POSTED ON DECEMBER 28, 2011:
Pond Partners. Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology recently hosted Chinese administrators and faculty from several of China's highly ranked institutions of technical education. Representing Nanjing Institute of Industry Technology (NIIT) was Vice President Wu Xuemin, Director of International Affairs Leela Zhang, and associate professors Song Yandong and DingJibin.
The Chinese delegation was investigating OSUIT's model of hands-on, industry-driven technical education, with a particular interest in OSUIT's automotive service technology programs. Due to China's fast-growing automotive industry, the delegation members were selected by China's Ministry of Education to research the best automotive technology programs in the U.S.
OSUIT's new president, Dr. Bill Path, led discussions with NIIT's Vice President Wu Xuemin to move forward with plans for collaboration. In doing this, Dr. Path furthered the relationship between OSUIT and NIIT that began in 2010 with a Memorandum of Understanding signed by former OSUIT president Dr. Bob Klabenes.
As one of 109 schools designated by the Chinese Ministry of Education as a National Demonstration Vocational College, NIIT is an ideal partner for OSUIT, according to Dr. Path.
OSUIT plans to work with the represented Chinese institutions on a joint proposal for faculty development to be submitted to the Chinese Ministry of Education. OSUIT is prepared to serve as a lead institution in the project to provide training and development for automotive faculty from top technical institutions throughout China.
Pocket Change. Governor Mary Fallin applauded action taken by the Oklahoma State and Education Employees Group Insurance Board (OSEEGIB) that will save taxpayer dollars and reduce prescription drug costs for thousands of consumers in Oklahoma.
The plan was originally submitted by the Pharmacy Providers of Oklahoma (PPOk) as a way to reduce prescription drug costs while retaining a level playing field between local independent pharmacies, chains and mail service pharmacies. Total savings are estimated at $13.1 million per year for the state, as well as a total of $19.8 million in total savings for the 163,000 thousand prescription drug consumers currently enrolled in Health Choice plans.
Under the new proposal, Oklahoma pharmacists will offer deeper discounts on all drugs for Health Choice Plans resulting in savings to the plan and the members, which include many teachers, state employees, retirees, including all Medicare members, and their dependents. The new plan will result in an estimated 10 percent reduction in total prescription drug costs for HealthChoice members.
Hitchhike. Free AAA Tipsy Tow services will once again be offered over New Year to AAA members and nonmembers alike. The auto club will give you, your car and up to one more person a free ride home if you feel unsafe behind the wheel after drinking.
AAA is offering Tipsy Tow in metropolitan Tulsa and Oklahoma City as well as in Shawnee, Muskogee, Enid, Bartlesville and Lawton. The free service runs until 2am on Monday, Jan. 2, 2012.
To call for Tipsy Tow, dial 800-222-4357 (AAA-HELP) and ask for Tipsy Tow. AAA will take you and your vehicle home -- up to 15 miles from point of pick-up.
Slice and Spice. Williams Seasoning Mixes, specializing in authentic, full-flavor chili seasonings, is challenging schools across the country to bring on the flavor and fun by hosting an ultimate chili cook-off challenge at participating high schools. On Jan. 10, 2012, local high school teachers from East Central and Edison Prep will tie on their aprons and vie for the grand prize during the basketball game halftime.
The Williams Chili Cook-off Challenge will be judged by the school district's superintendent where five teachers from each school will have their chili concoctions put to the test. One winning teacher will be selected from each school. The chili creations will be judged on five components: aroma, color, consistency, taste and aftertaste.
For the Future. The Tulsa Public Schools Board of Education has approved the calendar for its regular meetings in 2012. The starting time for each meeting will be 6:30pm. This is a change from the starting time of 7pm used for several years.
Also, with the renovations at the Education Service Center near completion, regular board meetings will return to the Cheryl Selman Room of the Charles C. Mason Education Service Center at 3027 S. New Haven Ave. Visit tulsaschools.org for more
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