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The professor and president pay divide, UB uses tech to help vets

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The path to graduation for many students is lined with professors who are making less - and university presidents making more.

Pay rates for university presidents are rising, while compensation for professors is declining, reports Scott Waldman at the Times Union.  Waldman has details on a new survey by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP):

With another round of budget cuts on the way at virtually every university, the outlook will only get worse, said John Curtis, AAUP director of research and public policy. That could have a significant effect on the college students of the future, who will be more likely to sit in large survey courses taught by a graduate student than they are now. Many courses could simply disappear, he warned, as some liberal arts majors have at the University at Albany. A continuation of the trend could eventually change what it means to get a college education in America. "We're getting to a fundamental issue on the purpose of higher education," Curtis said. "Increasingly, it comes down to whether students can get a complete education, rather than just training in a few specific skills."

Tech to talk

University at Buffalo researchers are teaming up with a tech firm to help disabled veterans reconnect with family, reports Stephen T. Watson at the Buffalo News:

One of the first projects [researcher Michael] Buckley’s and [researcher Kris] Schindler’s students produced, in 2003, was the Talker, a program that “speaks” for people who no longer can. [Veteran David] Jauch was its first user. The brain stem stroke he suffered at 24 robbed him of his speech and left him with only limited use of his left arm. To communicate, he pointed to words on a sheet of paper. With the Talker program, Jauch holds a stylus in his left hand and carefully taps letters on a touch-sensitive screen on a laptop computer to spell his words. A voice reads each letter out loud and, at the end, speaks the sentence for Jauch.

Community college

Binghamton University is offering a new route to admission to local students - spending one or two years at Broome Community College before matriculating.  Steve Reilly reports at the Press & Sun-Bulletin that BU is trying to capitalize on the students that don't make the initial cut:

"There's quite a market there in the reject pool," BCC President Kevin Drumm said, "and if (students) really want to be in Binghamton -- and they want to be guaranteed admission to Binghamton University and carry that brand forward on their resumes -- this gives them an alternative to do it if they weren't admitted straight in." Binghamton University is joining dozens of other institutions across the country in offering admission to qualified candidates after they study elsewhere for a period of time. Elsewhere in the state, the University at Albany, SUNY-Genesco and Cornell University offer deferred admissions.

Meanwhile, at Monroe Community College, officials are holding off on hiking tuition following the adoption of the state budget, reports James Goodman at the Democrat and Chronicle.  The final piece of the school's funding puzzle - Monroe County - has yet to be locked in. But the school's president says there's No way to get around some tuition increase," and some trustees want to raise rates as a preventative measure:

Initially, the trustees were set on Monday to vote on a resolution that would have permitted up to a $100 increase in tuition for in-state students and twice that for out-of-state students. But trustee John Parrinello wanted to give the trustees the authority to raise the tuition up to $200 a year — not because he wants such an increase but because of all the uncertainty surrounding MCC's finances. The trustees ultimately decided to hold off on voting on any tuition increase until their June meeting, when they have a better idea of the county's financial support of MCC for the next school year. As MCC's local sponsor, the county contributes to the college's annual budget. Currently, the county provides $16.7 million of the MCC's $123.7 million budget.

Building

The University of Rochester has picked up a plot of land in downtown Rochester for $640,000, reports Thomas Adams at the Rochester Business Journal.  If the sale is approved by city council and the county legislature, the school will select a developer to create retail and office space.

And Nazareth College in Rochester broke ground yesterday on its new Integrated Center for Math and Science, a $31 million undertaking.  Nate Dougherty at the Rochester Business Journal has more details.

Green SUNY

SUNY leaders met yesterday to talk about implementing the school's "Energy-Smart New York" plan, reports the Oneida Daily Dispatch:

[Monday's] convening includes members of SUNY’s Innovation and Transformation Teams – some of New York’s best and brightest in their fields who are representative of SUNY’s vast institutional diversity and geographic reach. The teams are one of the central implementation mechanisms for The Power of SUNY. The all-day session divides attendees into 13 working groups that are charged with the solicitation, creation, vetting, and recommendation of specific program proposals that will advance strategic plan initiatives.

Grad students

Applications for graduate programs are on the rise at Binghamton University, reports Miranda Lagrehr at the school's student newspaper, the Pipe Dream:

Scott Grant, dean of the School of Education at BU, said enrollment in the SOE has gone up every year for the past three years. "It does seem to us that there is increased interest in teacher preparation programs, programs that lead to teacher certification," Grant said. Grant also said he sees this trend continuing and even increasing further. "We're thinking that our numbers may be quite robust this year," he said.

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