News & Trends: Contingency Planning \ Disaster Management
News & Trends: Government Reports (GAO etc.)
11/27/2007 - Yes, there really is a company operating on the Internet as Degrees-R-Us, and GAO auditors purchased bogus degrees from a fictitious university from the company, according to Robert J. Cramer, who testified before the House Subcommittee on 21st Century Competitiveness, Committee on Education and the Workforce. The GAO also set up its own diploma mill and was able to obtain certification from the Department of Education to enroll in the Federal Family Education Loan Program. Finally, GAO auditors determined that some senior-level federal employees have obtained degrees from diploma mills, though specific numbers couldn't be determined.
News & Trends: Substance Abuse
11/16/2007 - A June 2002 opinion by the Supreme Court granted public schools more leeway to test students for drugs randomly. How to do it appropriately was left to the schools. To aid the effort, the White House's Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) has finally released a guidance document to school administrators.
Case Study: Best Practices \ Case Studies
11/13/2007 - A Long Island school system updates access control lock, stock, and barrel.
News & Trends: Crime
11/13/2007 - Forget the Mayberry stereotype. The latest data show that the percentage of students at rural schools that reported being bullied in 2003 (10 percent) was greater than at urban and suburban schools (seven percent each). And that difference has doubled since 1999, according to the 2004 edition of Indicators of School Crime and Safety, a publication of the National Center for Education Statistics and the Bureau of Justice Statistics.
Legal Report: Legal Issues
News & Trends: Training
11/08/2007 - Prevention instead of response has seen only limited use on campuses. Fifty-six percent of the 90 college and university security directors surveyed by FJC Security Services Inc. characterize their campus security in regard to terrorism as "response mode." Yet 83 percent said that their security officers had received training "specific to preventing, deterring, and responding" to acts of terrorism.
News & Trends: Crime
11/07/2007 - Contending with bad breath and nervous patients, dentists and hygienists have plenty of challenges. One university is also training them to stop abuse by reporting broken jaws and suspiciously chipped teeth—signs of family violence. Because 60 percent of abuse cases involve head and neck injuries, which dental professionals are uniquely suited to identify, the University of Minnesota’s School of Dentistry and the Program Against Sexual Violence created a training program to deal with patients affected by family violence. The program discusses the dynamics of abuse, teaches dental students and professionals how to intervene in and report violence, and shows how to identify community service providers and establish office protocols.A report by the Justice Department’s Office for Victims of Crime indicates that the training “made a significant, positive impact in teaching dental professionals how to identify and report cases of abuse.” The report urges that this training be integrated into dental schools, dental hygiene programs, and dental associations. Read it on SM Online.
News & Trends: Fire Safety
11/07/2007 - College students are many things, but cautious isn’t usually one of them. And when the emotional tinder swirling in young adults mixes with physical tinder, such as paper and cheap furniture, in population-dense dorms, the combination can be highly combustible. That may be one of the reasons why about 1,300 fires occur in U.S. college and university dormitories every year. Unfortunately, in most dorm fires, no automatic sprinkler system is there to douse the flames.As part of a U.S. Fire Administration initiative to improve fire safety in college housing, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) conducted fire experiments in abandoned dorm rooms in Arkansas. Link to NIST via SM Online to get the free DVD .
News & Trends: Academic \ Educational Programs
11/07/2007 - Surely you’ve heard of the University of Berkeley, Hamilton University, St. Regis University, and the American University of London. Or have you? In fact, these schools are suspected “diploma mills”—colleges and universities offering worthless degrees that require no work. They use familiar sounding names intended to make prospective employers mistake them for real institutions, such as the University of California at Berkeley, Hamilton College, Regis University, and the American University in London. The problem came to the fore when it was found that many government workers, including staff in the Department of Homeland Security, had these phony credentials, prompting Congress to hold a series of hearings.
Schools: School Security
11/07/2007 - Universities must understand the impact of lighting on campus and work to create lighting policies that meet both student and industry expectations.
News & Trends: How-to
11/06/2007 - If a student says to a gym teacher, “All jocks should be blown up,” should it be taken as a threat? Probably not if the student was laughing or obviously joking, but if the student has a history of making such pronouncements, the school might want to treat it as a legitimate threat. In general, the more specific the threat, the more seriously it should be taken, according to one of the latest entries into the Department of Justice’s Problem-Oriented Guides for Police, called “Bomb Threats in Schools.” The guide discusses the problem of bomb threats in schools, factors contributing to such threats, the right questions for administrators to ask themselves about the problem, and possible initiatives to prevent or respond to threats. Sixteen viable initiatives are presented, 9 involving prevention, 7 involving immediate response. For example, schools can develop a bomb-threat response plan. The guide points to an online tool developed by the Department of Homeland Security in conjunction with the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology for training and refresher courses on response planning. Immediate responses to a bomb threat may include recording the threat, analyzing it, evacuating the school, searching for a bomb, talking to the media, following up after the incident, and placing police officers in schools. The guide is on SM Online.
Cybersecurity: IT Security
11/06/2007 - The Cyber Incident Detection Data Analysis Center (CIDDAC), a service to share real-time cyberthreat information, recently launched its National Operations Center at the University of Pennsylvania.