Tidbits on May 20, 2010
Bob Jensen

Our late snow and late freezing weather and wind hurt some of the early spring flowers.
Even though it is still cool with most evenings down in the low 40s, we do have some springtime color
I love the phlox and tulips and fruit tree blossoms

Our wild cherry tree (only wild turkeys will eat the cherries from this tree)

The snow and freezing cold killed many of the lilac blooms this year (bummer)
But there are enough left to sweeten the air of our back deck
I don't plant the annuals around the south-side pond until after June 1 due to lingering chances of frost

But the perennials in the north-side rock garden are beginning to bloom

In front of a neighbor's house down the road

And all the white ground of our yard has changed to green
Looking East from Our Driveway

Looking West from Our Driveway

The rocks and phlox hide our well head

Below are pictures sent by Auntie Bev, Paula, and Others

Some people just don't need hands for support

For Memorial Day
Russia Honor USA 9/11 --- http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/temp/Russia_Honor_USA-911.pps
Slide Show Monument to the Struggle Against Terrorism

For the Nursing Home
Centrum Silver Advertisement --- http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/temp/CentrumSilver.wmv

Now in Another Tidbits Document
Political Quotations on May 20, 2010

Bob Jensen's health care messaging updates --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Health.htm


Tidbits on May 20, 2010
Bob Jensen

For earlier editions of Tidbits go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TidbitsDirectory.htm
For earlier editions of New Bookmarks go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookurl.htm 

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 http://www.searchedu.com/.

Bob Jensen's past presentations and lectures --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/resume.htm#Presentations   

Bob Jensen's Threads --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/threads.htm

Bob Jensen's Home Page is at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/

CPA Examination --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cpa_examination

Cool Search Engines That Are Not Google --- http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2009/06/coolsearchengines

World Clock and World Facts --- http://www.poodwaddle.com/worldclock.swf

U.S. Debt/Deficit Clock --- http://www.usdebtclock.org/

Free Residential and Business Telephone Directory (you must listen to an opening advertisement) --- dial 800-FREE411 or 800-373-3411
 Free Online Telephone Directory --- http://snipurl.com/411directory       [www_public-records-now_com] 
 Free online 800 telephone numbers --- http://www.tollfree.att.net/tf.html
 Google Free Business Phone Directory --- 800-goog411
To find names addresses from listed phone numbers, go to www.google.com and read in the phone number without spaces, dashes, or parens

Daily News Sites for Accountancy, Tax, Fraud, IFRS, XBRL, Accounting History, and More ---

Cool Search Engines That Are Not Google --- http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2009/06/coolsearchengines
Bob Jensen's search helpers --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Searchh.htm
Education Technology Search --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm
Distance Education Search --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/crossborder.htm
Search for Listservs, Blogs, and Social Networks --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListservRoles.htm

Bob Jensen's essay on the financial crisis bailout's aftermath and an alphabet soup of appendices can be found at

Free Online Textbooks, Videos, and Tutorials --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm#Textbooks
Free Tutorials in Various Disciplines --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Tutorials
Edutainment and Learning Games --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#Edutainment
Open Sharing Courses --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI
The Master List of Free Online College Courses ---

149 Interesting People to Follow on Twitter (but I don't have time to follow them) ---
I see from my house by the side of the road
By the side of the highway of life,
The men who press with the ardor of hope,
The men who are faint with the strife,
But I turn not away from their smiles and tears,
Both parts of an infinite plan-
Let me live in a house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.
Sam Walter Foss (1858-1911)

For earlier editions of Tidbits go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/tidbitsdirectory.htm

For earlier editions of New Bookmarks go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookurl.htm 


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 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/NHcottage/NHcottage.htm

Bob Jensen's blogs and various threads on many topics --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/threads.htm
       (Also scroll down to the table at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ )

Global Incident Map --- http://www.globalincidentmap.com/home.php

If you want to help our badly injured troops, please check out
Valour-IT: Voice-Activated Laptops for Our Injured Troops  --- http://www.valour-it.blogspot.com/

Free Online Textbooks, Videos, and Tutorials --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm#Textbooks
Free Tutorials in Various Disciplines --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Tutorials
Edutainment and Learning Games --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#Edutainment
Open Sharing Courses --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

574 Shields Against Validity Challenges in Plato's Cave ---


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 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/music.htm

Impatience With Theoretical Reasoning: Math Textbooks are Equivalents of Sitcoms
Ted Video: Math Class Needs a Makeover (Dan Meyer Video) --- http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_meyer_math_curriculum_makeover.html

Tom Lehrer on Mathematical Models and Statistics --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gfZWyUXn3So
You must watch this to the ending to appreciate it.

The Eagles of Hornby Island (Webcast of Parent Nurturing) --- http://www.hornbyeagles.com/webcam.htm

Greendex: Survey of Sustainable Consumption [Flash Player] --- http://www.nationalgeographic.com/greendex/index.html

Philadelphia Museum of Art: Audio Tours --- http://www.philamuseum.org/collections/audiotours.html

NHS Videos: Media Library [Flash Player, Health] --- http://www.nhs.uk/video/pages/MediaLibrary.aspx

The Stock Market Gets the Fast Finger (Jon Stewart Comedy) --- http://financeprofessorblog.blogspot.com/2010/05/jon-stewart-takes-on-perfect-storms.html

William Shatner on Gun Control - It's How Well You Aim the Gun  --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0D78JtxmqI

PIGS =Portugal, Ireland, Spain, Greece
EU nations weakest on enforcing tax laws and national debt junkies beyond reasonable limits relative to their GDP
Watch the video at http://article.wn.com/view/2010/02/11/Europes_PIGS_Country_by_country/ =
A better term is US PIGS ---

Free music downloads --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/music.htm

Four Year Old Drummer (video) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=aJG9Tol1a0U&feature=player_embedded

Pierre-Laurent Aimard's Piano Francais --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=126723353

Web outfits like Pandora, Foneshow, Stitcher, and Slacker broadcast portable and mobile content that makes Sirius look overpriced and stodgy ---

TheRadio (my favorite commercial-free online music site) --- http://www.theradio.com/
Slacker (my second-favorite commercial-free online music site) --- http://www.slacker.com/

Gerald Trites likes this international radio site --- http://www.e-radio.gr/
Songza:  Search for a song or band and play the selection --- http://songza.com/
Also try Jango --- http://www.jango.com/?r=342376581
Sometimes this old guy prefers the jukebox era (just let it play through) --- http://www.tropicalglen.com/
And I listen quite often to Soldiers Radio Live --- http://www.army.mil/fieldband/pages/listening/bandstand.html
Also note
U.S. Army Band recordings --- http://bands.army.mil/music/default.asp

Bob Jensen listens to music free online (and no commercials) --- http://www.slacker.com/ 

Photographs and Art

Philadelphia Museum of Art: Audio Tours --- http://www.philamuseum.org/collections/audiotours.html

U.S. Air Force SR-71 Blackbird --- http://www.flickr.com/photos/lockheedmartin/4256659363/sizes/o/

The Museum of Underwater Archaeology --- http://www.uri.edu/mua/

Matisse: Radical Invention, 1913-1917 --- http://www.artic.edu/aic/collections/exhibitions/Matisse

Great Photographs from Fotographie or Fotografie or Fotografi (each word brings up different photos) --- http://www.google.com/imghp?hl=en&tab=wi
Fotographie --- http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portal:Fotografie

Light is Might (with mirrors) --- http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/photobooth/2010/05/critics-notebook-helmar-lerski.html

Bob Jensen's threads on history, literature and art ---

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 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm

The World's Airlines. Past, Present & Future http://www.airlinehistory.co.uk/

From NPR
Jack Gilbert: Notes from a Well-Observed Life (with audio readings of four poems) ---

Ruth Padel Poetry (Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, Chair of the UK Poetry Society) ---

Love Poems of Rumi --- http://www.khamush.com/love_poems.html

The Auden Society http://audensociety.org/ 
Poets: W.H. Auden

Favorite Poem Project (videos) --- http://www.favoritepoem.org/

Find a poet and/or share your poetry --- http://www.everypoet.com/

From NPR
Iraq Soldier Describes War in Poetry (with audio) ---

National Poetry Month 2007
James Longenbach's "Second Draft" is from his third book of poems, Draft of a Letter. Of the collection, The Los Angeles Times Book Review said, "A sensibility this cogent, this subtle and austere is rare; even rarer is its proof that poetry still flows through all things and transforms all things in the process."
NPR, April 18, 2007 ---

Video Poetry --- http://www.favoritepoem.org/thevideos/index.html
Includes Hillary Clinton reading The Makers ---
Click down hard on the picture to commence the video reading!

The Walt Whitman Archive --- http://www.whitmanarchive.org/

Mickle Street Review: An Electronic Journal of Whitman and American Studies [iTunes]

Poet at Work: Walt Whitman Notebooks 1850s-1860s ---  http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/whitman/

John Barbato's Collected Poems 1964 - 2002 is Now Available On-line at Lulu.com ---

Lord Byron:  Selected Poetry --- http://englishhistory.net/byron/poetry.html

The Life and Work of Lord Byron --- http://www.englishhistory.net/byron.html

Carl Sandburg's Chicago Poems --- http://carl-sandburg.com/

Hear Carl Sandburg --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6382389

From NPR (includes audio)
The Hand of America's First (Published) Black Female Poet ---
Phyllis Wheatley was America's first published black poet. She was born in the West African nation of Senegal and sold into slavery to John Wheatley of Boston in 1761.

The Wandering Minstrels (Many Poems from Rice University) --- http://www.cs.rice.edu/~ssiyer/minstrels/index_number_0.html

Poetry of Sara Teasdale 1884 - 1933 --- http://www.bonniehamre.com/Personal/Sara.htm


Free Online Textbooks, Videos, and Tutorials --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm#Textbooks
Free Tutorials in Various Disciplines --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Tutorials
Edutainment and Learning Games --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#Edutainment
Open Sharing Courses --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

Now in Another Tidbits Document
Political Quotations on May 20, 2010

Bob Jensen's health care messaging updates --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Health.htm

Bob Jensen's health care messaging updates --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Health.htm

Elite Research University Online Degrees?
"Somebody is going to figure out how to deliver online education for credit and for degrees in the quality sector—i.e., in the elite sector," said Christopher Edley Jr., dean at Berkeley's law school and the plan's most prominent advocate. "I think it ought to be us—not MIT, not Columbia, not Caltech, certainly not Stanford."
Jensen Comment
Actually Stanford introduced one of the highest quality Master of Engineering online programs in history, the ADEPT Program --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm
Search for the word ADEPT at the above site. The ADEPT video approach, however is only suited to highly talented and highly motivated students. I doubt that the ADEPT program is suited for online students in general.


"U. of California (Berkeley) Considers Online Classes, or Even Degrees:  Proposal for virtual courses challenges beliefs about what an elite university is—and isn't," by Josh Keller and Marc Parry, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 9, 2010 ---

Online education is booming, but not at elite universities—at least not when it comes to courses for credit.

Leaders at the University of California want to break that mold. This fall they hope to put $5-million to $6-million into a pilot project that could clear the way for the system to offer online undergraduate degrees and push distance learning further into the mainstream.

The vision is UC's most ambitious—and controversial—effort to reshape itself after cuts in public financial support have left the esteemed system in crisis.

Supporters of the plan believe online degrees will make money, expand the number of California students who can enroll, and re-establish the system's reputation as an innovator.

"Somebody is going to figure out how to deliver online education for credit and for degrees in the quality sector—i.e., in the elite sector," said Christopher Edley Jr., dean at Berkeley's law school and the plan's most prominent advocate. "I think it ought to be us—not MIT, not Columbia, not Caltech, certainly not Stanford."

But UC's ambitions face a series of obstacles. The system has been slow to adopt online instruction despite its deep connections to Silicon Valley. Professors hold unusually tight control over the curriculum, and many consider online education a poor substitute for direct classroom contact. As a result, courses could take years to gain approval.

The University of California's decision to begin its effort with a pilot research project has also raised eyebrows. The goal is to determine whether online courses can be delivered at selective-research-university standards.

Yet plenty of universities have offered online options for years, and more than 4.6 million students were taking at least one online course during the fall-2008 term, notes A. Frank Mayadas, a senior adviser at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation who is considered one of the fathers of online learning.

"It's like doing experiments to see if the car is really better than the horse in 1925, when everyone else is out there driving cars," he said.

If the project stumbles, it could dilute UC's brand and worsen already testy relations between professors and the system's president, Mark G. Yudof.

As the system studies whether it can offer quality classes online, the bigger question might be this: Is California's flagship university system innovative enough to pull online off?

Going Big The proposal comes at a key moment for the University of California system, which is in the midst of a wrenching internal discussion about how best to adapt to reduced state support over the long term. Measures to weather its immediate financial crisis, such as reduced enrollment, furloughs for staff and faculty members, and sharply rising tuition, are seen as either temporary or unsustainable.

Administrators hope the online plan will ultimately expand revenue and access for students at the same time. But the plan starts with a relatively modest experiment that aims to create online versions of roughly 25 high-demand lower-level "gateway courses." A preliminary list includes such staples as Calculus 1 and Freshman Composition.

UC hopes to put out a request for proposals in the fall, says Daniel Greenstein, vice provost for academic planning, programs, and coordination. Professors will compete for grants to build the classes, deliver them to students, and participate in evaluating them. Courses might be taught as soon as 2011. So, for a current undergraduate, that could mean the option to choose between online and face-to-face versions of, say, Psychology 1.

The university plans to spend about $250,000 on each course. It hopes to raise the money from external sources like foundations or major donors. Nobody will be required to participate—"that's death," Mr. Greenstein said—and faculty committees at each campus will need to approve each course.

Building a collection of online classes could help alleviate bottlenecks and speed up students' paths to graduation. But supporters hope to use the pilot program to persuade faculty members to back a far-reaching expansion of online instruction that would offer associate degrees entirely online, and, ultimately, a bachelor's degree.

Mr. Edley believes demand for degrees would be "basically unlimited." In a wide-ranging speech at Berkeley last month, Mr. Edley, who is also a top adviser to Mr. Yudof, described how thousands of new students would bring new money to the system and support the hiring of faculty members. In the long term, he said, online degrees could accomplish something bigger: the democratization of access to elite education.

"In a way it's kind of radical—it's kind of destabilizing the mechanisms by which we produce the elite in our society," he told a packed room of staff and faculty members. "If suddenly you're letting a lot of people get access to elite credentials, it's going to be interesting."

'Pie in the Sky' But even as Mr. Edley spoke, several audience members whispered their disapproval. His eagerness to reshape the university is seen by many faculty members as either naïve or dangerous.

Mr. Edley acknowledges that he gets under people's skin: "I'm not good at doing the faculty politics thing. ... So much of what I'm trying to do they get in the way of."

Suzanne Guerlac, a professor of French at Berkeley, found Mr. Edley's talk "infuriating." Offering full online degrees would undermine the quality of undergraduate instruction, she said, by reducing the opportunity for students to learn directly from research faculty members.

"It's access to what?" asked Ms. Guerlac. "It's not access to UC, and that's got to be made clear."

Kristie A. Boering, an associate professor of chemistry who chairs Berkeley's course-approval committee, said she supported the pilot project. But she rejected arguments from Mr. Edley and others that faculty members are moving too slowly. Claims that online courses could reap profits or match the quality of existing lecture courses must be carefully weighed, she said.

"Anybody who has at least a college degree is going to say, Let's look at the facts. Let's be a little skeptical here," she said. "Because that's a little pie-in-the-sky."

Existing research into the strength of online programs cannot simply be applied to UC, she added, objecting to an oft-cited 2009 U.S. Education Department analysis that reported that "on average, students in online learning conditions performed better than those receiving face-to-face instruction."

"I'm sorry: I've read that report. It's statistically fuzzy, and there's only something like four courses from a research university," she said. "I don't think that's relevant for us."

But there's also strong enthusiasm among some professors in the system, including those who have taught its existing online classes. One potential benefit is that having online classes could enable the system to use its resources more effectively, freeing up time for faculty research, said Keith R. Williams, a senior lecturer in exercise biology at the Davis campus and chair of the UC Academic Senate's committee on educational policy, who stressed that he was speaking as a faculty member, not on behalf of the Senate. "We're supportive, from the faculty perspective, of looking into this in a more detailed way," he said.

A National Context While the University of California plans and looks, other public universities have already acted. At the University of Central Florida, for example, more than half of the 53,500 students already take at least one online course each year. Pennsylvania State University, the University of Texas, and the University of Massachusetts all enroll large numbers of online students.

UC itself enrolls tens of thousands of students online each year, but its campuses have mostly limited those courses to graduate and extension programs that fully enrolled undergraduates do not typically take for credit. "Pretty pathetic," is how Mr. Mayadas described California's online efforts. "The UC system has been a zilch."

But the system's proposed focus on for-credit courses for undergraduates actually stands out when compared with other leading institutions like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Yale University. Both have attracted attention for making their course materials available free online, but neither institution offers credit to people who study those materials.

Mr. Mayadas praised UC's online move as a positive step that will "put some heat on the other top universities to re-evaluate what they have or have not done."

Over all, the "quality sector" in higher education has failed "to take its responsibility seriously to expand itself to meet the national need," Mr. Greenstein said, dismissing elites' online offerings as "eye candy."

Jensen Comments
The above article suggests that online programs make more money than onsite programs. This is not universally true, but it can be true. The University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee charges more for online courses than equivalent onsite courses because online courses have become a cash cow for UWM. The reasons, however, are sometimes dubious. Online courses are often taught with relatively cheap adjunct specialists whereas onsite courses might be taught with more expensive full-time faculty.

Also the above article ignores the fact that prestigious universities like the University of Wisconsin, University of Illinois, and University of Maryland have already been offering accredited and highly respected undergraduate and masters degrees in online programs for years. They purportedly impose the same academic standards on online programs vis-a-vis onsite programs. Adjunct instructors  with proper supervision need not necessarily be easy graders. In fact they may be more responsive to grading instructions than full-time faculty quavering in fear of teaching evaluations in their bid for tenure and promotions.

Who's Succeeding in Online Education?
The most respected online programs at this point in time seem to be embedded in large university systems that have huge onsite extension programs as well as online alternatives.  Two noteworthy systems in this regard are the enormous University of Wisconsin and the University of Texas extension programs.  Under the initial  leadership of Jack Wilson, UMass Online thrives with hundreds of online courses.  I think Open University in the U.K. is the largest public university in the world. Open University has online as well as onsite programs. The University of Phoenix continues to be the largest private university in the world in terms of student enrollments. I still do not put it and Open University in the same class as the University of Wisconsin, however, because I'm dubious of any university that relies mostly on part-time faculty.

From the University of Wisconsin
Distance Education Clearinghouse ---  http://www.uwex.edu/disted/home.html

I wonder if the day will come when we see contrasting advertisements:
"A UC Berkeley Accounting PhD online in 5-6 Years Full Time"
"A Capella Accounting PhD online in 2 Years Full Time and no comprehensive examinations"

Capella University is one of the better for-profit online universities in the world. ---

A Bridge Too Far
I discovered that Capella University is now offering an online Accounting PhD Program

Although I have been recommending that accountancy doctoral programs break out of the accountics mold, I don't think that the Capella's curriculum meets my expectation ---

On May 4, 2010, PBS Frontline broadcast an hour-long video called College Inc. --- a sobering analysis of for-profit onsite and online colleges and universities.
For a time you can watch the video free online --- Click Here

Even in lean times, the $400 billion business of higher education is booming. Nowhere is this more true than in one of the fastest-growing -- and most controversial -- sectors of the industry: for-profit colleges and universities that cater to non-traditional students, often confer degrees over the Internet, and, along the way, successfully capture billions of federal financial aid dollars.

In College, Inc., correspondent Martin Smith investigates the promise and explosive growth of the for-profit higher education industry. Through interviews with school executives, government officials, admissions counselors, former students and industry observers, this film explores the tension between the industry --which says it's helping an underserved student population obtain a quality education and marketable job skills -- and critics who charge the for-profits with churning out worthless degrees that leave students with a mountain of debt.

At the center of it all stands a vulnerable population of potential students, often working adults eager for a university degree to move up the career ladder. FRONTLINE talks to a former staffer at a California-based for-profit university who says she was under pressure to sign up growing numbers of new students. "I didn't realize just how many students we were expected to recruit," says the former enrollment counselor. "They used to tell us, you know, 'Dig deep. Get to their pain. Get to what's bothering them. So, that way, you can convince them that a college degree is going to solve all their problems.'"

Graduates of another for-profit school -- a college nursing program in California -- tell FRONTLINE that they received their diplomas without ever setting foot in a hospital. Graduates at other for-profit schools report being unable to find a job, or make their student loan payments, because their degree was perceived to be of little worth by prospective employers. One woman who enrolled in a for-profit doctorate program in Dallas later learned that the school never acquired the proper accreditation she would need to get the job she trained for. She is now sinking in over $200,000 in student debt.

The biggest player in the for-profit sector is the University of Phoenix -- now the largest college in the US with total enrollment approaching half a million students. Its revenues of almost $4 billion last year, up 25 percent from 2008, have made it a darling of Wall Street. Former top executive of the University of Phoenix Mark DeFusco told FRONTLINE how the company's business-approach to higher education has paid off: "If you think about any business in America, what business would give up two months of business -- just essentially close down?" he asks. "[At the University of Phoenix], people go to school all year round. We start classes every five weeks. We built campuses by a freeway because we figured that's where the people were."

"The education system that was created hundreds of years ago needs to change," says Michael Clifford, a major education entrepreneur who speaks with FRONTLINE. Clifford, a former musician who never attended college, purchases struggling traditional colleges and turns them into for-profit companies. "The big opportunity," he says, "is the inefficiencies of some of the state systems, and the ability to transform schools and academic programs to better meet the needs of the people that need jobs."

"From a business perspective, it's a great story," says Jeffrey Silber, a senior analyst at BMO Capital Markets, the investment banking arm of the Bank of Montreal. "You're serving a market that's been traditionally underserved. ... And it's a very profitable business -- it generates a lot of free cash flow."

And the cash cow of the for-profit education industry is the federal government. Though they enroll 10 percent of all post-secondary students, for-profit schools receive almost a quarter of federal financial aid. But Department of Education figures for 2009 show that 44 percent of the students who defaulted within three years of graduation were from for-profit schools, leading to serious questions about one of the key pillars of the profit degree college movement: that their degrees help students boost their earning power. This is a subject of increasing concern to the Obama administration, which, last month, remade the federal student loan program, and is now proposing changes that may make it harder for the for-profit colleges to qualify.

"One of the ideas the Department of Education has put out there is that in order for a college to be eligible to receive money from student loans, it actually has to show that the education it's providing has enough value in the job market so that students can pay their loans back," says Kevin Carey of the Washington think tank Education Sector. "Now, the for-profit colleges, I think this makes them very nervous," Carey says. "They're worried because they know that many of their members are charging a lot of money; that many of their members have students who are defaulting en masse after they graduate. They're afraid that this rule will cut them out of the program. But in many ways, that's the point."

FRONTLINE also finds that the regulators that oversee university accreditation are looking closer at the for-profits and, in some cases, threatening to withdraw the required accreditation that keeps them eligible for federal student loans. "We've elevated the scrutiny tremendously," says Dr. Sylvia Manning, president of the Higher Learning Commission, which accredits many post-secondary institutions. "It is really inappropriate for accreditation to be purchased the way a taxi license can be purchased. ...When we see any problematic institution being acquired and being changed we put it on a short leash."

Also note the comments that follow the above text.

But first I highly recommend that you watch the video at --- Click Here

May 5, 2010 reply from Paul Bjorklund [paulbjorklund@AOL.COM]

Interesting program. I saw the first half of it and was not surprised by anything, other than the volume of students. For example, enrollment at University of Phoenix is 500,000. Compare that to Arizona State's four campuses with maybe 60,000 to 70,000. The huge computer rooms dedicated to online learning were fascinating too. We've come a long way from the Oxford don sitting in his wood paneled office, quoting Aristotle, and dispensing wisdom to students one at a time. The evolution: From the pursuit of truth to technical training to cash on the barrelhead. One question about the traditional university though -- When they eliminate the cash flow from big time football, will they then be able to criticize the dash for cash by the educational entrepreneurs?

Paul Bjorklund, CPA
Bjorklund Consulting, Ltd.
Flagstaff, Arizona

I wonder if the Secretary of Education watched the College Inc Frontline PBS show? I doubt it!
"Duncan Says For-Profit Colleges Are Important to Obama's 2020 Goal," By Andrea Fuller," by Andrea Fuller, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 11, 2010 ---

Arne Duncan, the secretary of education, expressed support on Tuesday for the role that for-profit colleges play in higher education at a policy forum here held by DeVry University.

For-profit institutions have come under fire recently for their low graduation rates and high levels of student debt. A Frontline documentary last week focused on the for-profit sector, and a speech by Robert Shireman, a top Education Department official, was initially reported as highly critical of for-profit colleges, even though a transcript of Mr. Shireman's remarks showed that he actually spoke more temperately.

Mr. Duncan said on Tuesday in a luncheon speech at the forum that there are a "few bad apples" among actors in the for-profit college sector, but he emphasized the "vital role" for-profit institutions play in job training.

Those colleges, he said, are critical to helping the nation achieve President Obama's goal of making the United States the nation with the highest portion of college graduates by 2020. Mr. Duncan also praised a partnership between DeVry and Chicago high schools that allows students to receive both high-school and college credit while still in high school.

Mr. Duncan's comments come at a time when for-profit college officials are anxiously awaiting the release of new proposed federal rules aimed at them. A proposal that would tie college borrowing to future earnings has the sector especially concerned.

The rule is not yet final, but the Education Department is considering putting a cap on loan payments at 8 percent of graduates' expected earnings based on a 10-year repayment plan and earnings data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Supporters of for-profit colleges say the rule would basically force them to shut down educational programs and as a consequence leave hundreds of thousands of students without classes.

On May 4, 2010, PBS Frontline broadcast an hour-long video called College Inc. --- a sobering analysis of for-profit onsite and online colleges and universities.
For a time you can watch the video free online --- Click Here

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies are at

Brainstorm on What For-Profit Colleges are Doing Right as Well as Wrong

"'College, Inc.'," by Kevin Carey, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 10, 2010 ---

PBS broadcast a documentary on for-profit higher education last week, titled College, Inc. It begins with the slightly ridiculous figure of Michael Clifford, a former cocaine abuser turned born-again Christian who never went to college, yet makes a living padding around the lawn of his oceanside home wearing sandals and loose-fitting print shirts, buying up distressed non-profit colleges and turning them into for-profit money machines.

Improbably, Clifford emerges from the documentary looking OK. When asked what he brings to the deals he brokers, he cites nothing educational. Instead, it's the "Three M's: Money, Management, and Marketing." And hey, there's nothing wrong with that. A college may have deep traditions and dedicated faculty, but if it's bankrupt, anonymous, and incompetently run, it won't do students much good. "Nonprofit" colleges that pay their leaders executive salaries and run multi-billion dollar sports franchises have long since ceded the moral high ground when it comes to chasing the bottom line.

The problem with for-profit higher education, as the documentary ably shows, is that people like Clifford are applying private sector principles to an industry with a number of distinct characteristics. Four stand out. First, it's heavily subsidized. Corporate giants like the University of Phoenix are now pulling in hundreds of millions of dollars per year from the taxpayers, through federal grants and student loans. Second, it's awkwardly regulated. Regional accreditors may protest that their imprimatur isn't like a taxicab medallion to be bought and sold on the open market. But as the documentary makes clear, that's precisely the way it works now. (Clifford puts the value at $10-million.)

Third, it's hard for consumers to know what they're getting at the point of purchase. College is an experiential good; reputations and brochures can only tell you so much. Fourth—and I don't think this is given proper weight when people think about the dynamics of the higher-education market—college is generally something you only buy a couple of times, early in your adult life.

All of which creates the potential—arguably, the inevitability—for sad situations like the three nursing students in the documentary who were comprehensively ripped off by a for-profit school that sent them to a daycare center for their "pediatric rotation" and left them with no job prospects and tens of thousands of dollars in debt. The government subsidies create huge incentives for for-profit colleges to enroll anyone they can find. The awkward regulation offers little in the way of effective oversight. The opaque nature of the higher-education experience makes it hard for consumers to sniff out fraudsters up-front. And the fact that people don't continually purchase higher education throughout their lives limits the downside for bad actors. A restaurant or automobile manufacturer that continually screws its customers will eventually go out of business. For colleges, there's always another batch of high-school graduates to enroll.

The Obama administration has made waves in recent months by proposing to tackle some of these problems by implementing "gainful employment" rules that would essentially require for-profits to show that students will be able to make enough money with their degrees to pay back their loans. It's a good idea, but it also raises an interesting question: Why apply this policy only to for-profits? Corporate higher education may be the fastest growing segment of the market, but it still educates a small minority of students and will for a long time to come. There are plenty of traditional colleges out there that are mainly in the business of preparing students for jobs, and that charge a lot of money for degrees of questionable value. What would happen if the gainful employment standard were applied to a mediocre private university that happily allows undergraduates to take out six-figure loans in exchange for a plain-vanilla business B.A.?

The gainful employment standard highlights some of my biggest concerns about the Obama administration's approach to higher-education policy. To its lasting credit, the administration has taken on powerful moneyed interests and succeeded. Taking down the FFEL program was a historic victory for low-income students and reining in the abuses of for-profit higher education is a needed and important step.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
The biggest question remains concerning the value of "education" at the micro level (the student) and the macro level (society). It would seem that students in training programs should have prospects of paying back the cost of the training if "industry" is not willing to fully subsidize that particular type of training.

Education is another question entirely, and we're still trying to resolve issues of how education should be financed. I'm not in favor of "gainful employment rules" for state universities, although I think such rules should be imposed on for-profit colleges and universities.

What is currently happening is that training and education programs are in most cases promising more than they can deliver in terms of gainful employment. Naive students think a certificate or degree is "the" ticket to career success, and many of them borrow tens of thousands of dollars to a point where they are in debtor's prisons with their meager laboring wages garnished (take a debtor's wages on legal orders) to pay for their business, science, and humanities degrees that did not pay off in terms of career opportunities.

But that does not mean that their education did not pay off in terms of life's fuller meaning. The question is who should pay for "life's fuller meaning?" Among our 50 states, California had the best plan for universal education. But fiscal mismanagement, especially very generous unfunded state-worker unfunded pension plans, has now brought California to the brink of bankruptcy. Increasing taxes in California is difficult because it already has the highest state taxes in the nation.

Student borrowing to pay for pricey certificates and degrees is not a good answer in my opinion, but if students borrow I think the best alternative is to choose a lower-priced accredited state university. It will be a long, long time before the United States will be able to fund "universal education" because of existing unfunded entitlements for Social Security and other pension obligations, Medicare, Medicaid, military retirements, etc.

I think it's time for our best state universities to reach out with more distance education and training that prevent many of the rip-offs taking place in the for-profit training and education sector. The training and education may not be free, but state universities have the best chance of keeping costs down and quality up.

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies are at

"Ph.D. From Diploma Mill Doesn't Block Prof's Tenure," Inside Higher Ed, May 11, 2010 ---

Northeastern Illinois University last year awarded tenure to a faculty member who lists a Ph.D. from an unaccredited institution that has been labeled a diploma mill, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. The university says that it awarded tenure under a little used rule that allows tenure for "exceptional" teachers who lack doctorates. The faculty member says that he disavowed the doctorate years ago, but the newspaper noted that it remains on his university résumé and that the university president called him "Dr." in documents related to his tenure approval.

Jensen Comment
It would be interesting to know if this is mostly tenure for great teaching or if this professor met the other thresholds for "publish or perish?"

Bob Jensen's threads on diploma mills are at

Wake Up Little Suzie, Wake Up:  Big Brother's Watching at Northern Arizona University
"University Plans to Install Electronic Sensors to Track Class Attendance," by Karen Wilkinson, Converge Magazine, May 8, 2010 ---

Jensen Comment
These "proximity cards" have many types of other uses, including crime prevention and law enforcement. But there are problems, including "Don't Leave Home Without It." "It's a trend toward a surveillance society that is not necessarily befitting of an institution or society," said Adam Kissel, defense program director of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. "It's a technology that could easily be expanded and used in student conduct cases."

Bob Jensen's threads on the dark side of education technology ---

"Scientists forecast decades of ash clouds:  Many more of Iceland’s volcanoes seem to be stirring," by Jonathan Leake and Chris Hastings, The London Times, May 16, 2010 --- http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article7127706.ece

THE Icelandic eruption that has caused misery for air travellers could be part of a surge in volcanic activity that will affect the whole of Europe for decades, scientists have warned.

They have reconstructed a timeline of 205 eruptions in Iceland, spanning the past 1,100 years, and found that they occur in regular cycles — with the relatively quiet phase that dominated the past five decades now coming to an end.

At least three other big Icelandic volcanoes are building towards an eruption, according to Thor Thordarson, a volcanologist at Edinburgh University.

“The frequency of Icelandic eruptions seems to rise and fall in a cycle lasting around 140 years,” he said. “In the latter part of the 20th century we were in a low period, but now there is evidence that we could be approaching a peak.”

His findings coincide with new warnings that the eruption of Eyjafjallajokull, which has disrupted air traffic across Europe for several weeks, could carry on for many months — and possibly years.

Some geologists have also warned of a serious threat from a fourth volcano, Katla, which lies 15 miles to the east of Eyjafjallajokull. Two of its past three eruptions seemed to be triggered by those of its smaller neighbour and a report issued just before Eyjafjallajokull blew suggested Katla was “close to failure [eruption]”.

The three other volcanoes cited by Thordarson as being potentially close to a large eruption are Grimsvotn, Hekla and Askja — all of which are bigger than Eyjafjallajokull.

In the past, they have proved devastating. Hekla alone has erupted about 20 times since AD874, pouring out a total of two cubic miles of lava from a line of fissures that stretches 3Å miles across the mountain.

There was a minor eruption in 2000 and geologists have reported that snow is once again melting on Hekla’s summit, suggesting that magma is rising.

Grimsvotn, another highly active volcano, lies under the huge Vatnajokull glacier in Iceland’s southeast. An eruption in 1996 saw much of this glacial ice melt, causing a flood that washed away the country’s main ring road.

It is linked to the massive Laki fissure volcano whose 1783 eruption ejected so much ash into the atmosphere that it cooled the entire northern hemisphere for nearly three years. The resulting low temperatures caused crop failures and famines that killed 2m people and helped trigger the French Revolution.

Thordarson believes that the behaviour of the volcanoes is linked to movements in the earth’s crust which create massive subterranean stresses over wide areas.

As these stresses build up, more volcanoes erupt and as the stress disappears, the volcanoes subside again.

The theory is a controversial one. Gillian Foulger, professor of geophysics at Durham University, suggests that historic clusters of eruptions could well have occurred by chance. She said: “This needs rigorous statistical support.”

However, both she and Thordarson agree that Europe needs to take the threat of further Icelandic eruptions more seriously, including improving the monitoring of active volcanoes. Foulger is writing to David Willetts, the new science minister, suggesting Britain could support Iceland in such a project.

She said: “There are about 35 active [big] volcanoes in Iceland and if we put a high quality seismograph and some global positioning equipment on each one we would often be able to tell in advance if an eruption was coming. The cost is tiny compared with the potential economic damage from an unexpected eruption.”

Continued in article

"Typing Analysis Software Keeps Online Students Honest," by Tanya Roscorla, Converge Magazine, May 12, 2010 ---

During his senior year, Shaun Sims took online classes at the University of Texas at Austin to supplement his regular courses. Some of his friends took online classes too, but they turned in assignments that other people completed for them.

That's when Sims decided to do something to cut back on cheating online. In 2009, he and computer science Ph.D student Andrew Mills launched a startup company called Digital Proctor. By analyzing each online participant's unique typing pattern, their software authenticates the student's work.

“We verify that students who sign up are the same students actually completing the coursework,” Sims said. "We make sure students are who they say they are.”

Two customers are currently using the software in pilot programs, including Midland College in Texas.

With the reauthorization of the Higher Education Opportunity Act in 2008, colleges and universities must now meet 50 new accountability requirements, one of which is making sure that the students who sign up for online courses are the ones who are participating in it. They have three options: use secure logins and passcodes; give proctored examinations; or find new technologies that could verify students' identity.

Midland College already has the first two options, but wants to be proactive in maintaining the integrity of their online classes, said Dale Beikirch, dean of distance learning and continuing education. So the college decided to enter a pilot with Digital Proctor.

“The day is coming when this secure login and password is not going to be enough to authenticate students," Beikirch said, "and that’s what’s sort of driving all of this is the need for schools to be able to ensure that the person enrolled in a course is the one taking the test.”

Continued in article

Cheating Issues Somewhat Unique to Distance Education ---

Cloud Computing --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_computing

"Learning About Everything Under The 'Cloud'," by Walter S. Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal, May 6, 2010 ---

The digital world loves to revel in its own jargon, and one of its most popular phrases today is "cloud computing." You see the expression everywhere new uses for the Internet are discussed. But what do techies and companies mean when they refer to doing things in "the cloud"? They aren't talking about meteorology, and all they see when they use the term—which is always singular—is sunshine, not rain.

To help you navigate through the talk about cloud computing, here's a very basic explainer. It doesn't cover every detail current among Internet experts. But I hope it gives regular folks a better understanding of the "cloud" products and services being offered them.

At its most basic level, the "cloud" is simply the Internet, or the vast array of servers around the world that comprise it. When people say a digital document is stored, or a digital task is being performed in the cloud, they mean that the file or application lives on a server you access over an Internet connection, via a Web browser or app, rather than on "local" devices, like your computer or smartphone.

This isn't a new idea. For years, there have been services that would back up your files to a distant server over the Internet or keep your photos online. And Web-based email programs, like Yahoo Mail or Hotmail, are familiar examples of cloud-based applications. These programs live on servers, not your PC, and you access them through a Web browser.

What's changed is that, in recent years, large-scale Internet-based storage has gotten cheaper, so it's possible for programmers to create more-sophisticated remote software, and the speed and ubiquity of Internet connections have improved. Also, some users have expressed a desire to share and collaborate in easier and richer ways than emailing files. Cloud-based services let many users view, comment on, and edit the same material. All this has given a boost to cloud computing.

On top of that, computers are changing in ways that make cloud services more desirable. Your little netbook may lack the huge hard disk needed to hold all your music or photos, but there are ways to keep this material in the cloud and access it at will. Your smartphone can't run all the sophisticated programs, or store all the files, that your PC can. But, if it's connected to cloud storage and cloud-based apps, it can do much more than its hardware specs suggest. And, with cloud file storage and apps that run on remote servers, you could conceivably travel without any computer. A borrowed PC, tablet or smartphone might be all you need to log in and do real work.

So, in recent years, a flood of cloud-based products and services have appeared to store and share files; to keep information on all your devices synchronized; and even to perform tasks like editing photos, or creating and editing long documents or large spreadsheets.

For instance, I wrote parts of this column in a private test edition of a cloud-based version of Microsoft Word that the company will release soon. In fact, Microsoft will be making its entire Office suite available free in the cloud. Google and others already have such cloud-based productivity suites. Another example: Many of the 200,000 apps for Apple's iPhone are merely small programs that tap data or services stored in the cloud to provide everything from restaurant choices to driving directions.

There are other good examples. At Picnik.com, you'll find an elegant, versatile cloud-based photo editor that can work on pictures from a wide variety of Web-based photo sites as well as those on your own hard disk. At Zoho.com, you'll find a cornucopia of cloud-based apps that interact with both the Web and your local hard disk. You can track your finances using a cloud-based program called Mint, which is available from a PC browser, or from an iPhone or Android-based phone.

Of course, clever readers will have noticed that this trend toward cloud computing has an obvious flaw. If you aren't connected to the Internet—or are saddled with a poor connection—you could be left high and dry when you want access to an important file stored remotely, or need to use a cloud-based program. Google, which is building an entire cloud-based operating system, and other companies have come up with ways to store some remote material on your local device. But these solutions aren't yet comprehensive, so wise users will make sure that the tools and files they need most are still available on their devices.

Some products get around this by offering hybrid cloud and local services. One of my favorites in this category is SugarSync, which backs up key folders you select to the Web and synchronizes them to the hard disks on your PCs or Macs, so you always have the freshest copies handy, whether you have a connection or not. Another problem is privacy. Many of these cloud services have good security, but prying hackers are relentless and smart, so consumers should be careful about what they store in the cloud. You may not care if a family photo is swiped, but your Social Security number is a different matter.

Cloud computing is here, and growing, and quite useful. It will only get better and better.

Do you know why Socrates feared the high technology of writing?

"The soft bigotry of low expectations," Babbage Blog from The Economist Magazine, May 14, 2010 ---

This week Barack Obama offered a throwaway line about technology in a graduation speech at Hampton University.

With iPods and iPads and Xboxes and PlayStations—none of which I know how to work—information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment.

And we cranked out a leader.

Socrates’s bugbear was the spread of the biggest-ever innovation in communications—writing. He feared that relying on written texts, rather than the oral tradition, would “create forgetfulness in the learners’ souls…they will trust to the external written characters and not remember of themselves.” Enos Hitchcock voiced a widespread concern about the latest publishing fad in 1790. “The free access which many young people have to romances, novels and plays has poisoned the mind and corrupted the morals of many a promising youth.” (There was a related worry that sofas, introduced at the same time, encouraged young people to drift off into fantasy worlds.) Cinema was denounced as “an evil pure and simple” in 1910; comic books were said to lead children into delinquency in 1954; rock’n’roll was accused of turning the young into “devil worshippers” in 1956; Hillary Clinton attacked video games for “stealing the innocence of our children” in 2005.

I think we imagine on some level that our children are weaker than we were. In 2004, I was working in a tech startup in Cambridge, Mass. We took on a Harvard undergrad as an intern; I asked her whether she used IM, which was how most of the office shared information. (Five geeks in two rooms. It smelled bad in the winter). Her answer, however, was

Oh, I stopped IMing in middle school. I just found that it wasn't very productive.

Ultimately we all grow into some kind of ambition, and have to make decisions about how we spend our time. There's no reason ambition will find iPads any more difficult to conquer than it did IM or novels before it. If spending time online is bad for your life (and I think it can be), you'll figure it out.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on the dark side of education technology ---

The Good Old Days:  When the Best You Could Afford was a Model A Ford
"Tech.View: Cars and software bugs," Babbage Blog from The Economist Magazine, May 16, 2010 ---

Watch the Video
"Adobe’s New Ads Take Aim at Apple." The Wall Street Journal, May 13, 2010 ---

Adobe has launched an ad campaign that says it “hearts” Apple, but that it also loves choice and creative freedom. The Wall Street Journal’s Lauren Goode and deputy managing editor Alan Murray talk about Adobe’s latest volley in the ongoing feud with Apple about the company’s decisions to limit the software—including Adobe’s Flash—that can run on its devices. Walt Mossberg weighs in the role consumers and developers will play in the platform wars, and also compares options for digitally organizing personal records and vital information.

Video from the Los Angeles Times:  Android Versus iPhone ---

"A Wave of Android Smartphones Outsells Apple:  Devices that run Google's Android software outsold the iPhone in the first quarter, helping make Verizon Wireless a smartphone powerhouse," Olga Kharl, Business Week, May 20, 2010 ---

This story has been updated to include a comment from Apple.

A storefront in one of the busiest shopping districts in downtown Portland, Ore., is painted black, with "Droid Does" in large letters over the doors.

Orchestrated by carrier Verizon Wireless, aggressive promotions such as this one for Motorola's (MOT) Droid smartphone, plus a blitz of direct mail, newspaper, and TV ads, and two-for-one deals on Android-powered handsets, lifted first-quarter sales of smartphones based on Google's (GOOG) Android operating system above sales of Apple's (AAPL) iPhone for the first time, market researcher NPD Group reported on May 10.

Android-powered phones accounted for 28 percent of all smartphones sold in the U.S., exceeding Apple's 21 percent share during the quarter, NPD said. Research in Motion's (RIMM) BlackBerry models led the category with a 36 percent share.

Leapfrogging Apple is an important milestone—and not just for Android, an open-source software developed by a consortium of companies led by Google. NPD's report also shows how quickly Verizon Wireless has become a central player in the fast-growing market for the pocket computers known as smartphones. In the first quarter, Verizon customers bought 30 percent of all smartphones sold in the U.S., nearly equaling the 32 percent share of AT&T (T), which has an exclusive contract to sell the iPhone, according to the report. AT&T also sells an Android handset from Motorola and plans to carry an upcoming Android smartphone from Dell (DELL).

Apple spokeswoman Natalie Harrison said in an e-mailed statement on May 11 that NPD's report is "very limited" and based on 150,000 U.S. consumers responding to an online survey. The survey "does not account for the more than 85 million iPhone and iPod touch customers worldwide," she said. The "iPhone has 16.1 percent of the smartphone market and growing, far outselling Android on a worldwide basis," Harrison said, citing data from market researcher IDC.

Verizon no longer seen as desperate

Until recently, Verizon was an also-ran in the smartphone market. It carried the BlackBerry, but didn't have a breakthrough consumer-oriented smartphone to compete with the iPhone. Analysts were calling for Verizon to strike a deal with Apple to distribute the iPhone. Last December, Verizon said it had effected network upgrades that would enable its network to handle extra traffic should Apple decide to expand the number of carriers authorized to sell iPhones.

What causes asset price bubbles?

"Asset-Price Bubbles," by Richard Posner, Becker-Posner Blog, May 16, 2010 ---

"Social Interactions and Bubbles," by Nobel Laureate Gary Becker, Becker-Posner Blog, May 16, 2010 ---

Comparisons of Leading Plagiarism Detection Services

May 13, 2010 message from JustFit Studio [admin@justfitstudio.com

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Human Subject Research Controversies

"Academe Hath No Fury Like a Fellow Professor Deceived," by Paul Basken, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 8, 2010 ---

University professors plying their trade have been known at times to lie to store managers, restaurant owners, and even the worldwide readership of Wikipedia.

A couple of them have now risked fibbing to a potentially far more problematic lot: thousands of their fellow professors.

The researchers, Katherine L. Milkman of the University of Pennsylvania and Modupe N. Akinola of Columbia University, wanted to find out if people are more likely to act admirably when given more time to do so. And so they sent fake e-mail messages to 6,300 professors nationwide, pretending to be a graduate student seeking a few minutes of the professors' time.

Ms. Milkman and Ms. Akinola may now have their answer, though perhaps not in the way they intended.

The study "belongs in the trash heap of ill-advised research projects," Andrew E. Gelman, a professor of statistics and political science at Columbia, fired back to Ms. Milkman and Ms. Akinola after they revealed how and why they had deceived him. He posted his response on his blog, Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.

Philip H. Daileader, an associate professor of history at the College of William and Mary, wrote back to the two researchers: "Involving colleagues, or any human beings, in a study without their knowledge and their prior consent is unethical."

Compensation and Apologies

The basic tactic employed by Ms. Milkman, an assistant professor of operations and information management, and Ms. Akinola, an assistant professor of management, is hardly without precedent.

Researchers routinely devise tests in which they or others adopt the guise of job applicants, home buyers, store customers, and many other false personae to test theories about such human behaviors as fraud, racism, and greed.

And some of their targets have protested in the past. One of the most infamous cases, cited by Mr. Gelman in his response to Ms. Milkman and Ms. Akinola, is that of Francis J. Flynn, another Columbia researcher, who wrote to about 240 New York restaurants in 2001 claiming to have contracted food poisoning. Mr. Flynn, now at Stanford University, said he wanted to study how the restaurant owners handled complaints, and ended up being sued by 10 of them.

Nobody is talking about suing Ms. Milkman and Ms. Akinola, and Mr. Gelman readily acknowledges this is a far less serious matter than the one involving Mr. Flynn. But at least a few of the 6,300 professors are complaining loudly and looking for some kind of compensation or response.

Mr. Gelman estimates he is owed $10 for his lost time. Mr. Daileader wants the researchers to know the damage they've done to the atmosphere of trust at universities. Corrine McCarthy, an assistant professor of English at George Mason University, feels she's owed some kind of apology for being falsely led to believe that a student was actually interested in the linguistics studies of a junior researcher like herself.

The professors contacted by Ms. Milkman and Ms. Akinola were divided into two groups, with some told by their fictional graduate student that he or she wanted a 10-minute meeting that same day, and others asked by the fake student for a meeting in a week.

Ms. McCarthy, among those asked by her bogus e-mail sender for an immediate meeting, wrote back saying she would be available during her regular office hours from 10 to 11 a.m. that day. The researchers sent out immediate cancellation messages to those who accepted, explaining what they did and why, but Ms. McCarthy didn't find that follow-up e-mail message until after sitting in anticipation the full hour.

Ms. Milkman and Ms. Akinola said in their cancellation messages that they hoped to test previous research showing that people "tend to favor doing things they viscerally want to do over what they believe they should do when making decisions for now, while they are more likely to do what they believe they should when making decisions for later." They also varied the names and genders of their fabricated students, testing what those differences might cause in response rates.

Human-Subject Approvals

Neither Ms. Milkman nor Ms. Akinola responded to requests from The Chronicle for comment. In their follow-up messages to the deceived professors, they said the experiment was approved by the institutional review boards at both Penn and Columbia, and that those boards were prepared to answer any questions about their "rights as a research subject."

The decision to use deceit in a research experiment is a "really sensitive" matter, said Devah I. Pager, an associate professor of sociology at Princeton University who has used the technique in her exploration of racial discrimination throughout society.

Ms. Pager said she couldn't assess the propriety of the Milkman-Akinola experiment, but she said she placed strong emphasis on ensuring trust between faculty members and students. "It's not the same as the type of trust between an employer and its employees or its customers," she said.

Others, both critical and supportive of the Milkman-Akinola experiment, also suggested at least the possibility of allowing differences between deceiving professors and deceiving most other members of society.

Sandra M. Sanford, director of the Office of Research Subject Protections at George Mason, said she disagreed with a suggestion by Ms. McCarthy that Ms. Milkman and Ms. Akinola should have obtained prior consent from the institutional review board at every university where they contacted a professor. "It's not possible" to get permission from hundreds of universities, for the sake of perhaps only a handful of professors at each institution, Ms. Sanford said.

Ms. Sanford said her review panel, however, would have expected Ms. Milkman and Ms. Akinola to seek its permission if it appeared they were specifically interested in George Mason professors. In an earlier unrelated case, she said, the George Mason review panel saw no need for its researchers to gain the approval of stores when the researchers proposed sending purported job applicants into the stores testing whether their success was affected by wearing clothes of particular cultural or religious affiliations.

One key factor in the panel's approval in that case, Ms. Sanford said, is that the study did not pursue a single store or chain of stores. The board also regarded the store managers collectively as a single entity at each store, she said, rather than individuals deserving any human-subject protection. She said she believed the university professors contacted for the Milkman-Akinola study, by contrast, should have been regarded as individuals.

Differences and Regrets

T. Mills Kelly, an associate professor of history at George Mason with his own controversial teaching practices, said Ms. Sanford's review panel probably would not have approved the Milkman-Akinola request if it came from George Mason professors, saying the board "is really touchy about anything like that."

Mr. Kelly has gained attention for experiments such as having his class post to Wikipedia the fictional tale of a pirate who stalked the Chesapeake Bay in the 1870s, to help the students gain a skeptical attitude toward the reliability of historical accounts. Mr. Kelly never sought review-board permission for that exercise, feeling it didn't technically involve human subjects. The Milkman-Akinola method differed in that they sent their lie directly to a few thousand professors, he said, rather than let an unknown number of people find it on the Internet.

"There's a difference," Mr. Kelly said, "between push and pull."

Continued in article

Human Subject Research Review Boards on Campus

A professor who prefers to remain anonymous asked what I thought about blogs being subjected to campus human subject research review boards. Typically on most college campuses these days, a professor, doctoral student, or staff member on campus who is proposing an experiment or otherwise having direct contact with human subjects in a research study must have the proposal cleared by a board concerning itself with the safety and well-being of the research participants.

These boards are concerned with use of human subjects in research experiments where the subjects are usually, but not always, students. Non-students might include simulation experiments using parents of autistic children or autistic children themselves. Experiments entail direct involvement with human subjects, whereas blog involvements are not so direct and manipulative.

I've never heard of a blog being subjected to a human subjects research review board. Blogs generally report research rather than conduct research. If the blog leader also conducts research on human subjects then that is quite another matter. You would only have to be concerned with a review if you conduct research using human subjects. And you would only have to be concerned if your college was somehow involved such as when you use students at the college or when you conduct the research on campus using other human subjects. If you had a summer grant to conduct some research at an off-campus research center you do not have to involve your campus review board even if you are on the faculty of the college --- in my opinion. There is a gray zone that might arise in this instance.

Human subjects research review boards are generally not something to be feared by ethical researchers. The first concern is that that research might harm the subjects in some way such as when Stanford University psychologist Phil Zimbardo conducted the infamous prison guard experiments that ran amuck and allegedly damaged student participants in the experiments.

If the Yale’s Milgram experiments had not already done so, Phil's experiments triggered creation of human subject research review boards in colleges across the world. I spent a year with Phil in a think tank called the Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Sciences (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Center_for_Advanced_Study_in_the_Behavioral_Sciences ) high on a hill beside Stanford's campus. That was less than a year before Phil commenced the prisoner guard experiments. Phil never anticipated the extreme experimental behavior that emerged ---

I never anticipated harm to subjects when Phil discussed his proposed experiments in advance with me. Phil actually is a very clever and ethical researcher. Perhaps a review board might’ve anticipated danger in the Stanford Prison Guard Experiments, but frankly I doubt it. The behavior of the guards in simulated settings shocked everybody!

A blog might actually harm people or organizations just like some of you on the AECM think at the moment that I am harming Ernst & Young with my comments about Repo 105 accounting, but that does not fall under the category of "human subject research." It would only be human subject research if I created an experiment, such as an accounting simulation experiment, using human subjects such as E&Y employees or my campus students.

If members of the academy had to get permission to be critical of events outside their own controlled experiments then Big Brother in Orwell's 1984 will have finally arrived on campus. Big Brother is not here yet. Libel laws are huge problems in the United Kingdom, but in the United States we're very tolerant of academic criticism that is not deemed by the court as becoming too personal and defamatory.

In any case, U.S. colleges have not yet set up criticism review boards. They only have human subject review boards and possibly lab safety review boards to prevent chemists from blowing up buildings. The academy would sink to an all-time low if we had to get permission just to be critical of research and writing.

A gray zone that I won’t get into is religious or ethnic criticism. Some types of critical research of a religious or ethnic group might endanger the campus itself such as criticism of a particular drug gang by name or defense of the author of some now-famous Danish cartoons. I really don’t know how colleges are dealing with writings that might harm the college itself. I don’t think this falls under the jurisdiction of the human subject research review boards. It probably must be dealt with by the Office of the President on campus.

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies are at


Benford's Law: How a mathematical phenomenon can help CPAs uncover fraud and other irregularities

Benford's Law:  It's interesting to read the "Silly" comments that follow the article.
"Benford's Law And A Theory of Everything:  A new relationship between Benford's Law and the statistics of fundamental physics may hint at a deeper theory of everything," MIT's Technology Review. May 7, 2010 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/arxiv/25155/?nlid=2963

In 1938, the physicist Frank Benford made an extraordinary discovery about numbers. He found that in many lists of numbers drawn from real data, the leading digit is far more likely to be a 1 than a 9. In fact, the distribution of first digits follows a logarithmic law. So the first digit is likely to be 1 about 30 per cent of time while the number 9 appears only five per cent of the time.

That's an unsettling and counterintuitive discovery. Why aren't numbers evenly distributed in such lists? One answer is that if numbers have this type of distribution then it must be scale invariant. So switching a data set measured in inches to one measured in centimetres should not change the distribution. If that's the case, then the only form such a distribution can take is logarithmic.

But while this is a powerful argument, it does nothing to explan the existence of the distribution in the first place.

Then there is the fact that Benford Law seems to apply only to certain types of data. Physicists have found that it crops up in an amazing variety of data sets. Here are just a few: the areas of lakes, the lengths of rivers, the physical constants, stock market indices, file sizes in a personal computer and so on.

However, there are many data sets that do not follow Benford's law, such as lottery and telephone numbers.

What's the difference between these data sets that makes Benford's law apply or not? It's hard to escape the feeling that something deeper must be going on.

Today, Lijing Shao and Bo-Qiang Ma at Peking University in China provide a new insight into the nature of Benford's law. They examine how Benford's law applies to three kinds of statistical distributions widely used in physics.

These are: the Boltzmann-Gibbs distribution which is a probability measure used to describe the distribution of the states of a system; the Fermi-Dirac distribution which is a measure of the energies of single particles that obey the Pauli exclusion principle (ie fermions); and finally the Bose-Einstein distribution, a measure of the energies of single particles that do not obey the Pauli exclusion principle (ie bosons).

Lijing and Bo-Qiang say that the Boltzmann-Gibbs and Fermi-Dirac distributions distributions both fluctuate in a periodic manner around the Benford distribution with respect to the temperature of the system. The Bose Einstein distribution, on the other hand, conforms to benford's Law exactly whatever the temperature is.

What to make of this discovery? Lijing and Bo-Qiang say that logarithmic distributions are a general feature of statistical physics and so "might be a more fundamental principle behind the complexity of the nature".

That's an intriguing idea. Could it be that Benford's law hints at some kind underlying theory that governs the nature of many physical systems? Perhaps.

But what then of data sets that do not conform to Benford's law? Any decent explanation will need to explain why some data sets follow the law and others don't and it seems that Lijing and Bo-Qiang are as far as ever from this.

It's interesting to read the "Silly" comments that follow the article.

"I've Got Your Numbe:  How a mathematical phenomenon can help CPAs uncover fraud and other irregularities," by Mark J. Nigrini, Journal of Accountancy, May 1999 --- http://www.journalofaccountancy.com/Issues/1999/May/nigrini.htm


BENFORD'S LAW PROVIDES A DATA analysis method that can help alert CPAs to possible errors, potential fraud, manipulative biases, costly processing inefficiencies or other irregularities.

A PHYSICIST AT GE RESEARCH LABORATORIES in the 1920s, Frank Benford found that numbers with low first digits occurred more frequently in the world and calculated the expected frequencies of the digits in tabulated data.

CPAs CAN USE BENFORD'S DISCOVERY in business applications ranging from accounts payable to Y2K problems. In addition, subset tests identify small lists of serious anomalies in large data sets, making an analysis more manageable.

DIGITAL ANALYSIS IS WELL SUITED to finding errors and irregularities in large data sets when auditors need computer assisted technologies to direct their attention to anomalies.

MARK J. NIGRINI, CA (SA), PhD, MBA, is an assistant professor at the Edwin L. Cox School of Business, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, and a Research Fellow at the Ernst & Young Center for Auditing Research and Advanced Technology, University of Kansas, Lawrence.


May 11, 2010 reply from J. S. Gangolly [gangolly@CSC.ALBANY.EDU]


I do not think there is anything new in this. Benford's law has been around since the 30s, and power laws have been around much longer; Benford's law is just a special case of power law.

Scale invariance property of power laws also has been a fundamental concept in most sciences including physics, biology, linguistics, psychology, economics, among others.

The most interesting work I have seen of scale invariance is the work on fractals by Benoit Mandelbrot. (He was the thesis advisor of Fama). An application in the finance area is called FAMA (Fractal Adaptive Moving Averages). See for example: http://systems4trading.com/formula,683,metastock,moving-average---fractal-adaptive-(fama).html 

PBS had a fascinating program called "Hunting the hidden dimension. See:

Jagdish S. Gangolly,
Associate Professor
Director, PhD Program in Information Science, Department of Informatics, College of Computing & Information 7A Harriman Campus Road, Suite 220 State University of New York at Albany, Albany, NY 12206. Phone: (518) 956-8251, Fax: (518) 956-8247


Bob Jensen's threads on accounting theory are at

"Pulse Smartpen by Livescribe," Rick Lillie's Thinking Outside the Box Blog,  May 9, 2010 ---

While attending a recent accounting education conference, I played with Pulse Smartpen by LivescribeThe Pulse Smartpen records and links audio to what you write.  It provides an interesting way to take notes and capture information that can be played back later for review, study, and/or sharing with others.

I was curious about ways the Pulse Smartpen might be used to create course materials and share them with students.  Livescribe’s website includes a variety of illustrative recordings.  Click this link to view a demo lecture entitled “Crossing the Chasm.”  The demo shows how to use the Pulse Smartpen to record and share a lecture that includes drawing a picture or diagram and supporting the drawing with audio.  [NOTE:  In order to make the viewing screen easier to see, you may wish to click the icon in the upper right-corner of the playback screen to enlarge the viewing screen.]

I see how the Pulse Smartpen can capture a drawing and audio explaining the drawing.  This could be particularly useful for creating a walk-through explanation of a problem or process.  Note that you need to draw the picture from scratch as you put together a walk-through explanation.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on tricks and tools of the trade ---

"Truth Is at Hand How Gesture Adds Information During Investigative Interviews," by Sara C. Broaders and Susan Goldin-Meadow, Psychological Science, May 2010 ---

The accuracy of information obtained in forensic interviews is critically important to credibility in the legal system. Research has shown that the way interviewers frame questions influences the accuracy of witnesses’ reports. A separate body of research has shown that speakers gesture spontaneously when they talk and that these gestures can convey information not found anywhere in the speakers’ words. In our study, which joins these two literatures, we interviewed children about an event that they had witnessed. Our results demonstrate that (a) interviewers’ gestures serve as a source of information (and, at times, misinformation) that can lead witnesses to report incorrect details, and (b) the gestures witnesses spontaneously produce during interviews convey substantive information that is often not conveyed anywhere in their speech, and thus would not appear in written transcripts of the proceedings. These findings underscore the need to attend to, and document, gestures produced in investigative interviews, particularly interviews conducted with children.

Continued in article

Has the art and science of reading faces ever been part of an auditing curriculum?
Have there been any accountics studies of Ekman's theories as applied to auditing behavioral experiments?
(I can imagine that some accounting doctoral students have not experimented along these lines?)

Paul Ekman video on how to read faces and detect lying --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IA8nYZg4VnI
This video runs for nearly one hour

Paul Ekman --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Ekman

Ekman's work on facial expressions had its starting point in the work of psychologist Silvan Tomkins.[Ekman showed that contrary to the belief of some anthropologists including Margaret Mead, facial expressions of emotion are not culturally determined, but universal across human cultures and thus biological in origin. Expressions he found to be universal included those indicating anger, disgust, fear, joy, sadness, and surprise. Findings on contempt are less clear, though there is at least some preliminary evidence that this emotion and its expression are universally recognized.]

In a research project along with Dr. Maureen O'Sullivan, called the Wizards Project (previously named the Diogenes Project), Ekman reported on facial "microexpressions" which could be used to assist in lie detection. After testing a total of 15,000 [EDIT: This value conflicts with the 20,000 figure given in the article on Microexpressions] people from all walks of life, he found only 50 people that had the ability to spot deception without any formal training. These naturals are also known as "Truth Wizards", or wizards of deception detection from demeanor.

He developed the Facial Action Coding System (FACS) to taxonomize every conceivable human facial expression. Ekman conducted and published research on a wide variety of topics in the general area of non-verbal behavior. His work on lying, for example, was not limited to the face, but also to observation of the rest of the body.

In his profession he also uses verbal signs of lying. When interviewed about the Monica Lewinsky scandal, he mentioned that he could detect that former President Bill Clinton was lying because he used distancing language.

Ekman has contributed much to the study of social aspects of lying, why we lie, and why we are often unconcerned with detecting lies. He is currently on the Editorial Board of Greater Good magazine, published by the Greater Good Science Center of the University of California, Berkeley. His contributions include the interpretation of scientific research into the roots of compassion, altruism, and peaceful human relationships. Ekman is also working with Computer Vision researcher Dimitris Metaxas on designing a visual lie-detector.

"The New Face of Emoticons:  Warping photos could help text-based communications become more expressive," by Duncan Graham-Rowe,  MIT's Technology Review, March 27, 2007 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/Infotech/18438/

Bob Jensen's threads on visualization
Visualization of Multivariate Data (including faces) --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/352wpvisual/000datavisualization.htm 

Immigration Law News --- http://www.canadausvisas.com/

Bob Jensen's threads on accounting news, blogs, tweets, and social/professional networking in general ---

"Methodology Change for Ph.D. Rankings," by Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, May 10, 2010 ---

The National Research Council -- responding to criticism it received in the internal peer review of its forthcoming doctoral program rankings -- is changing the methodology in a few key places for the long-awaited project.

The changes -- which are not yet final -- are likely to divide the main ranking of each program into two separate rankings -- one based on explicit faculty determinations of which criteria matter in given disciplines, and one based on implicit criteria. Further, the council is likely to release ranges of ratings for a 90 percent "confidence level," not the confidence level target of 50 percent that was in the methodology released last year.

The use of confidence levels means that instead of saying that a given program is the second or eighth or 20th best, the council will instead say that a given program is in a certain range. By raising the confidence level to 90 percent, instead of saying that there is a 50 percent chance that a program is between 20th and 26th, the council will say (to use that hypothetical) that there is a 90 percent chance that a program is between the 15th and 35th best in the nation -- resulting in much broader ranges for the rankings.

The additional changes in methodology -- which was theoretically released in final form in July -- suggest that further delays are likely for the rankings. NRC officials have for about a year now stopped answering questions about the timing of the release, although the ratings are still expected in 2010.

Many graduate program directors and deans are increasingly frustrated by the timing of the project. Data collection for the project (whatever methodology changes are used) started in 2006, with an original schedule for releasing the rankings in 2007. Many programs note that the departure or arrival of a few faculty members who are skilled at landing grants means that some programs may have changed significantly in the years that passed. Further, with many universities looking at trimming graduate programs, some of those who run stellar but threatened programs have been hoping that the NRC rankings would bolster their defenses.

The NRC has not formally announced that it is changing the methodology. But Jeremiah P. Ostriker, chair of the committee overseeing the project and a professor of astronomy at Princeton University, described for Inside Higher Ed the changes that he said are "likely" but not yet certain.

On the question of the ranges to be reported, Ostriker said that the committee has long wanted to avoid the "spurious precision problem" of previous rankings in implying certainty that a given program is a precise number in relation to all others. Given the way programs change constantly, imperfections in information and averages, and a range of other factors, Ostriker said the rankings will be "more accurate" for being presented as a range, and not as a single figure. He noted that "commercial" ranking efforts tend to give a single number, "but that's no excuse for us making the error."

While the idea of giving ranges was part of the methodology released last year, he said that the peer review comments for the rankings (and outside comments) have led him and other committee members to question the idea of giving a range that provides only a 50 percent confidence level, meaning there is also a 50 percent chance that the program is somewhere outside of that range. Peer reviewers found it "confusing" to offer that low a confidence level, so the idea is to increase it to 90 percent, which will have the effect of expanding the range of possibilities.

Ostriker acknowledged that this change will make it more difficult for people to pinpoint exactly where a program stands. But he said that's because it is impossible to do so in any accurate way. "We wanted more honesty and more data and we wanted to be honest about the true uncertainties in rankings," he said. "We hope it doesn't make people unhappy, but if that does make people unhappy, they will need to get used to it."

Bob Jensen's threads on ranking controversies are at

Bob Jensen's threads on vegetable ranking controversies are at

US News Rankings of Universities and Colleges --- http://www.usnews.com/rankings

Best Business Schools According to Business Week Magazine ---http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/toc/08_47/B4109best_business_schools.htm
This includes a history link on the rankings over the years.

"Best Business Programs by Specialty:  College business students rated their schools on a dozen disciplines, from ethics to sustainability. The top programs include some surprises," Business Week, May 6, 2010 ---

Irish eyes are smiling on Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business (Mendoza Undergraduate Business Profile). Not only is Mendoza home to the top-ranked undergraduate business program in the nation and the most satisfied students; it's also the most decorated school in Bloomberg Businessweek's annual ranking of the Best Undergraduate Business Programs by Specialty.

As part of Bloomberg Businessweek's annual ranking of the top undergraduate business programs, senior business students from the 139 participating schools were asked to assign letter grades—from A to F—to their business programs in 12 specialty areas: quantitative methods, operations management, ethics, sustainability, calculus, microeconomics, macroeconomics, accounting, financial management, marketing management, business law, and corporate strategy. Based on those grades, scores were calculated for each of the ranked schools in each area.

Not surprisingly, the top-ranked schools in the overall ranking, published in March, have the most top-10 specialty rankings, as well. Notre Dame leads the way, appearing on eight top-10 lists, followed by Cornell University (Cornell Undergraduate Business Profile) and Babson College (Babson Undergraduate Business Profile)—Nos.5 and 15 in the overall ranking, respectively—with six top-10 specialty ranks apiece.Emory University's Goizueta School of Business (Goizueta Undergraduate Business Profile), the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School (Wharton Undergraduate Business Profile), and the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (Kenan-Flagler Undergraduate Business Profile) each ranked near the top of five specialty lists.

Racking Up Top Awards

Among them, the top three programs in the overall ranking took eight of the No. 1 specialty ranks. No. 1 Notre Dame is tops in accounting and ethics, No. 2 University of Virginia McIntire School of Commerce (McIntire Undergraduate Business Profile) takes the top spot in both macroeconomics and business law, and No.3 Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management (Sloan Undergraduate Business Profile) is best in quantitative methods, operations management, calculus, and marketing. "Sloan requires a great deal of its students," says an MIT senior business student responding to the Bloomberg Businessweek survey. "It's exceedingly challenging, but that's a good thing."

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on ranking controversies are at

"5 Year Jail Sentence for Former Louisville Dean," Inside Higher Ed, May 18, 2010 ---

Robert Felner, a former dean of education at the University of Louisville, was sentenced Monday to 63 months in prison for defrauding the university and the University of Rhode Island, where he had worked previously, of $2.3 million and for tax evasion, The Louisville Courier-Journal reported. In a plea agreement in January, Felner pleaded guilty to nine federal charges. Many professors complained that the university for years ignored complaints over Felner, who was highly successful at attracting grants and attention to the education school before the investigations of his conduct started.

Bob Jensen's fraud updates are at

"Silencing the Whistleblowers:  Financial reform won’t prevent another bubble if banks bulldoze their internal warning systems," by Michael W. Hudson, The Big Money (Slate), May 9, 2010 --- http://www.thebigmoney.com/articles/judgments/2010/05/07/silencing-whistleblowers

In early 2006, Darcy Parmer began to worry about her job. She was a mortgage fraud investigator at Wells Fargo Bank. Her managers weren’t happy with her. It wasn’t that she wasn’t doing a good job of sniffing out questionable loans in the bank’s massive home-loan program. The problem, she said, was that she was doing too good a job.

The bank’s executives and mortgage salesmen didn’t like it, Parmer later claimed in a lawsuit, when she tried to block loans that she suspected were underpinned by paperwork that exaggerated borrowers’ incomes and inflated their home values. One manager, she said, accused her of launching “witch hunts” against the bank’s loan officers.

One of the skirmishes involved a borrower she later referred to in court papers as “Ms. A.” An IRS document showed Ms. A earned $5,030 a month. But Wells Fargo’s sales staff had won approval for Ms. A’s loan by claiming she made more than twice that—$11,830 a month. When Parmer questioned the deal, she said, a supervisor ordered her to close the investigation, complaining, “This is what you do every time.”

Amid the frenzy of the nation’s mortgage boom, the back-of-the-hand treatment that Parmer describes wasn’t out of the ordinary. Parmer was one of a small band of in-house gumshoes at various financial institutions who uncovered evidence of corruption in the mortgage business—including made-up addresses, pyramid schemes, and organized criminal rings—and tried to warn their employers that this wave of fraud threatened consumers as well as the stability of the financial system. Instead of heeding their warnings, they say, company officials ignored them, harassed them, demoted them, or fired them.

In interviews and in court records, 10 former fraud investigators at seven of the nation’s biggest banks and lenders—including Wells Fargo (WFC), IndyMac Bank, and Countrywide Financial—describe corporate cultures that allowed fraud to thrive in the pursuit of loan volume and market share. Mortgage salesmen stuck homeowners into loans they couldn’t afford by exaggerating borrowers’ assets and, in some cases, forging their signatures on disclosure documents. In other instances, banks opened their vaults to professional fraudsters who arranged millions of dollars in loans using “straw buyers,” bogus identities, or, in a few instances, dead people’s names and Social Security numbers.

Corporate managers looked the other way as these practices flourished, the investigators say, because they didn’t want to crimp loan sales. The investigators discovered that they’d been hired not so much to find fraud but rather to provide window dressing—the illusion that lenders were vetting borrowers before they booked loans and sold them to Wall Street investors. “You’re like a dog on a leash. You’re allowed to go as far as a company allows you to go,” recalled Kelly Dragna, who worked as a fraud investigator at Ameriquest Mortgage Co., the largest subprime lender during the home-loan boom. “At Ameriquest, we were on pretty short leash. We were there for show. We were there to show people that they had a lot of investigators on staff.”

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on the subprime sleaze --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/2008Bailout.htm#Sleaze

Bob Jensen's threads on how whistle blowing is not rewarded --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudConclusion.htm#WhistleBlowing

Paula sent the following with respect to personal information in the Spokeo database

Go to www.spokeo.com  & type in your name. Wait until you see the info on YOU! It's shocking that ANYONE can access the info (However, to obtain your credit score, income, etc the "searcher" must pay a fee – and these websites have been around for a long time, they’re nothing new!)


1st:  copy the URL (the website address where your information is found),

2nd: go to the spokeo.com home page, scroll down to the bottom, and click on “Privacy,” then follow the instructions.

This is TRUE!  See:


May 10, 2010 reply from Fordham, David [fordhadr@JMU.EDU]

Bob, it's also inaccurate enough to be downright laughable. It's low accuracy, not only with me and you, but of several members of my family and several friends I checked, makes this a non-serious site, one of limited use to anyone, including those with nefarious intent.

Although I've lived in the Shenandoah Valley for almost 20 years, it has a lot of inaccurate information on me at three of my former addresses, including my childhood home where it says I'm currently in my mid-80's, recently graduated high school, have no children, work as a gardener, own the home, and am a Capricorn!

In another entry, it has my father listed as two of my children. It has me at the address of a vacation rental we stayed at for four days back in the 1980's. It has my wife living at the address of her old high school. Our address in Tallahassee doesn't include me or my wife, but lists my oldest son (5 at the time) as being in his 70's, owning the home, occupation as a professional, and the only other member of the family is was Faraday, which was our cat.

I certainly wouldn't bother taking the time to remove my information from this site... it's going to die a nice natural death shortly, IMHO.

David Fordham


Jensen Comment
I found links to three Robert Jensen people in New Hampshire, but none of them are related to me.
Fortunately I seem to have fallen through the cracks.

From the Scout Report on May 7, 2010

.LibraryThing --- http://www.librarything.com/ 

Books are meant to be shared, so why not share your personal favorites with others around the world? LibraryThing makes it easy to do just this, and visitors can catalog their books online here after creating a profile. After entering their books, visitors can offer their own sage wisdom on each title, and cross-reference their thoughts with others on the network who have read similar titles. Visitors can take a virtual tour before signing up, and there's also a series of discussion boards. Users can catalog their first 100 books at no charge, and LibraryThing is compatible across all platforms, including Linux.

WinZip 14.5 --- http://www.winzip.com/index.htm 

The WinZip Computing organization recently released the latest iteration of their utility program, and it has some noteworthy additions. This version is aimed specifically at establishing complete Windows 7 compliance, and it also adds previews for certain file types. Additionally, the automatic wiping feature assures that the temporary file created by WinZip will be "shredded" after the unzipping process is completed. This version is free to try for 45 days, and it is compatible with computers running Windows 2000, XP, Vista and 7.

The United-Continental airline merge raises questions and concerns for a range of travelers In United-Continental Deal, Birth of a Behemoth [Free registration may be required] http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/04/business/04air.html?src=me

 How the Continental-United merger will affect business travelers

 Workers, passengers wary over airline merger http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/business/6986823.html

 The World's Airlines. Past, Present & Future http://www.airlinehistory.co.uk/

 Airline Meals --- http://www.airlinemeals.net/index.php


Flagrant Foul:  Call for a Forensic Accountant:  Could it be a double dribble?
"Minority Owner Sues Cuban, Calls Mavericks ‘Insolvent’," by Richard Sandimir, The New York Times, May 11, 2010 ---

Mark Cuban’s financial management of the Dallas Mavericks was described as reckless in a lawsuit filed Monday in Texas by a minority investor in the team who accused Cuban of amassing net losses of $273 million and debt of more than $200 million.

Ross Perot Jr., who sold Cuban control of the team in 2000 but retained a small stake, said in the state court filing that the team was essentially insolvent and lacked the revenue to pay its debts.

Perot is seeking damages, the naming of a receiver to take over the team and the appointment of a forensic accountant to investigate its finances. Perot said that Cuban’s actions had diminished the value of his investment in the team and violated his and other minority owners’ rights.

In an e-mail message to The Dallas Morning News, Cuban said: “There is no risk of insolvency. Everyone always has been and will be paid on time.” He added that “being in business with Ross Perot is one of the worst experiences of my business life.”

“He could care less about Mavs fans,” Cuban continued. “He could care less about winning.”

The lawsuit partly opened the Mavericks’ books, showing some results and projections. Perot said the team generated a net loss of more than $50 million in the year ended June 2009 and a net cash flow deficit of $176 million since 2001. Looking ahead, Perot said that internal projections showed additional losses of $92 million through 2013 and debt rising to $281 million.

Marc Ganis, a sports industry consultant, said that Perot “seems to want to be bought out at a premium, wants to restrict Cuban’s ability to spend money on players, or it’s personal.”

The N.B.A. does not seem to be worried by Perot’s accusations.

Adam Silver, the deputy commissioner of the N.B.A., said the league had “absolutely no concern” about Cuban’s financial situation. In an e-mail message, he said, “We are in the process of addressing our teams’ ongoing losses through the collective bargaining process with our players.”

Cuban acquired the Mavericks for $285 million from Perot in the 1999-2000 season and turned it into a winning franchise that has made the playoffs every year since 2001. The lawsuit said Cuban owned 76 percent of the team.

He has become one of the most famous and boisterous owners in sports, sitting courtside at home games and criticizing officials, which has accounted for much of his nearly $2 million in league fines.

Bob Jensen's fraud updates are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm

Free online textbooks, cases, and tutorials in accounting, finance, economics, and statistics --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm#Textbooks

Education Tutorials

Online Conference: Problem Solving with Smithsonian Experts --- http://www.smithsonianconference.org/expert/

Smithsonian: Science and Technology --- http://www.si.edu/Encyclopedia_SI/Science_and_Technology/default.htm

Millennials: A Portrait of Generation Next --- http://pewresearch.org/millennials/

Greendex: Survey of Sustainable Consumption [Flash Player] --- http://www.nationalgeographic.com/greendex/index.html

Self Made Scholar --- http://selfmadescholar.com/b/2009/04/14/where-to-find-free-literature-and-literature-summaries/

Bob Jensen's threads on general education tutorials are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#EducationResearch

Engineering, Science, and Medicine Tutorials

Science Education and Research Portal --- http://www.amser.org/
Includes the AMSER Science Reader Monthly

Online Conference: Problem Solving with Smithsonian Experts --- http://www.smithsonianconference.org/expert/

Smithsonian: Science and Technology --- http://www.si.edu/Encyclopedia_SI/Science_and_Technology/default.htm

OzCoasts (coastal erosion, habitat, and estuaries) http://www.ozcoasts.org.au/

The Waterlines Project (Seattle shoreline and development videos) --- http://www.washington.edu/burkemuseum/waterlines/

Water’s Journey Everglades Currents of Change --- http://theevergladesstory.org/

Waterlife --- http://waterlife.nfb.ca/

Freshwater Ecoregions of the World --- http://www.feow.org/ 

The Museum of Underwater Archaeology --- http://www.uri.edu/mua/ 

Greendex: Survey of Sustainable Consumption [Flash Player] --- http://www.nationalgeographic.com/greendex/index.html

WSU Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center --- http://www.tfrec.wsu.edu/ 

350.org [Flash Player, air pollution, carbon dioxide] --- http://www.350.org/

Bob Jensen's threads on free online science, engineering, and medicine tutorials are at --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Science

Social Science and Economics Tutorials

Millennials: A Portrait of Generation Next --- http://pewresearch.org/millennials/

The Wikipedia page on ethics --- http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethics 

Ethics in Science and Engineering National Clearinghouse --- http://www.ethicslibrary.org/

MIT OpenCourseWare: Ethics (updated)
Also see http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

Case Study Links --- http://www.csulb.edu/library/subj/business/case_studies.html 

Center for Study of Ethics in the Professions --- http://www.ids.ac.uk/eldis/hot/ethicsguide2.htm 

Greendex: Survey of Sustainable Consumption [Flash Player] --- http://www.nationalgeographic.com/greendex/index.html

The Avenue: The New Republic (Brookings, Urban Planning and Policy) --- http://www.tnr.com/blogs/the-avenue

350.org [Flash Player, air pollution, carbon dioxide] --- http://www.350.org/

Bob Jensen's threads on Economics, Anthropology, Social Sciences, and Philosophy tutorials are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Social

Law and Legal Studies

The Wikipedia page on ethics --- http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethics 

Ethics in Science and Engineering National Clearinghouse --- http://www.ethicslibrary.org/

MIT OpenCourseWare: Ethics (updated)
Also see http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

Case Study Links --- http://www.csulb.edu/library/subj/business/case_studies.html 

Center for Study of Ethics in the Professions --- http://www.ids.ac.uk/eldis/hot/ethicsguide2.htm 

Greendex: Survey of Sustainable Consumption [Flash Player] --- http://www.nationalgeographic.com/greendex/index.html

350.org [Flash Player, air pollution, carbon dioxide] --- http://www.350.org/

Bob Jensen's threads on law and legal studies are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Law

Math Tutorials


Impatience With Theoretical Reasoning: Math Textbooks are Equivalents of Sitcoms
Ted Video: Math Class Needs a Makeover (Dan Meyer Video) --- http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_meyer_math_curriculum_makeover.html

Video: Why Singapore Leads The World In Mathematics --- http://www.simoleonsense.com/why-singapore-leads-the-world-in-mathematics/

Bob Jensen's threads on free online mathematics tutorials are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#050421Mathematics

History Tutorials

The Cornell Daily Sun (first published at Cornell University in 1880) --- http://cdsun.library.cornell.edu/cgi-bin/newscornell 
This might be a helpful source when studying how students, campus life, culture, morals, etc. have changed over more than a century.

Online Conference: Problem Solving with Smithsonian Experts --- http://www.smithsonianconference.org/expert/

Smithsonian: Science and Technology --- http://www.si.edu/Encyclopedia_SI/Science_and_Technology/default.htm

The West Bank and East Jerusalem Archaeological Database Project --- http://www.tau.ac.il/humanities/abraham/archaeological-database.html

Philadelphia Museum of Art: Audio Tours --- http://www.philamuseum.org/collections/audiotours.html

Citizens' Council (white supremacist history) --- http://www.citizenscouncils.com/

The Museum of Underwater Archaeology --- http://www.uri.edu/mua/ 

Matisse: Radical Invention, 1913-1917 --- http://www.artic.edu/aic/collections/exhibitions/Matisse

The World's Airlines. Past, Present & Future http://www.airlinehistory.co.uk/

Bob Jensen's threads on history tutorials are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#History
Also see http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm  

Language Tutorials

Bob Jensen's links to language tutorials are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Languages

Music Tutorials


Bob Jensen's threads on free music tutorials are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#050421Music

Writing Tutorials

Visualizing Text
May 12, 2010 message from Scott Bonacker [lister@BONACKERS.COM]

No-one questions whether tax rules are hard to read or not, but in school I remember wondering if I would ever use sentence diagramming again.

Who knew?

This has a lot to do with the usefulness of http://www.tax-charts.com/  and http://www.andrewmitchel.com/html/topic.html 

A college level refresher course on the meaning of words and sentence structure might not be a bad idea .....

Scott Bonacker CPA
Springfield, MO

May 13, 2010 reply from Bob Jensen

Thanks Scott,
I added this to my threads on visualization at

This is somewhat related to concept maps.


Bob Jensen's helpers for writers are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob3.htm#Dictionaries

Updates from WebMD --- http://www.webmd.com/

May 11. 2010

May 12, 2010

May 13, 2010

May 14, 2010

May 15, 2010

May 17, 2010

May 18, 2010

May 19



NHS Videos: Media Library [Flash Player, Health] --- http://www.nhs.uk/video/pages/MediaLibrary.aspx

Ellen listens to Gladys --- http://www.boreme.com/boreme/funny-2007/ellen-gladys-hardy-p1.php?

The Stock Market Gets the Fast Finger (Jon Stewart Comedy) --- http://financeprofessorblog.blogspot.com/2010/05/jon-stewart-takes-on-perfect-storms.html

 Forwarded by The Carpers


1. My mother taught me TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE.
'If you're going to kill each other, do it outside. I 
just finished cleaning.' 

2. My mother taught me RELIGION
'You better pray that this will come out of the carpet.'

3. My mother taught me about TIME TRAVEL 
'If you don't straighten up, I'm going to knock you into the middle of next week!'

4. My mother taught me LOGIC .
' Because I said so, that's why.'

5.My mother taught me MORE LOGIC
'If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you're not going to the store with me.' 

6. My mother taught me FORESIGHT.
'Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you're in an accident.' 

7. My mother taught me IRONY.
'Keep crying, and I'll give you something to cry about.'

8. My mother taught me about the science of OSMOSIS.
'Shut your mouth and eat your supper.' 

9. My mother taught me about CONTORTIONISM
'Will you look at that dirt on the back of your neck!'

10. My mother taught me about STAMINA 
'You'll sit there until all that SOUP is gone.'

11. My mother taught me about WEATHER ..
'This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it.'

12. My mother taught me about HYPOCRISY 
'If I told you once, I've told you a million times. Don't exaggerate!'

13. My mother taught me the CIRCLE OF LIFE
'I brought you into this world, and I can take you 

14. My mother taught me about BEHAVIOUR MODIFICATION.
'Stop acting like your father!'

15. My mother taught me about ENVY.
'There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don't have wonderful parents like you do..' 

16. My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION.
'Just wait until we get home.'

17. My mother taught me about RECEIVING
'You are going to get it when you get home!'

18. My mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE.
'If you don't stop crossing your eyes, they are going
 to get stuck that way.'

19. My mother taught me ESP .
'Put your sweater on; don't you think I know when you are cold?'

20. My mother taught me HUMOUR .
'When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don't come running to me..'

21. My mother taught me HOW TO BECOME AN ADULT
'If you don't eat your vegetables, you'll never grow up.' 

22. My mother taught me GENETICS.
'You're just like your father.'

 My mother taught me about my ROOTS.
'Shut that door behind you. Do you think you were born in a tent?' 

24. My mother taught me WISDOM.
'When you get to be my age, you'll understand.'

25. And my favourite: 
My mother taught me about JUSTICE
'One day you'll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you 


Tidbits Archives --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TidbitsDirectory.htm

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 http://www.searchedu.com/

Shielding Against Validity Challenges in Plato's Cave ---

What went wrong in accounting/accountics research?  ---

The Sad State of Accountancy Doctoral Programs That Do Not Appeal to Most Accountants ---


Bob Jensen's threads on accounting theory ---

Tom Lehrer on Mathematical Models and Statistics ---

Systemic problems of accountancy (especially the vegetable nutrition paradox) that probably will never be solved ---


World Clock --- http://www.peterussell.com/Odds/WorldClock.php
Facts about the earth in real time --- http://www.worldometers.info/

Interesting Online Clock and Calendar --- http://home.tiscali.nl/annejan/swf/timeline.swf
Time by Time Zones --- http://timeticker.com/
Projected Population Growth (it's out of control) --- http://geography.about.com/od/obtainpopulationdata/a/worldpopulation.htm
         Also see http://users.rcn.com/jkimball.ma.ultranet/BiologyPages/P/Populations.html
Facts about population growth (video) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMcfrLYDm2U
Projected U.S. Population Growth --- http://www.carryingcapacity.org/projections75.html
Real time meter of the U.S. cost of the war in Iraq --- http://www.costofwar.com/ 
Enter you zip code to get Census Bureau comparisons --- http://zipskinny.com/
Sure wish there'd be a little good news today.

Free (updated) Basic Accounting Textbook --- search for Hoyle at

CPA Examination --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cpa_examination
Free CPA Examination Review Course Courtesy of Joe Hoyle --- http://cpareviewforfree.com/

Rick Lillie's education, learning, and technology blog is at http://iaed.wordpress.com/

Accounting News, Blogs, Listservs, and Social Networking ---

Bob Jensen's Threads --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/threads.htm 
Current and past editions of my newsletter called New Bookmarks --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookurl.htm
Current and past editions of my newsletter called Tidbits --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TidbitsDirectory.htm
Current and past editions of my newsletter called Fraud Updates --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm

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 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm

Some of Bob Jensen's Tutorials

Accounting program news items for colleges are posted at http://www.accountingweb.com/news/college_news.html
Sometimes the news items provide links to teaching resources for accounting educators.
Any college may post a news item.

Accountancy Discussion ListServs:

For an elaboration on the reasons you should join a ListServ (usually for free) go to   http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListServRoles.htm
AECM (Educators)  http://pacioli.loyola.edu/aecm/ 
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 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListServRoles.htm

CPAS-L (Practitioners) http://pacioli.loyola.edu/cpas-l/ 
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)  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/xyztalk
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.
AccountantsWorld  http://accountantsworld.com/forums/default.asp?scope=1 
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 BusValGroup-subscribe@topica.com 
This discussion group is headed by Randy Schostag [RSchostag@BUSVALGROUP.COM

Many useful accounting sites (scroll down) --- http://www.iasplus.com/links/links.htm


Bob Jensen's Sort-of Blogs --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/JensenBlogs.htm
Current and past editions of my newsletter called New Bookmarks --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookurl.htm
Current and past editions of my newsletter called Tidbits --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TidbitsDirectory.htm
Current and past editions of my newsletter called Fraud Updates --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm

Some Accounting History Sites

Bob Jensen's Accounting History in a Nutshell and Links --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/theory01.htm#AccountingHistory

Accounting History Libraries at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) --- http://www.olemiss.edu/depts/accountancy/libraries.html
The above libraries include international accounting history.
The above libraries include film and video historical collections.

MAAW Knowledge Portal for Management and Accounting --- http://maaw.info/

Academy of Accounting Historians and the Accounting Historians Journal ---

Sage Accounting History --- http://ach.sagepub.com/cgi/pdf_extract/11/3/269

A nice timeline on the development of U.S. standards and the evolution of thinking about the income statement versus the balance sheet is provided at:
"The Evolution of U.S. GAAP: The Political Forces Behind Professional Standards (1930-1973)," by Stephen A. Zeff, CPA Journal, January 2005 --- http://www.nysscpa.org/cpajournal/2005/105/infocus/p18.htm
Part II covering years 1974-2003 published in February 2005 --- http://www.nysscpa.org/cpajournal/2005/205/index.htm 

A nice timeline of accounting history --- http://www.docstoc.com/docs/2187711/A-HISTORY-OF-ACCOUNTING

From Texas A&M University
Accounting History Outline --- http://acct.tamu.edu/giroux/history.html

Bob Jensen's timeline of derivative financial instruments and hedge accounting ---

History of Fraud in America --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/415wp/AmericanHistoryOfFraud.htm
Also see http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Fraud.htm



Professor Robert E. Jensen (Bob) http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen
190 Sunset Hill Road
Sugar Hill, NH 03586
Phone:  603-823-8482 
Email:  rjensen@trinity.edu