OSU Foreign Language Dept + budget cuts

Italian flag
The Oregon State University Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures is expected to undergo significant budget cuts for Fall 2008. The OSU Foreign Language department courses are extremely popular and classes are usually filled each term. It’s probably easier to get a one-on-one meeting with President Ray than it is to get into a 100 level Spanish class!

Students will find it increasingly difficult to register for language classes, a situation which deeply upsets the whole faculty and staff of this department.

Furthermore, since most language classes are offered in sequence and only once a year, underfunding will make it even harder for students who need to complete foreign language requirements to graduate on time. It also means larger class sizes and less personal attention, factors that are especially detrimental to learning languages.

This situation is all the more absurd since the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures makes money for the university. Under a budgeting model where tuition dollars follow the students, we see that Foreign Languages’ finances are completely in order: We generate more money than we need to operate at current capacity. Instead of which, through the use of an unfair budget model, we find ourselves with a deficit of $250,000 and threatened with job losses.

via the Corvallis Gazette Times.

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OSU Snow in the Quad timelapse

It was 88° in the Oregon State University Memorial Union Quad last Thursday but we still had Snow in the Quad! Watch this timelapse video to see the entire day from the early morning to the end of the day. Note the gigantic pile of snow in the center of the quad!

OSU Hui-o-Hawaii Luau

53rd OSU Hui-o-Hawaii Luau
Wendy and I went to the OSU Hui-o-Hawaii Luau for the third time last night. Once again, it was amazing. The food was terrific and the show was spectacular. It was nice to see so many of my advisees performing on stage. I am very proud of their accomplishments.

The Hawaiian club at Oregon State University shares what their luau means to them.

Hui-o-Hawaii Luau Commercial

Campus maps and Google

Oregon State University campus map using the Google Maps API

Several higher education websites have revamped their campus maps. The map-making-mashup technology of choice seems to be the Google Maps API.

Here are a few examples of university campus maps that utilize Google Maps:

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Campus newspaper theft

Oregon State University Daily Barometer kiosk

The campus newspaper at Oregon State University, the Daily Barometer, published a story on Friday about a recent drug bust that involved several OSU students.

After a month-long investigation, police from Albany, Corvallis and the Benton County Sheriff’s Office have arrested seven Corvallis residents in connection with a drug-trafficking ring.

Six of those connected, arrested on April 14 and 15, were OSU students.

The men were arrested on accusations of distributing cocaine, marijuana and Ecstasy in the area.

I had seen the story on another Oregon news site Friday morning, but was unable to find a copy of the Daily Barometer when I arrived to campus. I checked the Barometer’s website today to find an interesting announcement on the homepage:

This morning, many of the Barometer kiosks were found empty. Staff of the Barometer has confirmed that the paper was delivered.

It seems that a majority of the 7,000 copies had been removed from the kiosks and dumped in dumpsters and recycling bins.

If you have any information regarding the theft of The Daily Barometer on Friday, April 18, please contact Editor in Chief Lauren Dillard by e-mailing editor@dailybarometer.com or calling 737-3191.

I highly doubt that this is just a coincidence. This type of occurrence seems to happen quite frequently on college campuses. A negative event happens involving students, the campus newspaper prints a story (usually featured on the front page above the fold), and someone destroys or steals the majority of that particular edition of the paper.

Community forum series

Daily Barometer Community forum series isms at Oregon State University

I was in Waldo Hall about a month ago when I came upon a larger version of this poster. I’m a fan of inverted black and white posters as they remind me of my graphic design days in Chicago.

The poster was advertising a community forum to discuss “isms in media.” I moved a little closer and read the list of “-isms.” Sexism, racism, ableism and classism. Okay, those are all forms of oppression. What? Why was alcoholism on this list? It just did not make sense to me as it did not fit with the rest of the items on the poster. And where oh where was heterosexism? A list of institutionalized oppressions and a disease. I do not understand why alcoholism was included…?

The Daily Barometer, Oregon State University’s student newspaper, has had yet another year where the paper prints something racist, sexist, homophobic, etc. and then attempts to do a better job (usually folks of color start appearing in the photographs on the front page during Winter term). It’s a cycle and the pattern has occurred since I moved to Corvallis in 2004 and became a member of the OSU community. Year after year a student editorial board and their lackluster faculty advisor bring about copious amounts of harm to the community, apologize and then attempt to rectify what happened in the fall. I can understand that student editorial board members come and go, but the faculty advisor remains…

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Technology and Student Affairs

iStudentAffairs.com: A social networking site for Student Affairs administrators. 661 people have already signed up. The site runs off of Ning. I’m not sure if I have the life space for another website, but the discussions on iStudentAffairs.com have been interesting.

Technology panel: I’ll be on a panel for Academic Advising + Web 2.0 at the regional NACADA conference in Vancouver in March. I guess I’ll be chiming in on anything to do with accessibility, blogging, wikis, web statistics, podcasting, rss, etc. I’m walking out if someone calls Facebook an “emerging technology.”

Academic Advising Wiki:
I have convinced my colleagues that an internal knowledge base a.k.a. a wiki, would be highly beneficial for our office. I demoed an installation of MediaWiki (similar to the Oregon State University wiki) and hope to get it up and running next month. For more information on higher education and wikis, check out these videos on “21 days of Wiki Adoption“:

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MIT Admissions Blog

MIT Admissions Blog

I’m currently subscribed to 104 RSS feeds. My bloglines is sometimes a bit overwhelming as I peruse content from around the blogosphere. One of the blogs that I always read, no matter how busy I am, is the MIT Admissions Blog(s). The site is written by several MIT students and staffers. I love the breadth and depth of the content on the MIT Admissions Blog. Blog posts are full of student stories, campus and event photographs, and important procedural processes.

MIT Admissions Blog

In my opinion, it’s the premier admissions blog in the United States in terms of content, diversity of bloggers, comments, and overall aesthetics. A Google search for “admissions blog” places the MIT Admissions blog in the 4th spot on the results page, just below the Oregon State University Admissions blog.

A recent post on the MIT Admissions blog on a talk by Noam Chomsky contains a wonderful mix of text and photographs.

Ben Jones, the MIT Director of Communications, even posted his own, custom made Lolz Catz post!

I think this student-written post on Application Cycles is a wonderful example of informing students about application policies while simultaneously telling a narrative of what it’s like to be a student at MIT.

The MIT Admissions Office has set the admissions blogging bar at a high level. It’s a wonderfully constructed group blog that is impressive within and outside of the admissions blogging context.

Borrowing designs = confirmed

Oregon State University College of Engineering web site screenshot
The OSU College of Engineering website design was “borrowed” from the Virginia Tech homepage. I received confirmation from a reliable source that the OSU COE site was designed by a student designer who used the VT site for design inspiration. Apparently, VT was made aware of the COE site design and was “not happy” about it.

I emailed the COE’s webmaster email and asked if they were aware of the site design similarities. I did not receive a response. However, a quick check of my web statistics showed a 54 second visit (referred from a Google Search for my name) from “kleinerpbook.engr.oregonstate.edu.” It turns out that that is the host name for Gregg Kleiner’s computer at OSU. Gregg is the Director of Marketing & Communications for the OSU College of Engineering.