Jan. 31-Feb. 13, 2003
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IN THIS ISSUE
Hiring freeze lifted
Casteen first recipient
Digest -- Daily news about U.Va.
Headlines @ U.Va.

Shugart follows natural interests to virtual outcomes

Building design debate creates lively workshop
The mouse shall show the way
‘It’s personal’ -- Researcher’s past spurs quest to know cells’ signals
Giras laying new tracks for railroad safety
School Reports: Commerce/Engineering
Celebrate Love with Opera
Events look at African-American history from slaves to scholars
Students, staff in good hands with interpreter

Headlines @ U.Va.

Dean: Beware the tuition-raising backlash
Curry School of Education Dean David W. Breneman, a higher education finance expert, is wary of the recent nationwide cycle of state budget cuts and the resulting tuition hikes. “Public institutions get into a sort of a rope-a-dope game with governors,” he told the Washington Post. “When times are tough and the states cut the budget, everybody bends over backwards to let higher ed raise their tuitions. Then there’s a political outcry about the cost, and the next governor rides in on a white horse and freezes tuition.” This can lead to confusion for families as they try to plan for their children’s future. Breneman calls for more states and schools to negotiate more stable, predictable funding mechanisms.
(Washington Post, Jan. 24)

Eyeing the flip side of affirmative action
The practice of colleges offering admission to the children of alumni is coming under increasing scrutiny in the light of the affirmative action debate. Statistically, most “legacies” are white and relatively well off. If the Supreme Court rules against affirmative action in admissions, schools will be under pressure to do away with the legacy preference as well. That could alienate generous alumni, warns U.Va. admission Dean John Blackburn. “In the light of very deep budget cuts from the state, our private support particularly from alumni is crucial to maintaining the quality of the institution. The legacy preference helps ensure that support by recognizing their financial contributions and their service on university committees and task forces.”
(Wall Street Journal, Jan. 15)

Class dismissed
What is social class? Does income level define a person’s tastes and actions? Increasingly, long-held sociological assumptions about classes are eroding. U.Va. economics professor Paul W. Kingston recently told the New York Times that people who share a common economic position “do not significantly share distinct, life-defining experiences. … The general impression is, there was a greater class structure 50 years ago. There is a lot of generational class mobility.” (New York Times, Jan. 18)

Unmasking elder abuse
Elder abuse is “largely hidden from view and difficult to detect in any event,” Richard Bonnie, director of U.Va.’s Institute of Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy, told the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Little is known about its extent or causes, and more research is needed, he said. Addressing such abuse may also require new approaches. “Rather than relying on the child abuse mandatory reporting model (which has not increased the level of child protection), we need to try to think about how we can promote a community ethic of responsibility,” he said. “For example, getting health-care professionals to screen carefully for mistreatment, and to try to identify and help caregivers would be a big step forward.”
(Richmond Times-Dispatch, Jan. 20)


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