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Counsel of perfection?

first_imgAs consultancies increasingly link up with IT firms, a new model isemerging. Alliances bring together strategy, technology and HR to form aflexible resource, offering clients a more rounded solutionThe global market for consultancy services has dramatically fallen off thisyear, amid upheavals that could transform the face of the whole industry. In the US, growth in 2001 is down to 3 per cent from an average 20 per centannually over the past eight years, according to Consulting InformationServices. That is largely due to the recession in IT, and following the Y2Kscare and the scramble for e-commerce, major technology projects are less of apriority. Unable to find room even for graduates they have offered places to, some bigfirms have shed jobs and offered sabbaticals to employees. In the UK, the downturn is less fierce, but still discernible – theManagement Consultancies Association estimates that growth has slowed this yearfrom 21 per cent to around 10 to 15 per cent. But beyond the immediate difficulties are wider concerns. One is theperceived need to separate accounting firms from the consulting services theyso successfully spawned. Accenture, KPMG and Ernst & Young have all split,and PricewaterhouseCoopers is expected to follow suit. For the moment, ArthurAndersen and Deloitte Consulting remain connected, though some observers thinkthat they too may change in future. The reason is a potential conflict of interest that prompted aninvestigation last year by the US Securities and Exchange Commission. A companythat simultaneously provides a client with a £1m audit and a £20m consultancyproject is at least notionally vulnerable to pressure to quietly massage thefigures. But perhaps the biggest force for change has been the powerful shift towardstechnology in clients’ consultancy needs. In order to be equipped fore-commerce, consultants have had to behave like IT companies, marshalling notjust intellectual skills, but costly hardware and software that in many casesrequires substantial investment. To satisfy the need for capital, companies such as KPMG and Accenture havesold shares in an initial public offering. This means partners do not have todig into their own pockets for cash, as well as attracting talent with thepromise of share options. “As technology and strategy continue to converge, you’ll see moreconsultancies consider the public markets,” predicts Tom Rodenhauser, headof Consulting Information Services. But he adds, “Traditional consulting is a cyclical business and thatdoesn’t bode well for investment purposes, where predictable or repeatablerevenue is preferred.” Nor is it necessarily ideal for the client organisation. Those that havechosen not to take this route, notably Deloitte, point out that going publicshifts attention to shareholders, investors and analysts, an equation in whichthe customer no longer comes first. The alternative for consulting firms is to merge with the technology giantswith which they have become so closely involved in recent years. That providesthem with ready access to the funds and skills they need to implement ITprojects, while manufacturers benefit by shifting from the production ofcommodities to high-value advisory services. The “big five” have already developed alliances with major firms.Accenture has been collaborating with Microsoft, and KPMG with Cisco Systems,while PricewaterhouseCoopers has linked up with Hewlett-Packard to develop andsell products to the aviation industry. Last year, Ernst & Young wentfurther in selling its consultancy arm to Cap Gemini. More recently, Hewlett-Packard failed in its pitch forPricewaterhouseCoopers, but both parties are thought likely to continue to seeka partner, especially since the former’s acquisition of Compaq. Collaboration of this kind could point the way forward, some observersthink. But here too there are concerns, since ownership by a technology companycasts doubt on the ability of consultants to give impartial advice on ITsystems. That might seem to give an advantage to the larger number of middle-sizedfirms that remain independent. However, in reality these are likely to sufferas their big rivals, newly beefed up with capital and resources, put thesqueeze on the mid-section of the market. Rodenhauser argues that many firms will cease to exist. “In a lot ofways, this is the demise of consulting as we know it,” he declares. So what is likely to emerge in its place? Gilbert Toppin, chief operatingofficer in Europe for Deloitte Consulting, sees those companies that havedeveloped a global reach prospering at the expense of those that still operatenationally. He also believes the market will diverge between relatively low costtechnology implementers on the one hand, and on the other those such asDeloitte and McKinsey that combine an element of IT capability with high-valuestrategic advice. “Fee rates have diverged, since technology firms arebased on programmers costing less than highly qualified industry experts withMBAs,” he says. Toppin argues that companies are returning to a deeper appreciation ofbusiness benefit, after a period when they were forced into costly ITdevelopment by the “Millennium Bug” problem and the need to wire upfor e-commerce. That will mean a bigger market for traditional businessconsulting, he predicts. If companies further down the pecking order are quaking in their boots, thatdoes not apply to Hewett Associates, currently ranked at number two in themarket for HR consultancy, and number 13 overall. Like Deloitte, Hewett Associates believes its global presence makes it wellplaced to compete with the big players, no matter how well resourced. But incommon with them it has been moving towards a collaborationist model. Tom Eddington, head of client development group for Europe, notes aconvergence between strategy, technology and people. “It used to be if youhad access to capital you could dominate the market. Now you need accessequally to talent and ideas,” he says. Companies that have historically offered technology consultancy are seekingalliances or acquisitions with strategy or HR, Eddington continues. Conversely,HR consultancy organisations such as Hewett are entering into strategicalliances to provide IT solutions, and, in some cases, host the systemsthemselves. Earlier this year, Hewett teamed up with PeopleSoft, one of the majorproviders of HR and payroll technology. Among others, it also has relationshipswith Compaq and Dell, and, until it lost its funding, Skillset, a provider ofrecruitment solutions. The effect of such alliances is to extend the consultancy’s capability. Whenadvising on services such as employee portals, Hewett can help the client purchasethe necessary equipment through its relationship with manufacturers. It can gofurther, for instance by providing a flexible benefits scheme that offers taxadvantages to employees buying their own computers. Partnerships can also be a way to find new markets. When Hewett developed anHR delivery platform for Royal Bank of Scotland three years ago, client andconsultancy entered into a joint-venture, seeking ways to market it to otherorgan- isations. The fact that the bank already used PeopleSoft, an existingalliance partner of Hewett’s, meant that the two shared a commoninfrastructure. As well as collaboration, Eddington refers to a process of”co-opetition” with rivals such as Accenture. “They are our auditors,and we provide HR outsourcing services to them, yet we frequently findourselves competing against each other directly,” he explains. Partnership between technology companies and consultants makes sense at atime when clients are increasingly seeking business benefit from their costlyinstallations. A driver is the growing recognition that technology works bestin conjunction with an understanding of how organisations work. For instance Accenture has teamed up with BT offering HR services online (seepersonneltoday.com). It also has a year-old joint venture with Microsoft calledAvanade , which draws on expertise from both camps to build business-criticalsolutions. Avanade benefits from Accenture’s consulting resources, industryknowledge and business solutions delivery expertise. Microsoft providesspecific product expertise and access to its intellectual capital. One telling change over the past few years has been the growing level oftrust in the consultancy market. Research by the Management ConsultanciesAssociation (MCA) reveals a high degree of satisfaction, with 88 clients out of100 questioned saying they would use the same service again, and 79 expectingto benefit from the advice they were given within one year. More than halfexpected the measurable benefit to be many times cost of investment. The survey also noted the increasing willingness of companies to getinvolved with clients. In a similar survey six years ago, a third of companiessaid they preferred to keep the consultant at arm’s length. That has dwindledto 4 per cent. “There has been a real change in attitude,” comments Sarah Taylor,deputy director of the MCA. “Clients see consultants much more as partnersnow than outsiders and there has been a maturing in the relationship. They areincreasingly sophisticated and know how to evaluate projects, which means thatalthough they are more demanding, levels of satisfaction are higher.” Taylor agrees that middle-ranking consultancy firms are likely to besqueezed as consolidation takes place at the top. But she predicts that nicheplayers offering specialist skills will continue to flourish, often developingrelationships of their own. These could be large or small, but focused on asingle area, such as customer care, supply chains, or integration. Both trends are illustrated by Ashridge Consulting, a specialist businessconsultancy which offers a technology element through its partnership withAmaze, a provider of knowledge management systems. The relationship grew out ofthe recognition from both parties that clients needed something more than aninert piece of hardware and software. “There was an understanding that technology cannot provide betterprocesses within an organisation on its own and that there needs to be culturalchange to bring value,” explains senior consultant Bill Critchley.”Partnership enables us to unlock the power of IT by attending to theculture of organisation. Otherwise it just sits on the desktop.” Where Ashridge believes it differs from much of its competition is infavouring a participative approach to the client. Instead of telling thecompany what it should do, it prefers to provide ideas and methods to help itthink the problem through for itself. “There is a sense of frustration in marketplace with conventionalmethods,” Critchley comments. “Consultants have a tendency to offerstandard solutions that are tailored to fit.” “But these are inflexible, and advisers’ unwillingness to vary themtends to deny the unique context of a particular organisation. Nor does itengage its members in the development of solutions. As a result they feel theyare being imposed on and driven by an external methodology.” Not only do clients resent being talked down to, Critchley says, they mayalso suspect that in their perpetual search for work consultants are alwayslooking out for potential new projects within the organisation whether or notthey are really needed. Another development is the trend for niche firms to form relationships witheach other. For instance Burch Taylor, a firm of organisational psychologists,provides consultancy to blue-chip clients who know what they want and prefer towork with teams of specialists rather than go to a single large supplier. “Some companies have been asking us to collaborate closely with ahand-picked group of niche providers like ourselves,” says partner JillFlint Taylor. “It is to everyone’s benefit to do that as an alternative tobringing in a large consultancy.” For example Burch Taylor works with management development consultantsspecialising in executive search. Once likely candidates have been sourced andinterviewed, the next step is to get the psychologists to give theirrecommendations. Taylor thinks that the changes at the top end of the market could mean that thebig consultancies strengthen their specialist expertise. But far from fearingthe competition, she believes that it will draw companies’ attention to thekind of services the niche consultancies provide. That particularly applies tobusiness psychology, she says, whose benefits are only now beginning to bewidely understood. Other specialists are uncertain about what the future holds. For instanceAveva Consulting advises on IT issues in the engineering process industry, suchas the construction of offshore oil platforms. This has been largely neglected,and is just the type of niche area that smaller companies have been able tocultivate undisturbed by the big firms. “They may possibly decide that they need to start moving into this kindof specialist activity,” says Paul Wheeler, vice president of businessdevelopment. “They have a lot of inertia, and there is a lack of expertisein their organisations, so we haven’t seen any signs of it so far. On the otherhand it doesn’t take long for these guys to realise they might be missing anopportunity.” Whatever happens to the consultancy providers themselves, clients can besure that it is their own needs that are shaping the market. And just asconsultancies themselves are teaming up with each other, it makes sense fortheir customers to develop closer ties with their advisors. “At the end of the day, consultancy provides a flexible resource,”says the MCA’s Sarah Taylor. “Being able to pick and choose what kind ofskills it brings to the business, and where it gets them from, is a hugeadvantage for the client, and it is always better for that to be part of a longterm strategic relationship.” Case study: Ashridge Consulting/AmazeAlliance offers tailored IT approach A particular failing of knowledgemanagement systems is that they are vulnerable to an excessive focus ontechnology at the expense of organisational change. Ashridge Consulting hasbegun working in partnership with Amaze, a systems supplier, to enable clientstake full account of both.The consultancy started by setting up a pilot service sixmonths ago for its own employees, and this is currently in the implementationstage.”We try our methodologies before selling them on,”says Nicolas Worms, senior consultant at Ashridge. “The way we usuallywork is innovative and quite intangible, which makes it difficult to explainunless we have experienced it ourselves.””Where we add value with Amaze is understanding what itcan do strategically for a given organisation in its current context,” hecontinues. “The aim is to support knowledge sharing and development, whichhas particular relevance within our own organisation.”Because Amaze approaches the concept of knowledge sharing froman IT perspective it tended to look only for the right kind of interface.Ashridge builds on that by supplying an understanding of organisationaldynamics. By identifying the social issues in a client company it can determinewhat system is needed.”Most clients have good IT and strategic people, but theywill often have a rather mechanical approach, whereas we start with anunderstanding of the organisation,” says Worms.”Organisations are complex entities, and for thetechnology to work it needs to be merged with the social fabric.” Previous Article Next Article Counsel of perfection?On 9 Oct 2001 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more


Observed circulation in the Solomon Sea from SADCP data

first_imgThe Solomon Sea, in the western tropical Pacific, is part of a major oceanic pathway for waters connecting the tropics to the equator via low latitude western boundary currents. Shipboard Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler data from 94 various cruises and transits are used to describe the Solomon Sea mean circulation and its seasonal variability above 300 m depth, providing an unprecedently detailed picture from observations. The circulation in the near-surface (20-100 m) and thermocline (100-300 m) layers were analyzed separately but found to have many similar features. They are compared with circulations inferred from hydrological and satellite data. The New Guinea Coastal Undercurrent enters the Solomon Sea east of the Louisiade Archipelago (15 Sv inflow above 300 m), splits and rejoins around the Woodlark Chain, then divides against the coast of New Britain forming two branches flowing westward and eastward. The westward branch has been previously observed flowing through Vitiaz Strait; in the present SADCP data this transport is found to be 7-8 Sv in the upper 300 m. The eastward branch has been suspected and occurs in some models; it exits the Solomon Sea through St. George’s Channel (1-2 Sv) and Solomon Strait (4-5 Sv) in the thermocline. At the surface, waters enter the Solomon Strait from the north. The seasonal variability can be documented in locations of sufficient data coverage. It is shown that this western boundary system strengthens in June-August. A summary of transport variability in the straits of the Solomon Sea from individual cruises is also presented. Transports in the straits display some stable features, but also high non-seasonal variability.last_img read more


Open Rank Faculty position for Orthopedics

first_imgMinimum Qualifications Posting NumberF0396P Working TitleOpen Rank Faculty position for Orthopedics Retirement PlanTRS or ORP About the University of Georgia Posting Details Effective End Date (for Limited-Term postings) Benefits EligibilityBenefits Eligible EEO Statement To be considered for the tenure track or tenured faculty ranks,documented research productivity commensurate with rank isdesirable, and an interest in developing a research program isrequired. Credit and P-Card policy Be advised a credit check will be required for all positions withfinancial responsibilities. For additional information about thecredit check criteria, visit the UGA Credit Background Check website. Applicants must hold a D.V.M. or equivalent degree Classification TitleOpen Rank Position Summary The University of Georgia ( UGA ), a land-grant and sea-grantuniversity with statewide commitments and responsibilities is thestate’s oldest, most comprehensive, and most diversifiedinstitution of higher education ( http://www.uga.edu/ ). UGA is currentlyranked among the top 20 public universities in U.S. News &World Report. The University’s main campus is located in Athens,approximately 65 miles northeast of Atlanta, with extended campusesin Atlanta, Griffin, Gwinnett, and Tifton. UGA was founded in 1785by the Georgia General Assembly as the first state-charteredUniversity in the country. UGA employs approximately 1,800full-time instructional faculty and more than 7,600 full-timestaff. The University’s enrollment exceeds 36,000 studentsincluding over 27,500 undergraduates and over 8,500 graduate andprofessional students. Academic programs reside in 17 schools andcolleges, as well as a medical partnership with Augusta Universityhoused on the UGA Health Sciences Campus in Athens. Tenure StatusTenure Track Negotiable Posting TypeExternal Job Closing Date Open until filledYes Is driving a responsibility of this position?No All candidates must have a DVM or equivalent degree, have completedan approved residency of the American College of VeterinarySurgeons or the European College of Veterinary Surgeons, and haveboard certification or be eligible for board certification.Additionally, qualifications for each faculty rank being consideredare as listed.Clinical Track (non-tenure track):Clinical Assistant ProfessorCandidates should be board certified or eligible for boardcertification. Candidates should show evidence of a high level ofcompetence and demonstrated promise of moving toward excellence inpatient care, student instruction, scholarly activities, orpractice and service.Clinical Associate ProfessorBoard certification and a minimum of five years at the rank ofclinical assistant professor, or comparable experience. Clear andconvincing evidence of stature as a regional authority.Demonstrated excellence in clinical competency and documentedexcellence in patient care, student instruction, scholarlyactivities, or practice and service.Clinical ProfessorBoard certification and at least five years at the rank of clinicalassociate professor, or comparable experience. Excellence inclinical competency and recognized at the national level as anauthority. Documented excellence in patient care, studentinstruction, scholarly activities, professional leadership, orpractice and service. Candidates should demonstrate superiorperformance and be recognized by students or peers as anoutstanding educator.Tenure track or Tenured:Assistant ProfessorCandidates should show promise of moving toward excellence in thecriteria appropriate to their work assignment.Associate ProfessorBoard certification and a minimum of five years at the rank ofassistant professor. Clear and convincing evidence of stature as aregional and emerging or existing national authority.Full ProfessorBoard certification and at least five years at the rank ofassociate professor or attainment of rank of professor with tenureat an academic institution. Clear and convincing evidence ofstature as a national and emerging or existing internationalauthority.To be eligible for tenure upon appointment, candidates must beappointed as an associate or full professor, have been tenured at aprior institution, and bring a demonstrably national reputation tothe institution. Candidates must be approved for tenure uponappointment before hire.For additional information on the rank requirements for theDepartment please see:https://provost.uga.edu/_resources/documents/SAMS_Guidelines_non-tenure_track_Modified_Oct_31_2012.pdf;andhttps://provost.uga.edu/_resources/documents/Small_Animal_Medicine_and_Surgery_2015.pdf Employment TypeEmployee Additional Requirements Does this position have Security Access (e.g., public safety,IT security, personnel records, patient records, or access tochemicals and medications)Yes Is this a Position of Trust? Duties/Responsibilities Qualified applicants are invited to submit: (1) a letter of intentincluding professional interests and career goals, (2) a curriculumvitae, and (3) the name, mailing address, and contact informationfor three professional referees to: Dr. Spencer Johnston,Department Head, Department of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery,College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA,30602. Please apply at: http://www.ugajobsearch.com/postings/97926.Questions regarding the position may be directed to Dr. [email protected] or Dr. Jane Quandt, Search Committee Chairperson,by email ([email protected]) or telephone (706-202-5707).Applications will be accepted and fully considered until August 15,2019. The employment starting date for the successful candidate isnegotiable and can be as early as March 1, 2020. As required byUniversity of Georgia policy, the successful candidate will besubject to background investigation. Faculty RankOpen Rank Posting Specific QuestionsRequired fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).Applicant DocumentsRequired DocumentsResume/CVList of References with Contact InformationOptional Documents The College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, invitesapplications for a clinical track (non-tenure track), tenure trackor tenured faculty position in small animal orthopedic surgery atthe rank of assistant, associate, or full professor.The major responsibilities for this position are to teach andprovide service in orthopedics in the Veterinary Teaching Hospital,teach didactic and laboratory courses in orthopedics to veterinarystudents, actively participate in training of surgical residents,and to develop a research program, which can be independent and/orcollaborative with other faculty members. Proportionate assignmentsfor each area will be based on the interests of the candidate inconjunction with the missions of the Surgery program and theDepartment. The service enjoys access to vanguard technology indiagnostic imaging, including a 64-slice CT scanner, 3.0 Tesla MRI,digital radiography, ultrasound, nuclear scintigraphy, and adedicated interventional radiology suite.For all candidates, salary and entry rank will be commensurate withthe applicant’s experience and qualifications. The major responsibilities for this position are to teach andprovide service in orthopedics in the Veterinary Teaching Hospital,teach didactic and laboratory courses in orthopedics to veterinarystudents, actively participate in training of surgical residents,and to develop a research program, which can be independent and/orcollaborative with other faculty members. Position Details DepartmentVet Med Small Animal Medicine & Surg Underutilization Does this position have operation, access, or control offinancial resources?No Job Posting Date07/05/2019 Advertised Salary Duties/Responsibilities Preferred Knowledge, Skills, Abilities and/or Competencies Relevant/Preferred Education, Experience, Licensure, and/orCertification The University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine, foundedin 1946, is dedicated to training future veterinarians, providingservices to animal owners and veterinarians, and conductinginvestigations to improve the health of animals as well as people.The college benefits pets and their owners, food-producing animals,and wildlife by offering the highest quality hospital anddiagnostic laboratory services. Equipped with the mosttechnologically advanced facilities located on a university campus,the college is dedicated to safeguarding public health by studyingemerging infectious diseases that affect both animal and humanhealth.The College of Veterinary Medicine values all members of theuniversity community, recognizing that differences in experienceand culture can only lead to a more well-rounded, acceptingacademic environment. We have an expectation that all employeeswill demonstrate a contribution to diversity and inclusion asembodied in our Principles of Community ( http://vet.uga.edu/principles-of-community/)The Department of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery consists of 42faculty members, 32 clinical residents, 8 rotating interns, 3specialty interns, and 4 administrative staff members. Sharedlaboratory space and technical support are provided within thedepartment, and there are 7 dedicated research technicians whoassist in the research missions of the department’s faculty. Otherspecialties within the department include anesthesia, cardiology,dermatology, emergency and critical care, internal medicine,neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, soft tissue surgery, andzoological medicine, as well as a community practice program. Thedepartment participates in the college-wide M.S. and Ph.D.programs. Members of the department also actively participate inhighly successful collaborative efforts with faculty members fromother departments within the college and other colleges on campus,including the College of Public Health, College of Engineering, andthe Athens campus of the Medical College of Georgia. The Departmenthas a strong track record for teaching, research, and clinicalservice. Special Instructions to Applicants Is having a P-Card an essential function of this position?No About the College/Unit/Department Physical Demands Does this position have direct interaction or care of childrenunder the age of 18 or direct patient care?No Does this position require a P-Card?No Contract TypeFiscal (12 mo.) College/Unit/Department websitewww.vet.uga.edu FLSA Location of VacancyAthens Area The University of Georgia is an Equal Opportunity/AffirmativeAction employer. All qualified applicants will receiveconsideration for employment without regard to race, color,religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, geneticinformation, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation orprotected veteran status. Percentage Of Time100 Anticipated Start Date03/01/2020last_img read more


Press release: Foreign Secretary delivers keynote speech at chemical weapons conference

first_imgForeign Secretary Boris Johnson will deliver a keynote speech at a conference of an international partnership to fight against impunity for the use of chemical weapons in Paris today (May 18), hosted by French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian. The conference will bring together 33 like-minded countries, who are determined to preserve and strengthen the global ban on chemical weapons, including through strengthening the role of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).Ahead of the meeting, the Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said: Follow the Foreign Office on Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn For journalists A Special Conference of the Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention in June would consider the very serious compliance challenges the convention currently faces. This Conference will send a clear signal of the global commitment to uphold the ban on the use of chemical weapons and consider what more can be done to strengthen the norm against chemical weapons use. It will also be an opportunity to look at ways of strengthening the OPCW.BackgroundTo hold a Conference of States Parties requires the support of at least 64 States Parties.Further information Media enquiries Follow the Foreign Office on Twitter @foreignoffice and Facebook Follow the Foreign Secretary on Twitter @BorisJohnson and Facebook We have to confront the reality that chemical weapons have been used numerous times in recent years, in defiance of the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention. Asad’s brutality in Syria, and the attempted murders in Salisbury pose a grave threat to the Chemical Weapons Convention and to the rules based order that keeps us all safe. We join our partners today in calling for a special session of Conference of States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention in June to agree action to support the Convention and its implementing body, the OPCW. Together, we will ensure that the global ban on chemical weapons and their use is upheld and enforced. Email [email protected]last_img read more


Speech: Educate our daughters with the same care that we educate our sons

first_img Follow the Foreign Secretary on Twitter @BorisJohnson and Facebook Media enquiries For journalists Follow the Foreign Office on Twitter @foreignoffice and Facebook Email [email protected] Follow the Foreign Office on Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn For centuries human beings have been in search of a panacea, a cure for all ills, a philosophers’ stone that could turn dross into gold.After two years as Foreign Secretary, I have concluded that we could go a long way towards solving many of the world’s most serious problems – from infant mortality to unemployment to unsustainable population growth – if only we could provide every girl in the world with at least 12 years of quality education.At this moment, 130 million girls are not in the classroom. Female illiteracy in some countries exceeds 60 per cent, not least because of bigoted fanatics who do all they can to stop girls from going to school.In northern Nigeria, the terrorists of Boko Haram are waging a demented campaign against female education, raiding schools and abducting children. When I visited Borno state last year, I met girls who had been told they would be shot if they dared learn to read, as the Taliban shot Malala.I am lost in admiration for those who defy these threats and press on with their studies – and for the teachers who are brave enough to help. But the reality is that almost 800 million adults across the world cannot read or write and two thirds of them are women.Think of the squandered talent and the opportunity cost to humanity contained in that figure. But just imagine what we could achieve if we turned this upside down and ensured that every girl received the education they deserve.If all girls went to secondary school, then a United Nations study has found that infant mortality would be cut in half, saving three million young lives every year. About 12 million children would not have their growth stunted by malnutrition.The future wages of girls would rise by 12 per cent for every extra year in the classroom, a tonic for the economies of poor countries that would create jobs and strike a blow against the Boko Harams and the other maladjusted chauvinist fanatics.The conclusion is obvious: educating our daughters with the same care that we educate our sons is the single most powerful spur to development and progress.This year, the British Government has devoted an extra £500 million to female education, benefiting 1.5 million girls around the world. At the Commonwealth summit in London in April, all 53 countries endorsed the goal of 12 years of quality education for every girl.But the material benefits should not be the sole or even the primary reason why we must achieve this target. It’s not just that universal female education will make us more prosperous and expand our GDPs – though it will.We should educate girls because it is manifestly right in and of itself. We can build the schools and train the teachers and surmount all of the other barriers: in the end, it is only a question of priorities and of will.Further informationlast_img read more


Professor evaluates influenza vaccine

first_imgVaccines are arguably one of the most important lines of defense against the spread of influenza, a common seasonal virus that can have uncommonly nasty effects in elderly individuals with compromised immune systems. Contrary to conventional wisdom, however, a recent study by assistant professor of biological science Benjamin Ridenhour found that in a comprehensive analysis of people ages 65 and over, the influenza vaccine was only about 20 percent effective, underscoring the need for better flu vaccines. Previous studies by researchers in the field focused on different age groups for determining the effectiveness of the influenza vaccine, and extrapolation led to an overstatement of the usefulness of the annual influenza vaccines in the elderly population, Ridenhour said. Individuals from this age group account for most of the roughly 25,000 people who die each year from influenza in the United States alone, Ridenhour said. “Normally the influenza vaccine – going with what the party line is – is about 60 percent effective, which is not great but definitely better than nothing,” Ridenhour said. “One of the big issues there is that this 60 percent number has come from studies of people that are between the ages of 20 and 65, and less than five. “So there are two age groups that we haven’t done a lot of studies on: one of those age groups is the elderly, 65 and over, and the other is the intermediate five to 18 year-old age group. There’s more concern for the elderly group because these are the people that die from flu.” Ridenhour’s novel findings hinged on access to a comprehensive, centralized database of health records from Ontario, Canada that also recorded all vaccinations received by individuals, he said, unlike the largely undocumented vaccination process in the United States.   “It turned out that going to Ontario was great because we had data as far back as 1993, so we had approximately 15 years of data that we looked at,” he said. “It encompassed all the elderly individuals in Ontario, so that’s a really nice facet of the study – you don’t have to worry about selecting a special sub-population, we got everybody.” Ridenhour said the low level of flu vaccine success in the elderly population that emerged from the data demonstrates how urgently improvement in the vaccine is needed. Part of his current research efforts focuses on strategies for developing a vaccine that would protect against the actual strain of influenza confronted by population, instead of an across-the-board estimated strain. “There are ways that you can predict the future and improve vaccine effectiveness,” he said. “Part of it has to do with where you pick your vaccine strains from because of the way flu circulates around the globe. If you pick your vaccine strains from different places they represent different snapshots in time, so if you pick from the right places you can predict what it will be the next time. “Doing that, you can actually come up with some of these strategies where you can produce two to three alternative vaccines that have multiple strains in them and you can produce higher vaccine effectiveness in the population as a whole by doing that.” Aside from researching development strategies for an improved vaccine, Ridenhour’s next step will be to investigate the environmental factors that play a key role in the spread of influenza, he said. “Right now our focus is going to stay in Canada, and we’re going to try and take the data we have and look at other factors that might be causing illness,” he said. “The effects of the environment are much less studied. It’s hard at the basic level to figure out how effective a vaccine is. Adding in other complicated factors, such as environmental ones, makes it even more difficult. But we have this great data set that we can actually do this with.” In the meantime, the best way to improve the effectiveness of the influenza vaccine is to improve coverage and have more people vaccinated, Ridenhour said. Typically only 30 to 40 percent of Americans go out and get vaccinated each year, which allows the flu to circulate more freely in the population. “Despite low effectiveness numbers, everybody should definitely go out and get vaccinated,” Ridenhour said.last_img read more


Africana Studies bulletin board vandalized

first_imgAn Africana Studies department bulletin board displaying quotes by political commentator Ann Coulter was defaced with red paint over Easter weekend.University spokesman Dennis Brown said Notre Dame Security Police (NDSP) was investigating the incident as an act of vandalism.The bulletin board, which remains outside the office on the third floor of O’Shaughnessey Hall, contains several of Coulter’s comments on issues such as race, gender and religion, displayed under the heading “Freedom of Speech, Freedom to Hate: There is a difference.” Gayle Wilson, the administrative assistant and office coordinator for the Africana Studies department, said an unknown person painted messages responding to specific pieces of the board and painting messages such as “What exactly is PC?” and “Don’t be bullied by the ‘Happy Police.’” Wilson said the board, which two student office employees made, was put up the day before Coulter’s April 10 talk. She said the defacement occurred by the time a coworker walked by the display April 21. Wilson learned of the vandalism the following day and called NDSP. In a statement to The Observer, Rev. Hugh Page, chair of the Africana Studies department, said he was “deeply saddened” by the incident. “Such action is clearly inconsistent with the values we espouse as a community of faith and learning,” he said. “I want to congratulate the students and staff whose creative energies are reflected in the board, which seeks to raise awareness. … Their work is resonant with a long and honored tradition of social engagement among Africana artists.”  Emily McConville | The Observer The Africana Studies bulletin board, which was vandalized over Easter weekend, will remain on display until the end of the year.Africana Studies Club president Alex Rice said she was disappointed with the perpetrator’s unwillingness to participate in reasoned dialogue about the issues the bulletin board raised. “I wasn’t angry, I would say. I was more disappointed than anything because the Africana Studies department really prides itself on trying to start dialogue,” Rice said. “What happened — an obvious act of vandalism — it wasn’t trying to start dialogue or hear the other side. “It was really, we don’t agree with you; we’re going to say so in a very disrespectful manner.” Alex Coccia, student body president emeritus and Africana Studies major, said the discipline is “an inherently socially and politically active experience.”“Given this reality within Africana Studies, it is unfortunate that the display was vandalized,” he said. “We have to be willing to see the world as it was, because our current environment is a product of that world. We cannot ignore these facts when we engage in discussions about rhetoric and how it utilizes historically volatile connotations.“Speaking more loudly than other voices, the verbal equivalent of painting over the Africana Studies display, does nothing to further constructive dialogue,” Coccia said. “There is nothing wrong with engaging in a heated debate, in fact, heated debates are more powerful than cold, calculated analytics, because they evoke the passions of a community. … But even in disagreement, we cannot disparage or disrespect.” Rice said the incident was a topic at this month’s Finally Friday, a monthly discussion series hosted by the Africana Studies Club.She said the group, which included students and faculty, discussed ways to improve the quality of dialogue about race and speech on campus and increase the amount of discussions with people on multiple sides of an issue. She said the consensus among the attendees was that the board should remain on display until the end of the year.  Tags: Africana Studies, Ann Coulter, Free speech, vandalismlast_img read more


Glen Cove Hit-and-run Driver Sought

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A hit-and-run driver struck and wounded a 63-year-old woman in Glen Cove on Friday afternoon, police said.The victim was crossing Cedar Swamp Road at the corner of Alexander Place when she was hit by a vehicle and the driver fled the scene at 3:19 p.m., Glen Cove city police said.The victim was taken to North Shore Manhasset Hospital, where she is being treated for non-life threatening head and shoulder injuries.Police said a witness followed the suspect and wrote down the first three letters of the license plate, which were FJL.  The vehicle is described as a bluish green Honda, possibly a mid-1990s four-door sedan with after-market tires with sliver rims.  The driver was described as a Hispanic woman wearing her hair in a pony tail.Glen Cove police ask anyone with information regarding this crash to call them at 676-1000.last_img read more


13 personal finance experts share their favorite money-saving tricks

first_img 3SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr by: Elyssa Kirkham, GOBankingRatesThere are thousands of ways to save money and make more of it, but chasing after every single tip will likely just make you overwhelmed rather than rich.That’s why it’s helpful to find out what the experts say are the best ways to save and earn more.GOBankingRates put the question to 13 experts on everything personal finance, business, and entrepreneurship:“In your opinion, what’s the easiest way to save money or to make money?”From how to save with every paycheck to taking your career or business venture to the next level, here’s what the experts had to say. continue reading »last_img


CUNA backs bill raising HMDA reporting requirements threshold

first_imgLegislation to raise the threshold for Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) reporting requirements for small institutions, including many credit unions, has the full support of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA). Jim Nussle, CUNA president/CEO, wrote to Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) Monday in support of his Home Mortgage Disclosure Adjustment Act.Emmer’s bill would raise the threshold that triggers HMDA reporting requirements to 100 closed-end and 300 open-end mortgages, up from the current threshold of 25 or more closed-end mortgage loans.“This would provide much needed relief, particularly to smaller credit unions, which is why we strongly support the legislation,” Nussle wrote.The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) finalized new HMDA reporting requirements in October 2015, significantly increasing the amount of data mortgage lenders will have to provide. The CFPB’s rule calls for many more data points than are required by Dodd-Frank, and the CFPB also extended these reporting requirements for home equity lines of credit. continue reading » 5SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more