Monday, October 20th, 2014

MU Ranked Top 40 Best Colleges in the Region PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, October 01, 2014

The University was recently ranked among the U.S. News and World Report's "Top 40 Best Colleges in the Regional Universities North" category for the third year in a row, and was also named "One of the Nation's Best Institutions for Undergraduate Education" by the Princeton Review.

"We are delighted to be recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best colleges in the nation," said President Paul Brown. "One of our core values, and strengths, is offering a highly personalized and transformative learning experience which prepares our graduates to be life-long learners."

Currently ranking 37th on U.S. News and World Report's list, the University has ascended since its original listing at 76th in the region in 2005.

"Everyone on this campus should be incredibly proud," said Mary Anne Nagy, Vice President for Student Life and Leadership Engagement. "This suggests that Monmouth is a great place to get an education."

The U.S. News and World Report includes data on over 1,800 colleges across the country, whereas the Princeton Review just profiles 15 percent of the country's 2,500 four-year colleges are profiled in their college guide.

Schools that are eligible to be ranked in the "Best Colleges" lists are ranked on up to 16 measures of academic excellence. The most heavily weighted factors, according to, are outcome-related, including graduation and retention rates.

This year, the originally predicted graduation rate of 59 percent was exceeded, with actual numbers being at 61 percent. As for the average freshman retention rate, the University was at its highest ever: 80 percent.

"Retention is really about making sure our students feel connected," said Robert McCaig, Vice President for Enrollment Management. "I believe Monmouth does an extraordinary job of engaging and connecting its students. With this hallmark, the rankings and mentions in national publications is just the byproduct."

According to William Craig, Vice President for Finance, freshman retention is coming in at 83.4 percent, being about 4 percent higher than the year before, while also being the University's highest ever. Furthermore, the four-year graduation rate is at 55.2 percent, whereas a decade ago, the school was just at about 36 percent.

Craig feels the University's rising statistics in multiple academic categories continue to make it one of the fastest-rising schools.

Hawks and ESPN3 Announce Live Content Collaboration PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Front-2In conjunction with ESPN, Monmouth University has announced that they will broadcast their home athletic contests live on ESPN3 starting later this year. The agreement was made official on Sept. 12.

According to, "ESPN3 is a live multi-screen digital network that provides thousands of live events annually, as well as replays of recent ESPN events."

"As a whole I think this opportunity will help the University grow. It will help the University expand its stature, it will tell the story of Monmouth University to a much wider audience, it will attract more students who will apply, and it will send students who go through our program to go out as ambassadors once they graduate to expand the reputation that we have already developed as a solid program," explained Dr. Chad Dell, Chair of the Communication Department. "It can only benefit us."

Monmouth and ESPN had been in talks for sometime before the agreement was made official earlier this month. Greg Viscomi, Assistant Athletics Director of Communications and New Media, explained how the relationship was created. "It all came together when we joined the MAAC [Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference]. The MAAC reached out and said who else do we think could pull this off and Dr. [Marilyn] McNeil was in those meetings and said I think my crew could definitely do it," said Viscomi. "It began with an inventory of all the equipment that we were using already. [ESPN] took a look at some of the stuff we were doing on Hawk Vision at the time and thought that we would have the capabilities to do that. We got on their list of potential schools and fostered the relationship until it got to the point where we were ready to make a commitment on the equipment and all of that."

Although the streaming of the Hawks' games will have the appearance of an ESPN broadcast, it will be entirely produced by Monmouth students and faculty members. Viscomi explained, "Our productions on ESPN3 mean that there is minimum set by ESPN. Basically what is going to be going on is, we will put on a full ESPN event and the idea is that the end user will have no idea that it is Monmouth staff and students putting on this ESPN event. We will have the same graphics look. It will look just like any other ESPN game you watch."

Along with allowing Monmouth games to be streamed on ESPN3, ESPN is in the process of building a television production trailer that will be given to the University to help raise the creation of athletic content. "The University is investing considerable money and resources in a television truck, in cameras, in replay equipment, and those sorts of things, which will allow us to elevate our game in terms of the quality of the product that we are able to put out," said Dr. Dell.

Gender Inequality Sparks Controversy in the Work Place PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, September 24, 2014

genderRecent legislative proposals and media attention surrounding issues of gender inequality have ignited debate over the causes and ways to eliminate it.

Despite having the same education and past work experience, there are still inequalities between men and women in the workplace, one of which is a significant wage gap. Women working full-time earn 77 percent of what their male counterparts earn, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This has become a growing concern for women in college preparing to enter the workforce. Kaitlynn Rossi, a recent graduate of the Leon Hess Business School, is worried that she will not have the same opportunities as her male counterparts.

Rossi said, "Not getting the job or the pay that I deserve is definitely a concern for me, especially being that I am a business major, which tends to be a male-dominated field." The graduate plans to eventually start her own business. "I'm worried I won't be taken as seriously as a female entrepreneur," she said.

Many believe this discrepancy in workplace opportunities is due to home obligations. In a typical American household, women often dedicate more of their time to household chores than men. According to a 2013 American Time Use Survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 83 percent of women "spend some time doing household activities such as housework, cooking, lawn care or financial and other household management," during an average day as opposed to 65 percent of men. For some women, these additional responsibilities have hindered their career advancement.

Michelle Gagliardi is a mother of two who had to put her career aspirations on hold. "I recently got a job at a catering company that I really loved but with both my husband and I working, someone had to be home for the kids. Because he was making more money, the logical solution was for me to be the one to leave my job and get the kids to all their after-school activities." As a Culinary Institute graduate, this was Gagliardi's ideal job.

"It's tough because once you leave a company, you have to start all over at a new place. It becomes almost impossible to move your way up in the field and it's difficult to demand equality at work when, unlike men, we don't have the privilege of making our career our first priority," Gagliardi said.

In recent years, there has been a push for government intervention in workplace inequality. The Paycheck Fairness Act, specifically, has been a topic of debate since it was drafted in 2009.

The proposed legislation will allow employees to discuss or issue complaints regarding wages without employer retaliation, hold employers who violate equal pay liable for compensation, and allow the Commissioner of Labor Statistics to collect data on women's pay.

Atlantic City: Storied Past, Grim Future PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, September 24, 2014

20140629-Revel-Atlantic-CitySakia Hall lost her $9-an-hour overnight housekeeping job at the Revel hotel and casino weeks ago, but she still cries about it. The single mother of a 12-year-old who also cares for a grown cousin is one of about 8,000 workers laid off here this year.

Forget about another casino job. Four casinos have closed this year in this New Jersey beach town and another may not be far behind. Hall, 33, was "working poor." Now she's just flat-out desperate and poor in a city whose 12 percent jobless rate was about twice the national average even before the mass layoffs.

"It's already hard if you are working for $9 an hour to pay $1,150 rent, and electric bills and stuff like that," said Hall, who works two and sometimes three jobs to survive. "After six months, if you haven't found a job, you're out of luck, you're homeless. A lot of people's parents is losing their jobs."

Hall is a face behind the implosion of this famed gambling city, and the plight of thousands like her offers a cautionary tale for states across the nation debating casino gaming or having recently authorized it.

Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, New York, Ohio and Massachusetts have all added or are adding casinos, even as iconic Atlantic City casinos shrank toward this year's wave of bankruptcies.

Atlantic City's problems matter because its history is woven into our national fabric. In was known as America's Playground in the 1930s. The Miss America Pageant began there in 1940. The popular board game Monopoly, originally a tool to teach economics, is set in Atlantic City with its famous street names such as Atlantic Avenue.

More recently, the hit HBO show "Boardwalk Empire," in its fifth and final season, depicts the grit of the storied New Jersey shore community, through the tale of a prohibition-era, pre-casino mob boss.

Casinos opened in Atlantic City in 1977 to predictions of coming wealth and jobs. Yet the city ranks near the bottom of virtually every social and economic indicator and now faces a threat to its national relevance.

"When you bet the whole farm on gambling ... it's not an industry that grows the economy. It's an industry that sucks money out of the economy," said Paul Davies, a senior fellow for the New York-based Institute for Family Values, a nongovernment organization that opposes closing state budget shortfalls with gambling revenue. "It's sort of like a roach motel _ takes your money and sends you on your way."

Thirty-seven years after the inception of casino gambling, Atlantic City has become synonymous with economic and political rot.

Dean’s List: New Criteria Effective Fall 2015 PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Beginning fall 2015, the criteria for students to be named to the Dean's List will be changed. Rather than the criteria being based on a specific GPA, students' eligibility for the award will be based on a departmental GPA percentage.

"In each semester, undergraduate students who receive grades that place them in the top 20 percent of their academic major, based on completing all courses, with no incomplete grades, at least 12 credits taken, and at least a 3.3 GPA shall be recognized as Dean's List recipients," explained former Provost Thomas Pearson in an email sent out to students on July 28.

Undeclared students will also be eligible to be named to the Dean's List as they will be grouped together as if in the same major. Those in double majors can qualify as well for the Dean's List through either of their majors.

A student who "straddles" the 20 percent mark is not eligible to make the Dean's List. Further explained, if there are 20 students in a major, the top four questioned if professors across the University were grading higher than others," said Dr. Christopher Derosa, professor from the history and anthropology department who chaired the Task Force on grade inflation from 2010-2011. "It was the suggestion of the Provost office to look into the recent grade inflation," explained Derosa.

"Although we were concerned, grade inflation is normal in other universities as well," added Dr. Datta Naik, Vice Provost and Dean of the Graduate School. Various tactics were considered to approach the issue of grade inflation. "We started with a series of other measures to allow restraint for giving out grades. Some departments raised the standards of A, B, and C grades to make it more challenging to achieve them," explained Derosa.

When this did not completely solve the problem because grading practices were not keeping pace, the faculty council considered different tactics to raise the bar on grading to make the Dean's List award more worthy. "It takes time for faculty to change how they grade, so considerations for changing the criteria of the Dean's List became a focus instead," stated Naik.

Appointed by former Provost Thomas Pearson in 2011, a faculty council, made up of nine members, including professors and academic administrators, began to assess this grade issue. After examining a 2013 grading report, the faculty council found that over ten-year period, grades had increased steadily in various departments. The steady rise in grades over the past several years allowed for a high percentage of students to achieve the Dean's List status.

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