A Harvard crossroads in summer

first_imgSome people came to drink kombucha and eat lamb sandwiches. Others came to study organic chemistry, smack pingpong balls, and breathe some fresh air.Jasmine Boussem and Jennifer Jones came to the redesigned plaza outside Harvard’s Science Center in search of smokers. “We’re not finding many,” Jones, a research assistant in the Department of Psychology, said with a laugh yesterday.Jones and Boussem, a fellow researcher, made their way through the plaza’s minimalistic tables and wavy benches looking for candidates for a study on smoking habits, but the plaza crowd leaned more toward bicycles than cigarettes. Yet they did find themselves among other psychology researchers, drawn to the eclectic lunchtime mix of students, faculty, and tourists.“It’s a natural place for people to congregate,” Boussem said, cradling a clipboard in her arms.Part of Harvard’s Common Spaces program, the project to transform the former thoroughfare over Cambridge Street into a comfortable destination was completed in late spring. The result is a hard walking surface, metal tables and chairs, wooden benches, ginkgo and sumac trees, lighting and safety improvements, and a large tent that houses events such as farmers markets.More enhancements are coming to the plaza as users return to it, including umbrellas for some of the tables, an ice-cream kiosk, and restoration of the Tanner Fountain, according to Lisa Hogarty, Harvard’s vice president for campus services.The 35-year-old fountain in front of the Science Center is “definitely due for some significant restoration,” Hogarty said.  “We need to restore and fix all the inner plumbing and drainage systems and ultimately fix up the surface area.”The appearance of the beloved rock fountain, however, will not change.“It’s one of the most important water features we have on campus,” Hogarty said.The Harvard community will have new games and activities to enjoy on the plaza this summer, including a life-size chessboard and live performances, Hogarty said.Tuyet Cam, who will start her senior year as a Harvard psychology major this fall, said the project has been a success.“If the motivation was to bring more people here, yeah, it is,” she said. She and two classmates manned a popular table in the shade of the Meyer Gate with a sign declaring: “Want candy? Want $10? Are you age 16-25? Participate in a quick, easy PSYCH STUDY.”Arnoldo Gonzalez, a Harvard summer student, said he’s drawn to the plaza because it’s modern-looking and not “buggy.”“It includes modernism and Harvard, where buildings are not usually new,” he said, waiting to play pingpong as an errant ball flew over his head.Alison Howe, the department administrator at Harvard’s Department of East Asian Languages and Civilization, visited the refurbished plaza for the first time yesterday to enjoy a vegan sandwich.“I absolutely love it,” said Howe, who hadn’t liked it previously. Like many lunchtime diners, she said the healthier options at the nearby food trucks drew her to the site.The Whole Foods Market Streetside Chefs food truck has seen a steady stream of mealtime customers since it started working out of the plaza two months ago, manager Felipe Ribeiro said.“We’ve had a lot of repeat customers,” he said, as his coworker Chris Graham explained to a customer what a halloumi sandwich was.Ribeiro estimated that 70 percent of the food truck’s customers are affiliated with Harvard, while 30 percent are tourists or Cambridge residents. Considering the international crowd that Harvard attracts, he said it helps that he speaks Portuguese and Spanish and Graham knows French.The schedule for the food trucks and events at the Plaza can be found on the Common Spaces website.last_img read more

From ‘what we do’ to ‘whom we serve’

first_imgFor Huntington Lambert, who took the reins at Harvard’s Division of Continuing Education and the Extension School three years ago, coming to Cambridge was a sort of homecoming.Lambert still remembers when his mother studied at the Extension School while he was growing up in neighboring Dover. The School has changed a lot since, but the open-enrollment model remains in place, a draw for a wide range of nontraditional students. Besides the Extension School, which offers undergraduate and graduate degrees, the Division of Continuing Education includes the Summer School for high school students preparing for college, development programs for working professionals, and the Institute for Learning in Retirement. Every year, the division serves 20,000 students from more than 120 countries.The Gazette sat down with Lambert to talk about highlights of his first three years on the job, the growth of the Extension School, and the role of technology in what he called an “era of lifelong learning.”GAZETTE: Your mother took classes at Harvard Extension School when you were young. And later on, you taught at night while you were raising a family and had a full-time job. How do you think these two experiences prepared you for this job?LAMBERT: My mother disappeared at nights to go back to school. Roll the clock forward 30 years, and I started teaching at an M.B.A. program at night, and suddenly, I was the parent — with a full-time job with kids at home — who disappeared at night. Ten, 15 years later, I ended up as dean of the Extension School and a whole division that teaches at night to adults. The magic moment came when, after I became dean here, I had my mother come to a graduation ceremony. She had graduated but never came to the ceremony. It was going complete circle, from Mom disappearing to giving her a degree from where she had disappeared.GAZETTE: Before you came here, you created and led the Colorado State University Global Campus, an all-online public university. Can you tell us more about this?LAMBERT: At Colorado State University, I got deeply involved in the economics of the state. That’s when I discovered that there were 750,000 people just in Colorado alone who started college and never finished. I got the entrepreneurial bug, and a team of us went off and started an online university. The belief was that we could build an online university from scratch that was public, half the price and twice as good as the University of Phoenix. The first class was in the fall of 2008, and by the end of 2010, we had 3,000 students. Now it has 15,000 students. The idea was to use online technology to teach this adult population who needed to be re-educated to join the knowledge community. One of my jokes was that if we were really successful, the University of Phoenix would leave Colorado, and they did. They couldn’t compete with us. Everything was going along fine, and Harvard called.GAZETTE: What attracted you to Harvard?LAMBERT: I was interested in Harvard because the mission of the Extension School intrigued me. John Lowell Jr. created the Lowell Institute in 1835, which was the Extension School’s precursor. He had faculty teaching evening courses that were for “the women and men of Boston,” and they charged the equivalent of two bushels of wheat. The idea of having courses open to the public goes all the way back to that. You can still do this today; you can pursue an undergraduate degree through the Extension School for $40,000 and a graduate degree for $25,000. We can extend Harvard to the part-time learner with the academic ability, curiosity, and drive to succeed. Whom we serve, the part-time student, is what makes us unique from the other Harvard Schools that focus primarily on full-time learners.GAZETTE: How would you compare the students of 1910, when the school was founded, to the students of today?LAMBERT: In those days, the dominant theme was individual-course takers. People came for personal growth. They had never studied Shakespeare, and they wanted a Shakespeare course taught by a Harvard faculty member. Today 96 percent of our students tell us they’re taking courses for professional gain. Now roughly half of our students take a single course, and the other half are pursuing certificates or degrees to get promotions or switch jobs.GAZETTE: What about the mission of the school? Has it changed over the years?LAMBERT: Our mission was and is to extend Harvard to the general public. The biggest change I made since I got here was to rearticulate the mission from “what we do” to “whom we serve.” We’re one of 12 degree-granting Schools at Harvard. The other Schools primarily serve full-time students. Our School largely serves part-time learners, adult learners, nontraditional students.GAZETTE: Who gets to teach at the Extension School?LAMBERT: Fifty-two percent of Harvard Extension School instructors are Harvard affiliates, and the remainder are faculty from other schools and industry professionals. For our learners, this combination of Harvard academics and industry professionals gives them the best of both worlds.GAZETTE: You’ve been at the helm of the Extension School for three years. What are the highlights of your tenure?LAMBERT: I restructured the division to align the whole organization around student success. And for the first time in the division’s history, we’re known by the other Harvard Schools. We made an effort to share what we know with the other Schools as they go online. We partner with them when they want to reach the part-time learner. In the past, we’ve never had any relationship with the other Harvard Schools, and now we know each other and are working together. For much of our history we sat on the edge of Harvard, purposely ignored and purposely hiding, and now I feel we’re really a part of Harvard. The other Schools understand who we are and whom we serve.GAZETTE: How has the perception about the Extension School changed over the years?LAMBERT: The biggest deal is for people to understand that we serve part-time learners, nontraditional students. If you can get in to Harvard College or any of the graduate schools and attend full-time, you should do it. But if you have a job or you have to keep working because you have a family, then you can be a part of Harvard through the Extension School and receive a high-quality education. We have an open-enrollment policy, meaning anyone can register for a course. However, we have a unique admissions process for our degree programs whereby students take classes first and earn three Bs or better to qualify to be admitted to a degree. This “earn your way in” admission policy provides a second chance for working adults who may have started a degree years ago elsewhere. In the end, only 32 percent of those who want to pursue an undergraduate degree earn the grades for admission. So for adult part-time learners, we’re very selective. For students who are admitted to a program, our average graduation rate is 85 percent, which is phenomenal.GAZETTE: How do you think online education is changing higher education?LAMBERT: Online has two stories: The first story is online technology, which lets you scale courseware infinitely at near-zero cost, and has resulted in MOOCs and millions of people sharing this experience. What it hasn’t demonstrated is whether learning scales. One of the things I’ve observed is that learning is an intensely personal human activity. So whenever we design online courses, we design them with human contact and support. Online courses have a teaching assistant for every 25 students. We have added “hybrid” courses, which are online with a required weekend on campus. They’re our highest-rated courses. But many of our courses are still small courses on campus at night where people sit around tables to talk about things.GAZETTE: Is an online degree comparable to an on-campus degree?LAMBERT: They’re different experiences. When you come to do a four-year residential undergraduate degree, you’re a young person and you take a big block of time out of your life, and you learn in an intense environment. Our adult learners are looking for something different. They want the academic component to help fuel their professional career and can’t spend the time for the rest.Also, it’s important to note that none of our degrees can be earned entirely online. We think coming to campus for in-person interaction with faculty and fellow students is an important part of the degree experience, so each of our degrees has some residential component. The opportunity to study on the Harvard campus is part of what makes our programs special.GAZETTE: When you first came to Harvard, the division offered 200 online courses. Now it offers more than 450. What’s the role of the Extension School in expanding the University’s digital footprint?LAMBERT: The most fundamental thing we do is access, innovation, and economic self-sufficiency. For 106 years, we’ve been the place where Harvard faculty come to try ideas and bring successes back to the classroom. If you look back in our history, we were teaching radio courses in the 1920s, we were doing television courses in the 1950s, and online courses since 1997. We have always been the place where Harvard faculty can experiment. We offer roughly 800 courses, and more than half of them are online and that’s where the enrollment growth has happened. The other area of significant growth is in professional graduate certificates. Every year we have students from over 150 countries enrolled online. Faculty tell us that global cultural diversity makes the courses even better.GAZETTE: How do you envision the future of the Extension School? What are your goals?LAMBERT: First, I want to figure out how we serve the rest of the Schools at Harvard. We already partner with the Business School and we’re talking with the School of Public Health, SEAS, and the Medical School. We’re talking to all the Schools about how we can help them extend themselves to part-time learners by sharing what we know about technology, online and enhanced teaching and learning. We want to serve as many adult learners as we can. We also want to encourage other universities to do the same. If Harvard can do it with this quality and this price, other schools can too, and the audience is so big that we really need more schools educating this population. As for Harvard, if we can extend it to this part-time audience, if we can contribute, that is a very virtuous circle, and that only makes Harvard stronger and the world a better place.last_img read more

29 Landscape chores

first_imgBy Robert R. WesterfieldUniversity ofGeorgiaAs the weather turns more favorable in the spring, our mindsbegin to wander toward our landscapes and flower gardens. Thelist of garden jobs is almost endless. Volume XXXINumber 1Page 29 Concentrate, though, on the most important tasks as you preparefor a beautiful landscape.It’s time for last-minute pruning. Prune roses and most othernonspring-blooming plants before their new flush. Prune plantsthat bloom in early spring right after they bloom if they need atrim.Spring is also an ideal time to fertilize your shrubs. Apply aslow-release fertilizer in late March or early April to give yourplants a supply of energy for the growing season. Be careful.Don’t overdo it. Too much fertilizer will cause excess growth andharm the environment, too.Flower bedsEarly spring is great for preparing annual and perennial flowerbeds. It may be too early to plant some tender annuals, but youcan get ready by tilling the bed and adding rich compost ortopsoil.Be sure to check that the bed has good drainage so plants’ rootswill develop well. You can safely add other shrubs to yourlandscape now, too. Remember to provide ample space for plants.Allow for the size the shrub or flower will be at maturity.Weed control is critical in the spring. As the ground begins towarm, many weeds are just waiting to germinate. Applying aregistered preemergent herbicide or adding a landscape fabric ormulch will go a long way to preventing weeds’ disruption of theflower garden.Houseplants can go back outside when daytime temperatures climbback above 50 degrees. It’s a good idea to bring plants back in,however, if the nighttime temperature is going to dip much lowerthan 50 degrees.Fern aidClean up ferns by removing old, crumpled foliage. Repot anyhouseplants that have become rootbound. Begin to get back on theregular watering and fertilizing schedule as the days get warmer.Don’t forget about your equipment. If you haven’t already doneit, drain and change the oil in your rotary tillers, stringtrimmers and mowers. Be sure all nuts, bolts and belts are tightand blades are sharp.Check hand tools such as shovels, hoes and rakes for cracked ordry handles. Treat them with linseed oil or paint them to protectthem and extend their life.Spring is a time of anticipation and outdoor fun. By doing a fewoutdoor chores early, we can look for a landscape that shouldprovide us beauty and enjoyment throughout the season.(Bob Westerfield is the Cooperative Extension consumerhorticulturist with the University of Georgia College ofAgricultural and Environmental Sciences.)last_img read more

January 15, 2003 Notices

first_imgThe Bar’s Military Affairs Committee is now accepting nominations for its Clayton B. Burton Award of Excellence.The award is given annually to those who demonstrate character and leadership promoting the quality of legal services furnished to military personnel serving in Florida.The Burton Award will be presented at the Annual Military Law and Legal Assistance Symposium scheduled for Saturday, March 8 at the Ponce De Leon Hotel in St. Augustine.Nominations must be submitted by January 31 to Jennifer Wilson, Military Affairs Committee, The Florida Bar, 651 E. Jefferson Street, Tallahassee 32399-2300.Proposed Board of Governors actions January 15, 2003 Regular News Pursuant to Standing Board Policy 1.60, the Board of Governors of The Florida Bar hereby publishes this corrected notice of intent to consider or take final action at its January 29-31 meeting on the following items — superseding previous notice published in the January 1 News. These matters are additionally governed by Rule 1-12.1, Rules Regulating The Florida Bar, where applicable.Most amendments to the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar that are finally acted upon by the board must still be formally presented to the Supreme Court, with further notice and opportunity to be heard, before they are officially approved and become effective.To receive a full copy of the text of any of these proposed amendments call (850)561-5600, ext. 6802 — please reference any requested proposal by its title or item number and date of this publication. RULES REGULATING THE FLORIDA BAR Chapter 3 Rules of DisciplineSubchapter 3-6 Employment of Certain Attorneys or Former Attorneys 1. Rule 3-6.1 GenerallyRevised Summary: Adds a 3-year prohibition against a lawyer, who is barred or suspended from practice, from being employed or supervised by another attorney who was previously supervised by that barred or suspended lawyer at the time of their discipline. Chapter 4 Rules of Professional ConductSubchapter 4-1 Client-Lawyer Relationship 2. Rule 4-1.5 Fees for Legal ServicesSummary: Within title, subdivisions (a) & (b), and commentary relating to excessiveness versus reasonableness of fees, codifies that an attorney’s costs also must be reasonable; establishes criteria to determine reasonableness of costs; provides safe harbor for written cost disclosures; amends title, to read “Fees ‘and Costs’ for Legal Services”; also within subdivision (f) requires that the petitions and applications, along with the resulting order, only be served on The Florida Bar when the petition or application is denied; within subdivision (h), conforms verbiage to current viewpoint that lawyers may accept credit card payment for advance payment of fees and costs, deleting language that now limits charges under an approved credit plan to services actually rendered or cash actually paid; further deletes references to “approved” credit plans consistent with current Supreme Court practice; adds commentary to clarify that credit plans include credit card payments, and to confirm that a lawyer who accepts payment from a credit plan for advance fees or costs must hold such amount in trust per governing rules and must add the lawyer’s own money to the trust account in an amount equal to the amount charged by the credit plan for doing business with the plan. Fred Arthur Schwartz of Boca Raton has submitted an application for readmission to the Bar with the Florida Board of Bar Examiners. S chwartz resigned from the practice of law in Florida pursuant to the Supreme Court’s Order of February 20, 1997, under an allegation of misappropriation of trust funds.The Board of Bar Examiners will conduct a public hearing on Schwartz’s application for readmission and all members of the Bar are invited to write to the board regarding their knowledge of Schwartz, particularly in relation to his character and fitness for readmission.If you wish to be notified of the time and place of the hearing, submit a written request to Kathryn E. Ressel, Executive Director, Florida Board of Bar Examiners, 1891 Eider Court, Tallahassee 32399-1750.Burton Award nominations sought Continuing its practice of public involvement, The Florida Bar seeks a new member of the public to serve on its governing board.The board member will replace Royce Walden of Orlando, whose second two-year term expires June 2003.Since 1987, two public members have served on the Bar’s 52-member governing board, after the Supreme Court of Florida approved the organization’s request to have nonlawyer representation on the board. Only seven other state bars — Alaska, Arizona, California, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas, and Wisconsin — and the District of Columbia have public members on their governing boards.A screening committee of The Florida Bar Board of Governors has been appointed to review the applications for the public member position, conduct final interviews and make recommendations to the Bar’s governing board during its April meeting in Kissimmee. The board will then recommend three persons to the Supreme Court of Florida and the court will appoint one of the three nominees to the board. The Board of Governors oversees the Bar’s lawyer discipline program, continuing legal education programs, legislative activities, and the overall administration of The Florida Bar.In addition to the two public members on the Board of Governors, one-third of all members of the 81 local grievance committees which hear complaints against attorneys are nonlawyers, as are one-third of the members of the 32 committees which oversee the Bar’s unlicensed practice of law investigations. These committees report to the Board of Governors, which in turn reports to the Supreme Court.Board members average 200-300 hours per year on Bar business depending on committee assignments. Although attorney members of the Bar’s governing board pay all expenses related to their attendance at six board meetings and other events held each year, nonlawyer board members are reimbursed for “reasonable travel and related expenses for attending official bar functions.”The new board member will serve a two-year term commencing June 27. Public members are not allowed by rule to serve more than two consecutive terms. Most of the Bar’s board is apportioned according to Florida’s 20 judicial circuits, with attorney members elected by lawyers in their locality. There are four additional out-of-state representatives. The other public member currently serving on The Florida Bar’s Board of Governors is Dr. Vivian Hobbs, Ph.D., of Tallahassee.Persons interested in serving as a public member may obtain the application form from the Bar’s Web site at www.FLABAR.org or call The Florida Bar at (850) 561-5600, ext. 6802 to request an application to be mailed. Completed applications should be mailed to John F. Harkness, Jr.,Bar executive director, 651 E. Jefferson Street, Tallahassee, 32399-2300. The deadline for submission of completed applications is January 31.Foundation seeks seven directors Bar seeks a public member for the Board of Governors Seven positions on The Florida Bar Foundation’s board of directors will be filled this year under the Florida Supreme Court approved governance plan which provides for 18 out of the 29-member Bar Foundation board to be selected equally by the Florida Supreme Court, The Florida Bar Board of Governors, and the board of directors of the Foundation.The six at-large seats to be filled for three-year terms beginning July 1 are currently held by: Michael A. Bander, Miami, and Kelley C. Howard, Tampa (Florida Supreme Court appointees), John J. Schickel, Jacksonville, and Jack P. Brandon, Lake Wales (Florida Bar Board of Governors appointees), Michael P. Stafford, Uniondale, NY, and Linda F. Wells, Tallahassee (Foundation appointees). Wells is not eligible for an additional term. Applicants for the at-large positions who are members of The Florida Bar also must be members of the Bar Foundation. Foundation members include annual contributors, Foundation Fellows, and participants in IOTA.The seventh board seat to be filled is for a public member currently held by T. Glenn Jackson, Jr., Windermere, who is eligible to serve a second two-year term. The public member position will be filled by a joint Bar/Foundation Nominating Committee.Since 1981, the Foundation’s principal activity has been setting policy and overseeing operation of the Supreme Court’s IOTA program. The court established the IOTA program to fund legal aid for the poor, improvements in the administration of justice, and loans and scholarships for law students. The Foundation board also oversees the Foundation’s formal fundraising program, sets investment policies, Foundation policies generally, and adopts the annual operating budget.Persons interested in applying for any of the seven Foundation board positions should obtain the appropriate application form. Applications for positions to be filled by the Supreme Court, Foundation (at-large seats), or the joint Bar/Foundation nominating committee (public member seat) may be obtained from the executive director of The Florida Bar Foundation, Suite 405, 109 East Church Street, Orlando, Florida 32801-3440, or downloaded from the Foundation’s Web site: www.flabarfndn.org under the governance section.Completed applications must be received by the Foundation by February 14. (The Florida Bar will give separate notice for the two positions to be filled by The Florida Bar Board of Governors. Applicants for Bar seats should contact the Bar directly.)The Florida Bar Foundation Board of Directors embraces the concept of diversity. A diverse membership makes the board stronger, and its work for the Foundation more relevant to the society in which we live. The Foundation strongly encourages minorities, women, and persons with disabilities to apply for service on the Board. To help achieve the broadest participation, The Florida Bar Foundation “Expense Reimbursement Policy” provides modest reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses incurred during board service.Applicants will be advised in writing of action taken by the selecting authorities.First Circuit JNC to fill judgeship The First Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission is now accepting applications for the circuit judge position being vacated as a result of Judge Kenneth Bell’s appointment to the Supreme Court.Applicants must be residents of the First Judicial Circuit (Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa and Walton Counties), registered voters, and a member of The Florida Bar for the past five years.Applications are available from The Florida Bar Web site at www.FLABAR.org, or from the acting chair of the JNC, Bruce D. Partington, by pick-up from his law office at 125 W. Romana St., Suite 800, Pensacola 32501, between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. An original plus nine copies of the completed application must be received by Partington no later than 5 p.m. January 22.Nunes petitions for Bar reinstatement Pursuant to Rule 3-7.10, David Smith Nunes has petitioned the Florida Supreme Court for Bar reinstatement.Nunes was suspended for three years after being found guilty of violations arising from making disparaging remarks about judges and opposing counsel, filing a frivolous lawsuit, representing clients after being discharged, and making false representations to a tribunal.Any person having knowledge bearing upon Nunes’ fitness or qualifications to resume the practice of law should contact Eric Montel Turner, chief branch disciplinary counsel, The Florida Bar, 5900 North Andrews Ave., Suite 835, Ft. Lauderdale 33309, telephone (954) 772-2245.Schwartz applies for readmission to the Bar January 15, 2003 Notices Subchapter 4-8 Maintaining the Integrity of the Profession 3. Rule 4-8.4 MisconductSummary: Within subdivision ( i ) and commentary, amends existing language prohibiting lawyer-client sexual conduct, to further recognize instances of sexual relations with “a representative of a client,” “including but not limited to a duly authorized constituent of” a corporate or other non-personal entity. Chapter 5 Rules Regulating Trust AccountsSubchapter 5-1 Generally 4. Rule 5-1.1 Trust AccountsSummary: Within subdivision (a)(1), clarifies that a lawyer may maintain funds belonging to the lawyer within a trust account in an amount no more than is reasonably sufficient to pay bank charges related to the account; deletes unnecessary cross-reference within subdivision (g)(2); adds new subdivision (h), to clarify that a lawyer shall not receive benefit from interest on funds held in trust that the lawyer determines are not nominal or short-term; revises subsequent subdivision entry accordingly; creates new comment, consisting of commentary transferred verbatim from rule 5-1.2 with the exception of first paragraph, and new language stating that a lawyer who holds trust funds and who determines that such funds are not nominal or short-term should place such funds in a separate interest-bearing account for the benefit of the client or third person unless directed otherwise in writing. Chapter 6 Legal Specialization and Education ProgramsSubchapter 6-9 Standards for Certification of a Board Certified Real Estate LawyerCorrected Summary: Proposes new standards within the following rules, to establish a more identifiable nexus between lawyers desiring certification in the field of real estate law and their actual practice and involvement in Florida real estate law. 5. Rule 6-9.1 Generally 6. Rule 6-9.2 Definitions 7. Rule 6-9.3 Minimum Standards 8. Rule 6-9.4 Recertification BOARD OF LEGAL SPECIALIZATION AND EDUCATION (BLSE) POLICIES400 Series – Florida Certification Plan 9. BLSE 4.03 Standard of Review S ummary: Clarifies standard of review for area committees, and confirms that an appellant bears the burden of demonstrating by clear and convincing evidence from the record below that the decision at issue was the product of a BLSE procedural violation or of fraud, discrimination, or arbitrary or capricious action. 10. BLSE 4.09 Consideration of AppealSummary: Within subdivision (b) deletes “supporting material filed by the petitioner” from the codified definition of “record”; within subdivision (c), deletes the restrictive bases for an appeals committee decision without oral argument; within subdivision (d) adds that tie votes of the appeals committee are considered favorable to the review panel decision, as well as the BLSE decision at issue.last_img read more

Unbanked Hispanics aren’t being courted by banks

first_imgLast week, I had the pleasure of serving as a panelist during a nationally-televised event. Hosted by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), the event brought together several credit union industry leaders to discuss strategies for improving financial service to Hispanic consumers. Rounding out the panel were Maria Martinez, president and chief executive officer of Border Federal Credit Union and co-chair of the Network of Latino Credit Unions and Professionals; Robert Peterson, president and chief executive officer of One Source Federal Credit Union;and Sergio Osuna, a supervisory examiner with NCUA’s Region V office.Before both a live and a streaming audience of more than 200 individuals, I had the opportunity to share some of my own family’s story to illustrate the challenges credit unions may face as they look to execute financial inclusion strategies.First Build TrustAmong the issues we discussed is unbanked, first-generation Hispanics simply aren’t being courted by traditional financial institutions. My family and I belonged to this group. My parents were intimidated by banks. We came from Mexico, and like many other Latin American countries, banks there tended to cater only to the wealthy. continue reading » 2SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

EC urged to exempt all pension plans from ‘unnecessary’ VAT burden

first_imgThe European Commission must act to ensure all pension funds are exempt from having to “unnecessarily” pay value-added tax (VAT) on contracted management services, according to two major pan-European advocacy organisations.In a joint paper, PensionsEurope and the European Association of Paritarian Institutions (AEIP) called for EU legislation to be amended as it did not contribute to the equal treatment of pension schemes within the bloc and undermined “the freedom of contract of pension providers and paritarian institutions”.Paritarian institutions are institutions jointly established and managed by employers and trade unions on the basis of collective agreements, and generally for the purpose of social protection.AEIP and PensionsEurope called for all pension fund participants, regardless of the character of the schemes or the member states in which the services were received, to be freed from “unnecessary VAT burdens”. They emphasised that the exemption of management services to pension plans must be clear and that non-discriminative policies were vital for maintaining a level playing field within the EU.Under the current interpretation of the VAT Directive, the Brussels-based lobby organisations said, similar pension schemes in different countries were being treated differently for tax purposes with regard to the management services they procured.The current regime also did not provide enough guidance for increasingly commonplace hybrid pension plans, PensionsEurope and AEIP said.Alexandra Kaydzhiyska, permanent representative from AEIP, said the VAT Directive had not kept up with developments in the pensions landscape.“It is time to update the rules to ensure that all pension funds are exempt and that they respect the principles of non-discrimination and neutrality,” she said.PensionsEurope CEO Matti Leppälä suggested the current situation was at odds with efforts to boost funded retirement provision in Europe.“Saddling pension funds with an unnecessary and arbitrary VAT burden makes them less attractive and ultimately undermines the objective of achieving adequate and sustainable pensions across Europe,” he said.ECJ case law problemsAEIP and PensionsEurope argued that, without amendments to the VAT Directive, pension providers and paritarian institutions faced having to go to court in order to prevent VAT burdens, when other considerations should prevail.The ECJ case law, said AEIP and PensionsEurope, “ultimately results in distinctions between pensions plans and its providers that are explainable from the lack of political decision making and judgment on a case by case basis but are by no means derived from proper and thoughtful decision making”.There have been several landmark decisions by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in recent years relating to pension fund VAT claims: in 2013 it ruled on a case relating to UK workplace defined benefit schemes and in 2014 on one involving Denmark’s ATP in its capacity as a provider of defined contribution plans.Further reading:Lack of VAT guidance for DB pension funds ‘beggars belief’Dutch government rules out easing pension fund VAT ruleslast_img read more

Minneapolis schools and parks cut ties with police over George Floyd’s death

first_imgMinneapolis Public Schools and the city’s parks department said they will be ending their relationship with the Minneapolis Police Department following George Floyd’s death.The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board voted Wednesday night to end its relationship with the Minneapolis Police Department, according to a recording of the meeting. All nine of the Park Board’s members voted in favor of the resolution to immediately stop using “Minneapolis Police to staff park-sanctioned events” and end the practice of “Park Police response to Minneapolis Police Department calls.”The vote came after the Minneapolis Board of Education voted unanimously on Tuesday to terminate the district’s contract with MPD, which provided school resource officers at school buildings.“George Floyd died on the street slowly and deliberately strangled and our children watched,” Jenny Arenson, vice chair of the board said during the virtual meeting on Tuesday. “Minneapolis police, individual officers and the city have work to do. And until they demonstrate they have done that work, we need to separate our relationship.”Additionally, the University of Minnesota also announced they would “no longer contract with the Minneapolis Police Department for additional law enforcement support” and it will not use the police department for “specialized services are needed for university events.”last_img read more

South American FIFA World Cup qualifiers to begin in October

first_imgFOLLOWING Consultation with the South American member associations, FIFA and CONMEBOL have agreed to postpone the upcoming South American qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, initially planned to be played in the international window of September 2020. The qualifiers are now planned to start in October 2020.Taking into account the outcome of the discussions held in the COVID-19 FIFA-Confederations Working Group, the CONMEBOL Council has today requested FIFA to include a replacement international window in January 2022 in the International Match Calendar in order to complete the South American qualifiers in March 2022.This request will be dealt with by the Bureau of the FIFA Council at the next possible occasion.last_img read more

Syracuse splits weekend matches against Pittsburgh, Maryland as Kobelt earns 100th win

first_img Published on April 7, 2014 at 12:49 am Senior Maddie Kobelt cemented herself in the Syracuse history books over the weekend by becoming the 30th player in program history to earn 100 career wins. But the historical benchmark was overshadowed as her team lost to Maryland following five hours of competition. The Orange (4-11, 4-6 Atlantic Coast) cruised to an easy 6-1 victory over Pittsburgh (4-11, 0-11), but SU was unable to win two straight after losing 4-3 to Maryland (6-10, 2-8). On Friday, junior Amanda Rodgers got the momentum going for Syracuse by defeating Pittsburgh’s Taylor Washington 6-3, 6-3. The Orange kept up the pace by sweeping the remaining singles matches, with five of them taking only two sets to complete. It marked the first road victory for SU all season, and its fourth win in the ACC. Kobelt then completed the sweep in singles for Syracuse by defeating Blakely 6-7 (4-7), 6-3, 7-6 (7-3). AdvertisementThis is placeholder textUnfortunately for Syracuse, the team came up just short of winning its second road match when it lost to Maryland on Sunday. The Terrapins imposed their will at home against the Orange. Maddie Kobelt and Valeria Salazar, the top doubles pairing for SU, lost 8-6 to Nataliya Bredikhina and Welma Luus. Olivia Gaudreault and Alexandra Stanova won in convincing fashion by earning an 8-3 win over SU’s Maria Avgerinos and Rhiann Newborn. While the Orange provided a much better fight in its singles matches, it was unable to bounce back from the loss of the doubles point.After earning her monumental win two days prior, Kobelt lost in two sets, 6-3, 6-2 to Stanova. Syracuse did not immediately back down, as Newborn, Valeria Salazar and Komal Safdar won the next three singles matches to keep the Orange within distance of a victory.However, Rodgers was unable to earn the win in her singles match, losing to Nataliya Bredikhina 6-4, 6-7 (7-9), 6-1. Avgerinos was the team’s last hope but was unable to earn the hard-fought victory, losing to Olga Bredikhina 6-7 (8-10), 6-3, 6-3.Syracuse will regroup before traveling next weekend to face Clemson and Notre Dame for its final road matches of the regular season.compiled by Matt Miselis, staff writer, [email protected] Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Kiffin and Shaw show growth in matchup

first_imgThe storyline commanding national headlines last weekend was clear enough — Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck and USC junior quarterback Matt Barkley were set to face off as two of college football’s best quarterback prospects.Of course, it played out about as well as anyone could have hoped, with the two gunslingers leading their respective teams to an incredible triple-overtime finish.But as the matchup unfolded in front of an enormous crowd at the Coliseum, a similar storyline went wholly unnoticed as a result — the first meeting of second-year USC coach Lane Kiffin and the newly-employed Stanford coach David Shaw.Much like the Barkley-Luck rivalry, Kiffin and Shaw share some similarities.The two coaches are young — Kiffin is 36 and Shaw is 39 — and somewhat new to their current coaching positions. They had previous stints in the NFL, and coincidentally both were coaches in Oakland with the Raiders.Both held offensive coordinator positions at the schools they now coach — Kiffin was with the Trojans from 2001 to 2006, acting as the offensive coordinator in his last two years, while Shaw served as the Cardinal offensive coordinator from 2007 to 2010— and enjoyed considerable success during that time. Kiffin was an integral part of USC’s 2003 and 2004 national championship teams, while Shaw turned the previously stagnant Stanford offense into a well-oiled machine.But the greatest similarity, it seemed, was that both coaches had something substantial to prove.Kiffin, of course, has been branded as a coach without a “signature win” in his two seasons at USC, having failed to close out several major games against ranked opponents. Some of his decisions in the past — on the field and off — have been questionable, prompting doubters to suggest he is too young and immature to be a head coach.On top of everything, he has faced inflated expectations of success, despite dealing with sanctions that were essentially placed in his lap.Shaw, on the other hand, faced critics not for his previous work, but because of the expectations he had to fulfill. Former Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh has become something of a legend in Northern California, and was directly responsible for the turnaround of the program in the last five years. When Harbaugh left to coach the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers, Shaw had his work cut out for him.Much like the Barkley-Luck battle, there was no doubt that Saturday would prove to be a test for both Kiffin and Shaw.One-hundred and four points, three overtimes and a fantastic finish later, it seems both coaches came out ahead.As Kiffin and Shaw took turns raising the bar offensively, it became apparent that the quality of each side’s talent was only rivaled by the coaching that led them.For the most part, Kiffin’s game was devoid of the usual questionable decisions. He continued to trust the run game, which paid dividends in the form of junior tailback Curtis McNeal’s two touchdowns, and set Barkley up with passing plays that continuously exposed a weakened Stanford secondary.Shaw showed no signs of being a first-year coach, even when his team faced a seven-point deficit late in the game.The Stanford offense posted long scoring drives when it needed them most, and matched USC blow for blow — especially impressive considering the Trojans’ consistently great field position after kickoffs.Kiffin didn’t get a signature win.But in a week in which expectations soared so high that a blowout loss would have devastated the Trojans, he got about as close as he possibly could have.It’s not often you see a coach praised for his work in a losing effort, but there has been no shortage of support from fans and media alike.As for Shaw, he now heads back to Stanford with a No. 4 ranked team and national title hopes still intact. Not bad for Harbaugh’s fill-in.Most media, analysts and fans were eager to talk about Barkley and Luck in the aftermath of Saturday’s contest. But to a large degree, what transpired at the Coliseum showed that Kiffin and Shaw are ready for the bright lights of the college football national stage. “One-Two Punch” runs Tuesdays. To comment on this article, visit dailytrojan.com or email James at [email protected]last_img read more