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Penn State's student blog



Day: February 4, 2010

Welcome Back, Cynthia Baldwin!

Cynthia Baldwin, 64, an English major in Penn State's Class of 1966, is returning to her alma mater as University General Counsel and Vice President.

Baldwin, who also got her Masters in American Literature at Penn State, was appointed to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in 2005 and was the second African-American woman to do so in the state's history. Of her more notable cases, Baldwin wrote the majority opinion for a case involving eminent domain and separation of church and state. Her more than 30 years working in litigation gives her a very impressive background to become basically the head of all legal concerns within the university.

Her basic duties will include launching the university's legal counsel's office and preparing it for the next successor. She will also take over Penn State's legal work, which includes oversight on its contracts and policies, and establishing procedures, all of which were previously delegated to a local State College legal firm.

She will begin her new job here starting February 15th, and her office will be on main campus at University Park. She will work under the university president, Graham Spanier.

From the Economy to Bueller, Ben Stein Does Not Disappoint

For a man whose intelligence is nothing short of intimidating, Ben Stein is actually quite down-to-earth and funny. Wednesday night's Distinguished Speaker Series event featuring Ben Stein drew an interestingly diverse crowd of people that showed up to bathe in his infinite wisdom and hopefully take home a few economical pointers from one of the world's most renowned and respected economists/speechwriter/actor/man. The evening covered pretty much everything from the financial crisis to the alleged 9/11 conspiracy theories.

Mr. Stein opened with a few jokes told in his traditional monotone style. He even started with an Ohio-State-bashing joke, which seems to be the norm for visiting speakers these days. Stein joked that the only exercise he needed these days was to get down to his knees to thank God that he still lived in America.

He discussed the current financial crisis, for which he put a lot of the blame on Ben Bernanke and Timothy Geithner for letting Wall Street run rampant. He said that it was "terrifying" that there were so few people held responsible for the collapse of the economy.

He also discussed healthcare, making the point that doctors and hospitals should put their list of procedures and their pricing available online for patients to see. And during the Q&A session after his speech, a man who appeared like he'd just gotten back from Woodstock went up to the microphone to debate whether or not 9/11 was an inside job.

Ben Stein boasts an impressive resume and Penn State was honored to add Distinguished Speaker to his list.

Photographer: Chase Tralka, Onward State Managing Editor || [email protected]

CampusLIVE Thinks They Know Penn State

Do you want a one stop page for all your Penn State needs, with links to custom news feeds, movie listings and a handy link to a major search engine? I suggest you try iGoogle or Yahoo. Do you want a cheap attempt at creating a new advertising platform by offering an unneeded service? CampusLIVE may be the site for you.

CampusLIVE, a company that creates college specific web portals has recently created a new page for Penn State. On it you'll find absolutely nothing interesting. It's basically an AP feed, Google search bar and links to all the sites already found on Penn State's own portal.

If you couldn't tell already, I'm kind of insulted at the attempt. Though supposedly made by Penn State's campus rep, it doesn't even have links to Penn State specific sites such as LionMenus for its menu listings, instead offering a short list phone numbers for a few locations. They also apparently emailed several random Penn State email accounts, meaning they also relied on spam to advertise their service.

The company itself is headed by a bunch of students from UMass, so I have a feeling this whole thing is a class project that evolved into something else. At least Penn State students are creative when they do this. If you're really desperate to find a place to find Penn State related links, try the top of the page you're reading right now. There aren't even any ads!

Weekly Series Examines Drinking Culture

Got some something to say about State Patty's Day? Think the drinking age should be 18 instead of 21? Concerned about alcohol abuse on and off campus? You should check out the CDT's ongoing series on drinking culture entitled Focus on Excessive Drinking. The series contains many interesting viewpoints on a variety of drinking issues.

One column that caught my eye proposed new ways to control the mayhem that is State Patty's Day. Another concerned itself less with describing the problems of drinking abuse and focused on finding appropriate solutions.

Check out some of the columns and let me know what you think; especially with drinking, everybody has an opinion.

This picture has a tenuous relationship to the story at best, but I don't care

Climategate Over, Sort-of

You've all heard about "Climategate" (in fact, we blogged about it earlier this week!). Penn State professor Michael Mann has been linked to emails that suggest research was falsified to support the claim for man-made global warming. In response, Penn State began an inquiry committee to look into the matter. After a few weeks of inquiring, the committee has decided to begin investigating instead.

But what is the difference between an Inquiry and an Investigation? Both are outlined in University policy RA10, "Handling Inquiries/Investigations Into Questions of Ethics in Research and in Other Scholarly Activities". This lengthy, yet accurately-titled, policy sets out the procedure to looking into situations such as Mann's.

Find out more after the jump.

DJ Ryan Resigns, Reveals UPUA-CCSG Rift

Those in attendance last night at the UPUA meeting may not have been expecting anything interesting to happen, but they were in for quite a treat.

Drama ensued partway through the marathon session when DJ Ryan, CCSG Liaison to UPUA, resigned his position, effective immediately. The resignation was not a personal decision of Mr. Ryan, but of CCSG as an organization. CCSG, after attempting to collaborate with UPUA on many issues of importance, decided that they were not interested in continuing a formal relationship with a group that did not want to work with them.

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