Here’s what caught my eye today…8/6/13

SPECIAL SECTION: The 2014 Princeton Review Annual Rankings Are Out

Universities routinely dismiss the rankings as unscientific and invalid, while praising the free publicity that comes along with positive ones.

Let the refutations and press releases begin…

Here’s your cheat sheet on how Florida institutions stacked up in the latest Princeton Review Rankings:

Public Institutions:

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Private Institutions:

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University of Florida No. 6 in top party school rankings; Seminoles No. 12
Naples Daily News
…The rankings are based on surveys in which an average of 333 students per campus are asked 80 questions about a range of subjects in the last three school years. Its methodology uses a five-point scale, allowing for school-to-school comparisons…

Iowa voted top party school, with UF, FSU in top 20
The University of Florida was ranked sixth and Florida State came in 12th this year…

On the National Front (via @libbyanelson):

MORE ON REAUTHORIZATION WISH LISTS — Inside Higher Ed has an in-depth look at how proposals from the major players, including higher education associations and advocacy groups, intersect and sometimes conflict.

WANT TO REDESIGN THE COLLEGE SCORECARD? — The Lumina Foundation is offering $10,000 for a redesign of the Obama administration’s “college scorecard.” The scorecard merited a mention in the State of the Union address in February, but got a tepid response from experts. Now the foundation is offering a prize the best mock-up of a new user experience:

State Capitol Clips:

Trustees done in by budget vote?
Tallahassee Democrat (blog)
Florida Gov. Rick Scott appears to take votes by university trustees personally. Scott, who worked the phones relentlessly in early June in an attempt to persuade individual trustees to say no to a cost-of-living tuition increase — even though it was mandated in statute — made reappointments to the Florida State University Board of Trustees directly in line with how each trustee voted on the tuition increase. It passed 10-3.

Cabinet Meeting: The Florida Cabinet meets 9 a.m. in the Capitol Cabinet Room, Tallahassee. Among the issues it will consider is the request by the University of South Florida for a year’s access to the former Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys in Marianna to continue research into graves at the site.

Adkins to hold education summit: State Rep. Janet Adkins will hold an education “leadership summit” that will include community leaders and educators from northeast Florida. One meeting of the summit will be held in Nassau County, and another will be held in Duval County. First meeting: 12:15 p.m., Red Bean Technical Career Center. Second meeting: 5:30 p.m., Fletcher High School, Neptune Beach.

Step Up For Students live chat – Live chat today at 10:30 a.m. with the president of Step Up For Students, which administers Florida’s tax-credit scholarships for low-income K-12 kids:

State University System

Rattlers check in for football camp
Tallahassee Democrat (blog)
One of the most anticipated seasons for the FAMU football program officially got under way Sunday without much fanfare, as the Rattlers checked in…

FAMU, TCC Receive $2.1 Million Grant For Biomedical Study
Florida A&M University (FAMU) and Tallahassee Community College (TCC) have partnered for a $2,193,365 grant from the National Institutes of Health Bridges to the Baccalaureate Program in Biomedical Sciences.

Asia can give ideas for US reform, but not a magic pill
Marco Island Sun Times
New College of Florida in Sarasota is the state’s only public institution that does not award grades, only written assessments of a student’s progress…

UCF med school students get ceremonial white lab coats
WFTV Orlando
A record-setting class of medical students got their white lab coats at the University of Central Florida’s College of Medicine.

Gainesville one of most livable college towns
Gainesville Sun (blog)
“Maybe that’s why the University of Florida consistently ranks as one of the top party schools in the nation.”

UF Muslim group helping downtown homeless
Gainesville Sun
The volunteers are Muslim students at the University of Florida who belong to Project Downtown Gainesville…

Shark sighting rise on East Coast
New York Daily News
Sharks chomped on a total of 53 people, including one in New York in 2012, the University of Florida’s International Shark Attack File reported…

UF report: Florida population grows 1 percent over past year
Florida’s population is growing faster than during the recession but still at a modest pace compared with the years leading into the recession, a preliminary report from the University of Florida indicates.

USF mirrors the nation in nurse practitioner trend (Video)
Tampa Bay Business Journal
University of South Florida’s College of Nursing has increased its program capacity for family nurse practitioners to 180 each academic year.

USF expected to get approval to exhume Dozier graves
WTSP 10 News
University of South Florida researchers are expected to get approval from the state on Tuesday to begin exhuming grave sites at the now closed Dozier School for Boys in Marianna.

State College System

$30M student housing project coming for Daytona Beach-area colleges
Daytona Beach News-Journal
Daytona State College has looked into adding student housing on campus

Statewide Campaign Helps Students to Finish College
A campaign aimed to re-enroll students who left college without a degree has had some success in the area. Gulf Coast State College was one of 28 Florida colleges to participate in an initiative called “Finish Up, Florida!”

St. Petersburg mayoral candidates prepare for Tuesday’s televised (blog)
The debate, “A Conversation with the Candidates,” is scheduled for 7 to 8 p.m. at the Palladium Theater at St. Petersburg College.

Bridges to the Baccalaureate Program Partnership
TCC has the highest percentage of African-American students among the 28 members of the Florida College System.

Independent Colleges and Universities

Website allows you to keep track of sharks
Nova Southeastern University’s Guy Harvey Research Institute in Hollywood has set up an interactive online site – at – allowing…

DeLand signs animal contract, OK’s razing structures near Stetson
Daytona Beach News-Journal
City officials also heard four requests from Stetson University to demolish four historic structures.

South Florida fired up by smoking research
Smokers who want to kick the habit, or at least avoid health problems, may get help through research now being conducted in South Florida. Scripps Florida is studying ways to reduce nicotine cravings, the University of Miami is working on research that could kill cancerous cells in the lungs, and

Yip Yap: Noted and Quoted FLHE Voices from Around the Web

College-Tuition Increases: Discipline For Higher Education
The Ledger
In his 2012 State of the Union address, President Obama put colleges and universities on notice that they would lose taxpayer funding if they failed to control tuition increases. Last week, he returned to the issue at a speech at Knox College in Illinois. He promoted accountability measures such as tying funding to graduation rates….

Editorial: The toll of cuts
Gainesville Sun
Given the continued high demand for admission to the University of Florida, it might seems like the university came through years of budget cuts unscathed…

Editorial: Florida Cabinet should let public know all the horrors of former ‘reform school’
Palm Beach Post
Bureaucratic language can disguise unimaginable horrors. Today, the Florida Cabinet, acting as the board of trustees for the state’s Internal Improvement Trust Fund, is expected to grant permission to the University of South Florida to “enter and use state uplands…for the purpose of conducting field work and research.”

Movers & Shakers (blog)
Dale Chu, the chief of staff for former Education Commissioner Tony Bennett, followed Bennett from Indiana to Florida. Now Chu is following his boss in another decision — he, too, is resigning from the Florida Department of Education

Flagler professors published
St. Augustine Record
Joe Saviak, a Flagler College assistant professor in the public administration program, has been published in the Journal of the James Madison Institute for the second time…

After tragedy, new FIU grad earns crowning achievement
Marie Jussome, a Haitian doctor who lost her husband to the earthquake in 2010, graduated with a nursing degree on Monday, Aug. 5, 2013, from Florida International University

Illegal buttocks injections kill, maim US women
Very big buttocks have been popular in hip-hop videos for years. But Dionne Stephens, who studies race, gender and sexuality in hip-hop culture at Florida International University, said celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce and Kim Kardashian are popularizing the look among an increasing number of women of all races and ethnicities…

Florida Poly Board Member Resigns
The Ledger
Joseph L. Caruncho, we hardly knew you.The 54-year-old Miami man has resigned from his seat on the board of Florida Polytechnic University, citing a lack of time to devote to the volunteer position. He has been notably absent from most of the new university’s trustee meetings. He was appointed to the Florida Poly board on Nov. 5 by Gov. Rick Scott, but has only participated in a few meetings since then…

State investigation of FSC Foundation finds possible ethics violations
WJXT Jacksonville
Florida’s Inspector General has found evidence of weak internal controls that allowed former Florida State College at Jacksonville‘s President Steven Wallace to use college foundation funds for travel without clear benefit to the college. The investigation into allegations against Wallace, began last year after former FSCJ employee, Celine McArthur brought the professional misconduct to the attention of the state.

Bowden To Serve As Homecoming Grand Marshal
Bobby Bowden‘s long-awaited return to Florida State University this fall will include a starring role in homecoming activities…

‘Gator Boys’ spoiler alert: Aug 4 episode is back in the Sunshine State
Is tuition too high at Florida State University?) The guys at Gator Boys Alligator Rescue have been going nuts over Kayla, and Ashley is feeling a bit left out…

Senior year regrets
American Heritage alum Joshua Potteralso regrets some decisions he made his senior year. “I underplayed a lot of the colleges in the search, and didn’t think I was good enough to apply to some,” he said. “I just applied to the ones I knew I would get into.” Although he was accepted into and will attend Florida State University, he regrets stressing too much over the college application process.  “Honestly, I didn’t enjoy the first semester since I was so focused in the first semester about applying that I forgot I was a senior,” he said. “I only really had one semester of fun, so it was a little disappointing.”

FSU film school founder Donald Ungurait, 76, dies
Tallahassee Democrat (blog)
Donald Ungurait, a retired professor and the founding dean of Florida State University’s acclaimed film school, died Saturday in South Florida…

Director’s latest inspiration is Jacksonville
Florida Times-Union
Bandar Albuliwi, recently added to Jacksonville University’s College of Fine Arts, plans to write and direct a film in the city…

Miami Dade College nursing professor to receive Florence Nightingale Medal
Miami Dade College nursing professor Marie O. Etienne, RN, DNP, has spent much of her career caring for underserved populations and those affected by disaster. “I believe that God has given me the gift of aiding people,” Etienne, who recently returned from training nurses in Léogâne, Haiti, said in a news release. “Everything I do in my life is about helping others.”

Making a Difference: Retiree ‘helping others that want to learn’
The Northwest Florida Daily News
Former students of Northwest Florida State College know Carmen Cameron as a longtime Spanish teacher.

Preschool for students with autism expands
Susan Kabot, the executive director of the Autism Institute at Nova Southeastern University, said the private kindergarten and first grade academy is meant to be a continuation of Nova’s pre-school program for children with autism spectrum disorders that now has about 140 students. The pre-school program, which is run in cooperation with the Broward County Public School System, has a private component so students who don’t live in Broward can still attend.“We are filling in the gaps,” she said.

Former SeaWorld Orlando trainer hopes film changes some minds
Orlando Sentinel
John Jett is a former SeaWorld Orlando killer-whale trainer who is now one of the marine park’s most vocal critics. Jett, 46, is featured in the new documentary “Blackfish,” opening locally this week at Maitland’s Enzian Theater. He’s now a visiting research professor at Stetson University focusing on marine mammals and waterway management.

Man pleads guilty in ‘Molly’ investigation
Orlando Sentinel
A Delray Beach man who was arrested on a federal synthetic-drug charge as part of an investigation into a University of Central Florida student pleaded guilty Monday. Nathan Mayell, 26, was arrested in May when he traveled to Seminole County where he planned to buy methylone — a synthetic drug known commonly as “Molly” that is similar to Ecstasy — from an undercover agent.

Moderate growth forecast for metro area
University of Central Florida economist Sean Snaith forecasts “moderate economic growth” for the Pompano Beach-Fort Lauderdale-Miami metro area…

Legal Fight Waged on Surgeon’s Past
Health News Florida
Heart surgeon Mark Plunkett, who was recently hired by University of Florida, left a mystery in his wake when he left the University of Kentucky, where he was the sole open-heart surgeon for Kentucky Children’s Hospital.  That program was suspended after a series of babies died or had unexpected complications.

Interception of Al-Qaida message led to Embassy closures
The University of Florida assistant professor of political science Zachary Selden says the decision by the state department to close 19 diplomatic posts is …

Air Force vet from USF finishes 66-day bike fundraiser
Downs, a doctoral candidate in anthropology at the University of South Florida, embarked on the trip to raise money and awareness for Student Veterans…

At ‘Hunger Games’ summer camp, kids fight to the ‘death’ (blog)
Susan Toler, a clinical psychologist specializing in children’s issues and an assistant dean at the University of South Florida, found the camp idea “unthinkable.”

‘Black Boys At Dozier Reform School’ Tell Of Horrors On Their Side 
Paula Johnson, a Syracuse University law professor who heads the Cold Case Justice Initiative, says her team supports University of South Florida anthropologist Erin Kimmerle in her fight to get exhumation permits from the state. “Even though these harms happened in the ’40s and the ’50s and into the 1960s, there is never a time limit on demanding justice and on getting justice,” she says.

Releases and Web Stories

Nova Southeastern University Names Lisa Deziel as Dean of the College of Pharmacy
Nova Southeastern University
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. and DAVIE, Fla., Aug. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Nova Southeastern University (NSU) President and CEO George L. Hanbury II, Ph.D., recently announced the appointment of Lisa Deziel, Pharm.D., Ph.D., as dean of NSU’s College of Pharmacy (COP). Deziel has served in a number of administrative positions within the college, including associate professor and executive associate dean, interim dean, acting chair of Pharmacy Practice, assistant dean for academic innovation and technology, and assistant dean for academic affairs.

Medical School Welcomes First Full Class of 120
University of Central Florida
The UCF College of Medicine welcomed 120 new medical students – its first class at full enrollment – at today’s White Coat Ceremony, a meaningful tradition where a medical school recognizes first-year students at colleagues dedicated to patient care…