Scope – Knowledgespeak: STM Industry Daily News Alert

Elsevier announces publication of six new books focused on the applications of advanced materials
STM publisher Elsevier has announced the publication of six new books focused on the applications of advanced materials. The introduction of these books coincides with the Society for Biomaterials 2015 Annual Meeting and Exposition, held April 15-18 in Charlotte, NC. Also at the Society for Biomaterials Annual Meeting, Dr. Jack Lemons, University Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Engineering, will receive the highly acclaimed 2015 Acta Biomaterialia Gold Medal Award.
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Alice Meadows and Douglas Wright join ORCID as new Directors
The Open Research and Contributor ID (ORCID) has announced that Alice Meadows is joining ORCID as Communications Director and Douglas Wright as Membership Director, both starting in May. Alice and Doug will be supported through a grant to ORCID from the Helmsley Charitable Trust.
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Thieme Publishers Delhi to be official publisher of Indian Journal of Neurotrauma
Thieme Publishers Delhi (TPD) has announced that they are now the official publisher of Indian Journal of Neurotrauma. The first issue to be published by TPD will be out in June 2015. The journal, first published in 2004, is the official publication of the Neurotrauma Society of India.
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Infectious Diseases Society for Obstetrics and Gynecology now affiliated with the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology
The American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology (AJOG) has announced a new affiliation between the Infectious Diseases Society for Obstetrics and Gynecology (IDSOG) and AJOG. IDSOG content will now be featured in AJOG, which will include original research, reviews, and IDSOG conference abstracts.
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EBSCO Information Services acquires education technology company, LearningExpress
EBSCO Information Services has announced the acquisition of the education technology company LearningExpress. LearningExpress is an acclaimed provider of online platforms for academic skill-building, standardized test preparation and career-oriented digital content. LearningExpress features interactive online platforms, products and e-books designed to help users achieve their educational and career goals.
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Ex Libris Group appoints Matt Baker as director of support for Ex Libris North America
Library automation services provider Ex Libris Group has announced the appointment of Matt Baker as director of support for Ex Libris North America. Since 2011, Matt has served as director of implementation services in the Professional Services Team.
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ASEE First Bell – Breaking news in the engineering and technology field

Leading the News

Congressional Leaders Agree On Terms For “Fast Track” Authority.

The New York Times  (4/17, Weisman, Subscription Publication) reports that Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin G. Hatch (R-PA) and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul D. Ryan (R-WI) successfully reached a deal over the “fast track” authority that President Obama has requested as he negotiates the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement. The Times notes that the deal included “stringent requirements” in order to “win over Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, the ranking Democrat on the finance panel.” The Times details the measure, which includes making any “final trade agreement public for 60 days before the president signs it, and up to four months before Congress votes.” However, the Times notes that despite the new agreement, “the fight to get the trade promotion bill to the president’s desk will be difficult.”

According to the AP  (4/17, Kellman), under the terms of the new TPA agreement, “Congress gets an up-or-down vote on any such deals,” but would not be able to make changes to the deals. The AP notes that labor unions have said a trade agreement with the Pacific would hinder American job growth and “encourage other countries to abuse workers and the environment;” however, the White House “rejects those claims,” saying that American “goods and services must have greater access to foreign buyers.” Sens. Wyden and Susan Collins (R-ME) also unveiled a “parallel bill” through the Trade Adjustment Assistance program, which would help US workers who may be “adversely affected” by the trade legislation.

The Wall Street Journal  (4/17, Mauldin, Subscription Publication) reports that the new deal will help President Obama reach a trade agreement in the Pacific; however, the “fast track” bill has also caused infighting within the Democratic Party, which has recently opposed such trade deals. The Journal notes that the agreement should move the bill through Congress quickly, where the White House’s ability to maintain enough GOP support and sway enough Democrats to pass the bill will be tested.

CNN  (4/16, Bradner) reports that the deal stuck between the committee chairs “sets the stage for debate over the massive Asia-Pacific pact” but will also force President Obama “into a bitter battle” with his fellow Democrats and some of “his traditional allies – particularly labor unions and environmental groups.” The article notes that the NAM and other business groups “have led the lobbying effort for trade promotion authority,” and a number of those groups lauded Thursday’s news.

Reuters  (4/17, Hughes) reports that the US Trade Representative had stated that the trade negotiations in the Pacific are important to US manufacturers and farmers who wish to expand in that part of the world.

Business Groups Praise New Deal. The Washington Examiner  (4/17, Higgins) reports that leading business groups “praised” the new Trade Promotion Authority legislation. According to the Examiner, NAM Vice President for International Economic Policy David Farr stated that “Trade is increasingly critical” to all US businesses, and those businesses “face higher tariffs and more barriers abroad” than most other “major” economies. Farr added, “Manufacturers need TPA to restore U.S. leadership in striking new trade deals that will knock down barriers so that manufacturers can improve their access to the world’s consumers.”

According to the Washington Times  (4/17, Soch), business groups in the US “were quick to hail” the bipartisan agreement on “fast track” Trade Promotion Authority, which would “renew” the President’s ability to “negotiate major new trade deals with Europe and Asia.”

The National Association of Manufacturers  (4/16, Micetich) issued a press release noting that “manufacturers are rallying behind bipartisan Trade Promotion Authority legislation” introduced on Thursday, with NAM Vice Chair for International Economic Policy and Emerson Chairman and CEO David Farr noting, “Manufacturers need TPA and new market-opening trade agreements now more than ever.” The press release stated that the TPA will help the US establish “market-opening trade agreements that will level the playing field abroad and strengthen the global competitiveness of manufacturers across the country.” NAM Vice President of International Economic Affairs Linda Dempsey added that US manufacturers “are succeeding” where level playing fields have been established.

The Shopfloor  (4/16, Monahah) reported that the actions by Sen. Hatch, Sen. Wyden, and Rep. Ryan. had “demonstrated strong bipartisan, bicameral leadership” that will help US manufacturers “compete more successfully” in the exportation of internationally traded goods. The Shopfloor notes that new trade agreements would give US manufacturers “better access to…95 percent of the world’s consumers” and an international trade market in manufactured goods that is “nearly three times” the size of the domestic market. The articles notes that “the NAM will continue to work with key Senate and House offices to communicate strong manufacturing support for TPA.”

The Hill  (4/17, Needham), the Washington (DC) Post  (4/16, Rubin), the Washington (DC) Post  (4/16, Kane, Nakamura), Politico  (4/17, Behsudi), Bloomberg  (4/17, Dougherty), and the Washington Times  (4/17, Dinan) also reported on this story.

Higher Education

DOE Gives Out More Than $5 Million In Nuclear Energy Scholarships, Fellowships.

The Hill  (4/17, Henry) reports that “ninety-one college students” will divide more than $5 million in Department of Energy “scholarships and fellowships to study in nuclear energy fields.” DOE “officials awarded 59 scholarships worth $7,500 each and 32 three-year graduate fellowships worth $50,000 per year to students pursuing ‘nuclear engineering degrees and other nuclear science and engineering programs relevant to nuclear energy,’ the department announced on Thursday.” DOE “said the scholarships are part of the Obama administration’s ‘efforts to expand clean energy innovation.’” Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz stated, “by helping promote cutting-edge nuclear science and engineering, the Department is helping to advance American leadership in the safe, secure and efficient use of nuclear energy here and around the world.”

From ASEE
March+April Prism now online (members only)
Cover Story: “Growing Pains.” Ethiopia is pushing engineering education harder than any other country In Africa, creating challenges for its academics.

VIDEOS – Watch the speakers and presentations from the Engineering Research Council meeting, held in March.

VIDEOS – Watch a collection of talks from the Public Policy Colloquium, held in February. (Due to audio problems, not all talks were captured.)

ASEE Perks
Learn about the broad collection of benefits available to ASEE members.

Workforce

New York Fed Notes Difficulty Finding Needed Skills When Hiring Workers.

Newsday  (4/17, Madore) reports that the Federal Reserve Bank of New York survey found that “the No. 1 hiring problem” identified by manufacturers was “lack of computer skills,” noting that over 70 percent of “plants reported difficulty in attracting workers with advanced computer skills.”

Business Insider  (4/17, Udland) reports the New York Fed’s manufacturing and business leaders surveys also found that a large number of manufacturers “had difficulty finding punctual workers” and “workers with interpersonal skills.”

Collins: What Manufacturers Must Do To Fix The Skills Gap.

In an article for IndustryWeek  (4/17), Michael Collins notes that the “skilled workforce shortage” detailed in the recent report, “The Skills Gap in U.S. Manufacturing 2015 and Beyond,” is not new, as reports as far back as 1990 have noted the issue. Collins recounts some of his personal experiences and argues that the lack of investment in “advanced skill training” prior to the problem developing was largely due to “money and the avoidance of training investment.” According to Collins, there is “big disconnect” between the skilled labor that studies have identified as needs and the “training that is actually being conducted.” Collins outlines what he believes is needed in today’s “automated plants” and details what manufacturers must do to correct the skills gap problem, including investing in training, recalculating the return on investment, ceasing the pursuit of “low-cost labor,” and “demonstrat[ing] that manufacturing jobs are secure.”

Industry News

North Carolina Manufacturing Institute To Launch On Tuesday.

The Salisbury (NC) Post  (4/16) reports on the launch of the North Carolina Manufacturing Institute, which is designed to help solve the “talent recruitment issues” facing North Carolina’s local employers and ensure that they “grow and remain competitive.” One of the partners of the program’s launch, the Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, noted that the Institute is “modeled after successful initiatives in Indiana” and are “best practice models” for businesses and business groups such as the NAM.

Engineering and Public Policy

Report Finds Environmental Rules Could Eliminate Nearly 300,000 Jobs.

The Washington Times  (4/17, Wolfgang) reports that “new research shows that” President Obama’s proposed environmental regulations “could cost nearly 300,000 U.S. jobs.” According to the Times, a “report from the center-right American Action Forum says the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan – which would dramatically limit carbon emissions from power plants – could lead to the shuttering of more than 90 coal-fired plants across the country.” The “fallout from those closures could eliminate as many as 296,000 jobs, data show.”

Reuters  (4/17, Gardner) reports that co-author of the report Sam Batkins said, “We can’t expect coal worker jobs to go away and there not be some immediate impacts in the jobs that are supported by that industry.”

Appeals Court Appears To Side With Administration On Greenhouse Gas Rules.

The New York Times  (4/17, Davenport, Subscription Publication) reports that a three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit “appeared inclined on Thursday to dismiss the first legal challenge to President Obama’s most far-reaching regulation to slow climate change,” but in the arguments before the court, attorneys “for the nation’s two largest coal companies, more than two dozen states and the Environmental Protection Agency offered a preview of what is expected to be a protracted battle over a regulation Mr. Obama hopes to leave as his signature environmental achievement.” The Times notes that at stake “is the environmental agency’s proposed rule, issued under the authority of the Clean Air Act, to curb planet-warming carbon pollution from coal-fired power plants.” The EPA rule, “which would require all states to draft plans to restructure their electricity sectors and would push them to transition from coal power to cleaner forms of energy, could ultimately shut down hundreds of coal plants.”

The Wall Street Journal  (4/16, Harder, Subscription Publication) reports that the appeals court judges appeared to indicate that the legal challenge may be premature, as the rules are not yet final.

However, according to The Hill  (4/17, Cama), “Judge Karen Henderson was more open to the idea, saying that it is clear that the EPA has made a final decision that it can legally use the Clean Air Act to regulate carbon from power plants,” despite the fact “the proposal is still in its public comment period.” Henderson said, “I see a closed mind in terms of the legal issue. … That’s not going to change with the comments.”

Elementary/Secondary Education

Senate Committee Unanimously Approves Reauthorization Of ESEA.

The Washington Post  (4/17, Brown) reports that the US Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, unanimously approved a bill reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, suggesting that “federal lawmakers might finally be able to reach a deal to rewrite the law known as No Child Left Behind, which expired in 2007.” The measure would retain testing requirements in math and reading for students in grades 3 to 8 and in high school, but would also “significantly reduce the federal role in public schools.” The measure was developed by Sens. Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray.

The AP  (4/16, Freking) reports that Sen. Alexander said that the bill would change current law in order for “the states and local school boards [to] determine what constitutes success.” Education Secretary Arne Duncan said that he is “glad some committee members recognized the need to strengthen the bill’s accountability measures.” He is quoted saying, “Every family and every community deserve to know that schools are helping all children succeed.”

US News & World Report  (4/16, Bidwell) reports the bill has been named the Every Child Achieves Act. It also notes that the committee approved 29 amendments of 57 proposed. It was also “tentatively endorsed” by both the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution  (4/17, Malloy, Tagami) reports,

The Hill  (4/17, Carney) “Floor Action” blog says that the bill “gives more authority to states and local school districts.” The Huffington Post  (4/17, Klein) reports the measure keeps the No Child Left Behind Act’s reliance on “high-stakes testing,” though it also “would give states flexibility to decide how to hold schools’ accountable for low scores.” It also quotes Secretary Duncan praising the action by the committee, adding, “We join with numerous civil rights and business groups in urging that further significant improvements be made to the bill.”

Michigan Senate Approves STEM Endorsement For High School Diplomas.

The AP  (4/17) reports the Michigan state Senate unanimously approved a measure to grant “a special endorsement” to be put on high school diplomas for students who “earn enough credits in science, technology, engineering and math.” The bill is intended to “help students receive training for in-demand jobs and improve their college resumes.” Michigan would be the first state to adopt such an endorsement. To gain the endorsement, students would have to have “six credits each in math and science, and a half-credit each in courses focusing on technology and engineering.”

Kansas BOE Debates Hiring Uncertified Teachers.

The Wichita (KS) Eagle  (4/17, Lowry) reports that some Kansas BOE representatives “expressed reservations” during a board meeting Thursday about a proposal to allow school districts to hire uncertified teachers. Kansas City, Kansas Superintendent Cynthia Lane attempted to assure the board that that the proposal “was not to allow the hiring of less qualified teachers” but to hire for positions where no teachers are available, such as Spanish classes in rural regions. Board Member Jim Porter said that teachers that have not studied education may not be qualified to run classrooms, while Member Steve Roberts said that there are “some instances where someone can come [to education] from industry or someone just has natural gifts,” and that those people should be welcomed.

Los Angeles Unified Rebukes Apple Over iPads.

The Washington Post  (4/16, Strauss) reports in its Answer Sheet blog on the continued coverage of Los Angeles Unified’s letter to Apple, linking to the letter in its entirety and noting that the plan to provide iPads was created by former superintendent John Deasy, “who resigned last year, in part because this effort turned into a debacle.” Teachers “complained” that they did not receive training on how to use the units, and the letter contends that even after a year, “the vast majority of students are still unable to access the Pearson curriculum on iPads.”

If the complaint cannot be resolved, notes NPR  (4/16, Gilbertson) in its “NprEd” blog, LAUSD “could take Apple to court.” Board Member Monica Ratliff said that “Pearson just wasn’t working out” for teachers and that she believes it’s “imperative that Pearson step up and fix the curriculum, or give us back our money.”

SEC Investigating Finance For iPads Project. The Los Angeles Times  (4/17, Blume) adds that the SEC has begun an inquiry into the project to determine if the district “complied with legal guidelines” over the use of bonds to finance the iPad project, particularly whether the bonds were “properly disclosed.” District officials were “optimistic” that SEC’s concerns were addressed. The district prepared a presentation to show the measures it took to explain bond usage to the public, and the Times notes that California law “permits the spending of school construction bonds on technology” as long as intent is indicated.

Young Students Being Trained On Technology Needed For Standardized Tests.

The AP  (4/17, Leff) reports that young students are being trained on technology they will later have to master in order “to excel on standardized tests.” Tasks required of “even the youngest test-takers” include switching screens, using menus, and shifting words and numbers. Educators also note that the tests use different skills than those children may learn on technology at home. University of Southern California Assistant Education Professor Morgan Polikoff said that it is “wrong or foolish or short-sighted to not provide some kind of instruction” on the technology and that its inclusion in the classroom is important not just for the test but to foster important skills.

Principals Said To Play Key Role In School Improvement.

Will Miller, president of the Wallace Foundation, writes in an op-ed in the New York Times  (4/17, Subscription Publication) on the importance of principals for improving schools. He argues the need for getting great principals into “the schools that need them most — those with poor and minority students.” He also cites a study “covering 180 schools in nine states,” by “researchers from the University of Minnesota and the University of Toronto” concluding, “We have not found a single case of a school improving its student achievement record in the absence of talented leadership.” He argues that this means there should be much greater investment in training and development for principals.

Thursday’s Lead Stories

Court To Hear Arguments Against EPA Plan To Cut Carbon Emissions From Power Plants.
University Of Tennessee To Host Women In STEM Symposium.
Ohio Professor Gets NSF Grant For Super-Strong Adhesive Research.
House Republicans Introduce US Research Policy Bill.
Saab, Embraer To Partner On F-X2 Project For Brazilian Air Force.
US Navy Chooses 13 Contractors For $49 Million Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Contract.
Spring ISD Will Convert YMCA Into STEM Center.

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Scope – Knowledgespeak: STM Industry Daily News Alert

Elsevier and the Society for Investigative Dermatology announce publishing agreement
STM publisher Elsevier and the Society for Investigative Dermatology (SID) have entered into a publishing agreement. Beginning in January 2016, Elsevier will publish the Journal of Investigative Dermatology (JID), the official journal of the SID and the European Society for Dermatological Research (ESDR).
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Wiley announces retirement of CEO Steve Smith, Board elects Mark Allin as CEO
Publisher John Wiley and Sons, Inc. has announced that President and CEO Stephen M. Smith has declared his intention to retire due to previously-disclosed medical reasons, effective June 1, 2015. The Board has elected Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Mark Allin as his successor.
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Wolters Kluwer announces integration of UpToDate clinical decision support resource with MV EHR
Healthcare information provider Wolters Kluwer has announced the integration of its clinical decision support (CDS) resource with the electronic health record (EHR) solution from MV, a Brazilian market leader in health management systems. The integration simplifies and streamlines the clinical workflow within health institutions so doctors can focus on providing the best quality care for their patients.
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SAGE launches Business Researcher, the first in a series of library business resources
Academic publisher SAGE has announced the launch of SAGE Business Researcher which comprises biweekly in-depth reports, data, short articles, expert views, and resources for deeper investigation on the most pressing topics in business and management. SAGE Business Researcher is the first in a suite of resources that draws upon a thorough understanding of business curricula and research to support teaching and to guide students through all stages of undergraduate and graduate careers.
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Innovative Interfaces and EBSCO announce integration of YBP Library Services and EBSCO online ordering with Sierra
Innovative Interfaces and EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO) have announced the integration of YBP Library Services (YBP) and EBSCO online ordering with Sierra. The integration will leverage the value each partner offers to benefit mutual customers by significantly reducing the number of steps required to complete a purchase and improving the overall workflow.
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OCLC signs agreements with publishers in the Humanities, Social Sciences and Business
OCLC, a non-profit, membership, computer library service and research organisation, has signed agreements with leading publishers in the Humanities, Social Sciences and Business to add metadata for books, e-books, journals, audiovisual materials and databases that will make their content discoverable through WorldCat Discovery Services. Metadata from some of these publishers will also be made available to users through other OCLC services based on individual agreements.
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University of Edinburgh to implement Ex Libris Alma and Primo
Library automation services provider Ex Libris Group has announced that the University of Edinburgh has selected the next-generation Alma® unified resource management solution and the Primo® discovery and delivery solution. Primo will enable the Library to achieve its goal of providing rapid and seamless discovery, access and use of collections. Alma will offer the University of Edinburgh Library automated workflows to improve many of its services.
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ASEE First Bell – Breaking news in the engineering and technology field

Leading the News

Court To Hear Arguments Against EPA Plan To Cut Carbon Emissions From Power Plants.

The AP  (4/16, Hananel) reports the “centerpiece” of President Obama’s “effort to tackle climate change is facing a high-profile legal test as a federal appeals court considers a plan that has triggered furious opposition from Republicans, industry figures and coal-reliant states.” The US Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit will hear “arguments Thursday in two cases challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s ambitious proposal to slash carbon pollution from the nation’s coal-fired power plants that is blamed for global warming.” The lawsuits, one brought by Murray Energy Corp. and the other by a coalition of states, “are part of a growing political attack from opponents who say the move is illegal and will kill jobs, cripple demand for coal and drive up electricity prices.” The AP notes “at issue before the court is whether the EPA has legal authority for its plan under the Clean Air Act.”

The Hill  (4/16, Cama) reports that “while both cases are seen as facing an uphill battle, the court randomly assigned three of its most conservative judges to the panel hearing the case.” Each of the judges, “Karen Henderson, Thomas Griffith and Brett Kavanaugh — were appointed by Republican presidents.” But to supporters “of the EPA’s rule, a conservative panel can’t overshadow the longstanding precedent in which a regulation must be made final before it can be overturned.” Critics and supporters “of the regulation fully expect that such a lawsuit will be filed shortly after the EPA finalizes the rule, and that the case will likely be appealed all the way to the Supreme Court.”

The New Orleans Times-Picayune  (4/16, Lane) and Bloomberg News  (4/16, Drajem, Zajac) also provide coverage of this story.

In an editorial the Washington Times  (4/16) writes that “the court should still the EPA’s overreaching hand and enable the states to decide how best to balance the need for a clean environment with the necessity of providing electricity for homes and businesses.”

Higher Education

University Of Tennessee To Host Women In STEM Symposium.

The Knoxville (TN) News Sentinel  (4/16) reports that the STEM committee within the University of Tennessee Commission for Women will hosts the Women in STEM Research Symposium Saturday on campus to present research they have created and to help combat misconceptions about the fields, which many believe to be “difficult.” The event is intended to encourage undergraduates, especially women, to keep studying the subjects. Committee Leader Mallory Ladd adds that the underrepresentation of women in STEM fields is nationwide and that the problem gets worse the further into a specialty one goes.

Former Corinthian Students May Get Loan Relief.

Bloomberg News  (4/16, Lorin, Staiti) reports that the Department of Education suggested late on Tuesday that former students of Corinthian College, “who have borrowed billions of dollars through the federal student-loan program, may have their debts forgiven if they can show they have been defrauded.” ED has “received demands from at least 250 students to have their loans forgiven as borrowers staged what they called a ‘debt strike,’” according to an unidentified “agency official.” The article quotes Under Secretary Ted Mitchell saying in a statement, “When our borrowers bring claims to us that their school committed fraud or other violations of state law against them, we will give them the relief that they are entitled to under federal law and regulations.”

$30 Million Fine Latest In Corinthian’s String Of Troubles. The Washington Post  (4/15, Douglas-Gabriel) reports in its “Wonkblog” blog about the implosion of Corinthian Colleges Inc. last year, taking note of the accusations of fraudulent practices that led ED to cut off Federal financial aid, and touching on the plight of students who now owe thousands for student loans. The piece reports on the recently announced ED fine of $30 million against the firm “for misrepresenting job placement rates to students at its Heald College campuses.” The Post quotes Under Secretary Ted Mitchell saying, “Instead of providing clear and accurate information to help students choose which college to attend, Corinthian violated students’ and taxpayers’ trust. Their substantial misrepresentations evidence a blatant disregard not just for professional standards, but for students’ futures.”

Corinthian Fine Could Signal Renewed Push To Regulate For-Profits. The Chronicle of Higher Education  (4/16) reports that in addition to the fine, ED is cutting off Title IV funding to the Heald campuses, quoting Education Secretary Arne Duncan saying, “This should be a wake-up call for consumers across the country about the abuses that can exist within the for-profit college sector. We will continue to hold the career-college industry accountable and demand reform for the good of students and taxpayers.” The Chronicle suggests that the move against Corinthian could mean that ED is “devoting renewed attention to such reporting by for-profit colleges, and could have implications that extend far beyond Corinthian.”

ED Approves Two Competency-Based Programs.

Inside Higher Ed  (4/15) reports that ED has approved programs at Walden University and the Texas State College System “that do not rely on the credit hour” for Federal student aid eligibility. The programs are based on “a form of competency-based education called direct assessment,” and join four others that have been given the green light by ED and accreditors.

Wealthiest Universities’ Endowments Grow Faster.

The Wall Street Journal  (4/16, Korn, Subscription Publication) writes that a report to be published by Moody’s Investors Service found that the top 40 wealthiest universities’ endowments are growing faster than those of other schools, attributing to strong performance on investments and donors. The schools had their assets grow half-again between fiscal 2009 and fiscal 2014, much better than those with less money but similar credit ratings.

From ASEE
March+April Prism now online (members only)
Cover Story: “Growing Pains.” Ethiopia is pushing engineering education harder than any other country In Africa, creating challenges for its academics.VIDEOS – Watch the speakers and presentations from the Engineering Research Council meeting, held in March.

VIDEOS – Watch a collection of talks from the Public Policy Colloquium, held in February. (Due to audio problems, not all talks were captured.)

ASEE Perks
Learn about the broad collection of benefits available to ASEE members.

Accreditation and Professional Development

Ohio Professor Gets NSF Grant For Super-Strong Adhesive Research.

The Akron (OH) Beacon Journal  (4/16) reports that the National Science Foundation has given University of Akron mechanical engineering professor Shing-Chung Josh Wong a $736,000 grant to support his research into a “super-strong adhesive,” noting that he was inspired to develop the “dry, reusable adhesive” by “the ability of a variety of creatures, including geckos, spiders, flies and mussels, to stick to surfaces and hang upside down from them.” The piece notes that Wong has cofounded a firm called Akron Ascent Innovations to develop the substance, which is “spun from a blend of polymers.”

The Cleveland Plain Dealer  (4/16) reports that potential customers for the adhesive “include industrial and consumer adhesive suppliers, automobile and aerospace manufacturers, biomedical and other industries.”

Research and Development

House Republicans Introduce US Research Policy Bill.

Science Magazine  (4/16, Mervis, Malakoff) reports “the science committee in the U.S. House of Representatives took a major step today in its 2-year effort to reshape federal research policy.” The committee introduced “a long-awaited and controversial bill that covers the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), research at the Department of Energy (DOE), and federal science education policy.” The legislation “calls for funding most Office of Science programs at 2016 levels that match those proposed by the Obama Administration, and then keeping budgets flat in 2017.” The Office of Science overall “would get a 5.4% boost to $5.34 billion.” The bill also increases funding for fusion research but it cuts the Office of Science’s Biological and Environmental Research (BER) program.

Global Developments

Saab, Embraer To Partner On F-X2 Project For Brazilian Air Force.

Bloomberg  (4/16) reports that Saab and Embraer have announced that they will partner to jointly manage the F-X2 project for the Brazilian Air Force. The article enumerates the roles that the companies will play in the contract, with Embraer to conduct “systems development, integration, flight test, final assembly and aircraft deliveries” and more. Bloomberg notes that the partnership is contingent on contracts between Saab and COMAER coming into effect, which is expected before H2 2015.

Reuters  (4/15, Gaier) reports that the partners, who formalized their partnership Tuesday on the $5.4 billion project at the LAAD defense fair, intend to develop a plan before July that would begin exports of the Gripen fighter jet from Brazil by 2023, when delivery of 36 Gripen NG single-engine jets to the Brazilian Air Force is completed, according to Embraer defense unit head Jackson Schneider. That contract is set to begin in 2018.

Engineering and Public Policy

US Navy Chooses 13 Contractors For $49 Million Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Contract.

GovCon Wire  (4/16, Forrester) reports that the US Navy’s Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division will work with 13 contractors as part of its five-year, $49 million indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract to support intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance. The contractors are BAE Systems, Alion Science and Technology, Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, DigitalGlobe, Exelis, G3 Technologies, Herrick Technology Laboratories, The HumanGeoGroup, Leidos, NAL Research, Northrop Grumman, Xetron, Scientific Research Corp, and the Southwest Research Institute.

House Commission Grants Approval To $35B Energy, Water Spending Bill.

The Hill  (4/16, Henry) reports, “Energy and Water appropriators easily passed their $35.4 billion funding bill on Wednesday.” The legislation “spends $1.2 billion more in 2016 than the current fiscal year, $633 million less than President Obama requested in his budget.” Despite the “easy passage” of the bill, “subcommittee Chairman Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) acknowledged that Congress and the White House could still spar over amendments as the legislative process continues.” The “underlying bill” boosts “funding for nuclear weapons security programs, the Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Energy programs and scientific research, among other things.” In addition “it cuts funding for renewable energy programs by $279 million while increasing funding for research into fossil fuels and nuclear power.”

House Panel Clears Bill To Give States Power To Regulate Coal Ash.

The AP  (4/16) reports that on Wednesday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee approved a bill giving the authority to regulate coal ash to the states on a 32-19 vote. The AP says that the bill “largely” bypasses an EPA rule issued last year.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Up 2% From 2012 To 2013.

The Daily Caller  (4/16, Bastasch) reported that the EPA says that greenhouse gas emissions rose two percent from 2012 to 2013, “despite” Administration efforts to reduce the gases. The EPA said that the increase was due to an “increase in the carbon intensity of fuels consumed to generate electricity due to an increase in coal consumption” due to the exceptionally cold winter and economic factors. The Caller also notes that the EPA says that emissions are down nine percent since 2005, but says that the US “saw a huge decrease in emissions after the recession hit in 2007.”

The Hill  (4/15, Henry) reports that electricity generation “accounted for 31 percent of those emissions, followed by transportation at 27 percent, and 21 percent from industry and manufacturing.” In its press release, the EPA said, “Current greenhouse gas and fuel economy standards for cars and light trucks and EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan will eliminate billions of tons of greenhouse gas pollution, save lives through air quality benefits and save Americans money at the pump.”

Elementary/Secondary Education

Spring ISD Will Convert YMCA Into STEM Center.

The Houston Chronicle  (4/16, Kirk) reports that the Spring Independent School District is “planning to move forward” with creating a STEM multipurpose center at a former YMCA. Meetings conducted between March 23 and 31 received more than 4,100 comments from the community as to what the center should become. The center may be used for community education, college prep, and parental engagement. Bids to convert the facility will be sought starting in May.

Girls-Only Academies In Los Angeles Will Focus On STEM, Athletics.

The Education Week  (4/16) reports in its District Dossier blog on the continuing story about the Los Angeles Girls-Only Academies. It notes that one of the two schools would be a district-run STEM academy, while the other would be a charter focused on athletics. Both would open in 2016-17. Superintendent Ramon C. Cortines said that the district’s female student population is “underserved in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.” An academy for boys is also under consideration. Education Week notes that the ED has given an explanation for helping districts develop single-gendered schools without triggering Title IX reprisal.

Project Leads The Way CEO Argues VEX Robotics Championship Shows Importance Of STEM Careers.

President and CEO of STEM Nonprofit Project Lead The Way Vince Bertram argues in an op-ed in the Louisville (KY) Courier-Journal  (4/15) reports that the 2015 VEX Robotics World Championship underscores the importance of giving US students opportunities in STEM fields. He contends that “too many American students are missing out” on STEM preparation and graduate high school “inadequately prepared for college and careers,” and that competitions such as the VEX Robotics Championship is “engaging and relevant” to students. Finally, the Championship “illustrate[s] that progress is being made” to prepare students for “the jobs of tomorrow.”

Wednesday’s Lead Stories

Five Senators Push Back On McConnell’s Efforts To Have States Opt-Out Of Clean Power Plan.
ED Fines Corinthian Unit $30 Million Over Job Placement Claims.
WSJournal Op-Ed: Patent Troll Legislation Is Too Broad, Could Hurt Universities.
“Position Gap” More Important Than Wage Gap For Women In Tech.
Telecom Firms File Legal Challenge To FCC’s Net Neutrality Rules.
Los Angeles Unified School District Approves All-Girl STEM Academy.

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Scope – Knowledgespeak: STM Industry Daily News Alert

The Frankfurt Book Fair and Publishing Perspectives co-organise The Markets: Global Publishing Summit
The Frankfurt Book Fair and Publishing Perspectives will launch a new event – The Markets: Global Publishing Summit – to better help publishers around the world understand and create partnerships in seven important current and future markets this fall. On October 13, 2015, The Markets will showcase seven strong and vibrant regions, along with a publishing segment from each region, that offer promising opportunities for international business and partnerships.
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Springer and Regenerative Engineering Society partner to launch new journal, Regenerative Engineering and Translational Medicine
STM publisher Springer has launched Regenerative Engineering and Translational Medicine in partnership with the newly formed Regenerative Engineering Society. The new international journal will cover the convergence of multiple fields, including tissue generation, advanced materials science, stem cell research, the physical sciences and developmental biology, and is actively seeking submissions.
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Four Elsevier products named SIIA Content CODiE Awards finalists
Four products from STM publisher Elsevier have been named finalists for the 2015 SIIA CODiE Awards in multiple categories. Finalists represent the information industry’s best products, technologies, and services created by or for media, publishers, and information services providers.
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CABI partners with PlumX to measure impact of agricultural and environmental research
Scientists at CABI will be able to gauge the impact of their agricultural and environmental research in several unique ways by partnering with PlumX from PlumTM Analytics, an EBSCO company. As part of a six-month pilot program, CABI is using PlumX metrics to measure the recent research of its authors and is showcasing their articles and books on CAB Direct, its scientific research portal.
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IEEE and IHA join forces to advance innovation across ehealth ecosystems
Technical professional organisation IEEE has announced a joint effort between IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA), IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (IEEE-EMBS) and the Intelligent Health Association (IHA). These organisations are working cooperatively to advance development and promotion of interoperable, standards-based solutions, and to introduce new educational programs within the global healthcare ecosystem.
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Prof. David Maguire to succeed Prof. Martin Hall as Jisc chair
Professor David Maguire, vice-chancellor at the University of Greenwich, has been appointed into the role of Jisc chair. He follows in the immensely successful footsteps of Professor Sir Tim O’Shea and more recently Professor Martin Hall and brings with him a wealth of experience in both the US and UK, spanning the education and IT sectors.
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SHARE unveils beta version of free notification service, SHARE Notify
SHARE has launched a public beta version of its free notification service, SHARE Notify, to make research more widely accessible, discoverable, and reusable. SHARE Notify generates a normalised feed of research release events such as posting a preprint to a disciplinary repository, depositing a data set into a data repository, publishing a peer-reviewed article from diverse sources and with varied schema.
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Cambridge University Press unveils new Open Access Monograph Publishing Service
Academic publisher Cambridge University Press is launching a new Open Access Monograph Publishing Service offering authors a way to publish their books via open access in a fairly priced way. This new service gives authors the option of publishing their work under the Gold Open Access model, supporting the Press’s mission to disseminate knowledge at the highest international levels of excellence.
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APA to publish Online Journal Behavioral Development Bulletin
The American Psychological Association has announced that it will begin publishing the online journal Behavioral Development Bulletin® in April. The biannual journal, previously published by Behavior Analyst Online, covers research in cognitive and emotional development, developmental theory, socialisation, education and speech-language pathology.
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AccessEngineering trial through May 15, 2015

Trial Database: AccessEngineering

Dates: Now through May 15, 2015

Contact: Bob Heyer-Gray

Description:

The UC Davis Libraries are pleased to offer trial access to McGraw-Hill’s AccessEngineering, a database that provides full-text access to engineering handbooks, instructional videos, downloadable calculators, interactive tables and graphs, student study guides, and global engineering news.

Access this trial database through May 15, 2015.

Feedback: Your feedback on the usefulness of this resource for teaching, learning, and research is much appreciated. Please e-mail the contact above with your thoughts on AccessEngineering.

Note: Access is through IP authentication for on campus access. For off campus access, please use the VPN.

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ASEE First Bell – Breaking news in the engineering and technology field

Leading the News

Five Senators Push Back On McConnell’s Efforts To Have States Opt-Out Of Clean Power Plan.

The Hill  (4/15, Henry) reports a group of Senate Democrats “is dragging Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) home turf into the fight over the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan.” Led by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, the five senators, “penned a letter to the nation’s governors Tuesday saying that McConnell’s views on climate change are out of line with his own Kentucky constituents, and urging states to comply with the climate rule.” The letter is an attempt “to rebuff McConnell’s March op-ed encouraging states to opt out of writing their own regulations under the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed emissions reduction plan.” The letter “highlights a litany of Kentucky institutions — from universities to government agencies to a gas company — that either agree on the science behind climate change or support climate-change legislation.”

Roll Call  (4/15, Lesniewski) reports that also signing the letter “were Democrats Barbara Boxer of California, Al Franken of Minnesota and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, as well as Bernard Sanders, an independent from Vermont.” The senators wrote, “Before you take advice about climate change from Senator McConnell please consider first what so many knowledgeable voices from the Bluegrass State are saying about climate change, and second how failing to act gives up your state’s right to set its own course of action toward a clean energy future.”

The National Journal  (4/15, Plautz, Subscription Publication) reports that last month McConnell wrote in a letter to the National Governors Association that “the EPA proposal is ‘already on shaky legal grounds’ and said states wouldn’t face legal consequences for not complying.”

About 17% Of US Coal-Fired Power Generation Set To End.

In a piece that features an interactive map, Bloomberg  (4/15, Roston, Migliozzi) reports that according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, about 17 percent of US coal-fired power generation will “vanish in the next few years,” due to aging coal plants, “the abundance of cheap natural gas and a new EPA rule that begins taking effect April 16.”

Senate Democrats Look To Counter McConnell’s Governors Move. Meanwhile, the Huffington Post  (4/14, Barron-Lopez) reports that a “handful” of Senate Democrats are “pushing back” against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who sent a letter to governors “urging them to not comply with the administration’s signature climate rule” limiting “pollution from existing power plants.” The Democrats “are sending all 50 governors their own message,” calling on them to cooperate with the EPA’s rules.

Higher Education

ED Fines Corinthian Unit $30 Million Over Job Placement Claims.

A brief New York Times  (4/15, Lewin, Subscription Publication) item reports that ED has given Corinthian Colleges Inc. a $30 million fine “for misrepresenting the job placement rates at its Heald College,” citing “947 false placement rates given to students and prospective students.” The article reports that the firm sometimes hired temp agencies “to hire graduates for on-campus temporary jobs and counted those students as placed,” and also “counted as placed students who got their jobs even before enrolling.”

The AP  (4/15, Horwitz) reports that ED alleges that Heald “engaged in egregious misconduct and misled students,” noting that parent firm Corinthian “collapsed last summer amid a cash shortage and fraud allegations.” The piece notes that ED says that Heald showed “a pattern of falsifying post-graduation employment data.” For example, the firm reported that one of its grads was working as an accountant, even though “she was working at Taco Bell.”

In its coverage, Bloomberg News  (4/14) quotes Education Secretary Arne Duncan saying, “This should be a wake-up call for consumers across the country about the abuses that can exist within the for-profit college sector. We will continue to hold the career college industry accountable and demand reform for the good of students and taxpayers.” This piece notes parenthetically that Corinthian imploded last year when ED “curtailed its access to federal student aid.”

Nevada Considers STEM Grants For Community College Workforce Development.

The AP  (4/15, Snyder) reports that Nevada is considering bills that would put around $10 million toward state community colleges to grow a specialized workforce in the state. Supporters claim the measures will “provide badly needed grant funding” to train workers in emerging industries. The proposals will fund STEM programs, and while no action was taken by the Senate Finance Committee Tuesday, no one has opposed the bills.

Community College Students Compete To Design Mars Rover.

The Tri-City Herald (WA)  (4/15) reports Columbia Basin College students will complete with groups from over 200 other community colleges in a NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars spring program competition to design a Mars rover. The Herald notes that NASA’s program “aims to bring more minorities into science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, related careers.”

Report Finds Student Loan Delinquency May Be Over 30 Percent.

The Wall Street Journal  (4/15, Mitchell) reports in its “Real Time Economics” blog, citing research from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, that student loans have higher rates of delinquency than reported by the Education Department and higher rates than other forms of consumer debt. The St. Louis Fed found that 31.5 percent are behind on payments by at least 30 days. It notes that official reports generally include all those with student loans including those who are not required to make payments because they are still in school or for other reasons. An earlier report by the New York Fed using that measure found that 17 percent of those with student loan debt were behind on their payments. The St. Louis Fed counted only those with student debt who are currently required to make payments. By comparison, just 8.5 percent of borrowers with auto loans were 30 days behind.

MOOCs Seen As Expensive, Ineffective.

US News & World Report  (4/14, Derousseau) reports that the University of California’s Online Instruction Pilot Project, a program for “an all-digital ‘campus’” to offer access to its education to students otherwise “shut out” of the university, is now “another expensive example of the ineffectiveness” of Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs). The program, initially intended to allow California students to enroll in courses on other campuses and to allow non-UC students to enroll in courses for $1,000 to $2,000 each, has largely abandoned the second goal after just 250 students from outside the university enrolled from spring 2012 to spring 2014. Now, renamed as the Innovative Learning Technology Initiative, the program focuses on the first goal. I. Elaine Allen of Babson College, who has studied the matter, says that MOOCs “have not been shown to bring more students to a school, and they have incredible attrition.” The program at the University of California cost $7 million to establish.

From ASEE
March+April Prism now online (members only)
Cover Story: “Growing Pains.” Ethiopia is pushing engineering education harder than any other country In Africa, creating challenges for its academics.

VIDEOS – Watch the speakers and presentations from the Engineering Research Council meeting, held in March.

VIDEOS – Watch a collection of talks from the Public Policy Colloquium, held in February. (Due to audio problems, not all talks were captured.)

ASEE Perks
Learn about the broad collection of benefits available to ASEE members.

Research and Development

WSJournal Op-Ed: Patent Troll Legislation Is Too Broad, Could Hurt Universities.

The Presidents of Boston University and Clemson University, Robert Brown and James Clements, respectively, argue in a Wall Street Journal  (4/15, Brown, Clements, Subscription Publication) op-ed against the proposed Innovation Act in Congress intended to fight patent trolls. They contend the bill’s language is much too broad and could make research at universities riskier.

Lawmakers Investigate Possible Gender Bias In Approval Process For Federal STEM Grants.

In continuing coverage, Science Magazine  (4/15, Mervis) analyzes gender bias in “careers in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields,” noting that “the top Democrats on three committees in the U.S. House of Representatives—all women—are concerned” and have “asked the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to ask the six leading federal research agencies for data on their applicant pools.” The article notes that the NIH and NSF “keep careful records as part of an ongoing effort to monitor whether agency officials and grant reviewers are discriminating against women and minority scientists.” The GAO noted that DOD, DOE, and NASA, do not “routinely” collect such data.

Workforce

“Position Gap” More Important Than Wage Gap For Women In Tech.

The Washington Post  (4/14, Peterson) reports in its “The Switch” blog that while “many tech jobs have among the smallest gender wage gaps of all occupations,” a recent survey by Dice found that “men were much more likely to have a job title that paid better.” The Post reports that instead of a wage gap, the tech industry has a “position gap.” Academics suggest that “ingroup favoritism” is responsible for most modern forms of discrimination. Given that, “the lack of women at the top means it’s even harder for young women to climb the ladder.”

“Chorus” Of Lawmakers: Oil Train, Pipeline Safety Rules Not Moving Fast Enough.

McClatchy  (4/15, Tate, Subscription Publication) reports that on Tuesday, a “chorus” of lawmakers “expressed frustration” with a pair of DOT officials over “the delays in approving and implementing various regulations related to the movement of hazardous materials by rail and pipeline.” Sarah Feinberg of the Federal Railroad Administration and Tim Butters of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration argued that they “have little choice but to work within a multi-step process that involves public comment, industry participation and multiple layers of review by the White House Office of Management and Budget.”

Engineering and Public Policy

Telecom Firms File Legal Challenge To FCC’s Net Neutrality Rules.

Politico  (4/14, Boliek) reports that the Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality rules “came under a new legal assault Tuesday, as the major wireless and cable industry trade groups filed lawsuits to overturn the order.” CTIA – The Wireless Association, “which represents AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile, filed its suit in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.” The National Cable & Telecommunications Association, whose members include Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Cablevision, “went to the same court, as did the American Cable Association, which represents smaller cable operators.” The legal challenges, “which were widely anticipated, reflect a new phase in the net neutrality debate, with the telecom industry seeking to derail the FCC effort in court.” The FCC’s Democratic majority voted in February “to regulate broadband service like a public utility to ensure equal treatment of Web traffic – a move the industry views as heavy-handed regulation that will harm innovation.”

Elementary/Secondary Education

Los Angeles Unified School District Approves All-Girl STEM Academy.

The AP  (4/15, Armario) reports that the Los Angeles Unified School District approved the creation of an all-girl STEM school to promote female achievement in the subjects and prevent the achievement gap that emerges for girls in middle and high school. The approval is conditioned on approval from the state BOE to create a single-gender school and would open in 2016 to a group of 200 students from sixth to ninth grade, eventually growing to all high school grades

Volunteers In Washington DC Region Help Show Practical Side Of Science To Students.

The Gaithersburg (MD) Gazette  (4/14, McEwan) reports that the American Association for the Advancement of Science/Senior Scientists and Engineers Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics [STEM] Volunteer Program has grown from eight members in 2004 to 160 members in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC. The volunteers, all scientists, work with science teachers to show students the “practical application” of scientific learning.

STEM Program CEO: Parents Play Major Role In Promoting STEM.

Project Lead The Way CEO Vince Betram writes in an op-ed to US News & World Report  (4/14) that parents are “a child’s first teacher” and are critical in developing their children’s interest in STEM fields, even if they are not particularly well versed in the fields themselves. He argues they can accomplish this by engaging children in their education, supporting them with an environment that promotes learning, foster creativity, and allow them to grow their critical thinking skills. Particular actions that can help include extracurricular activities like robotics club, summer Internet activities, and hands-on learning. Parents are particularly important for showing girls that STEM fields are not off-limits.

Robotics Competition Team’s Robot Is Recovered By Police After Theft.

The Washington Post  (4/14, Balingit) reports that on Monday, police recovered Loudoun County high school students’ robot which was lost in an auto theft. The robot was designed by the students for competition in a robotics tournament, however its recovery came too late for it to be shipped to St. Louis for the tournament. Students instead will be using a quickly-built replacement robot.

Baltimore Schools Join NASA In STEM Program.

The iSchoolGuide  (4/14) reports Port Discovery Children’s Museum in Baltimore, Maryland and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center are “joining hands to offer two (2) engineering based programs to elementary aged children in the Baltimore area.” Dean Kearn, Deputy Director for the Office of Education at the Goddard Space Flight Center, said in a press release, “The goal of our collaboration is to promote student interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) during a student’s elementary school years.” The program “will be offered as an afterschool program at four Baltimore County sites and will introduce elementary-aged students to the principles of engineering and problem solving.”

Tuesday’s Lead Stories

Administration Tightens Offshore Drilling Rules.
GAO Study Examined Tracking Of Demographic Data Of STEM Grant Winners.
Study: Faculty Biased Toward Women For College Science Jobs.
Blog: States Ahead Of Feds In Fracking Regulations.
STEM Support Ranks Highest In California Spending Priorities Poll.

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Scope – Knowledgespeak: STM Industry Daily News Alert

Springer and Altmetric launch Bookmetrix, a new platform for book impact
STM publisher Springer has become the first publisher to offer title and chapter level metrics across all of their books via a new platform, Bookmetrix. Developed in partnership with metrics provider Altmetric, the data captured via Bookmetrix is displayed on the book pages on Springer’s content platform SpringerLink and reports how often an individual book or chapter is mentioned, shared, reviewed or read online.
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IPR License and SAGE announce partnership at LBF 2015
IPR License, the global rights and licensing trading platform, teamed up with academic publisher SAGE to further extend its remit into the international content rights marketplace on the opening day of the London Book Fair 2015. SAGE will look to utilise the speed, simplicity and scope of IPR’s bespoke transactional subsidiary book and journal solution TradeRights to bolster its international licensing remit.
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The University of Minnesota Press and Columbia University Press to join OUP’s University Press Scholarship Online
Academic publisher Oxford University Press (OUP) has announced that The University of Minnesota Press will join University Press Scholarship Online (UPSO) in August 2015. The Minnesota Scholarship Online (tentatively called MPSO) site will go live with 389 titles across a broad range of subject areas. Columbia University Press will also be joining University Press Scholarship Online (UPSO) in November 2015.
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New State of America’s Libraries Report finds shift in role of US libraries
The American Library Association (ALA) has released The State of America’s Libraries Report, according to which, academic, public and school libraries are experiencing a shift in how they are perceived by their communities and society. No longer just places for books, libraries of all types are viewed as anchors, centers for academic life and research and cherished spaces.
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McKesson exhibits new organisation-wide content management tool, OneContent, during HIMSS15
Healthcare services and information technology company McKesson has announced that it will exhibit a new organisation-wide content management tool, OneContent, during HIMSS15 in Chicago, April 12-16. OneContent delivers enterprise-wide data in a single, centralised system designed for efficient hospital workflow, regardless of the electronic health records (EHR) system or document management products in place.
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ASEE First Bell – Breaking news in the engineering and technology field

Leading the News

Administration Tightens Offshore Drilling Rules.

The Washington Post  (4/14, Warrick) reports that five years after the BP spill, the Administration on Monday moved to “tighten regulations for offshore oil rigs, saying the new measures would help prevent oil-well blowouts and minimize environmental damage from future leaks.” The Department of the Interior announced proposals that would “substantially overhaul the technical guidelines for drilling on the US continental shelf, adding dozens of new requirements aimed mostly at stopping high-pressure undersea wells from blowing their tops.”

McClatchy  (4/13, Cockerham, Subscription Publication) reports the rule “calls for tighter requirements on blowout preventers,” among other things. Secretary of Interior Jewell said, “These proposed measures are designed to further build on critical lessons learned from the Deepwater Horizon tragedy to ensure that offshore operations are safe.”

The New York Times  (4/14, Davenport, Baker, Subscription Publication) reports that officials said the new regulations were “developed after consulting industry representatives, environmentalists, academics and others interested in the issue,” and Interior estimated that they “would cost about 90 companies a total of $883 million over 10 years, but officials said many firms were already moving toward compliance on their own and predicted $656 million in net benefits over the next decade.”

Higher Education

GAO Study Examined Tracking Of Demographic Data Of STEM Grant Winners.

According to The Hill  (4/14, Trujillo), a new report from the Government Accountability Office shows that the National Institute of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Department of Agriculture track demographic data on the recipients of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) grants. The GAO found that the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, and NASA do not collect “information on sex and race of grant winners,” for reasons including “confusion over whether they were allowed to legally do so.” The Hill adds that the report “was commissioned by a group of House Democrats who are looking to increase female and minority voices in STEM fields.”

Forgiving Corinthian 100 Debt Could Cost Billions.

The AP  (4/14, Hefling, Horwitz) reports that a number of Senators and state attorneys general are supporting the efforts of a number of former Corinthian Colleges Inc. students to have their debts forgiven, but such a move “could cost the federal government billions” and allow “other former for-profit students — or other unhappy borrowers — to seek similar relief.” The piece notes that Corinthian imploded last year “under pressure from the Education Department,” and quotes Under Secretary Ted Mitchell saying, “These are tragic stories and I’m extraordinarily sympathetic and really want to do what is right and fair.” The piece includes a Q&A about the plight of the Corinthian 100 and other struggling student loan consumers.

Corinthian Debt Striker Profiled. The Santa Cruz (CA) Sentinel  (4/13) profiles Makenzie Vasquez, a waitress from Santa Cruz, California, who owes $30,000 “in student loans at an eight-month medical assisting program at Everest College in San Jose that she says locked her out before she could finish.” Vasquez and the other Corinthian 100 are “refusing to pay their student loans,” citing part of the Higher Education Act that allows borrowers to “fight federal student loan collection if their school violated state law.”

Colleges Raising Tuition As State Support Wanes.

Caralee Adams writes at the Education Week  (4/14) “College Bound” blog that according to a new report from the State Education Executive Officer Association, colleges are boosting tuition for the third year running to offset stagnant state higher education support. The piece reports that tuition now makes up 47.1% of public college revenues, while this figure was 25% in 1989.

The Washington Post  (4/13, Douglas-Gabriel) reports in its “Wonkblog” blog that given declining state revenues, colleges are “increasingly relying on money from families paying ever-rising tuition.” The report notes that states actually increased higher education spending last year, but “tuition accounted for nearly half of public school revenue for the third year in a row.” Student advocates say that “college has become unaffordable for many families because of lower funding from state governments.”

New Education Models Eroding Grad School Employment.

An analysis in the Washington Post  (4/13, Selingo) argues that there is a “downward trend in graduate enrollment” stemming from a “permanent shift in how today’s working adults acquire education throughout their lifetimes.” The piece notes that traditionally, advancing careers relied on graduate-level education. Now, however, non-traditional higher education options such as Khan Academy, General Assembly, Skillshare, Lynda.com, Coursera, and Dev Bootcamp, “are starting to attract students who normally would have pursued a graduate degree or certificate.” Such programs “offer short spurts of content…when students need it instead of giving them a full helping of a degree.”

From ASEE
March+April Prism now online (members only)
Cover Story: “Growing Pains.” Ethiopia is pushing engineering education harder than any other country In Africa, creating challenges for its academics.

VIDEOS – Watch the speakers and presentations from the Engineering Research Council meeting, held in March.

VIDEOS – Watch a collection of talks from the Public Policy Colloquium, held in February. (Due to audio problems, not all talks were captured.)

ASEE Perks
Learn about the broad collection of benefits available to ASEE members.

Workforce

Study: Faculty Biased Toward Women For College Science Jobs.

The Christian Science Monitor  (4/13) reports that according to research from Cornell University, “when hundreds of U.S. college faculty members rated junior scientists” to determine which should be hired, “they preferred women over identically qualified men two-to-one.” Noting that the study was part of an attempt to “explain women’s underrepresentation in academic science,” the article reports that co-author Wendy Williams of Cornell said that the “bias toward women ‘was totally unexpected.’” The piece reports that researchers suggested that “this apparent female advantage was because women who overcome the hurdles to a STEM Ph.D. are generally stronger candidates than male counterparts.”

Website Encourages Women In The Oil, Gas Industry.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune  (4/13, Larino) reports on women’s role in the energy industry, pointing to “Pink Petro, a private social networking website and mobile application for men and women in the industry to confront some of the tougher reasons for why women leave careers in energy.” The article reports that “the network, sponsored by Halliburton and Shell Oil Co., has more than 700 users in 12 countries since launching March 11,” and “aims to have 30,000 to 50,000 by the end of this year.” Peggy Montana, CEO of Shell Midstream Partners, said, “Not everyone in the industry needs to be an engineer.”

Engineering and Public Policy

Blog: States Ahead Of Feds In Fracking Regulations.

Kathleen Sgamma, VP of Government and Public Affairs at Western Energy Alliance, writes for The Hill  (4/14, Sgamma) in its “Congress Blog” that the Department of the Interior’s recent announcement about upgrading fracking rules to provide states with an example to follow is useless as “states have not been waiting for the Federal government.” She points that many states have enacted rules to protect the environment and regulate fracking, with Colorado having started more than a decade ago. Sgamma writes that Colorado and Wyoming are among the strictest states, while North Dakota, Texas, and “all western states with sizable oil and natural gas development… updated their rules well before the Federal government jumped in.” She adds that in addition to belated regulations, “Federal government… inefficiencies have already discouraged development on Federal lands.”

Open Society Report: US Drone Program Endangering Civilians.

The New York Times  (4/14, Shane, Subscription Publication) reports that an investigation by the Open Society Justice Initiative has concluded that “the Obama administration has not followed its own rules to avoid civilian casualties and is setting a dangerous example for other countries that want to use unmanned aircraft against terrorists.” The report questions how carefully the strikes were planned, based on the analysis of several strikes in Yemen, which found that often targets are missed and civilians, instead, are killed. Primary author of the report, Amrit Singh, said, “We’ve found evidence that President Obama’s standard is not being met on the ground,” adding that “there’s a real question about whether the near-certainty standard is being applied in practice.”

Collins Introduces Resolution To Block FCC’s Net Neutrality Rules.

USA Today  (4/14, Yu) reports Rep. Doug Collins on Monday introduced a resolution “calling for a fast-track review of the newly proposed net neutrality rules, a likely futile legislative move that highlights the no-stone-unturned fight put up by the rules’ opponents.” The resolution, introduced under the Congressional Review Act, allow Congress to “fast-track review and vote to disapprove new regulations issued by government agencies,” but requires the President’s signature, which is highly unlikely.

Elementary/Secondary Education

STEM Support Ranks Highest In California Spending Priorities Poll.

The Los Angeles Times  (4/14, Blume) reports that a new survey by USC Dornsife and the Los Angeles Times shows that computer access is “important” to California voters, but support for STEM subjects, the arts, increased teacher salaries, and literary materials were all prioritized higher for funding than technology. Only 20% of respondents said technology was one of two top options for funding, compared with 49% for math, science, and technology instruction, the most popular choice. The paper notes that an effort to invest in supplying tablets to students in Los Angeles “collapsed” because of “high costs, missteps, and eroding political support.”

Girl Scout Robotics Team Qualifies For FIRST World Championship.

The Times of Trenton (NJ)  (4/14, Mulvaney) reports that the We Are Girl Scouts robotics team from Mercer County, New Jersey has qualified for the FIRST robotics world championship in St. Louis on April 22-25. The team consists of 13 girls representing eight Girl Scout troops and has created outreach events to promote STEM activities, especially for girls.

Michigan Robotics Team Qualifies For FIRST World Competition With Rookie All-Star Award. The Southgate (MI) News Herald  (4/13, Khzouz) reports that the Grosse Ile FIRST robotics team has won a spot in the world competition based on their Rookie All-Star Award at the Michigan state competition on April 9 to 11. The award recognizes new teams that show a “commitment to spreading passion” about science and technology to their peers and community. The team mentored in a FIRST Lego League at a nearby middle school, helped develop a new robotics team for the district, created a high school robotics curriculum, and proposed a long-term fundraising business plan.

South Florida Teen’s STEM Achievements Profiled.

The South Florida Sun Sentinel  (4/15, Engoren) reports that the Florida Virtual School’s Jillian Hanley, who won first place for a zoology project, received a “Taking the Pulse of the Planet” award from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and competes in the FIRST competition, is a “great example” of the students state and Federal programs are hoping to develop with STEM initiatives.

Monday’s Lead Stories

New Fed CAFE Standards, Customer Demand Lead To Development Of Lighter Cars.
Western Carolina University Establishes Robotics Scholarship.
NSF Gives UT-Arlington Professor Grant To Build Nanoscale Pillars.
FAA Permits Amazon To Test Delivery Drones.
Ocean Desalination Plants Being Studied, Built By Many California Cities.
North Carolina Robotics Team To Compete In St Louis.

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Scope – Knowledgespeak: STM Industry Daily News Alert

IMA announces partnership agreement with John Wiley and Sons and Miles Professional Education
The Institute of Management Accountants has announced a partnership agreement with John Wiley and Sons, Inc., publisher of the CMA Learning System, and Miles Professional Education (Miles), a major professional certification course provider in India to provide training and certification tools for a growing group of accounting and finance professionals in India. Under the agreement, Miles commits significant resources to support live training for management accountants preparing to take IMA’s Certified Management Accountant exam using Wiley’s CMALS.
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Thieme Publishers Rio to publish official journal of the Brazilian Society of Neurosurgery
Medical and scientific publisher Thieme Publishers Rio (TPR) has signed on as the publisher for Brazilian Neurosurgery, the official journal of the Brazilian Society of Neurosurgery. TPR will publish four issues of the journal per year, beginning with Volume 34, issue 1, 2015.
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EDP Sciences in deal with Portico to preserve e-journals
Digital preservation specialist Portico has announced that EDP Sciences, a learned-society owned publisher, will preserve its e-journals with Portico, ensuring that their content will be secure and available into the future. EDP Sciences (Édition Diffusion Presse Sciences), a subsidiary of several learned societies, works closely with the scientific world.
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The US ISSN Center and ProQuest Metadata Integration & Cataloging Section receive ALCTS Collaboration Award
The Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS), a division of the American Library Association, has chosen The US ISSN Center and ProQuest Metadata Integration & Cataloging Section as the recipients of the ALCTS Outstanding Collaboration Citation for 2015. The Outstanding Collaboration Citation recognises and encourages collaborative problem-solving efforts in the areas of acquisition, access, management, preservation or archiving of library materials.
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Duke University Press makes more than 140 titles available in HathiTrust
Duke University Press, in partnership with Google and HathiTrust, has opened an initial set of 145 of its backlist titles in HathiTrust. These titles are available under a CC-BY-NC-ND license, and are available for reading and download worldwide. Duke joins other scholarly publishers, including a number of other university presses, in opening titles through HathiTrust.
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National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration releases plan for public access to NOAA-funded research
In early April 2015, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released the ‘NOAA Plan for Increasing Public Access to Research Results’. The plan details the extensive, long-term investments that NOAA has made in the preservation of and access to digital data and how the plan will build upon the existing data and publication policies, infrastructure, and ongoing work of the NOAA Library.
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Kudos announces completion of its first funding round
Kudos, which helps researchers maximise the reach and impact of their publications, has announced the completion of its first funding round. The company’s services intersect with several topical issues including research impact, evaluation and metrics, citizen science, open access, social media and the globalisation of research. It has therefore attracted a wide range of investors ranging from industry specialists to more general business angels.
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