Grain & Chaff
Research by Sociology professor Anthony Harris on
the link between improved emergency care and lower murder rates
has garnered widespread attention in recent weeks. His study was
noted in the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune,
Salt Lake Tribune, Miami Herald, Boston Herald, New York Times,
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Vancouver Province, Windsor (Ont.) Star
and The Guardian of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. ... Epidemiologist
Elizabeth Bertone is also racking up headlines with her research
on the dangers of secondhand smoke to house cats. Along with being
interviewed on National Public Radio's "Weekend Edition"
on Aug. 17, Bertone's work has been detailed in the Washington
Post, London's Sunday Mail, and Salt Lake City's Deseret News.
Stepping up and out
Jack R. Warner, former vice chancellor of the Board
of Higher Education and associate chancellor at UMass Dartmouth,
is the new commissioner of higher education in Rhode Island. Warner,
who assumed his new post last month, is a 30-year veteran of the
Bay State's public higher education system. He was an administrator
and psychology instructor at Northern Essex Community College
from 1970-79, dean of student affairs at Bristol Community College
from 1979-96 and vice chancellor of the Board of Higher Education
from 1996 to 2000. For the past two years, he has been involved
in strategic planning at the Dartmouth campus.
In the news
Assistant professor of Biology Jeff Podos and his
research on variations among finches in the Galapagos Islands
have been featured several times on recent segments of "Pulse
of the Planet," a two-minute radio program that airs on 320
public and commercial radio stations across the country. ... Recently
retired plant pathologist Terry Tattar was quoted by the Boston
Herald (Aug. 20) about the approaching allergy season. Tattar
said ragweed is thriving despite hot, dry conditions. ... Political
Science professor and judicial selection expert Sheldon Goldman
told the Legal Times (Aug. 19) that there is "nothing unusual
or wrong about patronage-driven appointments, as long as the people
are qualified." ... James Manwell, director of the Renewable
Energy Research Lab in the College of Engineering, told the Washington
Post (Aug. 20) that a controversial plan for a wind farm off Nantucket
could put Cape Cod ahead of the country as the nation inevitably
moves away from coal, oil and nuclear power. ... James Young,
chair of Judaic and Near Eastern Studies, was quoted in a USA
Today commentary (Aug. 21) on the use of "9/11" to refer
to last year's terrorist attacks. Young said "warp-speed"
media coverage helped propel the shorthand term into popular use
faster than expected.
Signal of support
UMass Extension's Laurie Sanders, host of WFCR-FM's
"Field Notes," has been awarded a $41,750 grant from
the Northeast Utilities Foundation in support of the weekly series.
"Field Notes," which airs each Monday at 7:30 a.m. during
National Public Radio's "Morning Edition," explores
and celebrates the natural history and biological diversity of
western New England.
The University of Connecticut's board of trustees
unanimously approved a midyear tuition hike last week to offset
about $14 million in state budget cuts. The increase, effective
spring semester, will raise tuition by $108 to $2,419 for in-state
undergraduates. The trustees also approved an 11.2 percent tuition
increase for 2003-04 and an 8.4 percent increase for the 2004-05
academic year. ... Irked by the University of New Hampshire's
inclusion on this year's Princeton Review list of top party schools,
UNH officials fired back last week with an angry press release.
Referring to the annual list as "an unscientific survey based
on random interactions with college students across the country,"
the statement said UNH "gives no credence to the review's
findings." News bureau director Kim Billings said "UNH
cares very much about the welfare of its students, and because
of programs and workshops, there has been a steady decline in
high-risk binge drinking and a decrease in the number of UNH students
arrested on drinking charges."