Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Tentative Timeline for HEA Conference Committee

The House recently passed its own version of the Higher Education Reauthorization Act (HEA) and the bill was to be sent off to conference committee for the House and Senate to work out their many differences. Because of Congress’s two-week spring recess in March and the concomitant inability to pass it before the legislators leave town, they will likey not complete conference work until April.

Dustin A. Holfinger

Thursday, February 21, 2008

EVA Award Winners Announced

We are proud to announce the finalists for the AICUO Award for Excellence in the Visual Arts. Nominated students from all over Ohio submitted portfolios that have been judged by eleven art faculty from Ohio independent colleges and universities. Six award winners have been selected, who are now eligible to win the Grand Award and its $2,500 prize. The finalists are Andreas Baumgartner from Bluffton University, Kristen Gillman from Ohio Dominican University, Heather Lynn Kyle and Kyle McMahon from Columbus College of Art & Design, Mad Mohre from Denison University, and Georgia Wall from Oberlin College. Their portfolios may be viewed at www.aicuoartaward.com. The Grand Winner will be announced on April 21, 2008 at an award reception at Ohio Dominican University.

—C. Todd Jones

Friday, February 15, 2008

Announcing AICUO's Inaugural Awards for Excellence in the Visual Arts

This year, AICUO is inaugurating the first annual AICUO Awards for Excellence in the Visual Arts, which we are calling the “EVAs.” The EVAs are a competition among college seniors on member campuses that have been nominated by the chairs of the art departments at their institutions.

Each nominee has uploaded pictures of his or her portfolio onto the EVAs website, along with an essay about the individual’s work and a short video. Independent-college art professors judged the portfolios and selected six EVA award winners. (That announcement will be made in the coming days.) A second panel of professional artists, gallery owners, public officials, and others will then judge the award winners and select the EVA grand award winner. The grand award winner will receive a $2,500 prize following the award ceremony on April 21 at Ohio Dominican University.

The final award associated with the EVAs is a People’s Choice Award, which will be awarded at the April 21 ceremony as well. The People’s Choice Award will be presented to the entrant who receives the highest rating from the public for a single piece of art. We encourage you to vote for your favorite on the EVAs website by clicking “Vote for the People’s Choice Award” at the bottom of the page. I encourage everyone to spend a few minutes and cast his or her vote.

—C. Todd Jones

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Congressman Ralph Regula Presented with NAICU Advocacy Award by Mount Union President

The 15th Annual National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) Advocacy Award was presented to Congressman Ralph Regula Tuesday evening by Dr. Richard F. Giese, president of Mount Union College, at an awards ceremony held in Washington, D.C. The award was in recognition of Congressman Regula’s lifetime commitment to higher education. “Throughout his 33 years on the House Appropriations Committee, Ralph has made federal funding for education, and especially the core student aid programs, a top priority,” said Giese.

Dustin A. Holfinger

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Significant Proposals for Ohio Education in State of the State Address

In Wednesday’s State of the State address, Gov. Ted Strickland called for the University System of Ohio to develop a new “Senior to Sophomore” program that would allow qualified high school seniors to take their entire college freshman year simultaneously with the 12th grade — and with no tuition charged.

Speaking today before a joint session of the Ohio House and Senate, he said that free tuition would apply at any University System campus, meaning any public campus, in the way that the current Postsecondary Education Option Program charges no tuition to students taking college courses while in high school.

Strickland said that all credits earned in his new program would transfer in full to public campuses “and many privates.” This program will be put in place for the 2008-09 academic year, he added.

He also promised that “quality associate or bachelor’s degrees in core fields” would be available within 30 miles of any Ohio resident, recalling former
Gov. James Rhodes’ effort starting in the 1960s to develop two-year public campuses throughout the state.

The big news for the K-12 community in the governor’s speech is not the effect that “Senior to Sophomore” would have on the many Advanced Placement courses local districts have implemented, but a call for a change in leadership structure at the Ohio Department of Education modeled on the changes last year to the Ohio Board of Regents.

Seeking to reform an “unwieldy department with splintered accountability,” Strickland asked the legislature for authority to appoint a director of the department with full management authority, who would report directly to him in the way that Chancellor Eric Fingerhut reports to him and not to the Board of Regents. The State Board of Education would continue to exist, as does the Board of Regents, and would still even appoint a Superintendent of Public Instruction, but the board would be an advisory panel only, and both board and superintendent would have any additional roles solely as determined by the director of the department.

— Bob Burke

Students Poll Worker Bill Moving to Full House

The House State Government and Elections Committee passed HB 350 this morning by a 13-0 vote. HB 350 is sponsored by Rep. Larry Wolpert (R - Hilliard) and would allow high school and college students to work as poll officials on Election Day in their home or school precincts. As we mentioned before, we give kudos to Representative Wolpert for his proactive stance in getting younger voters involved. It all starts with them.

- Dustin A. Holfinger