Here’s what caught my eye today…9/26/13

On the National Front (via @libbyanelson):

WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING: SAT SCORES ARE OUT – The SAT scores of high school students remain stagnant, with just 43 percent of test-takers in the class of 2013 hitting benchmarks for college readiness, the College Board announced early today. The College Board views an SAT score of 1550 or better out of a potential 2400 as the benchmark for college success, because its research shows students who achieve that score in high school are more likely to maintain a first-year college GPA of at least B- and to persevere in their studies until they earn a bachelor’s degree.

Although the percentage of students considered college ready has held steady for the past five years that might be a victory. An increasing proportion of African-American and Hispanic students are taking the tests, as are more low-income students. Those groups traditionally have performed less well on the standardized test than white students. Stephanie Simon, today’s Pro Education all-star, has more:

–Prompting low-income students to aim high : Students from low-income families who score high on the SAT are getting a special nudge this year, the New York Times reports. Students in the top 15 percent of test-takers, and in the bottom 25 percent for family income, will get an information packet that includes waivers of application fees for six colleges. A study from two economists recently found that many poor students don’t apply to more selective colleges, even if they could get in and receive generous financial aid. The College Board program is the largest step reponse so far to address that research. The group is estimating about 28,000 students will get the packets.

NEGOTIATORS STAY GENERAL ON GAINFUL CONFERENCE CALL — Stakeholders rewriting the “gainful employment” rule on for-profit colleges didn’t spend much time discussing specific Education Department proposals for pre-approving programs Tuesday. In what’s fast becoming a trend in this rulemaking, the conversation wasn’t particularly heated, but it was general – jumping from topic to topic, with some, including Belle Wheelan, president of the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges, questioning again whether Education Department program approval is necessary at all. I wrap it up for Pros:

 State University System

VA meets with veterans at FAU
…VA benefits officers hosted a workshop here at Florida Atlantic University for any veteran whose claim has been pending for a 

FIU to announce $10 million gift from benefactor Wertheim
…On Wednesday, Herbert Wertheim and FIU officials announced a $10 million gift to the university’s college of nursing and health sciences in honor of his wife, Nicole. The donation comes just a few years after Wertheim committed $20 million to the university’s new school of medicine. It ensures the couple’s place side-by-side in FIU history with the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine and what will become the Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing and Health Sciences…

FIU gets $10M donation for nursing college
South Florida Business Journal (blog)
Florida International University now has two colleges named after the Wertheim family after a $10 million donation was pledged.

Florida Polytechnic Officials Heap Praise on Architect Santiago Calatrava
The Ledger
LAKELAND | Famed architect Santiago Calatrava may have fallen from grace with some in his native Spain, but in Lakeland — where the Florida Polytechnic University inaugural building he designed is under construction — people still talk about him like he’s a rock star. “A Star Architect Leaves Some Clients Fuming,” says the headline in a story published Wednesday in the New York Times.

FL university makes Playboy’s list of Top 10 Party Schools
WTSP 10 News
TALLAHASSEE, Florida — Florida State University has been named in a national Top 10 school list, but it might not be one they’re too proud of…

UF, FSU looking to hire faculty
The Florida Current
The presidents of the University of Florida and Florida State University have $150 million dollars to spend to improve their institutions’ reputations.

New UCF program will draw international students
Orlando Sentinel
The University of Central Florida, which has more than 60,000 students, expects to add as many as 1,200 international students to campus in an effort to ..

Hitt announces new UCF admissions program aimed at ‘best and brightest’
Orlando Sentinel
UCF President John Hitt announced a new guaranteed-admissions program Tuesday aimed at Florida high-school students with top-notch transcripts but perhaps so-so scores on college admissions tests.

Florida education news: Reading lessons, college admission, class (blog)
GUARANTEED: The University of Central Florida offers guaranteed admission to students with top transcripts even if they have mediocre test results…

Grant to help UF study obesity in North Central Florida
Gainesville Sun
Rural areas in the U.S. have higher rates of obesity, and the University of Florida recently received a grant to help curb the problem in North Central Florida.

Smartphone App Helps Florida Farmers Maintain Crops
The University of Florida’s Florida Automated Weather Network team recently released a smartphone app in collaboration with Florida Department of Agriculture …

UNF panel looks at effects of airgun blasting on oceans
St. Augustine Record
The event begins at 6 p.m. on Monday at the Adam W. Herbert University Center at the University of North Florida and will be moderated by the coordinator of the …

USF gets federal grant to help veterans become nurses (blog)
The University of South Florida College of Nursing has received $1.25 million to offer veterans the chance to earn nursing degrees.

State College System

Big tech grant awarded for CF
The College of Central Florida will oversee a three-year, $10.2 million federal grant designed to help rural students prepare for technology-related careers. CF will get $3.2 million for local use and administer the remaining $7 million to seven other state colleges throughout Florida.

Edison approves Florida SouthWestern as new name
Fox 4
In a matter of seconds, the board of trustees voting to end more than 50 years of Edison State College’s history.

Independent Colleges and Universities

Innovation conference debuts at Lynn University
Palm Beach Post
The business world is in the “nascent stage” of rapid change, says the organizer of a conference held at Lynn University Wednesday…

NSU unveils plan for Broward’s first teaching hospital
Nova Southeastern University is pushing to be the site of Broward’s first academic research hospital on a university campus: a 100-bed state-of-the-art facility …

Where to stay for your college homecoming
University of Miami: One of the closest hotels to the University of Miami, home of the Hurricanes, just happens to be one of the city’s swankiest luxury properties…

University of Tampa attracts record enrollment
Tampa Bay Business Journal (blog)
The University of Tampa has set an enrollment record with its graduate and undergraduate student body growing to 7,343, a jump of 5.5 percent from a year ago.

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

Editorial: Promote the vote
Gainesville Sun
University of Florida students showed up by the carload to vote early in the last two presidential elections. Next time, they hope to skip the trip…

Viewers Voice: Many not taking to Edison name change
Fox 4
CAPE CORAL, Fla. – What’s in a name? Apparently enough to get you talking after Edison State College gets a new name, Florida Southwestern State College.

Ave Maria Univ. in ‘David and Goliath’ Struggle over HHS Mandate
The Cardinal Newman Society
Ave Maria University President Jim Towey recently discussed the University’s lawsuit against the Obama administration’s HHS mandate…

Victims of domestic violence share stories: ‘I still get emotional’
Domestic violence survivor Tammy Slay speaks at an event to raise awareness for domestic violence held at Florida State University on Tuesday, September 14…

Veterans get another chance for in-state tuition rates
“I’m personally committed to knocking down any barrier that stands in the way of supporting our veterans’ quest for higher education,” Florida State University President Eric Barron said at a Capitol press conference this week. “Out-of-state tuition is certainly one of those barriers to accessibility, and it’s one that we can knock down for the men and women who have served our nation in active duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Salman Rushdie Is Coming to Miami Dade College To Tell His Life 
Miami New Times (blog)
Salman Rushdie‘s life story would make for a cracking read even if he, a man knighted for his services to literature, hadn’t been the one to pen it.

Winter Haven Chamber of Commerce Executive Director to Retire
The Ledger
“Over many years, Bob has come to personally define this chamber,” Polk State College President Eileen Holden said Tuesday night.

Santa Fe College shows off new geological collection, complete with 
The Independent Florida Alligator
Michael Patrick, natural sciences professor at Santa Fe College, explains to attendees that the new geological exhibit is more than the department could have …

Update: Jim Murdaugh begins two-year term as EDC chair
Tallahassee Democrat (blog)
I hope you’ll pick up the phone and call me if there’s anything you need,” said Murdaugh, who is president of Tallahassee Community College.

Outlook for ECM in the cloud is still mixed
At the University of Miami, both the university and the University of Miami Health System are going full force toward using cloud technology, said James Balter, 

AXUSA learns lessons
Jacksonville Daily Record
University of North Florida President John Delaney (left) interviewed Duval County Schools Superintendent Nikolai Vitti on Tuesday at the JAXUSA Partnership …

Releases and Web Stories

NSU’s Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences
Nova Southeastern University’s (NSU) Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences (GSCIS) is hosting a series of events in observance of National 

Top level of O’Connell garage reserved Thursday for event
University of Florida
University of Florida students and employees who use the O’Connell Center parking garage are advised that the top level is reserved all day Thursday for the …

UF researchers identify citrus cultivars that show promise in battle 
University of Florida
University of Florida researchers have some encouraging results in the battle against citrus greening.

Two UF students win prestigious HHMI awards
University of Florida
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Natali Di Russo works in computational biology in the University of Florida’s department of chemistry and Quantum Theory Project.