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Despite objections from The University of Memphis faculty, The U of M administration has placed professor evaluations online.

The Student Instructional Rating System (SIRS) is The U of Ms system for allowing students to evaluate professors.

Previously, the evaluations were performed during class time, but SIRS now is accessible online using the spectrumportal at spectrum.memphis.edu.
Despite objections from The University of Memphis faculty, The U of M administration has placed professor evaluations online.

The Student Instructional Rating System (SIRS) is The U of M's system for allowing students to evaluate professors.

Previously, the evaluations were performed during class time, but SIRS now is accessible online using the spectrumportal at spectrum.memphis.edu.

The move to online evaluations is intended to increase the efficiency of the process enable easier evaluation of online and mixed format courses and provide flexibility in questioning for individual courses.

The faculty, however, opposes the move.

Evaluations for full-term fall semester courses will not begin until Nov. 12, but evaluation for first-session fall courses has begun. (Daily Helmsman, Oct. 13, 2006)

MTSU received a grant of nearly $2 million to continue a program of lead-hazard awareness and to make homes lead safe across the state.

Even though the use of lead-based paint in homes has been prohibited since the late 1970s, lead hazards can be brought home from work sites. Simply hugging a child can transfer the lead dust from an adult to a child.

"The dust settles on clothing and skin, potentially poisoning a child," said Faye Ralston, program manager of the Tennessee Lead Elimination Action Program at MTSU. "Children less than age 6 have the highest risk to be poisoned by lead. (They) are growing faster and (lead) absorbs in your body at a higher rate."

The program also works with rental property owners of low-income housing to increase the number of affordable lead-safe houses. (Daily News Journal, Oct. 5, 2006)

College is becoming a more expensive endeavor for Tennessee students, as the costs of tuition, fees and books continue to rise each year.

Two recent reports gave Tennessee poor marks for its higher education costs.

The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education's national report card gave Tennessee and Georgia each F grades for affordability last month.

Meanwhile, a study by The Project on Student Debt found that graduates of Tennessee's public universities last year carried the sixth-highest student loan debt in the nation.

It also found the Volunteer State to be among seven states where the average loan debt is higher for graduates of public universities than for those from private colleges.(Chattanooga Times Free Press, Oct. 5, 2006)

The increasingly grave shortage of nurses in the U.S. may have nothing to do with finding people who are interested in the profession.

Gayle H. Shiba, who teaches in The University of Memphis' Loewenburg School of Nursing's master's of nurse education program, said that last year, nationally, there were around 25,000 qualified nursing school applicants denied admission to a program because of a lack of available faculty to fill the demand that already exists at most nursing schools.

Shiba said even though the Loewenburg School of Nursing has doubled its enrollment in the last two years since introducing its master's of nursing program about three years ago, the school still does not met the existing demand from applicants. (The Daily Helmsman, Oct. 6, 2006)