the fund, and Moffitt received $5 million, half of its previous year’s allotment.

Scott seemed genuinely surprised when Moffitt CEO Bill Dalton, while visiting a Moffitt research lab,  told the governor how much state funding the center has lost.

“You mean the Legislature cut your funding by 50 percent?” he asked.

At the end of the tour, Scott said he wanted to better understand the funding issues, describing Moffitt as a tremendous asset for the state, because of the lives the center saves and the jobs it creates.

“It’s clearly important that we make sure Moffitt gets adequate funding,” he said. “I’ve got to understand what makes sense, because so far no one’s come to my office and said, ‘Gosh, I think you ought to cut something. They always come to me with ideas for spending more money. And taxpayers, in contrast, don’t want me to spend more money.”

Scott asked numerous questions of Dalton and Cathy Kerzner, CEO of M2Gen, one of several companies created by Moffitt to apply research findings to patient care. He seemed particularly interested in how aggressively the two were seeking outside investors, and what type of equity they would be willing to give investors. He advised them to never give up too much control, and talked about striking a balance between pressure from investors to produce results and taking care to run a company well.

He told Kerzner: “I have plenty of friends who are interested in investing in these things.”

Later, Kerzner said: “If he doesn’t think I’m going to call him, he’s crazy. He offered twice.”


| posted by Joe Hice |

Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicines Symposium

NC State’s Center for Comparative Medicine and Translational Research is hosting a symposium on Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicines from 1 to 5:30 p.m. at the Park Alumni Center on Friday.  A reception will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

This is an important One Medicine event and demonstrates NC State’s leadership with attendees coming from Duke, UNC, Wake Forest University, and other academic, corporate, and research organizations. One of the presenters is Dr. Anthony Atala of Wake Forest who did the “Growing Body Parts” interview on 60 Minutes recently.

There will be more than 20 presentations during the afternoon and Dr. Natasha Olby’s presentation on her spinal cord  transplantation research should be of great interest.



| posted by Joe Hice |

North Carolina tuition update

Trustees at two North Carolina universities have approved tuition increases for next fall to help cover as much as a 15 percent reduction in state funding. North Carolina State University trustees approved a 6.2 percent increase and North Carolina A&T approved a 6.5 percent increase on Friday. State university system policy limits tuition increases to 6.5 percent and the increases still must be approved by the UNC board of governors. The increase would push N.C. State’s in-state undergraduate tuition to more than $5,100 dollars and A&T’s to $4,500. Out-of-state and graduate students would pay more. Education officials say they don’t expect the tuition increases to completely cover the anticipated state funding cuts. Increases also were approved recently at Chapel Hill and Greensboro.(THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, 11/20/10).


| posted by dapond |

A Social Media Blitz

The power and proliferation of social media is on display today at NCSU.EDU, thanks to a red-hot interview with superstar actor/comedian (and NC State alum) Zach Galifianakis. In less than 11 hours since the story went live, it’s garnered more than 8,800 pageviews – capturing readers’ attention and keeping them engaged within the site as they “dig deeper” into NC State’s Department of Communication, learn more about Galifianakis’ favorite professor, and more.

(To put the popularity of this story into perspective, NCSU.EDU’s second-most-viewed November feature has garnered approximately 2,300 pageviews.)

The Web Communications staff did post a link to the university’s official Facebook page to kick things off, but after that, the Twitterverse and Facebook users took care of the rest – seemingly spending their entire Monday reposting, sharing and tweeting about Galifianakis and his chat with NCSU.EDU web editor Dave Pond.

How are you allowing social media to further push your message?

1 of Many

Passion Rules!


| posted by Joe Hice |

At NC State, Manufacturing is Cool

RALEIGH The state’s battered manufacturing sector went on the offensive this week with a show-and-tell on wheels.

About 250 manufacturers from North Carolina have donated their products for statewide tour, not to mention some hard-to-pass-up free publicity. The weeklong tour, organized by N.C. State University’s Industrial Extension Service, is designed to promote the state’s products and encourage careers in manufacturing.

By John Murawski
Posted: Tuesday, Sep. 28, 2010

| posted by Joe Hice |

Charlotte Observer to cut 20 more jobs

Another tough day in the newspaper business.  The Charlotte Observer is cutting staff and the News & Observer is not replacing staff who have left the paper recently.  That means much less coverage of higher education.  Boo.  Hiss.

By Kirsten Valle
Posted: Wednesday, Sep. 22, 2010

The Charlotte Observer will eliminate 20 positions through a combination of buyouts, layoffs and frozen job openings, part of an effort to reduce costs in a sluggish economy, the company announced Wednesday.

The paper is also implementing weeklong furloughs in the fourth quarter for full-time staff.

Despite improving ad revenue in the first half of the year, the economy is recovering more slowly than expected, Publisher Ann Caulkins told employees.

Read more:


| posted by Joe Hice |

CASE: Marketing Doesn’t Mean Compromising Your Institutional Values


Academic institutions that tie their brands to their history and speak in an authentic voice can stay true to their values as they market themselves, said John Fahy, a professor of marketing at the University of Limerick and speaker at the 2010 CASE Europe Annual Conference held recently in Glasgow.Fahy, speaking on “Effective Marketing Strategies in Higher Education,” said an institution’s brand is “path dependent.”

“Look to your institution’s founders and history to understand the essence of your brand and then restate it for 2010,” he said. “Your brand is the embodiment of your value proposition to consumers. Brands are your organization.”

While the “language of business” associated with marketing is now more accepted on campus, Fahy said, some professors still voice concerns that marketing detracts from an institution’s academic values.

“Marketing is a mature profession based on trust and accountability,” he said. “Institutions that are successful will speak authentically to gain the trust of their constituents.”

Fahy offered attendees the following advice: (more…)


| posted by Joe Hice |

UNC President named today

Davidson College President Tom Ross has become the University of North Carolina system’s next president. A university official familiar with the decision told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the UNC governing board’s search committee is recommending Ross to succeed Erskine Bowles as head of the 17-school system. Bowles, once President Clinton’s chief of staff and a former U.S. Senate candidate, announced in February his impending retirement after four years on the job. The official requested anonymity to avoid preempting the announcement of a formal vote by the full board today. Ross is expected to be approved by the Board of Governors because he’s the only candidate being offered, board members are well aware of him and the 32-member panel generally reaches consensus on presidential picks, the official said. UNC system spokeswoman Joni Worthington said she couldn’t comment on any speculation regarding candidates before Thursday’s emergency board meeting. A Davidson spokeswoman didn’t immediately provide a comment from Ross about the system presidency.

Ross, 60, became president just three years ago at his alma mater. He has taught at the School of Government, once led the UNC-Greensboro trustee board and served on a special commission recently to examine the UNC system’s long-term future. Then-Gov. Jim Hunt, a Democrat, appointed Ross in 1984 to a Superior Court judgeship. Ross also served briefly as chief of staff to then-U.S. Rep. Robin Britt, D-N.C. As director of the Administrative Office of the Courts from 1999 to 2000, Ross had to work with the Legislature to try to get more funds for the judicial system’s budget. Ross served as executive director for the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation for seven years before becoming Davidson’s president in August 2007.(Gary D. Robertson, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, 8/25/10).


| posted by Joe Hice |

NC State Faculty Named Fellows Of American Statistical Association

Two North Carolina State faculty members have been named Fellows of the
American Statistical Association. Statistics professors Dr. Subhashis
Ghoshal and Dr. John Monahan were among 53 statisticians worldwide to
receive the honor this year. They were recognized at a ceremony on Aug.
3 at the annual association meeting in Vancouver, B.C.

Ghoshal received his bachelor’s degree in statistics in 1988 and his
Ph.D. in 1995, both from the Indian Statistical Institute in Calcutta.
He joined the NC State faculty in 2001 as an assistant professor, and
became a full professor in 2008. Ghoshal received the Sigma Xi
scientific research award in 2006, and was elected Fellow of the
Institute of Mathematical Statistics that same year.

Monahan received his bachelor’s degree in statistics in 1972 and his
Ph.D. in 1977, both from Carnegie Mellon University. He joined the NC
State faculty in 1978 as an assistant professor of statistics and became
a full professor in 1990. He has written two books and published over 35
refereed articles.

The American Statistical Association (ASA), a scientific and
educational society founded in Boston in 1839, is the second oldest
continuously operating professional society in the United States. The
Department of Statistics is part of NC State’s College of Physical and
Mathematical Sciences.


| posted by Joe Hice |

Alumni giving at Trinity College explodes, powered by matching gift challenge


About a year ago, an anonymous donor offered Trinity College in Connecticut a $5 million endowment — with a catch.

To get the money, the college had to achieve a gift participation rate of at least 55 percent among its 20,000 living alumni.

After a yearlong campaign, Trinity is celebrating. More than 11,000, or 55.34 percent, of the college’s alumni donated money last fiscal year, helping the school secure the challenge endowment and achieve a record $9 million in gifts for its annual fund. It was the largest number of alumni donors in the school’s 187-year history.

The alumni gift participation rate was 47.41 percent in the 2008-09 fiscal year.

The endowment will help eight to 10 more students get financial aid from Trinity, said Ron Joyce, Trinity’s vice president for college advancement. For those who qualify, the average financial aid package is $30,000 per student each year, Joyce said, explaining that Trinity’s tuition, and room and board fees total about $50,000 per year. (more…)