Friday, December 25, 2015

The Sun, the Moon and the Stars... (the day before 1968's) Christmas

"In tough times, colleges turn to unconventional leaders"

(by a former SJ Merc higher ed reporter now at Hechinger...)

Financial pressures, growing public scrutiny and other problems are prompting colleges and universities to turn to new types of leaders who didn’t rise up the ranks as academics, as was the longstanding tradition. Instead, they’ve turned to politicians, lawyers, civil servants and even military officers.

Some of these unconventional presidents, in turn, are bringing with the...

Also see links in it to:

"Aging faculty who won’t leave thwart universities’ attempts to cut costs
But some older faculty say they offer institutional experience and research savvy"

"Think university administrators’ salaries are high? Critics say their benefits are lavish
Scandal in one state focuses attention on club memberships, free cars, housing allowances"

"Once invisible, college boards of trustees are suddenly in the spotlight
Some critics say boards don’t do enough; others that they meddle too much"

"Colleges take cues from private business to improve their customer service"

Press enterprise with:
"UCR hopes to benefit from energy coalition"


Bardeen doesn’t expect the process to add much to the cost of producing solar panels. He’s working with an organic material for the infrared process that can be applied as a coating to a solar panel. An actual commercial application, he said, is about five years away.

That thing is tetrahydrofuran, or THF, a compound that has been found to efficiently break down a plant’s structure. The plants Wyman is using are poplar trees, switch grass, corn silk and wood waste. The resulting material has high amounts of fermentable sugars, used in the process of producing ethanol.

Wyman also is using a fermenting organism that, while known about for 20 years, has only begun to be utilized within the past two. It cuts fermentation time from a week or more down to one to two days.
The result, he said, is the ability to produce a gallon of ethanol for about 10 cents, far less than the current price of about $1.

Meranze's links at Remaking the U. include:

 "At UC Irvine, Questions About Professorships Funded by a Foundation that Seeks to Change Scholarly Study of Hinduism"
See IHE:

and on 'the pols and higher ed funding policy battle in the election race' etc. --there is a fact check on HRC, Sanders and higher ed funding: that brings up one view on capital projects at Universities...

AP FACT CHECK: Glossed-over realities in Democratic debate
SANDERS: "The cost of college education is escalating a lot faster than the cost of inflation. There are a lot of factors involved in that. And that is that we have some colleges and universities that are spending a huge amount of money on fancy dormitories and on giant football stadiums."

CLINTON: "States have been disinvesting in higher education ... So states over a period of decades have put their money elsewhere; into prisons, into highways, into things other than higher education."

THE FACTS: Clinton comes closest to diagnosing the problem accurately. College expenses are unsustainably high, but luxurious dorms aren't the big driver that Sanders portrays. Public universities are charging more because they receive less in state government support.

Demos, a left-leaning think tank, said in a May study that the decline in state funding accounted for 79 percent of tuition hikes between 2001 and 2011. Just 6 percent was due to construction costs.

Sanders would make up that lost government money by providing free tuition, paid for with a tax on financial transactions. Clinton would offer federal dollars to encourage states to do more and keep students from having to borrow. It's unclear how either plan would control colleges' costs, though.


and an editorial round up here includes education policies:

"Best and worst education news of 2015 — a teacher’s list"


"Big ideas in health and science for 2016"
From UC San Francisco


Skelton at LAT on the Pres. Of the UC Regents:
There's plenty at home for Brown's to-do list

Another big 2015 story:

The innovations of the LUX experiment form the foundation for the LZ experiment, which is planned to achieve over 100 times the sensitivity of LUX,” said LZ spokesperson Harry Nelson of UC Santa Barbara. “The LZ experiment is so sensitive that it should begin to detect a type of neutrino originating in the sun that even Ray Davis’ Nobel Prize winning experiment at the Homestake mine was unable to detect.”


he was there, sorta

somewhere in this: pointed to a  quote from Red Cloud recently.

While we're at it, can Oort cloud be plural?

Musically today:

"The day before Christmas '68"


Formulaic? -dubbed over the non-formulaic:

Light of Christmas Day


Made of the Sun

Shine a different way

There's some Sunny came home to it

Fiat Lux

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