Monthly Archives: November 2006

Off to Glowing India!


Uma_gupta06As many of you know the Indian educational market is booming and in fact, bursting at the seams. Institutions from all over the globe world have set up shop in India, from Ivy league institutions down to community colleges. Indians have an insatiable need for higher education and learning and so this market is only expected to boom.

I am leaving for India on a consulting assignment to help institutions establish accreditation processes and to build alliances with universities around the world. This is a dream come true for me. It gives me an opportunity to give back to my country of origin, while visiting family and friends. I will also be conducting workshops and seminars in India whilst eating sumptuous food, shopping, visiting places of architectural interest, watching late night movies, and hanging out with friends. What a deal, eh?

In particular, I am excited about my upcoming visit to the Golden Temple in Amristar. the sacred home of Sikhs. Asia Grace by Kevin Kelly is a fabulous collection of photographs of the complex and dichotomous nation that is India and its people. There is so much to see and do in India and I have barely scratched the surface.

Interview with Dr. Lynne Davidson


Interviews Dr. Gupta interviewed Dr. Lynne Davidson, Chair of the Task Force on Faculty Diversity and Inclusiveness at the University of Rochester on October 24 2006. Dr. Lynne J. Davidson, Deputy to the President, has served the University as Deputy to the President since July 2005 and Assistant Professor in Community and Preventive Medicine since January 2003.  She recently chaired the University Task Force on Faculty Diversity and Inclusiveness. Davidson previously served as University of Rochester Associate Provost. As a member of the University administration, she also has had staff responsibility for the reaccreditation of the University, the submission and first year implementation of the Kauffman Entrepreneurship grant, and the 2004 University Presidential Search Committee. Davidson earned her Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of Rochester, M.P.A. at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, and B.A. in Political Science and Economics at Northwestern University. The Task Force made 31 recommendations to President Seligman and the President has enthusiastically embraced these recommendations. The full report is available on the University of Rochester’s website.

Dr. Gupta: Why was the Task Force created? Why now?
Dr. Davidson: President Seligman assumed office on July 1, 2005. As part of the search for a new President, the university community developed a white paper articulating five key goals essential to the success of our university. One of the five goals focused on increasing campus diversity. President Seligman has a successful track record in this area.

Dr. Gupta: What was the focus of the Task Force?
Dr. Davidson: This task force focused exclusively on faculty diversity. The University of Rochester is a highly decentralized institution, made up of six schools. Many efforts to increase student diversity are ongoing at the school level. Our Office of Human Resources also has begun a program to increase the diversity of our staff university-wide. But the issue of faculty diversity is very complex, and while many of our schools have made heroic efforts to address the issue, we believed that as a University, there was much more we could do.

Dr. Gupta: What was the campus reaction to this report?
Dr. Davidson: The campus has enthusiastically embraced this report. There is a great deal of energy and commitment to become a diverse campus and to make newcomers feel welcome and accepted in our community. The purpose of this task force was to identify concrete steps to becoming a more diverse and welcoming community, including providing the necessary resources. Some key recommendations of the Task Force include hiring a University faculty diversity officer; changing faculty policy on promotion and tenure to allow for more flexibility for faculty with child care and other family needs; establishing standards to ensure that new faculty searches are inclusive; increasing a special opportunities fund to take advantage of opportunities to enhance faculty diversity; and creating an annual report on the status, progress, and challenge.

Lack of Credibility of Anonymous Blogs



Bloggers vs. College Administrators

Brock Read’s "Attack of the Blog" (The Chronicle, September 15) states that the unknown blogger was "mad as hell" at my performance as the president of the State University of New York College of Technology at Alfred. My report card includes, to list just a few items, an outstanding accreditation report from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and high praise from the accreditation team for my leadership; a double-digit increase in funds raised; … a 35-percent increase in international students; several first-time community-outreach initiatives; Intel recognition as one of the top-50 "most wired" campuses; and the largest building boom on the campus since the 1960s. The full credit for the above accomplishments should go to a highly ethical, dedicated, and visionary team of senior leaders that I was privileged to be a part of.

The Chronicle’s article has a few errors and omissions. First, it states that "more than 20 college officials had quit or been fired." Human- resources records show one termination, four nonrenewals requested by direct supervisors, and eight reassignments.

Second, SUNY did not conduct an investigation "of the tension between administrators and faculty members at the college." The administration and the Faculty Senate jointly invited an arbitration team — which, by the way, found serious flaws with the way the senate conducts business — to do so.

Third, Robert Albrecht, another target of the blog who was mentioned in your article, is a SUNY distinguished teaching professor, who has served with distinction for four decades. …

Finally, the bloggers targeted not just the president, but many others, including the chancellor, senior SUNY administrators, community members, and even young children of senior administrators. These attacks are still occurring. Other presidents before me, and their families, have also been viciously attacked by this group. …

The article omitted two important facts: First, public documents show why James Grillo was reassigned from his administrative post, a decision enthusiastically hailed by internal and external stakeholders as long overdue, and, as your reporter noted, an event "seen by many professors as a catalyst for the blog’s formation." Second, the administration incurred Mr. Grillo’s wrath when it took a principled stand against a bar he owns a few yards from the campus, which places students at high risk through its questionable practices.

Anonymity is an aphrodisiac for cowards who perpetuate lies and slander to destroy hard-earned reputions, and sacrifice the common good for their personal gain. Confusing it with "free speech" is an insult to our forefathers.

Uma G. Gupta
Senior Adviser to the State University of New York for Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
State University of New York
Brockport, N.Y.
Section: The Chronicle Review
Volume 53, Issue 8, Page A63

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Interview with Andy Vaughan


Andyvaughan02 .

Andy Vaughan has spent most of the past 22 years building and selling technology-based solutions for the higher education marketplace. With Intelliworks, he is focused on assisting institutions in driving recruitment, retention, and on-going engagement with alumni – by creating relationship capital. Through the application of best practices and flexible technologies, he is working to bring prospective students together with best-fit programs to provide enhanced educational opportunities. Andy Vaughan has a strong commitment to enhancing enrollments of women and minorities in STEM programs, and works tirelessly to push this agenda every opportunity he gets.

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The Palo Alto of India


Fast Company recently carried a story about a computer science graduate of the University of California, Davis, and her first employer, InfoSys of India. An excerpt from the company’s website follows:

Infosys Technologies Ltd. (NASDAQ: INFY) provides consulting and IT services to clients globally – as partners to conceptualize and realize technology driven business transformation initiatives. With over 66,000 employees worldwide, we use a low-risk Global Delivery Model (GDM) to accelerate schedules with a high degree of time and cost predictability.

As one of the pioneers in strategic offshore outsourcing of software services, Infosys has leveraged the global trend of offshore outsourcing. Even as many software outsourcing companies were blamed for diverting global jobs to cheaper offshore outsourcing destinations like India and China, Infosys was recently applauded by Wired magazine for its unique offshore outsourcing strategy — it singled out Infosys for turning the outsourcing myth around and bringing jobs back to the US.

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