What You Should Know: State of the University Edition

Welcome back to What You Should Know, a daily roundup of the most interesting and noteworthy news of the last 24 hours. If it matters to students, you’ll find it here.

George Ross
George Ross

CMU President George Ross will give his State of the University address at 2 p.m. today.

Ross will likely strike an optimistic tone in his address at Warriner Hall, perhaps citing a jump in enrollment figures and the groundbreaking of the $95-million Biosciences Building as evidence of the university moving in the right direction.

Anyone is welcome to attend the address in Plachta Auditorium, as well as a reception in the Powers Hall ballroom immediately following the speech. If you are unable to attend, click here to find out how to stream Ross’ address.

Be sure to check back to CMU Insider for an analysis of Ross’ address on Thursday.

CMU’s new tobacco-free policy is barely enforceable.

CMU’s “Breath of Fresh Air” anti-smoking policy was criticized by the CM Life editorial board and by many students last year as a publicity stunt masked as toothless university policy. That’s because students, faculty and staff are essentially asked to self-enforce the policy, with the only concrete-ish threat of punishment coming in the form of a possible referral to the Office of Student Conduct after “repeated abuse,” according to the university’s website.

As it stands, the policy is essentially unenforceable. It certainly seems that way after watching the video below, featuring CMU student journalist and self-professed “smoking amateur” Ryan Fitzmaurice. Turns out almost no one cares if you choose to break policy and smoke nine cigarettes on campus.

So much for self-enforcement.

EMU’s president just received a 13.3-percent raise.

Eastern Michigan University President Susan Martin received a 13.3-percent raise yesterday. Martin will be paid $340,000 annually beginning Nov. 1, up from her previous $300,000 salary. CMU’s Ross, the only Mid-American Conference president to be paid more than Martin, has a salary $364,000 per year. Read more at The Eastern Echo.

The GOP has just about given up on Terri Lynn Land.

Terri Lynn Land
Terri Lynn Land

The Republican Party has canceled $1 million in TV ads supporting its U.S. Senate candidate, Terri Lynn Land, during the Michigan race’s final two weeks. The move is a sign that the GOP, eager for a takeover of the Senate, has decided to let the Democratic Party retain outgoing Sen. Carl Levin’s long-held seat. Polling shows Peters with a wide lead over the former Michigan Secretary of State, and party leaders likely think they have a better chance to flip Democratic seats in states Mitt Romney won in 2012.

It’s also further evidence that Michigan voters will likely be irrelevant in deciding who will control the senate for President Barack Obama’s final two years in office. Read more at the Detroit Free Press.

Michael Bloomberg endorsed Rick Snyder and Gary Peters.

Rich Person Michael Bloomberg, who recently launched the Independence USA super PAC to back candidates and causes of his choosing, endorsed Gov. Rick Snyder, a Republican, for re-election and U.S. Rep. Gary Peters, a Democrat, for U.S. Senate yesterday. The former New York City mayor praised Peters for his moderate political stances and Snyder for his efforts in getting Michigan’s economy on track. Bloomberg’s cross-party endorsements don’t come as much of a surprise considering he was a Republican before he turned independent and was a Democrat before he turned Republican.

So, why do we care? Well, Bloomberg’s political action committee announced a $2.3-million TV ad buy for Snyder earlier this week. And the 2014 midterm elections are all about moneyRead more at The Detroit News.

Things might be bad for young people in the U.S., but at least we’re not Europe.

Student loan debt and a lack of upward mobility might be hurting young Americans, but European youths might have it worse. One in five young Europeans find themselves without jobs, and European Union leaders find themselves utterly unable to fix that problem. Read more at Bloomberg.

SAT scores are “flat and stagnant” ahead of major changes for the test.

The College Board is urging political leaders to reform America’s K-12 educational system, pointing to stagnant SAT scores as evidence schools aren’t doing enough to teach students. Class of 2014 SAT scores averaged out at 497 in reading, 513 in mathematics and 487 in writing, largely unchanged from the last previous few classes.

The SAT will undergo a major overhaul in how it tests and scores students by 2016, the College Board announced earlier this year. Read more at The Huffington Post.


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