Archive for the ‘Campus News’ Category

Edwards coming to SJSU

May 29, 2007

John Edwards is going to be in San Jose next Thursday to meet with local supporters, and he would like to invite you join him. Space is limited, so I hope you sign up to reserve your spot right away .

Here are the details:

  • What: “Small Change for Big Change” grassroots fundraiser with John Edwards and you
  • Where: San Jose State University Student Union, Loma Pietra room One Washington Square, San Jose, CA 95192
  • When: Thursday, May 31st

5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Tickets are $15
*Cash bar*
RSVP to reserve your spot online

This is an important event, because it’s our first “Small Change for Big Change” grassroots fundraiser.

It’s very expensive to reach out to voters in early primary states and across the nation. But the trouble with the usual fundraisers is that they are only open to those ready to write huge checks—and this campaign is built on reaching out to everyone.

So John asked his campaign to organize this series of grassroots fundraisers for supporters who share our passion but may only be able to spare $100, 50, or $25 dollars. In fact, for this Thursday’s event, tickets are just $15 each.

This campaign is about working together to achieve truly transformational change for our country and our world. We’re about creating a world where to every man woman and child in America has the quality health care they need, where no child here (or anywhere) has to go to bed hungry, where the planet and its people do not have to face the ravages of global warming, and where our men and women in Iraq are swiftly brought home to a hero’s welcome.

Is this all possible? Can we create that world? Yes. But not without you.

If you’d like to join us in this great effort, John would like to meet you this Thursday and talk to you about what’s next. We really hope you’ll be able to make it.

Here’s the link again to RSVP to reserve your spot online

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Bike to work day

May 17, 2007

Cameraphone Post: It is bike to work day
Did you ride your bike to work today? I did, and it was a great day to ride. This energizer station was set up at the corner of Fourth and San Fernando on the northwest corner of SJSU. They had coffee, fruit, powerbars and cake as well as a bag and handouts for all cyclists. What a great way to start the day!

Three on a bike at SJSU

April 27, 2007

Three on a bike

Three on a bike on campus
I photographed this on my way to work. I have seen them several times and I wish I knew the story behind it.

Bob Sutor on Open Source

April 27, 2007

Bob Sutor

Sutor’s visit rocked!
Yesterday Bob Sutor, IBM’s Vice president of Standards and Open Source, visited SJSU. He spoke to a small group of Business, Engineering, Computer Science and Journalism students and faculty. He put on a great presentation, I wish my whole class could have heard it.

Sutor spoke about open source and how it differs from open standards and about the need for hardware and software manufacturers to comply with open standards to ensure interoperability. He also spoke about Web 2.0 and blogging. According to Sutor blogging, which has been in the mainstream for 4-5 years, is changing the face of journalism, business and politics. Sutor said, “everybody is a journalist.”

On the subject of open source, Sutor spoke extensively about Web Services and Apache Web Server, the free application that powers the majority of the world’s web servers. “Apache is an example of open source,” Sutor said. According to Sutor the first web services standard was published seven years before by both IBM and Microsoft on the same date as his presentation. “There is still a place for proprietary solutions,” said Sutor. But, he said, “you can build a business on open source, just ask Google.” Google’s servers run their own version of Linux according to Sutor. “Education is the biggest adopter of open source,” Sutor said. As an example for how open source applies to education and government agencies, Sutor recommended the Guide to Open Source Software for Australian Government Agencies. Sutor also spoke a lot about Moodle and other open source solutions for education.

Sutor spoke a lot about open standards and how they relate to competition and innovation. From the perspective of the provider competition may not seem good and they may work very hard to convince you of the need to go with a sole provider. But for the buyer competition is good as it drives down prices and drives the providers to innovate. But, in order for this to be possible buyers have to insist on open standards to assure interoperability, according to Sutor. It is hard for some vendors to let go of closed standards. Sutor said letting go of closed standards for them can be compared to the five stages of grief.

Sutor  spoke extensively about virtual worlds and specifically Second Life. He showed the group IBM’s SOA island in Second Life. Note – IBM SOA stands for Service Oriented Architecture. The IBM island has customer briefing rooms where employees can meet with each other and with customers in a virtual environment that eliminates the need for travel. According to Sutor there are between 36,000 to 38,000 people in Second Life at any given moment. Second Life has its own currency and its own virtual economy. They are planning to open source their server software which would enable organizations like SJSU to create our own virtual worlds, said Sutor. “This is huge,” he said.

We need to do a better job of spreading the word on events like this. I have only captured a small amount of what Sutor said. I was inspired.

Full Disclosure
My wife, Susan Graziano Sloan works for IBM in a different division than Sutor. She works on IBM’s DB2 database product and wrote a couple of books on DB2 including DB2 for z/OS.

News Media On Campus

April 17, 2007

Camera Phone Post: I have never seen anything like it
The news media is everywhere. I was interviewed by Channel seven. This is Karina Rusk, the person who interviewed me.

Virginia on my mind

April 16, 2007

Students killed

My Opinion: We need to do what we can to reduce stress and tension
I don’t think we do enough to reduce stress at SJSU and tension is often unnecessarily high on our campus. A campus does not have to be as tense as ours is. With a little effort we could make it much more pleasant and less stressful for students to get an education at SJSU. It seems to me that reducing student frustration, stress and anxiety is not a high enough priority on our campus.

For example:

  • I believe the hassles students have to go through to get enrolled at SJSU are incredible and inexcusable.
  • When students at SJSU have problems it is not clear to students where to go to get their problems resolved. Getting solutions at our campus can be like navigating a maze of disconnected groups that do not talk to each other. For example, today students at SJSU had to pay fees. Many of them created tickets in our “Help Desk” ticketing system asking to get their fee paying issues resolved. Since the university does not have one ticketing system for the entire campus the only resolution we could give our students was to point them in the direction of another help desk who we thought could help them.
  • In our computer lab in Clark Hall there is a print station. You have to pay for prints when you use the computers with a card that you have to add value to. But, there is no place in the lab to add money to the card. Try telling that to a student who is in a rush to print a paper before a class.

At the time I am writing this I do not know what set this guy off in Virginia
But, in my heart, I think there is a lot we could be doing to reduce stress at SJSU. It may cost a little bit to fix these stress points. But, it is worth the cost. Life is so short, and so precious.

Strike Averted

April 4, 2007

Faculty Strike Averted – Bee Says
According to the Sacramento Bee, Administrators and faculty at California State University announced a tentative contract agreement Tuesday, eliminating the prospect of faculty strikes scheduled to start next week.

The agreement marks the beginning of the end for a negotiation process that stretched nearly two years. The deal, if ratified, would raise the average salary of a tenure-track faculty member from $74,000 to $90,749 over four years, CSU officials said. The average salary for a full-time, full professor with tenure will go from $86,000 to $105,465.

Union sets SJSU Strike Date

March 29, 2007

April 18 & 19, From CFA:
By now most of you know that a 94% vote to authorize rolling strikes has brought the CSU administration back to the bargaining table. Your participation in the strike vote helped make this happen. We have extended the contract by 10 days to see if we can negotiate a fair contract based on the very favorable fact-finder’s report.

As all of CFA’s leadership has said, we are cautiously optimistic that a deal can be achieved. While somewhat hopeful, we have been disappointed before and we believe that it is only prudent for us to continue to prepare for a strike should the administration waver in its commitment to settle. For nearly two years we have been pushing this rock up a very steep hill; we are now just 10 feet from the top. If we stop pushing now we could find ourselves back at the bottom of the hill with no momentum and no leverage.

If the administration wavers, we must be prepared to shut the campuses down. And if thousands of faculty sign up for picket duty, that also will stop any wavering by the administration.

Should we fail to achieve a settlement by the end of the 10 day contract extension, our campus will be going out on strike on Wednesday and Thursday, April 18 and 19.

Strike News – From the University

March 25, 2007

To the Campus Community —
California State University’s Assistant Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Samuel Strafaci sent this update on contract negotiations with the CFA to presidents of the system’s 23 campuses today, following publication of fact-finding recommendations and a meeting of the CSU Board of Trustees. President Don W. Kassing asked that it be shared with all SJSU faculty, staff and students.

Subject: BOARD OF TRUSTEES MEETING REPORT
March 25, 2007

CSU Presidents:
The CSU Board of Trustees today deferred a decision on fact-finding recommendations. The contract has been extended until April 6, 2007, to allow the parties to use the fact-finding panel’s report as a basis for settlement. There will be no concerted strike activity during this period.

Samuel A. Strafaci
Assistant Vice Chancellor
Human Resources

Strike News – From Faculty Union

March 25, 2007

CFA HEADLINES
March 25, 2007 – SPECIAL STRIKE EDITION FROM CFA

BREAKING NEWS: FACT-FINDING REPORT SUPPORTS CFA’S PROPOSAL ON NEARLY ALL COUNTS
The administration must now face the facts and settle a fair contract

The fact-finding report recommending how to end the bargaining impasse between CFA and the CSU administration became public on March 25. CFA immediately called on the administration to Face the Facts, accept the report’s recommendations, and settle the contract.

“We call on the Chancellor of the CSU to return to the bargaining table and settle an agreement now based on the fact finder’s report,”   said John Travis, CFA President. “If he refuses then he forces us to proceed with a strike. That is not what we want and it’s not what the CSU needs.”

To view the fact finders recommendations as well as the fact finding reports from both CFA and the CSU administration please visit: http://www.calfac.org/factfinding.html

More news to come on this developing story in Tuesday’s regular edition of CFA Headlines.