University officials finalized plans Thursday to bring two distinguished speakers to campus next semester as part of the McPherson Professorship for the Understanding of Science. Brian Greene, a professor of physics and mathematics at Columbia University, and Ira Flatow, a science correspondent for National Public Radio, will each spend a week at MSU, presenting publicly and interacting with various classes. The McPherson Professorship was set up by MSU President M.
While new technology is making a world of virtual businesses available on the Internet, some MSU students have been learning more about it through a simulation of their own.Charles Steinfields Telecommunication 891, Advanced Electronic Commerce, has constructed the Virtual Commerce Mall - a Web site with nine virtual stores created by students.Steinfield, a professor of telecommunication, said its important students understand how business and technology combine.Part of the problem that weve had with all the dot com failures is a whole lot of people started creating Web businesses without really knowing enough about what makes a good business, he said.
A slowing economy might be to blame for lower faculty salary increases, some believe.An annual survey of college faculty salaries has found that average wages in 2000-01 increased by 3.5 percent - only one-tenth of a percent more than the national rate of inflation.And the survey, released by the American Association of University Professors, showed the economic downturn may be responsible for the slowdown and the reason for tougher competition for the best faculty throughout the country.An important message to be derived from any report like this is that all of the public universities in Michigan are competing for faculty in a national marketplace, said Glenn Stevens, executive director of the Presidents Council, State Universities of Michigan, adding that retention rates have been strong on Michigan campuses - but the economy could bring that obstacle soon.One challenge is attracting the best faculty you can find, and the other side of that that same coin is the question of retaining faculty that have been on a campus for a period of time.Ernst Benjamin, director of research for the American Association of University Professors, said Michigan public universities have benefited from strong state support overall.