1. University will test text messaging system tomorrow

Marquette will test its emergency text messaging system, ConnectEd, tomorrow, Feb. 18. 

All faculty and staff with university-owned cell phones or who registered their own personal phones through MyJob will receive a message that says, “This is a TEST of the textMU system. This is only a TEST.” If you do not receive this message by 1:15 p.m., send an e-mail, including your cell phone number and your cell phone carrier, to security@marquette.edu. Speed of test message delivery may be affected by the user’s cell phone carrier.

The university will use the text messaging system, coordinated through the Department of Public Safety, when there is an imminent threat on campus. It will also be used in the event that severe weather causes class cancellations.

The text messaging system augments other forms of campus communication, including e-mail, voice mail, social media and/or the marquette.edu website, as the situation warrants. 

All faculty and staff with university-owned cell phones have been automatically enrolled for text messages. Faculty and staff may also register their personal cell phone numbers in the “Personal Information” section of MyJob. Phone numbers submitted before 6 a.m. tomorrow will be included in the test.

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2. Consumer financial protection topic of Public Service Conference

The Law School will host its 2011 Public Service Conference, “New Directions in Consumer and Community Financial Protection,” Friday, Feb. 25, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Eckstein Hall. Charles Harwood, deputy director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection for the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, and Gregory Zoeller, Indiana’s attorney general, will be the keynote speakers.

The recent economic recession and the home mortgage foreclosure crisis have prompted renewed interest in consumer financial protection. The 2011 Public Service Conference will focus on consumer financial regulatory change, particularly the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The presentations will address how new laws, regulations, and agencies seek to diminish the impact of predatory lending on vulnerable populations; the efforts needed to ensure fair access to credit, and how community education, economic development, and private enforcement will play a role in consumer protection initiatives.

The event is free for Marquette employees and students. The cost for members of the public is $40. Register online by tomorrow, Feb. 18.

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3. Nearly $3 million allocated for merit increases in 2011-2012

The 2011-2012 budget includes $2.84 million available for salary merit increases, according to Provost John Pauly and Senior Vice President Greg Kliebhan. That is nearly double the amount available in 2010-2011.

“Our budget planning focused on maintaining a balanced budget; keeping tuition increases as low as possible, while making more funds available for financial aid; and acknowledging the contributions of our faculty and staff,” said Kliebhan. Pauly noted that the budget included some discretionary funding that will allow him to provide seed money for academic programming.

The allocation of funding for salaries does not mean employees will automatically receive raises; in fact, merit-based salary increases vary by individual and position, according to Kliebhan and Pauly. They said deans and vice presidents have discretion in allocating their respective salary pools by unit, based on annual performance reviews and market and equity adjustments.

The salary pool increase does not reflect additional university contributions for fringe benefits, including health, dental and vision insurance and retirement contributions. Chuck Lamb, vice president for finance, noted that the university pays 80 percent of health insurance premiums and contributes 8 percent of salary to a TIAA-CREF 403(b) retirement account for qualified employees who voluntarily contribute 5 percent of their gross salary to the account.  

Salary changes for employees who work on a 12-month basis will take effect July 1. Union employees will receive increases effective Sept. 1 in accordance with ratified contracts.

Lamb said salaries and fringe benefits account for nearly two-thirds of the university’s expenditure budget.

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4. CNN correspondent Ali Velshi to speak Monday

An Evening with Ali Velshi” will be held Monday, Feb. 21, at 7:30 p.m. in the Weasler Auditorium. As CNN’s chief business correspondent, Velshi reports on breaking news, politics and is known for his in-depth profiles and insight into national issues. He is the anchor of CNN Newsroom, Your $$$$$ and the Ali V podcast. Admission is free.

The program is sponsored by MUSG.

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5. Aquinas Lecture to address “Perception as a Capacity for Knowledge”

John McDowell, distinguished university professor of philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh, will present the 2011 Aquinas Lecture, “Perception as a Capacity for Knowledge,” Sunday, Feb. 27, at 3 p.m. in the Raynor Library Beaumier Suites. Defending the ancient idea that humans are rational animals, McDowell will discuss the role that perception plays in rationality and defend the view that perception as an operation of human rationality is distinctive to something that is generically animal.

The lecture is sponsored by the Department of Philosophy.

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6. Faculty-led discussions to address Catholic intellectual inquiry

A monthly series of faculty-led discussions, “Faculty Fridays,” will explore how Catholic intellectual inquiry engages contemporary culture, beginning tomorrow, Feb. 18, at noon in Raynor Beaumier Suite A. The series, a follow-up to the Jan. 14 Rev. James Heft seminar on Catholic identity, is sponsored by Manresa for Faculty in the Center for Teaching and Learning. Participants for Feb. 18 are asked to read part I of “Networking Jesuit Higher Education: Shaping the Future for a Humane, Just, Sustainable Globe,” the address by Rev. Adolfo Nicholás, superior general of the Society of Jesus, at Mexico City on April 23, 2010.

A light lunch will be served. Register by e-mail or at 8-0263.

Additional sessions will be held March 25 and April 15.

For more information contact Dr. Susan Mountin, director of Manresa for Faculty, at 8-3693.

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7. Honors Program beginning “Revitalizing Marquette” series

The Honors Program is hosting “Revitalizing Marquette: A Series of Conversations to Reflect, Discuss and Collectively Move Forward” Tuesday, Feb. 22, at 5:30 p.m. in Raynor Beaumier Suites BC.

“Revitalizing Marquette” will kick off a lecture series to reflect, discuss and press forward with Marquette University's mission and identity, decision-making processes, commitment to human dignity and academic freedom, and revitalize the sense of unity and identity among the Marquette community in a structured, academic setting. This initial discussion will reflect on the spring 2010 arts and sciences dean search and highlight concerns of students, faculty and administration, serving as a springboard for more discussions this semester.

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8. Member of Joint Chiefs of Staff team to discuss her journey after Marquette

The Career Services Center is hosting “From Average to Extraordinary: One Marquette Alumna’s Journey to Career Success” Thursday, Feb. 24, 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. in AMU 257. Suzanne McGuire, Arts ’94, Central Asia Branch chief for the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the Strategic Plans and Policy Directorate, will speak. McGuire has held several positions in the federal government. Her initial motivation came from a life-changing trip to the United Nations as part of her Marquette experience.

She will also discuss internship opportunities at U.S. Southern Command, a program created with her assistance.

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9. Faber Center hosting annual lecture in two parts

The Faber Center for Ignatian Spirituality will host Rev. James Alison, Catholic priest, theologian and author, for the annual Faber Center Lecture on Thursday, Feb. 24. Father Alison will present "Gay Issues and the Church: Is Change Happening?" (in tribute to Sebastian Moore, OSB) an interactive video teleconference from Sao Paulo, Brazil, in Raynor Beaumier Suites BC. The reception will begin at 3:30 p.m., followed by the by 4 p.m. presentation and Q&A.

Part two of the lecture will take place Wednesday, April 13, when Rev. Paul Check, Catholic priest and executive director of Courage International, a Roman Catholic Apostolate, will speak about the Church's position on LGBT issues. The reception will begin at 3:30 p.m., followed by the 4 p.m. presentation, "The Catholic Church and Homosexuality: severe or sensible?" and Q&A, in AMU 157.

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10. Pink Zone basketball game, bra drive being held

The women's basketball team will host its 6th Annual Women's Basketball Coaches Association's Pink Zone game Saturday, Feb. 19, at 2 p.m., when the Golden Eagles take on the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at the Al McGuire Center. The event includes a pregame health fair beginning at 1 p.m.

Fans are encouraged to wear pink to the game in support of breast cancer awareness. Pink Zone T-shirts will also be available at the game and the Spirit Shop. All proceeds will benefit the Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund and the Milwaukee Breast and Cervical Cancer Awareness Program. Go online for more information or to donate to the cause.

In conjunction with the “Pink Zone” event, the Center for Health Education and Promotion is hosting its third annual “Bra Drive,” through Saturday, Feb. 19. Collection bins are located around campus, including in the AMU, Rec Center, Rec Plex and McCormick, Schroeder, Cobeen and Mashuda residence halls to collect new or gently used bras for the Sexual Assault Treatment Center of Greater Milwaukee. Bras will be collected until halftime of the game. For more information, contact the Center for Health Promotion at 8-5217.

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11. Retirement planning programs offered

The Department of Human Resources is offering a series of retirement planning programs, “Retirewise,” which focuses on retirement savings, how to calculate inflation, tax-saving tips and selecting distribution schedules from 403(b) or 401(k) plans. The series, presented by Paul Tourville, financial planner at Next Level Planning & Wealth Management, and Mike Russo, financial services representative at MetLife, is offered in two tracks:

• The “Freshmen Series,” a beginner and refresher course, for employees starting to plan for retirement or in need of a refresher course in retirement planning, will be held Tuesday, Feb. 22, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., in AMU 157, and Wednesday, Feb. 23, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in AMU 157.

• The “Sophomore Series,” an intermediate to advanced course for employees who have an average to advanced understanding of the financial aspects of retirement planning, will be held Tuesdays, March 1, 8, 22 and 29, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., in AMU 157; Wednesdays, March 2, 9 and 23, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in AMU 157; and Wednesday, March 30, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., AMU 163.

Registration is required.

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12. Shannon Cutts to speak about eating disorder prevention

The 13th annual “Love Your Body Week 2011: No One Size Fits All” will be held the week of Feb. 21 to provide interactive education about positive body image, self-esteem and overall wellness. Shannon Cutts, a singer and advocate for eating disorder prevention, will give the keynote address, “Beauty Undressed,” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 23, in AMU 163. Her presentation is free and open to the public.

Other events include:
• “Healthy Snacking,” noon to 1 p.m. Monday, Feb. 21
• “TRUE LIFE … I had an eating disorder,” 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 22
• Links of Love, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 21-25, AMU second floor lobby

 For more information call 8-5217.

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13. Nursing students to discuss “Dissertation Journey”

The College of Nursing will hold a program Tuesday, Feb. 22, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. in the Clark Hall terrace. Rebekah Carey and Patti Varga, nursing doctoral students, will present “Dissertation Journey — From Defining the Topic to Envisioning a Program of Research.”

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14. Diversity Advocate Orientation to be held Wednesday

The Division of Student Affairs’ Diversity Committee will hold Diversity Advocate Orientation on Wednesday, Feb. 23, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the Raynor Library Beaumier Suites.

RSVP online.

The Diversity Advocates Network consists of administrators, faculty and staff dedicated to providing student services that not only enhance students’ academic performance, but also nurture the whole person. Orientation participants receive a placard to be hung on a window or door as a notification that the bearer is someone who values diversity and is in support of an inclusive campus environment.

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15. Spirit Shop holding 25-percent off sale

The Marquette Spirit Shop’s Presidents Day sale, tomorrow, Feb. 18, to Monday, Feb. 21, will feature 25 percent off almost every item in the store. The shop will have extended hours Saturday, Feb. 20, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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16. Free group fitness classes offered tomorrow

The Department of Recreational Sports is offering free group fitness classes tomorrow, Feb. 17.

The classes are free to members. The cost is $2 for faculty and staff who are non-members to enter the facility and participate in the classes:

• Cardio Step at 1 p.m. at the Rec Center
• Spin at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. at the Rec Center
• Total Body Burn and Flexibility at 3 p.m. at the Rec Plex
• Variety Fitness at 4 p.m. at the Rec Center

Call 8-6979 for more information.

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17. Save money when filing your federal income tax return

Parents and guardians of students may be able to take advantage of thousands of dollars in federal tax credits when filing income tax returns because of their child’s enrollment status. Internal Revenue Service Publication 970 outlines all tax benefits for education when filing returns for 2010, including:
• The American Opportunity Tax Credit: This tax credit, which has replaced the Hope Tax Credit, has a maximum of $2,500 per student (100 percent of the first $2,000 and 25 percent of the next $2,000 of qualified education expenses) and is available for the first four years of postsecondary education. The National Association of College Stores and the Internal Revenue Service have also created a website to help students recoup expenses on textbooks and other course materials due the American Opportunity Tax Credit.

• Increased income thresholds for education savings bonds: In 2010, the amount of interest exclusion will be gradually reduced depending on your filing status and modified adjusted gross income.

• The amount that can be deducted for miles driven has changed for students who drive their car to and from Marquette for work-related education and qualify to deduct transportation expenses.

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