Entries for April 2007

farewell, Mr. Vonnegut

I still remember well hearing Kurt Vonnegut speak at CWRU in February of 2004. Yesterday, he left an eloquent parting image. Learn more from the Plain Dealer about this American icon.

reviewing the reasons for the pay gap

Another book author is out promoting her latest conservative title, by publishing misinformed opinions about the reasons for the pay gap between men and women in the Washington Post. (If you have missed this, there's a good review of the recent events here, including links.)

I refuse to post to the original op-ed by said conservative book author, because, as I said above, she is misinformed. Basically, she argues that the pay gap can be explained by women's choices of more flexible work, but Elaine McCrate published a study in 2005 documenting that men have more access to flexible work schedules than women.

Here are some useful links to research explaining reasons for the gender pay gap:

And how do we solve the problem of the pay gap? Martha Burk reviews the slow movement of the Fair Pay Act.

discussing race in the region and the nation

This Thursday, as part of Case's fifth annual Research ShowCase, I will be attending a panel discussion from 10:30 - noon on "Race and the Nation" which includes a nationally prominent speaker, five panelists (three MDs, two PhDs, and one DDS), and a great moderator -- Dee Perry, from WCPN.

There are several other interesting panel sessions on Wednesday afternoon and throughout the day on Thursday, and all events in the showcase are free an open to the public! Please join us, at the Veale Convocation Center, accessible from Adelbert Road near the University Circle RTA station.

benefits of welcoming work environments for all

Two quick links to recent studies suggesting that work environments where members of demographic minorities are welcomed and fully integrated into work culture yield positive performance benefits for all workers:

Case Western Reserve, highest quality education at a great value

I was pleased to read that Kiplinger's rated Case Western Reserve as one of the top 50 best values among comparable universities last week. (See the table for the full list of 50.)

I was surprised, though, to see the university's press release about our inclusion on the Kiplinger's list mentioning the other "peer" schools that we outranked on the list. I thought the point of the list was that these schools are not our peers, at least in the eyes of the people who compiled the Kiplinger's list. (why give the other "peer" schools another page to generate hits for them on the web?)

The table shows that only 15 of the top 50 schools have better student-to-faculty ratios than Case Western Reserve. Of all the private universities Kiplinger's ranked, only 15 do better than the 9 students per faculty member ratio at Case Western Reserve.

Also, only 5 of the universities on the list accept a higher percentage of their entering class. Case Western Reserve accepted 68 percent of applicants, according to the table. From an academic rankings perspective, a lower acceptance rate would improve our standings compared with other schools; however, from an applicant's perspective, a high acceptance rate is desirable, because it makes the investment of time in a college application less of a gamble.

At Case Western Reserve, we meet the total financial need of 92 percent of our students. The majority of that financial aid is in the form of grants, rather than loans. (Only 3 of the 50 schools provide a higher percentage of students with financial aid sufficient to meet their financial need.) Case Western Reserve is right in the middle of the top 50 universities in terms of the average debt of new graduates, at just under 21 thousand dollars.