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Crisis averted

(04/28/14 8:27am)

It was the last week of Volume 109’s summer production schedule and my first stab at handling real sleep deprivation. Writing two 10-page final essays on top of putting together a 50-page supplement had left me exhausted, stressed and a little loopy. It was in this mental state, sitting in The Chronicle’s 2,000 square-foot office copyediting a story, that a squirrel peeked its head out from behind my laptop.

Activist Gloria Steinem says 'we are linked, not ranked'

(04/16/14 11:17am)

____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>Feminist activist Gloria Steinem asked a sold-out crowd in the Duke Chapel to begin making the link between what happens in daily life and local communities to issues of state, national and even global importance.Steinem came to Duke Tuesday through the Jean Fox O'Barr distinguished speaker series, an annual event hosted by the Baldwin Scholars program. Much of Steinem's lecture focused on how making connections can allow people to "see the world more wholly." By connecting the way in which our everyday surroundings can contribute to larger societal issues, people can begin to come up with "positive, practical solutions," she said. Becoming linked to the natural world then allows people to see there is no such thing as a hierarchy or pyramid, but a circle, she added. "There is no such thing as gender, race or class," she said. "They are cultural inventions.... We are linked, not ranked."

Duke basketball's Shane Battier stumps for Obamacare

(03/19/14 12:26pm)

____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>Former Blue Devil Shane Battier is helping White House officials push Americans to sign up for the Affordable Care Act by drawing attention to the economic costs of sports-related injuries.The promotional push is beginning alongside the start of March Madness in an effort to reach consumers watching basketball games on television and online. In addition to running advertisements, White House officials will also begin a social media push when the NCAA tournament begins, said Marlon Marshall, White House principal deputy director of the office of public engagement. Battier is helping promote the Affordable Care Act. In a phone conference Tuesday, he discussed the importance of getting health insurance as an athlete who has gone through multiple sports-related injuries. He is showing his support alongside other prominent figures in athletics, such as North Carolina head men's basketball coach Roy Williams and Connecticut head women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma—who filmed a video promoting the Affordable Care Act."The fact is, if you're playing a sport it is important to make sure you have great health insurance because you never know when you're going to take a hit, and you'll probably need treatment of some kind," Battier said.The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a report on the economic costs of sports-related injuries to draw attention to the importance of obtaining coverage. The report noted that more than 1.9 million individuals had sports-related injuries in 2012. Nearly 570,000 were basketball injuries that were treated in emergency departments nationwide, with more than 8,000 resulting in hospitalization.Battier listed some of his basketball-related injuries, which include receiving more than 90 stitches, suffering more than 25 ankle sprains and having reconstructive ankle surgery."There is a health risk that comes from playing a sport so I'm very thankful that I've always had great insurance," he said. "The bottom line is you have to protect yourself."The athletics-focused promotional push is intended to encourage more Americans to sign up for the Affordable Care Act before the March 31 deadline. More than 5 million Americans are currently signed up. Americans who do not sign up for insurance by the March 31 deadline will have to wait until November to enroll.The report also noted that sports-related injuries make up approximately 20 percent of all injury-related emergency department visits among children ages 6-19. Additionally, around 12 million individuals between the ages of five and 22 suffer sports-related injuries annually, which amounts to approximately $33 billion in health care costs."According to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, adults need 30 minutes or more of moderate to physical activity a day to reap important health benefits," said Shellie Pfohl, executive director of the president's council on fitness, sports and nutrition. "So get covered to stay in the game."Pfohl added that six out of 10 people without insurance can get coverage for $100 or less.

Board of Trustees approve tuition hike and West Union funds

(03/04/14 9:10am)

____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>The Board of Trustees convened in Palo Alto this weekend to elect a new provost, approve tuition rates for the 2014-15 academic year and tour Stanford University's campus, among other items.The trustees ventured to Palo Alto because Duke and Stanford have multiple similarities, said Michael Schoenfeld, vice president for public affairs and government relations. He noted that Stanford and Duke are both major research universities with large medical centers and a strong athletic program. The trustees visited Stanford to discuss higher education and innovation and entrepreneurship. Schoenfeld noted that the trustees had a "robust discussion" about tuition rates for the 2014-15 academic year before approving a 3.9 percent increase in undergraduate tuition, raising the cost from $44,020 and $45,800. The full cost to attend the University—which includes tuition, room, board and fees—will therefore increase from $58,278 this year to $60,533. The trustees approved tuition increases for all 10 of Duke's schools, including a 4.9 percent change for both the Fuqua School of Business master's of business administration and the School of Nursing—to $58,000 and $40,365, respectively. Schoenfeld said the trustees look at Duke's position in the market and the justification for costs prior to approving a new tuition rate. "The tuition goes up because we continue to invest more in our students," President Richard Brodhead said. "The value of what we offer has risen significantly over time."Jim Roberts, executive vice provost for finance and administration, said in a Feb. 21 National Public Radio blog post that the cost of tuition is actually a discount when you consider the investment going into each students' education. The blog post noted that tuition goes to dorms, food, health services, administrative and academic support salaries and construction and renovations.Schoenfeld said it is important to realize that not everything is paid for with tuition and that philanthropy, grants and gifts from the endowment all play a role in funding costs to run the University. He did note, however, that ongoing construction and renovations were considered when discussing tuition rates for the following academic year.Riddell said the trustees voted to release another $5 million to order steel to continue the West Union renovation project. The overall projected costs of the renovations is currently $95 million, Riddell said, adding that a resolution passed at the Board meeting was to release only $40.3 million of the $95 million until funding is reassessed at the Board meeting in May.The University received $80 million from the Charlotte-based Duke Endowment in 2011 to fund renovations to Baldwin Auditorium, West Union and Page Auditorium. The remodel of Baldwin began first and totaled $15 million. In May 2013, the Board of Trustees rejected the plan for the West Union remodel that was expected to cost more than $100 million, delaying construction and resulting in a redesigned plan intended to cost between $70 and $90 million, The Chronicle previously reported.With renovations to Baldwin and West Union now expected to total $110 million—$30 million more than the initial donation for the projects—the changes to Page will be "largely cosmetic," said Executive Vice President Tallman Trask. Philanthropists are stepping in to help fund both the West Union and Page projects, he added.In addition to their official Board meeting, the Trustees toured Stanford and the surrounding area.Brodhead said he was inspired by Stanford's—an institute dedicated to designing solutions to identified problems. "You see its potential relation to a place like Duke," Brodhead said. Although there are many facets of Stanford's campus that are similar or could be translated to Duke's campus, it is important to recognize the differences between the two, Schoenfeld noted. "Among the many things the trustees took away was that they are two very different kinds of places and that Stanford is blessed with both the resources and location that Duke simply doesn’t have," he said. "If you look at endowment, for instance, it's much bigger." Duke has an endowment of $6 billion, whereas Stanford's endowment is $18.7 billion.The Board also visited Google headquarters and had a private dinner with Tim Cook, Fuqua '88 and CEO of Apple Inc.The Board of Trustees appointed Sally Kornbluth, James B. Duke Professor of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology, to be the next provost at their meeting Saturday. Riddell said the selection committee formed by Brodhead to select the new provost selected four candidates. Brodhead then interviewed each of the four candidates, discussed his thoughts with the Executive Committee and brought forward an endorsement to the Board.

Duke research administration manager faces charges of felony child abuse

(02/11/14 3:43am)

____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>A Duke research administration manager at the School of Medicine was arrested last week and is facing charges of felony child abuse.Prudence Shivers—who is listed as Charlyne Shivers in the Duke directory—was arrested for two counts of intentional child abuse inflicting serious injury Feb. 1. The two children, ages 4 and 6, were Shivers' foster children. Shivers' posted a $60,000 bond on Feb. 1 after being arrested. As part of her release, Shivers may not have contact with children under 16-years-old without supervision.The 4-year-old had multiple lacerations on the back, stomach and buttocks, and the 6-year-old had multiple lacerations to the head, face and buttocks, according to a WNCN article. The police went to Shivers' home due to a referral from Child Protective Services. The foster children have been removed from the home.Jill Boy, director of communications at the School of Medicine, deferred comment to Keith Lawrence, director of media relations at Duke News. Lawrence said Shivers started working at the Office of Research Administration in the medical school July 2009 as a research administration manager. She is still employed at Duke, Lawrence said.Michael Schoenfeld, vice president for public affairs and government relations, said when an employee is arrested on a felony charge there is a review of whether the employee should be placed on leave. He said those decisions are made on a case-by-case basis and that an employee would be placed on leave if they had been charged with a crime that could affect their ability to be an employee.Associate Director of the ORA Jennifer McCallister declined to comment on the arrest.

Rickards' legacy lives on through 'Loyal Readers'

(02/06/14 10:48am)

____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>More than two years ago, Ed Rickards said he would continue blogging about Duke until he was no longer able.“That’s right, until I croak,” he told The Chronicle in 2011. “Something they can look forward to.”Three weeks after his final blog post on Jan. 16, Rickards—more commonly known as Fact Checker or Duke Check—died due to renal failure at age 72. He lived in Monroe Township, N.J.Rickards is best known on campus by his popular blog, which comments on Duke's affairs and administrators. Although admired by many faculty members for his ability to draw attention to controversial University topics, Rickards, Trinity '63 and Law '66 and a former Chronicle editor-in-chief, ruffled some feathers in his quest to get to the bottom of stories."I've always thought that he really was quite selfless about this. He had no personal gain to expect from his efforts, and his efforts were considerable, and anyone who read the blog with any care could tell that," said Thomas Pfau, Alice Mary Baldwin Professor of English, who regularly read Rickards' blog. Although Rickards was engaged in Duke affairs through his blog, he had a varied and exciting life outside of the University. After leaving Duke, Rickards worked at CBS, NBC, ABC and the Associated Press, and was later a part-time consultant.Blog posts were often centered on the input of a single, anonymous source—the most prominent of which was known as the "Allen Building mole." From there, Rickards would often reach out to administrators demanding answers. In "Ask the Mouthpiece" blog posts, for example, Rickards would ask Michael Schoenfeld, vice president for public affairs and government relations, to comment on campus issues.With nicknames like Mike the Mouthpiece for Schoenfeld or Uncle Dick for President Richard Brodhead, Rickards often called out administrators for perceived wrongdoings or the alleged obfuscation of facts. Rickards was known to some as a critical writer and often a thorn in some sides, largely because of his controversial posts, as well as his proliferation of emails sent to administrators, faculty and Chronicle staff writers.Still, his Pro-Duke stance—as made apparent at the top of his blog page—and dedication to making sure the University was heading in the right direction was respected by many."We may have had our differences on issues, but I always admired, and never questioned, his lifelong passion and love for Duke," Schoenfeld wrote in an email Wednesday.Although Rickards often looked for conspiracy when none existed, he did shed light on many topics, said John Burness, former vice president for public affairs and government relations and current visiting professor of the practice at the Sanford School of Public Policy."There were times he totally got it wrong, but there were also times he got it right," Burness said. "I'm sad he died."After Rickards caught Douglas Knight, the University president from 1963-69, in a lie while serving as editor of The Chronicle, he formed a serious distrust of the administration, Burness said. Despite sometimes getting facts wrong, Rickards' maintained the blog due to a love for the University and did not have malicious intentions, Burness added."Clearly he got quite a following, and he provided a forum for people who wanted an outlet to express concern," Burness said. "It was like the old muckrackers in journalism."Taylor Doherty, Trinity '12 and former news editor of The Chronicle, wrote a profile of Rickards while working for The Chronicle after seeing the growing popularity of the Duke Check blog. He recalled that Rickards was originally an avid Chronicle commenter going by the name of Fact Checker and did not choose to start his own blog until August 2009.Meeting in a hotel lobby in New Jersey, Doherty recalled him as gruff and "definitely opinionated," but added that these are not the terms he would first use to describe Rickards. "One thing I got out of talking with him and meeting him was that he had a sense of humor about all of this," Doherty said. "He enjoyed the writing and had a sense of humor about what he was doing, and that might have been something that didn’t necessarily come across in his blogs."Rickards is most known for his love of starting spirited dialogue and drawing attention to controversial issues."He loved to write and loved to be controversial," said his younger brother, Robert Rickards. "He loved to stir up a little trouble—that was him and that’s the way he lived his whole life. He was very argumentative and stuck by his guns. "Robert Rickards added that his brother also loved to travel, with his favorite trips being to San Diego and Europe. One time, he travelled down the Nile River.Pfau added that Rickards provided an outlet for lively dialogue during a time where there was a "vacuum of public debate.""He struck me as a very, very good writer," Pfau said. "He was very spirited and direct and at the same time allowed the blog to be what it was—an informal kind of forum."Some faculty members had become concerned about Rickards' well-being prior to learning of his death. Usually updated on a daily basis, Rickards' posts halted Jan. 16, causing concern for his "Loyal Readers" after several days had passed. Pfau noted that typically, Rickards informed readers when the blog would be inactive, which he had not done that week.Prior to passing away, Rickards asked his brother if he could be transferred to Duke Hospital or visit Durham upon his release. Although Ed Rickards never got his final trip to Duke, he will leave a legacy."Mr. Rickards was a valuable resource who loved Duke, was deeply concerned about Duke's moral compass, about race and gender, corporatizing, administrative bloat and secrecy," Owen Flanagan, James B. Duke Professor of philosophy and professor of neurobiology, wrote in an email Wednesday. "I hope someone takes up his noble blog. A wonderful gadfly in the Socratic tradition."

New wing in Smith Warehouse reflects changing form of Visual Arts department

(01/24/14 8:46am)

____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>Getting to the newly renovated Art, Art History and Visual Studies wing in the Smith Warehouse is no easy feat, but those who make the trek will consider stopping in more than once.The Art, Art History and Visual Studies department is behind the barricade of Bay 10. The best way to circumvent the continuously locked doors is to walk to the back of Bay 12, climb the stairs and find the door that leads to the department.Despite the somewhat rounadbout navigation system needed to get to the new wing, it easily rises to the top of my "obscure but comfortably cool study spaces" list. Study rooms face each other, and long transparent windows create an open and inviting space. Comfortable chairs are arranged throughout the hall, providing niche places to talk and collaborate on projects. Projectors placed throughout the hall allow for students to project presentations on the white walls. And perhaps the coolest addition to the new wing is the 4K resolution television—the only one currently in North Carolina—that displays moving images created by students and professors in the department.Funding for the wing came from outside funding, grants and other revenue streams, said Hans Van Miegroet, professor and department chair of Art, Art History and Visual Studies, who was responsible for planning the design of the new wing. The revamped wing cost more than $5 million.The new wing not only gives students and professors a new place to work, but is representative of a shifting department that has developed over time to incorporate the sciences into the humanities."The idea is to bring together the theory and practices of the humanities, sciences and social sciences," Van Miegroet said.The new name is currently waiting approval by the Arts and Sciences Council, but Van Miegroet is confident this initiative represents the changing direction of the program.Bill Seaman, professor of visual studies, said that since he joined the department it has become more "multi-modal.""[It's not just focusing on the visual. This represents what I call embodied practice," he wrote in an email Sunday.Seaman added that new courses incorporate the computer as a creative tool for the arts and designs. This addition to the department that has developed over time served as inspiration for the change in the department's name, which is represented by the "+" in "Media Arts + Sciences.""Big Data needs people that understand how to make visualizations and sonifications," he added. "Knowledge from the arts is essential here as are new forms of team-based practice, as well as how to design new forms of human/ computer interface."Seaman added that the department has seen continuous growth each year, which is due to support from Information Sciences and Information Studies, the new MFA in Experimental and Documentary Art and even electrical engineering."The [new wing's] proximity also allows for vertical integration between undergraduates, MFA students, MA students, PhD [students] and visiting researchers," he added. Seaman noted that it was this type of collaboration and resources available through the wing that sets Duke apart from more traditional art schools."It's unusual because we're based in the humanities," Van Miegroet said of the changing nature of the department. "We're trying to really redefine how humanities are done for the mutual benefit of everyone."

Martin Dempsey to speak at Duke's 2014 commencement ceremony

(01/17/14 12:21am)

____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the chief military adviser to President Barack Obama, will speak at this year's commencement ceremony.Dempsey, Graduate School '84, is the highest ranking military officer in the United States. Prior to becoming charmain of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Dempsey also served as Chief of Staff of the Army and Commanding General to the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command. He holds two Defense Distinguished Service Medals, four Army Distinguished Service Medals, three Legions of Merit, two Bronze Stars with Valor and one Defense Superior Service Medal.

Resident dramaturg highlights spring seasons in Duke and Durham theater

(01/14/14 11:37am)

JOJ: It’s a play from a different kind of era and performance. There are lots of conventions that were brand new at the time—notions of montage where characters were archetypes as opposed to realistic drama….It has an act of violence at its core, a courtroom scene. And she was one of the playwrights working in an era where that type of writing was still taking hold. 1928 was early modernism, so there are conventions we are now very comfortable with, but at the time were rather extraordinary.

Trustees to consider architect for new Student Health and Wellness Center

(12/06/13 10:19am)

____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>The Board of Trustees will consider the architect for a new Student Health and Wellness Center, among other topics, at their meeting this weekend.The new building would allow Counseling and Psychological Services, the Student Health Center and the Wellness Center to be located in a single location, said Sue Wasiolek, assistant vice president for student affairs and dean of students. The new center would also include a pharmacy and offer services such as acupuncture, radiology and massage therapy. Vice President for Student Affairs Larry Moneta estimated that the center would cost around $30 million and would be located near Rubenstein Hall."This has been in the works for over two years," Wasiolek said. "I started walking around campus and looking where it would be and started talking about how important I thought it was for students, so tomorrow we will go in front of the Facilities and Environment Committee of the Board to get approval for an architect."Wasiolek did not disclose what architecture firm was being reviewed .In addition to discussing the new center, the Board will review six new degree programs. The master's degrees will include bioethics and science policy; historical and cultural visualization; statistical science; medical physics; and economics and computation. If the medical physics degree is approved, it will be the third graduate degree approved for Duke Kunshan University. The Trustees will also consider adding a Ph.D. program in biostatistics. Faculty expressed concern over the proliferation of master's degree proposals at the Academic Council meeting Nov. 21, noting that additional programs could negatively impact classroom dynamics and create additional burdens for faculty members already teaching undergraduates.Michael Schoenfeld, vice president for public affairs and government relations, said the decision to increase the number of program offerings has been an ongoing discussion among the Trustees. He added that evolving the type of master's and Ph.D. programs offered reflects the strength of the University."If the degrees were frozen in time you would have a different University," Schoenfeld said. "The important thing is that all these are generated by faculty."The Trustees will also hear a presentation about the library system from Deborah Jakubs, Rita DiGiallonardo Holloway University Librarian and vice provost for library affairs.Jakubs said she plans to talk to the Trustees about how libraries have changed over time, evolving from a repository of books to a "dynamic catalyst for intellectual conversation."She noted that students are asking more complicated questions than they did in the past and rely on librarians to help guide them through the "richness" of the libraries' collections. As student demand for resources becomes higher, libraries all over are challenged to continue digitizing collections for student and faculty use.Rising costs associated with the digitization process require increased financial support for the Duke libraries to keep forward, Jakubs said. "A relatively small portion of our budget is for doing innovative things," she said. "So we've been creative in getting grants and finding other ways to do innovative things."

I See Dead People

(10/30/13 8:30am)

____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>Walking through the Yellow Zone of Duke Hospital, nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Physicians walked to and from their laboratories and offices and the occasional student walked briskly to his or her final destination.With so many people winding the halls on a daily basis, few stop to consider what lies behind an inconspicuous door just a few feet away from the hospital post office—the gross anatomy lab.The smell of embalmment whacked me in the face the second Steve Wilson, the gross anatomy lab manager, opened the door to the lab. The lab itself was harmless enough: with bright white lights and shiny metal tables, it initially resembled a pristine doctor’s office. A closer look inside, however, revealed lines of tables covered with cadavers—some in opaque bags, others relatively exposed in clear plastic.There are 44 cadavers in the lab at a time, Wilson said. The ones in blue bags are specifically reserved for medical students, and the rest are for physician assistants’ use. All were donated through the anatomical gifts program.Handling the cadavers is no easy business. As we walked through the lab, Wilson pointed out drip buckets underneath the tables, which catch fluids that leave the cadavers over time. An additional black bucket on the side gives medical students an area to place the flesh they carve off of the bodies.The average age of the cadavers is 79, however two males in the lab are ages 20 and 101, Wilson said. Cadavers stay in the lab for 18 to 24 months, and are cremated afterwards. If the family decides not to hold onto the ashes, Wilson drives out to a specific portion of the Duke Forest near the Duke Lemur Center to spread the ashes.