Sept. 26-Oct. 9, 2003
Back Issues
Papers of civil rights pioneer who was denied admission come home to U.Va. Library
ITC Web site correction
Digest -- U.Va. news daily
Headlines @ U.Va.

Work begins on new engineering building

Search under way for Engineering School dean
Medical Center opens ‘symbol of creation’
Library now offers inviting ambience for scholarship
Nursing students expand their borders
Trailblazing against tradition: Web archive offers history of U.Va.’s first African-American students
General Faculty Council strengthening lines of communication
Shenandoah Park over time
Register now for sports field day
Economic Engine Part 2: Steady growth means steady work for construction firms

Headlines @ U.Va.

Better Test Scores By Design?
In this accountability era of standardized testing for K-12 pupils, school boards everywhere are looking for any suggestion that could boost test scores. Studies suggest that improving a school’s physical environment has a measurable effect. But Daniel Duke, director of the Curry School’s Thomas Jefferson Center for Educational Design, cautions that renovations aren’t a magic bullet. “We know that the space a person’s in has an impact on their behavior, but there’s not one design that will work best for every student.” That doesn’t mean improvements aren’t a good idea. “The justification for providing students with high-quality schools is not an achievement issue,” Duke said. “It is a moral or ethical issue. You just don’t put kids in lousy environments.”
(Saginaw, Mich. News, Sept. 7)

Edmundson: Make Battle Against Plagiarism Personal
Part of the cure for academic plagiarism lies in asking better questions, English professor Mark Edmundson wrote in a recent New York Times commentary. He argued that students should be forced to go beyond mere literary analysis in their writing; they should also be challenged to think and write about how their reading will affect their lives. “I’m sure that there are plenty of essays to be had over the Internet on Wordsworthian nature and Shakespearean eros,” he wrote. “But you cannot buy your own opinion from someone else. If professors asked students not only for analysis, but also for personal reasoned responses, they would, I trust, get fewer purloined papers.”
(New York Times, Sept. 9)

Bonnie Panel Targets Underage Drinking
A National Academy of Sciences commission charged by Congress to examine the issues of underage drinking — and chaired by Richard J. Bonnie, director of U.Va.’s Institute for Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy — recently issued wide-ranging recommendations. The report called for sharp tax increases on beer, nationwide anti-drinking ad campaigns and curbs on the marketing of alcohol to minors. Alcohol industry leaders complained about a return to Prohibition-era remedies, but Bonnie stuck to his guns. “The social cost of underage drinking is $53 billion a year, including $19 billion for traffic crashes alone. … [Yet] the federal government spends 25 times more on preventing illicit drugs than preventing illicit drinking by young people.”
(Washington Post, Sept. 10)

Kremlin Springs a Leak, Four Decades Later
It is a treasure trove for Cold War historians: handwritten minutes of Khrushchev-era leadership meetings in the Soviet Union — “the holy grail of the Central Intelligence Agency’s unsuccessful efforts to penetrate the Kremlin,” says Miller Center of Public Affairs historian Timothy Naftali. The minutes have now become public, and the Miller Center is producing an English-language edition under an agreement with the Russian State Archives of Contemporary History in Moscow. Naftali recently published some excerpts in the New York Times.
(New York Times, Sept. 14)

Treating Tuition Sticker Shock
Pity the parents of college-bound students, who save for years with a rough idea of a tuition goal, only to face sudden, unexpected hikes in midstream. Their plight was the basis of a question asked of Curry School dean David W. Breneman during a recent online colloquy on the future of tuition. Breneman said he favors giving parents upfront information about the entire estimated cost of earning a degree, but cautioned that such forecasts probably would have to be non-binding. “Unforeseen events may occur that would cause a college to mis-estimate its needs over a multi-year time horizon, and then either the ‘contract’ would have to be abridged, or the college may fall short of its needs.”
(Chronicle of Higher Education, Sept. 17)


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