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News in Higher Ed

George Mason gets $25 million NIH grant

George Mason University in Virginia has received a $25-million grant from the National Institutes of Health for construction of a bio-containment research laboratory, the universitys largest research award ever. (University Business E-Newsletter, Sept. 9, 2005)

Nashvilles University of Phoenix to launch nursing degree
George Mason gets $25 million NIH grant

George Mason University in Virginia has received a $25-million grant from the National Institutes of Health for construction of a bio-containment research laboratory, the university's largest research award ever. (University Business E-Newsletter, Sept. 9, 2005)

Nashville's University of Phoenix to launch nursing degree

The Nashville campus of the online University of Phoenix has kicked off an on-site bachelor's degree program for registered nurses. The program joins other RN-to-BSN programs in Middle Tennessee. The program consists of 11 courses, completed consecutively. To accommodate working nursesonly registered nurses are accepted into the programstudents attend one night a week. The Tennessee Board of Nursing has granted the program initial approval, effective until the first graduating class. At that time, state officials will review the quality of the graduates before deciding whether to grant full approval or extend conditional approval. (Nashville Business Journal)

Colleges struggle to combat identity thieves

Universities across the United States are finding themselves on the front lines of the battle against identify theft. With huge databases, universities may rival financial institutions as attractive targets for crime, estimated to affect more than 9 million Americans a year.

Major institutions, such as the University of California system, and smaller private schools such as Stanford,are equally affected as hackers exploit computer vulnerabilities to access data.

Universities provide a target-rich environment for identity thievesan abundance of computer equipment filled with sensitive data and a pool of financially naïve students.

“Because we are so big, we're kind of decentralized,” said Anthony Wood, director of academic computing at the University of California-San Diego, which has experienced several data breaches in the past year. Academic freedom (tends) to have people doing things on their own. And because we have so many (Internet) addresses, we're more visible.”

Woods said the school has gone beyond hardening its network to educating users on the dangers of keeping unencrypted files containing sensitive data on their computers. (University Bulletin E-Newsletter)

B-Schools with a niche

Two years ago, the University of Wisconsin-Madison's School of Business was in trouble, with full-time applications dropping 30 percent in three years. Indications were it would worsen. So Michael M. Knetter did something a lot more deans are doing these days: He specialized.

While the Harvards and Whartons of the world aren't facing similar problems, mid-tier schools like Wisconsin increasingly find themselves in a crowded field. To stand out from the pack, they're creating specialized programs that give students the kind of targeted, real-world experience sometimes lacking in traditional MBAs.

As a strategy, specialization seems to be working. At many schools that have pursued it, the decline in applications has stopped, and in at least one case, even reversed. (Business Week, Aug. 28, 2005)

News from AASCU universities

The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) named Ball State University (Ind.) and Old Dominion University (Va.) as the 2005 recipients of the Christa McAuliffe Award for Excellence in Teacher Education.

The Regional Entrepreneurship and Economic Development (REED) Center has been established by regional banking organizations and the University of Tennessee-Martin College of Business and Public Affairs to serve existing and prospective entrepreneurs and support economic development in rural Northwest Tennessee.

The University of Memphis has received a gift of $5 million from the FedEx Corp. to help build the infrastructure for conducting key research, facilitate the recruitment of new faculty and support initiatives, such as a residency program for innovators, artists and CEOs.

The U.S. Department of Education awarded $250,000 to Emporia State University (Kan.) to improve distance learning and enhance and expand its teacher preparation at the graduate and undergraduate levels.
The U.S. Defense Advance Research Projects Agency awarded $50,000 to San Jose State University (Calif.) to establish a collaborative research program in nanoscale materials and device characterization, including support of a Materials Characterization and Metrology Center.