Headlines @ U.Va.
How Much is an Ounce of Prevention Worth?
Meningococcemia and its evil sidekick, meningococcal meningitis,
are certifiably nasty diseases. The former can kill an otherwise
healthy person in less than 24 hours; the latter is less deadly
but can lead to brain damage, kidney failure and circulation problems.
Are the potential consequences worth mandating vaccinations for
college freshmen, thus preventing 15 to 30 cases a year and one
to three deaths? Dr. James Turner, director of student health,
thinks so. In Virginia, a law requiring students to be immunized
or sign a waiver improved the immunization rate from 58 to 87
percent. Two years ago I would have said I dont think
you need to do this with legislation. But once the law was enacted,
our immunization rates did go up substantially, Turner said.
New York Times, Feb. 11
All As Be Made Alike?
The Norfolk Virginian-Pilot caused a stir in academic circles
when it published a three-part series examining grading policies
at selected state universities, including U.Va. The stories outlined
evidence of grade inflation and inconsistency. But a knee-jerk
reaction, like imposing a one-size-fits-all grading system, would
be counterproductive, Faculty Senate chairman Michael J. Smith,
a politics professor, told the paper. These kids are going
to have a range of work environments to which they have to adjust,
he said. Some bosses will be easy; some bosses will be hard.
I dont think its appropriate to approach grading any
Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, Feb. 9-11
Completing a Perfect Pass
Jim Foster customarily doles out dollar bills to his accounting
students at U.Va.s satellite campus in Falls Church, along
with a challenge to return the loan after you achieve
an important career goal. Melinda DeCorte recently dropped in
to Fosters classroom to repay her loan. Not only did she
meet her goal of passing all four sections of the CPA exam, she
received the only perfect score among the 58,000 people who sat
for the exam nationwide in November. The average pass rate for
people taking all four sections at the same time is just 11 percent.
Washington Post, Feb. 9
in War, First in Peace
The rehabilitation of George Washington is under way. Groups concerned
that todays schoolchildren are losing touch with the Founding
Father have begun a campaign to make him more exciting to the
computer-stimulated generation. I think its very important
to get students and the general public to start seeing Washington
and the Founding Generation as more than just a bunch of cardboard
figures, Philander Chase, editor of U.Va.s Washington
Papers Project, told Newsday. This has always been a problem,
especially for Washington, who was not quotable. He wouldnt
do well in the sound-bite generation.
Newsday, Feb. 17