Tech Talk: Downtown is the Place to Be

Summarizing some recent tech/innovation stories:

Boston Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  • According to Brookings Institution research, downtown universities (compared to their peers) produce 80% more licensing deals, disclose 123% more inventions, receive 222% more income from licensing agreements and create 71% more start-ups.

Hidden in Plain Sight: The Oversized Impact of Downtown Universities identifies the following as the top 10 downtown research universities: Rochester University, MIT, Columbia, Penn, Carnegie Mellon, Johns Hopkins, Temple, Vanderbilt, Rice and the University of Washington.

“While research universities are of economic importance anywhere, they are particularly relevant to the economic vitality of cities because their geographic proximity to firms increases the interplay between companies and schools,” authors state.

  • Kiplinger reports on what it sees as the expansion of cellular service within the next year:

“Cellular service is headed to a slew of devices, via low-power chips that are cheap to make and easy to incorporate into larger products. Verizon and AT&T want to see them in security alarms, first aid kits, medical alert bracelets, collar tags for dogs, fitness trackers and more, adding new tracking and monitoring capabilities.

“The stand-alone cellular connections will help expand the Internet of Things. The LTE radio waves they use can travel long distances and reach deep into buildings so devices don’t have to rely on Wi-Fi or other networks.”

  • A complex formula involving 35 measures, developed by researchers at Xavier University’s Williams College of Business, comprises the American Dream Composite Index. The goal is identifying the extent to which people living in the United States achieve the American Dream.

With 100 being the national average, the following states and metro areas are reported in 2017 as achieving the American Dream to a greater degree than the rest of the nation:

States: Louisiana and Idaho (104 index score compared to 100 average); Washington and Colorado (102); and Ohio, Florida and New York (101).

Metros: Salt Lake City, Utah and Baton Rouge, Louisiana (107); York-Hanover, Pennsylvania and Toledo, Ohio (106); and Syracuse, New York, Boise City-Nampa, Idaho and Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, Florida (105).

Walorski Pushes for New Repeal of Medical Device Tax; Messer’s Reverse Transfer Concept Amended Into Reauthorization Bill

Congresswoman Jackie Walorski (IN-02) has brought forth legislation to suspend the medical device tax for five years. She joined Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN) in co-authoring the bill, H.R. 4617, which would delay the implementation of the 2.3% tax that was originally created through the Affordable Care Act. In 2017, Congress delayed the tax for two years, but without intervention it is set to take effect January 1, 2018.

“The job-killing medical device tax would have a devastating impact on Hoosier workers and patients across the country who depend on life-saving medical innovation,” Walorski said. “I am committed to permanently ending this burdensome tax. As we continue working toward repeal, we must protect workers and patients by preventing it from taking effect.”

Congressman Luke Messer (IN-06) and Congresswoman Jackie Walorski (IN-02)

Walorski’s bill was part of a group of legislation introduced by members of the House Ways and Means Committee aimed at stopping Obamacare taxes set to take effect in 2018. The other four measures are:

• H.R. 4618, introduced by Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS), provides relief for two years from the tax on over-the-counter medications, expanding access and reducing health care costs by once again allowing for reimbursement under consumer-directed accounts;
• H.R. 4620, introduced by Rep. Kristi Noem (R-SD), provides relief in 2018 from the Health Insurance Tax (HIT) that drives up health care costs;
• H.R. 4619, introduced by Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), provides needed relief from HIT for two years for health care plans regulated by Puerto Rico; and
• H.R. 4616, introduced by Reps. Devin Nunes (R-CA) and Mike Kelly (R-PA), delivers three years of retroactive relief and one year of prospective relief from the harmful employer mandate paired with a one-year delay of the Cadillac tax.

Earlier this year, Congressman Luke Messer (IN-06) introduced legislation that encourages a more seamless transition for community college transfer students earning degrees. Messer’s proposal would make it easier for students to earn a degree through a “reverse transfer,” where students who transferred from a community college to a four-year-institution but haven’t completed a bachelor’s degree can apply those additional credits back toward an associate’s degree.

Originally titled the Reverse Transfer Efficiency Act of 2017, it was recently added as an amendment to the Higher Education Re-authorization by the House Committee on Education and Workforce. The provision would streamline credit sharing between community colleges and four-year institutions so transfer students can be notified when they become eligible to receive an associate’s degree through a reverse transfer.

“An associate’s degree can make a huge difference for working Hoosiers,” Messer said. “By making it easier for transfer students to combine credits and get a degree they’ve earned, Hoosiers will have more opportunities to get good-paying jobs and succeed in today’s workforce.” This legislation was supported not only by the Indiana Chamber, but also by Ivy Tech Community College and the Indiana Commission for Higher Education.

Internships More Valuable Than Ever as Talent Resource

It’s easy to list specific reasons why an organization should start an internship program: increased productivity, enhanced creativity, effective recruitment – to name a few. But it’s the coveted notion of saving time and money while getting quality results that’s music to the ears of any Indiana employer considering an internship program.

In fact, these days when hiring for a full-time position, some organizations may not have the time or financial resources to recruit a seasoned individual. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers’ (NACE) 2012 Internship and Co-op Survey (based on 952 employer responses), nearly 85% of employers said that they use internship programs as a tool for recruiting entry-level talent.

NACE’s survey also indicated that 58.6% of respondents’ full-time entry level hires from the class of ’11 were from their internship programs, an all-time high for the conversion rate.

With the rising cost of recruitment, this transitioning of interns into full-time hires may be the most viable option for some employers. NACE’s survey shows the average acceptance rate for full-time positions was astoundingly high at nearly 90%, which lowers the cost-per-hire; therefore, there is no doubt that hiring from an internship program decreases recruiting costs. 

NACE’s survey also found a positive correlation between internship experience and employee retention. Approximately three-out-of-four employees who had previously interned with their organizations were still employed there after one year. Meanwhile, 62.4% of previous interns remained with their organization after five years. 

Adding an intern—or several interns—to your organization is not only a smart recruiting strategy, it’s good business. Corporations, small businesses and non-profits can give back to the community through mentoring and offering a position to an individual seeking an internship.

There couldn’t be a more perfect time to begin your internship program. With more than 4,800 Indiana employers and about 9,000 students registered, Indiana INTERNnet is a great place to begin those internship connections. If you haven’t already, visit to register for a free employer or student account. 

More States Engage in For-Profit College Oversight

For-profit colleges have been under fire from Washington the last few years. Some states, including Kentucky and Illinois, are now taking a closer look at the business practices of these schools. In Indiana, the Council for Proprietary Education maintains its own board but will now be administered by the Commission for Higher Education. Stateline reports:

Rhode Island legislators are considering whether to give preliminary approval for the country’s second for-profit osteopathic medical school.

The proposed Rhode Island School of Osteopathic Medicine would become the state’s only current degree-granting for-profit college if it also wins final approval from the state’s Board of Governor’s for Higher Education. It’s the second proposal for a for-profit college in the state this session, according to Larry Berman, spokesman for the House of Representatives. The first, Utah-based Neumont University, decided to shift its focus to Massachusetts after the House didn’t fast-track the plan, Berman said.

The osteopathic medical school proposal has already drawn fire. It’s opposed by Brown University, the state’s only current medical school, Berman said, and Daniel Egan, president of Rhode Island’s Association of Independent Colleges & Universities, called the for-profit sector of education “predatory and troubled,” according to the Providence Journal.

The bill is mum on details, but one of its sponsors, Representative Joseph McNamara, says the new college would have lower tuition than most traditional medical schools and be a boon to the state and local economy, particularly because of its for-profit status.

“The fact that a medical school would come in and pay taxes for the services they are receiving in my eyes is very impressive,” McNamara said.

Rhode Island’s deliberations come as more states are taking a harder look at the fast-growing for-profit college sector.

GUEST BLOG: Women’s Colleges Provide Advantageous Learning Environment

The following is a guest post from Dottie L. King, Ph.D., president of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College:

At Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (SMWC), we affirm that a women’s college is more than relevant today. In this single-gender environment, the lines are purposefully blurred between college preparation and preparation for life making a women’s college a wise and practical choice.
According to the Women’s College Coalition, graduates of women’s colleges tend to hold higher positions in careers and obtain a larger percentage of advanced degrees than women who attended coeducational schools. Because women’s colleges emphasize individual thought and student leadership, graduates have higher self-esteem, confidence and aspirations that make these outcomes possible.
Opportunities at SMWC for the development of leadership skills in and out of the classroom are limitless, preparing students for the wide range of responsibilities they will undertake long after graduation. Our female students fill all student leadership roles on campus. They lead classroom discussions, student government, laboratory experiments and community-based initiatives. Having consistent access to a wide variety of successful female role models of faculty, administrators and alumnae tends to increase the aspirations and career achievements of female college students. 
Additionally, student participation in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) is also a place where SMWC and many other women’s colleges excel.

In 2010, the American Association of University Women issued a report titled “Why So Few?” detailing women’s under representation in the STEM fields.  If girls grow up in an environment that cultivates their success in science and math, they are more likely to develop their skills as well as their confidence and consider a future in a STEM field.

We strongly agree that learning environment influences an individual’s mindset and that is one of the reasons we believe that a women’s college is an intelligent and rational choice for those who seek a supportive growth environment.
The results of the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) and the Women’s College Coalition indicate students who attend a women’s college are:

  1. enrolled in the traditionally-male disciplines of math, science, and engineering in higher percentages
  2. more likely to experience high levels of academic challenge
  3. promote a multifaceted understanding of diversity
  4. engaged to a higher degree in active and collaborative learning
  5. experiencing frequent and extensive interaction with faculty
  6. participating in activities that integrate their classroom and outside of classroom experiences more than their counterparts at coeducational institutions
  7. reporting greater gains of self-confidence and self-understanding, and
  8. more likely to graduate and more than twice as likely as female graduates of coeducational institutions to earn doctoral degrees. 

In our 171-year tradition of commitment to the education of women in our campus program at SMWC, graduating students must be proficient critical thinkers and effective communicators. We want students to conceptualize, apply concepts, analyze, synthesize and evaluate as the preliminary to reaching to a conclusion or a judgment.
We strive for our students to learn about the integrity of personal power through the friction of intellectual discovery and accomplishment. Our goal also is to inspire our students to examine issues and events from ethical and spiritual perspectives. It is not our role to tell them what to think or what informed opinion to advocate, but it is our responsibility to provide an environment in which they can explore analytical skills from multiple perspectives.
So, yes, we are extremely proud of the role of women’s colleges and SMWC. Specifically, we demonstrate our ability to remain true to our mission while evolving in response to an ever-changing society. For those who seek a progressive learning environment with the maximum potential to fully develop their spiritual, intellectual and leadership abilities, we confidently suggest that a women’s college, such as SMWC, is a vibrant, powerful and providential choice.

New Site, Partnership Provides Higher Education Info

The Indiana Chamber is partnering with the Indiana Commission for Higher Education and the governor’s office on a grant from the Lumina Foundation for Education to enhance the performance of the state’s public colleges and universities. A recent productivity report, video success story in Richmond and much more can be found at the Achieve Indiana website.

Colleges Look to Cut Costs

Taking a close look at expenditures is something Indiana’s colleges and universities have been concentrating on in recent years. In Missouri, efforts are focusing on elimination of rarely used degree programs and increased collaboration between various academic institutions. Stateline reports:

Last August in Missouri, Governor Jay Nixon told state universities to look at making some hard choices they’re not accustomed to having to make. Nixon, a Democrat, wants to eliminate “low-producing” academic programs in order to save money. To that end, he asked universities to review any program that fails to award an average of ten bachelor’s degrees, five master’s degrees or three doctorates per year.

The results of this review aren’t due on the governor’s desk until February, but preliminary results offer an interesting look at what may lie ahead. Institutions have volunteered to terminate 61 of the 353 programs that fell below the threshold, including programs in French, engineering physics, public administration, antiquities, sociology and recreation. More courses are expected to be on the chopping block as the schools conduct follow-up and explore opportunities to consolidate or share programs. Instead of all of the state’s institutions of higher learning trying “to be everything to everybody,” Nixon says, “we have to take a good hard look at what we do well.”

This review is only the beginning of a major efficiency initiative that Nixon is pushing across Missouri’s 13 four-year universities and 21 two-year colleges. So far, these institutions have been spared the worst of the state’s budget crisis, thanks to an agreement they made with the governor two years ago to freeze tuition rates. Now, with that agreement set to expire soon — and Missouri facing a budget deficit of up to $700 million next year — higher ed is bracing for a funding reduction of as much as 20 percent next year.

While some of that gap may be filled with increases in tuition and fees, there’s a growing sense, both in Missouri and across the country, that state colleges and universities can’t go on simply charging students more. Increasingly, school leaders acknowledge that they need to cut their underlying cost structures, and that saving money on classroom instruction has to be part of the mix. As David Russell, Missouri’s commissioner of higher education, puts it, “The last real area of higher education that’s remained relatively untouched, the academic enterprise, the core of our reason for existence, is in danger of suffering some severe reductions."

Muncie Ranks 2nd Nationally in College Town Affordability

If you want to live in a college town without breaking the bank, you might give Charlie Cardinal a call. Coldwell Banker released its Annual College Town Home Price Affordability Index and Muncie ranked second for the second consecutive year:

For the second year in a row, Muncie, Indiana (home of Ball State University) ranked 2nd in the nation in Coldwell Banker’s “Annual College Town Home Price Affordability Index.” Every fall, college football fans feel nostalgic for the tradition, lifestyle and spirit of their college towns as they cheer on their favorite teams. This year’s Coldwell Banker College Home Price Affordability Index comparison reveals that these school-centric areas also sport very affordable homes, in addition to the culture and economic stability associated with institutions of higher education – making them great areas in which to purchase real estate.

The 2009 Annual College Town Home Price Affordability Index released by Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC provides an apples-to-apples comparison of similarly sized 2,200 SF, four-bedroom, two-and-one-a-half bathroom rooms in college markets home to the 120 Football Bowl Subdivision Schools. This year, Akron, Ohio (University of Akron) is ranked as the most affordable college town, where a typical four-bedroom home costs $121,885. Muncie, Indiana (Ball State University) took the No. 2 spot for the second consecutive year at $144,996. Ranked No. 3 was Ann Arbor, Michigan (University of Michigan) with a home price average of $148,000.

Other Indiana Division I-A Football School college towns were ranked as follows:

  • 9th Bloomington Indiana University $164,433
  • 23rd South Bend University of Notre Dame $183,938
  • 29th West Lafayette Purdue University $189,000

The top three “most expensive” college towns for the typical 2,200 SF four-bedroom home are Palo Alto, California (Stanford University) at $1,489,726; Los Angeles, California (UCLA and USC) at $1,347,125; and Boston/Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts (Boston College) at $1,337,578. The top ranked “most affordable” conference in the College Town Home Price Affordability Index is the Mid American Conference with a average price of $182,322. Ball State is a member of the MAC Conference. The most expensive conference according to Index is the PAC-10 with a $747,180 average. The PAC-10 features a number of west coast schools as members.

Indiana INTERNnet Joins the Twitter Party: Great Resource for Students, Employers and Schools

Twitter is an online system for people to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of short, frequent answers to the question: “What are you doing?” At Indiana INTERNnet, we thought it would be a good way to communicate our latest internship postings and statewide internship activity. The New York Times says the system is one of the fastest growing phenomonas on the Internet and according to Newsweek, it seems that all of a sudden the world’s a-twitter. 

On our feed, we’ll post links to current internship postings from, provide anecdotal internship testimonies, offer internship event information and do our best to elevate interest for Indiana internships. This will be an ideal resource for employers, students, and education faculty and staff.

Keep up on the latest Indiana internship news by “following” Indiana INTERNnet at We’ll update frequently and look forward to Tweeting with you.