Our Weekly Reader for week beginning November 18, 2012

1. The big story of the week of course is the GEO, which has voted to authorize a strike. The most up-to-date source of information I’ve found for all GEO news is their website: http://www.uigeo.org/. The CFA is planning a separate page on its own site devoted to strike news. More details as I know them. In the meantime, the most recent stories from the DI and the News-Gazette (both after the strike-vote) are:
http://www.dailyillini.com/news/campus/article_d3d00e0e-303a-11e2-bd94-0019bb30f31a.html#user-comment-area
http://www.news-gazette.com/news/education/2012-11-16/geo-members-take-next-step-toward-strike.html
Relevant recent comments from the CFA website:
https://cfaillinois.org/2012/11/16/cfa-comment-on-the-possible-geo-strike/
https://cfaillinois.org/2012/11/17/geo-update-on-developments-with-potential-strike/
Weekly updates will not be timely here; please keep checking the GEO or CFA websites!

2. Any other week, the next item would have been #1, from today’s N-G: “At UI’s Urbana campus, 472 earning $150,000-plus – but that’s still fewer than in 2008”. Ricky Baldwin is quoted but nobody from CFA or, to be fair, any faculty member of any kind.
http://www.news-gazette.com/news/education/2012-11-18/uis-urbana-campus-472-earning-150000-plus-thats-still-fewer-2008.html
On the other hand, from Springfield, “Does UIS stiff laborers: University support staff claim pay disparity between union, non-union workers“:

http://www.illinoistimes.com/Springfield/article-10724-does-uis-stiff-labor.html

3. Related to #2: articles on the corporatization of university. The first comes from RL; the second is a metafilter posting listing a dozen or so other articles. I invite readers to point out additional nuggets from these:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-11-14/bureaucrats-paid-250-000-feed-outcry-over-college-costs.html

http://www.metafilter.com/121848/The-Corporatization-Of-Higher-Education

4. http://chronicle.com/article/Need-3-Quick-Credits-to-Play/135690/

Dangers of MOOC abuse by athletic programs wishing to make their players academically eligible; worth reading in detail.

5. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/education/ct-met-niu-turmoil-20121117,0,3441347.story

“NIU battles to overcome scandals: State school seeks new president while 10 workers are on paid leave amid allegations”
The article suggests a want-ad:

Wanted: A visionary leader to oversee the state’s third-largest public campus, where two high-ranking administrators recently resigned in disgrace, eight employees face felony theft charges and the campus police chief ā€” once hailed a hero for his swift response to a 2008 shooting spree that left six people dead ā€” has been placed on leave amid questions about concealed evidence in a rape case. Budget currently includes more than $15,000 per week for suspended employees who are still being paid
6. For my colleagues outside the mathematics department:

http://alumni.stanford.edu/get/page/magazine/article/?article_id=57728

“Who Needs the Humanities at ‘Start-Up U’? Stanford says everyone does, and wants to convince the world.”

7. http://capitolfax.com/2012/11/14/fanning-urges-u-of-i-chancellor-phyllis-wise-and-trustees-not-to-eliminate-civic-leadership-program/

A passionate defense of the UI “Civic Leadership Program” on a website widely read by legislators.

8. An interview with President Easter at WUIS; was anything posted from his WILL interview?

http://wuisnews.wordpress.com/2012/11/15/u-of-i-president-robert-easter-conversation/

9. On the civil service designation question

http://www.news-gazette.com/news/business/employment/2012-11-15/decision-civil-service-academic-professional-designation-wont-pl

10. Fahner’s business group, faced with the failure of Amendment 49, now says that state pension problems can’t be fixed; major pushback from AFSCME.

http://www.suntimes.com/business/16390320-418/business-group-illinios-pension-problems-too-big-too-fix.html

11. Finally, Rutgers and Maryland are negotiating to join the Big Ten:

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/ap-source-big-ten-talking-034835202–ncaaf.html

My apologies if you sent me something and I forgot to put it in. This was a busy week!

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At the E-summary http://www.uillinois.edu/our/news/summary.cfm

11/12 — p.1 (DI) on the GEO, superseded by later developments.
11/12 — pp.6-7 (The Southern) “SIU changes gears, refocuses its long-term plan” — no longer to be one of the top 75 public research universities by 2019.
11/12 — p.15 (NG) Editorial: “Another warning on pension problems”

11/13 — nothing of note

11/14 — pp.2-4 (WP) “Exploring credits for free online courses” (Note: The Washington Post owns the Kaplan schools.)
11/14 — pp.9-10 (NYT) “College credit eyed for online courses”

11/15 — p.1 (NG) Civil service exemptions, see above.
11/15 — p.2 (Illinois Times) “Does UIS stiff laborers? University support staff claim pay disparity between union, non-union workers”, see above.
11/15 — p.3 (NG) Letter from Jeffrey Magee, School of Music, saying program cancellation has no real impact.
11/15 — p.4-5 (Sun-Times) “State pension crisis unfixable” (sez business group, see above.)
11/15 — p.13 (AP) “George Washington University `unranked’ by US News”, for fudging data on its students

11/16 — p.1 (NG) “Union to announce strike-vote results today”, superseded by later developments
11/16 — pp.7-9 (Chron) “Court strikes down Michigan’s ban on race-conscious college admissions”
11/16 — p.10-11 (NYT) Same topic
11/16 — pp.17-18 (NYT) “University consortium to offer small online courses for credit”
11/16 — p.19 (Trib) Same topic on “Semester Online”, including Northwestern, Notre Dame and 8 others.
11/16 — pp.24-25 (InsideHigherEd) “Seeking additional credible information about Chinese applicants, colleges use video interviews”, to check English skills, among others.

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