Here is a sampling of links and notes about Carolina people and programs cited recently in the media:
An online M.B.A. at UNC-Chapel Hill
The Wall Street Journal
Joining the fray of online degree offerings, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will launch an online M.B.A. program in July. The program, which carries a price tag of $89,000 for two years combined, will cater to students who can't relocate for a full-time program, says James W. Dean Jr., dean of the Kenan-Flagler Business School. It will have the same admissions standards as the rest of the school and have nearly the same curriculum, he said.
New Version of an Old Drug Could Treat Autism (and Addiction Too)
..."Our research didn't find a separation of baclofen from placebo on drinking outcomes," says James Garbutt, a psychiatry professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and author of the study, which was published in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research in November. "But it did reduce anxiety. We're actually interested in trying to do another trial with a higher dose."
Equations that Spell Disaster
...Historically, physicians have noted that this widespread inflammation often follows seemingly commonplace gastrointestinal infections. “There have been outbreaks of bacterial infections where a water supply is infected and almost everybody in town gets sick, but only a few people go on to develop Crohn’s disease,” explains R. Balfour Sartor, professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill.
Are laptops bad for you?
The Courier-Journal (Louisville, Ky.)
...People also can develop problems from using desktop computers, but laptops have unique features that can undermine users, said Dr. Kevin Carneiro of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine. “The keyboard and the screen are joined, and so it doesn't allow you to manipulate either one,” said Carneiro, an assistant professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. “You either overuse your wrist-hand motion, or you sit poorly,” which means people tend to stoop or slump.
State and Local Coverage
Drilling banned; eyes turn to wind
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
President Barack Obama on Wednesday declared North Carolina's coastal waters and the rest of the Atlantic Ocean off-limits to drilling for oil and gas, reversing a policy his administration established this spring - just weeks before an oil platform exploded in the Gulf of Mexico. ...The state has "great potential" for offshore wind power, thanks to its shallow waters, lengthy coastline and excellent wind speeds, according to the report. That's based on studies from the U.S. Department of Energy and UNC Chapel Hill.
New Hanover trying to keep contract awards local
The Star News (Wilmington)
In these tough economic times, should a local company that missed being the lowest bidder by less than $700 on a nearly $33,000 government contract get the business anyway? ..."Practically, economically speaking, there are definitely some issues about it," said Eileen Youens, an assistant professor with the School of Government at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.
Blaming DSS for child's death is tempting, but usually wrong (Commentary)
The Charlotte Observer
From Selena Childs, project director for the N.C. Child Welfare Workforce Collaborative Project at the UNC Chapel Hill School of Social Work and former executive director of the N.C. Child Fatality Task Force: When I hear about a child's death, my chest tightens and my stomach clenches. I hold my children close and give thanks for their safety. I tear up thinking about the fear and pain the child might have experienced and think about loved ones left behind, who are hurting beyond my comprehension.
Issues and Trends
State Health Plan audit snags aged dependents
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
North Carolina's aggressive efforts to cut millions from the state employees' health insurance plan caught Jurlean Pope unaware and unprotected on the day after Thanksgiving. ...The state has hired a benefits-management company, California-based Secova, to ask the 180,000 dependents of current and retired state employees for proof that they were eligible for state insurance coverage. Since July, Secova has been mailing requests for verification to dependents such as Pope.
Panel recommends 2nd NC retirement plan option
The Associated Press
North Carolina state government should offer most public employees and teachers a 401(k)-style option for their primary pension plan and set a minimum age of 55 to receive full retirement benefits, a commission has recommended. ...(Robert) Clark said the defined contribution option is becoming common across private industry and reflects the reality that fewer people work for one employer throughout their career. University of North Carolina-system professors already have such an option, while other government workers already can enter a 401(k)-style plan, but only to save extra retirement income beyond their standard pension.