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ODU in the News

Week of 4/1/13

Sequester Cuts Trickle Down From The Middle Class
(The Huffington Post, March 30, 2013)

The kitchen floor is curling up at Carol Rood's house. She and her partner removed the edging when they redid the cabinets last year, and now there's nothing to hold down the white-and-green linoleum where it meets the walls.
"This floor is nasty," Rood, 47, said during an interview in her kitchen. "That was the plan this year, was to do the floor. That's not happening now."
They're not fixing it because Rood's partner, Karol Sebastian, is facing at least two weeks' worth of unpaid days off from her job fixing helicopters for the U.S. Department of Defense. Sebastian, 45, is one of 90,000 civilian defense employees in Virginia expecting furloughs thanks to budget cuts known as sequestration. ...
"In some sense sequestration is not a big deal in other parts of the country," said James Koch, an economics professor at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va. "Whereas here in this region we're talking about losing a little more than 2 percent of our gross regional project, a little more than $2 billion a year."
Koch, an expert on the region, said the diminished cash equals 17,000 lost jobs, just shy of 3 percent of the regional labor force. Neighbors will notice the difference.
"People will go to shop in the mall and they'll find there are not as many people in the store, or maybe the store is closed," he said. (More)

Pay cut could be coming for part-time professors
(The Virginian-Pilot, April 1, 2013)

Anxiety is high among adjunct faculty members at state colleges and universities, many of whom will be forced to curtail their teaching loads because of Virginia's stance on the federal health care overhaul.
Although not all details of the new state policy are final, some adjunct instructors - based on what they have been told - are bracing for a cutback in hours that translates into as much as a one-third pay cut.
That could be a devastating blow to teachers who are already on the lowest rung of higher education's compensation ladder.
Unlike salaried faculty, adjunct teachers are paid a set fee per credit hour taught. They are considered part-time workers. But in practice, many work the equivalent of a full-time job. ...
Community colleges aren't the only institutions affected by the new state policy. Some four-year universities, including Old Dominion, have high numbers of adjunct teachers as well.
A spokeswoman for ODU, which has 671 adjuncts, said the school is awaiting guidance from the state before setting a maximum course load.
At Norfolk State University, which has 113 adjuncts, Provost Sandra DeLoatch said the school is leaning toward a limit of nine credit hours per semester.
Meanwhile, local schools have begun recruiting additional adjuncts to teach the classes that will be left unstaffed. DeLoatch said that finding enough qualified candidates will be a challenge. (More)

Jay Harris to give keynote speech at annual United Way dinner
(The Bristol (Conn.) Press, March 28, 2013)

The United Way of West Central Connecticut, serving the communities of Bristol, Burlington, Plainville, Plymouth and Terryville, will hold its 11th Annual Community Builders' Reception April 11 at the Aqua Turf Club in Plantsville.
The event honors those who share their time and resources with the United Way to advance the common good by creating lasting changes to improve lives in those communities.
The theme of this year's event is "Change. Not Charity: The Power of Philanthropy Through the Generations."
The evening will spotlight some of the people and organizations in the communities who demonstrate the power of philanthropy. The evening will also feature guest speaker Jay Harris, ESPN SportsCenter anchor, to discuss how he makes philanthropy a priority in his life and with his family. ...
A native of Norfolk, Va., Harris graduated from Old Dominion University with a bachelor's degree in speech communication in 1987. In 2003 he was honored with a Distinguished Alumni Award from the university. In 2004 he was the keynote speaker for Old Dominion's 100th commencement ceremony. (More)

40 Under 40: Shane Nault, Building EnergetiCx
(Charlotte Business Journal, March 29, 2013)

Age: 37
Current job: President, Building EnergetiCx
Education: Vermont Technical College, bachelor's in architectural engineering technology, 1997; Old Dominion University, master's in engineering management, 2003
Career history: HC Yu and Associates, principal, director of project management, 1997-2008; Optima Engineering, project manager, mechanical engineer, 2008-09; Yu Consulting Engineers, principal, regional director, 2009-11; Building EnergetiCx, president, 2011-present
Family: Wife, Rebekah; daughters, Caitlyn, 16, Ashley, 13
Neighborhood: Highland Creek
Greatest business accomplishment of the past year: Overcoming the challenges of starting a business in a down economy (More)

HRT board defends agency against critique
(The Virginian-Pilot, March 29, 2013)

The Hampton Roads Transit Board of Commissioners defended the agency Thursday against an outside panel's critical review of its finances and recordkeeping, and ordered its own internal auditor to review the findings.
The governing board also held fast on a course that could mean the end of a popular ridership program for thousands of college students, faculty and staff who, because of the deal, have been able to ride public transit for the past year without paying a fare.
Commissioners followed a recommendation by HRT staff to reject a proposal from Old Dominion University, Norfolk State University, Tidewater Community College and Eastern Virginia Medical School to increase what the institutions pay to remain in the program, saying the offer did not approach what the transit agency must charge to protect its bottom line.
Mark Babashanian, vice president for administration and finance at EVMS, said the program, called GoPass 365, has been "a wonderful thing" that has changed the commuting culture at the school for the better.
"We'd certainly hate to take a step backward," he said.
Meeting HRT's new price for the program would cost EVMS at least five times what it pays now on behalf of its students, faculty and staff, Babashanian said.
"Our people want it desperately, but we can't afford anything close to that," he said.
Representatives from ODU and Norfolk State expressed similar sentiments. (More)

ODU schedules football series with N.C. State
(The Virginian-Pilot, March 28, 2013)

North Carolina State and Old Dominion have signed a home-and-home football agreement that will bring the ACC school to Foreman Field in 2015, ODU officials said Wednesday.
Senior associate athletic director Bruce Stewart said the schools agreed to play in Raleigh in 2014 and Norfolk in 2015. The dates have yet to be set.
N.C. State is the first ACC school to agree to a home-and-home series with ODU and would be the first school from a Bowl Championship Series conference to play at Foreman Field.
Virginia Tech and ODU had earlier agreed to a 2-for-1 contract, which calls for the Hokies to come to Norfolk in 2018 and the Monarchs to travel to Blacksburg in 2016 and 2019.
"This is the first of what I believe will be many BCS schools that will agree to play Old Dominion home-and-home," coach Bobby Wilder said.
"People on a national stage realize how good the high school football is here in Hampton Roads. They want to come into this market. That's why I believe more BCS schools will want to come play Old Dominion." (More)

Tides, Admirals administrator honored at Jubilee
(The Virginian-Pilot, March 27, 2013)

Joe Gregory, who serves a lead role for both the Norfolk Admirals and Norfolk Tides, was honored Tuesday night as the Sportsperson of the Year at the Norfolk Sports Club's 68th Annual Jamboree.
The 34-year-old has headed the Admirals hockey operation since 2008-09 and is entering his second season as general manger of the Orioles' Triple-A baseball team. The Admirals won the AHL championship last season, and attendance has risen by an average of about 1,000 a game under his watch. ...
College football coaches Jimbo Fisher (Florida State), Bobby Wilder (Old Dominion) and Frank Beamer (Virginia Tech) were among those presenting awards.
The club honored First Colonial field hockey coach Beanie Schleicher and star player Brooke Hiltz as the top coach and athlete from the area. Norfolk State's Anthony Evans, whose basketball team went 16-0 during the regular season in the MEAC this season, was named Virginia's outstanding collegiate coach.
Retired ODU field hockey coach Beth Anders and Johnny Brown, a former star athlete at Maury High and at William and Mary, received lifetime achievement awards.
Also honored at various cermonies held Tuesday:
-- Old Dominion quarterback Taylor Heinicke, Virginia's outstanding collegiate athlete. (More)

Former ODU star Cameron taking strides in real world
(The Virginian-Pilot, March 26, 2013)

Ronnie Cameron was the only player eligible for last year's NFL draft who not only had an undergraduate degree, but also an MBA.
It's a point of trivia, perhaps, but it's not trivial to who Cameron is.
After transferring to Old Dominion from Hofstra, the defensive tackle wasted no time zeroing in on his goals, taking 18 to 21 credits each semester, along with summer classes, to get both degrees in four years. Whereas it usually takes at least two years to earn an MBA, Cameron got his in about one.
It meant spending a lot of late nights with the books and eschewing a social life. His time at ODU revolved almost entirely around studies and football, an ultra-focused approach that he says today he doesn't regret.
"The hardest part was timing and knowing you have to sacrifice certain things to accomplish this goal," he was recently quoted as saying. "I was used to working so hard and putting so much effort into school, that when it came to football, something I truly enjoy, it made it a lot easier." ...
Last month, Cameron was featured in a medium unfamiliar to most athletes: Forbes magazine. For a man of only 23, whose parents own their own businesses, being cited by Forbes was "a dream come true."
The column, from which the above quote is taken, lauded Cameron's work ethic and highlighted his creation of a website for social activism.
Bonfire Impact is a news network that attempts to raise awareness of the good works and positive news in the world. Through aggregated content and original writing, it promotes advocacy, charitable endeavors and green initiatives.
"It's a complete contrast to what the mainstream media offer," Cameron said last week during a visit to ODU. "There are more people doing good things than the media would have you believe. People who are doing the right things are getting attention for it on this website." (More)