Seminar addresses OH management issues

first_imgOther speakers on the day included Stella Robinson, regionalOH manager with BUPA, who gave a positive case for OH; Liz Baird, HM inspectorof OH with HSE, whose presentation Revitalising OH described ways in which HSEinspectors address OH issues; Elaine Higson, director of Healthscope (UK) Ltd,who subtitled her talk on sickness absence “actively managed or politelyignored!”; and Nigel Heaton, director at Human Applications, who examinedall aspects of back care management. Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. Gail Cotton, immediate past-president of the Association ofOH Nurse Practitioners, gave a presentation entitled Quality pathway for OH.She recommended discussing any OH project with management and identifying  internal and external standards that relateto the activity. Previous Article Next Article Following the welcome address from Barbara Port, thechairman of the East District, Denis Cutter – regional claims director withMarsh UK Ltd – looked at different methods of handling disease and illnessclaims. Cutter explained pre-action protocol, litigation, investigation and howinsurers deal with incidents. He was followed by Roger Calvert, OH physicianwith Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service, who discussed the role of OH, bothin the present and the future.  Seminar addresses OH management issuesOn 1 Jul 2002 in Personnel Today The programme was designed to promote the awareness that anOH service is like any other part of a business and, therefore, needs to havetargets, structure and quality as part of its function. A host of authoritativespeakers had been assembled to get this message across. The East District of the Institution’s Midlands Branch ran aseminar in June that focused on the management of OH services in the workplace.Held at Coton House, near Rugby, the event aimed to provide an understanding ofexactly what an OH service is. last_img read more

NHS focuses on strategy with development centre

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Concerns are growing that a key vote in Europe this week will support plansto give temporary workers the right to the same terms and conditions aspermanent staff from their first day of employment. The European Parliament’s employment and social affairs committee wasyesterday (Monday) due to debate the amendments to the controversial AgencyWorkers Directive before deciding its final content. The draft directive currently gives agency staff equal rights with permanentstaff after six weeks of employment. However, the Engineering Employers Federation’s David Yeandle waspessimistic about the probable outcome of the vote. He said that hisdiscussions with MEPs had indicated the committee might remove thisqualification period altogether. The EEF and other employer bodies in the UK had been lobbying to have thequalification period extended to at least a year. “There does not seem much chance of the qualification period beingextended. I think it will be reduced or removed completely,” he warned. Yeandle, the EEF’s deputy director of employment policy, was also unhappythat the committee was unlikely to support the EEF amendment to the directive,which would exempt highly paid temps with specialist skills. He said that once the committee had voted on the directive’s content it wasunlikely to be changed when debated by the full European Parliament. However, amendments could still be made by the Council of Ministers. Comments are closed. NHS focuses on strategy with development centreOn 22 Oct 2002 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

The Cape Purvis volcano, Dundee Island (northern Antarctic Peninsula): late Pleistocene age, eruptive processes and implications for a glacial palaeoenvironment

first_imgCape Purvis is a conspicuous promontory on southern Dundee Island. It forms a prominent mesa that contrasts with the smooth, shield-like (snow-covered) topography of the remainder of the island. The promontory is composed of fresh alkaline basaltic (hawaiite) volcanic rocks compositionally similar to younger lavas on Paulet Island 5 km to the east. The outcrop is one of the youngest and northernmost satellite centres of the James Ross Island Volcanic Group. 40Ar/39Ar isotopic dating indicates that the Cape Purvis volcano is 132 ± 19 ka in age. The examined sequence probably formed as a lava-fed delta during a subglacial eruption late in the glacial period corresponding to Isotope Stage 6, when the ice sheet surface elevation was 300–400 m higher than at present. A remarkable unidirectional age progression is now evident, from volcanic centres in Prince Gustav Channel (c. 2.0–1.6 Ma), through Tabarin Peninsula (1.69–c. 1 Ma) to Cape Purvis and Paulet islands (132–few ka). The age variations are tentatively ascribed to construction of progressively younger volcanic centres at the leading edge of an easterly-opening deep fault system, although the origins of the postulated fault system are unclear.last_img read more

Adjunct Pool: (HSEP) Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness

first_imgMaster’s degree and experience in homeland security, emergencypreparedness, or a related field. Normal work daysM-F Hours/Week20 Normal work hoursvaries Anticipated Hiring Rangeminimum $1,100 per credit Position TypeAdjunct – Teaching At VCU, we Make it Real through learning, research, creativity,service and discovery — the hallmarks of the VCU experience. Apremier, urban, public research university nationally recognized asone of the best employers for diversity, VCU is a great place towork. It’s a place of opportunity, where your success is supportedand your career can thrive. VCU offers employees a generous leavepackage, career paths for advancement, competitive pay, and anopportunity to do mission-driven work. Recruitment PoolAll Applicants Job Open Date11/17/2020 Description of the Job Position NumberJ00001 The Homeland Security/Emergency Preparedness Department in the L.Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at VirginiaCommonwealth University is recruiting applicants for possibleSpring 2021 teaching adjunct positions.Duties: Teaching courses as needed.Must grade all assignments and exams in a timely manner. Willing toteach online and/or face-to-face (please specify).Respond to students inquiries within 24 hours.Submit final grades according to school policy.This pool will be utilized on an as-needed basis. Job CategoryAdjunct – Teaching Working TitleAdjunct Pool: (HSEP) Homeland Security & EmergencyPreparedness Open Until FilledNo Organizational Overview Does this position require a pre-placement medicalassessment?No Job Code/TitleAJ – Adjunct DepartmentWilder Sch Of Govt & Public Affairs Resource CriticalYes Preferred Qualifications Does this position provide patient or clinical services to theVCU Health System?No Required Qualifications Sensitive PositionNo Quick Linkhttps://www.vcujobs.com/postings/101346 Experience teaching at the collegiate level. Knowledge/experiencein the areas of Cybersecurity, Legal/Constitutional/Ethical issuesis desirable. CampusMonroe Park Campus Remove from posting on or before05/24/2021 Additional Information Special Instructions to Applicants Posting Details Is any portion of this position grant-funded?No Supplemental QuestionsRequired fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).Optional & Required DocumentsRequired DocumentsCover Letter/Letter of ApplicationResumeCurriculum Vitae (CV)Optional Documentslast_img read more

Lib Dems lash out at Labour’s landlord accreditation scheme

first_imgOxford City Council is launching a new voluntary landlord accreditation scheme, intended to raise the quality of rented accommodation. It is hoped this will help potential tenants to identify landlords and agents who are dedicated to providing a good standard of housing and service.The Council’s City Executive Board approved the principal of the scheme and is currently in consultation with landlords, letting agents and tenant groups to outline the details of its implementation. The accreditation will act as a “stamp of approval” and allow the Council, as well as organisations such as OUSU, to share information on landlords who have agreed to meet the obligations of the voluntary certification. Labour Councillor Ed Turner, Board Member for Strategic Housing, said of the scheme: “I think students will welcome being given information on which landlords have signed up to our code of best practice.  We are determined to raise standards in privately rented housing.”The plan sets out minimum standards of safety, contractual and service delivery that tenants can expect landlords to meet when initially renting the property, as well as throughout their lease. In addition, landlords would attend a compulsory training day. Safety certificates would need to be provided for all properties in their care.The council enter into further discussions with landlords and letting agents in October, primarily through questionnaires. A Landlords’ Forum will also be held later in the month and the scheme may be modified to reflect any further issues raised.Over 25 per cent of the general housing stock in the city is composed of rented accommodation. A large portion of the accommodation is taken up by students living out.Stefan Baskerville, OUSU President, said: “Students often pay huge rents for properties which have problems with mould, security or disrepair. We’ve had several meetings over the summer with the city council about the accreditation scheme, and we’ll be helping them launch it in the new year. The scheme will help to clamp down on dodgy landlords and improve the quality of housing which students rent in the private sector.” Not everyone believes it will clamp down on inefficient or dishonest landlords. Many Liberal Democrats have called it a “toothless” version of a proposal put forward by their party in February 2008.Steve Goddard, a Lib Dem parliamentary campaigner for Oxford East, called it “a limp-wristed response from an administration that hasn’t grasped the severity of the problem. This incident sends a clear message: the Lib Dems are good for tenants, Labour are good for dodgy landlords.”The Lib Dems’ proposal would have lowered the number of occupants required to be living within a house before Houses of Multiple Occupancy (HMO) licensing was required. This would have meant many smaller rented accommodations would have had to be brought up to the same standards as larger ones before being licensed.The proposal was intended to provide a safeguard against landlords who would purposefully lower occupant numbers in order to avoid the licensing process. One example of such an occurrence was cited in the original proposal application, where a fifth occupant had been requested to vacate a property in Harefields by the landlord, allegedly to avoid the need to licence the property as an HMO.The proposal met with heavy resistance from landlords and agents, however, who claimed that the costly HMO licensing would hit those who genuinely strived to meet the criteria far harder than the dishonest ones.Elizabeth Brogan, Senior Policy Officer for the National Landlords Association, was quoted at the time as saying: “The irresponsible [landlords] will continue to get away with overcrowding their houses, maximising their income and failing to comply with safety standards.”Labour deny any connection between the two schemes, citing the record number of successful prosecutions against landlords who failed to meet national standards as proof of its dedication to tackling with dishonesty in letting property.Turner said of the accusation: “We fully intend to progress both landlord accreditation and licensing of houses in multiple occupation to raise standards; the Lib Dems only proposed one tool. I think students will welcome being given information on which landlords have signed up to our code of best practice. ” Turner challenged the Liberal Democrats to provide some consistency in their message, adding, “In Parliament, Sarah Teather MP, as Lib Dem housing spokesperson, said there was a “danger of over-regulation” of privately rented housing, so perhaps Oxford’s Lib Dems could try getting their own side on board first.”last_img read more

School District Responds to Petition Alleging Abuse and Other Misconduct

first_imgBy MADDY VITALEBrianna Thomas created a petition on Change.org to give former and current students of the Ocean City school district a forum to air their grievances, concerns and allegations. She did so, she said, to give them an avenue to tell of alleged incidents at the hands of school faculty or fellow students.Thomas, who dropped out of Ocean City High School during the 2011-12 school year, said in an interview with OCNJDaily.com she was “outed” for being a lesbian, which led to bullying during her time in the district.“I like to tell people what I have been through and my experiences, because it may help someone else,” said Thomas, 24, formerly of Ocean City who now lives in Ventnor.Her petition, posted on April 22 on social media, contained a flurry of posts alleging sexual assault, inappropriate student-teacher relationships, bullying, harassment, acts that led to suicide, discrimination and unfair treatment by faculty.No one, other than Thomas, attaches a name to the alleged incidents. She explained that after former students reached out to her, they worked together to create the petition.She said the people who posted wanted to keep their anonymity for personal reasons because some may want to go to authorities, others want to remain unnamed.“Keeping their anonymity is important,” she said.The petition called on the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office, the State Police and the FBI to look into the allegations outlined in a 6,000-plus word petition with numerous stories by the anonymous posters.On Wednesday night during the Ocean City Board of Education meeting, Thomas read a statement saying, in part, that the district failed its students and urged school officials to do more to help the students.“I have been here before, and I walked away from that call for action trusting that the new plans of the school board would protect students and encourage stricter enforcement of policies,” Thomas said. “I was 19 at that time. I am nearly 25 now. Following the school board meeting in 2015, Dr. (Kathleen) Taylor stated in an email that my experience was one she would never want a student to have.”She said that while she has not come before the board to speak of her issues for six years, she felt compelled to based on allegations of more recent claims.“I am once again before you, with some information that is eerily similar to what I experienced in this school district, and some information that disgusts me and saddens me on an entirely new level,” Thomas said. “These students deserve better.”Later in the meeting, School Board President Joseph Clark said on behalf of the board that the first thing the board did in response to the petition was contact the authorities.“We have read the petition posted on Change.org calling for law enforcement agencies to investigate the allegations in the petition,” Clark said. “We hear you and commend you for exercising your right to free speech and for the courage to petition to have the allegations investigated further.”He noted that the first action taken by the school administration and the board was to contact the Ocean City Police Department regarding the petition.“We have and will continue to fully cooperate and provide access to the police department and or the County Prosecutor’s Office for any impending investigation,” he said.Clark emphasized that while the district can’t change the past, it is “committed to taking additional steps to build upon the programs, trainings, support and intervention services, along with providing the necessary resources, which we have put in place over the past decade to ensure enduring change.”Clark noted that back in 2011, the district brought in professionals to educate the staff about teacher-student relationships, discrimination, boundary limits for staff and harassment.And through the years, partnerships with organizations such as the Ocean City Education Foundation have led to wellness programs and other initiatives to help students.The Ocean City Board of Education and members of the public listen to Brianna Thomas.Meanwhile, Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office Capt. Mike Emmer said that the Prosecutor’s Office is aware of the petition.“We have seen it and we are reviewing the information that is contained in it,” he noted Wednesday. “We request that anyone who has any information on any crimes committed to please contact the Special Victims Unit of the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office at 609-465-1135.”Days before the Board of Education meeting, and a day after the petition was posted, school officials responded to the petition with a statement.“The Ocean City School District first became aware of the allegations of unsafe and unjust practices at Ocean City High School published in the change.org petition when that page was posted on April 22,” the statement reads. “The District immediately reached out to the Ocean City Police Department to request their review of the allegations and to offer our cooperation in any manner that was necessary.”The statement further states that “the Ocean City Police Department and the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office are in the process of reviewing the allegations.”“The physical safety and mental well-being of our students have always been among the Ocean City School district’s foremost concerns. The district has consistently maintained and enforced all anti-harassment, intimidation and bullying policies required by the Department of Education, as well as all reporting obligations for any student who is suspected to have been abused, neglected and/or missing.”The statement continues, “Any alleged incidents of harassment, intimidation and bullying are taken seriously and investigated consistent with the New Jersey Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act.”In 2015, the district formed an ad-hoc committee on Youth Mental Health to support student wellness in all the schools.Among the more recent steps taken were renovations and transformation of classrooms in the High School and Intermediate School into wellness centers, school officials said.“Ocean City School District takes seriously its responsibility to create a supportive school community,” the statement concluded. “We are committed to fostering a culture that supports the whole student and ensures each student’s safety, security and mental and physical health.”Ocean City High School Brianna Thomas, of Ventnor, addresses the Board of Education about a petition she started alleging wrongdoing in the school district. (Photos courtesy of Martin Fiedler, Just Right TV Productions)last_img read more

Bright ideas

first_imgThe moribund U.S. economy is behaving like a shiftless brother-in-law who moves into your house, flops onto the couch, and asks what’s for supper. Getting such an economy moving productively again will require time, discipline, and imagination, say Harvard authorities from across a range of disciplines.Successfully stoking the economy will require conventional solutions, to be sure, such as Congress’s recent passage of banking and investment reforms. But three years into the worst fiscal downturn since 1929, the economy continues to sputter, and it may be time to embrace more creative solutions as well.Recognizing the need to understand the financial crisis more clearly, Harvard President Drew Faust will convene a panel of experts at Sanders Theatre next Tuesday (Oct. 12) at 4 p.m. to discuss the issue.“The global financial situation and our economic future remain vital concerns for all of us,” said Faust.  “We are fortunate to have on campus some of the nation’s leading scholars in finance and policy, and I am grateful for their willingness to share their thoughts and insights about the current situation and prospects for the future.”Despite the ongoing fiscal gloom nationally, a Gazette survey of Harvard authorities suggests an array of large and small ways in which government and business might help to jump-start the economy and boost America’s bottom line.Their innovative proposals include:Rewrite the U.S. tax code, creating a single income tax and a carbon tax.Create a national homebuyers’ insurance plan to protect owners during fiscal turmoil.Underwrite a boom in green businesses to conserve energy and create jobs, for two-pronged savings.Investigate how Internet innovations, a hot spot even in a bad economy, can provide business solutions.Refashion the notion of urban design so that it twins both enjoyment and employment.Explore the downturn’s moral dimensions to evaluate what really matters in a fulfilling life.Here are details of changes that could make a difference:TaxesTaxes need to go up for everyone, argues Harvard economist Ken Rogoff. He supports a slight increase in taxes for most people, and a larger increase for those at the upper end of the income distribution.But if he had his way, the Thomas D. Cabot Professor of Public Policy would throw out the U.S. tax system altogether and start from scratch.In the short term, it will hurt the economy to raise taxes, “but a lot of that pain could be diminished if we had a better tax system,” said Rogoff, co-author of “This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly.” He favors “completely scrapping” the system and replacing it with one that is “much simpler” that includes a consumption tax or a high-deductible flat tax.Government officials also should tie environmental needs into economic solutions, said Rogoff. “It’s nuts that we don’t have a carbon tax,” he said. “If we did, we could cut other taxes. It would also promote green energy technologies by making fossil-based energy more expensive.”HousingThe housing market continues to lag. One way to get it moving again would be to install an innovative safeguard against the next market downturn. Another way would be to create a green approach toward housing stock, said a Harvard housing specialist.“Some people argue the only way to deal with the housing market is to allow it to clear through continuing declines in home prices despite the damage it could do and the resulting overcorrection that could occur,” said Eric Belsky, managing director of Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. But there’s another solution that’s been “kicking around.”“People who worry about being on the hook for a decline [in value] might well pay insurance premiums that would guarantee them against declines in the value of their homes,” said Belsky, who said such a plan could draw more buyers into the market as well as increase price stability. If homeowners had to sell their houses in five or 10 years at prices lower than what they originally paid, the insurance would kick in.Although the government would have to set a premium to backstop potential losses, “A lot of people think that house prices five or 10 years out would recover, so it might actually be a good bet for the government.”Providing incentives for people to buy energy-efficient homes, as well as to builders to include energy-saving measures in their construction, would “trigger spending on materials and services to install them, as well as induce buyers to purchase such homes,” said Belsky. “In that way, housing could have a significant part in helping to build the new economy.”InternetFor years, the Internet has radically and speedily been changing the way people work, connecting them remotely, instantly, even incessantly. A Harvard authority on the Internet believes that new online technologies are going to change the way many people work even further, tapping into a range of fresh economic opportunities.“We are on the threshold of something transformative,” said Jonathan Zittrain, co-founder and faculty co-director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School.The Harvard law professor points to Amazon.com’s Mechanical Turk web service as an example. Touted as an “artificial artificial intelligence” on its website, the online tool “gives businesses and developers access to an on-demand, scalable work force. Workers select from thousands of tasks and work whenever it’s convenient,” its tagline states.The business model matches people who are willing to pay with anyone willing to complete human-intelligence tasks, or HITs, for a micropayment. The tasks vary wildly, from providing a book review, to sharing the memory of your least-romantic gift, to translating Tamil into English. The tasks are ones that humans can do with relative ease, but that still challenge computers.“It’s a model itself of labor as computing, as if you had a few racks of servers and kept throwing numbers to crunch at them,” said Zittrain, who nonetheless worries that such transformative technology could have “a dark side to reckon with.”Such segmenting of work into small slices that can be parceled out to an “ocean of labor” erodes the notion of the typical workplace, and of the traditional workday. Over time, it could alter numerous pillars of the economy.“I do think this could stand to transform economic dynamics … in the way in which it can turn almost anything into an economy.”FinanceThe Harvard experts say the U.S. financial system needs stronger controls, although the recently passed 2,300-page Dodd-Frank reform law is a helpful first step, as is the creation of a consumer financial protection bureau.Yet many of the largest financial institutions still have an incentive to take on too much risk, said Harvard Business School professor David Moss, who fears that could help eventually to prompt another fiscal crisis. His prescription for fixing the financial industry includes tough but targeted regulation. Large, pivotally placed firms should be aggressively reined in, said the John G. McLean Professor of Business Administration.While the Dodd-Frank law represents an “important step in the right direction,” Moss would like tighter limits on the amount of leverage — the borrowed fiscal resources available for use — that large financial companies can hold.As written, the law leaves too much discretion to regulators, he said, particularly concerning the largest institutions. “There are a few specific lines drawn in the bill, but I would have liked to see them even stricter,” Moss said, adding, “Now it’s up to the regulators to get it right.”Daniel Carpenter, the Allie S. Freed Professor of Government, said the consumer protection bureau developed as part of the new law will rightly be able to create rules for marketing loans, mortgages, credit cards, and other consumer products. But he said there is also a need for a type of “financial epidemiology, or real-time tracking, of the risks and performance of new financial products and contracts.“There are steps toward this in the Dodd-Frank bill,” said Carpenter, “but I would like to see more.”Brigitte Madrian, director of the social sciences program at the Radcliffe Institute and Aetna Professor of Public Policy and Corporate Management at the Harvard Kennedy School, expressed some concerns over the new regulations.Many consumer-financial products do not come under the umbrella of the new consumer protection agency. For instance, insurance is largely regulated by state agencies. She also worries that some financial firms, in response to the new regulations, will simply “re-engineer their products in ways that actually make consumers worse off.”“It is an open question as to whether the agency can indeed work to improve consumer financial regulation in a way that benefits consumers without stifling financial innovation.”HealthThen there is the impact of health care costs on a healthy economy.An old maxim says that healthy human capital equals a healthy, robust economy. Vigorous workers perform better and produce more. Investing in preventive health care aids that process, but authorities agree that more needs to be done.The Obama administration has made substantial commitments to preventive health care, in part through its universal care initiatives and through policy changes that require health plans to waive co-payments for preventive services, said Meredith Rosenthal, associate professor of health economics and policy at the Harvard School of Public Health.But there is too much waste in the health care system, she said, from exorbitant spending to squandered resources. Rosenthal said officials could impose tighter cost controls in part by trimming funding from areas with outsized clout and leverage, including some doctor and hospital groups.“We need to recalibrate the way we pay for care,” said Rosenthal, “so that we encourage effective and efficient care delivery rather than just more care.” Replacing fee-for-service payments with bundled payments that “pay a fixed amount for an entire episode of care or a whole population” would be a good start.Services including endoscopy, diagnostic imaging, and high-tech interventions, such as robotic surgery for prostate cancer, usually cost those who pay the bills more than the expense of production, she said. That gives providers an incentive to oversupply such services.She said that other health care waste is caused by poor coordination, especially when information is not properly cataloged or tracked. Redundant tests and preventable hospitalizations can occur simply because no medical staff members followed up with patients after their discharges.InfrastructureLong-range investments in public infrastructure, clean technologies, and green energy are also important ways of improving the economy, said Carpenter.While the Obama administration has taken some steps in that direction, Carpenter fears that the United States is “in danger of being left behind” by China and India. He advocates investing in light rail, transportation support, and “rebuilding the infrastructure that we currently have.”A long-term commitment to such investments also could help draw top talent away from Wall Street.“Too much of our human capital has been taken up by finance and housing. It’s not clear that creates a better economy in the long run,” he said. “We ought to be retraining people for clean energy work, or building bridges and light rail systems, instead of building new homes.”The dean of Harvard’s Graduate School of Design also promotes investing in infrastructure to breathe life into the economy.“There is a lot of scope in thinking about infrastructure in ways that transcend its mere functional use,” said Mohsen Mostafavi, who is also the Alexander and Victoria Wiley Professor of Design.Mostafavi used as an example the banks of the Seine River in Paris, which in summer are transformed into cafes, restaurants, and even beaches, thereby becoming places for both enjoyment and employment. He also pointed to a railway system that connects the city to the suburbs. Such connections are “empowering and enabling,” said Mostafavi, adding, “access becomes the basis for jobs.”Harvard’s role Around the University, researchers and academics continue to explore the economic malaise and possible solutions.Direct connections to Washington’s policymakers include Larry Summers, the former Harvard president and current director of the National Economic Council, who will return to his post as the Charles W. Eliot University Professor at the end of the year, and Elizabeth Warren, the Leo Gottlieb Professor of Law, who is helping to establish the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.Signaling the importance of finding economic solutions, Faust will convene next week’s panel, which will include Rogoff; Madrian; John Campbell, chair of the Economics Department; Richard Freeman, Herbert S. Ascherman Professor of Economics; and David Scharfstein, Edmund Cogswell Converse Professor of Finance and Banking.In many ways, Harvard itself is an ongoing economic engine. Campus organizations such as the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard (TECH) encourage collaboration among students, faculty, alumni, and industry leaders. The organization offers a course on the fundamentals of innovation, has a $50,000 grant competition, and maintains a studio space open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for undergraduates who hope to start the next big business.Many are well on their way. With help from business builders, as well as entrepreneurs, students in the program have created software and web-based companies such as Gtrot.com, which combines social networking with student travel, INeedAPencil.com, which provides free online SAT prep for low-income students, and NaviTour, a virtual foreign language teaching tool.“Students come here because they want to change the world,” said Paul Bottino, TECH’s co-founder and executive director. “We want to help them connect to their passions, and then create their own reality, their own economy.”Harvard’s Office of Technology Development (OTD) also connects researchers with entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, and typically helps to launch eight to 12 companies annually, as well as to license new technology.“University research has always been a driver of the economy,” said Alan Gordon, director of business development at OTD, adding that his office “helps accelerate the movement of innovations from the lab to the market.”ValuesIn addition, some Harvard experts believe that people should step back from the economy’s particulars more often and focus on the moral dimension.Organizations such as Interfaith Worker Justice, a network of people of faith who educate and mobilize the religious community around labor rights, can prompt meaningful discussions on the economy and its effects on workers, according to a scholar at Harvard Divinity School (HDS).In the past, religious traditions have weighed in on the material conditions of people’s lives, said Bethany Moreton, a research associate and visiting faculty member at HDS.“It was always at the center of what prophetic religion felt it had a right to speak to. It took enormous amounts of cultural and intellectual work to declare something ‘the economy’ and remove it from the realm of religion and morality and social action.” Today, the notion of the economy is instead “in this pseudoscientific realm,” she said. “We can only describe it. We cannot control it, or opine about it, or address it in moral terms.”Moreton believes that discussion of such matters ought to return to the pulpit and to congregations across the country. “The crisis itself has made these topics feel again like something that we have the right to address in moral terms.”last_img read more

A president next door

first_imgAt L. Rafael Reif’s inauguration as 17th president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) on Friday, dignitaries from dozens of universities, academic societies, and government agencies were on hand. But only one was there to give remarks on behalf of the academy — and she had traveled a mere 1,797 Smoots from “that red brick school up the street.”“We are close neighbors, sometimes rivals, often collaborators, always friends,” Harvard President Drew Faust told Reif and the hundreds gathered beneath a sprawling white tent in Killian Court on the sunny afternoon.Faust came not only to praise Reif — a longtime engineering faculty member at the institute and an important collaborator on Harvard and MIT’s new online education platform, edX — but also to tease him.“We at Harvard owe it to MIT never to let us take ourselves too seriously,” she said. To make good on her word, and in recognition of MIT’s long-standing tradition of hacks on the Harvard campus, she presented Reif with “a symbol of our lasting friendship”: a framed portrait of the John Harvard Statue dressed in MIT gear.The gift provided a moment of levity on a momentous day for MIT and for its neighbor along the Charles. The schools have had a long working relationship, a commitment reinvigorated in recent years by the launch of ventures such as edX and the Broad Institute for research in the biological sciences, Faust said.“A well-respected and highly successful provost, Rafael Reif is well known to us at Harvard for his insight and his judgment,” Faust said. “He is a generous and genuine convener who listens as much as he speaks — identifying common ground, defining shared purposes, and driving progress.”In his inaugural address, Reif outlined a vision for MIT’s future that suggested he intends to live up to Faust’s characterization.As the world faces pressing problems, from poverty and disease to energy and climate crises, “society needs the creative force of its universities more than ever,” Reif said. “In deciding how to respond, universities stand at a crossroads of risk and opportunity.”That crossroads is marked not just by technological innovations in online learning, but by the growing, likely unsustainable costs of higher education — both for the families of students and for the universities educating them.“The landscape is suddenly alive with credible, low-cost alternatives,” Reif said of online education. “This represents a great step forward for humanity, a step that we should all celebrate. And I’m really proud that MIT and its edX partners, Harvard and UC Berkeley, are helping to lead this revolution.”But universities should also be concerned about the effects of technological change on the residential education model, he said.“The research university is not an ornament or a luxury that society can choose to go without,” he said. “Society continues to need what a residential research university does better than any other institution: incubate young talent who create the new knowledge and innovation that fuel our society.”If the risks of embracing online learning are formidable, he said, the opportunities are even greater, namely, “the opportunity to better serve society by reinventing what we do and how we do it,” by making higher education more affordable, accessible, and effective.MIT is known for creating its own solutions and for exporting them to the world. “The MIT I know loves challenges,” he said. “The MIT I know and love does not stand on the sidelines.”If the universities’ collaboration on edX is any indication, Harvard has already joined MIT in the game. And judging by the crowd’s reaction to Faust’s peace offering, MIT’s hackers may be ready to call a truce.“I think you have many newfound friends in the audience,” John S. Reed, chairman of the MIT Corporation and master of the day’s ceremonies, told Faust.last_img read more

ND closes for first time since 2000

first_imgNotre Dame closed Wednesday due to winter weather for the first time in 10 years. Students, faculty and staff were notified of the decision through the University’s emergency alert system around 6:30 a.m. Wednesday. “Because of dangerous weather conditions, classes have been cancelled and the campus will be closed for business today,” the alert said. ” Snow Essential Personnel are asked to report to work, but to use caution.” Notre Dame last closed due to winter weather on Dec. 12, 2000, according to University spokesman Dennis Brown. Final exams were postponed for one day. Before the 2000 snow day, Notre Dame closed due to a snowstorm in January, 1997. University offices were closed Wednesday, but North and South Dining Halls, LaFortune Student Center and Reckers remained open for students. RecSports recreation facilities, including Rolfs Sports Recreation Center, Rockne Memorial and Rolfs Aquatic Center also held regular hours. Classes were also cancelled Wednesday at Saint Mary’s, where the Noble Family Dining Hall and C-Store remained open. South Bend Mayor Luecke declared a “snow emergency” at 6 a.m. Wednesday, prohibiting non-emergency traffic on all streets throughout the city. He advised residents to stay home and restrict travel. The City of South Bend lifted the “snow emergency” at 4 p.m., but parking was prohibited on snow routes until Thursday morning. “City crews have been working 24/7 to clear the snow and will continue to do so until all streets are complete,” a Wednesday afternoon media advisory from the City stated. The Associated Press reported tens of millions of people stayed home Wednesday due to the winter storm, which spread from Oklahoma to New England. Chicago, where 20.2 inches fell, experienced the most snow in the storm, which was a result of the rare clashing of two air masses, according to the Associated Press.last_img read more

B’way Standby Trevor Dion Nicholas to Play the Genie in London’s Aladdin

first_imgIt’s a whole new world for Trevor Dion Nicholas, the current standby for Tony-winning Genie James Monroe Iglehart on Broadway. Nicholas will play the role in Aladdin when it lands in London’s West End. The hit musical is scheduled to begin performances on May 27, 2016 and will officially open on June 9 at the Prince Edward Theatre. Miss Saigon, the venue’s current occupant, will close on February 27.Adapted from the 1992 Disney animated film, Aladdin is the story of a street urchin who uses the help of a magic Genie to win the heart of Princess Jasmine. Directed and choreographed by Casey Nicholaw, the production features a book by Chad Beguelin, music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Beguelin, Tim Rice and the late Howard Ashman.Aladdin continues to run on Broadway at the New Amsterdam Theatre. The production officially opened on March 20, 2014, starring Adam Jacobs as Aladdin, Courtney Reed as Jasmine, Iglehart as the Genie and Jonathan Freeman as Jafar.Full casting for the London production will be announced later. View Commentslast_img read more