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Archive for October, 2015

UT extends vacant position holds to address shortfall created by lower enrollment

Beginning Jan. 1, The University of Toledo will increase its current 60-day hold on replacing vacant positions to eight months in an effort to fill an estimated $11.5 million budget shortfall created in the fiscal year as UT’s enrollment did not meet budgeted estimates.

UT President Sharon L. Gaber said she understands the difficulty the move will create for some departments, but emphasized her desire to limit the negative impact to members of the University community and avoid the elimination of filled positions.

“I recognize the burden this will place on some departments, and I know that people in many areas are already performing increased duties as a result of prior cutbacks,” Gaber wrote. “However, when compared to laying off employees, hopefully all will agree that the hiring delay is a far preferable cost-savings measure to the long-term impact a layoff can have on an employee and his or her family members.”

Gaber said positions involved in direct patient care, admissions and enrollment activity, student services, or campus safety and security will be exempt from the eight-month hold.

Officials anticipate the eight-month hold will result in savings of $5 million or more during the first half of 2016, and the president emphasized that UT cannot use extra compensation to make up for the lack of personnel or no savings will be realized.

“Since the day I started at UT, I have made the commitment that during my presidency, this University will be open and transparent as we confront our challenges,” Gaber said. “I appreciate your cooperation in implementing this new strategy and your understanding as the UT community pulls together to continue serving our students and patients. Thank you for all you do that is contributing to our bright future.”

The president said additional ideas are under consideration to close the remaining budget shortfall and will be announced later this fiscal year.

Gaber also pointed to the shortfall in explaining the need for a partnership with enrollment consultant Ruffalo Noel Levitz.

“We’re working with Ruffalo Noel Levitz now to help ensure we don’t face budget shortfalls due to a lack of enrollment growth in the future,” she said. “The only way we’re going to be successful is to grow our way out of these challenges. And the only way we’ll grow is by recruiting and graduating strong students at the graduate and undergraduate levels.”

UTMC honored for heart treatment efforts

The University of Toledo Medical Center is being recognized for its superior diagnosis and treatment of patients with heart failure.

UTMC has received the Get With The Guidelines — Heart Failure Silver Plus Quality Achievement Award.

Moukarbel

Moukarbel

This award, through the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, honors hospitals that help heart patients recover quicker and reduce the likelihood of hospital readmission. In 2014, UTMC received the bronze award.

“This reaffirms our commitment to our patients who are experiencing one of the worst health scares of their lives,” said Dr. George Moukarbel, director of the Heart Failure and Left Ventricular Assist Device Program at UTMC. “We are proud of our efforts to provide the best possible outcome for our patients who are in the throes of heart failure. This is a direct result of the hard work of all the members of the heart failure team and everyone working toward excellence in the care of our patients.”

Launched in 2005, numerous published studies have demonstrated the Get With the Guidelines program’s success in achieving patient outcome improvements, including reductions in readmissions.

UTMC earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures that include evaluation of the patient, proper use of medications, and aggressive risk-reduction therapies.

Before patients are discharged, UTMC educates them on managing their overall health and arranges a follow-up visit.

“Our next goal is to achieve gold status,” Moukarbel said. “Our work is not done, but this silver status shows that we are continually trying to better ourselves so we can better the outcomes for our patients. Everything we do at UTMC is centered on the patient.”

Rockets offering Halloween ticket special: $15 for Nov. 3 football game vs. Northern Illinois

The University of Toledo is offering a Halloween ticket offer for next the Tuesday, Nov. 3, football game between the No. 20 Rockets and Northern Illinois. Kickoff is at 8 p.m.

Tickets in specially designated sections are $15 each if purchased by midnight Sunday, Nov. 1.

Rocket football logoTickets may be purchased online, at the UT Athletic Ticket Office or by calling 419.530.GOLD (4653). For online orders, click here and use the promo code “BOO.”

The UT Athletic Ticket Office, located in the Sullivan Athletic Complex at Savage Arena, will be open until 6 p.m. Friday and 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 2.

On game day, the ticket office will be open from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m., and then it will reopen at 6 p.m. at the Glass Bowl.

American Chemical Society president to speak Nov. 2 at UT

Dr. Diane Schmidt, national president of the American Chemical Society and adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati, will speak Monday, Nov. 2, at 4 p.m. in Wolfe Hall Room 1205 on The University of Toledo Main Campus.

The free, public lecture is titled “American Chemical Society Advocacy Seeks to Drive Innovation” and is part of the UT Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry’s 2015-2016 Frontiers in Chemistry Lecture series.

Schmidt

Schmidt

“The American Chemical Society is the largest professional organization in the world, and we are really fortune to have Diane come to our campus and speak during her busy schedule,” said Dr. Nina McClelland, dean emerita of the former UT College of Arts and Sciences and Fellow and former board chair of the American Chemical Society. “During her three years in the presidential succession, Diane has a virtual continuum of speaking engagements and global travel on behalf of the American Chemical Society and its members.”

Schmidt received her bachelor of arts degree in chemistry from the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga and her master of science degree in chemistry from the University of Tennessee.

After receiving her doctor of philosophy degree in organic chemistry at the University of Cincinnati, she joined the Procter & Gamble Co. as section head and was responsible for safety and regulatory affairs before retiring in 2014.

“Leadership, education and collaboration have been important to Diane throughout her career,” McClelland said.

The event is co-sponsored by the UT Student American Chemical Society Chapter, the Toledo Local Section of the American Chemical Society, and the UT Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

For more information, contact Dr. Ajith Karunarathne, UT assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry, by emailing ajith.karunarathne@utoledo.edu.

Student organization promotes KINDness through national competition

Making the world kinder one snack at a time is the message a University of Toledo organization is promoting this month as part of a national competition.

UT’s Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) is planning, organizing and implementing a KIND “No Compromises” Campaign. The team is working to bring awareness to KIND — a wholesome health snack company — and the business’ brand philosophy that teaches snacks can be delicious and nutritious.

kindPRSSA will host a table Monday, Nov. 2, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. in the Student Union where they will spread the KIND message and distribute free samples of KIND snacks.

“We wanted to take part in this campaign because KIND’s message to eat and live healthy is a really positive one,” said Josie Schreiber, PRSSA president. “This is a great opportunity to encourage people to take care of themselves and others.”

As part of the campaign, the organization also is hosting an Instagram contest. Participants are encouraged to post pictures of themselves doing a kind act with #kindawesome and #UToledoPRSSA for the chance to win prizes.

“We are using as many avenues as possible to promote our campaign and the KIND message,” Schreiber said. “If people are positively affected by our efforts, then this campaign will have been a success.”

The KIND “No Compromises” Campaign is a national competition hosted by PRSSA National. Teams from schools across the United States are competing to win by presenting effective, creative campaigns to introduce not only KIND products to their campus, but the KIND philosophy as well.

The winning PRSSA chapter will receive $750 and $10,000 to donate to the charity of its choice.

For more information, contact Schreiber at josephine.schreiber@rockets.utoledo.edu.

Course Design Institute reinvigorates, connects faculty

Over the summer, faculty members at The University of Toledo were given the chance to take a step back and re-evaluate their courses, and more than 20 took the opportunity.

They participated in the Course Design Institute, a professional development workshop for faculty interested in creating a new course or re-designing an existing one. Over the summer, the University Teaching Center hosted two different workshops with 12 faculty members in June and July.

One of the participants, Dr. Michael Weintraub, had nothing but good things to say about the program.

“It really helped to cement some of the principles of good teaching,” said Weintraub, an associate professor of soil ecology in the Department of Environmental Sciences. “The biggest thing I got out of the Course Design Institute was not a single moment, but more of a permanent shift in my perspective and a broader view of how to teach effectively.”

Those who participated in the program met each day from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for a week. They discussed what they wanted to teach and how they wanted to teach, as well as what best practices existed.

“The goal is to have faculty take some time out and really think about a particular course that they want to do something new with,” said Dr. Connie Shriner, vice provost for assessment and faculty development. “Take some time for planning and revisions in order for them to improve the quality of what they’re providing for students.”

Since the workshop, Weintraub said he’s already made changes to his course based on what he learned. The whole cohort plans to meet later this semester to discuss what changes they’ve made or plan to make.

One of the best parts of the program, according to both Weintraub and Shriner, was the chance for faculty to work with people they may not ordinarily collaborate with.

“It’s not that often that we have the opportunity to spend a lot of time interacting with our colleagues from other departments and colleges,” Weintraub said. “It was nice to hear different perspectives and approaches from people who teach different subjects and work with different student groups than I do.”

The University Teaching Center plans to offer more workshops next summer, and faculty who wish to participate can find additional information and apply at utoledo.edu/offices/provost/utc.

“I encourage other faculty members to take advantage of this great professional development opportunity,” Weintraub said. “I think the more training we get, the more effective we can be in the classroom and the more efficient we can be with our teaching as well.”

University Teaching Center offers support for faculty

Though the University Teaching Center has only been around for two years, it’s had a big impact on UT faculty.

Last year, attendance numbers exceeded 500 for the various sessions and opportunities available through the center.

“We were really pleased with that for our first full year of operation,” said Dr. Connie Shriner, vice provost for assessment and faculty development.

Going forward, the University Teaching Center is taking this momentum to continue current programs as well as introduce new ones. Right now, the center located in University Hall Room 5120 offers resources for faculty to help them in a variety of ways.

“I think the existence of the University Teaching Center is evidence of the support of the Provost’s Office for teaching and for teachers,” Shriner said. “The office wants to provide resources for faculty.”

Throughout the year, the center hosts both webinars and seminars that are open to all faculty members. These include TECHTALKS, which are small seminars based on integrating technology into the classroom to create interactive environments for students.

They also discuss how technology can sometimes get in the way of teaching, so it should be used wisely.

“Technology is not the means to an end, it’s not the end goal,” said Vincent Rocha, director of the University Teaching Center. “It’s a tool used to help with the learning objectives they have for their classes.”

The center also subscribes to Monday Morning Mentor, a 20-minute program that gets sent out once a week and discusses topics like teaching, assessment, classroom management and more.

Another resource for faculty is the center’s Student Observer Program. Faculty members can apply to have a student sit in on their class and evaluate their teaching, the atmosphere of the classroom and more. Each student is trained and is not originally part of the professor’s class.

Faculty also can use the center to produce videos for their classroom to help supplement their teaching materials. The center offers a green screen, equipment and expertise to produce high-quality videos for faculty.

There are countless other resources available for faculty through the University Teaching Center. For more information, visit utoledo.edu/offices/provost/utc.

No. 20 Rockets ready for conference division showdown with Northern Illinois

For the No. 20 Toledo Rockets, the first seven games of 2015 are in the books — a perfect 7-0. Now the toughest stretch of the season will determine whether the Rockets can finish off the season with a chance to make their mark in school history and claim their first Mid-American Conference title since 2004.

Toledo (7-0, 4-0 MAC) will host to Northern Illinois in the Glass Bowl Tuesday, Nov. 3, at 8 p.m. The game will be nationally televised on ESPN2.

web ut-NIUIt is the first of four crucial Mid-American Conference games in November that will help determine which school will represent the West Division in the MAC Championship Game Friday, Dec. 4.

The Rockets will be looking to reverse recent history as they have lost five straight games to the Huskies, with each loss ultimately preventing UT from advancing to the league title game.

Toledo moved to 7-0 with a 51-35 victory at UMass Oct. 24, but it wasn’t easy. UT trailed the Minutemen, 28-10, at halftime, but came back with 38 straight points in the second half to cruise to victory. Senior quarterback Phillip Ely shook off three first-half interceptions, tossing five TDs to lead the second-half comeback.

The Rockets’ comeback from 18 points down to UMass ranks as the fifth-largest comeback in school history.

Despite giving up 35 points vs. UMass, UT ranks No. 1 in the MAC and No. 13 in the country in scoring defense (16.3).

Toledo has not allowed a sack in 253 passing attempts this season, one of only two teams in the country that can make that claim. The other is Air Force.

Toledo is ranked No. 20 in the latest AP media poll with 365 total points and No. 20 in the USA Today coaches poll with 370 points.

Northern Illinois (5-3, 3-1 MAC) is coming off a 49-21 thrashing of Eastern Michigan Oct. 24. The Huskies have won three straight games following three consecutive close defeats to No. 1 Ohio State, Boston College and Central Michigan. NIU ranks third in the MAC in scoring offense (36.8) and is led by junior quarterback Drew Hare (1,819 passing yards, 13 TDs) and junior running back Joel Bouagnon, who leads the MAC with 861 rushing yards on 170 attempts.

In the past six seasons, Toledo has lost only eight MAC games (36-8). Five of those losses have come to Northern Illinois. UT has a 10-game winning streak dating back to the final three games of the 2014 season.

‘Policing and Race in Post-Ferguson America’ conversation continues Nov. 2

Heather Mac Donald, the Thomas W. Smith Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor at the City Journal, will deliver the second lecture in a two-part series titled “A Conversation on Policing and Race in Post-Ferguson America” Monday, Nov. 2, at noon in the Law Center McQuade Law Auditorium.

The free, public lecture is a part of the Stranahan National Issues Forum and is sponsored by the College of Law and its chapter of the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies.

Mac Donald

Mac Donald

Since the events in Ferguson, Mo., last year, Americans have seen a steady stream of incidents replayed in video images: the death of Eric Garner in a police chokehold in New York, the killing of a fleeing Walter Scott by a North Charleston police officer, and the death in police custody of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, to name a few.

These incidents and others have raised uncomfortable questions about policing in this country. Is American policing infected with racism? Have police gone too far in their willingness to use force? How can we ensure that policing is performed effectively, but also fairly and impartially?
Mac Donald will argue that police departments are the government agencies most dedicated to the proposition that black lives matter by explaining the policing revolution of the 1990s and looking at race, crime and policing statistics.

Her work at City Journal has canvassed a range of topics, including homeland security, immigration, policing and racial profiling, homelessness and homeless advocacy, and educational policy. Her writings also have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The New Republic. She is a frequent guest on FOX News, CNN, and other television and radio programs.

thMac Donald is the author of several books. Her second book titled Are Cops Racist? (2003) investigates the workings of the police, racial profiling, and the anti-profiling lobby’s harmful effects on black Americans. She has frequently testified before Congress.

Mac Donald holds a bachelor of arts degree from Yale University, a master of arts degree from Cambridge University, and a law degree from Stanford University Law School.

In the first lecture Sept. 10, David Harris, who has studied police and their conduct for 25 years, and who has worked with and trained police in departments all over the country, offered his thoughts on racial profiling and various means available to curb police misconduct. He is the Distinguished Faculty Scholar at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. Harris taught at The University of Toledo College of Law through 2007, where he was the Eugene Balk Professor of Law and Values.

The Stranahan National Issues Forum is a joint program of The University of Toledo College of Law and its chapter of the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies. It is made possible by an endowment from the Stranahan Foundation.

The forum’s purpose is to address issues of national importance through the lens of the American legal system.

Submissions sought for International Education Week Photo Contest

The UT community is invited to celebrate International Education Week by entering a photo contest.

Photos shot overseas or domestic photos of international events will be accepted.

There will be a category for students and a category for faculty and staff.

Photos must be submitted by 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 8.

“We believe the international photo contest is a great way to engage the UT community in International Education Week and highlight our students’ and colleagues’ international experiences,” said Brad Gosche, education abroad adviser in the Center for International Studies and Programs.

“Submitting a photo is easy; just email a high-quality photo to eduabroad@utoledo.edu. Note in the subject line ‘Photo Contest.’ Attach your photo and provide your name, college/department, location and date photo was taken. Students also should share their major and expected graduation year.”

Submitted photos will be displayed in the Student Union Tom Trimble Lounge from Wednesday Nov. 11, through Friday, Nov. 20.

“The campus community is encouraged to submit a vote for their favorite student and/or faculty or staff photo,” Gosche added. “Ballots can be picked up and submitted at the Student Union Ask Rocky Information Desk, Room 2525A.”

Winners will receive two movie tickets.

For more information and details on how to submit photos, visit utoledo.edu/cisp/iew.