Monday, June 25, 2007

Fulbright and MTV partner for peace

A new Fulbright fellowship created by the State Department's bureau of educational and cultural affairs and mtvU, MTV's college network, is designed to recognize the potential for music to advance cross-cultural understanding.
The first four recipients have been selected and will begin their fellowships in

Friday, April 27, 2007

Fashion Group International 2007 Recycled Fashion Show to support Hoakies

Fashion Group International 2007 Recycled Fashion Show

"Salvage: Save the Fashion," will take place on Saturday, April 28, in the Lory Student Center North Ballroom. The show will feature garments created from recycled materials by students in the Department of Design and Merchandising, College of Applied Human Sciences.
The show is sponsored by the student chapter of Fashion Group International.
Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and the show starts at 7 p.m.
Admission is $3 for students and $5 for non-students. You can purchase tickets at the Campus Box Office in person, by calling (970) 491-4TIX, or online at
All proceeds will be donated to the Virginia Tech Hokie Spirit Memorial fund.
Come and support CSU designers, stylists, and models!

The federal government wants to start tracking how well the nation's colleges teach

Harvard Physics Professor Eric Mazur is a pioneer in a growing movement that sees more aggressive evaluation as a way to transform higher education. Over the last two years, an increasing number of colleges and universities, including Harvard, have begun using critical thinking and writing tests to see if their students are learning what they should. And now the federal government is pushing to require all colleges to regularly assess students' progress -- and reveal the results to the public.

This month, the U.S. Department of Education is working with accrediting agencies to design new rules, pushing to require colleges to produce evidence that they're making progress with students and to require accreditors to compare the results of similar schools. The rules are inspired by work of the Commission on the Future of Higher Education, a bipartisan panel convened by Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings.

By Nov. 1, new rules have to be approved, and by July 2008, accrediting agencies must begin implementing the changes. But the effect on colleges, which are accredited every 10 years, would be staggered over time.

Good students who want to save money are turning to community colleges

As four-year universities have become more expensive, good students who want to save money are turning to community colleges to earn their core undergraduate credits. No longer wed primarily to a work force-training mission, many community colleges consider it a major, if not predominant goal, to prepare students to transfer to four-year institutions.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

CSU Chancellor urges higher education institutions to avoid mistakes, adapt

Keynote at Higher Learning Commission conference
Higher education institutions must adapt to a new environment that relies less on state funding yet embraces public accountability and access for lower-income students, Colorado State University Chancellor Larry Edward Penley told a crowd of 3,800 higher-education leaders Monday.

Penley, recognized as a leader in identifying and acting on challenges facing higher education, was invited to give the keynote speech in Chicago at the annual conference of the Higher Learning Commission, the organization that accredits degree-granting educational institutions in 19 states in the country's North Central region.

Different and challenging environment for higher ed
"The writing is on the wall: Higher education confronts a very different and challenging environment," Penley said. "Seven countries with which we directly compete-Belgium, Canada, Ireland, Japan, Norway, South Korea, and Sweden-already are ahead of the United States in college-degree attainment. Meanwhile, here in the U.S., state budgets are strained by the rising costs of Medicaid, deteriorating infrastructure like bridges and roads, the need for more prison beds, and improvement of K-12 schools.
"Competition for what formerly was the state's budget for higher education is growing."
Need to face four costly mistakes
Publicly funded institutions need to face four costly mistakes in dealing with this new environment, Penley told the group Monday. He highlighted these mistakes and alternative "success strategies" for those charged to make the case for higher education:
1. Classic mistake: Whining about the money
Success strategy: Make higher education a partner in economic prosperity
2. Classic mistake: Threatening to privatize
Success strategy: Elevate higher education as a public good
3. Classic mistake: Focusing on the best and the brightest
Success strategy: Access WITH success for qualified students
4. Classic mistake: Eschewing accountability
Success strategy: Set challenging and measurable goals -and meet them
Accountability with transparency
"We must make accessible our universities to those with lower incomes, but with equal commitment to those students' success," Penley said. "We must commit to accountability with transparency, with rising quality and value in our colleges and universities."
In Colorado, state support for higher education has dropped from 17 percent in 1997 to 9 percent today. Nationwide, the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems or NCHEMS projects state revenues will be 5.7 percent lower than necessary to meet anticipated services expenditures within the next eight years. Every state will face a shortfall of varying magnitude, according to the NCHEMS forecast.
Change management that is sensitive to environment
"Arguing that education is different - which it is - from other industries only means that higher-education leaders must engage in change management that is sensitive to our own environment," Penley said. "We cannot be complacent; we must adopt goals that challenge us to stretch and improve, and then develop strategies and restructure and reorganize to achieve these goals."
Those goals include building partnerships with state governments; finding alternate sources of revenue; seeking lower-cost, higher-output alternatives to traditional instruction; and controlling administrative costs, Penley said.
Capitalize on contributions to regional economic prosperity
Universities must also capitalize on their contributions to regional economic prosperity. At Colorado State, the university has developed a strategic plan tied to economic development and statewide outreach. As part of that plan, the university created an Office of Vice Provost for Outreach and Strategic Partnerships to more effectively deliver community services - everything from economic development to agricultural research - to a network of 55 offices throughout the state.
Additionally, the university has created a Supercluster program that will make it easier for businesses to commercialize groundbreaking research in areas of global concern such as clean energy and cancer. The first Supercluster, MicroRx, focuses on infectious disease and looks and acts like a business with a chief operating officer who can help business people navigate academia.
Higher education is essential to our country's future
"Higher education is essential to our country's future - its economic prosperity and our quality of life," Penley told the Higher Learning Commission conference attendees. "We are higher education's leaders. The future of higher education-and the future of our country-depend on our rising to the challenges that confront us. Let us embrace those challenges."
The full speech, "Making the Case for Higher Education: Our Four Mistakes," is available at
Contact: Brad Bohlander Email: Phone Number: (970) 491-1545
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Thursday, April 19, 2007


Virginia Tech Tragedy

Colorado State University President Larry Edward Penley.
April 16, 2007
To: The Colorado State University campus community
From: Larry Edward Penley
Re: Tragedy at Virginia Tech

By now many of you have heard about the horrific tragedy at Virginia Tech. Our deepest sympathy and condolences go out to the students, faculty, and staff of Virginia Tech as well as the surrounding community of Blacksburg.

We have several faculty members at Colorado State University who are alumni of Virginia Tech as well as faculty, students, staff, and administrators like me who are from the Blacksburg region. It is understandable that many of you may experience various levels of concern and/or grief as a result of this tragic event. Please be aware that support is available to anyone who needs it through the Employee Assistance Program, ComPsych, which can be reached by calling 800-497-9133 or at and enter CSUEAP under company ID.

I also want to assure you that Colorado State University places the highest priority on the well being of all those in our community. Accordingly, the CSU Police Department has an emergency response plan in place to respond quickly to any crisis situation that may arise; however, all members of the CSU community are encouraged to remain vigilant as always and to report any concerns to CSUPD. In addition, university students and employees are reminded that they can help keep their campus secure by reporting suspicious behavior, locking doors, being conscientious of building and personal security, and by generally looking out for one another.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

University engineers tissues to reduce use of animals in research

University engineers tissues to reduce use of animals in research
April 9, 2007

Colorado State University is engineering tissue in a laboratory that can replace the use of animals in research. The Tissue Engineering Laboratory, established this academic year in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, creates tissue from a combination of cells, materials and biochemicals that model living biological systems. The model tissue replaces live animals in the initial phases of many biological studies, reducing the number of animals needed for use in research.

"As a researcher, I want to understand tissue cellular responses and develop a greater capacity to mitigate or prevent damage," said Dr. Tom Eurell, veterinarian and expert in toxicology and immunology and director of the laboratory. "As a veterinarian, I want to minimize or eliminate painful experiments in animals. Tissue engineering allows me to do both.

"It is impossible with current technology to model whole systems of human or animal response and repair, and to model systemic inflammation," Eurell said. "But we have the technology to be smarter about what we use and to refine our techniques for the benefit of both animals and humans."

For example, Eurell engineers artificial corneas. He uses corneas from already euthanized animals or human corneas donated to research as a "starter" to engineer more corneas by isolating stem cells from the corneas and growing new tissue in the lab. Each donated cornea can be used to create 20 to 25 artificial corneas. This reduces the need for live animals to test a variety of products and chemicals for eye irritants.

"We are trying to understand the best ways to help the eye repair itself following injury, and there are many things we don't know about this process," Eurell said. "For instance, we are interested in determining what happens to cornea cells after they have been exposed to lasers from therapeutic procedures such as LASIK or accidental exposure such as exposure to lasers during manufacturing processes. Engineering cornea tissue allows us to add one more tool to research rather than testing an initial concept on animals. We can use engineered tissues to assess the concept and determine from those results whether or not we should even move on to the next steps in research."

Eurell is working with human corneas donated from local surgery centers that do human corneal transplants to develop multiple corneas for research within the lab. These engineered corneas are used in the lab to study how the cornea actually functions when healing after injuries. By developing these models, Eurell can better understand how cells interact during the healing process.

In addition to researching cornea repair, Eurell also works with colleagues at Colorado State to research how lung cells react to airborne particles of different sizes, the use of nanotechnology to address health issues, proteins within cells, and substrate and cell interactions.

Tissue engineering has been used for some time to repair or replace hard tissues, such as bones, in human and veterinary patients. More recent developments in soft tissue research, including corneas, skin and muscle, can greatly reduce the number of animals used to test compounds and research tissue repair after trauma.