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IU News Round-up

August 16, 2010

IU hopes 'wellness incentives' cut insurance costs
Chicago Tribune, Aug. 14 -- Indiana University workers who are overweight, smoke or have high blood pressure could pay higher health insurance premiums under a new policy taking effect next year. University officials say they want to create incentives for people to reduce their health risks -- and subsequently lower their insurance costs. But some employees fear the plan will unfairly penalize those with health issues. "There are a lot of people who have said this really took them by surprise and are very upset," said Erika Dowell, president of the Bloomington Faculty Council. "This is a big shift for IU employees." Full story.

Forbes lists UE among best schools, Aug. 15 -- The University of Evansville is among several Indiana higher education institutions named by Forbes magazine as one of America's best colleges from the point of view of students. The Hoosier state's other entries are Notre Dame (No. 33), Wabash College (No. 42), DePauw University (No. 63), Earlham College (No. 145), Hanover College (No. 183), Indiana University (No. 222), Goshen College (No. 268), Taylor University (No. 273), Huntington University (No. 289), Butler University (No. 332), Purdue University (No. 362), St. Mary's College (No. 372), Valparaiso University (No. 466), Ball State University (No. 494) and IUPUI (No. 520). Full story.

The Professors Who Won't Retire
Fabio Rojas is an associate professor of sociology at Indiana University
The New York Times, Aug. 15 -- Tenure puts universities in an awkward position. By guaranteeing lifelong employment, administrators may not hire new scholars until existing professors retire or move. It is easy to blame older faculty members for rigid job academic job markets. However, it is a mistake to believe that delayed retirement is the principal reason for tough job markets. At most, it is a small factor that draws attention away from the real issue in the academic profession, the massive shift from full time to part-time faculty. Full story.

Women lag behind men at work
CNN American Morning, Aug. 16 - Gail McGuire, chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Indiana University South Bend, talks about her study findings that because women are typically in lower-status positions, they do not receive assistance that will help with future career goals. She presented her findings at the American Sociological Association's annual meeting. Video.

Update ethanol subsidies to pressure OPEC
By John D. Graham, dean of Indiana University's School of Public and Environmental Affairs
The Sacramento Bee, Aug. 12 -- The U.S. government supports domestic ethanol development to reduce America's oil dependence. Additionally, ethanol weakens OPEC's control over world oil prices, reduces tailpipe pollutants and supplies extra octane that improves engine operation. Full story.

Our own Party of No
By Sheila Kennedy
The Indianapolis Star, Aug. 16 -- There must be a special blind spot that allows people to engage in precisely the same behavior that they (correctly) criticize in others. Local Democrats have been among those who have strongly criticized this conduct, and it is ironic that they are now engaging in it by suggesting that a vote for a plan put forward by a Republican mayor is an act of disloyalty. Full story.

IU questions inclusion in 'grade incentive' site
Chicago Tribune,, Aug. 15, 13 -- A new website that allows students to bet on the grades they'll receive could amount to illegal online gambling, an Indiana University spokesman says. "It looks like gambling to us," IU spokesman Larry MacIntyre said, questioning why the university is included on the site, Full story. Full story 2.

IU voices in the news

Are lithium-ion batteries the next threat to airline safety?,, Aug. 16 -- Some batteries used in cell phones and laptop computers can catch fire or explode and may present a hazard to air travel, officials say. Concern about a possible terrorist strike caused flight attendants to confiscate 58 batteries from a passenger aboard an American Airlines flight leaving New York, USA Today said Monday. The lithium-ion batteries are generally safe for consumer use but could be rigged to make a bomb, Indiana University engineer Jian Xie said. Full story. Full story 2.

Astronomers put together their universal wish list, Aug. 16 -- The report sets as a primary goal learning how the first stars formed, finding the "closest habitable Earth-like planets beyond the solar system," and probing "dark energy," the mysterious force accelerating expansion of galaxies apart from one another throughout the cosmos. "So much is going on in astronomy, it's a golden age," says astronomer Catherine Pilachowski of Indiana University in Bloomington. "I think they did a terrific job. Far more than in past reports, they have thought about budgets and how we are actually going to build these projects." Full story.

Why city folks treat dogs as their kids, Aug. 16 - David Blouin a researcher at Indiana University South Bend found that city people tend to treat animals as their children, especially if the animal is a dog. "If you have kids, you have less time to spend with your pets. That's part of it, but not the whole story. People who think of their pets as their children often re-evaluate this thought when they have human children of their own," said Blouin. Full story.

From the Chronicle

'Dream Act' Would Not Be Enough for Many Undocumented Students
The Dream Act is seen by its advocates as the solution to many barriers facing illegal immigrants who want to enroll in college and go on to well-paying jobs and productive lives in the United States. A report released last month by the Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan research group, estimated that 726,000 immigrants would be immediately eligible for conditional legal status, based on the Dream Act's requirements, with the opportunity to achieve permanent legal status if they meet other provisions. Full story.

Hiring Market for Fund Raisers, Particularly International Ones, Heats Back Up
Just as jobs are coming back to Wall Street, hiring has returned to the college fund-raising office. After a period of budget tightening and uncertainty, search firms, consultants, and fund raisers are seeing an increase in hiring, for both existing positions and new ones. And while it's nowhere near a return to the go-go years preceding the recession, the moves represent a significant thaw. Full story.

Nelnet to Pay $55-Million to Resolve Whistle-Blower Lawsuit
Nelnet will pay $55-million to settle its share of a whistle-blower lawsuit that accuses it and several other lenders of defrauding taxpayers of more than a billion dollars in student-loan subsidies. The settlement, which Nelnet announced late Friday, is the latest to result from a lawsuit brought by Jon H. Oberg, a former Education Department researcher, on behalf of the federal government. Full story.

News Round-up is distributed to faculty and staff at IU, and it contains a short review of media coverage relating to IU administrative and student news, federal and state legislative policy, and trends and issues in higher education. Prepared by the IU Office of, University Communications, the Daily IU News Round-up is not an all-inclusive gathering of news featuring IU faculty and staff. To subscribe to the Daily IU News Round-up list or to have your name removed, please contact Susan Williams, Office of University Communications,