Fall 2009/Spring 2010 Highlights---> ---> ---> ---> ---> Bio:
I’m Shakia Harris and a Junior at Western Kentucky University, majoring in News/Editorial Journalism. I’m a reporter for the College Heights Herlad (Bowling Green, Ky.) and I’m always searching for the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. I’ve worked for many publications, some of which have been abroad and my experiences as a journalist are some of the most valued times of my life.
I’m currently working as the City Government reporter for the College Heights Herald.
Past: I was first introduced to the journalism field when I was in the 8th grade and have since dedicated the past 8 years working alongside some great journalist in the United States and abroad: --College Heights Herald; Bowling Green, KY: Campus Government Reporter, Academics Reporter, City Government Reporter --World Association of Newspapers & News Publishers: Hyderabad, India: Editors Weblog writer Shaping the Future of the Newspaper writer WAN-IFRA multi-blog writer --62nd World Newspaper Congress; Hyderabad, India --16th World Editors Forum; Hyderabad India
Student reflects on new admission standards
Employees, students protest decision
4 May 2010 by Shakia Harris Louisville Colby Moore doesn’t want to become another statistic. Moore is currently a student at Bowling Green Community College and expects to earn a grade point average higher than 3.0 this semester. But even though Moore is on the right track now, he said it took him a while to get focused and take school seriously. “I saw college as a second chance because I messed up in high school,” Moore said. And Moore said he wouldn’t have had a chance of getting into Western under the university’s newly implemented admission standards. Beginning this fall, high school students seeking admission to Western are required to have either a 2.0 GPA or a cumulative ACT score of 16. The ACT requirement will increase by one point each year until it reaches 20 in 2014. Admissions Director Scott Gordon said that, a year ago, students could be admitted to Western with either a cumulative ACT score of 15 or a 2.0 unweighted GPA.
19 March 2010 by Shakia Harris Students plan to put some pressure on President Gary Ransdell to get domestic partner benefits at Western. Students, staff, faculty and community members will rally at Guthrie Bell Tower today to protest the benefits committee’s decision last month to deny benefits for employees’ domestic partners or other qualified
and his twin brother, Carlos Moore, just two weeks before classes were scheduled to start. Moore said his mom chose Western because, with his 1.9 GPA and cumulative ACT score of 12, Western was the only school they knew of that he could get into. “In high school, I was worried about money and all the wrong things — I wasn’t too concerned about grades,” he said. “I didn’t even read the questions on the ACT, I just filled in answers.” Moore said he received his wakeup call to do well in school after his Louisville freshman Colby Moore takes notes as he listens to the lecture in his sociology class at South Campus. Moore got a 12 on mother lost her job and his family began the ACT, which would now fall below Western's new admission requirement. KELLY LAFFERTY/HERALD to experience financial he believes raising standards is Statistics presented last problems. want to be another statistic,” he a must for Western, he thought year by the Task Force for “I wanted to quit school to said. that requiring a cumulative ACT Quality and Access examined help her pay for it, but she told Once he receives his final score of 20 was excessive. the effects of raising admission me stay at Western, and I thank grades, Moore is applying to He said he thinks mergstandards, and illustrated that a her for that,” he said. Western’s main campus. ing the community college with small portion of students would Most people don’t realize Gordon said the commuthe main campus is a good idea, nity college won’t exist after July be affected, Brotherton said. because it could motivate the He said some students have “There are already so many statistics 1 because it is merging with the students to perform better. already been notified that they University College. right now about how black men have low He described some of didn’t meet the requirements for Tim Brotherton, a member the coursework he does at the college graduation rates, and I didn’t want of the academic support division the fall. community college as easy and If students were already at BGCC, said the community to be another statistic.” - Moore comparable to the work he did in college is facing an internal reor- admitted into the community colhigh school. lege, their admission status won’t ganization. “I think a lot of people change as long as they maintain Compared to previous how dropping out of school will The community college over at South Campus don’t care a 2.0 GPA and other academic years, less than 100 students affect their future until they try will be renamed the Comand they’re just doing enough to guidelines, Brotherton said. would be affected by the change, to come back and finish their monwealth School, and faculty get by,” Moore said. “I want a If students are already President Gary Ransdell said. degrees later, Moore said. members will function like they challenge. I don’t want it to be admitted, they must maintain a Moore hadn’t planned on “There are already so had before, he said. this easy because life isn’t easy.” GPA high enough to graduate going to college until he had many statistics right now about The switch wouldn’t cause from Western. Publication: College Heights Herald found out that his mother sehow black men have low college significant job loss, Ransdell Moore said that, although cretly applied to Western for him graduation rates, and I didn’t said.
Former student competes on MTV show 27 February 2010 by Shakia Harris Louisville senior Josh Mabry always knew his fraternity brother had a passion for dancing. Former Western student Dakota Smith has been determined to make it on MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew since the show first aired two years ago, Mabry said. This season, Smith got his wish. “It was never a matter of if he’d make it but when he’d make it,” Mabry said. “I’m just finally glad to see he’s actually living his dream. It’s going to open so many doors for him.” After four audition attempts with two different crews, Smith made the show’s fifth season as a member of the Royal Flush crew, representing the South. “The energy on the stage was incredible,” Smith said. “I loved every second of it.” Smith, an alumni of the Eta Rho chapter of Sigma Nu fraternity, first met members of Royal Flush while he was auditioning with Kaotick during the show’s second season, he said.
He kept in touch with Royal Flush group members until he and fellow former Kaotick member Tyrone “Ne-Yon” Foster decided to collaborate with the group and move to Atlanta in the summer of 2009, Smith said. A week after their MTV debut, Foster and Smith visited Bowling Green, where they shared insights on their ABDC experiences with Smith’s fraternity brothers. Lexington sophomore Justin Powell said that after watching Royal Flush perform on television, he was surprised to see Smith and Foster break dancing in the living room of the Sigma Nu fraternity house. “When I walked into the house I was completely starstruck,” Powell said. “For a moment, it seemed like time was in slow motion.” At one point, Smith and Foster performed an impromptu dance session in Downing University Center. Lexington junior Jesse Caylor said the visit was a special treat, considering the guys were on their way to Atlanta to reunite
with other members. Caylor said the first night Royal Flush performed on television, he and other fraternity brothers crowded in their living room, waiting anxiously to watch their brother on stage. “He’s always been that skinny white boy always showing off at parties, Dakota Smith and Tyrone “Ne-Yon” Foster, members of the Royal Flush dance crew, perform in the Sigma Nu fraternity house. The two are competing on season five of MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew. JESSE CAYLOR/ HERALD
and now look at him,” Caylor said. “He’s still that same skinny white boy except now he’s dancing on America’s Best Dance Crew.” Smith said there’s no experience like it but once their time on the show ends, the group will go back to Atlanta where they’ll continue to perform and
teach dance classes. The results show aired last night on MTV. As of press time, the results for Royal Flush weren’t available. Publication: College Heights Herald
dependents. Lexington senior Greg Capillo said the rally will take place at 11:20 a.m. just before the Board of Regents committee meetings. He said Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, should be on campus, and Capillo hopes he’ll see the protest. He said he’s expecting a good turnout. “People are aware of what’s happening, and it’s
shifting consciousness on campus,” Capillo said. He said that for the past few years he feels the benefits committee has given many the runaround when it comes to domestic partner benefits. “We as a community are standing up and saying we want this to change,” Capillo said. “We need Dr. Ransdell to change this.” Ransdell said on Wednesday that he was not aware of Friday’s protest. He thinks their focus should not be on him, but on the benefits committee, which will meet again in April, he said. “There are proper ways to go about achieving the best outcome for WKU, and asking me to overturn Psychology professor Dr. Sam McFarland protests outside of the Wetherby Administra- a committee tion building for the reversal of the benefits committees 8-6 decision to not allow Domes- action isn’t tic Partner Benefits for Western faculty. McFarland said at least one faculty member will very collegial,” be protesting every day until the end of the semester. TANNER CURTIS/HERALD
Ransdell said. He said he’s confident the committee will address the matter. Lafayette junior Lydia
staff members on the issue. “I’m proud to be here while this is happening,” Rathje said. “I hope that those who think it’s not a big deal realize
“I believe Martin Luther King Jr. had it right
when he said, ‘The time is always right to do what is
’” - Dillon
Dowell said she is given hope when she sees faculty and staff members protesting the decision on the steps of Wetherby Administration Building. Dowell said she hopes Ransdell will see the rally and understand the importance of the issue at hand. “I know faculty that this is directly affecting, and it breaks my heart to hear them talk about it,” she said. Robin Rathje, Northeast Hall Director and Student Identity Outreach co-founder, said she’ll be attending the rally as an advocate and supporter for equality of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered individuals. She said she’s glad to be able to witness students working diligently alongside faculty and
it affects more people than they think it does.” When Capillo and other event organizers met last week with people directly affected by the issue, they discussed how to most effectively voice their displeasure. “We talked about how we wanted this to be civil, nonviolent and most importantly respectful protest,” Capillo said. “We’re aware that Ransdell’s in southern Kentucky, and we know that this issue places him in a difficult position.” Ohio County freshman Ryan Dillon said he’s attending the rally. “I believe Martin Luther King Jr. had it right when he said, ‘The time is always right to do what is right,’” Dillon said.
Domestic partner benefits approved 6 April 2010 by Shakia Harris Officials approved domestic partner benefits at a last-minute meeting Friday morning, after a nearly five-year push to do so. Human Resources Director Tony Glisson, a benefits committee member, said the committee voted 8-4-1 in favor of other qualified dependent (OQD) or domestic partner benefits. Domestic partner benefits are benefits an employer chooses to offer an employee’s unmarried partner, whether of the same or opposite sex, according to information from the Employee Benefit Research Institute. The benefits will go into effect Jan. 1, 2011. Qualifying
faculty and staff members can sign up during open enrollment for Western’s health plan in October, Glisson said. Glisson said he called for the meeting in response to the outpouring of discontent after the committee’s 8-6 vote on Feb. 16 against the benefits. Faculty Regent Patricia Minter said she received an e-mail Thursday around 5:30 p.m. calling for an emergency benefits committee meeting at 8 the next morning. President Gary Ransdell said he was not present at Friday’s meeting. Some speculate that the meeting was inspired in part by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s anticipated arrival
on campus Friday morning. “It is an interesting coincidence that something we worked on for five years settled the day when a large student protest was planned on the day Sen. Mitch McConnell was scheduled to be present on campus,” Minter said. “If the senator’s presence had anything to do with it then I’m incredibly grateful.” Ransdell said he doesn’t see any correlation between McConnell’s visit and Friday’s meeting and the student-led rally planned for 11:20. McConnell was in town for the dedication of the Advanced Manufacturing and Robotics Lab in the Environmental Sciences and Technology Building.
Assistant women’s studies professor Molly Kerby said she’s personally affected by the decision because she has a domestic partner. She said she wasn’t expecting the committee to reconsider issue until later this month, but she’s glad that after five years, the right choice was made. Kerby helped organize the faculty protests that took place in front of the Wetherby Administration Building, and the student-led protest that was scheduled for Friday at Guthrie Bell Tower. Kerby said she received a call around 9 a.m. Friday to halt the protest. Kerby said students —
including some who traveled from Lexington and Louisville — still gathered at the bell tower at 11:20 a.m., but instead of protesting, they celebrated with signs saying, “Thank you for respecting equality,” and some sang Western’s fight song upon Ransdell’s arrival. “This proves that if you stand up and take a stand it really works,” Kerby said. She said she’ll be the first person in line to sign up for the benefits in October. Human Resources officials are now working to determine eligibility criteria, Glisson said.
Emslie: Western is ‘close-knit’ community 6 April 2010 by Shakia Harris President Gary Ransdell told the group gathered at this afternoon’s press conference in the Kentucky Building that he’d found the “academic partner” he’s been looking for. Ransdell introduced Gordon Emslie, associate vice president for research and dean of the Graduate College at Oklahoma State University, as Western’s new provost and vice president of Academic Affairs. Emslie said the president and provost are a team, and at this point, he sees no significant difference in philosophy. “We stress very strongly a
need to communicate,” Emslie said. “I see this as a strong liaison.” Ransdell said that once he narrowed down the selection to Emslie and David Lee, dean of Potter College of Arts and Letters, he met with both candidates oneon-one over the weekend before announcing his final decision Monday. He said both candidates have impressive academic credentials, but he wanted to make sure they would fit on a personal level. “I made it my business to learn everything I possibly could about both,” Ransdell said. Ultimately, he felt Emslie
would be a better fit for the position, he said. “I know and love David Lee,” Ransdell said. “There’s no one on this campus that I have more respect and admiration for.” He said he felt that Emslie brings something different to Western, which is necessary in moving the university forward. Lee described Emslie as witty, bright and a great addition to the campus. He thinks Emslie will bring fresh perspectives and be a very exciting provost. Dean of Libraries Michael Binder said Emslie appeared to be knowledgeable about a variety of disciplines. Colton Jessie, the Student
Government Association president-elect, was the student representative on the provost search committee. During Jessie’s first term as SGA president, he plans to meet with Emslie to discuss issues, including increasing scholarship opportunities, he said. “I definitely plan to work closely with him,” Jessie said. Emslie said Western’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) specifically drew him to applying to the university. The QEP focuses not only on the college experience itself but also on life after graduation, he said. “College is not only about
learning facts, it’s about learning how to think,” Emslie said. He said that Western’s campus community is considerably smaller than what he’s used to at Oklahoma State, but he likes it because it feels like a closer-knit community. To ease the transition from academic dean to provost, Emslie said he’ll be doing a lot of reading and meeting with faculty, staff and students during his first few months in office. “The next three months will be the most challenging,” Emslie said. His official first day will be July 1.
Peer to peer: Program puts Western to send students in advising role teachers to 5 March 2010 by Shakia Harris When Mansfield senior Kaci Danhauer became a peer interest adviser three years ago, she had no idea the impact she could have on hundreds of lives. Danhauer is one of 11 peer interest advisers for the Best Expectation Programs. She helps
freshmen through seniors. Each adviser has monthly meetings with between 70 and 100 students, Staten said. Danhauer said the first and second appointments with students are used to identify any red flags within their schedule and set realistic goals. The third appointment is
Senior Kaci Danhauer, of Morganfield, Ky., meets with junior Shane Satterfield, of Henderson, Ky., as a Peer Intrusive Advisor in the Downing University Center Academic Advising and Retention Center. The works there 20 hours a week, and meets with students, checking up on student’s progress in classes. CHRIS WILSON/HERALD
students who are on academic probation or who have received low ACT scores, said Jessica Staten, assistant director of the Academic Advising and Retention Center. “A lot of students blame their bad grades on work, but I work too,” Danhauer said. “I wanted to show students you can be involved in campus activities, work and maintain a good GPA.” Apart from working 20 hours per week, Danhauer is a member of Kappa Delta sorority and a full-time student with a 3.66 overall grade point average. BEP focuses on student achievement and is available for
geared more toward preparing for finals week and showing students how and when to study, she said. Danhauer said she tells students to check their e-mail accounts daily, attend class and start studying now. They’ll set themselves up for failure if they put things off to the last minute, she said. This spring, there are 986 students registered in BEP, 20 of whom are already in good standing and registered themselves in the program voluntarily, Staten said. “I had a student who was in the program for three se-
mesters, and we finally got him back to good standing,” Danhauer said. “He came back last semester, and he just had a new attitude. Now when I see him, he always thanks me, and he’s just very appreciative of our help.” Bowling Green senior Alicia Reece advises freshmen and hosts orientation meetings for new students. She said advisers take many things into account, including work and study habits, classroom attendance and fifth-week assessments for freshmen. At the end of the semester, the peer advisers are always anxious to see how many students met their academic goals, Danhauer said. “We want to know how helpful we were to our peers,” she said. Out of the 435 students registered in the program last semester, 64 percent maintained at least a 2.0 GPA, Staten said. “That’s a good thing for us to see students succeed,” Danhauer said. “That’s what makes the job worthwhile.” BEP students who are on academic probation must also complete six study hours per week, participate in two workshops from the Academic Advantage Series and develop a plan to get off academic probation, Staten said. Nearly 15 percent of Western students who graduated in December have yet to find a job. The Carroll Knicely Conference Center was filled yesterday with students who hope to change that or avoid being part of next year’s statistic.
Louisville schools 5 February 2010 by Shakia Harris Western is teaming up with Jefferson County Public Schools to try to improve math and science programs in Louisville schools. Beginning this fall, Western will send new teachers from across the nation who are pursuing their master’s degrees to work in low-performing math and science programs in select Louisville high schools. Sam Evans, dean of the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, said the Graduate Southern Kentucky Teach program, or GSKyTeach, will send 20 new teachers to Louisville schools in the fall. GSKyTeach is funded through federal stimulus dollars, Evans said. Western is receiving $5.4 million in federal stimulus money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. GSKyTeach Program Director Vicki Metzgar said the 14 high schools selected for the partnership have the lowest math and science performance ratings in Jefferson County. Those 14 will be narrowed down to five by the fall, she said. Tony Norman, associate dean of the College of Education, said the highest-priority schools are Iroquois, Central, Shawnee, Western and Valley high schools. Evans said curriculum for the program is currently being developed. Metzgar said that often, the
schools that need the most help have inexperienced teachers. “We have to boost student achievement by improving the quality of teachers sent to schools,” she said. GSKyTeach is recruiting nationwide for new teachers to train this summer, Evans said. Components from Western’s undergraduate SKyTeach program will be used in shaping the graduate-level GSKyTeach program, Metzgar said. SKyTeach students are undergraduate math and science majors earning a bachelor of science degree and a degree in education, leading to teacher certification. Evans said the teachers are able to earn a master’s degree from Western while maintaining a full-time job. The program is offering to pay select workers $30,000 a year along with benefits if they agree to work at the least three years at a Jefferson County school, Metzgar said. She said that after the teachers complete their first year of teaching, they’ll also have access to a mentoring program and other support services. Metzgar said that if the program is successful, a similar program could be executed statewide. “We’re just trying to fill a very critical need, not just in Kentucky but in the nation,” Metzgar said. “It’s a win-win for everyone.”
Publication: College Heights Herald
insurance and retirement plans. Brad Odil, vice president of sales and station manager at WBKO, said he noticed that more students were seeking internship opportunities instead of full-time positions. He said even if positions aren’t open right now, he holds on to resumes for more than three years in case there’s an opening. “We hire Conrad Reed, a 2008 Western graduate, speaks with Donna Hey, director of Student Academic Services. “I am just looking for better employment,” Reed said. “I am trying to find my niche.” JOSH MAUSER/ a lot of students HERALD fresh out of She said it gave her a better willingness to fail and learn from college,” Odil said. idea of what she needed to do to mistakes,” he said. Rebecca Tinker, associate be in their positions. They also prefer people director for employer relations Kevin Thompson, associate who have strong communication at the Career Services Center, manager at the financial advising and interpersonal skills, said students can make an firm Waddell & Reed, said Thompson said. appointment with Career previous hiring success at the Detective Danny Fewless Services for information on job fair has prompted him to keep of the Clarksville (Tenn.) Police opportunities if they were unable returning. Department said students were to attend the job fair. “We’re looking for asking increasingly about Robert Unseld, associate strong workers that also have a employee benefits, such as health director for data management at
5 February 2010 by Shakia Harris Western is raising the bar for admissions, effective immediately. Beginning this fall, Western’s admission requirements for incoming students will increase gradually over the next five years. President Gary Ransdell said Western is trying to get away from its “open admissions” reputation. The goal in raising admissions standards is to improve academic quality, retention and graduation rates and to gradually reduce the number of underprepared students at Western, he said. High school students who have lower than a 2.0 GPA and comprehensive ACT score below 16 will not eligible for admission, according to Western’s newly drafted guide for 2010-2012.
Starting in the fall, students must have a comprehensive ACT score of at least 16 to be admitted to Western. Officials updated Western’s Strategic Plan for 2010-2012, which includes higher admissions standards and a merger of the community college with the University College. PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY CHRIS WILSON/HERALD
The guide says that the minimum ACT score required for admittance will increase by
SGA opens drinking age debate 24 November 2010 by Shakia Harris Student Government Association President Kevin
morning along with a note to check out the Amethyst Initiative. Murray State University President Randy Dunn is the
“I’ve had a lot of e-mails and about
15 letters from in-state and out of state, but that hasn’t caused me to withdraw my
name or change my decision... - Murray State University President Randy Dunn.
A FAIR CHANCE: Job fair aims to help students find employment 26 March 2010 by Shakia Harris & Laurel Wilson Nearly 15 percent of Western students who graduated in December have yet to find a job. The Carroll Knicely Conference Center was filled yesterday with students who hope to change that or avoid being part of next year’s statistic. Representatives from more than 80 organizations waited as eager job seekers arrived at the spring job fair on Thursday afternoon. Atlanta senior Andrew Varson said he was glad he paid attention to the signs on campus advertising the fair. This was Varson’s first time attending the fair. Even though his major is business administration, he was content when he stumbled across opportunities as a fire fighter, he said. Liberia sophomore Shirley Bargblor said she was motivated after meeting with people in her field who were in executive positions.
A New Western: Reshaping the classroom
Career Services, said the center helps students find jobs in several ways, including hosting a job fair each spring and fall semester. On Wednesday, Career Services allowed students to walk in and receive resume help. Bowling Green senior Amber Scott came in that day to get help with her resume. She’s graduating in May with a degree in social work and wanted to fix her resume to be the best it could be, she said. “I don’t want my resume to be the reason I don’t get a job,” Scott said. She said she’s glad she came, because Career Services helped her organize her resume better. Walk-in resume help is something that Career Services offers every Wednesday, Tinker said. If students are unsure about what direction they want to go into, Career Services can help them make that decision, she said. Publication:College Heights Herald
Smiley has pledged his support to an open discussion about the legal drinking age, while President Gary Ransdell said Western won’t get involved in the debate. Ransdell said last week that he wouldn’t sign the Amethyst Initiative, a petition that encourages debate about the legal drinking age being set at 21. Smiley announced at the Nov. 17 SGA meeting that he decided to sign the Get Real petition, an equivalent to the Amethyst Initiative for student body presidents. The national Get Real petition asks student body presidents to support an open debate about alternatives to the current legal drinking age. Smiley said he and other student body presidents in Kentucky discussed encouraging the Get Real and Amethyst Initiative petitions during a meeting on Nov. 15. “People that are 19 or 21 can fight in a war, but they can’t buy a beer,” Smiley said. Ransdell said he won’t fight the change if federal law changes the drinking age in the future, but Western won’t get involved in the petition. Smiley said he sent a copy of the Get Real petition to Ransdell’s office Monday
only president from a Kentucky university to sign the Amethyst Initiative petition so far. Dunn said he thinks presidents might not be signing because they think it sends a message of support to lowering the drinking age, though signing simply encourages a discussion about the effectiveness of the current drinking age. He said that when he signed the Amethyst Initiative petition in fall 2008, the initiative started receiving national media attention and negative attention from different interest groups. “I’ve had a lot of e-mails and about 15 letters from in-state and out of state, but that hasn’t caused me to withdraw my name or change my decision,” Dunn said. He is among the 135 other university and college presidents nationwide who have signed the Amethyst Initiative petition since it was launched in 2008 by John McCardell, president emeritus of Middlebury College. Forty-one student body presidents have signed the Get Real petition since a non-proft organization called Choose Responsibility launched the petition in October, according to Choose Responsibility’s Web site.
one point every year for the next five years. By 2014, the minimum score will be 20.
Ransdell said that under the current admission standards, Western has helped students who weren’t as prepared for college by enrolling them in remedial classes. By upping the requirements, Western is choosing to focus resources on helping students that are already prepared for college, he said. Dean Kahler, associate vice president for Enrollment Management, said he thinks raising admission standards will attract more students to the university. “It’s sending a message that we’re looking for quality students that are looking to study hard at a quality institution,” Kahler said. At last week’s strategic plan forum, Ransdell said that faculty members had reached a general consensus that admission standards should be raised. “We cannot be all things
to all people in this financial environment,” he said. Western’s the only one of the eight public institutions in Kentucky that is still considered “open admissions,” he said. Ransdell said learning services will be sustained to maintain growth in retention numbers, but he’d like for Western to work itself out of the remediation business. Richard Miller, chief diversity officer, said that sometimes raising standards can enhance enrollment. But officials should monitor the effects raising standards will have on all students, he said. “I think it’s important that we have clear and rigorous admission standards,” Miller said. “My only concern is accessibility and whether it’s going to significantly reduce access to students who do not have the highest academic profile.”
Diversity plan to be reworked There’s more to diversity than black and white 9 February 2010 by Shakia Harris There’s more to diversity than black and white, officials now say. The statewide Kentucky Plan for Equal Opportunities, which calls for a larger black student and teacher population at state secondary education institutions, is being updated to widen its scope of diversity. Representatives from each of Kentucky’s public universities are working with the Council on Postsecondary Education to draft a new diversity plan, said Richard Miller, chief diversity officer. A final draft of the plan should be ready this fall and will be in place in January 2011, Miller said. The old plan is a statewide agreement between Kentucky’s public universities and CPE. It sets objectives to improve graduation, retexantion and admission rates for in-state freshman black students and to increase in the number of hired black faculty members. Western improved from last year, meeting seven of the eight objectives set by the old plan, Miller said. Western wouldn’t have been able to add new degree programs without first meeting at least five of the eight objectives. Miller represents Western
on the CPE’s Committee on Equal Opportunities. The drafting process is ongoing, and some members are shifting their perceptions of diversity to include varying races, genders, ethnicities, socioeconomic statuses or sexual orientations, Miller said. “There are some members that are still race-focused,” Miller said. “It’s not just ethnic diversity
teaching positions, but he hopes the black focus isn’t lost. Since Western announced its plans to raise admission standards, Carter said he’s worried that racial diversity will be negatively affected. Monica Burke, assistant professor in Counseling and Student Affairs and Diversity Enhancement Committee member, said Western is waiting
“...some members are shifting their perceptions of diversity to include varying races, genders, ethnicities, socio-economic statuses or sexual orientations,”Richard Miller anymore.” Memphis sophomore Alvin Farmer said he’d like the next plan to include different ethnicities and ideals. Memphis sophomore Harrison Carter said a lot of Western’s diversity seems to remain on South Campus, and he’d like to see more minorities on Western’s main campus. Carter said he’s only had two black teachers since he enrolled at Western. He’d like to see more minorities in leadership and
on the statewide diversity plan to create a similar plan of its own. “A college campus is a place for people to embrace and understand differences,” Burke said. Miller said a common misconception is that the CPE is lessening its commitment to black diversity, which is untrue. Whatever the CPE decides will lend itself to “fruitful discussion” and will reflect an attempt to counteract the oppression of a group of individuals, Burke said.
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DOW Jones’s CEO: ‘Free Costs Too Much’ 1 December 2009 by Shakia Harris The first session of the World Newspaper Congress kicked off today with talk of perhaps the biggest ongoing conversation amongst the media around the world: how to pay for the digital content the news industry creates. Les Hinton, CEO of Dow Jones & Co., told the Congress that charging for online news is a must, and companies need to find more ways to improve their ad sales to survive. Paul Jansen, CEO of SPH search at Singapore Press Holdings, said his biggest mistake was initially going free in the infancy of the Web. Andreas Wiele, of Axel Springer AG in Germany, said the industry must come up with models to allow print to measure efficiency, or advertisers will "go away."
Righting past mistakes
The media industry must completely reinvent itself to increase productivity, quality and profits, Hinton said.
cover every story. The media must completely reinvent themselves to increase productivity, quality and profits, he said. "News is a business, and we should not be ashamed to say so. It's also a tougher business today than ever before," Hinton added.
Using all platforms to support each other
(left) Les Hinton, CEO of Dow Jones & Co, speaking in Hyderabad, India. Photo by Brian Powers
it. Like an over-eager middleaged dad, desperate to look cool, we ended up dancing obediently to other people's tunes. For a while. You can almost hear the music - an algorithm and blues soundtrack - accompanying the harbingers of the new economy with the new rules of
costs too much. Good content is valuable. That hasn’t changed. It never will...
Charging for online news is a must and companies need to find more ways to improve their advertisement sales to survive. When the Internet was in its infancy, "a lot of newspaper people were taken in by the game-changing gospel of the internet age. It was a new dawn, we were told. A new epoch, a new paradigm. And we just didn't get
the new age. Their rules. These digital visionaries tell people like me that we just don't understand them. They talk about the wonders of the interconnected world, about the democratization of journalism. The news, they say, is viral now - that we should be grateful. Well, I think all of us need to beware of geeks bearing gifts," Hinton said. "Free costs too
much. Good content is valuable. That hasn't changed. It never will." Even though Google is at the heart of the crisis confronting journalism today it still has the ability to enhance and enrich our daily lives, and that shouldn't be forgotten, Hinton said. "They are in good company. Even Google is struggling make money with free content on the Web - its own content, that is." Jansen agreed with Hinton, saying his biggest mistake was not charging for his online newspaper when it was first available online in 1995. "A year later, I thought we really shouldn't be given this away for free," Jansen said. When asked why he didn't initially charge for his newspaper's online services he responded, "We just followed everybody else like a sheep in a herd and did not charge so now we have to make up for our mistakes." He said deciding on whether or not to transition to a paid publication was especially difficult because SPH wanted
to charge for content but didn't know how much, how or when to charge. Jansen touched on the topic of Google competing with newspapers, asking "What's the difference between us and Google?" He said Google and other search engines are great to use; however, it limits the demand of newspapers by readers. "The problem with search is it understanding our customers better than we do," he said. With the help of Google ads, which many news companies happily accept for a slice of the ad revenue, Google is able to get a better understanding of our consumers, Jansen said. When an audience member asked in what ways publishers can battle Google, Wiele said that "Google is a wonderful helpful tool to find content...We all rely on Google and other search engines very heavily." He said search engines were fantastic and have every right to be present, but they also increase the need for publishers find other ways to improve advertisement revenues so that newspapers can
Wiele said that publications in Germany, for example, have maintained a steady readership over the past year due to the fact that people are sticking longer with what they know, which statistics claim to be newspapers. "As leading publishing houses we have to make the first steps ourselves," Wiele said. "If we don't dare to go these first steps nobody else will." In regards to Internet and mobile mediums, Wiele said newspapers that ignore digital technologies will lose print readers. Why? Wiele gave the example of Axel Springer AG's Computer magazine, the largest computer magazine in Europe: "The computer magazine's print circulation was declining, but we launched a Web site, circulation has been up between 2 and 6 percent per year. “In 2009, the print computer magazine is selling more, and the online site is doing well. The computer magazine reader will look for info online, and we want him to find it on our site. If he doesn't, he will go to a competitor's site and will end up dropping his magazine subscription to switch to the competitor." Using the online version to support print, and print to support the online version, is an important strategy that has been cause of great success for Axel Springer, he said. Publication: SFNBLOG.com
Emslie: Bowling Green ‘perfect match’ 9 April 2010 by Shakia Harris Gordon Emslie said he hopes the Western community will eventually find out there’s more to him than an administrator. Emslie, associate vice president for research and dean of the Graduate College at Oklahoma State University, will start his position as Western’s provost and vice president of Academic Affairs on July 1. Outside the office, the 53-year-old from Scotland said he enjoys baseball, solving puzzles, flying his plane and skydiving. About 4,000 jumps later, skydiving has become something he’s especially fond of. He recalled a time in Alabama when CBS News featured
him for delivering a final exam to a physics class via parachute. Emslie has also been a pilot for 26 years, he said. “Bowling Green is a perfect match for me because it has a airport right in the middle of town,” he said. During Emslie’s official introduction Tuesday, President Gary Ransdell said he has the utmost trust and confidence in Emslie to fulfill his duties as provost. Emslie’s scholarly track record speaks for itself, Ransdell said. At Oklahoma State, Emslie’s duties include reviewing academic programs and verifying degree requirements. “You want your degree to
be as valuable as possible,” Emslie said. “It’s my job to make sure it is.” Managing resources is also an important aspect of his job, Emslie said. “Any challenge of being an administrator is taking the resources you have — and I’m not just talking money — and building it to be the best it can be,” he said. One way to ensure student success is by having a selective admissions process, Emslie said. Earlier this semester, Western officials announced that they will gradually raise admission requirements over the next five years. Emslie said this move will increase Western’s reputation. “I think an open admissions
policy is just going to set certain people up for failure,” Emslie said. “If people are investing their time and money, we need to make sure they’re going to be successful.” Richard Miller, chief diversity officer and associate vice president for Academic Affairs, said the appointment is a positive step for the university. Over the next few months, Emslie will be focusing on relocating from Oklahoma and finding a house, he said. His next scheduled visit to Bowling Green is in May. “I think over time people will come to get to know me,” Emslie said. Publication: College Heights Herald