Daily Debriefing

by Laura Weiss | 10/2/12 10:00pm

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's oldest son, Tagg Romney, spoke to a group of students in the Rockefeller Center on Tuesday afternoon. Tagg Romney spoke about his father's success during his 25-year career at Bain Capital and triumph in creating a $100-million surplus when helping organize the 2002 Olympic Games. He also spoke about Mitt Romney's role as the governor of Massachusetts, emphasizing his successful solutions to the state's budget issues. Tagg Romney rejected Democrats' attempts to insult his father's character, speaking of Mitt Romney's kindness and citing his father's readiness to travel to New York to help a friend find his kidnapped daughter. The College Republicans brought Tagg Romney to campus.

A key founder of modern ecology and proponent of environmentalism, Barry Commoner died in Manhattan on Sunday at the age of 95, The New York Times reported. Commoner began his career doing research on the health effects of radiology and helped create the 1963 Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Raised on Marxist ideology, Commoner argued that critical environmental issues such as environmental degradation were linked to capitalist policies and means of production and worked toward social and political change in the fields of biology and environmental ecology throughout his career, according to The Times. Although Commoner's influence in the scientific and academic communities waned in the years before his death, he left a lasting impact on the field of ecology and the environmental movement, The Times reported.

As outlined by a 2010 law, Tennessee is using institutional outcomes such as graduation rates and credit completion to determine how much state funding higher education institutions receive, according to a report by The Chronicle of Higher Education. The new method replaces the old strategy of distributing funds based on enrollment. Since the 1970s, many states have allocated percentages of their funding based on these standards, but colleges are now changing how they work to produce higher graduation rates. Methods being introduced by universities include additional tutoring opportunities, expanded advising options and greater emphasis on the importance of class attendance. Critics expressed concerns that the policy might encourage professors to lower academic standards to ensure that their students pass, according to The Chronicle.

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