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UTA In The News — Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

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Schnurman: Lawmakers' shortsighted vision on college funding starts taking its toll

Texas leaders spent months this year talking about cutting funds for education and financial aid, while Gov. Rick Perry refused to raise taxes or tap the rainy day fund, writes Mitchell Schnurman, business columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Public colleges were told to send letters to students and parents, warning them not to count on state grants for the next two years. For the first time in more than a decade, fall enrollment declined at the University of North Texas, the area's largest four-year public college. The second-largest, the University of Texas at Arlington, reported a gain of just 446 students -- less than one-tenth the increase of the previous year.

UT Board of Regents criticized over investment

Inside Higher Ed reported that The University of Texas Board of Regents is facing mounting criticism over its decision to take a $10 million stake in a technology that it believes will help improve the system’s graduation rate, then mandate that various campuses, including UT Arlington, integrate it into their academic advising plans — all without consulting the individual campuses or their faculties. The board voted in August to form a partnership with MyEdu, a private company based in Austin that acquires information about courses and professors at public institutions through website “scraping” and public-records requests, then provides that information to students on its own website. One of MyEdu’s more controversial features is a tool that displays the average grades, and grade distributions, for different professors and courses at an institution. It also allows students to post comments about professors and courses and offers tools that help students map out a path to graduation.

Downtown Arlington changes

In a story about the removal of overhead utility lines on two downtown Arlington streets, Arlington councilwoman Lana Wolff told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that the Levitt Pavilion has given downtown a new identity, helped attract thousands of new visitors and lured private investment around downtown as well as from The University of Texas at Arlington.

World population reaches 7 billion

KTVT/CBS 11 interviewed Chris Morris, UT Arlington associate professor of history, about the earth’s population, which reached 7 billion Monday.

Fans and merchants worry NBA lockout could hurt North Texas

KDAF/CW 33 interviewed Joshua Price, UT Arlington assistant professor of economics, about the NBA lockout and its financial impact on North Texas. The story also appeared on the television station’s website.

Narco Cultura: A conversation with Shaul Schwarz

Time magazine photographer Shaul Schwarz will discuss the Mexico drug war’s impact on the entertainment field, during a lecture at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4 at UT Arlington, the Dallas Morning News Education Notes reported.

College tuition and undocumented immigrants

Ryan Gildersleeve, director of the Center for K-16 Education Policy and Research in the UT Arlington College of Education and Health Professions, was quoted in a story about the Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education decision to allow undocumented immigrants to pay in-state college tuition rates if they graduate from a Rhode Island high school.

Californians ask, "What Brain Drain?"

Ben Agger, director of the Center for Theory at UT Arlington, was quoted in a Yahoo! and Alaska Dispatch story about California’s so-called “brain drain.”

Maverick Speaker Series

The Dallas Observer blog, City of Ate, mentioned the Nov. 17 UT Arlington Maverick Speaker Series, which will feature the founders of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield. Tickets to the lecture are available at

UT Arlington alum to mimic epic cross Pacific swim

PR Web reported that Ben Lecomte, the first man to ever swim across the Atlantic Ocean, will mimic his next epic cross Pacific swim with support from The Cooper Institute at the Cooper Aerobics Center in Dallas at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 12. The event will allow Lecomte to interact and swim with those who have been affected by cancer. Lecomte earned his graduate degree in architecture from UT Arlington last May.

The birds AND the bees

The Dallas Morning News blog, The Scoop, mentioned Elizabeth English, a UT Arlington art student, whose artwork, meant to attract birds, instead attracted bees.