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Last modified: Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Bloomington Herald Times articles

September 5, 2007

No match: Dating criteria, actual choices don't agree; IU professor's study finds real factors driving men's, women's choice of mates
By Steve Hinnefeld
September 5, 2007

Men look for physical attractiveness when they choose a mate. Women look for a mix of traits, including not only good looks but wealth, social status and commitment.

And for both sexes, what they say they're looking for doesn't mesh with the choices they make.

Those are among the findings of a study that used speed dating to examine how men and women make decisions about finding and getting to know potential partners.

Peter Todd, a professor in the cognitive science program at Indiana University, is the lead author of the study, published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Coauthors are from universities in Germany, England and Scotland.

The study also found that women are more picky than men — and more adept at leveraging their own attractiveness to choose the mates they're likely to get.

"The very attractive women," Todd said, "set their sights on men who have a high combination of those traits" that they're drawn to.

The study looked at 46 people in Munich, Germany, who participated in speed dating. The single men and women, between ages 26 and 42, took part in "mini dates" lasting between three and seven minutes each. Then they picked the people they would like to see again, checking boxes beside their names.

The research subjects completed questionnaires, several days before the speed-dating sessions, that asked what they were looking for in a potential date.

Both men and women, Todd said, claimed to be interesting in getting to know people who had the same interests and values as themselves — the "likes-attract" model of attraction.

But in fact, the men were more likely to want a follow-up date with women who were physically attractive, regardless of whether they shared values and interests.

And women were likely to want more interaction with men who had a high level of positive traits: actual or potential wealth and high status, commitment to family, physical attractiveness and good health.

The results fit with evolutionary theory that says men choose women for the capacity to bear their children and women choose men who can keep them safe and secure. But they also conform to gender stereotypes that many people find offensive.

"I think that's why you see the difference between what people choose and what they tell you they're looking for," Todd said.

Men were likely to want to match up with physically attractive women, even if they didn't regard themselves as particularly good-looking or desirable. At the same time, they weren't that choosy: They typically said they wanted to meet again with several of the women they speed-dated.

"It could be they just don't want to miss an opportunity if they can help it," Todd said.

Women, on the other hand, were more selective, checking fewer boxes.

"Evolutionarily speaking, this is what you'd expect," Todd said. "Women have the potential for higher costs in the relationship. They need to be more cautious in terms of selecting men who are likely to stick around and stay committed."

Todd said the findings about male and female choices weren't all that surprising.

"I think the biggest surprise was how well we could get at these questions with the novel method of speed dating," he said.

IU Faculty Council: Faculty tackle issue of overused classrooms
By Steve Hinnefeld
September 5, 2007

Indiana University classrooms are overused and in many cases long overdue for renovation, the Bloomington Faculty Council heard Tuesday in a series of reports that surprised no one in the room.

Roland Cote, the IU Bloomington registrar, said classrooms are so heavily utilized that it's hard to find time for maintenance, let alone the opportunities for faculty to try different methods of instruction.

"We have virtually no flexibility for any kind of innovation," he said.

The faculty council used almost the entire two hours of its first meeting of the semester to learn about and discuss the classroom space issue. Lisa Pratt, the council president and a geological sciences professor, said getting a handle on the problem is the group's top priority.

"This is just the beginning of a process that will play out," she said.

According to figures from Cote and Patrick Murray, who directs IU's bureau of facilities programming and utilization, classrooms are in extremely heavy use Monday through Thursday. They are less utilized on Fridays, with many IU classes meeting Monday and Wednesday or Tuesday and Thursday.

Academic departments decide what days to offer classes, but some faculty say there's a perception that students won't sign up for classes that meet on Fridays.

A chart that Cote produced showed several major classroom buildings — Ballantine, Sycamore and Woodburn halls and the Education and Business buildings — are in use more than 80 percent of the time Monday through Thursday. On Fridays, Ballantine is still used more than 60 percent of the time, but the Education and Business buildings are used only about 30 percent of the time, the chart showed.

Faculty council members suggested looking for ways to make more use of Fridays, early mornings and evenings — and maybe even Saturday classes — to spread the load on classrooms. One idea: discounting tuition for students who will take classes in unpopular times, or paying faculty more to teach them.

But Cote said scheduling more classes on Fridays won't be a panacea. Even with Friday included, he said, IU Bloomington classrooms are in use 77 percent of the time, compared with an accepted standard that says flexibility and efficiency decline if they're used more than two-thirds of the time.

The problem, faculty and administrators said, is that the campus hasn't kept up with a growing demand for classroom space, driving by technology and changing methods of instruction.

In 2001, an IU Bloomington task force concluded the campus had reached its capacity for providing an education for undergraduates. Overall enrollment hasn't changed much since then — it has stayed around 38,000. But last year and this year, the number of first-year students topped 7,200, putting a strain on lecture facilities used for many freshman classes.

Meanwhile, classrooms weren't added until this year, when a $4.3 million classroom and office building opened on East Third Street, housing teaching labs for biotechnology and human biology programs.

In 2001, the state Legislature authorized IU to issue $10.5 million in bonds to build a lecture hall between the Wells Library and the Radio and TV Building, but that project has never been undertaken. Instead, IU construction projects have focused on adding research space.

Commentary: Time for straight talk about game tickets and student enrollment
by Gerry DiNardo
September 5, 2007

Recently there have been two related articles published in the HT. One article on page 1A was about IU sports, and the other on page A3 was about IU student enrollment, but really they were both about the same thing.

Times are a changing.

Page A1. When Bill Scott, a professor emeritus in the Kelley School, found out that his seats and those of over 2,200 faculty and staff could be moved for the upcoming basketball season, he believed the athletic department was making a money grab. Along with this came an announcement that by 2008-09, faculty and staff seating will be distributed on the same Priority Points system (based mostly on donations to the athletic department) that is used to give out tickets to the general public. Until now, donations did not factor into faculty and staff's opportunity to buy tickets.

Page A3. This year, the incoming class average SAT scores for first-year students at IU jumped by 25 points; the class size remained large, just shy of last year's record. More than 30 percent of the students ranked in the top 10 percent of their high school graduating classes, and two-thirds were in the top quarter. This is also a more diverse group of freshmen than previous groups. Pretty impressive, but there's a rub. The class is more tilted to out-of — state students than is the tradition. Fifty-nine percent are Indiana residents, where traditionally it has been about 65 percent Indiana residents. The rub continues. The article implies that IU is enrolling only as many in-state students as are funded by the state.

Years ago, while working on other campuses, I observed similar transitions and "seat taxes" being instituted. At Vanderbilt, it happened with men's basketball; at LSU, it happened with football. Both institutions made strong long-term decisions about the direction of these programs, and the funding of those decisions had to be addressed.

Prior to my experience at Vanderbilt and LSU, I spent nine years at the University of Colorado. My job included spending a considerable amount of time in the local high schools where the resentment was clear about the university having only a 50 percent in-state enrollment and a belief that admissions requirements were lower for out-of — state students than in-state students. On campus, the explanation was that due to lack of state funding, the out-of-state tuition was necessary to survive.

IU is doing the right thing with both these issues, but the way these emotional issues are handled really matters. The leadership has to be honest and strong. The leadership has to make it clear that to assemble in a new basketball arena and to sit in a football stadium watching a bowl team play and gaze at a new end zone facility is going to cost something. You can't expect a school's ranking to ascend, to build a new multidisciplinary science building, to retain and attract top faculty and to increase minority enrollment without it costing something.

The more competitive you want to be and the more the commitment, the more it costs. Fans can't have it both ways. Board members can't have it both ways. It will cost everyone something to be among the best. The tickets are going to cost more; your child may not be admitted, even though an out-of-state student or minority student with the same grades will be.

A1 states "the reconfiguration is meant to create more fairness in ticket distribution and that when you're dealing with a budget of $44 million or whatever the athletic budget is, this money isn't critical." All money is critical, and the athletic department needs it. Stop the spin; tell the truth; tell people what it will cost and why. And if you're leading the charge, believe in the vision and realize it may cost you your job, but it will be worth it.