News and Analysis

The Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities moved to 812 20th Street two months ago, the University announced in an email to students last week.

The SRR office is the disciplinary branch of the University– students are sent to the office if they participate in any sort of misconduct that could lead the University to take disciplinary action against them.

The offices were previously housed in City Hall, a former residence hall that GW leased for the last 15 years. The building sold for almost $80 million in May to Durant Berkeley Partners LLC and is currently undergoing renovations. Before then, the offices were located in the John Quincy Adams House on I Street.

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GW will soon sell its W Street residential property near the Mount Vernon Campus, which most recently served as the provost’s residence, according to a University release Monday.

The proceeds from the sale will fund financial aid for students in the the Women’s Leadership Program and University Honors Program, which are both housed on the campus, according to the release.

Provost Forrest Maltzman said in the release that selling the house will allow the University to invest in additional financial aid to support students.

“Selling the W Street House presents an opportunity for the university to continue to invest in financial aid, supporting our students so they can take full advantage of a GW education regardless of financial resources,” Maltzman said.

The University first took ownership the house as part of its acquisition of the Mount Vernon Campus in 1999, according to the release.

The house was most recently the provost’s residence but has been vacant since former Provost Steven Lerman stepped down at the end of 2015. Lerman hosted monthly “Pancakes with the Provost” events for students in the house.

Alicia Knight, the senior associate vice president for operations, said in the release that officials considered selling the property because it was already vacant.

“In this case, we decided that it was in the university’s best interest to offer the property for sale,” Knight said in the release.

Washington Fine Properties will represent GW in the sale, according to the release.

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GW took a significant hit in this year’s Money magazine rankings, which reflects the return on investment for more than 700 universities nationwide.

The University ranked No. 376 in Money’s report, dropping more than 160 spots from last year’s 209 finish. The year before, GW ranked No. 214.

The magazine analyses colleges and universities based on quality of education – which includes the test scores of incoming freshmen, graduation rates and student to faculty ratios – as well as affordability and outcome, which examines graduates’ earnings.

Money omitted institutions with poor financial health, low graduation rates or fewer than 500 students.

GW ranked above five of its peer schools, including American, Boston, Southern Methodist and Tulane universities and the University of Miami. Vanderbilt was GW’s highest-ranking peer school, landing the 27th spot on the list. Last year, Vanderbilt was 24.

Princeton University topped this year’s list, knocking Stanford University down from the top spot to No. 10.

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The School of Medicine and Health Sciences has created a new Center for Healthcare Innovation and Policy Research, according to a press release.

The new center “focuses on multi-disciplinary, collaborative scholarship on enhancing value in health care delivery” and will absorb the Office of Clinical Practice Innovation and Urgent Matters, “expanding its reach across GW,” according to the release.

Jesse Pines, the new center’s director and a professor of emergency medicine and health policy and management, said in the release that a major focus of the center will be “the rigorous study of the most innovative practices in medical care with the goal of promoting evidence-based public policy.”

“We hope to contribute to effective policymaking and improve healthcare in a time of major delivery system and payment changes,” Pines said in the release.

The center’s core faculty includes Pines; Steven Farmer, who will act as the center’s associate director and is also an associate professor of medicine, Andrew Meltzer, an associate professor of emergency medicine, Barbara Gage, an associate professor of clinical research and leadership and Trudy Mallinson, also an associate professor of clinical research and leadership, according to the release.

The center will create partnerships both within GW and across the nation, which will be formally recognized through a fellows and scholars program, according to the release.

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The GW Cancer Center received a $1 million grant for a training program to promote health equity and improve communications for patients and providers, according to a release.

The Pfizer Foundation, a charitable organization that provides funds and resources to improve global health strategies, awarded the grant to the center to advance cancer care by improving communication, patient health literacy and cultural sensitivity between patients and health care providers.

Mandi Pratt-Chapman, the lead researcher and associate center director for patient-centered initiatives and health equity at the GW Cancer Center, said in the release that health care professionals are pressed for time and patients are often overwhelmed by information.

“We will develop tools to help patients identify their priorities for care and clarify when information is confusing,” Pratt-Chapman said. “We will also train patient navigators and clinicians on communication techniques to support patient engagement and understanding of information across diverse and intersecting backgrounds.”

This grant will continue efforts to help patients make informed choices about their health care through the GW Cancer Center’s Prepared Patient Program.

The program will train patients to advocate for themselves, and health care providers will learn culturally sensitive practices, according to the release.

This research will also examine the ways gender, race, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity and income impact the patient and provider relationship. Researchers hope to determine if providers who received this training will be more committed to providing culturally sensitive care, the release states.

“Productive patient-provider interactions are essential to ensuring that all individuals living with cancer are able to access quality care,” Caroline Roan, the president of the Pfizer Foundation, said in the release. “We are pleased to be working with the GW Cancer Center on this initiative to improve access to patient-centered, equitable oncology care for women.”

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Tuesday, July 19, 2016 1:35 p.m.

Board of Trustees chair elected to second term

Chairman of the Board of Trustees Nelson Carbonell was reelected to a second term. Hatchet File Photo.

Chairman of the Board of Trustees Nelson Carbonell was reelected to a second term. Hatchet File Photo.

The Board of Trustees elected Nelson Carbonell to a second three-year term as chair of the Board of Trustees, which began on July 1, according to a University release.

Carbonell first became chair in 2013, after serving as vice chair for six years. He earned his bachelor’s degree from GW in electrical engineering, was inducted in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences Hall of Fame in 2011 and is the “founder, chairman and CEO of Nelson Carbonell and Associates,” according to the release.

“It has been a great honor to serve as chair of the Board of Trustees, and I look forward to continuing to work with the administration, faculty and the board to build on the progress we have made on behalf of the George Washington University,” Carbonell said in the release.

In his past three years as chair of the Board of Trustees, Carbonell has helped to oversee the creation of the Science and Engineering Hall as well as the Milken Institute School of Public Health. He has also helped fund an autism research hub at GW and approved changes to faculty regulations.

In his upcoming term Carbonell will be significantly involved in the selection of a new president for the University, following current University President Steven Knapp’s announcement last month that he will not be seeking to renew his contract at the end of the upcoming academic year.

The Board of Trustees also reelected Ellen Zane as vice president and Grace Speights as secretary and reelected three charter members: Roslyn Brock, Michael Hoffman and Madeleine Jacobs, according to the release.

A new charter member was also elected – Amr ElSawy. ElSawy is currently the CEO of Noblis and “has extensive experience leading organizations and developing innovative solutions to some of the most complex challenges facing public sector enterprises in national security, transportation, health and the environment,” according to the release. He was also inducted into SEAS’s Hall of Fame in 2012.

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Updated: July 15, 2016 at 10:08 p.m.

A man authorities believed to be armed with an assault rifle near campus was an off-duty special police officer, according to a tweet by the Metropolitan Police Department.

Police initially said the man was in the area of 24th Street and New Hampshire Avenue and walking toward Pennsylvania Avenue, according an alert sent at 8:20 p.m. Friday.

The man was described as black, 5′ 9″ inches tall, medium build and wearing a white T-shirt with a slogan that that reads “I” followed by a heart symbol and a image of an assault rifle, according to a photo of the suspect released by GW Safety and Security.

He was allegedly wearing an armor vest under his shirt and possibly a gun belt. Police believed he was carrying an M16 assault rifle, according to the initial alert.

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Officials celebrated the official opening of the Cisneros Leadership Institute at a ribbon cutting ceremony earlier this year. The institute named a director and a senior fellow this week. Hatchet file photo

Officials celebrated the opening of the Cisneros Hispanic Leadership Institute at a ribbon cutting ceremony earlier this year. The institute named a director and a senior fellow this week. Hatchet file photo

The GW Cisneros Hispanic Leadership Institute named a director and senior fellow for the institute this week, according to a University release Wednesday.

Elizabeth Vaquera, who was an associate professor of sociology at the University of South Florida, will serve as institute’s director. Louis Caldera, the former president of the University of New Mexico and secretary of the Army, will be the institute’s first senior fellow.

Vaquera succeeds David Martinez, who served as interim director since the institute was founded last year and who will remain an associate director.

Vaquera, who received her doctorate in sociology from the University of Pennsylvania, said although she received a degree from an Ivy League school, she understands the struggles that first-generation students and immigrants face: She was a first-generation student who learned English as a second language.

“A professor who mentored me through college changed my life, and I am committed to continuing to pay it forward and reducing inequalities through education by helping Hispanic youth succeed and become leaders in their chosen careers,” Vaquera said in the release.

Caldera, whose family immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico, said in the release that he has been committed to “broadening Hispanic participation in meaningful and lasting ways” throughout his career in education and public service.

“At the institute, I look forward to doing what I can to cultivate a new generation of students and leaders who will be among those shaping the social, political and economic landscape of our country in the coming years,” Caldera said in the release.

The Cisneros Institute was established last year through a $7 million dollar gift from alumnus Gilbert Cisneros and his wife Jacki Cisneros. The institute hosts pre-college programs for high school juniors and seniors. At least $250,000 of the funds go toward renewable scholarships.

Ben Vinson, the dean of the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, said in the release that he is “thrilled” by the appointments.

“Both bring to their roles exemplary records of scholarship, mentorship and public service, as well as firsthand knowledge of the challenges facing first-generation immigrants,” Vinson said.

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Provost Forrest Maltzman presents tuition and enrollment statistics at a staff town hall Wednesday. Dan Rich | Photo Editor

Provost Forrest Maltzman presents tuition and enrollment statistics at a staff town hall Wednesday. Dan Rich | Photo Editor

About 40 staff members met in Duques Hall Wednesday evening to learn more about recent budget cuts from top officials and to raise their concerns about recent position eliminations.

Provost Forrest Maltzman and Deputy Vice President and Treasurer Ann McCorvey presented how shifts in student enrollment have affected the University’s finances and their plans to cut costs this fiscal year. The GW Staff Association held the town hall meeting in response to the elimination of about 40 staff positions last month.

In December, University President Steven Knapp called on all administrative units to make 3 to 5 percent budget cuts each fiscal year until 2021. GW’s libraries, technology, student affairs, safety and security and treasurer’s offices were reorganized or saw jobs eliminated in May as part of the first round of budget reallocations.

Staff members said they are concerned the staff cuts will cause remaining employees to be overworked and under-compensated and will create a general decline in morale.

Greg Squires, the chair of the sociology department, said staff who take on more responsibilities after cuts need tangible rewards to keep them at the University.

“We can’t expect people to keep doing more work and simply acknowledging that without some kind of concrete response,” Squires said.

Effects on employees are inevitable when streamlining the budget, McCorvey said. Running a university is a “people-intensive thing,” she said, which means a bulk of GW’s money must be spent on paying employees: 60 percent of the roughly $1 billion operating budget goes toward compensation.

“In order for us to make any adjustments to processes and programs, with people costs being that big of a percentage, it’s hard to not have some sort of an impact,” McCorvey said.

Officials should prioritize “transparency and engagement” with staff as they work to balance their budgets, McCorvey said. She encouraged staff to come forward with their ideas for ways to cut costs within their departments.

Members of the Staff Association presented a charter to create a staff senate to Maltzman in March, saying they wanted improved transparency between employees and administrators. Maltzman said at Wednesday’s meeting that it would not be “in the best interest” of the staff to create a senate designed after the Faculty Senate, because faculty senates are an accepted part of the American higher education system in a way that staff senates are not.

Maltzman encouraged staff members to join Faculty Senate committees or to create a body similar to the Student Association to make their voices heard by upper-level administrators.

The two officials also explained how the University budget fell short in past years, and how reallocating funds now can prevent future budget cuts of this magnitude.

The University’s expenses outpaced its revenue from 2012 to 2015, forcing officials to dip into GW’s savings in order to balance the budget – a model which McCorvey said is not sustainable. She said that by trimming the budget, officials can eventually put money back into savings.

“The appropriate strategy for us to drive toward is to put money in savings account, save for our future and then invest in new strategies,” McCorvey said.

Maltzman said net tuition revenue has decreased as more freshmen applicants require financial aid. Net tuition is the out-of-pocket cost students and their families must cover after aid is awarded. Since about 2008, as tuition has increased, so has the amount of money the University awards in financial aid, he said.

“We funded that for many, many years, like the rest of higher education, with fairly aggressive pricing and we funded it with enrollment growth,” Maltzman said. “It’s good and helpful for some of our students, but now we don’t have extra resources.”

GW’s net tuition still ranked eighth highest among private universities in the 2013 school year at $47,343, according to U.S. Department of Education statistics.

A decline in graduate enrollment also posed earlier budget cuts and hiring freezes, but Maltzman said graduate student enrollment is on the rise: 2.4 percent more graduate students have made deposits for the upcoming academic year than last year, according to data from the provost’s office.

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