University Business - March 2011 - (Page 16)
Behind the news
biking: by the numbers
“There’s really no need To bring a car,” prospective students are told by University of Colorado at Boulder students and officials. after all, the city is designated a bicycle Friendly community by the league of american bicyclists, and bike paths are kept useable even in winter months. on campus, a bike station offers registration, rentals, and maintenance services. a Mobile Mechanic provides breakdown assistance, and fans biking to a big game can even use a student-run valet service at the stadium. For administrators, the growing bike population requires ongoing needs assessment and planning. This has meant adding bike racks and considering pedestrian safety. “The more bikes, skateboards, mopeds, the more [sidewalk] conflicts,” points out Frank bruno, vice chancellor for administration, who oversees facilities, planning, and parking/transportation for cU. in terms of where to place additional bike parking, it’s about collecting feedback and keeping an eye out, for instance of, say, bikes chained to a handicapped accessible railing. “We’ll speak with students and ask why they did that,” he says. administrators want to continue steering students and faculty toward alternative transportation modes, bruno adds. “We know we can’t afford to build additional parking structures. We’re not the kind of community that has acres and acres of surface parking.”
here are some of the numbers behind cU’s bike program:
• 11,000: Total bike spaces available on campus • 400: New spaces added in “prime” campus areas this academic year • 1,664: New spaces added over the past three years • $75,000: Cost of current four-year bike parking project (funded by Parking and Transportation Services and the student-run Environmental Center) • 7,000 to 8,000: Bikes on campus on any given day • 75: Percent of CU students, faculty, and staff getting to campus each day by bus, bike, foot, or a combination of those methods • 60: “Buff Bikes” available for rent by students and employees • $30: Cost of a semester-long bike rental (plus $100 refundable deposit) • 491: Fans of “I Bike CU” on Facebook (as of mid-February) —M.E.
Penn state battles growing Problem of applicant Plagiarism
The irony of a business school looking for “principled leaders” among its applicants and finding dozens of cases of plagiarism underscores a growing problem. at Penn State’s smeal college of business, admission Director carrie Marcinkevage says technology has devalued the idea of “intellectual property” in a generation that came of age with music file-sharing, Wikipedia, and web-linking. a passage in one student’s admissions essay happened to sound familiar. she searched other essays and found it elsewhere. That was just the tip of the iceberg. “We had 29 cases of plagiarism in our admissions essays out of a pending 360 applications,” she reports. “We dropped everything else and immediately went back through all essays of those applicants who had been admitted, invited to interview, or were awaiting decisions. We did discover several who’d been invited to interview. Those candidates were notified and not admitted. and we unfortunately found one who’d been admitted. That decision was rescinded.” The department turned to Turnitin from iParadigms, a software solution already in use at Penn state. The screening software allows for a very consistent and completely objective first review, Marcinkevage says. “any concerns are then reviewed solely based on the matching-content concerns. only after that are they reviewed for overall admissions fit.” she says the software does not replace the human element involved in the admissions process. instead, it only alerts officials that there may be a problem. Plagiarism is a growing problem throughout higher education, as evidenced by recent reports in The New York Times and elsewhere. SOUND BITE are admissions officials doing everything they can to spot it? “i truly wish that more institutions were talking about this at the admissions level,” Marcinkevage says. “i am trying to get that conversation started.” she offers this advice to admissions officers at other institutions: • consider ways to look for concerns but also to keep the team positively focused. • Ensure that the process is consistent and equitable for all candidates. • Educate. Prevent. Talk. She doesn’t want the conversation to be about “catching and punishing plagiarists [but about] preventing it in the first place.” —Tim Goral
igher education has found itself as the budget balancer.
—University of Nevada, Las Vegas President Neal Smatresk on state budget cuts
16 | March 2011
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