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Smokers’ days may be numbered on many of Georgia’s college campuses, as the state Board of Regents considers a total tobacco ban for all 31 institutions in the university system.

The ban is being pushed by Regent Thomas Hopkins, an orthopedic surgeon from Griffin who wants it to apply to students, staff and visitors.

The proposal, which he would like the regents to discuss early next year, follows a national trend of similar bans — promoted as health initiatives — implemented at schools, parks, around hospitals and in restaurants. Last September, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services launched a national tobacco-free college campus initiative to promote bans like Hopkins is proposing. The initiative counts more than 1,100 colleges and universities in its smoke-free fold.

President Barack Obama will deliver the commencement address at Morehouse College in Atlanta this spring, the college’s president said Saturday. The historically black men’s liberal arts college has just over 2,400 students enrolled and will graduate the class of 2013 on May 19.

Jorden Sargent reports:

From every tragedy springs dozens of conspiracy theories, and the Sandy Hook massacre is no different. Of course, those theories usually leak from places like the “United Slaves of Amerika” Facebook page, Twitchy.com commenters and BeforeItsNews.com. Where you don’t usually find them — or at least where you hope not to find them — is on the personal blogs of professors of accredited public universities. Alas, the world is not what we want it to be, and tenured Florida Atlantic University professor of media history James Tracy is wondering if the Newtown shooting “was intended primarily for public consumption to further larger political ends.”

Naturally, Tracy is a practiced conspiracy theorist. His first post on the Sandy Hook shooting begins thusly: “It is now beyond question that the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, and Martin Luther King Jr. all involved patsies, additional gunman and perhaps most importantly, mass media complicity to achieve their political ends.”

Florida Atlantic University just lost whatever credibility it had. This guy needs to go.

Rick Scott, businessman turned politician, campaigned for governor in 2010 with promises to run Florida like a successful business — more efficiency, lower costs, less hand-wringing and measurable results.

He meant higher education, too, but until recently that meant mostly shrinking budgets.

Now, looking for more value on the remaining dollars, Governor Scott and Republican lawmakers are prodding Florida’s 12 state universities to find ways to steer students toward majors that are in demand in the job market.

The message from Tallahassee could not be blunter: Give us engineers, scientists, health care specialists and technology experts. Do not worry so much about historians, philosophers, anthropologists and English majors.

demnewswire:

Florida: Register to vote at your college
Do you attend college in Florida? You can use your college address to register to vote!
But with the voter registration deadline fast approaching, don’t wait—visit GottaRegister.com today.

demnewswire:

Florida: Register to vote at your college

Do you attend college in Florida? You can use your college address to register to vote!

But with the voter registration deadline fast approaching, don’t wait—visit GottaRegister.com today.

There’s a certain prejudice I’ll admit to: I question most of the for-profit colleges. Now before the for-profit wonks jump all over me, let me tell you why.
Basically, most have low quality, charge extremely high tuitions, prey on the under-educated, and in recent years, have taken advantage of government funding in the case of people who are, or have been, in the military. In addition, most are not approved by the standard accrediting agencies.
bohemiansouth:

Bohemian South adds: Great photo. Great thought.
And a footnote: Both the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu have served as visiting professors at Emory University in Atlanta. They are smart, kind, decent, genuine and level-headed  people. 

bohemiansouth:

Bohemian South adds: Great photo. Great thought.

And a footnote: Both the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu have served as visiting professors at Emory University in Atlanta. They are smart, kind, decent, genuine and level-headed  people. 

And all of this cash buys more than just symbolic power. In addition to landing their names on buildings, agribiz giants also “fill seats on academic research boards and direct agendas,” the report shows. At Iowa State University, reps from the agribiz-aligned Iowa Farm Bureau and Summit Group, an industrial-scale producer of hogs and cows, have won seats on the governing Board of Regents. The report brims with examples of agribiz employees occupying seats on advisory boards of various ag-related centers within the land grants. My favorite is this: The way the University of Georgia’s Center for Food Safety forms its advisory board. Get this, from the center’s web site:

“We invite food processing and related companies who are not presently members of the Center for Food Safety to join more than 40 food processors who are actively involved in the Center’s programs. There are different ways in which you can be involved with the Center. You may want to become a member of the Center’s Board of Advisors. The role of the Board is to provide input on food safety research needs of the industry. In addition, the Board provides suggestions on unique (not routine) opportunities/services the Center can offer to industry. For example, Center faculty can offer specialized workshops on food safety and quality issues or training on advanced equipment and techniques. A $20,000 annual contribution to the Center entitles a company a seat on the Board. [Emphasis added.]”

Companies that have taken the center up on its offer include Cargill, Kraft, Hormel, Kellogg’s, Unilever, Earthbound, and McDonald’s.

Their version of success that is held up as normal is one that says life is a struggle of everybody against everybody else, and you have to sacrifice what makes your heart sing. But everything is changing. … We need to devote ourselves … to the service of the planet, to other beings, to give of our gifts in whatever way feels right.
Charles Eisenstein, author of “Sacred Economics,” spearking at Occupy UNC’s “alternative” commencement in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, quoted in Occupy UNC holds ‘alternative’ commencement - Local/State - NewsObserver.com (via bohemiansouth)

Catherine Rampell writes:

Last month I wrote about how state budget cuts were forcing public universities to raise tuition and cut programs. Some of the subjects most valuable for job and economic growth — like engineering, computer science and health sciences — have been most vulnerable, because they also happen to be among the most expensive to teach.One new and especially high-profile example is the University of Florida, which this month announced a plan that would gut its Computer and Information Science and Engineering Department.Last week, Gov. Rick Scott of Florida signed a law cutting higher education funds in the state by $300 million, according to local papers. This follows cuts totaling $767 million over the previous five years, according to the Center for the Study of Education Policy at Illinois State University.The University of Florida, the state’s flagship school, has been hit particularly hard.