Bright Outlook for USF

University of St. Francis President Dr. Arvid Johnson spoke to community leaders about USF and how it is surviving in such a tough market.  Johnson stated that higher education is going through some tough times with enrollment declining and debt becoming a burden to students.

However, Johnson said, “Despite these gloomy predictions, I remain optimistic about higher education.”  He said that college remains a good investment as employers would still higher someone with a college degree over someone who does not have a college degree.

Johnson boasted about USF and its students saying they continue to pass national tests and licensure exams at rates higher than the national average.  He also said that this fall they have more graduate and degree completion students than expected.  Typically these students receive employment within six months of graduation.

According to USF, 99 percent of their undergraduate students are either employed or attend graduate school within six months of graduation.

Another big win for USF students is that they are reported to borrow money more responsibly.  USF reports that its students are to have an amount of debt that is less than the national average of $29,400.

Johnson also expressed how USF helps the local economy.   The university makes a $173 million impact on the Joliet and Chicago metro economies.  $64 million of that goes directly to Will County.

Johnson talked about USF’s five-year strategic plan to increase its regional reputation and brand, improve its rankings, increase the number of full-time faculty members and make investments in facilities.

To learn more about the University of St. Francis please visit www.stfrancis.edu.

You Are What You Like

The votes are in and the results have been tallied. Data scientists at Facebook did an experiment which compared people’s political preferences to their cultural ones. To start the experiment, Facebook was able to determine if someone had a preference for a Democratic or Republican candidate by liking campaign pages. Facebook also took a look at the authors, books, musicians, and TV shows these people also liked. The results were tallied and recorded. The results that pointed to favoring Democrats are: Michael Jackson, Lady Gaga, The Beatles, Bob Marley, etc. The items that were liked and showed a favoring toward Republicans are: Miranda Lambert, Jason Aldean, Brad Paisley, Blake Shelton, etc. Figuring in authors was a little more difficult. Based on the results of the experiment, majority of the authors that were chosen could be considered a Democrat or a Republican choice. Based on the pages one likes on Facebook, is how they decide which ad campaigns to show on your page. If a person liked Michael Jackson, The Hobbit, and Neil deGrasse Tyson, they would be the perfect candidate to receive ads favored by Barack Obama. This information is not only useful for political campaigns and advertisers, but insurance companies, colleges, potential employers, or religious organizations might find them useful.

Wrapports to Launch Nationwide Digital Products

While the Sun-Times Media may be downsizing locally, it is aiming to grow nationally.

The Sun-Times Media is preparing to sell its suburban weekly and daily newspapers to the Tribune Publishing Co., it’s also rolling out a new platform of digital products across 70 cities in the coming month. Sun-Times Media parent company, Wrapports LLC, said in a statement today that its new Sun Times Network will be a “mobile-first app network.” This group has already launched complementary websites for cities that include Chicago, Orlando, Minneapolis, Seattle, Houston, New York and Cincinnati, among others.

Chicago-based Wrapports is trying to jump-start profits at the No. 2 newspaper company in the city during a time of rising digital competitors. Sun-Times Media has been burning through cash since it was purchased by Wrapports Chairman Michael Ferro and a group of wealthy Chicagoans in December 2011, but it’s attempting to stem that outflow by building digital businesses. The investors need the new ventures to prosper as print advertising and subscriber revenue decrease.

Wrapports has invested millions of dollars in the new nationwide network through its Aggrego Services LLC unit, which has been a local news contributor and a source gatherer for the Sun-Times suburban chain. That project was a test run for the bigger, long-term goal of using that technology platform nationally, but it has not been clear how that would happen until now.

Aggrego will be forced to compete with countless other digital outlets in the market already, from established newspaper brands to local bloggers to rival such as the Huffington Post that have built national platforms. Some prior attempts at building such as national network, such as the Patch and Yahoo Local, have already largely gone by the wayside.

The newly announced network will aggregate and originate news in big- and mid-sized cities, as opposed to smaller communities. A first glimpse of the sites shows a focus on sports and pop culture. Wrapports also said it would export some of its Chicago Sun-Times coverage to the other city sites.