The challenges facing higher ed

first_imgMaintaining global excellence, expanding access to higher education, and ensuring its affordability are the biggest challenges facing public and private universities, said the presidents of Harvard University, Stanford University, and Ohio State University during a panel discussion Tuesday hosted by the Economic Club of Washington, D.C.During the wide-ranging discussion among the presidents, Harvard’s Drew Faust, Stanford’s Marc Tessier-Lavigne, and Ohio State’s Michael Drake probed the pressing issues facing higher education, including the potential for dramatic cuts to federal scientific research funding, new immigration and visa restrictions on students and faculty, and ongoing efforts to prevent campus sexual violence and alcohol abuse.Although securing financial support for academic endeavors is a major — and always difficult — part of a university president’s job, the Trump administration’s plan to impose new budgetary constraints on scientific research has made that task even harder, they said.In the wake of last weekend’s March for Science, Drake and Tessier-Lavigne, a neuroscientist, noted that once-catastrophic diseases like polio and AIDS are now under control thanks to academic scientific research supported by such funding. Rising public health challenges, such as Alzheimer’s, will require similar resources if the nation hopes to effectively manage its rapidly aging population, the presidents added.Too often, state and federal lawmakers consider funding for areas like scientific research and student financial aid discretionary, especially when annual budgets are tight, they said. But ensuring that citizens have access to higher education is “really [an] investment in the future, and I think that the legislatures sometimes look at them as a cost,” Drake, who has had to freeze student costs since 2015, told moderator David Rubenstein.An ophthalmologist, Drake noted that the federal government has had a long and fruitful partnership with academic institutions to make advances in medicine, technology, and other scientific disciplines.Some of the responsibility for the perception that such research isn’t essential falls on colleges and universities, which need to do a better job of communicating the important economic and social benefits that higher education provides, the presidents said. “One of our biggest challenges is to explain who we are and what we do and why it matters” to legislators, philanthropists, and the public, Faust said.Since January, Faust said she has been making the case to Republican and Democratic members of Congress that fully funding the National Institutes of Health in the upcoming federal budget, an area President Trump has earmarked for major cuts, is critical to advance scientific research. She has invited lawmakers to come see firsthand the important scientific work being done in Harvard laboratories.Recent efforts to restrict immigration and reduce the availability of work and student visas pose a grave risk to Stanford’s rich educational experience and its longstanding culture of entrepreneurship, said Tessier-Lavigne. A Canadian who was able to study in the United States thanks to a student visa, he noted that more than half of American startups today are launched by immigrants and that 10 percent of Stanford students are international. “We think it’s very important because it enriches the education of our American students,” he said.Helping and supporting international students who want to stay in the United States after graduation through the H-1B visa program is an important concern for Harvard and has a direct effect on whether the University can sustain excellence in the decades to come, said Faust. “Openness to international students and faculty is not incidental to who we are, it’s fundamental to who we are,” she said.Because the University’s endowments support about a third of Harvard’s annual operating budget, Faust said that taxing them would undermine the ability of Harvard and other private institutions like Stanford to ensure that students can afford to attend regardless of their financial circumstances.Confronting and preventing sexual violence on campus is another priority at the three schools, the panelists said. In the wake of troubling findings in a 2015 national survey, administrators have stepped up efforts to better inform students about consent and diminish the embarrassment some affected students feel, which interferes with reporting incidents or seeking support.After Rubenstein asked why anyone should get a degree from Stanford or Harvard when successful people like Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, or Bill Gates of Microsoft dropped out before graduating, Faust insisted the ideas incubated and the friends they made while on campus left an indelible mark.But on the nagging question of which school a high school student should attend after getting into both Harvard and Stanford, Faust was emphatic in quipping: “Ohio State.”last_img read more

Neil Patrick Harris Becomes a Sardi’s Legend

first_img Show Closed This production ended its run on Sept. 13, 2015 Related Shows Hedwig and the Angry Inch View Comments With just a few days left as the star of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Neil Patrick Harris had one final task to cement the legendary status of his Tony-winning run: joining the wall of Sardi’s! On August 15, a small group of friends gathered to see the unveiling of his caricature at the iconic theater district bistro. Before the portrait got hung, he posed for this hot shot after adding a simple message: “Thanks so much!” No, thank you so much, NPH, for making Broadway a little more exciting these past few months. Come back soon! last_img

Home Away from Home

first_imgThe North Face Meadowlands 6 The trouble with big family tents is that they often require an engineering degree to pitch them. The North Face simplifies the process as much as possible with the Meadowlands, a six-person behemoth, by giving you color-coded poles and exterior pole clips, so you don’t have to fish the poles through 13 feet of tubing. As for space, the Meadowlands has it: 90 square feet to be exact. There’s lots of mesh for venting, but the tent is burly enough to hold up to winds that might cripple lesser family digs. 14.4 pounds. $429; 1 2 One size fits all? Not when you’re talking about tents. Check out these four new shelters, fit for soloists or big families.REI Hobitat 4 Yes, the Hobitat is a tent, but you’d be better served thinking of this as a modular home. The four-person tent comes standard with a rainfly and mini vestibule, but it’s also built with a special “connect tech zipper” that allows you to add a full-sized garage. Pop open the garage’s awning and you’ve got shaded outdoor lounge space; close it down completely and you’ve got weatherproof storage for all your gear. Not that the tent isn’t spacious enough on its own. The odd pod-shaped design gives you more headroom throughout the tent, and tons of mesh pockets and hang loops keep your family’s gear off the floor. 16lb 8oz. $269; rei.comSierra Designs Lightning HT 2 Compared to most two-person tents, which are really only big enough for one regular-sized person and a dog, the Lightning HT 2 feels like a roomy amphitheater. The square footage isn’t revolutionary (28.5 square feet) but a few smart design features enable the Lightning HT 2 to live big. An extra ridge pole adds head room, then double doors keep you from having to step over your buddy every time you have to pee. And the rain fly has two separate vestibules, so you each get your own space. It’s a fully mesh tent, so if the weather’s right, ditch the fly and the entire forest becomes your bedroom, minus the bugs. 3lb 14oz. $279.95; sierradesigns.comlast_img read more

101: Intro to Climbing

first_imgSchool of Hard Rocks: A climber ascends the south peak of Seneca Rocks, W.Va. Photo: Massey TeelFrom the gear and terminology to the fear factor, learning to climb can be intimidating. But the payoff is huge.  Here is some crucial info to help you rock your first rock climb.Three Ways to ClimbTop rope: The climbing rope is run through a fixed anchor point above the route, allowing the climber to send shorter routes without any extra protection on the wall. Sport: Fixed protection is bolted into the rock wall, allowing climbers to clip into bolts as they send a route.Traditional: Artificial protection (cams and wedges) is placed in grooves and cracks on the rock wall as the lead climber sends a route. The second climber then “cleans” or removes the protection as he follows up the route. Trad climbing is the most prevalent form of climbing in the Southeast.Climbing GlossaryAnchor: The point where the rope is attached to the rock. Anchors are typically trees or bolts.Belay: To secure a climber with a rope to minimize a fall. In a top rope scenario, the climber, anchor, and belayer form three points of contact with the rope.Crux: The most difficult section of a climb.Gripped: Overcome with fear and fatigue in the middle of a climb.Lead climbing: To climb a route from the bottom up, placing artificial protection, or clipping into permanently placed bolts, along the way.Multi-pitch: A long route that demands traditional protection placement. Each pitch of the climb must be shorter than a single length of rope (50 meters).Protection: “Pro” for short, anchors placed by a lead climber to secure a climb.Myth BustersFirst, forget everything you think you know about rock climbing. Here are two common misconceptions dispelled:1. Climbing is dangerous: Sure, you’re hundreds of feet off the ground strapped to a rock wall, but climbing is far safer than most non-climbers realize. According to a study released in 2008 by the American Alpine Club, climbers suffer fewer accidents than snowboards, skiers, and sledders.“Knowledge is power,” says Swis Stockton, owner of Granite Arches, a service that guides beginners all over the Southeast. “A lot of beginners are scared to fall because they don’t realize the equipment is built for that very thing. If the ropes and harnesses are cared for, they’re much safer than most beginners think.2. Climbing is about upper body strength: Sylvester Stallone made climbing looking brutally hard in Cliffhanger, but it’s not really about bulging biceps and huge “lats.”“Climbing is about leg presses, not pull ups,” Stockton says. “Good climbers think about their foot placement first, moving from one foothold to the next, using their hands just for balance.”Practice your footwork in the gym. Find a low-angled wall built for kids and try to traverse it using only your feet. If you can, keep your hands on your hips. 1 2last_img read more

Federal regulators issue TDR guidance

first_imgNAFCU continues to receive questions from credit unions as they navigate the challenges posed by COVID-19 and work to help their members who are adversely impacted. One common question is to what extent loan modifications made during this time will be considered a “troubled debt restructuring” (TDR) under NCUA guidance and generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).As a reminder, Appendix B to Part 741 of NCUA’s regulations sets forth the agency’s expectations regarding loan workouts, nonaccrual policies, and regulatory reporting of TDR loans. In this guidance, the definition of TDR is set by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), whether a specific loan modification is a TDR is generally a question requiring accounting expertise, not legal expertise. Credit unions may need to consult with their accountant on these kinds of issues.In Appendix B, NCUA stated that a TDR is “a restructuring in which a credit union, for economic or legal reasons related to a member borrower’s financial difficulties, grants a concession to the borrower that it would not otherwise consider.” This can include “a modification of the loan terms, such as a reduction of the stated interest rate, principal, or accrued interest or an extension of the maturity date at a stated interest rate lower than the current market rate.” In other words, many of the programs credit unions have been considering to assist members affected by COVID-19 seemed to potentially meet the definition of TDR. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Paul Nicholls retains faith in Solo ahead of return | Racing News

first_img– Advertisement – “This track is much more like Kempton, where he won the Adonis. He’s schooled great and is working well – I’m very excited about him.“We’ll stay over hurdles this year, and Saturday will tell us an awful lot.”Nicholls also fields Diego Du Charmil in Sayturday’s Grade Two heat, while 2016 victor Sceau Royal represents Alan King and arrives on the back of victory in the Welsh Champion Hurdle.- Advertisement – Colin Tizzard’s Master Debonair is an intriguing runner, having been off the track since disappointing in his Cheltenham Festival prep back in February, with a planned Aintree outing scuppered by the cancellation of the Grand National meeting.Brandon Castle and Teqany complete the six-strong line-up.Nicholls fields Wincanton fan Grand Sancy in the “Rising Stars” Novices’ Chase, in which he faces just two rivals.He has won the last two of his five outings over fences, also finishing third at Grade One level on his chasing debut, and arrives with a Listed success at Chepstow already in the bank this season.The trainer said: “This has been the plan ever since he won at Chepstow.“He’s a good, solid jumper who loves good ground, so I think he’s got a great chance“He’s a novice until December 1, and the experience he had in those good races last season will stand him in good stead.“He ran in the Elite Hurdle last year and was only just beaten – he loves Wincanton.“He’s a good, solid jumper who loves good ground, so I think he’s got a great chance.”Present Man and Bryony Frost will try to repeat their victories of 2017 and 2018 in the Badger Ales Silver Trophy Chase, with Nicholls also fielding Danny Whizzbang and My Way.The 10-year-old Present Man warmed up for this with a veterans’ chase win at Chepstow last month, when he returned from a 335-day break.Nicholls said: “He’s only gone up 2lb for winning at Chepstow, and we went there thinking he’d need the run a little. We had that as a prep race, so he surprised us a little bit.“He looks great. I don’t think he was ever right last season. If he runs like he did at Chepstow the other day, on his beloved course and the ground is fast, he must have a leading chance.”While Present Man tops the weights, My Way is at the other end of the scale with Bryan Carver also taking a hand 5lb off the recent Stratford hurdles winner.Nicholls added: “I’ve always thought the Badger Ales would be a great race for My Way. He’s a maiden over fences, but he ran some nice races last year and is on a nice little mark.“He won well over hurdles the other day, really as a prep for this. If the ground doesn’t dry up too much, he’s definitely got a chance.”The three-mile-one-furlong contest has drawn 15 runners, including Kim Bailey’s likely favourite and hat-trick seeker El Presente and the Harry Fry-trained Just A Sting, who was fourth in the race last year. aul Nicholls is keeping the faith with Solo as he makes his seasonal bow in the Unibet Elite Hurdle at Wincanton.The four-year-old made quite a splash on his British debut back in February, hacking up by 13 lengths in the Adonis Juvenile Hurdle at Kempton to add to a previous Auteuil victory for Guillaume Macaire.- Advertisement – Upped to Grade One company in the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham, Solo fell short in finishing a 10-and-a-half-length eighth – but Nicholls believes that effort can be excused and is keen to see how his charge, who has been gelded since, shapes up on his return.He said: “He’d probably done enough in France and had never seen a track like Cheltenham before.“Horses like Clan Des Obeaux and Frodon ran in the Triumph and finished in midfield like him. I’d put a line through Cheltenham – he’s had a nice break, he’s been gelded and has definitely improved.- Advertisement –last_img read more

As Prabowo visits Russia again, little headway on Sukhoi

first_imgDefense analysts said Prabowo’s latest visit to Moscow is the culmination of a two-year campaign from the Indonesian Defense Ministry to offer a strategic partnership in the defense industry between the two countries, an overture that has been welcomed by the Russian government, which gradually opened itself to such an idea with the 2019 Military Technical Cooperation (MTC) meeting.Analyst Curie Maharani Savitri of BINUS University said Prabowo’s latest visit marked the changing nature of the two countries’ defense partnership, which dated back to 2003.“Indonesia has been invested in bilateral relations with Russia since the days of president Megawati Soekarnoputri in 2003,” Curie said. “The [relationship is] evolving, from the initial role of Indonesia as a buyer of [Russia’s] primary weapons system; now Russia has opened itself to the prospect of [defense] industry cooperation [with Indonesia].”Russia’s pivot in the defense partnership with Indonesia was part of a bigger plan to improve its ties with countries in the Southeast Asia region, which have been seen so far only as consumers of its primary weapons system, Curie said. In a statement released following his January meeting with Prabowo, Defense Minister Shoygu considered Indonesia a key partner in the region.“We consider Indonesia as one of the most important partners of Russia in the Asia-Pacific region. Cooperation with Indonesia is traditionally based on friendship and mutual trust. We note that there are prerequisites for bringing bilateral ties to the level of a strategic partnership,” Shoygu said in a statement released by the Russian Defense Ministry. In the statement, Shoygu expressed hope that a declaration on the strategic partnership could be signed between the two countries this year. Despite the warming of the ties, questions remain over progress in the US$1.14 billion deal signed in 2018 for Indonesia’s purchase of 11 Sukhoi Su-35 jet fighters from Russia as part of the former’s defense sector modernization.A number of factors, including budget refocusing to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic as well as uncertainty over the United States’ reaction to such a purchase, are possible stumbling blocks in finalizing the Sukhoi deal.The Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), passed in the US in 2017, stipulates economic punishments for its partners that conduct business with Russia.“There is not yet any clarity on whether Indonesia will get a [CAATSA] waiver, whether Defense Minister [Prabowo] has lobbied [the US] or will wait until after the upcoming US election,” Curie said.The idea of a CAATSA waiver has been floated since 2018, when then-US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said such a provision would allow US partners to have a closer partnership with the superpower and help them transition away from their dependency on Russia in terms of military weapons procurement.Defense analyst Dewi Fortuna Anwar of the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), meanwhile, said Prabowo’s recent visit to Moscow highlighted Indonesia’s aim to diversify its sources of weaponry to reduce its dependency on a single manufacturer.Dewi said Indonesia paid a heavy price when the US imposed an arms embargo on Indonesia in 1999.“Following the military embargo from the US after the post-referendum violence in East Timor, the government’s new commitment was to diversify its [sources] of primary weaponry system procurement,” said Dewi.Defense Ministry spokesman Dahnil Anzar Simanjuntak, meanwhile, said Prabowo had been invited by his Russian counterpart to discuss defense ties between the two countries.“In the meeting, Defense Minister [Prabowo] and the Russian defense minister touched on issues of defense partnership, particularly military education, joint training and the development of defense industry cooperation,” Dahnil told The Jakarta Post late last week.During his visit, Prabowo also joined the Victory Day parade commemorating the Soviet Union’s triumph in the Second World War. He also met with Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe while attending the parade, with pictures of the two men uploaded to the Defense Ministry’s Twitter handle @Kemhan_RI on June 24.Topics : Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto’s recent visit to Russia to attend the Victory Day military parade highlighted the depth of cooperation in the defense sector between the two countries despite the absence of progress in Indonesia’s plan to procure Russian Sukhoi jet fighters, defense analysts have said.Last week, Prabowo jetted off to Moscow to join the celebration of the 75th anniversary of Victory Day, during which he also held talks with Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin.Prabowo’s latest visit to Moscow was the second in less than six months, after a trip on Jan. 28, when he met with Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu.last_img read more

EIOPA ‘founding father’ backs greater powers for supervisor

first_imgThe “founding father” of the European supervisory bodies has backed calls for the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) to be given an independent budget, and suggested that granting it greater supervisory powers was inevitable.Jacques de Larosière, a former head of the IMF and chairman of the Larosière committee that in 2009 recommended the creation of the current European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) of EIOPA, the European Securities and Markets Authority and the European Banking Authority, said the work of establishing the ESAs remained unfinished until they were granted a greater role in supervising their respective sectors.He said EIOPA’s “absolutely fundamental” work on harmonising both regulation and supervision needed to go hand-in-hand with greater powers for the authority chaired by Gabriel Bernardino.Speaking during the keynote address at EIOPA’s annual conference in Frankfurt, de Larosière said: “It is essential that EIOPA have sufficient powers to conduct enquiries into particular financial institutions, and not only in situations of crisis. “And they have to have to have the liberty to do that, without permission.”He also said the funding of the ESAs should be “de-coupled” from the European Commission’s budget, as this would grant them the flexibility needed to carry out its tasks.EIOPA recently warned that a freeze in its budget would “severely undermine” its ability to perform. Carlos Montalvo, EIOPA’s executive director, praised de Larosière as the founding father of the “successful experiment” of ESAs.“I would say the work is unfinished,” de Larosière added, “because, eventually, your institutions, your authorities are going to have to have a wider role in supervision.“Now, we knew that when we wrote the report, but it was not possible to articulate that in that way, and I think it was wise not to do it at the time.“But, little by little, as you establish your credibility, as you establish your objectivity in your work, you will become inevitably a moving force in that question of harmonising supervision.”He said that while it was important not to apply undue pressure, eventually, the three ESAs would be granted a significant role in supervising the European financial system.De Larosière’s intervention comes months after the Commission approved a report on reforming the ESAs that also suggested each should only have a single stakeholder group, essentially merging the pensions and insurance groups at EIOPA.Any suggestion that the occupational pensions stakeholder group (OPSG) should be abolished has been rejected by the industry and members of the OPSG, while Bernardino recently told IPE that the current arrangement should remain.The review also recommended that the funding of the ESAs no longer be the responsibility of the European Commission, and new commissioner for financial services Jonathan Hill has been asked to investigate if the authorities could be funded, either partially or fully, through an industry levy.last_img read more

MSCI warns of €1bn-plus funds running liquidity risks

first_imgRoughly 1% of large, equity-based UCITS investment funds have less than half of their portfolios invested in highly liquid assets, raising questions about their ability to meet high levels of investor redemptions, according to analysis by MSCI.The data firm reviewed about 400 UCITS funds with assets of more than €1bn and found that seven held more than 15% in illiquid assets, while “approximately 1%” had less than half invested in “highly liquid” assets.Laszlo Hollo, a vice-president in MSCI’s risk management and liquidity core research team, wrote in a blog post earlier this month that applying stricter US liquidity rules highlighted a risk of misalignment between the requirements of clients and the ability of fund managers to meet redemptions.“Misaligned liquidity can be a risk for both institutional investors and fund managers,” Hollo said. “For institutional investors, a potential liquidity mismatch may prevent them from withdrawing their capital upon request, while suspension of withdrawals may harm a fund manager’s reputation. “Even though most of the analysed UCITS funds seemed sufficiently liquid, there were a handful with relatively large exposure to liquidity risk.”UCITS funds do not have a strict limit on illiquid holdings, but managers must provide investors the ability to trade at least every two weeks. Many funds permit withdrawals daily. In the US, open-end investment funds cannot hold more than 15% in illiquid assets. Neil Woodford, Woodford Investment ManagementMSCI’s research was conducted in the wake of the high-profile suspension of the LF Woodford Equity Income fund, which stopped investors from withdrawing their money at the start of June after months of high levels of redemptions.Kent County Council’s £6.2bn (€6.9bn) pension fund – one of few institutional investors in the fund – attempted to withdraw its stake but was denied when the fund closed on 3 June.The Woodford fund has yet to reopen. In a statement published on 1 July, Link Fund Solutions – the independent monitor and administrator for the fund – said it had extended the suspension for another 28 days to allow portfolio manager Neil Woodford to reposition the fund’s portfolio into more liquid assets.The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority has promised to revisit illiquid asset rules for investment funds following the Woodford suspension.Last month, Bank of England governor Mark Carney warned that funds with daily liquidity that invested in illiquid assets were “built on a lie”, giving rise to a “structural” problem that had implications for retail investors.“The Woodford fund highlighted the importance of keeping an eye on a fund’s liquidity profile as a key component of managing risk,” MSCI’s Hollo said.last_img read more

COSCO Shipping Specialized Carriers Orders Pulp Carrier Quartet at Dalian Yard

first_imgChina’s shipping company COSCO Shipping Specialized Carriers has exercised options to build four 62,000-ton multipurpose pulp carriers. The company said it signed an agreement with COSCO Shipping Heavy Industry (Dalian) shipyard for the construction of vessel quartet on March 1, 2019.The ships are expected to be delivered between the late 2019 and 2021. The company will pay USD 33.5 million per ship, according to data provided by Asiasis.Last year, COSCO Shipping Specialized Carriers ordered five identical 62,000-ton pulp carriers. The order included four options which needed to be confirmed by March 7, 2019.As explained, the move is in line with the company’s development strategy focused on seizing opportunities in the global pulp market.Back in 2017, COSCO Shipping Specialized Carriers also ordered three 62,000 dwt pulp carriers at Dalian yard. The ships will carry cargo of Brazilian pulp and paper company Suzano Papel e Celulose.COSCO Shipping Specialized Carriers, part of China COSCO Shipping Corporation Limited Company, operates a fleet of more than 100 vessels, including multipurpose and heavy lift vessels, semi-submersible vessels, pure car carriers, logs carriers as well as asphalt carriers.World Maritime News Stafflast_img read more