June 25-July 8, 2004
Vol. 34, Issue 12
Back Issues
IN THIS ISSUE
Boldness: Characterizes diversity, fund-raising goals
Heating plant gearing up for growth
Digest
Headines @ U.Va.
Faculty Actions from the June Board of Visitors meeting
Back to the Books: How to be a successful adult college student
World War II Revisited
Workshops to improve supervising and other skills

 

Headlines @ U.Va.

Rx for health care: competition
The prescription for fixing American health care includes a healthy dose of competition, according to an essay co-authored by Darden School professor Elizabeth Olmsted Teisberg and renowned Harvard Business School professor Michael E. Porter. Today’s system, they wrote, merely transfers costs from one element to another, dividing value rather than creating it. Teisberg and Porter, writing in the June edition of the Harvard Business Review, call for more information about the efficacy of treatments, more transparency in billing and pricing, and more choice for consumers.
Boston Globe, June 8

Reagan left imprint on judiciary
President Reagan’s mark is still being felt in the federal judiciary; of his 358 appointments, 306 remain on the bench. Politics professor David M. O’Brien said the Reagan administration was the “most ideologically coherent” administration in appointing judges, refusing to accept nominees promoted by even moderate Republicans. But as often happens, conservative nominees sometimes moderated once seated. Case in point: Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, a Reagan appointee, joined the majority in refusing to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion. Kennedy was not Reagan’s first choice for his seat, O’Brien noted; Robert Bork was, but his nomination was derailed by critics who feared him too far to the right.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 8

2000 grad is first alumnus to die in Iraq
It may have been inevitable, and perhaps blessedly overdue, but the University lost one of its graduates June 8 in Iraq. Army Capt. Humayn Saqib Khan, a 2000 U.Va. grad, was preparing to inspect a vehicle outside the gate of a post in Baqubah when a car exploded, killing Khan and two Iraqis. His parents, Prince William County residents Khizr M. and Ghazala Khan, said their son questioned the conduct of the war in his conversations with them, but relished being an Army officer. “He was following the orders, being truthful to his word,” his father said.
Washington Post, June 10

China under transformation
Helena Cobban, senior research fellow at U.Va.’s Institute for Practical Ethics, recently participated in an exchange with a Chinese univer-
sity. She found the country humming with change, particularly in the coastal East, where Westerners would feel comfortable amidst cell phones and increasing numbers of private vehicles. Rural areas remain less developed. “[China] still lacks many freedoms Americans take for granted,” she wrote in the Christian Science Monitor. However, “There is a much stronger social safety net and a seemingly stronger sense of community and purpose than in many parts of America. Public spaces are well cared for and much used, and there’s strong identification with China’s rich history and cultural traditions.”
Christian Science Monitor, June 10

Wilcox: ‘megachurches’ lack soul
Saddleback Community Church covers 120 acres of Lake Forest, Calif., and draws up to 20,000 people on Sundays. It is the province of Rick Warren, who gained prominence in Christian circles for his 2002 book, “The Purpose-Driven Life.” The church features many outreaches, reflecting “a savvy merger of business growth strategies and biblical messages,” according to a New York Times article. But some criticize such so-called “megachurches” as being more about spiritual consumers than worshippers. Said sociology professor W. Bradford Wilcox, “The churches resemble shopping malls, with services for everyone. They draw on the methods of McDonald’s or Taco Bell, spreading not just the message but the model.”
New York Times, June 10

Second thoughts about multiple intelligences
The theory of multiple intelligences proposed by Howard Gardner, a professor of cognition and education at Harvard University, has gotten a lot of buzz in education circles during the past 20 years, but ultimately it is “simply not all that helpful,” says Daniel T. Willingham, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Virginia. Rather than viewing intelligence as a single concept or a hierarchy of verbal and mathematical abilities, Mr. Gardner describes eight separate intelligences: body-kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, linguistic, logico-mathematical, musical, naturalist, and spatial. But those are all just talents by another name, Mr. Willingham says. “Educators who embraced the theory,” he writes, “might well have been indifferent to a theory outlining different talents — who didn’t know that some kids are good musicians, some are good athletes, and they may not be the same kids?”
Chronicle of Higher Education, June 15


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