UNCG Campus Weekly

Campus Weekly is published each Wednesday when classes are in session. In the summer, it is published biweekly.

New Education Dean: Karen Wixson

102710Headline_WixsonAfter a national search, Dr. Karen K. Wixson, professor of education at the University of Michigan, has been named dean of UNCG’s School of Education.

Wixson’s tenure begins Jan. 1, when she will succeed the current dean, Dr. Dale H. Schunk. Schunk has held the position since 2001.

“I was immediately attracted to UNCG because of its reputation as an engaged institution, in general, and specifically in the area of education,” Wixson said. “My meetings and conversations with university administrators and School of Education faculty, staff, students and alums served to reinforce this impression and helped me gain an appreciation for the collaborative, collegial environment at UNCG. These are the values and priorities needed to make a difference and I’m delighted to be joining the team effort to ensure high quality educational opportunities for all.”

“As former dean of the School of Education at the University of Michigan, Dr. Wixson has proven leadership with administrative management, budgetary responsibility, fund-raising, and grant-getting experience,” said UNCG Provost David H. Perrin. “She is the right person to encourage and inspire our diverse faculty and staff both as individuals and as an academic community with a demonstrated commitment to academic excellence, diversity, equity, and educational opportunity.”

Wixson served as dean of the School of Education at the University of Michigan from 1998-2005. Prior to receiving her doctorate in reading education at Syracuse University, she worked as both a remedial reading specialist and a learning disabilities teacher. She has published widely in the areas of literacy curriculum, instruction, and assessment in books and journals such as Reading Research Quarterly, The Reading Teacher, Elementary School Journal, Review of Research in Education, and the Handbook of Reading Research. She is also an author on the Scott Foresman reading program and co-author of a popular text on the assessment and instruction of reading and writing problems.

Wixson co-directed the federally funded Michigan English Language Arts Framework standards project, and served as co-director and principal investigator of the U.S. Department of Education’s Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement. She has been a long-time consultant to the National Assessment of Educational Progress reading tests, and recently served as a member of several National Research Council committees, and as a member of the extended work for the Common Core English-language Arts standards. She served as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Reading Conference and the International Reading Association and is currently co-chair of the Reading Association’s Commission on Response to Intervention.

Wixson is especially enthused about the recent Common Core State Standards Movement, a state-led effort to define clear and consistent benchmarks for students across the nation. The Common Core initiative is coordinated by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers.

“North Carolina has adopted the Common Core State Standards and is a member of one the two assessment consortia,” she said. “An area of particular importance to the success of these efforts is preparation of both pre-service and in-service education professionals and I am committed to helping the UNCG School of Education play a leadership role in this arena.”

By Michelle Hines

Preparing for Big Budget Cuts

102710Feature_BudgetTalkThe state’s budget deficit is expected to be much greater next year. Each of the system’s schools is planning accordingly.

“I think it will be difficult for the next two years,” Chancellor Linda P. Brady told the Staff Senate at its Oct. 14 meeting.

“Planning for 2011-13 Budget” was the topic of the chancellor’s talk. She had spoken at the most recent Faculty Senate meeting about the budget cycle as well.

Officials foresee a 3.2 billion dollar budget gap for 2011-12, brought on not only by a weakened economy but also expiring temporary taxes and loss of federal stimulus funding.

UNCG as well as other UNC campuses have been directed to plan for five or ten percent cuts, for next year.

Anticipating that the budget gap could ultimately be larger than projected, Brady believes universities, including UNCG, must be prepared for an even higher cut.

Provost David H. Perrin and the vice chancellors have been working on plans, for cuts at five and ten percent. The draft plan is due to UNC General Administration Oct. 29.

“We have operated for the last two years – and we will continue to operate – on a set of budget principles,” she said. They were last updated in May 2009. “We do not expect to change those principles.” The budget principles can be viewed here.

She noted that this year, UNCG has a single Tuition and Fee Committee co-chaired by Dr. Alan Boyette and Dr. Cherry Callahan, with two sub-committees, which will look at potential increases in tuition and fees and their impacts.

She anticipates receiving their recommendations by the end of October.

“We need to move our recommendations on tuition and fee increases to our Board of Trustees by the December meeting,” she said.

The Expansion Budget requests include three items for 2011-12:

  • Additional $1 million operating funds for Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering
  • Approximately $750,000 for staff/programs designed to improve retention and graduation rates
  • About $1.1 million for enterprise systems infrastructure and support (such as Banner and Blackboard), which the chancellor currently must fund from other sources.

Priorities that UNCG will submit for the Six-Year Capital Plan include:

  • A replacement for McIver Building, which would house classrooms, offices and labs and provide a single home for Nursing. This new building and other buildings currently under construction will necessitate an additional chiller plant.
  • Jackson Library addition and renovation, including a UNCG Data Center in the lowest floor.
  • Renovations to Eberhart Buidling and Moore (Nursing) Building.

One of the non-appropriated projects that are on UNCG’s list includes a new Student Recreation Center, to be built in University/Glenwood mixed-use neighborhood. The bonds would be funded by students’ facilities fee.

There are many uncertainties, she said. For example, in the spring, there’s the possibility they could be told a different budget-cut figure. Also, “We don’t know if furloughs will be available for 2011-12.”

She indicated she would like the option of furloughs next year.

“If we end up taking a $17 million dollar cut [10 percent], that could translate into as many as 250 faculty and staff. If a cut of that magnitude is required, then we need to seriously look at furloughs, which would reduce the number of employees we would have to lay off, understanding that all of us would essentially take a pay cut. But at least we would be employed, we would have benefits, we would be paying taxes – which actually helps the state get out of this.”

Another unknown is what, if any, state-mandated tuition increases there may be – and whether those funds would remain with each respective university or be used elsewhere.

The hour-long talk ended with a question and answer session. She fielded about a dozen questions, including one about the expansion beyond Lee Street – where she said the increase in residential housing and learning communities will enhance retention and graduation rates.

Visit the university’s budget web page for updates and information related to the budget.

By Mike Harris
Photograph by Mike Harris

Evening News from Colbert? That’s the Way It Is.

102710Feature_ColbertYears ago, Geoffrey Baym paused his late night channel surfing to listen to an in-depth conversation with Sen. John McCain about campaign finance reform. CNN? CSPAN? Nope, Comedy Central.

It turns out that Baym, an associate professor of media studies, was watching “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.” A former television journalist, Baym was fascinated by the forum as much as by the reasonable discussion itself.

He explores this “serious comedy” and more in his recent book “From Cronkite to Colbert: The Evolution of Broadcast News,” winner of the 2010 Book Award from the National Communication Association’s Political Communication Division. The award will be presented next month at the association’s national conference in San Francisco.

Along with laughs for the audience, the hosts of faux news programs deliver tough questions for politicians, questions frequently missing from mainstream news coverage, Baym says. “Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are doing the heavy lifting of the Fourth Estate. They’re doing what Cronkite was trying to do all those years ago, although using radically different methods.”

Stewart and Colbert, hosts of “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report,” clearly are thinking outside the cable box. Colbert testified before Congress about immigration on Sept. 24. On Oct. 30, he and Stewart will host dueling rallies on D.C.’s National Mall, spoofing Glenn Beck’s Aug. 28 Restoring Honor Rally.

Baym suggests that Stewart’s Rally to Restore Sanity emphasizes a point “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report” have long been making.

“Stewart asks us to be serious by being silly,” Baym says. “Colbert calls for reason by being unreasonable. The tools of comedy – satire, irony, and parody – have become necessary ways to talk about a political culture that itself is growing increasingly bizarre.”

By Dan Nonte
Photography courtesy Comedy Central

SECC Is 70 percent to Its Goal

102710NewsAndNotes_PeaceA message from Benita Peace, chair of the campus’ State Employees Combined Campaign:

The 2010 SECC Campaign has about 2 ½ weeks left before the Nov. 12 deadline. I am proud to report that UNCG faculty, staff and retirees have contributed $163,700 toward this year’s $235,000 goal. Chancellor Brady and I are completely in awe and grateful at how well we have all done so far, especially during these challenging economic times.

I encourage those of you who have not yet submitted your envelopes back to your department solicitor to remember to do so as soon as possible. Participation is just as important as meeting the goal. UNCG usually has one of the highest participation rates in the university system for contributions, at 50 percent. As of Oct. 25, we are at a 27 percent participation rate. With 2 ½ weeks left, we should meet and/or exceed the participation rate and this year’s goal. UNCG will prove that we are the MIGHTY BLUE AND GOLD who cannot be defeated as a TEAM!

Reminder: Participation means putting something in the envelope, no matter how small. Also, payroll deductions do not begin until Jan. 31, 2011.

Help Professors Turn Trash into Technology

Hannah Mendoza and Jonathon Anderson, assistant professors of interior architecture, want to refresh the world by recycling trash into design and construction materials. Their success depends on your vote – starting Nov. 1. [Read more…]

With Perfect Honalee, Peter Yarrow Brings ‘Puff’ to Campus

102710NewsAndNotes_YarrowCome frolic in the autumn mist with Peter Yarrow. [Read more…]

Federal Research Priorities and Budgets for FY11

Do you wish you knew where federal agencies are headed and how to align your funding requests to their priorities and direction? [Read more…]

Notes: October 27, 2010

NotesIconThe CNNC fall colloquium “Immigrant Children in the Triad: Issues, Resources & Research Opportunities” will be in Room 219, Stone Building, Wednesday, Oct. 27, noon-2 p.m. Light refreshments will be provided. This event will feature Latino staff from the Center for New North Carolinians and representatives from community agencies working with Latino families. Colloquium leaders hope paricipants can gain a deeper understanding of the issues, resources, strengths and opportunities within this thriving group of new arrivals to North Carolina. The series’ next colloqium will be “Health Access Issues for Immigrants and Refugees in the Triad” on Nov. 10 (same time and location).

Digital collections of manuscript materials relating to music, the result of gifts by composer Harold Schiffman and Jane Perry-Camp, are now available online. John Deal, Dean of the School of Music, Theatre and Dance, said “While Harold did not attend UNCG, his early musical education was gained here, and we are delighted that he has chosen to establish this collection at UNCG.” Schiffman’s University Libraries archive is now available to researchers at http://libcdm1.uncg.edu/Schiffman.php. Deal adds, “Harold and Jane’s relationship with the family of Egon Wellesz also made it possible for UNCG to acquire this Wellesz collection of historically important works, again due to the generosity of Harold Schiffman and Jane Perry-Camp.” This collection is also now available at http://libcdm1.uncg.edu/Wellesz.php.

Workshop on submitting proposals to NIH will be Thursday, Nov. 4, 2 to 4 p.m. in Moore HRA, room 2711. Participants will be introduced to the NIH electronic submission process, walk through the SF424 (R&R) application and PHS forms for paper submissions. Michael Preuss (OSP) will lead this program. Participants will have wireless access and are invited to bring a laptop for hands-on access and assistance during the program. Participants should contact OSP to assure registration in the NIH eRA Commons prior to the workshop. Sign up at https://freyr.uncg.edu/workshops/list_by_category.jsp?cat_id=77001240#

Cards for veterans Students, faculty and staff have an opportunity to sign ‘thank you’ cards for veterans from WW II through the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The veterans are hospitalized in the Salisbury VA Hospital, says Lisa McGuire (CAP). Tables will be in the EUC Commons on Nov. 1, 2 and 4 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and the Dining Hall Nov. 3 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Campus Activities & Programs is still looking for volunteers to help staff these tables. If you are interested in volunteering some time, send your name and availability (days and hours) to Lisa McGuire at lmmcguir@uncg.edu by the morning of Wednesday, Oct. 27.

A contest for free trees Tree Campus USA invites UNCG supporters to vote for UNCG – a Tree Campus USA university – and win free trees for their campus in the Root for Your Home Team contest. To vote, go to www.arbordaynow.org/root, sign up to become a Tree Planter and select UNCG to receive your vote. The university with the most votes will receive $2,500 in free trees. Anyone can sign up to be a Tree Planter and vote until Nov. 5. Those who register to vote will then receive messages about tree-planting opportunities in their area as well as monthly messages with ways to make a positive impact on the environment.

Women’s soccer will host first round of tourney They will be the top seed in the SoCon Tournament, playing at home in the first round Oct 31. Their home record this year is an unblemished 8-0-0. The recent Senior Day win improved UNCG’s senior class to 59-17-5 in its career. Goalkeeper Kelsey Kearney, a junior, has extended her UNCG career record number of shutouts to 28, pulling her into a tie for second place in SoCon history, Phil Perry (Athletics) notes. The SoCon record-holder, Andie Hinshaw, had 36 for Furman from 2002-05.

Weight Watchers @ Work The campus’ fifth Weight Watchers @ Work program begins with an open house on Nov. 3 from 12:15 – 1:15 p.m in Bryan 113. If you’re curious about the program and are considering joining, please plan to drop by. No sign-up is necessary. Participants within the past four sessions have lost a combined total of 1336 pounds! For more information, visit http://web.uncg.edu/hrs/Training/Weightwatchers.pdf. If you’re unavailable to attend the open house but have interest/questions, contact Jason Morris at 4-4408 or Elizabeth L’Eplattenier at 4-4297.

Living off the grid, in a one-room cabin William Powers will speaking Friday, Nov. 5, from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. in Room 217, Music Building. He recently wrote “Twelve By Twelve: A One-Room Cabin Off the Grid & Beyond the American Dream,” which tells the story of Dr. Jackie Benton, a physician living in the North Carolina woods. Powers introduces readers to Benton who lives in a 12’ x 12’ cabin and the surrounding acres she cultivates and practices “permaculture” – “the things your grandparents knew and your parents forgot.” Powers takes her place in the cabin, and writes about the transformative nature of “living small.” Powers has led development aid and environmental initiatives in Latin America, Africa, and Washington, DC. His essays on global issues have appeared in media including the New York Times, the Washington Post, The Atlantic, and Slate. He has been interviewed on programs including Fresh Air and Living on Earth and is a senior fellow at the World Policy Institute. Powers lives part-time in New York City. His web site is www.williampowersbooks.com. The event is sponsored by UNCG Sustainability Committee, UNCGreen, EcoSpartans, School of Music, Theatre and Dance, Green Library Group, and the Office of Sustainability.

San Francisco Jazz Collective takes Aycock Stage Oct. 29

All-star jazz ensemble San Francisco Jazz Collective will perform in Aycock Auditorium Friday, Oct. 29. [Read more…]

Campus People: October 27, 2010

012010CampusPeopleGraphicFeatured this week: Dr. Ludwig “Ludy” van Broekhuizen – Dr. Omar Ali [Read more…]

Announcements: October 27, 2010

Open Forum with Students to Discuss Tuition and Fees

Chancellor Linda P. Brady will hold an open forum with students to discuss tuition and fees on Monday, Nov. 1, at noon. The forum will be in Kirkland Room, EUC.

The forum is especially for students, but anyone in the campus community is welcome to attend.

At October’s Faculty Senate and Staff Senate meetings, the chancellor addressed the topic of tuition and fees, as she discussed budget planning for the next two years. UNCG’s Tuition and Fee Committee, co-chaired by Dr. Alan Boyette and Dr. Cherry Callahan, has been looking at potential increases in tuition and fees and what their impacts would be.

Newsmakers: October 27, 2010

Fred Chappell, Geoffrey Baym, Alejandro Rutty and Andrew Brod are among UNCG individuals recently in the news. [Read more…]

Looking ahead: October 27-November 2, 2010

Final day of free flu shots, for employees covered by State Health Plan
Wednesday, Oct. 27, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Ferguson Room, EUC.

Greek Treats (costumes encouraged)
Wednesday, Oct. 27, 6 p.m., Cone Ballroom, EUC.

“Pain, Struggle and Survival: Remembering Hurricane Katrina Five Years Later …”
Wednesday, Oct. 27, 4:30 p.m. (panel discussion); 7 p.m. (performances), Alumni House

Talks, “Pirates Beyond the Caribbean”

Thursday, Oct. 28, 7 p.m., EUC Auditorium

Concert, University Chorale & Chamber Singers
Thursday, Oct. 28, 7:30 p.m., Aycock Auditorium.

Kendon Smith Lectures, “Making Sense of the Everyday World”
Friday, Oct. 29, 1:30 p.m., Mead Auditorium, Sullivan Science Building.

Science on Tap, “Serendipity in Science,” Dr. Harvey Herman (emeritus professor of chemistry)
Tuesday, Nov. 2, 7:30 p.m., The Green Bean, Elm Street.

more at calendar.uncg.edu