Nov. 21-Dec. 4, 2003
Back Issues
Mitman tapped as Marshall scholar
Getting in on the plan
Commonwealth of Virginia campaign
Digest — U.Va. News Daily

Headlines @ U.Va.

A ‘Quandt-um’ leap in international activity
Wanted: Teachers for a New Era seeks recruits from under-represented groups
Local school leaders offer front-line perspective
Portraits from the Golden Age of Jazz
Legislative Forum set for Jan. 9

Headlines @ U.Va.

Airlines’ night lights: Nice try
Can “mood lighting” help airline passengers combat jet lag? Dubai-based Emirates Airlines touts cabin ceilings lit to resemble the night skies over Dubai, claiming it “helps passengers adjust their internal body clock.” Boeing is planning similar features for its forthcoming 7E7 jets. But U.Va. biology professor and biological timing expert Michael Menaker said, “The star pattern isn’t going to make any difference.” Jet lag involves more than your brain and exposure to light, he explained.
(Wall Street Journal, Nov. 21)

Trial by jury
Once the verdict is read, the TV lights shut off and the defendant either safely locked away or released, jurors return to anonymity. But they sometimes carry with them a heavy burden, particularly in high-profile death penalty cases. Often, juries become their own support systems — even long after the trial is over. But not always, notes law professor Thomas L. Hafemeister. “Jurors start out very friendly. To the extent they can’t agree, they keep trying,” he said. “People feel frustrated. They feel isolated or alone. When the discussion becomes personal — What’s wrong with you? Why can’t you see it the way any right-thinking person would see it? — that’s hard on jurors.” Some jurisdictions now offer post-trial debriefing with a mental health professional.
(Washington Post, Nov. 21)

British debate who foots the bill
As the British government debates easing its stringent tuition controls in favor of a more market-driven tuition system, the BBC recently sent a crew to U.Va. to compare the British and American college experience. It noted the “superb academic, sporting and social facilities which make [top American universities] world-beaters.” But it also interviewed a group of exchange students from the University of Bath, who expressed concern that higher fees and better facilities at English schools would not be worth the chance that some students would be unable to afford to go. Curry School Dean David Breneman also noted the perils of a tuition-driven system: “When the states get into short-term difficulty, they tend to hit higher education harder than other public services because we have alternate sources of income to turn to.”
(BBC News, Nov. 24)

NCAA’s new rules may backfire
In its perpetual quest to make the “student” part of “student-athlete” meaningful, the NCAA has toughened its “satisfactory progress” standards for enrolled athletes. At the same time, it lowered admissions requirements — particularly those that deal with standardized tests — in the wake of legal challenges based upon the tests’ perceived bias against minorities. The resulting situation is ripe for scandal, said Terry Holland, formerly U.Va.’s men’s basketball coach and athletic director and now a special assistant to the president. “Coaches and the admissions officers will be under tremendous pressure to accept any top-flight recruit who qualifies,” he said. “Once enrolled, the academic advisers and tutors, who owe their jobs to the athletic department, are under tremendous pressure to ensure that these athletes maintain their eligibility. Thus they are always walking a fine line between proper support and academic fraud. That line is more easily crossed when the athlete is an important contributor.”
(USA Today, Nov. 24)


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