Posts tagged ‘Don Heller’

Accreditation Warning: How Big a Deal is It?

If nothing else, living with this scandal for the past nine months is making me a more savvy consumer of the news. Around the magazine office we’re constantly sending each other links to news articles—”Have you seen this one?”—and often someone will give the rest of us a decent analysis of how much weight we should give to that particular article.

All of us worked in some form of journalism or another before coming to the magazine, with Lori Shontz ’91 probably having had the longest career—she’s been a reporter at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and right before we hired her she was Sunday sports editor at the Miami Herald. And Lori teaches an undergraduate class in news writing, so she’s especially attuned to these things. I’ve learned a lot from hearing her evaluate the quality of various news stories.

The idea of looking at the news with a critical eye, and not being too reactive to everything I read, came in handy on Monday evening, when word came out that Penn State had received a warning from its accrediting organization—the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The early stories seemed to be based primarily on a Penn State news release, and they came off as little alarmist, talking about (more…)

August 15, 2012 at 4:19 pm 7 comments

Jim Zarroli Leads a Roundtable for Us

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We held the roundtable in Robb Hall of the Hintz Family Alumni Center. (Click to see bigger version.)

A project I’ve been working on for the last several months finally came to fruition today, when a group of key campus leaders came to the alumni center to talk about college costs and affordability.

Penn State has long prided itself on providing an affordable education to the sons and daughters of the working class—that’s what a land-grant school is supposed to do, after all—but that mission is a tough one to uphold in the face of shrinking state appropriations, a nationwide recession, and other challenges.

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NPR's Jim Zarroli ’79 moderated the discussion.

So we brought together some major players to discuss these issues in Robb Hall at the Hintz Family Alumni Center, and we were especially happy to have NPR business correspondent Jim Zarroli ’79 drive in from New York to moderate the discussion.

The panelists were Anna Griswold, executive director of student aid at Penn State; Don Heller, a faculty member in the College of Education and director of Penn State’s Center for the Study of Higher Education; Gavin Keirans, president of the University Park Undergraduate Association; Rod Kirsch, senior vice president for development and alumni relations; and Rob Pangborn, vice president for undergraduate education.

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Don Heller and Anna Griswold were among the five panelists.

What did they talk about? I don’t know—I was too busy running around with a camera and periodically stopping back to make sure the audio recorder was working. I did catch some bits of conversation about how facilities construction and upgrades at Penn State are funded … about the role of the University’s capital campaign in raising money for more scholarships … and about the latest news out of Harrisburg about Penn State’s appropriation and how it may hinge on casinos adding table games.

I’ve already shipped the recording off to a transcriptionist, who will return it to us as a text document; from there we’ll edit it down and print it as a feature in our January-February issue.

Tina Hay, editor

October 19, 2009 at 5:07 pm Leave a comment

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