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Business News from Scott Kabrich at UTSA
Scott Kabrich

January, 2011

 SAN ANTONIO BUSINESS NEWS

 Dickson named Texas Lyceum president-elect - San Antonio high-technology businessman John Dickson has been elected president-elect of the politically influential Texas Lyceum.   Dickson will become Texas Lyceum president in the 2012 election year. Dickson is a principal for the Denim Group, a computer network security firm. He was the main organizer a year ago for a Texas Lyceum conference in San Antonio on computer network security.   In addition, three people from the San Antonio area are among the 22 new directors joining the Texas Lyceum this year. From San Antonio they are Jon Gary Herrera, Time Warner Cable Inc. regional vice president of communications, and Sonya Medina Williams, community and external affairs director for Silver Eagle Distributors L.P. Lawyer Art Martinez de Vara is from Von Ormy, where is he also mayor.   The nonprofit Texas Lyceum develops leadership for the state and fosters discussions of many issues through several conferences held every year. The organization has 96 directors, or active members, and they must begin their membership before the age of 46. Numerous public officials in the state are alumni of the Texas Lyceum. The organization is 31 years old.

Cisneros leaves helm of BioMed - Henry Cisneros, who founded BioMed SA more than five years ago to promote and expand San Antonio's health and science sector, has stepped down as chairman of its executive committee.  On Wednesday, BioMed's executive committee elected Kenneth Trevett, president and CEO of the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research, as Cisneros' replacement. It marks the first leadership change at the organization since its launch. Cisneros will remain on the committee, however.   Since BioMed's founding in 2005, the health and bioscience sector's economic impact on the city has grown by about $10 billion to about $25 billion annually, according to 2009 figures from the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce. The sector employed one out of every six San Antonio workers, or about 140,000 people.   BioMed has had a role in the recruitment of two big fish to San Antonio: biotech incubator InCube Labs, which opened an incubator last year; and Medtronic Inc., which in 2009 launched a sales and customer-support operation for its diabetes unit. Medtronic Diabetes expects to employ 1,400 people here eventually.

Rackspace announces partnership - San Antonio-based Rackspace Hosting Inc. announced Wednesday its partnership with Akamai Technologies Inc., a cloud-based company that optimizes mobile content, online HD video and secure eCommerce. Rackspace plans to integrate various features from Cambridge, Mass.-based Akamai and to resell them to customers, creating a “one-stop shop” for hosting, cloud and acceleration services.   Akamai was incorporated in 1998 and employs more than 2,000 people. In 2009, it had annual revenue of $859.8 million, up 9 percent year-over-year, according to the company's website.

EnerJex Resources moves headquarters to San Antonio - San Antonio has become home to publicly traded EnerJex Resources Inc. The domestic onshore oil company moved its headquarters from Overland Park, Kan., on Dec. 31 following a merger and a change in top management.  EnerJex recently acquired Black Sable Energy LLC, a company founded in 2007 and based in San Antonio, as well as a third company, Working Interest Holdings LLC of Kansas.   Robert Watson Jr., who co-founded Black Sable, assumed the job of CEO of the merged company and moved it to San Antonio. His father is Robert L.G. Watson, who is CEO of a long-established San Antonio-based exploration company, Abraxas Petroleum Corp.  With the acquisition of Black Sable, EnerJex acquired working interests in the Eagle Ford shale in South Texas.

Pair named to Dallas Fed's S.A. branch board - The heads of USAA and NuStar Energy LP have been appointed to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas' San Antonio branch board of directors.   Joe Robles Jr., USAA's president and CEO, and Curt Anastasio, NuStar's president and CEO, were appointed by the Federal Reserve Board of Governors in Washington to three-year terms that last until the end of 2013.   http://www.mysanantonio.com/business/article/Pair-named-to-Dallas-Fed-s-S-A-branch-board-951099.php

Voinovich Jobs director Jakeway to stay in San Antonio - COLUMBUS, Ohio (CGE) - Donald E. Jakeway, who came to Columbus in 1991 to serve as director of development for Ohio's new Republician governor, George Voinovich, told CGE today that he has not spoken with Ohio's new Gov. John R. Kasich or his team about returning to head-up the state's new proposed public-private economic development entity, JobsOhio, because he intends to stay in San Antonio. In an upbeat, lucid conversation with CGE Thursday afternoon, Jakeway, who's been living in San Antonio for five years where he provides economic development services through his consulting group Brooks Development Authority, said he likes where he is - the temperature in San Antonio today was 58 compared to 23 in Columbus - and what he's doing too much to make a change. He accounted for his time in Columbus, saying he was merely attending an international economic development conference held in Ohio's capital city.  http://www.examiner.com/government-in-columbus/voinovich-jobs-director-jakeway-to-stay-san-antonio


Speaker Straus setting proper tone in House - House Speaker Joe Straus struck the perfect tone in his remarks after his re-election to the House's top job.   “Division, threats of retribution, attacks on people's religion and distortions of people's records have no place in this House,” Straus said, garnering the biggest applause of the day from his colleagues.   Straus, lifelong Republican from San Antonio, emerged victorious from a series of attacks by outside interest groups seeking to block his re-election. The campaign against him included appalling attacks on his religion.   After he was returned to the speaker's position, the even-tempered Straus emphasized that respect for each other and the people of Texas is key to making the House work.  http://www.mysanantonio.com/opinion/editorials/article/Speaker-Straus-setting-proper-tone-in-House-953239.php

Valero invests in commercial-scale biorefinery - Refiner Valero Energy Corp. will invest as much as $50 million to build one of the nation's first commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plants in a partnership with a New Hampshire-based company, officials with both companies said Thursday.  Valero's partner, Mascoma Corp. of Lebanon, N.H., said construction of the plant will begin at mid-year and open in 2013.  http://www.mysanantonio.com/business/article/Valero-invests-in-commercial-scale-biorefinery-955430.php

San Antonio's pro soccer team, the Scorpions, gets ready to sting - The name was selected from public suggestions. The team is part of the "soccer for a cause" campaign that's bringing professional soccer to the Alamo City to benefit Morgan's Wonderland.    Organizers say they have received a warm reception to the sport. "Soccer has changed in the last 10 to 15 years in ways that we still don't understand," Aaron Davidson said. "What's coming in the next cycle of soccer is unbelievable." Davidson says the sport helps bring communities together and shows a common bond.

Rackspace listed as industry leader - Information Technology research group Gartner Inc. recently recognized San Antonio-based Rackspace Hosting Inc. in its “Magic Quadrant” evaluation. Rackspace was listed as a “Leader” in the report, which recognizes companies that provide cloud and hosting services. The assessment is conducted each year by IT industry experts and evaluates a company's ability to execute its vision. Rackspace was among 20 other providers that Gartner mentioned.   http://www.mysanantonio.com/business/article/Rackspace-listed-as-industry-leader-948937.php

BioMed SA taps new leader Kenneth P. Trevett, president and CEO of the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research, has been elected to succeed founder San Antonio Mayor Henry Cisneros as chair of BioMed SA’s executive committee in 2011.  As head of the Southwest Foundation, Trevett leads San Antonio’s oldest biomedical research organization. Established in 1941 by founder Tom Slick, the foundation has become one of the nation’s premier independent research institutes.  Cisneros helped create BioMed SA, a nonprofit organization charged with growing San Antonio’s biomedical industry. He will continue to serve on the committee under Trevett’s leadership.

Aviation: Flying higher - Despite persistent financial challenges for airplane manufacturers and other nagging economic headwinds, San Antonio's aviation prospects are looking up in 2011.  The city's aviation sector, a $3.8 billion industry by the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce's most recent economic analysis in 2007, has been growing and expanding services. Airport traffic began to grow again last year and may accelerate in 2011, while aircraft maintenance and refurbishment firms eye expansion opportunities created by enlarged facilities and increasing capabilities.  The Port San Antonio facility of Boeing, one of the sector's largest employers with 1,700 workers, could bring on hundreds more technicians once the first 787 Dreamliner arrives for mechanical and operating system adjustments.  http://www.mysanantonio.com/business/article/Aviation-Flying-higher-961663.php

Foreclosure filings in Bexar County still on the high end, report states - Until the jobs come, foreclosures will continue to be an issue.  That is the analysis of George Roddy Sr., president of Addison, Texas-based Foreclosure Listing Service Inc.(FLS), regarding the recent figures on foreclosure filings in Bexar County. FLS reports that a total of 1,378 foreclosure notices were filed in the Bexar County Courthouse for the February 2011 auction — marking a 7 percent increase from the 1,286 postings filed for the February 2010 auction. http://www.bizjournals.com/sanantonio/news/2011/01/14/foreclosure-filings-in-bexar-county.html

Homebuyers are still eying San Antonio neighborhoods - San Antonio was the fourth most searched for residential real estate market in the country in 2010, according to a new report by Realtor.com. The list ranked the top 10 markets based on the number of visitors that viewed properties in the United States from January to December on Realtor.com, a site operated by Campbell, Calif.-based Move Inc. http://www.bizjournals.com/sanantonio/news/2011/01/11/homebuyers-are-still-eying-san-antonio.html

Millennium Digital Technologies to Host 2011 Security Summit in San Antonio - Millennium Digital Technologies and Liquid Networx today announced a partnership to host the first annual Secure Payments Summit in San Antonio, Texas from February 20-21, 2011. Millennium Digital Technologies, a Michigan-based company, providing industry-leading Payment Card Industry Managed (PCI) solutions to merchants. Together, the team will bring together thought leaders among the Payment Card Industry (PCI) to present the latest in cutting edge solutions to mitigate the risks inherent to payment environments.  Designed to be a highly interactive conference, the 2011 Secure Payments Summit will address emerging trends in the payment technology industry and most importantly how these trends impact business http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/millennium-digital-technologies-to-host-2011-security-summit-in-san-antonio-113472804.html
 

USAA Selects Addison for North Texas Expansion, To Employ 200 - USAA, a financial services provider,selected Addison as the location for its new Financial Advice Contact Center, which is expected to employ up to 200 people by the end of next year.  According to USAA, Addison was selected due to the availability of job candidates with the required investment licenses, proximity to members, cost of living, real estate costs and other factors.  Addison also recently became the home for electrical parts distributor Rexel Inc. and its parent company International Electric Supply Company.  Rexel and IESC moved into a 92,000 square foot space in what has been called one of the largest leases signed in North Texas in 2010.  Addison is located 13 miles north of downtown Dallas.   

TEXAS BUSINESS NEWS

Hutchison retiring from U.S. Senate after term ends - U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, formally announced Thursday that she will not seek re-election to the Senate in 2012. Hutchison was first elected to the Senate in a special election in 1993 and became the first woman to represent the Lone Star State in the Senate. She currently serves on Senate committees on Commerce, Science, and Transportation; Appropriations; Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs; and Rules and Administration. http://www.bizjournals.com/sanantonio/news/2011/01/13/hutchison-retiring-from-us-senate.html

Sterling Bancshares reportedly for sale - HOUSTON — Stock of Houston-based Sterling Bancshares jumped 3 percent Friday after a report that it may be sold two months after its largest shareholder announced its intent to run an alternative slate of candidates for Sterling's board of directors.  The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that bids have closed and a deal for the bank could be announced within days. The newspaper, citing unnamed sources, said the deal could be worth about $825 million. On Nov. 4, the Bryan-based investment firm TAC Capital, led by former First American Bank executive Don Adam, issued a strongly worded letter expressing frustration “with the continued poor performance of our investment in the bank.” “We have lost confidence,” the letter to shareholders continued, “that Sterling's current board of directors and executive team will be able to unilaterally effect a turnaround of this fine banking franchise and deliver the value that Sterling shareholders deserve.”  TAC, Sterling's largest shareholder with nearly 10 percent of its stock, proposed Adam and four others to the board: former ExxonMobil executive Morris Foster, chairman of the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents; Texas Tech University System Chancellor Kent Hance, a former U.S. congressman and Railroad Commission chairman; Stephen Hansel, former head of Hibernia National Bank; and longtime real-estate developer Larry Johnson.   Painter said Sterling hasn't set a date for its annual meeting and board election.   http://www.mysanantonio.com/business/article/Sterling-Bancshares-reportedly-for-sale-957763.php#ixzz1BOSxaDdH

Comerica Agrees to Acquire Sterling Bancshares for $1.03 Billion in Stock Comerica Inc, the Dallas-based bank that posted annual profits throughout the financial crisis, agreed to buy Houston-based lender Sterling Bancshares Inc. for about $1.03 billion in stock. Sterling investors will receive 0.2365 Comerica shares for each share they own, Comerica said today in a statement. That values Sterling at about $10 a share, the bank said. Sterling closed at $7.70 a share on Jan. 14.  The purchase, which must be approved by Sterling shareholders, would expand Comerica’s Texas branch network to 152 from 95 and add about $3 billion in loans and $4 billion in deposits.  Sterling, which has $5.2 billion of assets, put itself up for sale after facing a proxy fight from shareholders, the Wall Street Journal reported last week. BB&T Corp. was also interested in buying the bank, the newspaper said Jan. 14.

Marathon spinning off refining operations - After studying and then dropping the idea two years ago, Marathon Oil Corp. said Thursday the timing finally is right to split the company in two.  The company's board has approved a plan to spin off its downstream business, which includes six U.S. oil refineries, and to operate what's left as a stand-alone oil and gas exploration and production firm in Houston.  Under the plan, a new company called Marathon Petroleum Corp. will be set up in Findlay, Ohio, where Marathon's downstream business already has offices. It's expected to launch in July as the nation's fifth-largest oil refiner, with its own stock trading symbol. Marathon, meanwhile, will narrow its focus as a global upstream oil and gas company, with particular emphasis on emerging oil plays in the U.S., officials said. http://www.mysanantonio.com/business/article/Marathon-spinning-off-refining-operations-955572.php#ixzz1BOTqCjmN

Fonality Establishes Corporate Headquarters in Dallas/Fort Worth Fonality, North America’s fastest growing business communications company has announced that its headquarters will relocate to Plano, Texas from Los Angeles. The six year old company delivers cloud-based telephony, Unified Communications and call center solutions for small and mid-sized businesses. Complete with a fully operational demo room to showcase its solutions, Fonality will occupy 17,555 square feet at 5601 Granite Parkway, Suite 500, in Plano. The move will be commemorated with an invitation-only open house at Fonality’s offices on Tuesday, Jan. 18, 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. CT.  Fonality is North America’s fastest growing business communications company and a leading provider of cloud-based, VoIP phone and Unified Communications solutions for small and mid-sized businesses. Founded in 2004, Fonality has delivered more than two billion phone calls across the cloud while enabling more than one million users of open-standards based communications software. Investors include Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Intel Capital and Azure Capital Partners.

 
HFF Expands Texas Presence by Opening Austin Office - HFF (Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P.) announced today that it will expand its Texas presence by opening an office in Austin with an immediate focus on multi-housing investment sales. Executive managing director Jody Thornton is overseeing the Texas expansion from HFF’s Dallas office.  The new Austin office will be opened by senior managing director Sean Sorrell, who will focus on multi-housing investment sales transactions primarily in the Southwestern United States Mr. Sorrell received his BBA in Finance from the University of Texas and is a licensed real estate broker in Texas.  HFF operates out of 18 offices nationwide and is a leading provider of commercial real estate and capital markets services to the U.S. commercial real estate industry.

Former 3M lawyer leads pet health website - A former 3M Co. attorney is now the top dog at a Texas-based pet health company.  Raul Calvoz, a 3M lawyer and business manager from 2001 to 2006, is the new CEO at Austin, Texas-based PetsMD Inc., reports the Austin Business Journal.  At Maplewood-based 3M (NYSE: MMM), Calvoz offered legal counsel on mergers and acquisitions, litigation and dispute resolution, and general corporate matters. He also was a 3M global business manager He is currently a partner in the Austin office of San Antonio, Texas-based law firm Tuggey Rosenthal Pauerstein Sandoloski Agather.

CarePoint Partners Acquires Houston-Based ivA Lifetec - CarePoint Partners (CarePoint) announced that it has completed the acquisition of ivA Lifetec (Lifetec), a healthcare company that provides home infusion and specialty infusion in conjunction with home health nursing throughout the Houston, Texas metropolitan region.  With this acquisition and the acquisition of a Dallas-Fort Worth infusion services company in October of 2010, CarePoint Partners is now a leader of home infusion services in the Texas market and across the eastern and southern regions of the United States.  Started in 2007, CarePoint Partners operates a network of home infusion and specialty pharmacies in the eastern and southern regions of the United States. Based in Cincinnati, Ohio, CarePoint provides these services via 17 sites in seven states including Florida, Louisiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas and West Virginia. Infusion therapy involves the administration of medications and nutrients using intravenous, subcutaneous and epidural methods.  Home infusion therapy allows patients to receive IV medications without the inconvenience or cost of a hospital visit.  

Houston’s wealthiest lifestyles uncovered - In Friday’s Jan. 14 print edition, the Houston Business Journal gave readers some insight into the lifestyle of Houston’s wealthiest residents.  The paper published the Top 25 Wealthiest ZIP Codes list, based on ranking information from data research firm Esri. It included home values, incomes and other demographic information on the residents of those ZIP codes. Listed below as an HBJ website exclusive are the 26 through 50 wealthiest ZIP codes. The names next to the ZIP codes are demographic summaries known as “tapestries,” a snapshot designation of the type of people who typically live in that area. Look below the ZIP code list to read an explanation of each demographic tapestry. To see the top half of the list including Houston’s richest neighborhood, pick up the Jan. 14 paper or view the online version if you are a subscriber. An updated version of this list will be published in the print edition later this year.

Tapestry Demographics

·       Boomburbs: Newest residents of the suburbs, these young upscale families often have two incomes, two cars and plenty of technology — computers, smartphones and big screen TVs. They are often into sports like tennis and golf.

·       Enterprising Professionals: Young professionals around 32 years of age, often in multifamily housing in newer neighborhoods. They are technology gurus who travel, both domestically and abroad.

·       In Style: They tend to live in the suburbs, but prefer the big city. Most are professional couples, with one-third having children. Median age is 40 and more than half live in single-family homes. They are tech savvy and like to keep their fiscal futures secure.

·       Laptops and Lattes: Unlikely to have children or own a home, these residents are generally well-off and average age 39. Highly educated professionals, they tend to prefer city life. They have active social lives including concerts, movies and the theater and are generally in good health. They also tend to be more liberal than other groups.

·       Metro Renters: Young 20-somethings who are well educated and starting their careers. Apartment dwellers for the most part, they also travel, frequent concerts and museums, read a lot and keep fit.

·       Midland Crowd: Largest tapestry segment, these are generally rural areas. Often politically conservative, these families tend to take care of their homes, own pets and prefer satellite TV.

·       Midlife Junction: Mostly in suburbs, these are older families or older single professionals who lead relatively quiet lives. One-third receive Social Security, and are fairly cautious with their money. Lean toward simple pleasures like romance novels and NASCAR on TV.

·       Milk and Cookies: Young, well-off families, usually with two incomes, more than one kid and at least two cars. They are forward thinkers and are very busy. They watch a lot of cable and often buy fast food.

·       Rural Resort Dwellers: Living in small, growing areas of town, these residents are often seasonal home owners. With few children around, the median age is around 48 and jobs and social activities are often more solitary pursuits than other areas. They live a simple, rural life.

·       Sophisticated Squires: More country than city, these are newer home developments with educated families with good jobs who like home improvement projects. They often own more than 2 cars and have family-oriented social lives.

·       Suburban Splendor: Upwardly mobile and in growing affluent areas, generally married couples with no children, in their early 40s and with good education and good jobs. They focus on upgrading and decorating their homes, travel often and think about financial security.

·       Up and Coming Families: Median age 32, young families with children. Often owning newer homes, they tend to be family-centered in both their purchases and their free time.

·       Young and Restless: Most of the people in this category have moved in the past five years and are under 30. Living in apartments, they are educated and work hard, with the highest percentage of females than other areas. Media savvy, active social lives and are physically fit.


 Rank ZIP Code Tapestry Description

26 77019 Laptops and Lattes

27 77346 Up and Coming Families

28 77546 Up and Coming Families

29 77389 Up and Coming Families

30 77095 Boomburbs

31 77380 Enterprising Professionals

32 77498 Up and Coming Families

33 77339 Enterprising Professionals

34 77384 Midlife Junction

35 77388 Milk and Cookies

36 77586 Suburban Splendor

37 77030 Metro Renters

38 77027 Metro Renters

39 77041 Milk and Cookies

40 77565 In Style

41 77469 Midland Crowd

42 77584 Up and Coming Families

43 77354 Up and Coming Families

44 77566 Sophisticated Squires

45 77505 Boomburbs

46 77377 Up and Coming Families

47 77554 Rural Resort Dwellers

48 77070 Up and Coming Families

49 77581 Up and Coming Families

50 77077 Young and Restless

HP Awarded Contract to Implement $30 Million Texas Electronic Health Information System - HP won a 52-month services agreement with the Texas Health and Human Services Commission to create a statewide Medicaid health information exchange.  The contract, valued at $30 million, includes an electronic health history system for all Medicaid clients.  It also will replace the current paper-based Medicaid identification cards with plastic magnetic stripe cards for automated eligibility verification.  Under the agreement, HP will provide web-based tools to streamline provider interaction and increase access to health information. http://www.texasbusiness.com/hp-awarded-contract-to-implement-30-million-texas-electronic-health-information-system-cms-3409

 Canadian scale firm buys Weatherford livestock scale maker - A Saskatoon manufacturer of industrial weigh scales for livestock, trucking and bulk commodities plans to expand its U.S. reach by buying a Texas firm in the same line of work.  Norac Systems International said Tuesday it has bought Agricultural Scales Inc., a maker of "legal for trade" group animal scales, for an undisclosed sum.  The purchased company, based at Weatherford, about 35 km west of Fort Worth, builds six models of eight-foot-wide scales ranging in length from 10 to 20 feet.  http://www.canadiancattlemen.ca/issues/ISArticle.asp?aid=1000398843&PC=FBC&issue=01052011

Nation’s Largest Anhydrous Hydrogen Chloride Plant To Be Built In Freeport - Two chemical firms announced they would they plan to build the nation’s largest hydrogen choloride plant in Freeport to supply the burgeoning electronic industry.  Air Products  and Linde Gas North America today announced they have formed Hydrochlor, a 50-50 joint venture to supply high-purity anhydrous hydrochloric acid (HCl) to the electronics and other industries As part of the agreement, Hydrochlor will build a facility to process and package HCl supplied via pipeline from The Dow Chemical Company.   The new facility will be located on Dow's Freeport site. Oversight for Hydrochlor will be governed by a team of managers from each partner company.  Hydrochlor will sell HCl exclusively to the joint venture partners, who will continue to market HCl independently. Until the new facility's startup, Dow will continue to supply HCl independently to Air Products at its Hometown, Pennsylvania facility and to Linde at its Lovington, New Mexico, location.  http://www.texasbusiness.com/nation-s-largest-anhydrous-hydrogen-chloride-plant-to-be-built-in-freeport-cms-3400

NATIONAL BUSINESS NEWS

New HP CEO eyes strategy shift - Hewlett-Packard Co. CEO Leo Apotheker is reportedly planning a new strategy for the computer giant in the coming year. The Wall Street Journal cited unnamed sources in a weekend report that said the new CEO is eyeing a shift towards the more profitable software, networking and storage businesses.He reportedly plans to downplay the less lucrative personal computer and server businesses.  The shift will also reportedly mean new duties for some of the HP executives who were passed over when the former SAP AG CEO was hired to succeed the ousted Mark Hurd.  http://www.bizjournals.com/austin/news/2011/01/17/new-hp-ceo-eyes-strategy-shift.html

Citigroup posts lower-than-expected profit - Shares of Citigroup Inc. dropped almost 5% in premarket trading Tuesday after the banking giant said it swung to a fourth-quarter profit, but the results fell short of expectations. Citi /quotes/comstock/13*!c/quotes/nls/creported quarterly net income of $1.3 billion, or 4 cents a share, compared with a loss of $7.6 billion, or 33 cents a share, in the fourth quarter of 2009. http://www.marketwatch.com/story/citigroup-profit-misses-forecasts-shares-slip-2011-01-18?dist=beforebell 

U.S. stock futures were mixed Tuesday - U.S. stock futures were mixed Tuesday as shares of technology giant Apple plunged and bank stocks weakened after disappointing earnings from Citigroup, but sentiment around the euro zone strengthened. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up 15 points to 11740, while Standard & Poor's 500-stock futures fell 1 point to 1288 and Nasdaq 100 futures tumbled 19 to 2302. Prior to the data, Dow futures had been up 14, S&P 500 futures were down 1 and Nasdaq futures fell 16. Changes in futures do not always accurately reflect stock moves after the opening bell.  Apple shares plunged 4.7% in premarket trading, erasing about $15 billion in market value, after the consumer electronics company disclosed that Chief Executive and company visionary Steve Jobs would take another medical leave. Apple is now the world's most valuable technology company with a market cap of about $321 billion, as of Friday's close.   Bank stocks softened after Citigroup's fourth-quarter earnings report. Shares of Citigroup slid 3.1% in premarket trading after the bank swung to a profit, but its earnings missed analysts' estimates. Wells Fargo was off 1%, while Bank of America shed 1.3%.   Among stocks in focus, U.S.-listed shares of GlaxoSmithKline fell 4.1% after saying it will record a GBP 2.2 billion ($3.49 billion) charge for the fourth quarter to cover costs relating to a U.S. investigation of its marketing practices, as well as additional costs tied to consumer lawsuits over the diabetes drug Avandia.  In deal news, Comerica said it's agreed to buy all of the outstanding shares of Sterling Bancshares in a stock-for-stock transaction. The deal will accelerate Comerica's growth in Texas and maintain Comerica's capital strength, the firms said. Shares of Comerica fell 5.6%, while Sterling Bancshares surged 19%. http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20110118-707410.html

South Africans accept Wal-Mart bid - A South African chain's shareholders have overwhelmingly accepted Wal-Mart's offer to buy 51 percent of their company, the chief executive said Monday, paving the way for the giant U.S.-based retailer to enter Africa.    Massmart CEO Grant Pattison said once the deal goes through, Massmart will continue to operate the stores and continue to be listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, while Wal-Mart will be the main owner. Massmart runs about 290 big box, pharmacy, electronics and other stores in 14 African countries.                             http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110117/ap_on_bi_ge/af_wal_mart_massmart;_ylt=AgsjpD3lLHQ8U964f1E1w7uyBhIF;_ylu=X3oDMTJwYzFrM2FyBGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMTEwMTE3L2FmX3dhbF9tYXJ0X21hc3NtYXJ0BHBvcwMzBHNlYwN5bl9hcnRpY2xlX3N1bW1hcnlfbGlzdARzbGsDc291dGhhZnJpY2Fu

SAN ANTONIO EDUCATION NEWS

  New leader taking the reins at San Antonio Education Partnership - Eyra Perez has been named the new executive director of locally based nonprofit San Antonio Education Partnership.  The nonprofit provides college prep and counseling services as well as college scholarships to at-risk high school students who meet high attendance and academic requirements.   Perez says her goals for the nonprofit include beefing up marketing for its services, increasing financial aid among its program participants, securing more funding for the nonprofit’s operating needs and adding more space for its administrative offices.

Hanover signs school leases in San Antonio  - Hanover Real Estate Partners helped bring two schools to the San Antonio market in 2010.   Greenwich, Conn.-based Hanover executed a 35,000-square-foot lease with the Art Institute of San Antonio Inc. at the Colonial Center building and a 34,000-square-foot lease with Brown Mackie College in the Citizens Center building.   Hanover specializes in the acquisition, operation and management of institutional real estate assets.

UTSA’s research spending totals $48.6 million - The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) reported a 4.6 percent increase in total research spending for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2010, after tallying up the final numbers. Research spending totaled $48.6 million during fiscal 2010, up from $46.5 million over the previous fiscal year, as the university works to become a Tier One school. For more information, visit this link.   http://www.bizjournals.com/sanantonio/news/2011/01/12/utsas-research-spending-totals-486.html

ESPN could be interested in first UTSA-Texas State football game - The first Western Athletic Conference meeting between UTSA coach Larry Coker and Texas State’s  Dennis Franchione could be ripe for television on ESPN, the WAC commissioner said in San Antonio this weekend. “We haven’t gotten to the point where we’ve put dates to the 2012 football games,” WAC boss Karl Benson said,  “but that first Texas State-UT-San Antonio WAC game in 2012 might be pretty good.  It might be a game that ESPN would be very interested in.” Benson, in town for WAC meetings held in conjunction with the NCAA Convention, applauded Texas State for its recent hire of Franchione, a 25-year head coaching veteran with 187 victories and experience in the SEC and Big 12.  http://blog.mysanantonio.com/the-local-scene/2011/01/espn-could-be-interested-in-first-utsa-texas-state-football-game/

UTSA athletics getting boost from football ticket sales - While the Western Athletic Conference deals with attrition, searching for prospective universities to replace those that are leaving or have left to join other leagues, UTSA, one of the WAC’s newest members, marches on.  The Roadrunners are now actively marketing their “Prestige Level” tickets for their inaugural football season in 2011. You want an Alamodome suite?  The Roadrunners will gladly sell you one.   The 16-seat suite comes with 16 season tickets, four parking passes and the option to purchase up to four additional suite passes at $120 each.   Each of these suites has an entertainment area, refrigerator and television.  UTSA is offering three separate plans for these 16-seat suites: • $14,000 per year for a five-year commitment;  • $16,000 per year for a three-year commitment; $18,000 for one year. The good news, say UTSA officials, is that a significant portion of each suite agreement is a gift to UTSA Athletics and, therefore, is tax deductible.   UTSA has control of 36 Alamodome suites for Roadrunners football. The university has sold or received commitments for more than two-thirds of those suites. The deadline for securing a suite in time to participate in the Roadrunners’ location selection process is Jan. 31.

The Roadrunners are also marketing some premium seats in the lower level of the Alamodome.   Founder’s Level seats, situated between the 40 yard lines, cost $1,250 each for the season. They include access to the dome’s Skyline Club, as well as parking.   The Roadrunners are tossing in free season ticket vouchers for men’s and women’s basketball as part of the Founder’s Level deal.

UTSA is also selling Premier Level seats, also located between the 40 yard lines above and below the Founders Level seats. Premier Level ticket cost $650 each for the season and provide the ticket holder access to a hospitality area on the south end of the Alamodome.  The Roadrunners are including a free parking pass for each pair of Premier Level seats fans purchase.

“All tickets above $120 (per season) include a gift to the Roadrunner Athletic Fund,” says UTSA Associate Athletic Director Brad Parrott.  “It’s essential that we grow donor involvement in our program,” he adds. “Buying Prestige Level football tickets and suites is an easy entry for new donors. We’ve bundled (athletic fund) donations into our best football tickets to make it convenient and provide immediate value to our donors.”   UTSA won’t play its first football game until September. But Parrott says the bundled ticket strategy has already helped the university generate more than $700,000 for the Roadrunner Athletic Fund. http://www.bizjournals.com/sanantonio/blog/2011/01/utsa-athletics-getting-boost-from.html

SAISD ready to appoint bond oversight committee - The community committee appointed to monitor progress of the San Antonio Independent School District's 2010 bond is likely to include an architect, a former school board member and a member of the city's planning commission.   The list of nominees includes several people who were heavily involved in the development of the district's long-range plan and bond planning process. Each of the seven trustees, as well as Superintendent Robert Durón, nominated three people to serve on the committee plus an alternate who could serve in the event of a vacancy.  http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/education/article/SAISD-ready-to-appoint-bond-oversight-committee-958091.php

 School Districts Facing Large Budget Cuts - The state budget shortfall in the next fiscal year is forcing the San Antonio Independent School District to cut back.  The district is scrambling for ways to cut $20 million to $40 million dollars and several ideas remain on the table.  The four-day work week is already being instituted at Our Lady of the Hills Regional Catholic High School, a private school in Kerrville. While it appears to have been launched successfully, no public schools in Texas have made the switch. 

TEXAS EDUCATION NEWS

At Texas State, top execs get big raises - Four top officials of the Texas State University System received raises of more than 10 percent two years in a row, with one of the officials getting 22.6 percent and 19 percent increases, according to system records. A higher education watchdog who obtained the salary records through a Texas Public Information Act request criticized such spending at a time when the state is about $27 billion short of what it needs in the next two years to sustain current levels of educational, health and other services.  A spokesman for the Texas State system confirmed the salary figures and defended the raises awarded by the Board of Regents as an effort to bring executives up to par with counterparts in Texas and elsewhere.  The raises of 22.6 percent in 2010 and 19 percent in 2011 went to Roland Smith, vice chancellor for finance, and brought his annual salary to $278,798.   Fernando Gomez, vice chancellor and general counsel, saw his salary rise to $273,642, thanks to 18.8 percent and 16.3 percent increases. Back-to-back double-digit increases also went to Peter Graves, vice chancellor for contract management, who got 14.2 percent in 2010 and 12.8 percent in 2011, bringing his salary to $173,956; and Carole Fox, director of audits and analysis, who received 11.1 percent and 10.3 percent raises to boost her to $146,583.  The University of Texas System's governing board awarded no raises to its executives for the 2010 budget year. Raises for 2011 ranged from 2 percent to 24.4 percent, with seven of nine raise recipients getting less than 10 percent.  Three top officials of the Texas A&M University System received raises for 2011, with one getting 2.6 percent and two getting 3.2 percent, system records show. Five executives received one-time merit bonuses of $1,000 to $3,900. http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local_news/article/At-Texas-State-top-execs-get-big-raises-961920.php

Research Partnership Gives McCombs School of Business Faculty Access to Valuable Retail Data - Two research centers at The University of Texas at Austin's McCombs School of Business have formed a partnership with the Center for Advancing Retail Technologies (CART), which will provide access to data about retail technologies, consumer behaviors and other areas of study to faculty and students for research purposes.  Through this relationship, faculty in the McCombs School's Center for Customer Insight and Marketing Solutions (CCIMS) and Supply Chain Management Center of Excellence (SCMC) will have access to a data warehouse maintained by CART.   http://www.texasbusiness.com/research-partnership-gives-mccombs-school-of-business-faculty-access-to-valuable-retail-data-cms-3410

82nd Legislature convenes facing budget woes, higher education issues - Confirmation of the long-expected budget shortfall greeted Texas lawmakers last week as the 82nd Legislature convened in Austin facing a variety of budget and higher education issues. The Legislature immediately took the lead in budget reductions Thursday, voting 140-0 to pass HR 3 and slash their own operating budgets by 10 percent. Another 4 percent cut will take affect when the session adjourns May 30.  In the meantime, more difficult budget decisions loom ahead.  HB 104 (Brown) would eliminate the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Its duties would be merged with the Texas Education Agency in an effort to cut costs to the state.  HB 136 (Shelton) would loosen drop limitations for college students. The current six-drop cap would be eliminated, leaving individual schools to develop their own drop policy. HB 537 (Brown) would require institutions of higher learning to make available to students a list of required reading materials at the same time the university-affiliated bookstore is notified. HB 459 (White) would place “temporary limitations on the total amount of tuition charged to a student by a four-year public institution of higher education.”  http://www.theshorthorn.com/index.php/news/citystate/472-43-billion-deficit-and-concealed-carry-on-the-docket-for-82nd-legislature-

 First-Ever State License For Digitally-Delivered Instructional Materials - The Texas Education Agency has granted its first-ever state license for digitally-delivered instructional materials to Pearson's A+RISE® Standards2Strategies™ (S2S) 9-12 program. The A+RISE® S2S is an easy-to-use online resource that provides high school content area teachers with strategies and tools to help them differentiate instruction and improve the student achievement of English learners, while addressing Texas' English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS).  The license provides all Texas teachers in grades 9-12 with access to A+RISE® S2S through the state's Project Share online learning community.  http://www.benzinga.com/press-releases/11/01/p774544/pearson-receives-texas-education-agencys-first-ever-state-license-for-d#ixzz1BP0mnWxG

State testing to change in 2012 - In 2007, Texas legislators voted to repeal the TAKS in favor of a new evaluation called the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness. With STAAR, which will be implemented in the 2011–12 school year, graduating high school seniors will be required to pass 12 end-of-course exams in four core subject areas: math, science, language and social studies. The first students required to meet the end-of-course testing requirements to earn a diploma will be the class of 2015.  STAAR tests will also be administered to students in grades 3–8 to prepare them for English and algebra end-of-course exams. http://impactnews.com/tomball-magnolia/511-education/11139-state-testing-to-change-in-2012

NAACP, LULAC say State Board of Education violated constitutional, civil rights - Continuing a fight that began almost a year ago, a coalition of civil rights groups—that includes the Texas National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and Texas League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)—has publically released a complaint filed at the U.S. Department of Education asking the agency to review changes to the social studies curriculum standards pushed through by the Texas State Board of Education last spring as part of a broader review of state educational practices. In a letter to the department’s Civil Rights Division, the civil rights groups accused Texas of allowing a number of systemic practices that negatively impact the educational aspirations of minority students and, more specifically, with violating Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as well as the 13th and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.  http://www.frostillustrated.com/full.php?sid=8214&current_edition=2011-01-12

Recent college graduates to serve as full-time college advisers - The Texas College Advising Corps, in partnership with the Texas Education  Agency and with financial support from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s  College Access Challenge Grant, will give underserved high schools an opportunity to receive  free college advising services starting in 2011. The Texas College Advising Corps (TCAC), which is housed at the University of Texas at Austin’s Institute for Public School Initiatives (IPSI) in the College of Education, will place full-time college advisers at approximately 120 Texas high schools. The advisers, who are recent college graduates, will help students conduct college searches, complete admissions and financial aid applications, and enroll at higher education institutions that will best serve their needs.  http://www.thecherokeean.com/news/2011-01-12/Colleges/Recent_college_graduates_to_serve_as_fulltime_coll.html

Web-Based ESL ReadingSmart Program Adopted by Texas State Board of Education - ESL ReadingSmart, an online language program developed by Houston-based software publisher, Alloy Multimedia, has been adopted by the Texas State Board of Education. The Web-based, English-as-a-second-language program is scheduled to be available for fifth through eighth grades in the 2011-2012 school year. The first Web-based program to be adopted by a state board of education (Texas) for English language development, ESL ReadingSmart is also aligned with English language acquisition standards in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, and Virginia, among other states. ESL ReadingSmart is a Web-based learning environment for English language learners and teachers from fourth through twelfth grades. The program uses multimedia, computer-enabled instruction to improve English language and reading skills, accommodating different learning styles and proficiency levels.

UTEP wants $90M to help it become Tier 1 university - UTEP is asking state lawmakers to do more than spare it from deep cutbacks during budget negotiations this year. It wants $90 million from the state to build an interdisciplinary research facility, which UTEP says will attract top faculty, increase its ability to generate revenue through grants and help it become a nationally recognized research university, known as "Tier One."  The request for a tuition revenue bond comes when Texas lawmakers are searching for savings and considering cutbacks in the face of a state budget deficit, which could reach as high as $27 billion.  UTEP President Diana Natalicio said the money is necessary if the university is going to stick with its projections of reaching Tier One status by 2018.  http://www.elpasotimes.com/news/ci_17108794?source=most_viewed

NATIONAL EDUCATION NEWS

  NCAA considers academic crackdown in basketball, football - The NCAA will continue weighing an academic crackdown in its two highest-profile sports, football and basketball.  Annually lagging in graduation rates and other academic measurements, they also happen to be source of much of its angst.  One measure, preserved Saturday by the association's top-level Division I board of directors, would steer an undetermined number of basketball players to summer school. They'd have to complete up to six hours of classes to be eligible to play the following November and December.  Under the measure, most Division I schools would be required each year to assess the academic abilities of all their basketball players. Incoming freshmen and transfers who are deemed classroom risks would have to enroll in summer school and pass three hours of classes to play the following fall semester.  Returning players who need the extra class time would be "encouraged" to attend summer school and required to pass six hours to take the court at the start of the season.  http://www.usatoday.com/sports/college/2011-01-15-ncaa-academic-crackdown_N.htm

Are Undergraduates Actually Learning Anything? - Drawing on survey responses, transcript data, and results from the Collegiate Learning Assessment (a standardized test taken by students in their first semester and at the end of their second year), Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa concluded that a significant percentage of undergraduates are failing to develop the broad-based skills and knowledge they should be expected to master.  http://chronicle.com/article/Are-Undergraduates-Actually/125979/

Study: U.S. Colleges Fail to Challenge Undergrads - When you pay thousands of dollars for a college education, you expect to learn something in return. Right? Well, you may be disappointed to hear what's happening—or not—on college campuses according to a new study out today.   The Social Science Research Council (SSRC) just released a report, Improving Undergraduate Learning: Findings and Policy Recommendations from the College Learning Assessment Longitudinal Study, and a book discussing the study's results, Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses. The study—the first large-scale national survey of its kind—is based on an analysis of about 2,300 undergraduates at 24 four-year institutions to measure students' learning and study habits. http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/college_bound/2011/01/report_suggests_learning_is_seriously_amiss_at_us_colleges.html

Carnegie Classifications Update Shows Boom in For-Profit and Professional Education - The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching released an update on Tuesday of its Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education that it says shows a few shifts in the higher-education landscape: significant growth in the number of for-profit institutions, more institutions that offer professional degrees, and more traditional two-year colleges offering four-year degrees. Since 2005, when the foundation last made major revisions in its classification system and updated its list, it has added 483 institutions, for a total of 4,633. Of those new institutions, 77 percent were private, for-profit entities, while 4 percent were public and 19 percent were private, nonprofit. (The vast majority of the new for-profit institutions were two-year colleges.)   http://chronicle.com/article/Carnegie-Classification-Update/125982/

M.B.A. Programs Go Global - Business schools are being forced to rapidly adapt their curriculum, course structure, and philosophy in reaction to the increasingly global nature of the business world. Schools of all kinds, ranging from elite private institutions like the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania to smaller public institutions like the College of Charleston, are weaving a global focus into their traditional studies in an effort to prepare students for a business community where success is no longer measured on a domestic scale.  For M.B.A. students, even if they're not on an international M.B.A. track, the shift means that their courses will change significantly at many schools. Those unwilling to approach their studies with a global mindset may find themselves left behind, business school officials say. "Our M.B.A. curriculum was specifically designed to reflect the reality of today's global business environment," says Alan Shao, dean of Charleston's School of Business.  http://www.usnews.com/education/best-business-schools/articles/2011/01/14/mba-programs-go-global

The House's New Higher Ed Leader - Given the state of the U.S. economy and the promises of Republican lawmakers to cut the deficit, much if not most of the Congressional activity surrounding higher education in the 112th Congress is likely to unfold in the House and Senate committees that set federal spending and overall budget and tax policies. But to the extent that the education committee in the House of Representatives weighs in on issues affecting colleges and universities, a face unfamiliar to many in higher education will have a large say.  The chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, Minnesota's John Kline, announced in December that he had asked Representative Virginia Foxx, a North Carolina Republican, to head the Subcommittee on Higher Education, Lifelong Learning, and Competitiveness, which deals with postsecondary issues of all sorts, including financial aid, work force development, and the like.  Foxx, a House member since 2005, spent much of her pre-Congress career in higher education, starting as a secretary at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, teaching and administrating at Caldwell Community College and Appalachian State University, and ultimately serving several years as president of North Carolina's Maryland Community College. She also spent 10 years in the North Carolina http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2011/01/14/interview_with_virginia_foxx_new_head_of_house_higher_education_subcommittee

SAN ANTONIO GRANTS/GRANTMAKER NEWS

 

 38 Bexar groups get grants - Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, Inc. has announced it boosted its charitable giving to clinics and programs it owns and operates, along with grants awarded to its partners, to $60 million — up from $48 million it gave out in 2010.  That amount includes $13 million bestowed in grants to 38 organizations in Bexar County.  http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local_news/article/38-Bexar-groups-get-grants-953834.php

GVTC Foundation makes donations - GVTC Communications announced Monday that it raised $153,600 for its charitable arm, the GVTC Foundation, which donates money to area nonprofit organizations. Half of the funds were collected from employee donations, while the remaining amount was matched by Ritchie Sorrells, the CEO for the communications provider. Employees donated in record numbers, with 84 percent contributing, a 14 percent increase from the amount collected in 2010. Using those funds, the foundation already has made $5,000 donations to the following organizations: The Bulverde Food Pantry Inc., Communities in Schools and Hill Country Mission for Health. The foundation generates the majority of its funding through employee donations and its annual charitable golf classic, which takes place May 2.

Rackspace named title sponsor for Luminaria - San Antonio-based Rackspace Hosting Inc. was named the title sponsor for the 2011 Luminaria celebration, the Alamo City's annual event that spotlights art and artists from around the world. Rackspace announced a $100,000 gift to sponsor the event, which is scheduled for March 12 at HemisFair Park. Luminaria was started in San Antonio in 2008 and is a collaboration of nonprofit art organizations and artists from various disciplines, including music, dance, visual arts and theater. The free event will feature performance stages, streetscape art, galleries and light installations. This is the first time the hosting and cloud computing company has sponsored the event.

H-E-B donates $50000 for recycling education On January 13, H-E-B announced a $50,000 contribution to city recycling education. “It’s a new concept that has caught on elsewhere,” H-E-B spokeswoman Shelley Parks said. “We honestly believe that if people don’t have to separate out things that more people will recycle.”   Parks said the city will take the lead on the education program, which will include packets with instructions and public forums that demonstrate how to properly recycle.  The city approved a streamlined recycling program last year. The program doesn’t require residents to separate aluminum cans from plastics and paper. All can go into the same 95-gallon blue bins.

HEB to get Texas Medal of Arts award- H-E-B is among the honorees of the Texas Cultural Trust's biannual Texas Medal of Arts Awards. The San Antonio-based grocery chain is being recognized for its generous corporate funding of the arts.  The company has given more than $1 million to S.A. arts programs such as the Blue Star Mosaic Program, the McNay Art Museum free Thursday evenings campaign, and the San Antonio Youth Orchestra.  H-E-B's involvement in the arts statewide totals several million dollars over the past few years.  The Texas Medal of Arts Awards Show, Gala Dinner and Starlight After Party will be held March 1 at the Long Center for the Performing Arts in Austin. Gov. Rick Perry will present the awards.   The event is open to the public.

 

TEXAS GRANTS/GRANTMAKER NEWS  

 Texas Historical Foundation Awards Two Archaeology Grants - Continuing its record of supporting archeology in the Lone Star State, the Texas Historical Foundation (THF) approved two archeology grants during the last quarter. The Friends of the Texas Historical Commission and the Community Archaeology Research Institute, Inc. of Houston (CARI) will both receive funds from THF’s Joseph Ballard Archeological Endowment.   The Friends of the Texas Historical Commission will use THF funds for expenses associated with the archeological investigation, excavation, and artifact conservation at the Bernardo Plantation in Waller County, considered the first antebellum-style plantation in the state. Archeological work supported by the THF grant will focus on studying the area where the plantation’s main house was located and on discovering more about the lives of the enslaved workers in order to gain further knowledge of the early history of African Americans in Texas.   CARI was given assistance to help write a "Historic Context Document" for archeologists to use when conducting African American archeology projects in Texas. The funds will be used for the professional fees of researchers who will collect and gather the data needed to develop a historical framework for archeologists studying African American sites.

Texan inspires South Hills philanthropist's research bequest- A Texas oilman nicknamed "Pete" (for petroleum) became the inspiration for the late Charles Kaufman, a South Hills philanthropist who made a $50 million gift that aims to transform scientific research in Pennsylvania. Robert Welch, despite just a sixth-grade education, liked to hang around with scientists, geologists and petroleum engineers. He liked them so much that in 1954, two years after his death, he left $25 million to start The Welch Foundation and support research in chemistry in Texas.  More than 50 years later, that gift has ballooned into a foundation that over the years awarded $660 million in grants, partly supported research by two future Nobel laureates, and positioned Texas as a national leader in chemical research.   "We're looking for good chemical ideas," said Norbert Dittrich, president of The Welch Foundation. "We're looking for knowledge for the sake of knowledge."   One prime beneficiary, the University of Texas at Austin, received $100.3 million from the foundation.   "(Welch) is one of the cornerstones of our success in chemistry," said David Onion, the university's chief development officer.   He said Welch helped his school expand its research in chemistry, leverage money and start relationships with other funders to attract students, faculty and facilities.   Since the 1970s, Kathleen S. Matthews, Stewart Memorial Professor of Biochemistry at Rice University, received $25,000 to $75,000 a year from Welch to support her research to genetic regulatory proteins.   "(Welch) has allowed strong chemistry groups at different institutions to grow in the state of Texas," she said, noting that chemistry has flourished at major research universities in Texas and many non-research schools.  She praised the simplicity of Welch's grant application -- five pages, plus attachments -- and the speed with which researchers get money. It takes about four months to receive a check from Welch after applying, compared to seven months to a year with federal agencies.   Kaufman hoped to follow suit in Pennsylvania. He earmarked as much as $40 million of his $50 million bequest to The Pittsburgh Foundation to support research in chemistry, biology and physics in Pennsylvania. He learned about Welch on the Internet five years ago, at age 92, and told his executrix he wanted to model his foundation, a part of The Pittsburgh Foundation, after Welch's.   Welch gives away about $28 million a year. Grant Oliphant, president and CEO of The Pittsburgh Foundation, estimates Kaufman's money for scientific research will generate $1.5 million to $2 million a year, and the money won't be distributed for about a year.  The Pittsburgh Foundation plans to use advisers and will hire consultants to assist in making grants from a $50 million bequest, the largest in its history, earmarked for research in chemistry, physics and biology in Pennsylvania.  http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/pittsburgh/s_718435.html

Ransom Center Receives Grant - The Harry Ransom Center, a humanities research library and museum at The University of Texas at Austin, has received $137,015 from the Council on Library and Information Resources Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives for “Revealing Texas Collections of Comedias Sueltas.” The Ransom Center holds more than 14,000 "comedias sueltas," a generic term for plays published in small pamphlet formats in Spain from the late 17th through the 19th century. Purchased in pieces, generally in collections of bound volumes, the materials have been described as one of the major collections of Spanish dramatic literature in suelta form in North America.

Khalifa Foundation grants Texas University $ 150 mn for cancer research - WAM Abu Dhabi, Jan 18, 2011.  The Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Charity Foundation will offer a grant of US $150 million to the University of Texas, US, in support of its genetic-analysis based research, diagnosis and treatment of cancers. H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of the Foundation, and Dr. Francisco G. Cigarroa, Chancellor, University of Texas System, graced today the signing ceremony of the grant agreement. Inked by Ahmed Juma Al Za'abi, Deputy Chairman of the Foundation, and John Mendelsohn, President of Anderson Cancer Center, University of Texas, one of the world's most-respected centers devoted exclusively to cancer patient care, research, education and prevention, the agreement calls for establishing the Zayed bin Sultan cancer treatment clinic at the university hospital. The 600,000 cubic feet medical facility will house the Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Specialty Institute for Cancer Diagnosis and Ahmed bin Zayed Al Nahyan Pancreatic Cancer Center. The grant will also finance a fund for instituting three chairs named after Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan for oncology, the Sheikh Khalifa University for cancer knowledge and the Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan for scientific and medical knowledge in cancer research.
The grant will also fund a group of fellowships every year. 
http://www.wam.org.ae/servlet/Satellite?c=WamLocEnews&cid=1293604783258&p=1135099400124&pagename=WAM%2FWamLocEnews%2FW-T-LEN-FullNews

New rules will improve Texas Grants - An adjustment is needed on the state's rules for allocating funds from the Towards Excellence, Access and Success Grant known as the TEXAS Grants.  The money available for the TEXAS Grants programs must remain available to the low-income students the funds were originally intended to help, but students who have made an effort to prepare themselves for college should be given priority.   Under current rules, the money available through the TEXAS Grants program, established by the Legislature in 1999 to help low-income students pay for higher education, is available on a first-come, first-served basis to students meeting income guidelines.  only about 65 percent of eligible students receive Texas Grants. At the University of Texas at Austin only 53 percent of student eligible for the funding get it.  Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Commissioner Raymund Paredes would like to require students to meet two of four criteria in order to qualify for the education funds.  Paredes is recommending that criteria include taking more rigorous high school classes, finishing in the top third of their graduating class, maintaining a B average and pass or exempt the Texas Success Initiative exam used to determine college readiness.   State lawmakers are proposing various versions of legislation requiring some sort of academic benchmark for accessing the funding. http://www.mysanantonio.com/opinion/editorials/article/New-rules-will-improve-Texas-Grants-957319.php

$1 million grant to The Blueprint for Educational Change and RAISEup Texas - About 15,000 local students will benefit from a $1 million grant to The Blueprint for Educational Change and RAISEup Texas partners from the Dell Foundation. The goal of RAISEup Texas is to build college and career readiness in students through the transformation of teaching and learning in eight middle schools across Central Texas, including Hill Country Middle School, 1300 Walsh Tarlton Lane, in Eanes ISD. This grant will help schools implement the Strategic Instruction Model/Content Literacy Continuum from the University of Kansas-Center for Research on Learning as the basis for whole-school reform.

Students Against Violence Everywhere Receives $25000 Grant - The Allstate Foundation presented a $25,000 grant to Students Against Violence Everywhere (SAVE) to assist SAVE chapters in Texas in their efforts to increase youth safety and promote teen safe driving. This grant from the Allstate Foundation will support the SAVE program in schools and community agencies. Teen safe driving awareness campaigns will be conducted during key times of the year including holidays, Teen Safe Driving Month (May), prom, graduation, and back to school.

 $200,000 will support efforts in Georgia, Texas and Michigan - The Nature Conservancy works around the world to protect freshwater resources. Announced in late December, a $200,000 grant from The Coca-Cola Foundation, the philanthropic arm ofThe Coca-Cola Company, provides continuing funding for conservation projects in four ecologically significant watersheds in the United States. This grant supports the Flint and Etowah rivers in Georgia, the Paw Paw River in Michigan and the North Texas Watershed, all projects that are part of The Coca-Cola Company’s Conserving Fresh Water Across North America replenishment program.  North Texas’s Watershed:  The Nature Conservancy will continue working to restore native prairies at the Clymer Meadow Preserve and adjacent privately owned land.  Not only will this result in the restoration of important prairie habitat, but will provide rare seeds from native grasses to help the restoration of other sites.

 NATIONAL GRANTS/GRANTMAKER NEWS

$1.1M for CSMUB Special Education Teachers - California State University, Monterey Bay’s teacher education program received a federal grant to help students prepare for a career teaching students with disabilities.  The U.S. Department of Education grant gave $1.1 million to provide scholarships that can be used to cover tuition, fees, textbooks and laptop computers. The renewable grant will support a total of 40 students in the two-year credential program. The first group of students will start in summer and fall of 2011.

 Writing Lab Receives $1.5 Million Boost - The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded a $1.5 million grant to Purdue University's Online Writing Lab. The funding will be used to create an interactive writing tool for high school students. Purdue says the site received more than 180 million visits last year, and it provides information on the basics of writing, grammar and mechanics.

$4.95 Million ARRA Grant Supports San Diego State's Education to Careers Collaborative for Biotech - San Diego State University has been awarded a $4.95 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) grant that will fund most if not all of the costs for providing education, training, and employment support services to eligible participants working or who want to work in the life sciences and biotechnology industries. This program will provide these services to more than 1,000 participants who meet eligibility requirements including veterans, dislocated and unemployed workers, and incumbent workers within the Greater San Diego region.

OSU gets $4.8M grant to study rural childhood obesity - The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute for Food and Agriculture has awarded Oregon State University researchers a $4.8 million grant to research and address rural childhood obesity.  The five-year program, “Generating Rural Options for Weight — Healthy Kids and Communities,” will conduct community-based research with extension offices in six Western states to study environmental causes of obesity. It also will develop programs in three rural Oregon counties. The project’s goal is to improve the fitness level and reduce the body mass index of rural children, ages 5 to 8. Findings will be used to develop strategies to combat rural childhood obesity nationwide.  OSU’s grant, awarded through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, is one of the first in a series of $80 million in competitive awards the National Institute for Food and Agriculture will be granting to fight obesity. http://www.democratherald.com/news/local/education/article_5a96d750-2076-11e0-8b5f-001cc4c002e0.html

Formby Grant to boost WBU wind energy efforts - The Wayland Baptist University School of Math and Sciences soon will delve into a new area of teaching thanks to a $20,000 grant from the Formby Foundation.  The grant will fund the purchase of two wind turbines and data-logging computer equipment that the school will use as a teaching focal point for environmental sciences, geology, physics and engineering, as well as other science and math applications.  Students will conduct research by changing the parameters, blade designs and other components, then collect data on the turbine's output. Craig said the turbines also will be plugged into the power grid, and while they are not powerful enough to make a significant difference in the school's energy usage, they will use wind energy to power the greenhouse. 

 UAlbany's NanoCollege lands $5M fed grant- The University at Albany’s College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering has been awarded nearly $5 million in federal funding for research, education and work force development.  CNSE announced Tuesday that it had received federal money to for clean energy, nanotechnology, nanoelectronics and nanomedicine activities.  The funds come from several sources including the federal stimulus and multiple agencies including the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Energy and the U.S. Army Research Laboratory.

Georgetown University has received a $2 million grant - Washington, D.C.'s Georgetown University has received a $2 million grant to establish a project at the University's Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs, that will explore religious liberty and its relationship to democracy and the struggle against extremism.  Funding for the project comes from the John Templeton Foundation, the mission of which is to be a "philanthropic catalyst for discovery in areas engaging life's biggest questions, ranging from explorations into the laws of nature and the universe to questions on the nature of love, gratitude, forgiveness and creativity."

UIC gets grant to digitize photos of 20th Century Chicago - The University of Illinois at Chicago Library will use a $47,000 grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission to digitize 30,275 photographs of 20th-century Chicago sites. The Chicago Photographic Collection comprises archives of several photography firms operating during the 19th and 20th centuries, including the Chicago Architectural Photographing Company, Burke and Dean, Burke and Koretke, and Kaufmann and Fabry. The National Historical Publications and Records Commission, an affiliate of the National Archives, awards grants to preserve and publish the nation’s historical documents, according to the release. UIC's award is one of 53 grants the commission made in 2010, totalling $4 million.

Museums and Society program to grow with Mellon grant - A grant of $484,000 from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation will allow the Program in Museums and Society at The Johns Hopkins University to expand both its course offerings and its staff.  With support from the grant, four new courses taught by curators at three Baltimore museums will be added to the roster of the increasingly popular Krieger School undergraduate program, now in its fifth year. Grant funds will also facilitate additional instruction for core courses and administrative staffing, allowing Elizabeth Rodini, the program’s associate director, to concentrate on content. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation currently makes grants in five core program areas: Higher Education and Scholarship, Scholarly Communications and Information Technology, Museums and Art Conservation, Performing Arts, and Conservation and the Environment. The foundation’s grantmaking philosophy is to build, strengthen and sustain institutions and their core capacities rather than be a source for narrowly defined projects.

Citi grant helps students succeed - Citi Community Development is part of the Citi family of businesses. Through employee volunteerism and funding from the Citi Foundation, it supports programs in many states to help young people prepare for college. The new Academic Success Program in South Dakota State Universitys College of General Studies.serves students who have been re-admitted to South Dakota State University following suspension due to low academic achievement.   The Citi Foundation gave a grant of $28,000 to support low- to moderate-income students in this program, and SDSU’s College of General Studies supplied matching funds of $28,000 to significantly expand the SDSU program.   Program participants will receive one-on-one guidance from an Academic Success adviser, participate in workshops and programs, and have access to tutoring and a peer-mentoring program designed to fit their needs. Citi employees also serve as volunteers, providing financial education to help at-risk students learn life skills such as money management.

Grant creates business journalism professorships - The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation has awarded a five-year, $1.67 million grant to Arizona State University to establish a visiting business journalism professors program. The program will create 11 visiting professorships at 11 different schools, and it will be administered through the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism, headquartered at the Cronkite School. The Reynolds Visiting Professorships will be modeled on successful programs at the Cronkite School and Washington and Lee University.  Andrew Leckey, president of the Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism and Reynolds Endowed Chair in Business Journalism, will oversee the program. Leckey will collaborate with the Reynolds Endowed Chairs in Business Journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia, the University of Nevada, Reno, and Washington and Lee University in identifying other top schools to participate.

Mellon Foundation Awards Duke Libraries $1.25 Million for Conservation Position - Duke University Libraries have announced a $1.25 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to create a senior conservator position to help care for the libraries' extensive research collections. The grant includes $250,000 to enable the libraries to appoint someone to the position and a $1 million challenge component that must be met within three years. By meeting the challenge, the libraries will be able to fully endow the position.

Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch Make $10 Million Gift to Launch the Renovation of the Metropolitan Museum's Costume Institute - A landmark gift of $10 million to The Metropolitan Museum of Art by Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch will support the creation of a major exhibition space within its Costume Institute. This gift will allow the Museum to proceed, beginning in 2012, with the complete renovation of its costume-related exhibition galleries, study collection, and conservation center, it was announced today by Thomas P. Campbell, Director of the Museum.  The new 4,200-square-foot gallery—to be named the Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch Gallery—represents a fundamental change in the Museum's approach to its costume collection as visitors will now be able to view some aspect of these holdings at least 10 months of the year.  Mr. Campbell further stated: "The gift from Lizzie and Jon Tisch is in keeping with the long tradition of support for this institution by family members Joan and Bob Tisch and of Billie and Larry Tisch. This new gift will be combined with the significant proceeds raised each year at the annual spring benefit under the leadership of Anna Wintour along with $1 million commitments from Janet and Howard Kagan and the Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation."   The Lizzie and Jonathan M. Tisch Foundation supports a variety of organizations including Tufts University, New York Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Medical College of Cornell University, 92nd Street Y, Citymeals-on-Wheels, and others that are active in education, the arts, and health care.  John Tisch has been Chairman and CEO of Loews Hotels since 1989, as well as being Co-Chairman of the Board and Member of the Office of the President of Loews Corporation, its parent company.  He is son of Founder Robert Tisch.

Scott Kabrich

Researcher, UTSA Advancement Services

The University of Texas at San Antonio

One UTSA Circle

San Antonio TX 78249

210-458-4790

scott.kabrich@utsa.edu

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