Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Two new resources from the IMF

International Monetary Fund: World Economic Outlook Reports
The World Economic Outlook is published biannually by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The data is the product of a comprehensive interdepartmental review of world economic developments, which draws primarily on information the IMF staff gathers through its consultations with member countries. Past reports are also available for download in PDF format.

International Monetary Fund: Staff Country Reports
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) provides country reports covering a wide variety of business topics including economic conditions, infrastructure development, debt relief, and many more business subjects related to specific countries. These staff reports are listed alphabetically by country names for which the reports correspond to. Most reports are available as a PDF format for free and the IMF also offers hard copy versions of the reports for a fee.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

KU Edwards Campus a partner in 3-year IT degree plan

OVERLAND PARK – A new collaboration among the University of Kansas Edwards Campus, Johnson County Community College (JCCC) and the Blue Valley and Olathe school districts will enable secondary students to obtain a bachelor’s degree in information technology three years after high school graduation, officials announced. The Degree in 3 program represents an innovative way for students interested in an IT career to accelerate education, obtain access to internships, become acclimated to the business world and save money on higher education. The Edwards Campus and JCCC also are exploring ways to expand Degree in 3 to additional fields of study and to more school districts, according to David Cook, Edwards Campus vice chancellor. “Industry is asking for this,” Cook said. “The IT workforce needs are out there, and there is business interest in meeting the need. As we have launched our new Bachelor of Science in information technology, we are constantly talking with our partners. Kansas legislators also have suggested we explore options such as this.” (More)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

ZIP Code & County Business Patterns

2012 ZIP Code Business Patterns   “Provides data on the number of business establishments by employment-size class for detailed industries. Statistics are provided for about 40,000 ZIP codes nationwide.”  County Business Patterns (CBP) is an annual series that provides subnational economic data by industry. This series includes the number of establishments, employment during the week of March 12, first quarter payroll, and annual payroll. This data is useful for studying the economic activity of small areas; analyzing economic changes over time; and as a benchmark for other statistical series, surveys, and databases between economic censuses. Businesses use the data for analyzing market potential, measuring the effectiveness of sales and advertising programs, setting sales quotas, and developing budgets. Government agencies use the data for administration and planning. ZIP Code Business Patterns data is available shortly after the release of County Business Patterns. It provides the number of establishments by employment-size classes by detailed industry in the U.S.”    Info provided by: Sabrina I. Pacifici - bespacific@earthlink.net  

Monday, July 14, 2014

Net Neutrality Principles

Full Net Neutrality Principles document provided at: http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/EPO1305_1.pdf 
The organizations listed after "Net Neutrality Principles" believe that "preserving an open Internet is essential to our nation's freedom of speech, educational achievement, and economic growth. The Internet now serves as a primary, open platform for information exchange, intellectual discourse, civic engagement, creativity, research, innovation, teaching, and learning."

Net Neutrality Principles
❖  Ensure Neutrality on All Public Networks
❖  Prohibit Blocking
❖  Protect Against Unreasonable Discrimination
❖  Prohibit Paid Prioritization
❖  Prevent Degradation
❖  Enable Reasonable Network Management
❖  Provide Transparency
❖  Continue Capacity
❖  Adopt Enforceable Policies
❖  Accommodate Public Safety
❖  Maintain the Status Quo on Private Networks

Provided by American Association of Community Colleges, American Association of State Colleges and Universities, American Council on Education, American Library Association, Association of American Universities, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, Association of Research Libraries, Chief Officers of State Library Agencies, EDUCAUSE, Modern Language Association, National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. --- July 10, 2014
(Initial information for this post is from Sabrina I. Pacifici - bespacific@earthlink.net )

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Edwards introducing new degree programs

Early-career professionals seeking advanced degrees or certifications have five new opportunities for higher 
education at the University of Kansas Edwards Campus beginning this fall. “These high-quality academic programs serve both the workforce and the community development needs of the region,” said David Cook, vice chancellor. “Workers in the education and business sectors will be better able to advance their careers, and their employers will benefit, too.” The new programs are primarily in the areas of business and education: Master of Science in Education - Early Childhood Unified;
Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Instruction; Master of Accounting; MBA certificates;
Global & International Studies certificate.
The five new programs increase the total number of academic degrees to 27, in addition to the variety of certificates, available entirely or largely at the Edwards Campus at 12600 Quivira Road. The campus, which receives support from the Johnson County Education Research Triangle sales tax approved more than five years ago, provides research-level higher education opportunities for Kansans and, for the in-state tuition rate, residents of select counties in western Missouri.  More
from KU Today Campus Newsletter

Monday, July 07, 2014

Gauging women's participation in civil leadership

LAWRENCE — A University of Kansas researcher has developed a survey instrument that cities across the nation can use to determine how to get more women involved in civic leadership and what challenges are in the way of women taking such positions. Barbara Kerr, the Williamson Family Distinguished Professor of Counseling Psychology in KU’s School of Education, developed the instrument with her research team as part of the WE Women’s Empowerment initiative enacted by Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Sly James to improve the number of women in civic leadership positions in the city. The project and underlying research is part of Kerr’s larger research goal of understanding how talent develops in women and what keeps them from reaching their full potential. She will speak about both the survey tool and helping individuals reach their potential at the Inspiring Women in Public Administration Conference, which is Thursday, June 26, at the Edwards Campus. KU's Public Management Center organized the conference. The research is not simply about appointing women to certain positions or meeting diversity quotas, but about improving life, services and governance for all. “One of my missions has always been to help make the world more human-friendly by listening to what women want,” Kerr said. While the instrument has already yielded results that Kansas City leaders will use to help boost the participation of women in city leadership roles, it will soon be available to others looking to do the same. Kerr is currently preparing journal articles on the instrument and the Kansas City findings, and will author a manual for use of the tool in other locations. [More]

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Federal Reserve Board Beige Book

Summary of Commentary on Current Economic Conditions by Federal Reserve District: “Economic activity in the Second District has continued to grow at a moderate pace since the last report. Prices of finished goods and services remained generally stable, and businesses report modest upward pressure on input prices. Manufacturers report that business activity has picked up considerably in recent weeks, while service sector firms indicate a mixed performance. Labor market conditions have shown signs of firming across a broad range of industries, with scattered reports of labor shortages. Both general merchandise retailers and auto dealers report that sales have been steady to stronger since the last report. Tourism activity has strengthened, no longer held back by harsh weather. Housing markets showed further signs of improvement, while commercial real estate markets were generally steady. Finally, banks report fairly widespread increases in demand for loans–especially mortgages; credit standards are little changed, while delinquency rates are steady to down modestly.”   Info: Sabrina I. Pacifici

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Condition of Education 2014

“The Congress has mandated that the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) produce an annual Condition of Education report to help inform policymakers about the progress of education in the United States. This year’s report presents 42 indicators on important topics and trends in U.S. education. These indicators focus on population characteristics, participation in education, elementary and secondary education, and postsecondary education. This year’s Condition shows that about 90 percent of young adults ages 25 to 29 had a high school diploma or its equivalent in 2013, and that 34 percent had a bachelor’s or higher degree. As in previous years, in 2012, median earnings were higher for those with higher levels of education—for example, 25- to 34-year-olds with a bachelor’s degree earned more than twice as much as high school dropouts. Also, the unemployment rate was lower for bachelor’s degree holders in this age range than for their peers with lower levels of education. In 2012, almost two-thirds of 3- to 5-year-olds were enrolled in preschool, and 60 percent of these children attended full-day programs. At the elementary and secondary level, there were nearly 50 million students in public schools in 2011—over 2 million of which were in charter schools. The number of students in elementary and secondary schools is expected to grow to 52 million by 2023. Postsecondary enrollment was at 21 million students in 2012, including 18 million undergraduate and 3 million graduate, or postbaccalaureate, students. One in five school-age children lived in poverty in 2012, up from about one in seven in 2000. In school year 2011–12, some 3.1 million public high school students, or 81 percent, graduated on time with a regular diploma. About 66 percent of 2012 high school completers enrolled in college that fall. Meanwhile, the status dropout rate, or the percentage of 16- to 24-year-olds who are not enrolled in school and do not have a high school diploma or its equivalent, declined from 12 percent in 1990 to 7 percent in 2012.” by Sabrina I. Pacifici on May 29, 2014

Monday, June 23, 2014

How Decentralized Management Is Improving Schools

The Rise of Networks By Maureen Kelleher | May 27, 2014
“School districts across the country are shifting away from their traditional management paradigm—a central office that directs its schools through uniform mandates and policies—toward a new vision where district leaders support autonomous schools while holding them accountable for student performance. The advent of new governance mechanisms between districts and schools that have come with the rise of charter schools, contract schools, and various systems that allow district-managed schools greater freedom of action in hiring, budgeting, and instructional planning has transformed the command-and-control relationships that were long the hallmark of public school management. As a consequence, school-district leaders increasingly recognize that greater school autonomy requires rethinking their models of district-level management and support.” (More)

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Study explores where high number of women earn STEM degrees

There have been concerted efforts in recent years to determine how more women can be involved in science, technology, engineering and mathematics — the so-called STEM fields. Research from the University of Kansas shows that master’s degree institutions that are doing the best in granting degrees to women in those fields are also the best at employing women in leadership positions within the disciplines. Amanda Ostreko, program director of graduate enrollment in the Office of Graduate Studies, co-authored a study with Austin Ryland and Sara Tomek of the University of Alabama, examining predictors of graduate STEM degree production for women at U.S. master’s degree granting institutions. In some, but not all of the STEM fields, having high numbers of female faculty and administrators was positively correlated with higher numbers of women who received masters’ degrees in the fields.  (More)

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Strategic principles for competing in the digital age

McKinsey - Strategic principles for competing in the digital age
Digitization is rewriting the rules of competition, with incumbent companies most at risk of being left behind. Here are six critical decisions CEOs must make to address the strategic challenge posed by the digital revolution. May 2014 | byMartin Hirt and Paul Willmott,

“Staggering amounts of information are accessible as never before—from proprietary big data to new public sources of open data. Analytical and processing capabilities have made similar leaps with algorithms scattering intelligence across digital networks, themselves often lodged in the cloud. Smart mobile devices make that information and computing power accessible to users around the world. As these technologies gain momentum, they are profoundly changing the strategic context: altering the structure of competition, the conduct of business, and, ultimately, performance across industries. One banking CEO, for instance, says the industry is in the midst of a transition that occurs once every 100 years. To stay ahead of the unfolding trends and disruptions, leaders across industries will need to challenge their assumptions and pressure-test their strategies.”