The bright spots in some pictures are reflections of the camera flash in the glass of our front porch.
You can almost see our mountain winds in the pictures below.



"Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening"
Robert Frost in 1922   

"Serendipitous Winds of Chance"
Bob Jensen on April 7, 2008
Two miles above the Robert Frost Place

Whose woods these are I think I know. 
His house is in the village though;         
He will not see me stopping here            
To watch his woods fill up with snow.   
My little horse must think it queer          
To stop without a farmhouse near          
Between the woods and frozen lake        
The darkest evening of the year.             
He gives his harness bells a shake         
To ask if there is some mistake.               
The only other sound's the sweep         
Of easy wind and downy flake.              
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.   
But I have promises to keep,                   
And miles to go before I sleep,              
And miles to go before I sleep.               
The March calendar begins deep in snow
The daylight hours are longer though;
Each day more blustery than its yesterday
Maple sap rising mysteriously from below.
Walls of my little house rattle day and night
Southward winds whoosh in gusting might;
Rain squalls blast against the window glass
Followed by snow flakes dancing in the light.
It's the mixed up season in between
Mindful of a blustery turbulent teen;
An old child twixt the calmer seasons
Puberty juices rising with signs now seen.
The mountains feel a rising heat below
That melts their winter's caps of snow;
Laying naked craggy granite that must now face
Serendipitous March winds of chance that blow.

I just received a pleasant message from Professor Richard Fleischman, Editor of the Accounting Historians Journal. In April 2008 a paper that I co-authored with Jean Heck was chosen by Editorial Board Members as the second-best paper published by the Accounting Historians Journal in 2007. This additionally comes with a monetary award that I will split with my co-author. This paper critical of academic accounting research, that The Accounting Review did not want published, is as follows:

“An Analysis of the Evolution of Research Contributions by The Accounting Review: 1926-2005,” by Jean Heck and Robert E. Jensen, Accounting Historians Journal, Volume 34, No. 2, December 2007, pp. 109-142





Tidbits on April 7, 2008
Bob Jensen

For earlier editions of Tidbits go to
For earlier editions of New Bookmarks go to 

Click here to search Bob Jensen's web site if you have key words to enter --- Search Site.
For example if you want to know what Jensen documents have the term "Enron" enter the phrase Jensen AND Enron. Another search engine that covers Trinity and other universities is at

Bob Jensen's past presentations and lectures ---   

Bob Jensen's Threads ---

Bob Jensen's Home Page is at

CPA Examination ---

On May 14, 2006 I retired from Trinity University after a long and wonderful career as an accounting professor in four universities. I was generously granted "Emeritus" status by the Trustees of Trinity University. My wife and I now live in a cottage in the White Mountains of New Hampshire ---

Bob Jensen's blogs and various threads on many topics ---
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Global Incident Map ---

Set up free conference calls at
Also see   

Free Online Tutorials in Multiple Disciplines ---

Google Maps Street View ---

World Clock ---

Tips on computer and networking security ---

If you want to help our badly injured troops, please check out
Valour-IT: Voice-Activated Laptops for Our Injured Troops  ---

Online Video, Slide Shows, and Audio
In the past I've provided links to various types of music and video available free on the Web. 
I created a page that summarizes those various links ---

Forwarded by Paula
Dog Message Slide Show (this will warm your heart and give you smiles) --- Click Here

Hillary Rodham Clinton made fun of herself Thursday, telling "Tonight Show" host Jay Leno she almost didn't make it to his studio. "It is so great to be here, I was so worried I wasn't going to make it. I was pinned down by sniper fire," Clinton said after joining him onstage, referring to her claims—since disputed—that she dodged sniper bullets while arriving in Bosnia as first lady. Clinton later said she had "misspoke."
Beth Fouhy, Breitbart, April 4, 2008 ---
Watch the Video ---

IRS turns to YouTube to explain rebates ---

Thanks to Our Military (slide show) --- Click Here
No Thanks to Our Military (video) ---  

UC Berkeley Library's Congressional Research Tutorials ---

National Register Travel Itineraries (historical and possible) ---

Kosovo: Guardian Special Report ---

The Other Boleyn Girl Trailer ---
The movie's reviews are not so hot ---

A Weak Prognosis for Vytorin and Zetia (with video)
Schering-Plough and Merck will likely see plunging sales after Dr. Harlan Krumholtz advises cardiologists not to prescribe the cholesterol drugs. 
Schering sells a blockbuster cholesterol-lowering drug called Zetia, which it also combines with a generic Merck cholesterol medicine into a drug called Vytorin, which is marketed with Merck. Together, Zetia and Vytorin raked in more than $5 billion in sales last year. But on Mar. 30, Yale University cardiologist Harlan Krumholtz told thousands of doctors at the meeting of the American College of Cardiology, or ACC, in Chicago that the two drugs should not be used as a first- or even second-line treatment. Other doctors agreed. That probably translates into a dramatic drop in sales for the two drugs, analysts and doctors said. "When you get a panel of cardiologists saying don't use this drug, and if you do you are using it at own risk, it's a powerful message," says Dr. John LaRosa, president of the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., and a cholesterol expert.

John Carey, Business Week, March 31, 2008 --- Click Here

World's oldest sound recording played in US
It's magic!" exclaimed David Giovannoni when he heard a shaky and distant voice fill a spacious auditorium at Stanford University. This 10-second excerpt from the French folksong "Au Clair de la Lune" made before the American Civil War was nothing less than the world's earliest sound recording. The excerpt was played at this prestigious university where the Association for Recorded Sound Collections (ARSC), an international, non-profit organization dedicated to research, study, and information exchange surrounding all aspects of recordings and recorded sound, was holding Friday its annual conference. The recording was discovered in February at the archives of the French Academy of Sciences in Paris by First Sounds, an informal association of audio historians, recording engineers, sound archivists, scientists and others who aim to make mankind's earliest sound recordings available to all people for all time.
PhysOrg, March 29, 2008 ---

Teaching Materials (especially video) from PBS

Teacher Source:  Arts and Literature ---

Teacher Source:  Health & Fitness ---

Teacher Source: Math ---

Teacher Source:  Science ---

Teacher Source:  PreK2 ---

Teacher Source:  Library Media ---

The WGBH Public Television Station (videos and other tutorials) ---


Free music downloads ---

Tom T. Hall's Recipe for Happiness ---

Seasons of Life ---

Meet Me at the (9/11) Stairwell --- 

The Cactus Cuties sing The National Anthem ---

OperaGlass (guide to arias) ---

Harmonica Legend Toots Thielemans on Piano Jazz (Parts 1 and 2) ---

John Adams' early work Christian Zeal and Activity serves as the center of a musical triptych called American Standard. Its hymn-like composition is employed by a string orchestra that moves with a grace and slowness that reflects the importance of the original song form. In a concert from the Wordless Music Series, recorded by WNYC, the piece was performed live by the Wordless Music Orchestra on Jan. 16, 2008, at the Church of St. Paul the Apostle in New York City. Conductor Brad Lubman led the ensemble (full concert) ---

For 30 years, English singer-songwriter Joe Jackson has helped define and redefine pop, rock, alternative, and new-wave music, when he's not delving extensively into classical composition. Hear Jackson perform a brisk mix of new songs and old favorites from WXPN and World Café Live in Philadelphia (full concert) ---

March 31, 2008 message from rock musician

I just found your Enron links and stories from 2002...brings up bad memories
I wrote a song based loosely on Jeff skilling ... "Medicine Man"
You can listen to the song and read the lyrics --- 

Bob Jensen listens to music free online (and no commercials) --- 

Photographs and Art

Somewhere in Time (Hubble Telescope) --- in time/index.htm

Fifty Moments Photographed ---

Memory Maps (Art and Cities) ---

AutoStitch (for stitching photographs together) ---

Silver Heron Art Gallery ---

Iranian Paintings ---

Just Creative Design ---

Photograph of the Week


Online Books, Poems, References, and Other Literature
In the past I've provided links to various types electronic literature available free on the Web. 
I created a page that summarizes those various links ---


List of Online Archives for Free Unabridged Books Online ---

Gothic Texts ---

Free Online Rhyming Dictionary ---

Alsop Rreview ---

Lord Byron:  Selected Poetry ---

Oscar Wilde Collection ---

Citizen (John) Milton ---

From Dartmouth College
Poems 1645 ---

The Treasury Department Wednesday rejected the application of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan to receive $1 billion pledged by Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. Farrakhan had sought a waiver of U.S. law forbidding the transfer of such funds from Libya. Gadhafi's regime is one of seven on Washington's list of nations that sponsor terrorism.
"Treasury rejects Farrakhan's bid to get Libyan money," CNN, August 26, 1996 ---

Martin Luther King Jr. died at age 39; today, the 40th anniversary of his death, is the first time he has been gone longer than he lived. Figures such as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have tried to claim his place on the American stage. But at most they have achieved fame and wealth. What separated King from any would-be successor was his moral authority. He towered above the high walls of racial suspicion by speaking truth to all sides . . .But when Barack Obama, arguably the best of this generation of black or white leaders, finds it easy to sit in Rev. Wright's pews and nod along with wacky and bitterly divisive racial rhetoric, it does call his judgment into question. And it reveals a continuing crisis in racial leadership.
Juan Williams, "Obama and King," The Wall Street Journal, April 4, 2008; Page A13 --- 
Jensen Comment
What's bitterly disappointing to me is that billionaire Oprah Winfrey sat in those same Trinity Church pews nodding her head for decades to Rev. Wright's sermons of despair and hate for whites and Jews. Has America been so hateful to Oprah and her American net worth in excess of $2.5 billion?

To me the most disturbing rants that Rev. Wright delivered to his Trinity Church congregation were the claims, without a shred of evidence, that whites invented and planted the AIDs virus to commit genocide on the black race. Didn't the families of Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey find these rants disturbing while they listened over the years? Oprah certainly had the billions to fund an investigation into such divisive claims. What's even more disturbing is the possibility that this was truly wishful thinking among much of the congregation of the church.

When I'm out fighting for the little guy and I need quick cash, I find comfort in knowing that LoanMax is here for me.
Reverend Al Sharpton in an advertisement for a predatory lending company that takes advantage of poor people ---

The Rev. Jeremiah Wright's (new) four-bedroom home in Tinley Park will feature an elevator, a large family room with a fireplace and bar, a butler's pantry, a rubberized exercise room, a circular driveway, a four-car garage, a spare room for a future theater or swimming pool and a master bedroom with a whirlpool and custom shower as well as a fireplace and under-counter fridge, building plans show. He would add to the mix of townhomes and multimillion dollar single-family homes that make up Odyssey Club, which backs up to Odyssey Country Club and golf course.
Kristen Schorsch, "Church builds (tax-free) mansion for Obama's former pastor," Showtown Star, March 29, 2008 ---,032908wright.article

The nonprofit organization drew $18.3 million in revenue in 2001, the most recent year the organization submitted a return to the IRS. That year, Hagee's total compensation package amounted to more than $1.25 million.
Analisa Nazareno, "Critics say Reverend John Hagee's compensation is too high,"San Antonio Express-News, June 20, 2003 ---

Jensen Comment
America's really tough on its allegedly multi-millionaire racist preachers.

There was no doubt in my mind that as a member of the black community, I am obligated to this community and will utilize all of my present and future resources to benefit the black community first and foremost.
Michelle LaVaughn Robinson (now better known as Michelle Obama), 1985 Senior Thesis, Princeton University, March 27, 2008 ---
Also see
Jensen Comment
In 1985 she most certainly did not envision herself as a highly probable First Lady of the United States. Michelle Obama's (senior) thesis became a matter of controversy (outside of its subject matter) in early 2008, especially after Princeton University announced that it was no longer making this thesis available until after the November 2008 election if her husband became the winning Democratic Party candidate for President of the United States. That of course was an obvious political mistake. The Obama campaign eventually posted her thesis on the Internet ---
None of us would like to be held accountable for every single thing we said and wrote twenty or more years ago as college students. She was high school and college student in the 1970s when the Black Power Movement was still very active and visible in the media. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968 when she was four years old.

That before we can work on the problems, we have to fix our souls. Our souls are broken in this nation.
Michelle Obama, February 15, 2008 ---

For the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country, because it feels like hope is making a comeback.
Michelle Obama, February 18, 2008 --- Click Here

A Euro-army is fantasy land.: We need our American ally Nato today is very much a solution in search of a problem. It needs to be reformed and refined - but not to be replaced
Martin Kettle, The Guardian (in the United Kingdom), March 29, 2008 --- 

Mr. Obama needs to inoculate himself against the claim that he's a liberal. For the past quarter-century it has been consistently the most effective charge made by Republicans against Democrats. America is a center-right country and in modern times has not elected a thoroughgoing liberal as president (Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton ran as moderate Democrats). The problem is that, by any reasonable standard, Mr. Obama is an orthodox liberal. National Journal rated him as the most liberal person in the Senate in 2007, and for good reason. On economic policy, Mr. Obama favors higher income, Social Security and corporate taxes. He supports massive increases in domestic spending and greater government regulation of the economy. He favors a significantly larger role for the federal government in health care. He opposes the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Peter Wehner, "Obama and the 'L'," The Wall Street Journal, April 2, 2008; Page A14 ---
Jensen Comment
Senator Obama's expensive liberal agenda and past record will both damage him badly in the November 2008 general election. He will need to become much more specific about how he stands on taxes and spending and where his budgetary priorities will be before November of 2008.
Most certainly this video reveals his plan to strip the military ---

A key adviser to Senator Obama’s campaign is recommending in a confidential paper that America keep between 60,000 and 80,000 troops in Iraq as of late 2010, a plan at odds with the public pledge of the Illinois senator to withdraw combat forces from Iraq within 16 months of taking office.
Eli Lake, New York Sun, April 4, 2008 ---

I am not in favor of concealed weapons,? Obama told the Pittsburgh Tribune. ?I think that creates a potential atmosphere where more innocent people could (get shot during) altercations.? These remarks break from Obama?s previous moderate rhetoric on gun control.
Amanda Carpenter, Townhall, April 3, 2008 --- Click Here
Jensen Comment
This definitely puts Obama at odds with the powerful NRA where he probably won't draw many votes anyway in November. It also puts him at odds with Hillary Clintons stand on this issue. There were 29 states added since 1989. Actually there are 47 states that allow Right to Carry (RTC) handguns but only 40 now qualify to be designated a RTC state.

Wisconsin is one of only four states that prohibit citizens from carrying concealed firearms. The other three states are Nebraska, Kansas and Illinois. The Kansas Legislature overwhelmingly passed a Right to Carry Law in 1997 and 2003 but, like Wisconsin’s Legislature, it could not override the Governor’s veto. (Since then Nebraska became a RTC state.)

RTC does not mean that handguns can be carried anywhere within a state. Generally court houses, bars, public transportation, K-12 schools, and college campuses are off limits. Details of RTC vary from state to state. RTC does not mean that any adult may carry a handgun. To my knowledge there's no state that does not require licensing and issuing of permits to carry hand guns.

Barack Obama's stands on issues are at
No mention is made of the Second Amendment or guns here, but he has repeatedly claimed he favors the right to own handguns kept in residences. His stand on not allowing concealed weapons in RTC states seems to be a new and possibly costly position for him.

John McCain's stands on issues are at
In particular his statements on the Second Amendment are at

Bali Hi May Call Kill You ---
Abu Bakar Bashir – a radical cleric who was convicted of conspiracy over the Bali bombings but later cleared on appeal and released from prison – has posted on an al-Qaida website a copy of his speech to the Jemaah Islamiah terrorist organization in Indonesia urging its followers to attack Western tourists, "who deserve to die for their immorality on Bali." These infidel tourists are naked. They are worms, snakes and maggots that disrespect Islamic customs who should be lynched," he ranted to the organization in his speech. He asks young Indonesians to "aspire to a martyrdom death. The young must be in the front line. Do not hide at the back. Die as martyrs and all your sins will be forgiven." MI6 analysts said Bashir's rant is aimed at hitting Bali's tourist trade. More than 70,000 Britons visited the island last year along with even more Australians and Americans. Already Australia's department of Foreign Affairs has posted Bali "as a very high threat area from a terrorist attack."
Joseph Farah, WorldNetDaily, March 29,2008 ---

If not Bali Then Starvation:  Ymmm Mum!
The year 2040 will find the world's crops dead, most of the people in a similar state of decay, and those few left alive will be cannibals, according to a prediction from Ted Turner, founder of Turner Broadcasting and CNN. His comments came in an hour-long interview with Charlie Rose on PBS, and some remarks about the environment, the U.S. war on terror and the U.S. military were compiled by "Civilization will have broken down. The few people left will be living in a failed state like Somalia or the Sudan," said Turner, calling future living conditions intolerable.

WorldNetDaily, April 3, 2008 ---
Jensen Comment
And we thought things were gloomy based on the predictions of Malthus.
You can read more about Ted Turner at

To Prevent Starvation:  Nuke 'em
Often contrarian, Turner called it a "joke" that Bush demanded that Iran abandon any ambitions for nuclear weapons while at the same time hoping to ban all such bombs. "They're a sovereign state," Turner said of Iran. "We have 28,000. Why can't they have 10? We don't say anything about Israel -- they've got 100 of them approximately -- or India or Pakistan or Russia. And really, nobody should have them.
"Ted Turner says Iraq war among history's "dumbest," Reuters, September 20, 2006 --- Click Here
Jensen Comment
Maybe if we nuke half the world there will be enough food and global cooling to sustain life on earth for survivors. Nations having nukes will not willingly destroy all of them unilaterally. Fortunately, those nations that have nukes are not knowingly plotting complete annihilation of another country (like Israel). Secondly, those nations that have them, aside from North Korea, are not threatening to sell them to a rogue regime or to really dangerous sociopaths unless the rest of the world pays enormous extortion fees. Since we cannot see a way to take nukes away once a nation has weapons of mass destruction, should we adopt a policy of spreading them around to every dangerous nations bent on invasion of other nations and/or extortion criminality? Nice going Ted! Perhaps  Hugo Chavez should have at least 10 nukes as well since he's much more within missile range for an attack on the largest cities in the U.S., including your prized Atlanta Ted.

Beijing is believed to have decided to assist the inspectors after documents seized from Iranian officials included blueprints for "shaping" uranium metal into warheads, the testing of high explosives used to detonate radioactive material and the procurement of dual-use technology. Much of the new material was presented to the governors of the Vienna-based IAEA in February. That meeting is said to have triggered China's change of heart. Ahmadinejad on National Nuclear Day Diplomats described Beijing's decision to provide material related to Iran to the IAEA as a potentially significant breakthrough.
Damien McElroy, "China reveals Iran's nuclear secrets to UN," London Telegraph, April 4, 2008 ---

First, we both agree that America's intelligence efforts must adapt to evolving threats. Asymmetric threats, such as terrorism, cannot be defeated using conventional means. Stopping an adversary that hides its activities, blends into the local population, and moves easily across borders requires more than just overhearing what our adversaries are saying. It requires monitoring them, pursuant to a legal framework, understanding their appeal, and predicting and preventing their actions. Second, the modern American intelligence community, born after World War II, was designed to counter Cold War threats. Today, data flows know no boundaries. Some global communications run through the United States, even if they are between Pakistan and Europe. Emails fly across the world at a rapid speed. If we are going to ask our intelligence agencies to help defend our country, we need to carefully construct policies that give them access to this information when necessary, and protect the rights of Americans.
Anna G. Eshoo and Mike McConnell, "The Intelligence Consensus," The Wall Street Journal, April 2, 2008; Page A15 ---

A young Saudi Arabian woman was murdered by her father for chatting on the social network site Facebook, it has emerged. The unnamed woman from Riyadh was beaten and shot after she was discovered in the middle of an online conversation with a man, the al-Arabiya website reported. The case was reported on a Saudi Arabian news site as an example of the "strife" the social networking site is causing in the Islamic nation.
Damien McElroy, London Telegraph, March 31, 2008 ---

Yesterday's attempted attack came just hours after Israel began removing a series of anti-terror roadblocks throughout the West Bank in line with Israeli gestures toward Abbas upheld this weekend during a visit here by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Uri Ariel, chairman of the National Union-National Religious Party, told reporters, "Hours after the IDF began removing roadblocks and began easing restrictions on the movement of Palestinians, a terrorist tried to murder Israelis only a few kilometers west of a roadblock that had been removed from Shiloh Junction."
Aaron Klein, "'Peace partner' attempts to kidnap Jews Hours after Israel removed anti-terror roadblocks as goodwill gesture," WorldNetDaily, April 1, 2008 ---

When our children learn the history of post-colonial Africa, they will be confronted with a case history: Zimbabwe. They will learn how the bread basket of Africa descended into chaos, with the highest inflation rate in the world. They will learn that about four million Zimbabweans fled hunger and political persecution. They will learn about a kleptocracy that lined its pockets while the poor died. This will not be a history lesson. It will be a dissection of a massacre.
London Times, March 31, 2008 ---

Hillary Rodham Clinton made fun of herself Thursday, telling "Tonight Show" host Jay Leno she almost didn't make it to his studio. "It is so great to be here, I was so worried I wasn't going to make it. I was pinned down by sniper fire," Clinton said after joining him onstage, referring to her claims—since disputed—that she dodged sniper bullets while arriving in Bosnia as first lady. Clinton later said she had "misspoke."
Beth Fouhy, Breitbart, April 4, 2008 ---
Watch the Video ---

The national elections are more than seven months off, but Democrats are so confident of victory they're already scheming to raise your taxes in a big way. The latest House budget resolution would let the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts lapse in 2010 and boost spending by hundreds of billions. "This budget charts a new direction for America," said Rep. John Spratt, D-S.C., who unlike his nursery-rhyme namesake seems to have a voracious appetite for fat. The Senate version isn't quite as punitive, but Democrats made it clear they are prepared to raise taxes by at least $300 billion come 2011 and exacerbate the coming Medicare meltdown. And with the near-unanimous support of "moderate Republicans," Democrats also will continue the unbridled porkfest known as earmarks.
"Democrats plot tax increases," Rep-Am, March 31, 2008 ---

Our (California) budget expenses have outpaced inflation by an astronomical ratio of 3.5 to one in the past 4 years.  This crisis was forecast about 5 years ago from everyone from the Legislative Analyst to fiscal watchdogs like Sen. Tom McClintock.  The problem is the warnings fell on deaf ears.    Democrats have boosted general spending 32% in just four years to $103 billion. That's 8% a year.   Inflation for the same period was only 3% a year.  We now face a budget deficit of $14.5 billion, thank you, Dems.   The Governator has tried to bring fiscal discipline to Sacramento. But this superhero has found his nemesis: the Democratic legislature, which has an overwhelming majority in the legislature, has successfully blocked every reform. These politicians saw the present deficit crisis mounting for years. It was no surprise. But they thought they’d wait - until it was too late. Why? Easier to pass tax hikes than to trim fat. And unfortunately for Californians, the Dems are in bed with the labor unions. The California Teacher’s Union and the SEIU write their talking points. They are among the largest campaign spending labor unions (yes they outspend business groups).
Adam Sparks, "California’s Death and Taxes," California Republic, April 1, 2008 ---

Seventeen of the nation's 50 largest cities had high school graduation rates lower than 50 percent, with the lowest graduation rates reported in Detroit, Indianapolis and Cleveland, according to a report released Tuesday. The report, issued by America's Promise Alliance, found that about half of the students served by public school systems in the nation's largest cities receive diplomas. Students in suburban and rural public high schools were more likely to graduate than their counterparts in urban public high schools, the researchers said. Nationally, about 70 percent of U.S. students graduate on time with a regular diploma and about 1.2 million students drop out annually.
Ken Thomas, AOL News, April 1, 2008 ---

Moving to sweep away the tangle of inaccurate state data that has obscured the severity of the nation’s high school dropout crisis, Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings will require all states to use one federal formula to calculate graduation and dropout rates, Bush administration officials said on Monday . . . Many states still use dozens of other graduation rate formulas that vary in reliability. New Mexico, for example, has defined its graduation rate as the percentage of enrolled 12th graders who receive a diploma, a method that grossly undercounts dropouts by ignoring all students who leave school before 12th grade. North Carolina until last year used another formula that so exaggerated graduates that when the state adopted a more accurate method last year, its rate plummeted to 68 from 95 percent.
Sam Dillon, The New York Times, April 1, 2008 --- 

For those of you who don’t know, according to Wikipedia “Jessica’s Law was named after Jessica Lunsford, a young Florida girl who was raped and murdered in February 2005 by John Covey, a previously convicted sex offender. Public outrage over this case spurred Florida officials to introduce this legislation. Among the key provisions of the law are a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years in prison and lifetime electronic monitoring of adults convicted of lewd or lascivious acts against a victim less than 12 years old. In Florida, sexual battery or rape of a child less than twelve years old is a capital felony, punishable only by death or life imprisonment with no chance of parole.” . . . The gay lobby in Massachusetts is extremely powerful and feared by state politicians. Almost every prominent Democrat in the Commonwealth has been supported and/or had his or her election contributed to by them. To cross the gay lobby is a bad thing. So it’s no wonder that Massachusetts’s liberals have denied the people of the state the opportunity to vote on gay marriage, a vote that polls repeatedly show would result in upholding the ban.
Bob Parks, "Why Massachusetts Will NEVER Pass Jessica’s Law," OutSideTheWire, April 1, 2008 ---

An outside spokeswoman for Teachers College of Columbia University on Monday confirmed that a Manhattan grand jury has issued a subpoena for records related in part to Madonna Constantine, a professor there. Teachers College in February found Constantine had repeatedly used the work of others without attributiona conclusion she disputes and calls a “witch hunt” against her.
Inside Higher Ed, April 1, 2008 ---
Jensen Comment
When a university conducts a special investigation and discovers that a professor has plagiarized parts or all of some of his/her published papers and books, it puts the university between a rock and a hard place regarding disclosures to the publishers themselves and the authors whose works were stolen about the plagiarism. For example, should a prestigious academic journal be notified that Author X published the term paper of a student in that journal without attribution? Or should a book publisher be notified that it has been sending royalties to the wrong author? A university is thus ethically torn between protecting the privacy of an employee who cheated versus respecting the rights of the victims of this cheating and fraud.
In this case it appears that the courts will have to intervene to get Columbia University to respect the rights of the victims.

This case is particularly egregious since in at least one instance the professor said a student’s paper was poorly researched and then proceeded to publish it in a journal without attribution to the student. The professor then had the audacity to claim the student’s complaints to the university were racially motivated when in fact the student is the same race as the professor

The comments from both Constantine and Fuhrman may be read differently now. For the reality is that some of Constantine’s students in fact had filed complaints against her a year before the noose incident, charging her with publishing their work as her own. A professor (who has since left Teachers College, in part because the situation) filed a similar complaint. This week, Teachers College announced that an investigation had backed up the complaints and found “numerous instances in which she used others’ work without attribution in papers she published in academic journals over the last five years.” An outside spokeswoman handling questions about the case said that there were 24 such instances documented in a report prepared for Teachers College by a law firm, and reviewed and approved by four current and former faculty members. The spokeswoman said that when Fuhrman spoke of “accolades,” she meant only what she heard about Constantine’s classroom performance . . . Teachers College confirmed that it “sanctioned” Constantine but would not describe the form of that punishment, which she has the right to appeal. Both the college and Constantine’s lawyer confirmed that the tenured professor remains a professor there. The spokeswoman said that to her knowledge, Columbia had not informed publishers of the situation, and that no articles or books by Constantine had been withdrawn or amended. The spokeswoman also declined to name the journal articles that the college believes contain the work of others. Brent Mallinckrodt, editor of the Journal of Counseling Psychology, where Constantine has published at least seven articles and serves as an associate editor, said he knew nothing of the charges against her. Asked if he was concerned about having as an associate editor someone found by her college to have repeatedly used the work of others, he said he would consult with the American Psychological Association, the journal’s publisher, to find out its procedures for such a case.
Scott Jaschik, InsideHigherEd, April 1, 2008 ---
Jensen Comment
As I've said previously, colleges through bricks at students who plagiarize and powder puffs at professors who plagiarize ---

Food stamps are the symbol of poverty in the US. In the era of the credit crunch, a record 28 million Americans are now relying on them to survive – a sure sign the world's richest country faces economic crisis.
David Usborne, "USA 2008: The Great Depression," The Independent, April 1, 2008 ---
Jensen Comment
This has to go down as one of the worst researched articles in 2008.

But neither the Dispatch nor the Independent notes that the Farm Bill of 2002 substantially expanded the food-stamp program. As the U.S. Department of Agriculture Web site notes, that legislation made legal immigrants eligible for food stamps, increased benefits for larger households, and expanded food-stamp eligibility for people leaving the TANF (welfare) rolls. In other words, the government has made a conscious effort to expand the number of people on food stamps. Accordingly, the number of people on food stamps has expanded. And journalists are misconstruing government largesse as a sign of economic distress.
Newsletter by the Editors of The Wall Street Journal, April 1, 2008

Surprise Survey of the Week from the Conservative Press
Most U.S. doctors now support the idea of national health insurance, a shift from a half-decade ago, when less than half favored a national system, a new survey has found. According to a study published in the Mar. 31 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, 59% of the nation's physicians support federal legislation to establish national health insurance, often referred to as a single-payer system. These plans usually involve a single, federally administered fund that guarantees health-care coverage for everyone, much like Medicare currently does for seniors, and eliminates or substantially lessens the role of private insurers. In a similar survey five years ago, only 49% favored it. Thirty-two percent of doctors oppose universal coverage, down eight points from the previous survey, while 9% are neutral.
Catherine Arnst, Business Week, March 31, 2008 --- Click Here

Powerful Congressman Barney Frank wants "certified" belief in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy
Mr. Frank's idea is that, for mortgages originated between the start of 2005 and mid-2007, a lender and borrower would be able to agree on a federal refinancing plan. Lenders would have to write down their loan to no more than 85% of the current appraised value of the property – which means the banks will use this opportunity to unload the biggest stinkers in their loan portfolios. For the borrower, the deal is even sweeter: a low fixed monthly payment and a reduction in the principal to market value. The Federal Housing Administration would then guarantee the loan, up to a total of $300 billion in total Frank Refis. The deal is so sweet that even Mr. Frank is concerned that otherwise reliable borrowers may "purposely default" to be eligible for assistance. His solution is to require borrowers to "certify" that they really, truly aren't doing this simply to get on the taxpayer gravy train.
"Uncle Subprime," The Wall Street Journal, April 3, 2008; Page A14 ---
Also see
Jensen Comment
The sad news is that homeowners who bought homes for way more than they can afford probably cannot both pay the property taxes and even the reduced loan payments on their homes. Property taxes to fund schools and community services are pegged to home values, but if property values shrink in the entire community the tax rates go up so that schools and communities get as much or more for each home in the community. In some ways this is an expensive taxpayer hit proposed by Uncle Subprime that won't really solve the problem of allowing people to keep expensive homes they could not afford in the first place. Why prolong their agony at taxpayer expense. Didn't we learn anything from a dysfunctional welfare system?

How accurate are those highly publicized presidential election polls in the United States? ---

OK, here’s how they stack up, for length of record and aggregate accuracy:

1. Zogby: 2 elections, 1.00% error average.
2. IBD/CSM/Tipp: 1 election, 2.00% error average.
3. ABC News: 7 elections, 3.29% error average.
4. Harris: 10 elections, average 3.70% error average.
5. Gallup: 17 elections, average 4.82% error average.
6. USA Today: 5 elections, 5.00% error average.
7. ICR: 2 elections, 5.50% error average.
8. NBC News/Wall Street Journal: 4 elections, 6.25% error average.
9. CBS News/New York Times: 7 elections, 7.00% error average.
10. Battleground: 2 elections, 7.00% error average.
11. Rasmussen: 1 election, 9.00% error average.

Surprising Quotation of the Week from the Arab Press
"Iraqi Liberal Khudayr Taher: Cooperating with the CIA Is a Moral and Religious Obligation; The War on Terror Is the Best Jihad for the Sake of Allah" 
In an article published on April 1, 2008, in the Arab liberal e-journal Elaph, Iraqi liberal Khudayr Taher, who now lives in the U.S., wrote that American intelligence has done a great service to humanity in helping to defeat Nazism, communism, the Taliban, and Saddam Hussein, and that cooperating with the CIA is a moral and religious obligation ---

Iraqi Liberal Khudayr Taher: Cooperating with the CIA Is a Moral and Religious Obligation; The War on Terror Is the Best Jihad for the Sake of Allah

In an article published on April 1, 2008, in the Arab liberal e-journal Elaph, Iraqi liberal Khudayr Taher, who now lives in the U.S., wrote that American intelligence has done a great service to humanity in helping to defeat Nazism, communism, the Taliban, and Saddam Hussein, and that cooperating with the CIA is a moral and religious obligation.

The following are excerpts: [1]

"I Have the Pleasure of Being the First Arab to Write About the Bright Side of the CIA"

"When we in the Arab world look at others we are accustomed to projecting our own faults onto them. We pull out rash and gratuitous ready-made judgments that are without basis in reality. In so doing, we do wrong to ourselves and to others.

"When the subject of the CIA comes up, [we] fling out a handful of descriptions and accusations that have nothing to do with reality. The CIA is a national [security] apparatus whose mission is different than that of the intelligence apparatuses in Arab states. It is an apparatus that defends the national interest, and not the ruling regime.

"The CIA has a bright side to it, and… it has done [a great service to] humanity and civilization. However, the counter-propaganda of the Communists, the pan-Arabists, and the Islamists obscures this accomplishment. It is difficult for the Arab mind to see this bright side of the CIA, laden as it is with demagoguery, superstition, and slogans hostile to Western civilization, and to America in particular.

"I have the pleasure of being the first Arab in the history of the Arab press to write about the bright and civilized side of the CIA. I alone bear the moral and political responsibility for the contents of this article, in which I wanted to show to what extent ideological propaganda distorts [one's perception of] the rival. I also wanted to spur the reader to engage in informed and realistic political analysis, far from the frenzy of the rabble and their ideological slogans."

"A Great Part of the Defeat of Communism Was Due to the Monumental Efforts of the CIA"

"The Agency inaugurated its activities under another name [i.e. the Office of Strategic Services] with its entry into the fierce war against Hitler's criminal Nazi regime. The defeat of Nazism and the liberation of humanity from its evil are considered the first of the CIA's noble achievements. It did a service to humanity and saved millions… from Hitler's evil.

"Then, together with the emergence of the evils of the communist danger to civilization and freedom, the CIA was founded under its current name. It began its noble battle against the danger of communism, [both] as an ideology and as repressive and dictatorial political regimes that herded their peoples into prisons and to the gallows. These regimes extinguished human dignity under a pretext [provided by] insane slogans that were far from any logic and the self-evident truths of [human] life.

"This ended with a great victory for Western civilization, its humanist philosophy, and its social laws, which protect the rights of man and offer him the greatest respect and the greatest measure of justice, rights, and social solidarity ever known to humanity. A great part of the defeat of communism was due to the monumental and noble efforts of the CIA throughout the Cold War."

"The War on Terror Is the Best Jihad for the Sake of Allah"

"Then came the age of the war on terror, and the Agency played a large role in crushing and deposing the Taliban regime and the Saddam regime, in liberating their peoples, and granting them liberty. And the Agency continues to brave the hazards of the fierce battle against the virus of the terrorism perpetrated by the parties of political Islam with the support of Iran and Syria.

"If we examine the efforts and achievements of the CIA rationally and in [good] conscience, we will find them to be noble and honorable activities that were always to the benefit of all the world's peoples and to the benefit of civilization, security, and stability. Putting an end to Nazism, communism, the Taliban, and Saddam, and the persistence in the war on terror - all of these are courageous and honorable activities that do a service to all peoples, without exception…

"It saddens me to say that I do not personally have any connection or ties to the CIA. [I say it saddens me] since I consider cooperating with American intelligence - or with the intelligence agencies of Britain, France, Germany, and other Western countries - to be a moral and religious imperative incumbent on all honorable people, in order to combat the crimes of terrorism, and in order to protect human lives, the achievements of civilization, public liberties, security, and stability.

"The war on terror is the best jihad for the sake of Allah, so as to protect the lives of humans [and] their beautiful civilization."

The Medicare Disaster Before We Add Another 50 Million People to the Plan

"Drugs and the Cost of Medicare," by Nobel Laureate Gary Becker, The Becker-Posner Blog, March 30, 2008 ---

If past growth in Medicare is a reasonable guide to future growth, and assuming that real GDP grows at an annual rate of two and one half percent, Medicare spending as a share of GDP will double by 2020, and increase some 3-4 times by 2050 to 10 percent or more of GDP. Dollar spending on Medicare patients would increase to over a trillion dollars by 2020. Less than half of the projected increase would be due to the further aging of the population, while the majority is the result of the expected continuing growth in spending on hospitalizations, surgeries, and drugs for the elderly of given ages.

Much of the increased spending would occur even with the most efficient health delivery system since senior citizens along with younger adults put a high value on living longer in reasonably good health. The value placed on longer life and good health generally rises as incomes grow; indeed, economic analysis and past experience indicates that the willingness to pay for better health will increase in the future at least as rapidly as incomes do.

. . .

This advantage of drugs in inefficient health delivery systems does not argue against the need for major reforms of Medicare to make it more efficient. It recognizes, however, the value of second-best solutions in a political environment where reforms of health care are likely to come slowly because they run up against many powerful vested interests.

Continued in article

"Drugs and the Cost of Medicare," by Richard Posner, The Becker-Posner Blog, March 30, 2008 ---

Becker makes the ingenious suggestion that the effect of adding drug coverage to the Medicare program is to prevent spending on drugs from growing as rapidly as the number of persons covered by Medicare. The reason is that because the marginal cost of drugs tends to be very low; most of the costs of drugs are fixed costs of research and development. Hence the larger the number of persons eligible for Medicare drug benefits, the lower the average cost of drugs.

Nevertheless the net effect of the addition to drug coverage on total Medicare spending is likely to be a substantial expansion in the total cost of Medicare. As of January of this year, 25 million persons had enrolled in Medicare Part D (the drug part), and the total annual expense to Medicare is estimated to reach $36 billion this year. As the program is only two years old, further increases in enrollment and usage can be expected, irrespective of increases in the eligible population, since more than 40 million persons receive Medicare benefits.

The net addition to Medicare costs will be less than the cost of Medicare drug coverage if drugs are a net substitute for other covered treatments. But they may not be, because there is also a complementary relation between drugs and other forms of treatment, such as surgery; to the extent that drugs reduce the pain, discomfort, or disability of surgery, they may increase the demand for surgery by reducing its nonpecuniary costs, a cost reduction that though real will not be reflected in the Medicare cost figures.

In addition, by increasing the demand for drugs, Part D will increase the net expected profits from new drugs, and thus increase the incentive to create such drugs, with the heavy fixed costs that, as Becker points out, are entailed by the development of new drugs.

Still another problem with Medicare drug coverage is that people have less aversion to popping a pill than to being operated on or otherwise confined in a hospital. The cost of surgery, as it appears to most people, includes a significant nonpecuniary element that of course is not reimbursed by public or private health insurance. Taking drugs does not impose such costs unless a drug has serious side effects. Hence the Medicare drug subsidy should cause a greater percentage increase in demand than the traditional Medicare subsidies did.

Drugs also provide an attractive but costly substitute for life-style changes designed to improve one's health. If the choice is between giving up rich food and taking a pill paid for by Medicare, the latter may be preferred though the social cost may be higher; the subsidy confronts the consumer with false alternatives from an overall social perspective, just like monopoly pricing.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's gloomy threads on entitlements are at

Have you considered asking your students to turn in two term papers simultaneously, one of which is mostly plagiarized and one that is pledged to be not plagiarized in any way with proper citations?

"Winning Hearts and Minds in War on Plagiarism," by Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, April 7, 2008 ---

That’s what Kate Hagopian, an instructor in the first-year writing program at North Carolina State University, does. For one assignment, she gives her students a short writing passage and then a prompt for a standard student short essay. She asks her students to turn in two versions. In one they are told that they must plagiarize. In the second, they are told not to. The prior night, the students were given an online tutorial on plagiarism and Hagopian said she has become skeptical that having the students “parrot back what we’ve told them” accomplishes anything. Her hope is that this unusual assignment might change that.

After the students turn in their two responses to the essay prompt, Hagopian shares some with the class. Not surprisingly, the students do know how to plagiarize — but were uncomfortable admitting as much. Hagopian said that the assignment is always greeted with “uncomfortable laughter” as the students must pretend that they never would have thought of plagiarizing on their own. Given the right to do so, they turn in essays with many direct quotes without attribution. Of course in their essays that are supposed to be done without plagiarism, she still finds problems — not so much with passages repeated verbatim, but with paraphrasing or using syntax in ways that were so similar to the original that they required attribution.

When she started giving the assignment, she sort of hoped, Hagopian said, to see students turn in “nuanced tricky demonstrations” of plagiarism, but she mostly gets garden variety copying. But what she is doing is having detailed conversations with her students about what is and isn’t plagiarism — and by turning everyone into a plagiarist (at least temporarily), she makes the conversation something that can take place openly.

“Students know I am listening,” she said. And by having the conversation in this way — as opposed to reading the riot act — she said she is demonstrating that all plagiarism is not the same, whether in technique, motivation or level of sophistication. There is a difference between “deliberate fraud” and “failed apprenticeship,” she said.

Hagopian’s approach was among many described at various sessions last week at the annual meeting of the Conference of College Composition and Communication, in New Orleans. Writing instructors — especially those tasked with teaching freshmen — are very much on the front lines of the war against plagiarism. As much as other faculty members, they resent plagiarism by their students — and in fact several of the talks featured frank discussion of how betrayed writing instructors feel when someone turns in plagiarized work.

That anger does motivate some to use the software that detects plagiarism as part of an effort to scare students and weed out plagiarists, and there was some discussion along those lines. But by and large, the instructors at the meeting said that they didn’t have any confidence that these services were attacking the roots of the problem or finding all of the plagiarism. Several people quipped that if the software really detected all plagiarism, plenty of campuses would be unable to hold classes, what with all of the sessions needed for academic integrity boards.

While there was a group therapy element to some of the discussions, there was also a strong focus on trying new solutions. Freshmen writing instructors after all don’t have the option available to other faculty members of just blaming the problem on the failures of those who teach first-year comp.

What to do? New books being displayed in the exhibit hall included several trying to shift the plagiarism debate beyond a matter of pure enforcement. Among them were Originality, Imitation, and Plagiarism: Teaching Writing in the Digital Age, just published by the University of Michigan (and profiled on Inside Higher Ed), and Pluralizing Plagiarism: Identities, Contexts, Pedagogies, released in February by Boynton/Cook.

Like Hagopian, many of those at the meeting said that they are focused on trying to better understand their students, what makes them plagiarize, and what might make them better understand academic integrity. There wasn’t much talk of magic bullets, but lots of ideas about ways to better see the issue from a student perspective — and to find ways to use that perspective to promote integrity.

Continued in article

A Clever Way to Punish and Prevent Plagiarism
"Traffic School for Essay Thieves," by Paul D. Thacker, Inside Higher Ed, November 29, 2006 ---

Bob Jensen's threads on plagiarism are at

The Controversial Family Watchdog Site for Locating How Close Registered Sex Offenders Live Near You

Forwarded by Auntie Bev

For those that might like to know where the registered criminals near you are...
When you visit this site you can enter your address and a map will pop up with your house as a small icon of a house. There will be red, blue and green dots surrounding your entire neighborhood. When you click on these dots a picture of a criminal will appear with his or her home address and the description of the crime he or she has committed.
The best thing is that you can show your children these pictures and see how close these people live to your home or school.

This site was developed by John Walsh from America's Most Wanted. This is another tool we can use to help us keep our kids safe.

Jensen Comment
I tried it for my address and there were no hits here in the boondocks. I've got a woodchuck I'd like to register.

But then I tried it for my old address in San Antonio. Hundreds of little red boxes popped up like freckles on a redhead. When I clicked on a few red boxes I got the pictures and data for some pretty unsavory looking characters.

April 6, 2008 reply from David Fordham, James Madison University [fordhadr@JMU.EDU]

The question is, what does "registered criminals" mean?

Apparently, it is means only those appearing on the sex crimes registry, based on the search of my town.

The well-known felon (convicted on several occasions of multiple felonies) who lives a few doors up from me on my road is not shown. The well-known local felon out on probation (and who must wear the RF ankle bracelet) across the main highway is not shown. In fact, the only ones who are shown within several miles of my house are a couple of teenage-indiscretion guys convicted of "indecent liberties with a minor aged 14-17" over 12 years ago, and our local community club president (yep, he's an upstanding citizen in spite of his record, as everyone around here is convinced it was a malicious set-up by his ex-wife during their messy divorce 10 years ago). Apparently rather than a true criminal list, this is only those on some kind of state sex registry.

To be honest, I'm more afraid of the hell-raiser felon who lived across the county and who gained national fame week before last by taking potshots at cars on I-64 with his rifle than I am of our local community club president. I guess that's the vagaries of the law, eh?

I'm all for expanding the list. Let's include all felons, and even the misdemeanors, too. I'm all for keeping a weather eye out for a petty thief or repeated breaking-and-entering burglar who might move in next door. Let's make the list useful, waddayasay? Let's strive for true transparency and completeness in reporting. Let's call for full disclosure. ;-)

David Fordham

April 6, 2008 reply from J. S. Gangolly [gangolly@CSC.ALBANY.EDU]


No where do they say it is a register of criminals. They specifically state that they are a "family watchdog site". I guess they are a sort of national database of Megan's law sites.

At least California Office of Attorney General's website also has such info (for California), but this site is tied to digital maps.

If this site did have info on all criminals, they could be accused of violating "truth in advertising".

What you suggest might be a good idea, but this site is not it.

I sympathize with your implicit argument that criminals should be afforded an opportunity to reform and contribute to the society.

Jagdish S. Gangolly,
Associate Professor (
Department of Accounting & Law, School of Business
PhD Program in Information Science,
Department of Informatics College of Computing & Information
State University of New York at Albany, Albany, NY 12222.
Phone: (518) 442-4949

April 7, 2008 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Jagdish,

A link from the Family Watchdog site leads to the following "State Sexual Assault Coalitions" who might be providing the tracking data ---  I don't think all of these have passed Megan's Law --- 

I suspect that the data actually comes from the Sex Offender Registration Program --- 

Opinions for an against such a registration program are heated. There is an interesting Wikipedia site that illustrates a module requiring registration to edit the Wiki Module at
In particular click on the Discussion tab.

A close friend of mine is a retired finance professor from the University of Florida. I read in his address into Family Watchdog and came up with quite a few sex offender hits, some of whom are probably enrolled at the University of Florida. None seem to have addresses in campus dormitories. This seems to imply that universities use sex offender registry lists to probably block registered sex offenders from living in dormitories. However, I do not know this for a fact.

This seems to also link to the wave of mixed gender dorm room assignments ---

Once again, the Family Watchdog site is at
Perhaps instead of red boxes for each registered offender they should use little scarlet letters.

A sex offender registry does help some with the following, although I doubt that it helps much with "phony name" subscribers:
"Britain hopes to ban pedophiles from Facebook, MySpace," MIT's Technology Review, April 4, 2008 ---

Bob Jensen

April 7, 2008 reply from Paul Williams [Paul_Williams@NCSU.EDU]

We're all suspects now. Registering "criminals" is problematic because once you are registered it is quite likely you will never be unregistered. And "criminal" is, after all, a category subject to "social construction." Not that many years ago, Bob would have been a "criminal" for enjoying his single malt. The absurdity of what might be "criminal" behavior can be appreciated by a quick perusal of the NCAA rule-book.

The other main thread over recent days, i.e., same-sex dorms, harkens to how national mores can easily translate into the criminalization of natural behaviors that other cultures (Jagdish excellent example from his own culture) deal with in much less heavy-handed ways than we appear to use in the U.S. (the billions and billions of dollars we have spent on the "war on drugs" comes readily to mind - criminalizing use creates a culture of violence and even more pernicious crimes.

The reason we have an FBI is because of "criminals" like Bob who enjoyed a single malt). Categories may be quite pernicious things (the means of providing for the needs of a family are categorized by us accountants as an "expense", which connote something "not good', thus to be minimized). Those self-righteous among us who proclaim their self- righteousness by saying upstanding citizens have nothing to fear lose sight of the possibility that even more self-righteous folk may turn them into criminals on a whim.

Paul Williams


"Colleges Are Targets of E-Mail Scam," by Jeffrey R. Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 4, 2008 ---

An e-mail scam has hit thousands of users at dozens of colleges over the past few weeks, leaving network administrators scrambling to respond before campus computer accounts are taken over by spammers.

Students, professors, and staff members at the affected colleges received e-mail messages that purport to come from the colleges' help desks, asking users to reply with their log-in and password, and in some cases other personal information including birth date.

But the messages actually come from malicious hackers who use the information to send spam messages from the accounts. And administrators worry that the compromised accounts could be used to do further damage to the university networks.

The attacks are "pretty broad" across higher education, says Douglas Pearson, technical director of the Research and Education Networking Information Sharing and Analysis Center at Indiana University at Bloomington. "And it seems to be growing."

At Indiana University, thousands of the scam messages recently started hitting the campus network each day, says Nate Johnson, lead security engineer for the university.

"We had one incident in the past week where within four minutes of the user disclosing their password, the attacker had managed to launch off 10,000 spam messages," says Mr. Johnson. "We contacted the users, they changed their pass phrases, and the hackers no longer had access to the accounts."

Phishing New Waters

The type of attack is known as phishing. In the past, most phishing e-mail messages pretended to come from banks, from eBay, or from the online payment service PayPal. Some college officials say that this year is the first time they have seen phishing schemes that pretend to be sent from college IT departments.

At North Carolina State University, some 2,600 users received the targeted phishing messages in January. What's worse, the bogus messages started appearing just as the university's technology staff was switching to a new campuswide e-mail system.

"This couldn't have come at a worse time," says Tim S. Gurganus, an IT-security officer at the university, noting that some users might have expected a note from administrators regarding the e-mail changeover.

The messages were not riddled with grammatical errors, as some earlier phishing messages were. One of the messages read: "We are currently upgrading our data base and e-mail account center ... Warning!!! Account owner that refuses to update his or her account within Seven days of receiving this warning will lose his or her account permanently."

In the first days of the attack at North Carolina State, about 40 users responded, presumably falling for the scam, says Mr. Gurganus. At least three of those accounts were quickly used by the attackers to send hundreds of spam messages, including more copies of the phishing message. The sudden burst of e-mail coming from the three e-mail accounts set off scanning programs used to monitor the campus network for suspicious activity, and within about an hour, campus administrators disabled the accounts and told the users to change their passwords, he says.

The university then sent a warning message to all campus users alerting them not to give their username and password to anyone via e-mail.

Mr. Gurganus also sent a message to an e-mail list for campus-security administrators asking whether others had encountered the problem, and he learned that North Carolina State was not alone.

"I got responses from 20 different universities saying they'd seen similar stuff," he says. "I think they started with bigger ones, like the state universities, and now they're going after the smaller schools," including community colleges, he adds.

Spreading the Word

Campus officials have been trading advice with colleagues on several campus-security e-mail lists as they work to try to stop the messages from coming in. But that can be tricky because the messages do not contain suspicious key words—like "Viagra" or "mortgages"—that are common in spam messages that colleges routinely block.

So colleges have also been renewing their efforts to educate campus users that if you get an urgent e-mail message asking for your password, just delete it.

Aware that it can be hard to get the attention of students, administrators at Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge have tried to use humor to get that message across. In a public-awareness campaign that recently won a national award, the university has published a poster featuring a cartoon character named Tad who replies to a phishing e-mail.

Pictures of fish are shown falling on Tad as he crouches under a table. "Tad may as well have shouted his personal information to the world," the poster says. The campaign's motto: "Don't be a Tad."

Also read about another vicious worry at

Bob Jensen's threads on phishing are at

A growing number of professors are becoming bloggers

Media studies as a discipline has been quick to embrace the potentials of new-media platforms as channels for sharing our research and scholarship. A growing number of junior and senior faculty members in our field are becoming bloggers. At the same time, media scholars are pooling their efforts to contribute to larger projects, such as the biweekly webzine Flow, which runs pieces on many aspects of contemporary television and digital culture, and In Media Res, which each day offers a short video clip and commentary by a leading media scholar. These same strategies can be and are being adopted across a range of academic disciplines, as scholars make a greater commitment to circulate their findings more broadly and to respond to contemporary issues in a thoughtful and timely manner.
Henry Jenkins, "Public Intellectuals in the New-Media Landscape," Chronicle of Higher Education, April 4, 2008 ---

Bob Jensen's threads on blogging are at

The American Accounting Association (AAA) has a new research report on the future supply and demand for accounting faculty. There's a whole lot of depressing colored graphics and white-knuckle handwringing about anticipated shortages of new doctoral graduates and faculty aging, but there's no solution offered --- 

April 2, 2008 message from David Fordham, James Madison University [fordhadr@JMU.EDU]

I've been reading the AAA study on accounting faculty status and trends: and I have to wonder, will anything be done -- other than the continued hand wringing?

My guess: probably not. I've concluded no one is listening.

It seems to me that the long-term answer (more Ph.D. students and expanded Ph.D. programs) will of necessity exacerbate the short term crisis: shortage of experienced faculty teaching accounting majors. If more of the experienced professors teach Ph.D. students, that means even fewer teaching the undergrad accounting majors.

Of course, deans will point out that having more Ph.D. students means more grad students will be available to teach accounting majors. So more and more accounting classes will be taught by grad students rather than experienced professors. Is this a good thing? My guess: probably not.

And to be more cynical, does it really MATTER whether or not it's a good thing? My guess: ... probably not.

Having raised four children during the era of Winnie-the-Pooh, I can't help but see a parallel here with a character named Eeyore. Poor ol' Eeyore.

I guess you could say we are living in interesting times. *sigh*

The study is worth perusing. (Are our hands sore yet?)

David Fordham
James Madison University

April 3, 2008 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi David,

I suspect that the most popular solution in the future to meet the shortage of doctoral accounting faculty will be an explosion in the use of adjunct accounting faculty at highly varying ranges of compensation. This will bring us full circle back to the late 1950s when the scathing Pierson Carnegie Report [1959] and the Gordon and Howell Ford Foundation Report [1959] reports dramatically changed accounting doctoral education in the United States ---

There are several remedies to relieve future shortages of accounting faculty to meet expected continued growth of accounting majors in undergraduate and masters programs (most states virtually require a fifth year of advanced study to sit for the CPA examination):

  1. Make it more attractive for aging accounting faculty who are doing a great job with students to continued beyond retirement age. This is not a ideal solution in that it possibly blocks the flow of "fresh blood" and revitalization into accounting departments, but it is more affordable than paying over $200,000 in salary and fringe benefits for a new accounting doctoral graduate. Even at higher salaries there are just not enough new doctoral graduates (less than a hundred per year) to spread around among a thousand or more colleges. One way to make it more attractive is to assign aging faculty who want to live elsewhere (on the beach?)  and teach some distance education courses an opportunity to do so.
  2. Make increasing use of good accounting teachers without doctorates to teach full time. Most will be assigned adjunct status, but some colleges may even let them be on a tenure track depending on the uniqueness of their credentials. This is generally a mixed bag for students, because adjunct professors are often poorly paid and forced to moonlight for sometimes more than they are paid from the colleges. Students generally benefit more from full-time teachers. It is also a poor solution in that adjunct faculty are generally second-class employees on a college campus.
  3. Lure increasing numbers of accounting faculty with doctorates who are now teaching in foreign countries. One problem is that in these countries their doctoral degrees often are not in accountancy (many foreign countries do not even have accounting doctoral programs). In addition there are problems with luring families to leave their home countries. Plus there are the same problems as those noted below for many foreign student graduates of U.S. accounting doctoral programs.
  4. Shorten North American accounting doctoral programs by making them something other than accountics (econometrics, psychometrics, and advanced mathematics) wolves in sheep clothing. Virtually all accounting doctoral programs now take nearly five years beyond a masters degree in large part because candidates with accounting backgrounds must take years of accountics courses or candidates with mathematics, econometrics, and psychometrics backgrounds must take years of undergraduate accounting equivalents.

    The essential problem is social science research methodology is now the only acceptable research methodology in North American accounting doctoral programs. This is an increasingly negative incentive for younger practicing accountants to consider entering accounting doctoral programs. Increasingly the applicants to these programs, especially at our most prestigious universities, are foreign mathematicians who know virtually nothing about accountancy but are seeking the salary, prestige, and citizenship of accounting professors in North America.

    The problem here is that our undergraduate and graduate students often benefit more from taking accounting courses from instructors who have rich backgrounds in five years of accounting courses and some years of accounting practice. Foreign graduates of accounting doctoral programs are often assigned AIS and doctoral research courses to teach since they have such limited backgrounds in financial, tax, auditing, and managerial accounting. There are of course noted exceptions and some of these immigrant professors have become great accounting educators and friends in the United States. But finding tax and auditing accounting doctoral graduates is particularly problematic.

    To meet the demand of thousands of colleges seeking accounting faculty, the supply situation is revealed by Plumlee et al (2006) as quoted at

    There were only 29 doctoral students in auditing and 23 in tax out of the 2004 total of 391 accounting doctoral students enrolled in years 1-5 in the United States.

I suspect that the most popular solution in the future to meet the shortage of doctoral accounting faculty will be an explosion in the use of adjunct accounting faculty at highly varying ranges of compensation. This will bring us full circle back to the late 1950s when the scathing Pierson Carnegie Report [1959] and the Gordon and Howell Ford Foundation Report [1959] reports dramatically changed accounting doctoral education in the United States ---

You can find out more about the problems with accounting doctoral programs at

Bob Jensen

April 4, 2005 reply from Linda A Kidwell [lkidwell@UWYO.EDU]

One of Bob's suggestions is shortening the doctoral program, but I think the solution lies in the related critique of accountics. We have been considering beginning a doctoral program different from those currently available, with a behavioral emphasis. We would still have a seminar on capital markets studies, but we would not intend (or be able) to direct dissertations in that stream. We've spent a fair amount of time determining what such a program would look like, and we think it would appeal to the professional accountants who want to change careers but do not recognize accountics research as being related to what they did professionally. It' still in the strategic planning phase and may never be implemented, but who knows? As the only university in Wyoming, we have an obligation to keep undergraduates, as well as stakeholders in the profession, high on our priority list. One of our other main concerns has been the change for the worse in departmental culture that a doctoral program can bring. Some may say, "Well you're preparing people who will never publish in the top tier," to which I say, "Most of us have found professional success and satisfaction without doing so." Furthermore, it is only the most elite schools with doctoral programs that require that type of hit, and hundreds of schools are starving for people capable of publishing their research in a broader spectrum of outlets.

Linda Kidwell
University of Wyoming

April 4, 2008 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Linda,

I'm all for having universities examine alternative non-traditional doctoral programs. Although it's not in accounting per se, there was a 1997 proposed non-traditional program at the University of Texas that might be extended into accountancy ---

I would also like to see some universities consider non-traditional accountancy programs such as philosophy of accountancy, history of accountancy, education technologies and learning theories for accountancy, virtual learning in accountancy, forensic accountancy, not-for-profit accountancy, cross-cultural accountancy, etc.

Since 1959, accounting doctoral programs in North American universities have had very little imagination beyond capital markets research and human decision behavior experiments.

The key to a first class doctoral program is the attraction of first class scholars into that program. Many top accounting graduates with high GMAT scores that have been in accounting practice for 5-10 years are turned off by having to become econometricians or psychometricians in order to become accounting professors. There's a tremendous untapped market at this point for innovative doctoral programs.

Bob Jensen

April 4, 2008 message from Paul Williams [Paul_Williams@NCSU.EDU]

Good for you folks. All doctoral programs shouldn't be the same. Be creative. In the past, many schools of business offered a DBA, which, in theory, differed from the PhD in that the course work and even the "dissertation" were more practically oriented to the details and specifics of "real" business settings.

A word of caution: even if you only offer a course in captial markets research presumably you will have to hire someone knowledgeable enough to teach it.

That will be a "capital markets person." The whole culture of producing "capital market persons" is one where the intellectual superiority of such pursuits becomes part of the fiber of their beings. If success is defined as publishing in the so-called "premier" journals and those "premier" journals favor mostly accountics research, your "capital market person" will, by definition, be superior to the rest of you because that person is doing the kind of research endorsed by the top journals. And it is the rare one of those I have met that didn't succumb to believing that about themselves. They can be like Kudzu for an accounting department; eventually they will choke everyone else to death because they are ruthless at blocking the intellectual sunlight. I know that from bitter experience at

my previous place of employment. If you can get away with it have your doctoral students get their "capital market" training in the finance department, where it belongs anyway.

Paul Williams

April 2, 2008 reply from Paul Williams [Paul_Williams@NCSU.EDU]

Eeyore analogy was spot on. Oh woe, Oh woe. For many reasons, most of which have been touched upon or beaten to death on this listserv, we have brought this on ourselves. Frankly, I took the report to be wonderful news! As one of those folks over 41 (well over 41), I am becoming more valuable to NC State all of the time. I make less than a new hire and I have so (so, so, so) much more institutional knowledge and experience. I won't have to retire until I can't remember how to find my classroom and there will be no real incentive for the institution to want to get rid of me until then. I suspect that many of those Plumlee predicts will retire, won't. Some of the supply problem will be taken up by faculty working well past the retirement age.

Follow-up message from Paul on April 2, 2008

I was being somewhat facetious with my "delighted because they won't be in a hurry to rush me out the door" comment. I think your observations are correct. We must ask ourselves how it is that attracting students into PhD programs where the pay prospects are considerably lower is easier than in accounting. I am not surprised that bright, imaginative, bold people aren't attracted to doctoral work in accounting -- it is so mind-numbingly boring. It is all about technique, nothing about ideas. You and I are testimony to what was typical of the generation of accounting academics to which we belong. In my doctoral program, few of the students were undergraduate accounting majors. In my program we had people with degrees in engineering, forestry, sociology, education, and history. Now every candidate we interview from a U.S. doctoral program has the same profile: undergraduate accounting major, MAC, a few years of practice experience (perhaps to manager level), then the standardized, universal doctoral education in "applied" (whatever that could be is a mystery) economics. Based on my experience with undergraduate accounting curricula, a B.S. in accounting is about the worst preparation one could have for pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy degree. Supplication to authority seems to be the thread that runs through every accounting course. FASB (ooo!, GASBs (ooo!), SASs (ooo!), PCAOB (ooo!), SEC (ooo!) , BIG 4 (ooo!). I would like to teach a course (which I am not allowed to do) where we take the GAAP hierarchy and every acronym that students are taught to be reverential toward and teach them to be heretics -- a Dead Poets' Society for accounting students. There is nothing sacred about "official pronouncements" and even less sacred are the unexamined presumptions that underlay them. Even at the highest level of education, the PhD. level, accounting has become, in Bourdieu's term, a doxic society, which is anethema to scholarship.

April 2, 2008 reply from J. S. Gangolly [gangolly@CSC.ALBANY.EDU]

David and Paul,

I found the study very depressing.

First, it tells us that we are a geriatric profession. Lack of new blood will have disastrous consequences.

Second, the study keeps harping on the shortage of PhDs IN ACCOUNTING. This shortage is contrived. If four years of college and four or five more years of graduate school is all it takes, the way accounting is currently taught generally, a PhD IN ACCOUNTING is irrelevant. AACSB, in my opinion, is ruining what is essentially a professional field by forcing it with trappings of academic respectability.

If accounting is to succeed as an academic field, I would strongly suggest that we get rid of this ridiculous idea that a PhD IN ACCOUNTING is a requirement for college teaching. If AACSB can not relax the requirement by allowing qualified practitioners to teach accounting, it should relax the requirement of PhD in accounting.

There is no reason why a PhD in Economics, Computing, Psychology, Sociology, Engineering, or even classics can not teach accounting with some minimal retooling.

Third, salary inversion is a consequence of foolish policies having to do with the second point (above).

Fourth, inspite of monstrous salary differentials, we are unable to attract doctoral students. It is pathetic that fields with virtually negligible job markets such as anthropology and classics can attract good talent while we are languishing is a sign that our field is intellectually stagnating and unattractive to the bright minds.

Fifth, the exaggerated salaries offered to new entrants may be getting us the wrong type of people; the type of people attracted to money rather than intellectual excitement. As department chair, I have been put in the ridiculous position of recommending a ghigher starting pay to an ABD than we pay to Guggenheim, McArthur, Fulbright fellows, and NSF Young Investigator award winners with publications that our candidates will not equal in several lifetimes.

We have an unsustainable business model for academic accounting. The earlier the universities realise this the better for the education of accountants. But that will not happen; we have a moral hazard problem.

Being a member of the well-over-the-40-hill gang and having been sidelined as one doing off-the-wall non-mainstream research most of my academic life, the work I do outside of mainstream accounting sustains me. The "mainstream" academic accounting "tent" has gotten considerably smaller since I became an accountant late in life, and I found myself an outsider almost right from the beginning. What has been "mainstream" in academic accounting for the past over thirty years was then the proverbial camel sticking its nose into the tent. The people who have been pushed out of the tent are the professionals and the non-mainstream researchers.

This should not be the case. It is not the case with other fields in which I work.


Jensen Comment (Appeal to Accounting Instructors)

You might want to make a special talking point about the good and the bad in accountancy careers---

One of the reasons I had a number of accounting majors return to accounting doctoral programs is that my class modules on academic careers forever burned in their minds forever. I always was up front about my opinions regarding the good and the bad of being an accounting professor ---

Even though I always discussed the good in the bad, I concluded always with stress on how my choice of being an accounting professor was a wonderful thing to a point where if I had it to do all over again and again and again I would’ve made the same choice of a career. A teary-eyed audio I made about this over 20 years ago is at  

Bob Jensen

April 3, 2008 reply from Paul Williams [Paul_Williams@NCSU.EDU] (in response to something I wrote about retirement trophy wives, "younger women, faster horses, and more money")


My father had a description of this which began with, "A whiskey glass... At least your friends aren't having to work on a paving crew during the summer; we are very fortunate, after all. I'm sure many others continue beyond retirement because they haven't accumulated enough to retire with. Others because they have no idea what they would do with themselves. Retirement is, after all, the moment that kicks off that succession of life events that culminate in the cemetery. As Dick Van Dyke (still hoofing at 80) recently said, "Stay on your feet."


April 3, 2008 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Paul,

Being retired means the possibility of choosing where you want to spend the number of days between now and the grave. Amy Dunbar just sent me a message saying she prefers NYC to the beach (she's on leave from UCON this term and is living in NYC). But she's not old enough to retire, is a grandma married a trophy (tax professor) husband, and is headed back to UCON next summer.

I prefer the mountain air, although more often than not more of it's hitting me in the face than I bargained for. Wind gusts yesterday were over 50 mph here on Sunset Hill and over 110 mph atop Mt. Washington (which actually is quite a calm day both here and on the mountain). One nice thing about wind is that it blows all my leaves into the woods. In Texas in March I was knee deep in live oak leaves (literally) atop the flat roof of my San Antonio house. There I really could've used White Mountain winds.

Actually, retirement from teaching in some cases merely kicks off active professionalism in other ways.

I'm now getting offers for book contracts that I would not have had time to consider before "retirement."

I can now take consulting trips without having to juggle a teaching schedule.

The nice thing about retirement is that it kicks off that freedom to do most anything you choose as long as it's not illegal, immoral, or fattening. And since retirement age is closer to cemetery age, indulging in rich food and drink doesn't seem so bad after all --- eating dessert first is fun.

And the really nice thing about retirement is not having to commute to work and now having an appointment book with mostly blank pages. I can't recall a committee meeting that I miss other than missing a few laughs. I especially like not having to struggle to hire new faculty members, grade examinations, and read dreary term papers. It's also nice "not having to say your sorry" to a student about a grade. In fact it's particularly nice not having to assign final grades at all.

And lastly I'm surprised Dick Van Dyke at age 80 said, "Stay on your feet." He has a trophy wife sort of (Lee Marvin's widow).

Bob Jensen

Ottawa-Carleton e-School (an example of an online high school curriculum in Canada) ---

In High Schools, Technical Schools, and Colleges:  Online Enrollment is Skyrocketing

" Online University Enrollment Soars as Quality Improves; Tuition Funds Other Projects," by Daniel Golden, The Wall Street Journal, May 9, 2006; Page B1 ---

While overall higher-education enrollment in the U.S. is virtually stagnant, online enrollment is skyrocketing, and the recent repeal of a federal rule requiring colleges to provide at least half of their instruction on campus will boost it more. By early 2008, one out of 10 college students will be enrolled in an online degree program, Boston-based market research firm Eduventures estimated last year.

Public schools are driving much of the growth. Overcoming skepticism among some faculty members, state universities are capitalizing on their traditional advantages -- quality education at affordable prices -- to attract a nontraditional student body: online learners who often live out of state. What's more, the online programs generate millions of dollars that can be ploughed back into university operations.

At UMass, online enrollment has quadrupled to 9,200 students since 2001. Most are working adults between the ages of 25 and 50, and 30% are from out of state, compared with 20% of on-campus students. UMass's online applicants undergo the same admissions review as candidates for on-campus slots and can choose among 61 programs, ranging from a master's degree in business to certificates in gerontology and casino management.

Tuition is slightly higher than on-campus students pay, because Web-based courses aren't state subsidized, enabling the online program to net a projected $10 million this year for other university endeavors. For instance, online students pay $670 a credit toward a professional master's degree in business administration, compared with $540-$600 for on-campus students. Still, UMass's online program is a bargain compared with some for-profit ones: Ms. Patel says she has paid $18,000 in tuition for two years at UMass, while her brother paid Phoenix $24,000 over a similar period.

"Public universities are moving into the online environment extremely rapidly," says Gary Miller, associate vice president for outreach at Pennsylvania State University, which has 5,691 students taking online courses, up 18% from the prior fiscal year. "It's part of our mission as a land grant university of reaching out to people. The question in our case wasn't 'Should we do this?' but 'How do we do it right?' "

Continued in article

"Distance Ed Continues Rapid Growth at Community Colleges," by Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, April 7, 2008 ---

Community colleges reported an 18 percent increase in distance education enrollments in a 2007 survey released this weekend at the annual meeting of the American Association of Community Colleges, in Philadelphia.

The survey on community colleges and distance education is an annual project of the Instructional Technology Council, an affiliate of the AACC. The survey is based on the responses of 154 community colleges, selected to provide a representational sample of all community colleges. Last year’s survey found community colleges reporting an increase in distance education enrollments of 15 percent.

This year’s survey suggests that distance education has probably not peaked at community colleges. First there is evidence that the colleges aren’t just offering a few courses online, but entire programs. Sixty-four percent of institutions reported offering at least one online degree — defined as one where at least 70 percent of the courses may be completed online. Second, colleges reported that they aren’t yet meeting demand. Seventy percent indicated that student demand exceeds their online offerings.

The top challenge reported by colleges in terms of dealing with students in distance education was that they do not fill out course evaluations. In previous surveys, this has not been higher than the fifth greatest challenge. This year’s survey saw a five percentage point increase — to 45 percent — in the share of colleges reporting that they charge an extra fee for distance education courses.

Training professors has been a top issue for institutions offering distance education. Of those in the survey of community colleges, 71 percent required participation (up from 67 percent a year ago and 57 percent the year before). Of those requiring training, 60 percent require more than eight hours.

Several of the written responses some colleges submitted suggested frustration with professors. One such comment (included anonymously in the report) said: “Vocal conservative faculty members with little computer experience can stymie efforts to change when expressing a conviction that student learning outcomes can only be achieved in a face-to-face classroom — even though they have no idea what can be accomplished in a well-designed distance education course.” Another response said that: “Our biggest challenge is getting faculty to participate in our training sessions. We understand their time is limited, but we need to be able to show them the new tools available....”

In last year’s survey, 84 percent of institutions said that they were customers of either Blackboard or WebCT (now a part of Blackboard), but 31 percent reported that they were considering a shift in course management platforms. This year’s survey suggests that some of them did so. The percentage of colleges reporting that they use Blackboard or WebCT fell to 77 percent. Moodle showed the largest gains in the market — increasing from 4 to 10 percent of the market — while Angel and Desire2Learn also showed gains.

The survey also provides an update on the status of many technology services for students, showing steady increases in the percentage of community colleges with various technologies and programs.

Status of Services for Online Students at Community Colleges

Service Currently Offer Offered a Year Ago
Campus testing center for distance students 73% 69%
Distance ed specific faculty training 96% 92%
Online admissions 84% 77%
Online counseling / advising 51% 43%
Online library services 96% 96%
Online plagiarism evaluation 54% 48%
Online registration 89% 87%
Online student orientation for distance classes 75% 66%
Online textbook sales 72% 66%

Scott Jaschik

Rate of Growth in Online Enrollments ---

Bob Jensen's links to online training and education programs are at

"The Rise of the European B-School:  Shorter, cheaper programs and demand for international experience are two reasons business schools across Europe are flourishing," by Jennifer Fishbein, Business Week, March 27, 2008 --- Click Here 

European MBA programs may have traditionally lacked the brand recognition of their U.S. counterparts, but that's changing fast. The continent's increasingly dynamic business environment, improvements to curricula, and growing corporate demand for employees with international experience are attracting top-notch candidates from all over the world. In addition, most Europe management programs are cheaper, shorter, smaller, and more diverse than their U.S. rivals, which is drawing a growing number of American students to studies in the Old World.

Applications from the U.S. to INSEAD, an elite French business school with campuses in Fontainebleau and Singapore, grew 20% in the past year and the school's 2008 enrollment of Americans grew nearly 24% since 2007, to 73 students. Barcelona-based IESE Business School received 32% more applications from the U.S. this year than last, and expects to enroll 35 Americans in the next class—an increase of 60%. Another Barcelona-based institution, ESADE, has fielded so many inquiries from Americans about its full-time MBA programs that it has begun encouraging them to wait until next year to apply.

INSEAD's dean, Frank Brown, says ever more young people are recognizing the value of an MBA but don't want to spend two years earning one—the length of most U.S. programs. Others credit the U.S. recession.

"Probably, the economic fear is making people think that it's a good year for education," says Olaya Garcia, ESADE's director of full-time MBA programs.

Bargains Despite a Weak Dollar Despite the euro's steep rise against the dollar, which raises the cost of European programs for U.S. students, prospective applicants are still heading across the Atlantic for a good deal. Nicole Baum, a 27-year-old Chicagoan studying at SDA Bocconi in Milan, one of Europe's top 10 business schools, said she turned down NYU's Stern School of Business in part because tuition cost 30% more there.

The average tuition at the top 10 European schools is less than $73,000, vs. $86,600 at Harvard Business School, and about $95,000 at Wharton. Only one elite European program costs more than the Wharton degree: IESE's 18-month full-time MBA—long, by European standards—at €64,900 ($102,000). Tuition at the least expensive school surveyed by BusinessWeek, Vlerick Leuven Gent in Belgium, runs just €17,000 ($26,000).

Furthermore, MBA students are increasingly looking to pursue social justice through business, and many European schools have responded with a wealth of new courses on corporate social responsibility, social entrepreneurship, and doing business in developing countries. In 2004, Instituto de Empresa Business School in Madrid, another elite institution, founded the Center for Eco-Intelligent Management to teach sustainable business practices. That same year Oxford opened the Skoll Center for Social Entrepreneurship, which provides five MBA scholarships a year.

Economic and Geographic Diversity The international mix of students at European schools also attracts applicants. Just 14% of 188 full-time MBA students at HEC-Paris, one of France's elite grandes écoles, are French, and just 5% of 215 full-time MBA students at Oxford hail from Great Britain—figures typical of top European programs. By contrast, 63% of the 900-strong MBA class at Harvard Business School and 55% of Wharton's 800 MBA students are American.

Most of the 25 European programs in this BusinessWeek report enroll fewer than 100 students a year, making class diversity even more pronounced. The 50 full-time students at Vlerick Leuven Gent represent 30 nationalities. The Grenoble Graduate School of Business' 26 full-time MBA students at its French campus hail from 13 countries, including Azerbaijan and Moldova.

To build on their growing reputations, many European institutions are now opening satellite campuses in other parts of the world, particularly the Middle East and Asia. Many have launched executive training programs in Dubai and Abu Dhabi and some have merged with foreign schools or built business programs abroad.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies are at

"A special report on two-year institutions looks at the obstacles their students face; the cultural role of rural colleges; and many other topics," Chronicle of Higher Education, March 2008  ---

A Stanford University professor makes a case for virtual learning from digital avatars

"Why Digital Avatars Make the Best Teachers advertisement Related materials Article: What Happens in a Virtual World Has a Real-World Impact, a Scholar Finds," by Jeremy Bailenson, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 4, 2008 ---

My virtual representation of me, commonly known as an avatar, can outperform me as a teacher any day. It can pay unwavering attention to every student in a class of 100 or more; show my most spectacular actions while concealing any lapse, like losing my cool; and detect the slightest movement, hint of confusion, and improvement in performance of each student simultaneously.

Most people may think of avatars as too primitive to show such details. But at Stanford University's Virtual Human Interaction Lab ( ), my colleagues and I use cutting-edge technology. We could build an avatar that looked just like you (the heads we produce look real enough that they are used in police lineups), gestured like you, even touched like you, thanks to haptic devices that relay the speed and force of hand movements. And the technology can be transmitted over a network.

The prevailing wisdom in teaching, as in just about every form of social interaction, is that face-to-face contact is the gold standard, trumping all forms of mediated interactions. But as virtual reality moves from games into rigorous scientific applications, it is inevitable that we will rethink the importance of physical location. We know that gasoline is expensive and travel can be a nuisance. But more important, a teacher's avatar has powers that just don't exist in physical space.

Virtual reality functions in cycles — the computer figures out what someone is doing, then redraws his or her avatar to show changes based on that behavior.

For example, as a student in Chicago moves his head, looks toward the teacher, and raises his hand, sensing technology measures those actions. As the student moves, the computer of the teacher in New York, which already has an avatar with the student's facial features and body shape, receives that information over the Internet and modifies the avatar to make it move, too. Tracking the actions of teacher and students, transmitting them online, and applying them to the respective avatars all occur seamlessly, and all the participants feel as if they are in the same virtual room, in a movie together.

No participant needs to try to behave in a particular way, either. In a video game, a person must act intentionally to produce behavior. But in virtual reality, tracking equipment, like magnetic sensors and video cameras, detects what a person does and instructs the computer to redraw the avatar performing the same action. Everyone's computer sends the other machines a stream of information summarizing the user's current state.

However, users can alter their streams in real time for strategic purposes. For example, a teacher can choose to have his computer never display an angry expression, but always to replace it with a calm face. Or he can screen out distracting student behaviors, like talking on cellphones.

Research by Benjamin S. Bloom in the 1980s and subsequent studies have demonstrated that students who receive one-on-one instruction learn at least an order of magnitude better than do students in traditional classrooms. Virtual reality makes it possible for one teacher to give one-on-one instruction to many students at the same time.

The use of the Web to tailor messages to different recipients has received ample discussion, most notably in the arena of advertising; we all know about spam messages that appear to be from one of our colleagues. In a virtual classroom, the teacher can tailor not simply a message, but her identity.

Of course we must be careful not to cross the line between strategic transformations and outright deception. Probably none of us would want to see politicians, a few years in the future, take advantage of new technology to tailor electronic messages by combining their faces with an undetectable share of those of the recipients — knowing that including the citizen's face can sway his vote. But good teachers already use psychology to help students learn, and standard techniques can be made more effective in virtual education.

Students in a given classroom, like most large groups of people, include a wide range of personality types — for example, introverts and extroverts. Some students might prefer communication accompanied by nonverbal cues, like gestures and smiles; others may prefer a less-expressive speaker. A number of psychological studies have demonstrated what is called the "chameleon effect": When one person nonverbally mimics another, displaying similar posture and gestures, he maximizes his social influence. Mimickers are seen as more likable and more persuasive than nonmimickers.

In a number of laboratory studies of behaviors including head movements and handshakes in virtual reality, my colleagues and I have demonstrated that if a teacher practices virtual nonverbal mimicry — that is, if she receives the students' nonverbal actions and then transforms her nonverbal behavior to resemble the students' motions — there are three results.

First, the students rarely are conscious of the mimicry.

Second, they nonetheless pay more attention to the teacher: They direct their gaze more at mimicking teachers than they do at teachers who are behaving more normally.

Third, students are influenced more by mimicking teachers — more likely to follow their instructions and to agree with what they say in a lesson.

When I teach a class of 100 students face to face, I try to match my nonverbal behavior to that of a single student, and I am forced to devote ample cognitive resources to that effort. But in a virtual classroom, my avatar can seamlessly and automatically create 100 different versions, which simultaneously mimic each student. Without my having to pay any attention to my actions, let alone to type commands on a keyboard, my computer changes my gestures and other behaviors to imitate each student's gestures and behavior. In effect, I can psychologically reduce the size of the class.

The virtual classroom, too, can be tailored for each student. Rooms have a sweet spot — the location varies from room to room but is often front and center, a few meters away from the teacher. Other experiments, in my lab and at the Research Center for Virtual Environments and Behavior at the University of California at Santa Barbara, have shown that students randomly assigned to sweet spots in real-world classrooms do about 10 points better on exams than do students sitting elsewhere in the rooms.

Of course, in the physical world, only one student can sit in the sweet spot. But because virtual rooms are drawn separately for each user, every single student's avatar can be sitting in the sweet spot — and will see classmates' avatars sitting in other locations. In a series of studies, we demonstrated that putting multiple students simultaneously in the virtual sweet spot substantially increased the learning of the group.

Another advantage of the virtual classroom is that a teacher can use data collected by the computer to improve students' learning as well as his or her own performance. Given that decades of research have pointed to the importance of eye contact during speaking, my colleagues and I created an algorithm that showed teachers exactly how much eye contact they gave each student in a large virtual classroom. If the teacher was not looking at a student's avatar, it would slowly become translucent until the teacher looked at the student again, when the avatar would once more become opaque to the teacher. With that algorithm, teachers looked much more evenly around the classroom. Virtual technology can guarantee that no child gets left behind.

In dozens of experimental paradigms, we have demonstrated similar advantages of virtual classrooms. The advantages are most effective in classes with large student-to-teacher ratios, where they are needed most. Although the actual classrooms of Ivy League universities may never lose their prestige, the practical implications are clear: The digital transformations of virtual classrooms can increase students' learning.

Jeremy Bailenson is an assistant professor of communication at Stanford University.

April 1, 2008 reply from Steven Hornik [shornik@BUS.UCF.EDU]

Jeremy recently talked about this at the Metaverse U conference held at Standford. They are slowly putting up videos of the talks and his is one of them which can be accessed here: 
Scroll down it's the 3rd one or watch them all.

Dr. Steven Hornik
University of Central Florida
Dixon School of Accounting
Second Life: Robins Hermano 
yahoo ID: shornik

Bob Jensen's threads on virtual learning and Second Life virtual worlds are at

" Launched," SmartPros, March 28, 2008 ---

A new Web site,, allows free access to view and analyze complete XBRL-tagged financial statements for over 12,000 publicly traded corporations.

After registering on the portal,, corporate finance professionals can educate themselves about the XBRL tagging process and view their own historical financial information in XBRL format. Investors and analysts can experience how XBRL reduces the complexity and costs associated with analyzing performance data.

The site is a collaboration of EDGAR Online Inc., a business and financial information provider, and R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company, a print services company.

"Our goal has been to deliver solutions that do not require technical expertise or excessive time commitments by corporations wishing to take part in the SEC Voluntary Program or to familiarize themselves with XBRL," said Philip Moyer, President and CEO of EDGAR Online, Inc. "We are providing open access to our vast XBRL database through a solution that enables corporations to begin filing XBRL content with the SEC in as little as a few hours."

RR Donnelley and EDGAR Online have collaborated to deliver XBRL filing solutions to corporations since 2005.

Once again that site is at

April 1, 2008 reply from Amy Dunbar [Amy.Dunbar@BUSINESS.UCONN.EDU]

I just tried the site. Wow. Very powerful. I confirmed the numbers for one company to make sure I knew what I was seeing. It pulled the 2007 four quarter numbers for my selected company and then the 4th qtr numbers for the three peer companies and my selected company. I'm not sure where that 12,000 publicly traded corporations is coming from. They must mean filings, not corporations. I found the following table for March/June 2005 in Appendix F.  If you include pink sheet companies, the data for which are not publicly available (at least to my knowledge), the total climbs to 13,094. Does anyone have a source for more recent numbers of publicly traded corporations?

Listing Venue Number of Companies Listed NYSE 2,553 AMEX 747 NASDAQ National Market 2,580 NASDAQ Capital Market1 593 OTC Bulletin Board 2,955 Total 9,428

The table (I only show part of it) has the following footnote explanation: Source: Public data includes 13,094 companies from the Center for Research in Securities Prices at the University of Chicago for NYSE and AMEX companies as of March 31, 2005 and from NASDAQ for NASDAQ and OTC Bulletin Board companies and from Datastream Advance for Pink Sheets companies as of June 10, 2005. This table was compiled by members of the staff of the SEC's Office of Economic Analysis and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Commission, the Commissioners, or other members of the Commission staff.

Amy Dunbar UConn

Bob Jensen's threads on XBRL are at

"SEC unveils 'Financial Explorer' investor tool using XBRL," AccountingWeb, February 20, 2008 ---

Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox has announced the launch of the "Financial Explorer" on the SEC Web site to help investors quickly and easily analyze the financial results of public companies. Financial Explorer paints the picture of corporate financial performance with diagrams and charts, using financial information provided to the SEC as "interactive data" in eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL).

At the click of a mouse, Financial Explorer lets investors automatically generate financial ratios,

graphs, and charts depicting important information from financial statements. Information including earnings, expenses, cash flows, assets, and liabilities can be analyzed and compared across competing public companies. The software takes the work out of manipulating the data by entirely eliminating tasks such as copying and pasting rows of revenues and expenses into a spreadsheet. That frees investors to focus on their investments' financial results through visual representations that make the numbers easier to understand. Investors can use Financial Explorer by visiting .

"XBRL is fast becoming the universal language for the exchange of business information and it is the future of financial reporting," said Cox. "With Financial Explorer or another XBRL viewer, investors will be able to quickly make sense of financial statements. In the near future, potentially millions of people will be able to analyze and compare financial statements and make better-informed investment decisions. That's a big benefit to ordinary investors."

David Blaszkowsky, Director of the SEC's Office of Interactive Disclosure, encouraged investors to try out the new software. "Financial Explorer will help investors analyze investment choices much quicker. I encourage both companies and investors to visit the SEC Web site, try the software, and get a first-hand glimpse of the future of financial analysis, especially for the retail investor."

Financial Explorer is open source, meaning that its source code is free to the public, and technology and financial experts can update and enhance the software. As interactive data becomes more commonplace, investors, analysts, and others working in the financial industry may develop hundreds of Web-based applications that help investors garner insights about financial results through creative ways of analyzing and presenting the information.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
The Financial Explorer link ---
Note the "Take a Tour" option.

Bob Jensen's videos (created before the SEC created the Financial Explorer) are at
When I can find some time, I'll create a Financial Explorer update video.

A geology professor defends use of Wikipedia in courses ---


"Professors Should Embrace Wikipedia," by Mark A. Wilson. Inside Higher Ed, April 1, 20058 ---

When the online, anyone-can-edit Wikipedia appeared in 2001, teachers, especially college professors, were appalled. The Internet was already an apparently limitless source of nonsense for their students to eagerly consume — now there was a Web site with the appearance of legitimacy and a dead-easy interface that would complete the seduction until all sense of fact, fiction, myth and propaganda blended into a popular culture of pseudointelligence masking the basest ignorance. An Inside Higher Ed article just last year on Wikipedia use in the academy drew a huge and passionate response, much of it negative.

Now the English version of Wikipedia has over 2 million articles, and it has been translated into over 250 languages. It has become so massive that you can type virtually any noun into a search engine and the first link will be to a Wikipedia page. After seven years and this exponential growth, Wikipedia can still be edited by anyone at any time. A generation of students was warned away from this information siren, but we know as professors that it is the first place they go to start a research project, look up an unfamiliar term from lecture, or find something disturbing to ask about during the next lecture. In fact, we learned too that Wikipedia is indeed the most convenient repository of information ever invented, and we go there often — if a bit covertly — to get a few questions answered. Its accuracy, at least for science articles, is actually as high as the revered Encyclopedia Britannica, as shown by a test published in the journal Nature.

It is time for the academic world to recognize Wikipedia for what it has become: a global library open to anyone with an Internet connection and a pressing curiosity. The vision of its founders, Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger, has become reality, and the librarians were right: the world has not been the same since. If the Web is the greatest information delivery device ever, and Wikipedia is the largest coherent store of information and ideas, then we as teachers and scholars should have been on this train years ago for the benefit of our students, our professions, and that mystical pool of human knowledge.

What Wikipedia too often lacks is academic authority, or at least the perception of it. Most of its thousands of editors are anonymous, sometimes known only by an IP address or a cryptic username. Every article has a “talk” page for discussions of content, bias, and organization. “Revert” wars can rage out of control as one faction battles another over a few words in an article. Sometimes administrators have to step in and lock a page down until tempers cool and the main protagonists lose interest. The very anonymity of the editors is often the source of the problem: how do we know who has an authoritative grasp of the topic?

That is what academics do best. We can quickly sort out scholarly authority into complex hierarchies with a quick glance at a vita and a sniff at a publication list. We make many mistakes doing this, of course, but at least our debates are supported with citations and a modicum of civility because we are identifiable and we have our reputations to maintain and friends to keep. Maybe this academic culture can be added to the Wild West of Wikipedia to make it more useful for everyone?

I propose that all academics with research specialties, no matter how arcane (and nothing is too obscure for Wikipedia), enroll as identifiable editors of Wikipedia. We then watch over a few wikipages of our choosing, adding to them when appropriate, stepping in to resolve disputes when we know something useful. We can add new articles on topics which should be covered, and argue that others should be removed or combined. This is not to displace anonymous editors, many of whom possess vast amounts of valuable information and innovative ideas, but to add our authority and hard-won knowledge to this growing universal library.

The advantages should be obvious. First, it is another outlet for our scholarship, one that may be more likely to be read than many of our journals. Second, we are directly serving our students by improving the source they go to first for information. Third, by identifying ourselves, we can connect with other scholars and interested parties who stumble across our edits and new articles. Everyone wins.

I have been an open Wikipedia editor now for several months. I have enjoyed it immensely. In my teaching I use a “living syllabus” for each course, which is a kind of academic blog. (For example, see my History of Life course online syllabus.) I connect students through links to outside sources of information. Quite often I refer students to Wikipedia articles that are well-sourced and well written. Wikipages that are not so good are easily fixed with a judicious edit or two, and many pages become more useful with the addition of an image from my collection (all donated to the public domain). Since I am open in my editorial identity, I often get questions from around the world about the topics I find most fascinating. I’ve even made important new connections through my edits to new collaborators and reporters who want more background for a story.

For example, this year I met online a biology professor from Centre College who is interested in the ecology of fish on Great Inagua Island in the Bahamas. He saw my additions and images on that Wikipedia page and had several questions about the island. He invited me to speak at Centre next year about evolution-creation controversies, which is unrelated to the original contact but flowed from our academic conversations. I in turn have been learning much about the island’s living ecology I did not know. I’ve also learned much about the kind of prose that is most effective for a general audience, and I’ve in turn taught some people how to properly reference ideas and information. In short, I’ve expanded my teaching.

Wikipedia as we know it will undoubtedly change in the coming years as all technologies do. By involving ourselves directly and in large numbers now, we can help direct that change into ever more useful ways for our students and the public. This is, after all, our sacred charge as teacher-scholars: to educate when and where we can to the greatest effect.

Google, Yahoo, Wikipedia, Open Encyclopedia, and YouTube as Knowledge Bases ---

UBS Writes Down Billion; Chairman to Leave - Mergers, Acquisitions, Venture Capital, Hedge Funds -- DealBook - New York Times

From Jim Mahar's FinanceProfessor blog on April 1, 2008 ---

The story continues:

UBS Writes Down Billion; Chairman to Leave - Mergers, Acquisitions, Venture Capital, Hedge Funds -- DealBook - New York Times:
"UBS, the largest Swiss bank, said on Tuesday that it would write down another $19 billion related to “U.S. real estate and related structured credit positions” ...The news came as Deutsche Bank, the biggest German lender, said Tuesday that it expected a first-quarter loss of about $3.9 billion on write-downs of United States real estate loans and assets. Global banks have now written down more than $200 billion of soured loans in the market debacle that began last summer with the implosion of the American subprime mortgage market."
The article goes on to say that UBS will raise $15 billion in a rights issue.

Somewhat surprisingly, investors took this as news that the worst was behind and when coupled with Treasury Secretary Paulson's plans to improve liquidity, bank stocks climbed. From Yahoo:
"News of massive writedowns at two major European banks paradoxically sent shares soaring Tuesday, as many investors took the typically negative announcements as a signal to buy into the battered sector."
and later:
"The sector's revival was also aided by signs that U.S. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and central bankers are considering radical strategies to boost liquidity.

Banks are hoarding cash in case they need it and as concern lingers about counterparty risk....

"For a long time we've been worried about moral hazard ... we're now past that point, what we're trying to do now is save the banking system, and the price that banks will pay is tougher regulation going forward.""

(gee, these stories really do bring into play many of the topics covered in class. Who knows, this might make a great essay ;).


Dirty Secrets of Credit Card Companies ---

March 28, 2008 message from Bill Hazelton []

Would it be too much to ask for you to get maybe a link or two back from your site? That would be really cool…

A few suggestions:

This is a blog post about some outrageous credit card spending. Hilarious and depressing all at the same time 

This one should be a must read for every 20 something out there: 

Tons of great articles and resources on credit:

This one is hilarious. 20 reason that credit cards are worse than having an affair with another woman…LOL! 

"Tenure as a Tarnished Brass Ring," by Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, March 31, 2008 ---

Claire B. Potter has a level of academic success many young Ph.D.’s these days can only dream about. A professor of history and chair of American studies at Wesleyan University, she has tenure at an elite college. Tenure provides her not only with job security, but with part of her identity as the blogger Tenured Radical, where she shares views on a range of topics, writing with the freedom that tenure is supposed to protect.
So why would Potter recently have approached her provost to inquire about the possibility of trading in tenure for a renewable contract? It turns out that there are lots of obstacles to doing so, Potter said, in that Wesleyan doesn’t have a model in which someone off the tenure track could fully participate in campus governance, and this isn’t a question the university is used to being asked. So she’s not sure it will happen. But why even explore it?

Potter’s question was a natural outgrowth of a blog posting she made this month that questioned the value of tenure.

Wrote Potter: “I have argued against tenure for several reasons: that it destroys mobility in the job market. That we would do better financially, and in terms of job security and freedom of speech, in unions. That it creates sinecures which are, in some cases, undeserved. That it is an endless waste of time, for the candidate and for the evaluators, that could be better spent writing and editing other people’s work. That it creates a kind of power that is responsible and accountable to no one. That it is hypocritical, in that the secrecy is designed to protect our enemies’ desire to speak freely — but in fact we know who our enemies are, and in the end, someone tells us what they said. But here is another reason that tenure is wrong: It hurts people.”

The posting and similar online comments from others have prompted considerable discussion — pro and con — in the academic blogosphere. And out of the blogosphere, experts on tenure say that the frustration Potter and others are expressing with tenure reflects the changing nature of how academics see their careers and how they are treated. Even many tenure experts who say that tenure skeptics fail to appreciate the full value of tenure say that the frustrations being expressed are real and may represent a turning point of sorts. What does it mean when tenure isn’t just being attacked by bean counters or critics who want to rid the academy of tenured radicals, but by some tenured radicals (not to mention tenured and untenured professors of a variety of views)?

To be sure, provosts are not being overrun with questions from professors who want to get off the tenure track, and the recent Web discussion has brought out strong defenders of tenure.

“There are lots of things that have hurt me in academia, but tenure is NOT one of them,” wrote the blogger Lumpenprofessoriat. “I have been hurt by the lack of health care from my years as an adjunct. I have been hurt by the uncertainties of working as migrant, contingent labor in academia for more than a decade. I have been hurt by deans, provosts, and by some of my colleagues who put time and effort into delaying my start in a tenure track line and in further delaying my final tenure decision for another decade. I have been hurt by decades of debts and low wages that I may never recover from. I have grudges, depression, anger, rage, and issues aplenty from my sojourn through the academic labor market. But the one thing that has NOT hurt me is tenure.”

But in online postings and elsewhere, the questioning of tenure has drawn considerable support (even if much of that support isn’t necessarily calling for its abolition, but pointing to tensions in the system). See Easily Distracted on the impact of proceduralism and mystery, Uncertain Principles on the different disciplinary standards and the impact of a “make or break” moment on careers, or Confessions of a Community College Dean (whose blog appears on Inside Higher Ed) on the conflict between transparency and the tenure system. Citizen of Somewhere Else is calling for a cease-fire in the discussions. All of these postings have drawn comments from readers — tenured or not — some of them saying that they see abuses of the system with regularly, others dreading going through it, and others vowing not to.

One anonymous academic commented on Tenured Radical this way: “I am completely freaked out by the mysteries of the tenure process and have decided not to pursue a t-t job, but instead to work toward getting either a permanent lectureship or a split admn/lectshp position, many of which are held by people at my institution. I don’t think I want to deal with the pressure and anxiety of not knowing how to court all the right people into my camp. I am currently benefiting from the fact that someone else did not get tenure, as I hold a visiting position to replace someone who elected to take their ‘terminal’ year as a leave year. I have ‘replaced,’ due to overlapping scholarly interests, a very brilliant teacher, a dedicated colleague in all the fields of expertise with which hir work crossed, and a highly respected scholar with numerous prestigious publications. Why this person did not get tenure has never been explained to me. It was very controversial, inspiring student protests. (I have no idea if the department waged any sort of protest. It’s all part of the secrecy.) I sincerely hope this person is using this year to find a job where s/he will be appreciated. I don’t think I could measure up. If s/he couldn’t get tenure here, what must it take?”

Many factors are at play in the debate, experts say. The majority of faculty members who work in public higher education, many say, are better protected on free speech issues by the Constitution than by tenure, and the Constitution doesn’t just kick in after one gets tenure. Another factor is a growing sense that earning tenure isn’t entirely a matter of merit, but in many ways can be a fluke. In an era when those who earn tenure can think of people they view as equally talented who never made it off the adjunct track, or when at many universities, people who never published a scholarly book are judging the quality of tenure portfolios that must contain two books, respect for the process has diminished.

The Mysteries of Tenure

Comparisons to other (generally criticized) processes in society come up a lot. In the blog Slave of Academe, Oso Raro compared the tenure process to hazing (a common comparison, with many noting that it’s easier to imagine getting in to a fraternity or sorority after hazing than earning tenure). The blog posting was inspired by the tenure case of Andrea Smith, whose future at the University of Michigan is in danger because of a negative vote by the women’s studies department.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on tenure are at

University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) students commit sin they're trying to halt
"It seemed like an honorable goal: Draft an honor code for University of Texas at San Antonio students to follow, exhorting them not to cheat or plagiarize. But when students threw a draft of the new honor code onto the Internet for feedback, some noticed a problem: Parts of the code appeared to have been lifted word for word from another school's honor code, without attribution. Even the definition of plagiarism was, well, plagiarized.
Mellissa Ludwig, San Antonio Express-News, March 29, 2008 --- Click Here

"Companies Avoid Financial Penalties After Massive Computer Data Breaches," by Dan Caterinicchia, The Washington Post, March 28, 2008; Page D02 ---

"These cases bring to 20 the number of complaints in which the FTC has charged companies with security deficiencies in protecting sensitive consumer information," FTC Chairman Deborah Platt Majoras said in a release.

TJX said last March that at least 45.7 million credit cards were exposed to possible fraud in a breach of its computer systems. Court filings by banks that sued TJX estimated the number of cards affected at more than 100 million.

In the other case, personal information about hundreds of thousands of people held by Netherlands-based Reed Elsevier's LexisNexis unit may have been accessed in 2005 by unauthorized individuals using stolen passwords and IDs to get into Seisint databases.

Sherry Lang, TJX's senior vice president for investor and public relations, said that the company disagreed with the FTC's allegations but that it agreed to the settlement, "which is consistent with the agreements between the FTC and other retailers that have been victimized by cyber crime."

The Framingham, Mass., company's 2,500 stores include the T.J. Maxx and Marshalls chains.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's fraud updates are at

FSU fines professors for failing to turn in grades by the proper deadline

Many professors hate grading, and like most human beings, they often put off what they don’t like. So at many colleges, the end of a term results in some proportion of the faculty turning their grades in late, much to the dismay of the registrars whose job it is to process the grades and make them available to students. The outcome can be more than just annoying to the registrars; late grades can delay diplomas, disrupt the awarding of financial aid, or get students into academic trouble.
Doug Lederman, "Late Grades? Pay Up, Professor," Inside Higher Ed, March 28, 2008 ---

From the Scout Report on March 28, 2008

Safari 3.1 --- 

This new iteration of the Safari web browser may intrigue those who haven't utilized previous versions, and it may bring some back to the fold. Visitors will note that they can take advantage of resizable text fields and significantly faster page load times. Also, the "Snapback" feature makes it quite easy to get back to the original page after spending sometime wandering through cyberspace. This version is compatible with computers running Mac OS X 10.4.9.

Advanced WindowsCare Personal 2.71 --- 

Pesky security threats on one's computer can really ruin an entire day, or in some cases, a whole week. With that in mind, visitors will want to take a gander at Advanced WindowsCare Personal 2.71. This rather comprehensive PC care utility will help users fix register entries and clean up their operating system. Additionally, the program comes with an advanced menu that gives users fine control over repairs and optimizations. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 2000, XP, and Vista.

Free online textbooks and tutorials (including video tutorials) in accounting, economics, statistics, and other disciplines ---

Newly Added:

Free Accounting Video (YouTube) Tutorials
May 27, 2008 message from Crosson, Susan

I have done both Financial and Managerial Accounting videos for my students and posted them on YouTube. They are free to anyone. In fact, they have been viewed by over 70,000 folks worldwide.

Here are the easy links organized by topic and chapter:

Financial: 2007/Flip Videos Fall 2007/FA Videos.htm


or go to directly and input my account SusanCrosson or 

If you have any other questions, glad to answer...
Susan Crosson

Other free online accounting textbooks and tutorials ---

Finance Tutorial (of sorts):  A Primer on Foreign Exchange Derivatives

"Of Knock-ins, Knock-outs & KIKOs," by Ranju Sarkar, Business Standard, April 2, 2008 --- Click Here

Option is a contract which gives a buyer a right, but not an obligation, to buy an underlying/ currency/ stock/ commodities at a pre-determined rate, known as strike price, for settlement at a future day. The right to buy is called a call option. The right to sell is called a put option. There are different types of options.
Knock-out option: An option which ceases to exist if the knock-out event occurs. A knock out happens when a particular level is hit (like the Swiss franc touching the level of 1.10 against the dollar), when the option ceases to exist.
Knock-in option: An option which comes into existence if the knock-in event happens. It works exactly the reverse of a knock-out. In a knock-in, an option comes into existence if a certain level is hit.
KIKO (knock-in, knock-out): This is an option with both a knock-in and knock-out. The option kicks in, or comes alive, if the knock-in is seen. The option ceases to exist if anytime, pre or post, the knock-in event happening, the knock-out happens.
One-touch option: When a certain level (of any currency pair) is hit, a company buying an option gets a pre-determined pay-off (it could be $10,000, $20,000, or $30,000). This is how companies made money through derivative deals last year.
Double-touch option: There are two levels. If either of the two levels is hit, the company buying an option will get a pay off. All options require a buyer to pay a premium. Conversely, sellers of options would receive a premium.
Banks, foreign exchange consultants work out zero-cost option structures/ strategies for companies so that they don’t have to pay any premium. To make a zero-cost structure, a company has to buy some option and sell some option so that the premium is zero (the premium paid for buying an option is set-off against the premium received for selling the option).
For instance, when the rupee-dollar parity is 40.10, an exporter buys a put option at the rate of 39.50, and sells a call option for 41.00 for delivery of exports at the end of June, July and August an export commitment of $1 million each month. By entering into this contract, the best rate the exporter can get is 41, and the worst rate it can get is 39.50.
If the rupee goes below 39.50, the exporter will be able to encash its receivables at the rate of 39.50. If the rupee is trading between 39.50 and 41, the exporter will be able to encash its receivables at the prevailing market rate.
However, if the rupee is ruling above 41, it will get its receivables at Rs 41 as he’s locked in that level. This kind of structure is popular with software companies, who can realise their receivables in a range (between the best and worst), unlike in a forward contract where they get locked in at a particular rate.
Banks also offer, what they call, a 1:2 leveraged option, wherein a company buys some calls, makes some puts and use a combination of these to create zero-cost strategy for the company. Companies that have big positions in derivative trades have been selling KIKOs, or a series of KIKOs and buying one-touch options and double-touch options. These structures helped companies make money last year.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's links to accounting, finance, and business glossaries ---

Bob Jensen's links to FAS 133 and IAS 39 Accounting for Derivative Financial Instruments Glossary ---

Bob Jensen's FAS 133 and IAS 39 Tutorials on Accounting for Derivative Financial Instruments ---

Education Tutorials

The WGBH Public Television Station (videos and other tutorials) ---

National Register Travel Itineraries (historical and possible) ---

Ibiblio (library science tutorials and resources) ---

Bob Jensen's threads on general education tutorials are at

Engineering, Science, and Medicine Tutorials --

Stem Cells at the National Academies ---

Europa: Environment and Waste ---

Cholera Online: A Modern Pandemic in Texts and Images ---

USDA Food and Nutrition Information Center --- 

Five Keys to Safer Food Manual ---

Bob Jensen's threads on free online science, engineering, and medicine tutorials are at ---

Social Science and Economics Tutorials

Social Watch ---

East-West Center ---

Economic (In)Security: The Experience of the African-American and Latino Middle Classes ---

Kosovo: Guardian Special Report ---

Memory Maps (Art and Cities) ---

Cholera Online: A Modern Pandemic in Texts and Images ---

Bob Jensen's threads on Economics, Anthropology, Social Sciences, and Philosophy tutorials are at

Law and Legal Studies

Bob Jensen's threads on law and legal studies are at

Math Tutorials

Bob Jensen's threads on free online mathematics tutorials are at

History and Literature Tutorials

Citizen (John) Milton ---

Campana Brothers Select (art history) ---

National Register Travel Itineraries (historical and possible) ---

Memory Maps (Art and Cities) ---

OperaGlass (guide to arias) ---

Ibiblio (library science tutorials and resources) ---

Bob Jensen's threads on history tutorials are at
Also see  

Language Tutorials

Bob Jensen's links to language tutorials are at

Music Tutorials

OperaGlass (guide to arias) ---

Bob Jensen's links to music tutorials are at

Writing Tutorials

Citizen (John) Milton ---

Free Online Rhyming Dictionary ---

Bob Jensen's helpers for writers are at

Updates from WebMD ---


"Tooth Regeneration May Replace Drill-and-Fill," by Alexis Madrigal, Wired News, April 2, 2008 ---

The next time your children get cavities, they might get tooth regeneration instead of fillings.

That's because materials scientists are beginning to find just the right solutions of chemicals to rebuild decayed teeth, rather than merely patching their holes. Enamel and dentin, the materials that make teeth the strongest pieces of the body, would replace the gold or ceramic fillings that currently return teeth to working order.

"What we're hoping to have happen is to catch [decaying teeth] early and remineralize them," said Sally Marshall, a professor at the University of California at San Francisco. Marshall gave a talk last week at the spring meeting of the Materials Research Society on rebuilding the inner portions of teeth.

While regrowing your uncle's toothless grin from scratch is still a decade away, the ability to use some of the body's own building materials for oral repair would be a boon to dentists, who have been fixing cavities with metal fillings since the 1840s. Enamel and dentin are remarkably strong and long-lasting, and they can repair themselves. But as scientists are continuing to find out, dentin in particular is a remarkably complex structure.

Continued in article

A Weak Prognosis for Vytorin and Zetia (with video)
Schering-Plough and Merck will likely see plunging sales after Dr. Harlan Krumholtz advises cardiologists not to prescribe the cholesterol drugs. 
Schering sells a blockbuster cholesterol-lowering drug called Zetia, which it also combines with a generic Merck cholesterol medicine into a drug called Vytorin, which is marketed with Merck. Together, Zetia and Vytorin raked in more than $5 billion in sales last year. But on Mar. 30, Yale University cardiologist Harlan Krumholtz told thousands of doctors at the meeting of the American College of Cardiology, or ACC, in Chicago that the two drugs should not be used as a first- or even second-line treatment. Other doctors agreed. That probably translates into a dramatic drop in sales for the two drugs, analysts and doctors said. "When you get a panel of cardiologists saying don't use this drug, and if you do you are using it at own risk, it's a powerful message," says Dr. John LaRosa, president of the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., and a cholesterol expert.

John Carey, Business Week, March 31, 2008 --- Click Here

"Sex and Financial Risk Linked in Brain," by Seth Borenstein, Wired News, April 5, 2005 --- Click Here 

A new brain-scan study may help explain what's going on in the minds of financial titans when they take risky monetary gambles - sex. When young men were shown erotic pictures, they were more likely to make a larger financial gamble than if they were shown a picture of something scary, such a snake, or something neutral, such as a stapler, university researchers reported.

The arousing pictures lit up the same part of the brain that lights up when financial risks are taken.

"You have a need in an evolutionary sense for both money and women. They trigger the same brain area," said Camelia Kuhnen, a Northwestern University finance professor who conducted the study with a Stanford University psychologist.

Their research appears in the current edition of the peer-reviewed journal NeuroReport.

The study only involved 15 heterosexual young men at Stanford University. It focused on the sex and money hub, the V-shaped nucleus accumbens, which sits near the base of the brain and plays a central role in what you experience as pleasure.

When that hub was activated by the erotic images, the men were far more likely to bet high on a random chance game that would earn them either a dollar or a dime. Each man made more than 50 gambles under brain scans.

Stanford psychologist Brian Knutson, a lead author of the study, says it's all about the power of emotion and arousal and our financial decisions. The trigger doesn't have to be sex - it could be chocolate or a winning lottery ticket.

"It didn't matter if the sexy woman didn't tell you anything about the odds of winning a roulette game," Knutson said. "What really matters is that the sexy woman is having an emotional impact. That bleeds over into your financial decisions."

Kuhnen said the same link could hold true for women, but they didn't test it because it is more difficult to find an erotic image that would appeal to many different heterosexual women compared to heterosexual men.

The link between sex and greed goes back hundreds of thousands of years, to men's evolutionary role as provider or resource gatherer to attract women, said Kevin McCabe, professor of economics, law and neuroscience at George Mason University, who wasn't part of the study.

"Risk-taking is a natural way of increasing your relative success, but, of course, there's a downside to it, what we're seeing right now in the economy," McCabe said.

The results of the study jibe with the real life on the trading floor, said Phil Flynn, a former Chicago commodities floor trader and current analyst at Alaron Trading Corp.

"I'm not shocked that it may be part of the deal," Flynn said Friday. "When you talk about all the euphemisms for trading (on the floor), they can be used for sex as well."

("Massaging the market" and "hardcore" were about the cleanest that he and his colleagues could come up with.)

The study conforms with recent research that indicates men shown a pornographic movie were more likely to make riskier sexual decisions. Another suggests straight men think less about their financial future after being shown pictures of pretty women.

One still-to-be-published study at Harvard University found a link between higher testosterone levels and financial risk-taking.

But the study conducted at Stanford, funded by the National Institutes of Health, went deeper, using functional magnetic resonance imaging machines. It's part of a new but growing field called neuroeconomics that attempts to take the hard-wired science of brain biology and mix it with the softer sciences of psychology and economics to figure out why we make the financial decisions we do.

An earlier study by the same team found that the brain's reward area lit up at about the same time as risky decision-making.

The erotic pictures experiment was designed to find which was the cause and which was the effect. The answer: Lighting up the reward area, in this case with soft-core pictures, caused the risk-taking, Kuhnen said.

"The more activation there you have, the more prone you are to taking more risk," Kuhnen said. "It could be a feedback loop."

The flip side was that the photos of snakes and spiders activated the portion of the brain often associated with pain, fear and anger. And those people were more likely to bet low.

This all makes sense to Harvard economist Terry Burnham, author of the book "Mean Genes." Burnham said it could be all summed up in a famous line from the movie "Scarface."

"In this country, you gotta make the money first. Then when you get the money, you get the power. Then when you get the power, then you get the women."

The big list: Female teachers (sexually) with students ---
Jensen Comment
I don't think anyone has attempted to compile the vastly longer list of male teachers involved sexually with students.

Forwarded by Gene and Joan

Subject: Economics Lesson

Once upon a time in a village, a man appeared and announced to the villagers that he would buy monkeys for $10 each. The villagers, seeing that there were many monkeys around, went out to the forest, and started catching them. The man bought thousands at $10 each, and as supply started to diminish, the villagers stopped their effort.

He then announced that he would now buy at $20. This renewed the efforts of the villagers and they started catching monkeys again. Soon the supply diminished even further and people started going back to their farms.

The man increased the offer to $25 each and the supply of monkeys became so scarce that it was an effort to even see a monkey, let alone catch it!

The man now announced that he would buy monkeys at $50! However, since he had to go to the city on some business, his assistant would buy on his behalf.

In the absence of the man, the assistant told the villagers. "Look at all these monkeys in the big cage that the man has collected. I will sell them to you at $35 and when the man returns from the city, you can sell them to him for $50 each."

The villagers rounded up with all their savings and bought all the monkeys. Then they never saw the man nor his assistant again, only monkeys everywhere!

Now you have a better understanding of how the stock market works.

Forwarded by Gene and Joan

How old is Grandpa?

Stay with this -- the answer is at the end. It will blow you away.

One evening a grandson was talking to his grandfather about current events. The grandson asked his grandfather what he thought about the shootings at schools, the computer age, and just things in general.

The Grandfather replied, 'Well, let me think a minute, I was born before:

' television

' penicillin

' polio shots

' frozen foods

' Xerox

' contact lenses

' Frisbees and

' the pill

There w ere no:

' credit cards

' laser beams or

' ball-point pens

Man had not invented:

' pantyhose

' air conditioners

' dishwashers

' clothes dryers

' and the clothes were hung out to dry in the fresh air and

' man hadn't yet walked on the moon

Your Grandmother and I got married first, . . . And then lived together.

Every family had a father and a mother.

Until I was 25, I called every man older than me, 'Sir'. And after I turned 25, I still called policemen and every man with a title, 'Sir.'

We were before gay-rights, computer- dating, dual careers, daycare centers, and group therapy.

Our lives were governed by the Ten Commandments, good judgment, and common sense.

We were taught to know the difference between right and wrong and to stand up and take responsibility for our actions.

Serving your country was a privilege; living in this country was a bigger privilege.

We thought fast food was what people ate during Lent.

Having a meaningful relationship meant getting along with your cousins.

Draft dodgers were people who closed their fron t doors when the evening breeze started.

Time-sharing meant time the family spent together in the evenings and weekends-not purchasing condominiums.

We never heard of FM radios, tape decks, CDs, electric typewriters, yogurt, or guys wearing earrings.

We listened to the Big Bands, Jack Benny, and the President's speeches on our radios.

And I don't ever remember any kid blowing his brains out listening to Tommy Dorsey.

If you saw anything with 'Made in Japan' on it, it was junk

The term 'making out' referred to how you did on your school exam.

Pizza Hut, McDonald's, and instant coffee were unheard of.

We had 5 &10-cent stores where you could actually buy things for 5 and 10 cents.

Ice-cream cones, phone calls, rides on a streetcar, and a Pepsi were all a nickel.

And if you didn't want to splurge, you could spend your nickel on enough stamps to mail 1 letter and 2 postcards.

You could buy a new Chevy Coupe for $600, . .. . But who could afford one? Too bad, because gas was 11 cents a gallon..

In my day:

' 'grass' was mowed,

' 'coke' was a cold drink,

' 'pot' was something your mother cooked in and

' 'rock music' was your grandmother's lullaby.

' 'Aids' were helpers in the Principal's office,

' ' chip' meant a piece of wood,

' 'hardware' was found in a hardware store and

' 'software' wasn't even a word.

And we were the last generation to actually believe that a lady needed a husband to have a baby. No wonder people call us 'old and confused' and say there is a generation gap... And how old do you think I am?

I bet you have this old man in are in for a shock!

Read on to see -- pretty scary if you think about it and pretty sad at the same time.

Are you ready ?????

This man would be only 59 years old

Dumb Blonde Video ---

Tidbits Archives ---

Click here to search Bob Jensen's web site if you have key words to enter --- Search Site.
For example if you want to know what Jensen documents have the term "Enron" enter the phrase Jensen AND Enron. Another search engine that covers Trinity and other universities is at

World Clock ---
Facts about the earth in real time ---

Interesting Online Clock and Calendar ---
Time by Time Zones ---
Projected Population Growth (it's out of control) ---
         Also see
Facts about population growth (video) ---
Projected U.S. Population Growth ---
Real time meter of the U.S. cost of the war in Iraq --- 
Enter you zip code to get Census Bureau comparisons ---
Sure wish there'd be a little good news today.

Three Finance Blogs

Jim Mahar's FinanceProfessor Blog ---
FinancialRounds Blog ---
Karen Alpert's FinancialMusings (Australia) ---

Some Accounting Blogs

Paul Pacter's IAS Plus (International Accounting) ---
International Association of Accountants News --- and Double Entries ---
Gerald Trite's eBusiness and XBRL Blogs ---
AccountingWeb ---   
SmartPros ---

Bob Jensen's Sort-of Blogs ---
Current and past editions of my newsletter called New Bookmarks ---
Current and past editions of my newsletter called Tidbits ---
Current and past editions of my newsletter called Fraud Updates ---

Online Books, Poems, References, and Other Literature
In the past I've provided links to various types electronic literature available free on the Web. 
I created a page that summarizes those various links ---

Shared Open Courseware (OCW) from Around the World: OKI, MIT, Rice, Berkeley, Yale, and Other Sharing Universities ---

Free Textbooks and Cases ---

Free Mathematics and Statistics Tutorials ---

Free Science and Medicine Tutorials ---

Free Social Science and Philosophy Tutorials ---

Free Education Discipline Tutorials ---

Teaching Materials (especially video) from PBS

Teacher Source:  Arts and Literature ---

Teacher Source:  Health & Fitness ---

Teacher Source: Math ---

Teacher Source:  Science ---

Teacher Source:  PreK2 ---

Teacher Source:  Library Media ---

The WGBH Public Television Station (videos and other tutorials) ---

Free Education and Research Videos from Harvard University ---

VYOM eBooks Directory ---

From Princeton Online
The Incredible Art Department ---

Online Mathematics Textbooks --- 

National Library of Virtual Manipulatives ---

Moodle  --- 

The word moodle is an acronym for "modular object-oriented dynamic learning environment", which is quite a mouthful. The Scout Report stated the following about Moodle 1.7. It is a tremendously helpful opens-source e-learning platform. With Moodle, educators can create a wide range of online courses with features that include forums, quizzes, blogs, wikis, chat rooms, and surveys. On the Moodle website, visitors can also learn about other features and read about recent updates to the program. This application is compatible with computers running Windows 98 and newer or Mac OS X and newer.

Some of Bob Jensen's Tutorials

Accountancy Discussion ListServs:

For an elaboration on the reasons you should join a ListServ (usually for free) go to
AECM (Educators) 
AECM is an email Listserv list which provides a forum for discussions of all hardware and software which can be useful in any way for accounting education at the college/university level. Hardware includes all platforms and peripherals. Software includes spreadsheets, practice sets, multimedia authoring and presentation packages, data base programs, tax packages, World Wide Web applications, etc

Roles of a ListServ ---

CPAS-L (Practitioners) 
CPAS-L provides a forum for discussions of all aspects of the practice of accounting. It provides an unmoderated environment where issues, questions, comments, ideas, etc. related to accounting can be freely discussed. Members are welcome to take an active role by posting to CPAS-L or an inactive role by just monitoring the list. You qualify for a free subscription if you are either a CPA or a professional accountant in public accounting, private industry, government or education. Others will be denied access.
Yahoo (Practitioners)
This forum is for CPAs to discuss the activities of the AICPA. This can be anything  from the CPA2BIZ portal to the XYZ initiative or anything else that relates to the AICPA.
This site hosts various discussion groups on such topics as accounting software, consulting, financial planning, fixed assets, payroll, human resources, profit on the Internet, and taxation.
Business Valuation Group 
This discussion group is headed by Randy Schostag [RSchostag@BUSVALGROUP.COM



Professor Robert E. Jensen (Bob)
190 Sunset Hill Road
Sugar Hill, NH 03586
Phone:  603-823-8482