Archive for the ‘Just Interesting’ Category

| posted by Joe Hice |

NCSL Report: Declining state revenues impacting Higher Education across the country

The recession has taken a brutal toll on state budgets and its impact has hit higher education particularly hard, says a new report from the National Conference of State Legislatures about state revenue shortfalls and how it has translated into further budget cuts in fiscal year (FY) 2009 and FY 2010.

Because states, unlike the federal government, are required to balance their budgets, state funding for higher education is heavily influenced by the states’ fiscal situation, reflecting a cycle unique to higher education, the report said.  Funding typically takes a disproportionate hit when state fiscal conditions are weak, but experiences more robust increases when state budgets recover.

“The rationale is simple: Colleges and universities can find other sources of income, such as tuition, to compensate for reduced state support. This is not an option available to other state services. As a result, fluctuations in state fiscal conditions often have a greater impact on higher education,” the report said.

According to the report, financial woes brought on by global economic weakness have been especially hard on higher education institutions, which typically rely on three major funding streams: state appropriations, school endowments and tuition. In addition to declining appropriations, university endowments have received fewer gifts and experienced massive investment losses. With two of the three major funding sources down, many state policymakers turned to the only remaining source and raised tuition, thereby increasing the proportion that students and families pay for higher education.

According to research conducted by the State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO), tuition increased 2 percent between FY 2008 and FY 2009 and is now more than 37 percent of total education revenue. In FY 1984, it was less than 25 percent.

Click here to view the full report.

Passion Rules!

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| posted by Joe Hice |

Is college still worth the investment

By Randy Proto, American Institutes school group:

The great economic upheaval of the past few years has spawned many new, provocative public policy discussions in which long-held assumptions are being challenged. That’s a good thing. Perhaps if some of the Wall Street “assumptions” had been challenged sooner, we’d have all been better off.

Recently, articles in Time, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and the Wall Street Journal, and discussions by policy leaders in Washington, raise questions regarding the cost, associated value and affordability – the utility, really – of a degree.

Simply put, is a college degree really still worth the cost given a job market that seems less able to provide jobs today?

Put in perspective, the answer is an unequivocal “yes.” (more…)

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| posted by Joe Hice |

Circus Dogs act like this because of what…..

From my alma mater.

Dog lovers know the feeling. Their pets seem human. The way they lick a tear-stained face or gaze adoringly, sometimes even more so than friends or, um, spouses.

But that’s a misperception, says animal behaviorist, author and contrarian Clive Wynne. People may behave like animals, but dogs, he says, are just good at being dogs.

With new discoveries about animal intelligence announced practically every day, there is growing sentiment that dogs, parrots and ark-loads of other creatures share the essential qualities of Homo sapiens. This yanks Wynne’s chain. A professor of psychology and author of “Do Animals Think?” he contends that while animals may appear uncannily human, it is strictly an appearance. Their perceptions and cognitive abilities are radically different from ours.  http://www.cvm.ncsu.edu/six_pro/ca.html

DogEars

Wynne, who earned degrees from University College London and the University of Edinburgh, researches pet dogs at his Canine Cognition Laboratory at the University of Florida in Gainesville and captive wolves at Wolf Park, a research park in Indiana. There, he explores what might be termed the meaning of ‘dogness,’ delving into such questions as whether dogs have become genetically programmed to respond to human cues. The answer seems to be no. The wolves in Wynne’s experiments follow human points and other doggy directions. (more…)

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| posted by dapond |

Off the Hook

Today’s home page feature at NCSU.EDU is an interview <  http://www.ncsu.edu/features/2010/06/leading-her-peers/  > with student body president Kelly Hook, who will be blogging <  http://www.ncsu.edu/features/2010/06/off-the-hook/  > for us during the term of her presidency. In this era of social-media supremacy, we were looking to find a way to connect Student Government with our current students, but also future students as well. In her column, titled “Off the Hook,” she’ll keep everyone aware of what she and  Student Government is up to, while serving as a sounding board for readers as well. (Feel free to ask her questions here <  mailto:sbp@ncsu.edu  > – some of the questions will be featured in future posts.)
On a related note, we’ve added a couple of student writers – Amaris Hames and Candace Jones – to our Web editorial team, which we hope will add an air of authenticity to our student-focused stories like our recent feature on Mr. Wuf tryouts <  http://www.ncsu.edu/features/2010/04/becoming-mr-wuf/  > or the iPad Test Drive <  http://www.ncsu.edu/features/tag/ipad/   >  .   Our full-time writers are great at what they do, but students have a way of capturing the passion of student-centered topics, events and news like we older folks can’t. And as I like to say, Passion Rules!

Today’s home page feature at NCSU.EDU is an interview with student body president Kelly Hook, who will be blogging for us during the term of her presidency. In this era of social-media supremacy, we were looking to find a way to help connect Student Government leaders with not only their fellow students, but future students as well. In Kelly’s column, “Off the Hook,” she’ll keep everyone aware of what she and Student Government are up to, all while serving as a sounding board for readers. (Feel free to ask her questions here – some of the questions & answers will be featured in future posts.)

On a related note, we’ve added a couple of student writers – Amaris Hames and Candace Jones – to our Web editorial team, which we hope will add an air of authenticity to our student-focused stories like our recent feature on Mr. Wuf tryouts or the iPad Test Drive. Our full-time writers are great at what they do, but students have a way of capturing the passion of student-centered topics, events and news like we older folks can’t. Not that I’m saying we’re older, but you know what I mean.

Passion Rules!

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| posted by Joe Hice |

Hot now, summer in the city

Summer’s here and I’m getting lazy, at least where the blog is concerned. But that doesn’t mean that all’s quiet across campus.

As our communicators know, the calendar is a dominant feature of our home page, and we want our visitors, both online and offline, to know there’s more to do here this summer than attend departmental budget meetings, or see The Crazies  and The Princess and the Frog. (although they’re probably great movies)

So, now’s the time to re-stock the University Calendar with your summer events, exhibitions, camps, classes and, well, anything else that’s going on!

We’ve got a one-page submission form online, ready to be filled out.  The more info the better – so don’t be stingy!

http://calendar.activedatax.com/ncstate/oePublicForm.aspx

If you have any questions, feel free to email Dave Pond in University Communications.

Additionally, if you have ideas for homepage stories – either those that are upcoming to those you’ve already featured in your respective magazines, Web sites or newsletters that would interest a general audience – he’s the guy to talk to as well.

Passion Rules!

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| posted by Joe Hice |

Mad Men and Good Brands (continued)

And now a response to the Mad Men piece from yesterday that appears on one of my favorite blogs, The Educational Marketing Group, Inc.

Michael Armini of Northeastern wrote an engaging viewpoint piece for Inside Higher Ed last Thursday:  “Beware Higher Ed’s ‘Mad Men.’

It’s a nicely-written opinion piece that warns institutions to avoid quick-fix branding from “mad men” marketers, a reference to the AMC cable show that caricatures Madison Avenue of the 1960’s.

And Michael is right, to a degree.  Building a reputation or changing how you’re being perceived takes lots of time and commitment.  Sustainable brands aren’t created through pretty pictures, trendy designs, catchy headlines, or slick advertising campaigns.  Neither are they created by having “consistent” publications or a persnickety application of the graphic identity.

And it’s also true, as Michael notes, that an influx of corporate marketing agencies have turned their sights on higher education in search of new clients during the economic downturn. Many of them don’t really understand higher education, and base their work on high-impact creative campaigns instead of on deeply held core values and unique advantages.  And while more than a few colleges and universities have been beguiled by this creative-campaign approach, most are disappointed by the results.

But here’s where Michael goes astray.  He seems to believe that because a few slick advertising agencies say that what they’re doing is “branding,” it must be true!  Well, not really. (more…)

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| posted by Joe Hice |

Beware Higher Ed’s ‘Mad Men’

There have been some great posts on university marketing and branding recently.  I plan to share a few over the next few days.  The first from Inside Higher Education.

By Michael Armini

Inside Higher Education

In 1981, Grey Poupon took the nation by storm. Although the little-known Dijon mustard had been manufactured for more than a century, in the early ’80s it went from a minor six-figure business to a retail powerhouse.

Most people remember the famous TV ad in which one Rolls-Royce pulls up next to another. An aristocratic-looking passenger rolls down the back window to ask, “Pardon me. Would you have any Grey Poupon?”

In the cities where the ad ran, sales of Grey Poupon shot up 40 to 50 percent — a remarkable leap in the largely static condiment sector. Today, the Grey Poupon success story is frequently invoked as a highly successful “rebranding,” and an example of a singular advertising triumph.

Within the retail world, plenty of products have had their sales driven up, and their images buffed, through focused ad campaigns and catchy slogans: Don’t Leave Home Without It (American Express), Just Do It (Nike), and Got Milk? (California Milk Processor Board).

These successes — reinforced today by the hit cable TV show “Mad Men— have led to an onslaught of branding consultants currently setting their sights on American universities. Many of these firms, battered by the recession and seeing higher education as a wealthy untapped sector, are coming to a campus near you. (more…)

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| posted by Joe Hice |

N.C. State Trustee Norris Tolson on Sustaining biotech’s growth

By E. Norris Tolson, president and CEO N.C. Biotechnology Center

http://www.newsobserver.com/2010/06/01/505076/sustaining-biotechs-growth.html

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK This year, of all years, North Carolina needs to hold fast to its commitment to bioscience as a jobs-growth engine.

Even through the economic crisis, North Carolina’s bioscience sector maintained a respectable 1 percent growth in employment. That’s a stark contrast to the double-digit unemployment figures elsewhere. State support of the bioscience sector and of the business-building programs of the Biotechnology Center creates jobs. Excellent clean, dignified, $30-an-hour jobs.

North Carolina remains the third-largest bioscience state, behind only California and Massachusetts. If we fail to keep fueling this reliable jobs-growth engine, however, we could be overtaken by Maryland, Massachusetts and other states that are growing their bioscience industries by making billion-dollar investments. They want our jobs.

Here are some relevant North Carolina bioscience facts: (more…)

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| posted by Joe Hice |

What about a simple logo re-design has people all up in arms?

From the quality logo products blog:

When Michigan State Spartans confirmed that they were moving forward with a re-branding effort which included a new logo (featured on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Web site) the outcry from students, alumni, and fans was deafening.

Before long, online message boards began filling with negative opinions on the new design. In fact, by the time of writing this post, more than 18,100 fans had joined a Facebook page entitled: “JUST DON’T — No new Nike-influenced Spartan helmet.” One alum even admitted he’s part of a grassroots Web effort to flood the e-mail inboxes of MSU officials and coaches to stop the logo change.

Tom Izzo, the Spartans men’s basketball coach, supported the new logo stating:

“For all of you out there that are complaining, shame on you, because … we are trying to do what’s best for Michigan State University, our athletic department and the great people that we associate with and Nike’s done a heck of a job …We are going to be moving into that new century here in the proper way and I’m excited about it.”

spartan-logo

New logo is on Right

As a fan of many teams (none of which are the Spartans) I’d have to agree with Tom. Shame on students, alumni, and fans that would turn their backs on the organization they support so easily. Just take another glance at the two logos and see if these minor changes are worth so much fuss. It’s just a logo after all. (more…)

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| posted by Joe Hice |

Chancellor addresses budget in N&O op-ed

By Randy Woodson

Public universities like N.C. State are critical to the nation’s ability to maintain its edge in the global economy. They are especially important to states like North Carolina where emerging technologies and innovation are rapidly replacing more traditional economic models.  In an area like the Research Triangle that is heavily dependant on technology and innovation for its continued success, they are even more important.

NC State is an institution that has a clear understanding of its mission and a passion for connecting that mission to the people of the state and the nation.  It serves as an economic engine for the area and it helps train the workers of tomorrow.  The state’s continued support of higher education is critical if we’re to continue meeting those expectations.

An analysis of the latest available data indicates the economic impact of N.C. State and its alumni in the local economy totals about $4.2 billion annually.  We are also responsible for the creation of around 64,000 jobs. That’s approximately 20 percent of the Wake County workforce. (more…)

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