Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Dayton Men in NIT Semifinal Tonight; Xavier Women Fall in Last Second of NCAA Quarterfinal

Update: Dayton’s men's basketball team defeated Mississippi State 68-63 Tuesday night in the semifinal round of the postseason National Invitation Tournament at Madison Square Garden in New York. The Flyers next face North Carolina in the championship game Thursday at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast on the ESPN cable television channel.

Xavier’s women’s squad fell in the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Division I women’s basketball tournament last night, losing to top regional seed Stanford 55-53. A buzzer-beating layup sent Xavier home from the Sacramento, Calif., regional despite 20 points from Amber Harris.

Updated: Last week’s AICUO Graph of the Week
Independent colleges once again outperformed
in the NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament this past weekend.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Independent College [Students Have Their] Day

AICUO's 2nd annual Independent College Day (ICD) was a smashing success. More than 120 students from 17 campuses converged on the Statehouse Atrium this morning with energy, passion, and tabletop displays, encouraging legislators to “Experience Independents.”

For almost 15 years, AICUO has brought together students for a day of engagement with their elected representatives, first with Student Lobby Day and starting last year with ICD. This year, students, faculty, and staff focused their efforts on the Atrium itself, inviting legislators to join them for discussions about what make independent colleges special for the students, the state, and their communities.

A pair of special sessions brought together about three dozen students each. First, Sen. Chris Widener, Vice Chair of the Finance Committee gave a presentation about the nature of his work on the committee, including broad discussions of taxation, spending, and the senator's new bill to encourage renewable energy production in the state.

Next, chairs of the two education committees, Rep. Brian Williams and Sen. Gary Cates, shared their views on education funding and their work to reform Ohio's K-12 and college education systems. Both sessions were well received by students.

More than a third of the legislature’s membership visited the Atrium between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., meeting with students and discussing the role of their colleges. Considering that, legislatively speaking, it was a very busy Wednesday, it was quite a showing.

— C. Todd Jones

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

AICUO Supports Third Frontier Ballot Proposal

On Friday, AICUO's Executive Committee voted unanimously to support the May ballot proposal to continue funding for the Third Frontier program. In February by large bipartisan margins, the legislature approved language that would permit Ohio voters to add $700 million in funding for Third Frontier programs from state-issued bonds. The funds will help businesses, colleges, and universities to fund commercialization efforts for technologies developed in the state. The extension would add five years to the life of the program. On Friday, AICUO sent Gov. Strickland, Speaker Budish, and President Harris letters that read as follows:

I am writing you today to inform you that the leadership of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Ohio has voted to support State Issue 1, which renews a program essential to Ohio’s economy and its higher education system, the Ohio Third Frontier Program.

The Third Frontier program invests in cutting-edge research collaborations between industry and higher education that are linked to growing industries. Third Frontier has successfully created 48,000 jobs and created, attracted or capitalized 571 start-up companies. It’s produced more than $6.6 billion in total economic impact in the state, and has had a stunning return on investment, averaging 22 percent per year, again showing the strength of Ohio’s research institutions.

Additionally The Third Frontier program has made a significant impact at AICUO member schools, funding the Third Frontier Internship program and research projects across the state. This renewal would increase competitive peer-reviewed projects making an additional $200 million available for Ohio's institutions.

As you help make the case to the voters of Ohio for passage of Issue 1, I encourage you to mention the support of Ohio’s independent colleges and universities for its passage.

—C. Todd Jones

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Vote Now for the EVAs People's Choice Award

Although the winners of the AICUO Award for Excellence in the Visual Arts (EVAs) are selected through a judging process, members of the public play an important role in the competition as well. The People's Choice Award offers the world the opportunity to vote for the year's outstanding entry among the competitors.

On the EVAs main page, the Web site includes a link for People's Choice. Each of the 19 competitors put forward a single work to compete as the People's Choice Award winner. Notably, being one of the six EVAs award winners does not necessarily confer an advantage. While the first year's People's Choice winner, Mad Mohre from Denison University, was also an award winner, last year's People's Choice was Mary Griffith of Wittenberg University, who was not among the final six.

Like American Idol, the number of votes that can be cast is unlimited, although the system will only allow one vote for each visit to the EVAs site. So as they say in Chicago, vote early and vote often.

—C. Todd Jones

Monday, March 15, 2010

Hoops Update: Walsh Suffers 1-Point Loss in NAIA Title Game, Xavier a No. 6 Seed In NCAA Men's Division I

Updated Thursday, March 18
There was no last-second magic for Walsh in the NAIA Division II men’s championship game Tuesday night at Point Lookout, Mo., as St. Francis (Ind.) held on for a 67-66 victory and the association’s national small-college title. The night before, Jeremy Shardo’s three-point basket at the buzzer lifted Walsh to a 67-66 win over Bellevue (Neb.) in the semifinal, a basket that received national attention as number 2 on ESPN television’s Play of the Day for Monday.

Earlier in the tournament, Walsh reached the semifinal by defeating Maine-Fort Kent 97-69, Sioux Falls (Iowa) 98-90 and Embry-Riddle (Fla.) 74-67.

Cedarville, the other AICUO member in the NAIA men’s tourney, lost 70-69 in the second round to Bellevue, after a first-round 86-77 overtime victory over Warner Pacific (Ore.).

NAIA women’s tournament
Walsh and Cedarville were also the two AICUO members in the women’s NAIA playoff, but neither remains in the tournament held this week in Sioux City, Iowa. Cedarville advanced the furthest, defeating Taylor (Ind.) 75-50 in the first round before succumbing to Briar Cliff (Iowa) 75-62 in the next round. Walsh’s women were one-and-done, losing in the first round to Iowa Wesleyan, 79-68.

NCAA Division I: Xavier Goes Dancing, Again
Xavier makes its fifth consecutive appearance in the Division I men’s tournament, beginning with a Friday afternoon first-round game against Minnesota at Milwaukee. The NCAA reports that this game is sold out.

NCAA Division II: Findlay Women, Men Bow Out
In the NCAA Division II playoff, AICUO was represented by Findlay in both men’s and women’s play, but neither team lasted past the second round.

The men, last year’s undefeated national champions, lost in the first round to Great Lakes Conference rival Grand Valley State (Mich.), 68-56, Saturday in Owensboro, Ky. Findlay’s women won their first game 54-51 over Wisconsin-Parkside, but lost Sunday in the second round to Michigan Tech, also a GLIAC member and playing on its home court in Houghton, Mich., 68-57.

Opening Round [sic] for Division I Men at University of Dayton
The play-in game for the NCAA men’s Division I tournament is Tuesday night at the University of Dayton arena, and it’s an accessible way to see “March Madness”. Here is ticket information for the 7:30 p.m. game between Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Winthrop (S.C.).

NCAA Division III
Forced to play on their opponents’ home floors, both AICUO members lost their third-round games in their respective NCAA Division III tournaments.

Last Friday, Mount Union’s women lost at Washington-St. Louis, 76-57, while Wooster’s men lost to Guilford, 75-68, on their opponent’s home court in Greensboro, N.C.

Money, of course, is the issue, and only the Division I men’s tournament has enough interest to make money for the NCAA using exclusively neutral sites for competition. Even the increasingly popular women’s Division I tournament has to compromise its integrity for the sake of money, and Mount Union’s and Findlay’s women and Wooster’s men paid the price this year, yielding a home court edge to each opponent.

—Bob Burke

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

How Ohio Is ‘Sticky,’ But Not ‘Magnetic’

Normally the AICUO Graph of the Week speaks for itself, but this week’s presents a concept that focuses a complex analytic lens on interstate migration — how residents of the U.S. move from state to state. It also supports previous work sponsored by Gov. Bob Taft’s Commission on Higher Education and the Economy that refutes the claim that Ohio is witnessing a “brain drain” of residents leaving the state.

The concept, as developed by the Pew Research Center, defines a “magnetic” state as one with a relatively high ratio of its citizens that were born in another state. Between 2005 and 2007, the period analyzed in the study, Nevada was the nation’s most magnetic state with more than 85 percent of its residents born elsewhere. New York was the least magnetic, with fewer than 20 percent of its residents having moved there from other states. The median of the 50 states, denoted on this week’s graph by a vertical axis, is 39 percent.

A “sticky” state is one with a relatively high percentage of those born in that state currently residing there. In the study, Texas is the nation’s stickiest state, with just above 75 percent of its native-born population still living there; while Alaska, a highly magnetic state, was the nation’s least sticky, with a little over a quarter of its native population still there. The median “stickiness” statistic is 58 percent, which is the graph’s horizontal axis.

Statistically speaking, there is a strong negative correlation between “magnetic” and “sticky”: that is, a magnetic state is likely not to be a sticky state, and vice versa. But there are exceptions, as noted in the report. Many Sun Belt states, like Florida, both Carolinas, Georgia, Arizona, and states in the Northwest are both magnetic and sticky. Many states in the northern and midwestern U.S., like both Dakotas, Iowa, New York, and Maine are neither sticky nor magnetic.

Ohio is a sticky but not a magnetic state, meaning that, relatively speaking, it keeps its native residents but does not attract residents from elsewhere. A similar point was raised in a study performed in 2003 by Dixie Sommers of Ohio State University’s Center for Human Resource Research, on behalf of the Governor’s Commission on Higher Education and the Economy. Sommers’s study refutes the claim that supporting higher education in Ohio actually serves other states’ workforces, as it uncovers the state’s key demographic problem: Ohio does not attract young, college-educated adults nearly as well as other states.

The Pew Research Center study supports the CHEE report’s findings. The full report, including an interactive graphic presentation of the data, is available at the Center’s Web site.

— Bob Burke

Monday, March 8, 2010

NCAA Division III Basketball Results and Next Games

Women’s Tournament
First Round
at Grantham, Pa.
Mount Union 71, Washington & Jefferson (Pa.) 48
at Holland, Mich.
Hope (Mich.) 68, Denison 40

Second Round
at Grantham, Pa.
Mount Union 62, Messiah (Pa.) 61 (OT)

This weekend’s games
Friday, March 12
Regionals at St. Louis
Mount Union vs. Washington-St. Louis

Saturday, March 13
Regional Final at St. Louis
Mount Union-Washington-St. Louis winner vs. George Fox (Ore.)-Carthage (Wis.) winner

Men’s Tournament
First Round
at Wooster, Ohio
Wooster 63, Grove City (Ky.) 52
Wisconsin-Whitewater 75, Defiance 71
at Greensboro, N.C.
John Carroll 88, Maryville (Tenn.) 67
at Harrisonburg, Va.
Wilmington 78, Lycoming (Pa.) 74

Second Round
at Wooster, Ohio
Wooster 87, Wisconsin-Whitewater 78
at Greensboro, N.C.
Guilford (N.C.) 85, John Carroll 82
at Harrisonburg, Va.
Eastern Mennonite (Va.) 85, Wilmington 71

This weekend’s games
at Greensboro, N.C.
Friday, March 12
Wooster vs. Guilford (N.C.)
Saturday, March 13
Regional Final
Wooster-Guilford winner vs. Eastern Mennonite-Whitworth (Wash.) winner

— Bob Burke

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Presidential Higher Education Community Service Awards Announced

Six colleges and universities have been named as Presidential Awardees in the 2009 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning, and civic engagement. Of those six awardees, included is Ohio Wesleyan University of Delaware, Ohio. More than 1,700 OWU students volunteered last year, with many of them tutoring and mentoring K-12 students in the Columbus Public School District. Spring break typically finds the students traveling to other communities for service, including an orphanage in El Salvador and Lakota reservations in South Dakota.

The President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, launched in 2006, annually recognizes institutions of higher education for their commitment to and achievement in community service. The President’s Honor Roll increases the public’s awareness of the contributions that colleges and their students make to local communities and the nation as a whole. President Obama has pledged to make service a central cause of his administration and wishes to commemorate the significant role that higher institutions, their students, staff, and faculty play in helping to solve pressing social problems in the nation’s communities.

AICUO would also like to congratulate other Ohio independent colleges that received recognition.

2009 Honor Roll with Distinction
Oberlin College
Otterbein College
University of Dayton
Wittenberg University

2009 Honor Roll
Baldwin-Wallace College
Capital University
Case Western Reserve University
College of Mount St. Joseph
Defiance College
Denison University
John Carroll University
Marietta College
Mount Carmel College of Nursing
Mount Union College
Notre Dame College
Ohio Northern University
University of Findlay
Urbana University
Wilmington College
Xavier University

Dustin A. Holfinger

Monday, March 1, 2010

Postseason Basketball, Round I: NCAA Division III Tournament

Six AICUO members will be participating this spring in NCAA Division III basketball championships, the first set of postseason tournament fields to be announced.

Four teams begin play this weekend in the Division III men’s tournament
. Two will be playing at Wooster, which hosts a first round doubleheader Friday night and a second round game Saturday. Defiance, the Heartland College Athletic Conference tournament champion, plays Wisconsin-Whitewater, and Wooster, North Coast Athletic Conference regular season and tournament champion, plays Grove City (Pa.). Winners play in the second round Saturday night. Tickets are available by contacting Wooster’s athletic department.

In other Friday first-round action,
John Carroll, regular season champion of the Ohio Athletic Conference, travels to Guilford, N.C., to play Maryville (Tenn.); and Wilmington, which won the OAC tournament for the conference’s automatic NCAA bid, takes on Lycoming (Pa.) in Harrisonburg, Va.

In the
women’s tournament, the only AICUO members participating are automatic qualifiers from two Ohio-based conferences. Mount Union, tournament champion of the Ohio Athletic Conference, goes to Grantham, Pa., for a Friday night first-round game against Washington & Jefferson (Pa.). Denison, upset winners of the North Coast Athletic Conference tournament, plays Hope (Mich.) on its home floor in Holland, Mich., in a first-round contest. These games also take place Friday night.

The other NCAA divisions and the NAIA will announce their fields in the next two weeks.

—Bob Burke