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Wake Forest is making news

During the second quarter of 2014, Jill Abramson delivered the Commencement speech for the Class of 2014, and the world mourned the passing of author, activist and Wake Forest’s professor of American Studies Maya Angelou. University experts were featured in national news outlets from the Los Angeles Times to The Washington Post to The Boston Globe to CNN and MSNBC. Wake Forest News (PDF) features national and local news clips, and campus highlights from this time period.

Educating the whole person means supporting well-being after graduation

College grads grade their higher education: A recent survey, developed by Gallup and Purdue University to help schools gauge their effectiveness in preparing students for long-term success, shows there is room for improvement when it comes to overall fulfillment for college grads. Other institutions, including Wake Forest, are developing their own instruments. A study of well-being “is really an outgrowth of our goals, which is that we educate the whole student,” says Penny Rue, vice president for campus life at Wake Forest. “We just want to be able to know that we’re making difference.”

Research shows breeding down among blue-footed boobies in the Galápagos

A new study published in Avian Conservation and Ecology and featured in National Geographic shows the population of blue-footed boobies in the Galápagos Islands has dropped from around 20,000 in the 1960s to 6,400 today. At the same time that breeding has declined, the number of sardines has also decreased—and past research has shown that successful booby breeding occurs when the birds’ diet is made up almost completely of sardines.

Now Wake Forest biologist Dave Anderson, the lead investigator in the study, says he and his research team see studying sardines as an important next step.

“Understanding the population dynamics and distribution of sardines in Galápagos is a logical follow-up project—essentially nothing is known at present,” Anderson told National Geographic’s Mark Miller.

If the numbers of offspring continue to drop this will create a population of birds in about ten years “that are not so old that they up and die, but are too old to breed effectively,” Anderson said. “A lot of 70-year-old humans would be an apt analogy.”

From USA Today to The New York Times Wake Forest is making news

During the first quarter of 2014, Wake Forest University experts were featured in national news outlets from CNN to The Washington Post to Yahoo! to ABC and The New York Times. Wake Forest News (PDF) features national and local news clips, and campus highlights.

Why unionizing college sports is a bad call

Why unionizing college sports is a bad call: In an op-ed appearing in the Wall Street Journal, Nathan Hatch, president of Wake Forest and chairman of the NCAA Division I board of directors and Lou Anna Simon, president of Michigan State University and chairwoman of the NCAA executive committee express concern over the move to unionize college athletics. “We oppose the effort to bring labor unions into college sports. One group of athletes is not more hardworking, more dedicated or more driven than another. Unionization will create unequal treatment not only among student-athletes competing in different sports, but, quite possibly, even among student-athletes on the same team.…To call student-athletes employees is an affront to those players who are taking full advantage of the opportunity to get an education.”

WFU business school ranks #1 in academic quality

Bloomberg Businessweek ranked Wake Forest University’s undergraduate business program first in the nation for academic quality for the sixth consecutive year and 11th overall. “The Best Undergraduate Business Schools” ranking report was released on April 4. The Wake Forest University School of Business improved significantly in student satisfaction and recruiter sentiment to drive the ranking up 7 spots from 18th overall in 2013.

“The combination of a rigorous education and hands-on internship experience prepares students to succeed in their new careers,” said Dean of Business Steve Reinemund. “We are very proud to achieve the top academic quality rank for the sixth consecutive year, and applaud our hard-working students and dedicated faculty and staff for this achievement.”

It’s tax time: Splurge when hiring an accountant

5 Times to Splurge and 5 Times to Save: In a personal finance article in US News and World Report Money, business professor Charles Lankau says you can’t afford to hire a bad accountant. “About 70 percent of American families have both spouses working, and middle-class and upper-middle class families don’t have time to do taxes properly. One big thing people waste money on is missed tax breaks that an accountant will be aware of. Accountant fees generally include audit protection as well.”

SAT success correlates with family income, grades do not

The Story Behind the SAT Overhaul: In a story for The New York Times Magazine on the SAT Overhaul, Todd Balf featured Wake Forest’s test optional policy and interviewed Joseph A. Soares, the sociology professor whose research has focused on weaknesses surrounding standardized testing. Balf writes:

Around the time the report came out — and following the publication of “The Power of Privilege,” by the Wake Forest University sociology professor Joseph A. Soares, an account of the way standardized tests contributed to discriminatory admissions policies at Yale — Wake Forest became the first highly rated institution (it regularly appears as a Top 30 university on the U.S. News & World Report college rankings) to announce a test-optional admissions policy. Follow-up studies at Wake Forest showed that the average high-school G.P.A. of incoming freshmen increased after the school stopped using standardized-test scores as a factor. Seventy-nine percent of its 2012 incoming class was in the top 10 percent of their high-school classes. Before going test-optional, that figure was in the low 60s. In addition, the school became less homogeneous. “The test highly correlates with family income,” says Soares, who also edited a book that, in part, examines the weak predictive validity of the SAT at the University of Georgia, Johns Hopkins University and Wake Forest. “High-school grades do not.” He continued, “We have a lot more social, racial and lifestyle diversity. You see it on campus. Wake Forest was a little too much like a J. Crew catalog before we went test-optional.”

SAT is no predictor of work success

Do SAT scores belong on your resume?: A recent blog post in the Wall Street Journal questions the value of employers asking applicants for their SAT scores. Joseph Soares, a sociology professor at Wake Forest University and author of “SAT Wars” is quoted in the piece. “It’s a terrible idea,” he says. “Even according to the test designers, this is supposed to predict, at best, grades in the first year of college. [The SAT] is not supposed to be a test that captures how well you’re going to do in life.”

Higher education must help grads secure employability over a lifetime

Colleges ramp up career guidance for students: In a story for USA Today on higher education and job preparation, Mary Beth Marklein writes that Wake Forest was one of the earliest adopters of a more career-focused campus. Andy Chan, vice president of Wake Forest’s Office of Personal and Career Development, explains that an upgrade in career services reflects the changing nature of the workplace. “Unlike earlier generations, young professionals today are likely to switch jobs multiple times,” he says. “It’s imperative for universities to help equip young people with the tools and the mindset of, ‘How am I going to be employable over my lifetime?’”