Day: February 2, 2010

So What’s With Sleeping in the Dorms?

Well the time has finally come for good ol' G-Span to head out there and show his alma mater all that he has learned from us here at PSU. The Des Moines Register had an interview with President Graham Spanier, which is actually a good look into his life as a president. In the interview he talks about the time he spends in the dorms (at the beginning of the year in East), the changes university life has seen since his time as a student, and how he spends his free time. The title of the speech he will be giving is "What I Can Learn Sleeping in the Residence Halls."

One of the better questions in the article related to the speech's title:

So what's with sleeping in the dorms?

I've been doing that at the beginning of the fall semester for years. It helps me put a finger on the pulse of students. The speech has a catchy title but it's about keeping up with what is happening with students.

I can say that I have personally seen G-Span spend some time in the dorms over here at East and he does get to know the incoming class. In fact, he actually goes around and talks to every student and tries to get feedback from them straight off the bat. He also advertises various important events that first-years should attend so they may become attuned to the Penn State culture. Also, he performs magic (he still can't make the CATA buses appear on time, though)!

Read on for some more good stuff from the interview.

“Climategate” Investigation Ends

The Penn State panel in charge of investigating the so-called "Climategate" emails of Professor Michael Mann has announced the end of their investigation. Dr. Mann's email correspondence with Dr. Phil Jones of the University of East Anglia in the U.K. was leaked late last November. Dr. Mann's work was considered to be some of the most important evidence for human-induced climate change, until allegations surfaced from these emails that he had falsified the data suggesting that theory.

A Penn State panel of faculty and staff was tapped to look into the matter, which has gotten worldwide attention, including that of the United Nations. University of East Anglia also conducted their own investigation of Dr. Jones. About three weeks ago, former CIA agent Kent Clizbe launched his own private investigation of Dr. Mann, but was obviously limited in his powers, as he is now a private citizen.

Penn State has said they will announce their findings later this week, though they had previously flirted with the idea of keeping those findings confidential, in the interest of protecting their faculty member. However, even with the public release, some have pointed out flaws in the method of the investigation, namely who the investigators are. Quoted in the Collegian, Samuel Settle, a member of the conservative group Young Americans for Freedom (previously featured in Onward State Stories), said that Penn State has put "an awful lot of power in the hands of three [Penn State employees] with no external oversight."

Get the full story after the jump.

Penn State’s Newest Research Report

Penn State recently released its annual research report and, in contrast to almost everything else these days, the numbers are trending up.

According to the report, Penn State has seen a 74% increase in research expenditures since 2000 and last year totaled a record $765 million cold hard clams for research purposes. Federal agencies contribute $445 million which is a 95% increase since entering into the new millennium.

The numbers have fallen slightly in terms of industry funded research, which the report blames on the bad economy, but Penn State is still ranked #3 nationally in that category. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania contributes exactly $83,765,000 to Penn State's research funds.

The number of applicants to Penn State's Graduate School hit the highest number it has reached in the last 10 years with 17,071 applicants in 2009. This is compared to the only 13,101 who applied in 2000.

Another part of the report included an article on the study of turning waste water into a renewable form of hydrogen. Read on to find out how!

UPUA Opens Office, Regrets Decision?

Gavin Keirans & Co. have had an unprecedentedly successful year with UPUA, but it seems that there is concern that our student government is being too productive. UPUA’s new downtown office opened a week ago, and Keirans and several other leaders have said the project was handled improperly from the outset. Last year, UPUA found […]

Six to Receive 2010 Distinguished Alumni Award

Congratulations to the following kindhearted alumni, who have won the 2010 Distinguished Alumni Award for their selfless contributions to Penn State:

Joan Amble(1975) Executive Vice President and Corporate Comptroller for American Express.
Gen. C. Robert Kehler (1974) Commander, Air Force Space Command
Daniel S. Mead (undergrad: 1975, grad: 1977) Chief Operating Officer for Verizon Wireless
Karen B. Peetz (1977) Chief Executive Officer of Financial Markets and Treasury Services at The Bank of New York Mellon
Richard L. Trumka (1971) President of the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO)
Dr. Johannes D. Veldhuis (1974) Professor of Medicine at Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education

This award is issued annually by the Penn State Board of Trustees, and it serves as the "University's highest award for an individual."

Some of these fine individuals may be partially responsible for the highest single month of donations on record in December 2009 (over $58 million).

The awards both shed light on our faithful supporters and encourage said donors to maybe, perhaps, possibly cough up a few more bucks in the future... please? It's going to a good cause... us!

Congressman Offers Chance To Beg For Money

In January, US Representative Glenn Thompson from Pennsylvania's 5th District announced that he would be accepting applications from his district, which includes the Penn State community, for federal appropriations for projects.

"I am promoting an open and transparent process and will conduct a review of each project on a competitive basis,” said Thompson.

Emphasis on "competitive." The site says their are a large number of requests submitted to the government each year and with the economy the way it is, the budget for such projects may be tighter and project applications may be more competitive.

Next »