August 12, 2011
IU announces 18 new Wells Scholars including two Bloomington North graduates
By Mike Leonard
August 10, 2011, last update: 8/10 @ 9:44 pm
Two Bloomington students are among the 18 Wells Scholars recently announced by Indiana University.
Bloomington High School North graduates Marjorie Richards and Emma Winkler are among the latest group to receive the prestigious Wells scholarships. They join an exclusive group of more than 460 others to have been named Well Scholars since the first class enrolled in 1990.
The scholarship, created in honor of the late IU Chancellor Herman B Wells, ranks among the most competitive and prestigious awards offered by any American university. Wells Scholars have gone on to win more than 60 national and international scholarships, fellowships and grants, such as the Rhodes, Truman, Marshall, Soros, Mitchell, Churchill, Gates Cambridge, Fulbright and Goldwater.
Wells Scholars receive full tuition and course-related fees, as well as a living stipend, for four years of undergraduate study on the Bloomington campus. Upperclassmen who are named Scholars receive the same benefits when named to the program. Scholars may choose to spend up to a year studying abroad.
Richards was an AP Scholar with Honor at North, where she served on the Cougar Leader Council, the Monroe County Community School Corporation Leadership Opportunities Through Service program and contributed to the school's Habitat for Humanity builds among her many activities. She won gold and silver keys for her photography at the state level in Indiana's Scholastics Art and Writing competitions, as well as recognition for her work in stained glass. A four-year member of the North varsity soccer team, she was co-captain and named defensive MVP her junior and senior years. She will hold the Ray W. Retterer Scholarship within the Wells Scholars Program.
Winkler, an AP Scholar with Distinction, served as Student Council president. A four-year IU biology lab intern, she was selected for Molecular Medicine in Action, a research experience for high school students at the IU School of Medicine. A violinist with the Indiana String Academy for 10 years, Winkler also served as a Monroe County Community School Corporation LOTS Senior, contributed to North's Habitat for Humanity builds and was a member of the National Honor Society and the international club.
Winkler was a four-year member of the soccer team, served as co-captain her junior and senior years and was named offensive MVP and a member of the 2010 Indiana Academic All-State Soccer Team. She plans to major in microbiology and human biology and will hold the M. Phil and Margaret Hathaway Scholarship within the Wells Scholars Program.
Others in this year's Wells Scholars group include:
Radhika Agarwal, Carmel, Ind.
Nandita Chittajallu, Indianapolis.
Reece Clark, Noblesville, Ind.
Ian Clarke, Studio City, Calif.
Saleh ElHattab, Plainfield, Ind.
Casey Goodall, Wyoming, Ohio.
David Gordon-Johnson, Cincinnati.
Jonathan Hawkins, Charleston, Ill.
Nicholas Kolar, Fort Wayne, Ind.
Grant Manon, Kendallville, Ind.
Alicia Nieves, Munster, Ind.
Aaditya Shah, Munster, Ind.
Daniel Smedema, Indianapolis.
Sandhya Sridhar, Memphis, Tenn.
Sarah TeKolste, Carmel, Ind.
Allison Winstel, Cincinnati.
All are incoming freshmen except Nieves, who will be entering her junior year at IU.
IU's Black Laboratory and Mathers Museum to merge
By Mike Leonard
August 12, 2011, last update: 8/12 @ 12:18 am
Two important cultural institutions on the Indiana University campus will become one under a reorganization and merger plan.
The Mathers Museum of World Cultures and Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology will become one institution under an initiative announced last week by Sarita Soni, associate vice president for research and vice provost for research on the Bloomington campus.
"During their independent histories, the Glenn A. Black Laboratory and the Mathers Museum have cooperated often, pursuing curation, outreach, research and training with diligence and distinction," Soni said in a prepared statement. "I'm confident that bringing together these units will enable the new organization to raise the level of excellence they strive for every day and advance their shared missions for many years to come."
At least initially, the newly merged institution will be named the Mathers Museum of World Cultures/Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology. Geoffrey W. Conrad, professor of anthropology and director of the Mathers Museum, will guide the newly merged institution.
"They've always been more research focused and we've always been more public focused, with public outreach exhibits and programs," Conrad said. "It's not that we don't do research and they don't do exhibit halls, but when we join our individual strengths we're a much stronger and more complete institution than either of us were alone."
Founded in 1963, the Mathers Museum has more than 30,000 artifacts from around the world, including collections of African and Native American cultures, Indiana history, Latin American cultures, and musical instruments.
The Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology was founded in 1965 to promote study, preservation and education regarding the state of Indiana's archaeological heritage. It holds nearly 12,000 archaeological collections, representing millions of artifacts from Indiana and the Midwest.
IU officials say the merged collections, programs and research activities will make the institution one of the top three university museums of world cultures and archaeology in the nation.
"There are reasons why the two institutions have been separate and there are reasons why it does make sense to do this," Conrad said. "We'll be going through a process of finding out how to mesh what we have. There are good models out there, but they were either founded that way or grew by adding new units to an existing one. I don't know of any that's been created the way we're attempting to do it by putting two established units like we have into one."
On Sept. 25, the Black lab's renovated archaeology exhibit hall will be reopened. The new exhibit will highlight archaeology in Indiana and the Midwest as well as introduce visitors to archaeological techniques and processes with hands-on activities. Timothy Baumann, curator of archaeology collections at the museum, will be the keynote speaker for the public opening.
IU tackling backlog on travel reimbursement checks
Additional staff hired to catch up on faculty, staff reimbursement checks
By Mike Leonard
August 12, 2011, last update: 8/11 @ 11:13 pm
At one point earlier this summer, Indiana University's travel management office was six weeks behind on travel reimbursements and faculty and staff were not happy.
Not only did the delays mean that some people were paying interest on credit card charges -- at least a few faculty ran into problems with grant funding and reporting cycles because of the reimbursement delay.
"Travel had a major backlog earlier this summer," acknowledged Neil Theobald, vice president and chief financial officer. "In response, we hired six additional hourly staff employees. At this point, we have eliminated the backlog for in-state travel. However, we continue to be behind on reimbursing out-of-state travel."
University spokesman Mark Land said a couple of factors came together to cause the problem. "We implemented a new system last fall for handling travel reimbursements, a new software package, and it took a little longer than we hoped to get up to speed and work out some bugs," he said.
"That started putting them behind and then over the course of the spring there were some personnel issues with the folks who handle these things and they found themselves shorthanded," Land continued. "Over time it became apparent they weren't going to be able to catch up without help."
Theobald provided a July update on travel reimbursement processing that showed an average of 191 documents coming in every day and a processing rate of 227 per day from July 13-July 26. The total number of documents needing to be processed stood at 3,183 on July 13 and 2,626 on July 26.
Travel reimbursements fall into three categories: in-state, domestic (in the U.S.) and foreign. Domestic and foreign travel accounts are more complex and require more training to process, Land said.
"Clearly, what we have here is not acceptable to us and in addition to bringing in outside help, we are providing training to existing staff so more people are capable of handling the more complicated travel reimbursements," the IU spokesman said.
"It's an all-hands-on-deck thing right now. People expect a certain level of service and they deserve that," Land said.
The IU spokesman said he could not pinpoint a date when the university will catch up on its travel reimbursements.
but its goal is to stay focused on the backlog until it gets back to its standard operating procedure of processing requests within five-to-seven business days.
Hospital sues doctor to stop move
By Keith Rhoades firstname.lastname@example.org
August 12, 2011
Martinsville -- Indiana University Health Morgan Hospital has sued one of its affiliated doctors in an effort to stop her from moving her practice to a new St. Francis Hospital in Martinsville.
IU Health Morgan Hospital, along with Morgan Health Service Inc., filed the lawsuit Aug. 3 in Morgan County Superior Court II to stop Dr. Dianna Boyer from working for a competing hospital.
An emergency hearing has been scheduled for 3 p.m. Tuesday. The hospital is asking for a preliminary injunction to stop Boyer from beginning work at the St. Francis facility. According to the suit, her last day at IU Health Morgan was to be Aug. 29, and she was to begin work at St. Francis on Sept. 1.
According to the suit, Boyer will be employed by St. Francis at an unspecified location in Martinsville. St. Francis spokesman Joe Stuteville said construction on a St. Francis medical office in Martinsville continues and should be completed in September. Among the first occupants of the new facility will be the St. Francis Medical Group Indiana Heart Physicians, Stuteville said, who will be joined by primary-care doctors and nurse practitioners.
IU Health Morgan contends that Boyer asked her current patients to consider transferring their medical records to her new location.
According to the lawsuit, on March 15, 2002, Boyer, who was Dr. Dianna Griggs at the time, signed an employment agreement that contained a "not to compete" clause. That clause, according to the hospital, bars Boyer from working as a doctor "in any business enterprise of medical practice" within 30 miles of the hospital for a two-year period after she resigns from her position.
The hospital contends it will suffer "irreparable harm" if Boyer is allowed to go to work for St. Francis. In addition to the injunction, the hospital is asking for unspecified damages.
When contacted by the Reporter-Times, Boyer declined to comment on the pending suit against her.
Hospital attorney Pete Foley said filing the suit was the last resort the hospital had in dealing with Boyer's departure.
"We would like for Dr. Boyer to continue working for the hospital," he said, "but our hand was forced, and we have to protect the hospital.
"Dr. Boyer signed an agreement with the hospital that contained the covenant not to compete with the hospital."
Foley said while hospital officials cannot force Boyer to continue working there, they want the court to issue an injunction barring her from working within 30 miles of Martinsville for a two-year period.
Stuteville said St. Francis had no comment on the lawsuit.
"As policy, St. Francis Health doesn't comment on pending litigation whether it directly or indirectly involves our hospital," he said.
Laux accuses St. Francis of "raiding" staff
According to previously published reports, two doctors planned to leave IU Health Morgan and go to work for St. Francis. Boyer is the only doctor who has publicly announced she was leaving the hospital. The second doctor reportedly changed his mind and is staying at the hospital.
In May, Robert J. Brody, president and CEO at St. Francis, confirmed in an emailed statement that offers had been made to Martinsville doctors. He did not confirm or deny that his hospital had purchased land for a medical center.
"Franciscan St. Francis Health is finalizing agreements with a number of Martinsville-based family physicians," Brody wrote. "They join other Franciscan St. Francis Medical Group physicians who have enjoyed practicing in Martinsville and the greater Morgan County area for years. There is nothing unusual in physicians changing health system affiliations or for physicians to have more than one affiliation with area health systems."
In a letter to employees, medical staff and the hospital's board of trustees dated May 5, IU Health Morgan (then called Morgan Hospital and Medical Center) President and Chief Executive Officer Tom Laux expressed his disappointment that St. Francis would make such a move. He also wrote that MHMC would consider legal remedies against St. Francis.
"We share in everyone's feelings of disappointment and threat over this news and are concerned especially over the potential harm that would be caused by the loss of key, talented physician members on our team of professionals," Laux wrote. "For a faith-based system to 'raid' the medical staff of our community-sponsored MHMC also appears to violate basic principles of fairness, respect and professional ethics, with absolutely no added community benefit or tax-exempt, charitable purpose. We are exploring legal remedies that may be available to us."
Downgrade of federal credit erroneously nicks IU
By Mike Leonard
August 12, 2011, last update: 8/11 @ 11:14 pm
While the practical effect of Standard & Poor's downgrading of the federal government's bond rating has yet to be seen, one consequence early this week was the downgrading of two IU bond issues.
Indiana University officials were perplexed, and with good reason: The bonds in question had already been retired and were no longer on IU's books.
Assistant treasurer Stewart Cobine said on Thursday that the problem arose out of errors in S&P's database. The bonds should not have been in the ratings agency's data base in the first place, but because they were, everything with a AAA rating from the federal government was automatically downgraded to AA .
IU officials immediately began discussions with S&P, and the organization acknowledged its errors and pledged to remove the former IU bonds from its ratings change notices.
Institutions such as IU are highly protective of their bond ratings because they affect the desirability of the bonds they issue when they need to raise money for things such as buildings. The ratings also affect the interest the institution has to pay to investors. High ratings tell investors they are virtually assured of getting a prescribed return on their investments.
The bonds in question were issued in the early 1990s, most likely to fund construction projects, Cobine said. The erroneous downgrade from S&P was not consequential in a practical sense, but still showed up on tracking report from an agency named Ratings Direct, and IU did not want to see even a hint of instability attached to the institution.
S&P upgraded IU, as an institution, from AA to AA last year and the university retains that high rating from S&P, which only gives AAA ratings to a few major corporations. Moody's, one of the other major bond rating firms, continues to list IU with its highest AAA rating.
The only reason the two IU bonds in question were listed as downgraded was because they had an AAA federal rating at the time they were issued more than a decade ago.