1 Mar
2021

All in this together

first_imgNumerous challenges face human resource administrators in higher education, ranging from recession-related woes to new social media technology to changing definitions of diversity.Strategies to deal with these challenges were hammered out by members of the New England Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (HERC) — which assists member institutions in recruiting and retaining faculty and staff — during its general assembly on Wednesday (Oct. 27), hosted by Harvard University.As Jennifer Ivers, director of the New England HERC, put it: “We can do more together than we can separately.”About 85 people, representing approximately 45 New England colleges and universities, gathered in the Sheraton Commander Hotel to compare notes and exchange ideas on tough issues in recruitment, retention, and management of staff and faculty.“The greatest benefit about a day like today is the sharing of information among members, including members who have come from the same institutions and from across institutions,” said Elizabeth Ancarana, Harvard assistant dean for faculty development, who oversees HERC at Harvard.After a keynote address by Robert Drago, economist and research director at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, and a presentation by Jamie Ladge, assistant professor at the Northeastern College of Business Administration, the group split into breakout sessions designed to develop strategies for 21st century academic workplaces.Timothy Austin, College of the Holy Cross vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college, facilitated a session on “Diverse Families in a Diverse Workforce.”“We spent quite a bit of our time defining diversity,” Austin said. “There was a time when gender and ethnic diversity were just about it. … The new ‘invisible’ diversity — sexual orientation, cultural diversity, generational diversity — is really complicating the picture.”Just because a person is born into a certain region or culture doesn’t necessarily make him or her representative of that region or culture, such as the Holy Cross teacher born in India and raised Catholic, Austin said.Many institutions are developing the concept of “affinity groups,” which allows employees to select their own identifying groups, Austin said. This helps to guide institutions in making groups feel welcome.Sometimes diversity goals conflict with one another, Ivers said. An institution may want diversity in both gender and in international representation. “There can be tension in approaching two equally important things,” Ivers said.Another HERC breakout group, which examined the impact of the recession on the workplace, began by focusing on the negative aspects but quickly transitioned into opportunities presented by hard times.“One of the things we talked about was networking; [the recession] has forced more networking within institutions and across departments and across institutions,” said Cheryl F. Whitfield, Northeastern University director of human resources programs and employee relations, who facilitated the session. Participants also discussed strategies for sharing resources and creating efficiencies with new technology.Recession also has affected leadership styles; leaders have become more inclusive and transparent, which may encourage employee loyalty, she said.“We are noticing an openness within and across institutions in communication: sharing ideas, sharing best practices, working together on a common cause,” said Ancarana, who participated in the session on the recession.The breakout session on “New Technologies” attracted the most participants, a bit of a surprise for organizers. It soon became clear why the topic was of such interest: Administrators are trying hard to do more with less and are weeding through huge numbers of products and systems, trying to determine which might be right for their particular needs, organizers said.Applicant tracking systems were a hot topic, as was social media. Most institutions are still learning about what Facebook, Twitter, and other applications will actually accomplish, said Pamela Nolan Young, director of human resources development for North Shore Community College. Institutions need training and specific policies and should be aware of  “negative branding” from participating in a public sphere, participants said.And yet, Young said, quoting North Shore colleague and staff associate Patricia DePamphilis, “Social media is where we’re getting our students from and where we’re going to get our employees from in the future. I believe it’s something that’s going to be used more widely in the future.”last_img read more

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17 Jan
2021

‘Gardening’ debut

first_imgUniversity of GeorgiaThe fifth season of “Gardening in Georgia,” with Walter Reeves,premieres April 5 on Georgia Public Television.”Gardening in Georgia” is produced by the University of GeorgiaCollege of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and GPTV. Itairs twice each Saturday, at noon and 7 p.m.The season opener deals with using wood chips as mulch,preventing squirrel damage and those carnivorous plants.Can those mounds of chips municipalities make available tohomeowners be used as mulch around landscape plants? Reevesdetails the facts of recycling wood chips as landscape mulch. Heshows a great way to move them around your yard, too.Far from starring in horror movies, carnivorous plants limittheir prey to insects and similar animals. They are fascinating,though. Reeves visits with Carol Helton at the Atlanta BotanicalGarden to learn more about Venus flytraps, pitcher plants andsundews.Finally, the fresh soil of newly planted gardens is like asquirrel magnet. You might think preventing these pests’ damagewould be hard, Reeves shows a simple trick to keep peskysquirrels at bay.last_img read more

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23 Sep
2020

Southeastern Indiana Musicians Association Celebrates Scholarship Program, Regional Growth and New Lawrenceburg Civic Park Event

first_imgSoutheastern Indiana – The Southeastern Indiana Musicians Association (SEIMA) is expanding their community outreach and Hall of Fame coverage this year. Since the organization was founded in 2001, it has stood to honor, support, and promote exemplary musical talent from our area including musicians and music educators in Dearborn, Ripley, Ohio, and Switzerland counties, by inducting them annually into the Southeastern Indiana Musicians’ Hall of Fame. “We are pleased to announce that we now are including the many talented musicians of Franklin County to be recognized by our organization,” said Brian DeBruler SEIMA board member and owner of the locally based record label, Sol Records. As of April 2019, the group now includes Franklin County in its covered territory. “In the last two years we have made a lot of changes to redefine our role and contributions to the community as a nonprofit organization. We have established a scholarship fund that we will begin awarding in 2020 to high school graduates looking to pursue a career in music, and we are also exploring ways that we can supplement funding to the music programs in schools in each of the 5 counties,” said DeBruler. “As a volunteer organization we are grateful for the tremendous support and contributions we have received from the community over the years and we are focused on reciprocating that investment in our communities’ musical future.”SEIMA is funded entirely by donations and is launching a fund raiser and raffle in conjunction with the Whiskey City Summer Fest event at Lawrenceburg Civic Park this summer. “We have an incredible commodity in the music of our region, and the City of Lawrenceburg has presented a tremendous opportunity and investment in that with the new Civic Park and stage; to not only showcase local music talent, but also by hosting various events attracting more people to downtown Lawrenceburg. Our rich music heritage is cause for celebration and we are happy to be involved”, said DeBruler. The group will be selling commemorative t-shirts in conjunction with the concert at upcoming area events, on their website, and at the show. Proceeds from the shirt sales go directly to the scholarship fund. They are also raffling an acoustic guitar signed by all of the Whiskey City Summer Fest artists. The Class of 2019 Hall of Fame Inductees will be announced along with the winner of the guitar at the show by Hall of Fame member Jim Helms that evening. The deadline for 2019 Hall of Fame nominations is May 31st. (For information visit the Southeastern Indiana Musicians Association website at www.seimusic.org).“Lawrenceburg has always hosted great music events like Music on the River, Fall Fest, and Party in the Park; On behalf of the Southeastern Indiana Musicians Association, our hats are off to the efforts of Mayor Mollaun, Pat Krider, Marie Edwards and everyone involved with these events that have done an amazing job over the years. The new stage really takes things to another level. Thanks for supporting local music! ” – Official statement from SEIMA Board.Whiskey City Summer Fest takes place at the brand new Lawrenceburg Civic Park located at 50 Short Street in Lawrenceburg on Saturday July 13th from 3pm – 10:30 pm. The free concert features music by 3 time Grammy Award Winner, Texas blues/rock artist, Delbert McClinton, along with Pure Grain, The Renegades, and the good time Cajun stylings of Robin Lacy and Dezydeco. Food will be available from regional area food trucks lining the street as well as a beer garden. Bring your lawn chairs and come celebrate summertime with great music, awesome food, and good people in Whiskey City USA, Lawrenceburg, Indiana. Free Parking in the parking garage entering from Walnut Street.No purchase necessary to win, Free Contest entry sign up will be available at the event on July 13th. Must be present to win.”last_img read more

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20 Sep
2020

China plans to lift lockdown on Wuhan

first_imgAfter nearly two months on lockdown, China says it plans to remove the travel ban from Wuhan where the coronavirus first begin.Provincial authorities say they are easing the travel restrictions due to a significant reduction in new infections in Hubei and with new cases dropping to zero for five consecutive days. Since then, only one new case has surfaced, a doctor at the Hubei General Hospital.The removal of the travel ban will begin in the Hubei province on Wednesday then the Wuhan area altogether on April 8th.Wuhan is considered the epicenter for the virus with 67,801 cases and 3,160 fatalities and was first placed under state-imposed lockdown on January 23rd. All forms of transportation were shutdown in the area and the city’s perimeters were locked down as well.Before making a decision on whether the travel restrictions should be removed,  China’s president visited the Wuhan area on March 10th.While the spread of the virus has slowed down considerably in Wuhan, it has spread rapidly throughout the rest of the world.380,000 have reportedly been infected with the virus with more than 16,500 deaths reported as a result of that according to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University.Many countries and states have since issued their own lock down orders in an effort to stop the spread of the virus.last_img read more

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