Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Napolitano with ECS in DC about UC, and rollout of 'Global Food Initiative', more.

Napolitano attended and spoke at the Education Commission of the States Conference. Her panel described as: "Education Policy
State legislators and education leaders talked about the future of education. Brian Busteed gave opening remarks on the state of education. Speakers in the discussion afterward included former Homeland Security Secretary and University of California system president Janet Napolitano and officials from other universities, The panelists focused on the issues facing higher education and how to fix them."

Napolitano starts at the 39:43 mark in this video here

She shares the panel with
Jim Geringer, Western Governors University Co Founder and Former Governor of Wyoming.
William Kirwan, Chancellor University System of Maryland

Geringer makes lots of predictions about online instruction and higher ed.
Napolitano talks about the fact that she served on Western Governors board when she was AG in AZ and then she talks about how some pols made serious mistakes in not soliticing faculty views regarding online instruction and she makes remarks about ownership of curriculum at public universities.
The 'Global Food Initiative' roll out covered by
the PR at UC Berkeley

and at UCOP
for more detail.

and an UPDATE- this story highlights some of the implications of UC research on food and then policy and privatization- see Breeding Battle Threatens Key Source Of California Strawberries

To be absolutely precise, the battle is about strawberry breeding at the University of California, Davis. This is more important than it might sound. More than half of all strawberries in the supermarket trace their ancestry to breeding plots at UC Davis.

The strawberry breeders at UC Davis, who've led that program for decades, are leaving the university to carry on their work at a new private company.

The California Strawberry Commission, which represents farmers, is now suing the university, accusing it of betraying a public trust. The commission wants assurances that UC Davis will keep this public breeding program alive, and not hand it over "to private financial interests."

The UC Davis program actually operates a lot like a private company, patenting new varieties and collecting millions of dollars in royalties from strawberry growers. (I'll have more about that in a later post.)

On the other hand, says Sjulin, private companies often don't provide their varieties to everyone. UC Davis does. Any strawberry grower can buy them and grow them. "There are still a lot of growers in California who really depend on that University of California program continuing as is, and anything that would disrupt that is cause for great concern, as you can imagine," he says.

As the current strawberry breeders at UC Davis prepare to leave, some fear that this program will falter, interrupting the supply of new varieties to strawberry growers.

Cornell and FB and IRB questions...in this The Atlantic article.

According to a Cornell University press statement on Monday, the experiment was conducted before an IRB was consulted. Cornell professor Jeffrey Hancock—an author of the study—began working on the results after Facebook had conducted the experiment. Hancock only had access to results, says the release, so “Cornell University’s Institutional Review Board concluded that he was not directly engaged in human research and that no review by the Cornell Human Research Protection Program was required.”

In other words, the experiment had already been run, so its human subjects were beyond protecting. Assuming the researchers did not see users’ confidential data, the results of the experiment could be examined without further endangering any subjects.

Both Cornell and Facebook have been reluctant to provide details about the process beyond their respective prepared statments. One of the study's authors told The Atlantic on Monday that he’s been advised by the university not to speak to reporters.

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