Better Believe It......Because They Actually Happen(ed) Collection 6

College president gives up $90K so workers can get raise

By Alan Sherter

Raymond Burse thinks low-paid workers at Kentucky State University deserve a raise, and he's personally willing to give up more than $90,000 to make sure they get one.

"It was something I was in a position to do, and it was something I wanted to do," Burse said.

Kentucky State University interim president Raymond Burse

Burse is interim president of the school, a public land-grand institution with 2,500 students in Frankfort, Kentucky. He recently returned to lead the university after having previously headed it from 1982 to 1989. One condition Burse, 63, set in coming back: "I told the board I was billing to work for less provided that what I gave up would raise employees from $7.25 an hour to $10.10."

The board approved unanimously.

As a result, Burse accepted an annual salary of just under $260,000, rather than the roughly $350,000 KSU had initially proposed. The $90,000 originally earmarked for his compensation package is instead being used to boost the pay of 24 workers, mostly maintenance and clerical workers, at the school, some of whom earned the federal minimum wage of $7.25.

Full story at CBS News (August 2014)

Visually impaired man ready for college

By Su Zhou in Beijing And Liu Kun in Wuhan

Zhang Yaodong, a blind student at Hubei University of Chinese Medicine in Wuhan, plays the erhu, a traditional Chinese instrument.

Since he was an infant, Zhang Yaodong of Gansu province has been dealing with physicians for his eye disease.

As a result, he wanted to become a physician of traditional Chinese medicine to help others like himself.

However, this has not been an easy dream to fulfill, especially for a young man who is blind in his left eye and has lost most of the sight in his right. Over the past 12 years, Zhang found it difficult to study in ordinary school; attend gaokao, the national college entrance exam; and get enrolled in an ordinary university.

In April, his family was on the verge of giving up to try a special university for blind and visually impaired students.

Finally, their hard work paid off: Zhang was enrolled by Hubei University of Chinese Medicine in Wuhan on July 27.

Full story at China Daily (August 2014)

A little gaming 'helps children': Youngsters who play on a console for an hour a day 'are better behaved'

• Games have little effect; schooling and wealth much more influential

• Occasional gamers better adjusted than those who played often or never

• Nearly 5,000 young people from different backgrounds questioned

By Paul Donnelley

Children and teenagers who play on computer games for up to an hour a day are better behaved, according to new research.

The Oxford University study suggests that the influence of games such as Nintendo Wii and Sony Playstation on children is “very small” when compared with more ‘enduring’ factors like schooling and wealth.

Researchers found that young people who indulged in a little video game-playing were associated with being better adjusted than those who had never played or those who were on video games for three hours or more.
The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, suggests that the influence of games such as Wii (above) on children, for good or for ill, is very small

The study found no positive or negative effects for young people who played ‘moderately’ between one to three hours a day.

However, the study, published in the journal Pediatrics, suggests that the influence of video games on children, for good or for ill, is very small when compared with more ‘enduring’ factors, such as whether the child is from a functioning family, their school relationships, and whether they are materially deprived.

Full story at The Daily Mail Online (August 2014)

An Academy for the Elite Stirs a Culture Clash

By Andrew Jacobs

Jingyuan Park at Peking University, where officials plan a new school offering a one-year graduate program in Chinese studies. Credit:Gilles Sabrie for The New York Times

BEIJING — With most students gone for the summer, the campus of Peking University is relatively quiet in August, save for the busloads of awe-struck adolescents on organized tours who hope to be among the 2,600 freshmen admitted each year to the Harvard of China, as it is widely known here.

But beneath the tranquillity is a brewing tempest that is pitting the administration against many of the university’s students and a number of professors over plans to establish a gleaming new school intended largely for foreigners, most of whom will be taught in English, not Mandarin.

In recent months, opponents of Yenching Academy, as it is known, have been waging a noisy campaign against the one-year, all-expense-paid graduate program in Chinese studies. Although roughly a third of the incoming class of 100 students will be Chinese nationals, the academy is being heavily marketed overseas, which appears to have intensified the outcry.

Full story at The New York Times (August 2014)