Feb. 28-March 13, 2003
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IN THIS ISSUE
Legislature: Cuts, caps and salary raises
Latinos see ‘world of difference’ in community
Digest -- U.Va. news daily
Headlines @ U.Va.

Writing is ‘like breathing’ for Argentine author

A day in the life of Yacov Haimes
Call for help -- ER doc pushes for wireless E-911
Police chief logs first year
‘Slave to Scholar’
Tours highlight African-American history at U.Va.
Two distinguished faculty members die
Small-town southern life
Nature writers to speak
Forum lines up powerhouse of scholars
On Alert: Be cautious, be calm

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 don’t 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

Should All ‘A’s’ 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 don’t think it’s appropriate to approach grading any differently.”
— 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 Foster’s 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

‘First in War, First in Peace …’
The rehabilitation of George Washington is under way. Groups concerned that today’s schoolchildren are losing touch with the Founding Father have begun a campaign to make him more exciting to the computer-stimulated generation. “I think it’s 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 wouldn’t do well in the sound-bite generation.”
— Newsday, Feb. 17


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