Companies offer special packages, new services to entice virus-weary customers

first_imgIncreasingly desperate businesses have come up with creative ideas to meet customers’ needs and weather the COVID-19 downturn.Hospitality company Swiss-Belhotel International is offering a service it calls “Isolation Package in Indonesia”, where the hotel offers Wi-Fi, laundry and room service for those wanting to self-isolate during the pandemic. The rooms are being offered at a 35 percent discount from the normal price.For a one month stay, the hotel chain offers a service called “Stay Longer, Stay Relaxed”, with cost starting from Rp 3,000,000 (US$191.25) in several hotels in Jakarta, Bali, and Surabaya, East Java. “The [customers’] responses have been pretty good. We have received several inquiries because people need conducive places and hi-tech speedy wi-fi to work,” Swiss-Belhotel International group marketing and communications executive Cindy Margareth told The Jakarta Post recently.Read also: Tourism will take at least a year to recover from COVID-19 outbreak: EconomistsAryaduta Hotel Group, a Lippo Group company, also introduced a special program dubbed “Comfort in Self Isolation” in late March. The program, offered at prices starting from Rp 850,000, enables guests to self-quarantine for around 14 days and includes three meals per day, while ensuring that staff will not enter rooms and will not have direct contact with guests.The COVID-19 pandemic has hit businesses, especially tourism services, hotels and restaurants, hard. The government’s call to implement social distancing to contain the spread of the virus has added to their financial woes. Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHR) chairman Hariyadi Sukamdani said 1,266 hotels had temporarily halted operation as of Wednesday due to the outbreak.As citizens have been encouraged to stay home to flatten the curve of contagion, taxi operator Blue Bird has rolled out a special delivery service Blue Bird COD (Chat-Order-Delivery), which delivers items, such as groceries bought in a shop or documents, to and from customers using the company’s fleet.The publicly listed company has worked with supermarkets and hotels to provide the new service. It is currently available in the Greater Jakarta area, Bandung, Semarang in Central Java, Surabaya in East Java and Bali, among other regions.A pedestrian walks in front of the Sultan Hotel, Jakarta, on April 9, 2020. The Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association said there were 1,266 hotels throughout Indonesia forced to temporarily close due to the spread of COVID-19. (JP/Seto Wardhana)“It cannot be denied that the company has been hit by the current situation, which, we feel, has also been experienced by other companies in other industries,” Blue Bird president director Noni Purnomo told the Post. “But on the other hand, this kind of uncertain situation also calls for us to develop our services.”Before the pandemic, Blue Bird had seen a 31.21 percent decline in profit to Rp 314.5 billion last year from Rp 457.3 billion in 2018 as app-based ride-hailing services cleaved off swaths of its market share.The transportation sector is one of the hardest hit in Indonesia. The Indonesian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) noted that there had been a 50 percent revenue decline in the transportation sector since the country began experiencing COVID-19.Kadin vice chairman of transportation Carmelita Hartoto projected the situation would worsen over the next six months, along with the extension of the “particular state of disaster emergency” declared by the government until the end of May.“If the condition drags on and is prolonged, it is predicted that there will be many land transportation business players who will be out of work,” she said in a statement.As of Tuesday afternoon, Indonesia had recorded more than 4,800 cases of COVID-19 with more than 450 deaths, official data shows.Amid the health crisis, state-owned oil and gas company Pertamina expanded its existing Pertamina Delivery Service (PDS) to offer customers deliveries of oil, gas and lubricant. Previously, the service had only supplied its Bright Gas product.Read also: Transportation industry seeks ‘rescue package’ to weather COVID-19 impactsThe liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) delivery service is currently available in 89 cities and regencies, oil in 67 cities and regencies and lubricants in 10 cities and regencies.“We’re continuing to expand the service areas,” Pertamina corporate communications vice president Fajriyah Usman said.The newfound business strategies might help companies survive the pandemic, said Institute for Development of Economics and Finance (INDEF) economist Andry Satrio Nugroho.“These are normal efforts to be made by any business to survive this kind of situation,” he said, adding that companies in the transportation sector should focus on logistics and delivery, as the service had been in demand.He said smaller hotels would have difficulty offering work-from-home packages.“The hotels that employ this strategy must have quite stable financial capabilities. [They are] often big hotels – four-star minimum – with hotel chains in many countries,” he said.Read also: Five more months to business as usual: Business playersThe government, Andry added, should focus its business incentives on manpower cost reduction by delaying state health insurance (BPJS) payments and lowering utilities bills.Hariyadi of the PHRI expressed a similar view, saying that the hotels’ efforts might not be enough to increase the occupancy rate.“What customers want to spend their money now? The packages are not always attractive because, now, consumers are holding back on spending money,” he said.Topics :last_img read more

Renovated flood-free cottage proves a hit with bidders at auction

first_imgAuctioneer Philip Parker at 51 Nicholas St, Windsor. Photo: Darren England.Ray White Ascot selling agent Ian Cuneo said there were a large number of registered bidders and a crowd of more than 50 due to the entry level property in the area.“Lots of work has been done to this home,” he said.“The owner has lived here since 2008, I actually sold it to them as their first home.”The three-bedroom, two-bathroom home is positioned on the high side of the street and flood-free. The cute cottage has been renovated and is 3km from the CBD.FREE: Get the latest real estate news direct to your inbox here.8 Eaglie St, Chapel Hill.At 9am, a “strong crowd” of about 70 people gathered to watch the auction of 8 Eaglie St, Chapel Hill.McGrath Estate Agents — Paddington selling agent Reuben Packer-Hill said the three-bedroom, two-bathroom home sold under the hammer for $678,000.“We had six registered bidders and the home was sold to a young couple,” Packer-Hill said.“Bidding kicked off at $600,000.”Packer-Hill said it was a great turnout for an early morning auction.23 Waterton St, Annerley.More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home5 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor5 hours agoAn auction at 9.30am at 23 Waterton St, Annerley saw a first homebuyer purchase the three-bedroom, one-bathroom property for $690,000.Ray White Annerley selling agent Geoff Sellars said there were six registered bidders at the auction.“We sold well over reserve in front of a crowd of over 40 people,” Sellars said.The Queenslander-style home, on a 405sq m block, featured tandem car accommodation underneath plus a large storage/rumpus room with plenty of scope for something more.Tap here for a full list of Queensland auction results.53 Lewis St, Camp Hill.There was only one registered bidder at 53 Lewis Street Camp Hill which went to auction at 10am.Place — Bulimba selling agent Denis Najzar said the 1935 art deco home sold for $835,000.“We sold it to a single guy looking to do some renovations to the property,” Najzar said.“We had about 40 people attend the auction.”It was the first time in 15 years the property was for sale.122 Haig Rd, Auchenflower was bought by a family at auction.A family from Mt Ommaney bought a stunning four-bedroom, two-bathroom home at Auchenflower for $1.385 million.Ray White — Paddington selling agent Angela Mastrapostolos said there were three registered bidders at the 10am auction of 122 Haig Rd, Auchenflower, as well as about 30 onlookers.The Queenslander-style home is on a 607sq m block and ready to move in, she said.170 Darcy Rd, Seven Hills.A young family are the proud new owners of 170 Darcy Rd, Seven Hills after buying it at auction for $915,000 in front of a crowd of about 70 people.With a starting bid of $750,000, the competition among four registered bidders was intense.170 Darcy Rd, Seven Hills.Place Bulimba agent Phil Burley said Seven Hills was growing in popularity.“Young families are seeing great potential in the suburb as locations like Camp Hill become just that bit further out of reach,” he said.“Seven Hills is a beautiful leafy suburb, close to great schools, cafes and amenities.”He said bidding came down to $1000 increments.“But the family had been looking for some time now so I was pleased to see they came out on top as the new owners,” Burley said.“We were looking for a place to raise our children and this home offered everything — a beautiful outdoor area, a pool and backyard, it ticked all the boxes,’’ the buyer said. The winning bidder at the auction at 51 Nicholas St, Windsor. Photo: Darren England.A Brisbane dad has battled it out with 18 other bidders to buy a property for his son.The father, who wished for his name to be withheld, bought the home at 51 Nicholas St, Windsor for $810,000 under the hammer and said he had done a lot of research about the local market.“It’s good value, in a fabulous location and so close to the CBD,” he said.“The house has been built quite cleverly and there’s the opportunity to do more to it.”“It’s for my son and his partner.”The starting bid was called by another bidder at $590,000, and more than 20 bids made during the auction.A large crowd attended the auction at 51 Nicholas St, Windsor. Photo: Darren England.last_img read more

EPL: Palace set to compound Villa woes

first_imgAston Villa vs. Crystal Palace Venue: Villa Park Kick off: 2:15PMAston Villa welcome Crystal Palace to the West Midlands today knowing that only a win will do as they fight for their right to play in the Premier League next season. Meanwhile, Palace realistically have nothing to play for after four successive losses left their already-slim European hopes in tatters.After trying but failing to overcome newly-crowned Premier League champions Liverpool in their own backyard, Villa had only a few days off to prepare for their next testing fixture against an in-form Manchester United side.A controversially-awarded Bruno Fernandes penalty opened the floodgates for United to sweep aside relegation-threatened Villa, as further strikes from Mason Greenwood and Paul Pogba confirmed a result that many had predicted would occur before the game kicked off.Furthermore, following Bournemouth’s goalless stalemate with Tottenham Hotspur, Villa have now dropped below their relegation rivals in the table and occupy 19th spot with four games left to play.The battle to rise above the dotted line is far from over, although Watford’s victory over bottom-of-the-table Norwich City means that Villa are now four points adrift of safety at this very late stage. That gap could temporarily be increased to seven points if Watford overcome Newcastle United the day before, and things are looking increasingly ominous for a Villa side that are winless and goalless in their last three outings.Dean Smith is still looking to guide the relegation candidates to their first win since January, although the visit of Palace possibly represents their most winnable fixture since the Premier League resumed.Indeed, Roy Hodgson’s men have now suffered four defeats on the bounce in the top flight, although they would have been frustrated to come away from their thrilling London Derby with Chelsea empty-handed in midweek.The Eagles fought valiantly against the Champions League-chasing Blues but ultimately succumbed to a 3-2 defeat at Selhurst Park, although Chelsea were indebted to a heroic late tackle from Kurt Zouma when Christian Benteke seemed destined to level the scores late on.Nevertheless, even though Palace managed to end their three-game drought in front of goal on Tuesday, Hodgson’s side have slipped down to 14th in the table after taking just three points from 15 on offer following the restart. Despite the fact that the Eagles are not mathematically safe just yet, a 12-point cushion from the relegation zone with four games remaining means that there is little at stake for Palace in the final stages of the campaign.Hodgson’s side seemed ready to mount a late charge for a top-seven finish following a four-game winning streak before their loss to Liverpool in June, but any European aspirations will sadly not come to fruition for the Palace faithful this season.A Jordan Ayew winner was enough for Palace to take all three points against Villa in the reverse fixture back in August.Aston Villa possible XI: Reina, Guilbert, Hause, Mings, Targett, El Ghazi, Luiz, Hourihane, Trezeguet, Grealish, Davis. Crystal Palace possible XI: Guaita, Ward, Dann, Kelly, Van Aanholt, Zaha, Milivojevic, McArthur, Kouyate, Ayew, Benteke.RelatedPosts Runarsson joins Arsenal on four-year deal Ighalo: My best moment as ‘Red Devil’ EPL: Crystal Palace stun sloppy Man U —Tags: Aston VillaCrystal PalacePremier LeagueRoy HodgsonVilla Parklast_img read more

Toure treble fires City to five

first_img Toure struck twice from the penalty spot and curled in a stunning third before Fernandinho and Martin Demichelis completed victory at the rain-sodden Etihad Stadium. City were not at their best but the result became a certainty after Fernando Amorebieta – who conceded the first penalty – was sent off for hacking down David Silva for the second spot-kick early in the second half. City finally got their penalty after Negredo chased a long ball from Milner and was kicked in the backside by Amorebieta. Negredo may have made the most of the contact but referee Jonathan Moss gave his decision some thought before pointing to the spot. Toure made no mistake as he sent the keeper the wrong way after Amorebieta was booked. Fulham looked for a quick response but Sascha Riether spurned a good chance as he headed over from Richardson’s cross. City might have doubled their lead when the in-form Silva showed great footwork after being played in by Fernandinho and brilliantly lifted the ball over Stockdale, but Amorebieta headed off the line. Kolarov then rattled the woodwork with a fierce drive, which Stockdale may have got his fingertips to, after being played in on the left by the impressive Milner. City’s next breakthrough came eight minutes into the second half as Milner cleverly slipped Silva through on goal and Amorebieta crudely brought the Spaniard down. It proved the final act of Amorebieta’s eventful afternoon as Moss brandished the red card. Toure’s second spot-kick proved a replica of his first and there was simply no way back for Fulham. City applied more pressure and Milner shot narrowly over from the edge of the area after cutting onto his left foot following neat work by Silva. Fulham could do little about Toure’s hat-trick goal after Samir Nasri took a short free-kick. The Ivorian, reprising his Capital One Cup final stunner, took aim from about 25 yards out sent a wonderful curling effort into the tiny gap between the diving Stockdale and the post. Fulham could have been overwhelmed quickly as Kolarov tested Stockdale with a fierce drive and Milner saw an effort deflected wide after combining with Negredo. Toure got a standing ovation as he was withdrawn after 77 minutes and Demichelis almost netted as John Heitinga cleared his effort off the line. The fourth came six minutes from time as a well-worked corner found its way to Fernandinho and the Brazilian smashed home from inside the box. The pressure continued and Milner shot saved before Demichelis tapped in a rebound after Stockdale blocked from substitute Stevan Jovetic. Negredo, without a goal since January, might have scored in injury time but missed from close range. From then on it became an exercise in damage limitation for Felix Magath’s relegation-threatened side but they could do little to keep out Toure’s sublime long-range effort and Fernandinho’s piledriver. Demichelis tapped in the fifth, his first City goal, two minutes from time. Toure’s goals made him the third City player to reach 20 goals for the season after Sergio Aguero and Alvaro Negredo, leaving Edin Dzeko, who missed the game through illness, behind on 18. City rarely got into top gear in the first period although, aside from a couple of Fulham breaks, they were comfortably the stronger side. Their pressure might have brought them two penalties inside the opening 12 minutes but each time Steve Sidwell, first for handball and then a possible trip on James Milner, escaped punishment. Milner had City’s first attempt on goal after a cross from Aleksandar Kolarov was blocked and headed towards him invitingly. The England international watched the bounce and struck his shot well but David Stockdale met it with a good save. Fulham briefly caused a few problems and Kieran Richardson struck a free-kick into the wall. Former Manchester United player Richardson then went closer to opening the scoring with a powerful left-foot drive that flew just wide after a Cauley Woodrow effort was blocked. Press Association Yaya Toure claimed a hat-trick as title-challenging Manchester City swept aside 10-man strugglers Fulham 5-0 in the Barclays Premier League.last_img read more

Human remains found in search for missing Texas girl Maleah Davis

first_imgA bag of human remains believed to be missing Texas girl Maleah Davis was found in Arkansas on Friday.A roadside mowing crew discovered the remains in a garbage bag along Interstate 30 near Fulton, Arkansas, according to Hempstead County Sheriff James Singleton.Arkansas State Police will process the remains before they are sent to the medical examiner in Harris County, Texas, Skillern said.The discovery comes after the fiancé of the missing 4-year-old’s mother allegedly confessed to dumped her body somewhere in the state.Earlier on Friday, suspect Derion Vence reportedly told an activist who spoke with him in jail where he disposed of Maleah’s body.“One thing he wanted to make clear to me was that what happened to Maleah was an accident, and he says it was an accident. And he confessed to me where he dumped the body,” Houston community activist Quanell X told KTRK.Vence, 26, initially told police that Maleah was kidnapped in a carjacking on May 4th.However, further investigation, including DNA evidence and video surveillance, proved that he was lying.  He was later arrested and has been charged with tampering with evidence in connection with the case.If convicted of his current charge, he faces between two and 20 years in prison.The human remains have not been identified as Maleah at this time.last_img read more

Guyana women needle Jamaica to win CAC Hockey Qualifier tournament

first_img– Men settle for silver after technical issues halt finalIT was a day of mixed fortunes for Guyana’s men and women teams  on the final day of the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) qualifier tournament at the Jamaican hockey pitch, University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona campus.It was a Jamaica versus Guyana setting in both finals, but while the Guyanese women were able to needle the Jamaicans (1-0) to win the tournament, the Guyanese men had to settle for ‘silver’.According to reports out of the ‘Land of Wood and Water, due to issues with the lights at the facility, the men’s final match could not be played it’s full time, and as such, using the Pool Standings the final positions were awarded, leaving Guyana with the Silver, having nine points, as compared to Jamaica’s 12.Meanwhile, thanks to LaTacia Chung’s penalty corner goal in the 48th minute, Guyana was able to overcome Jamaica. The two countries had played to a goalless draw in the round-robin stage of the tournament.Aroydy Bradford was the tournament’s leading goalscorer, netting seven goals, two more than Jamaica’s Kemar Mitchell.By reaching yesterday’s qualifier finals, both Guyana’s men and women hockey teams would have qualified for the 2018 (July 19 – August 3) CAC Games in Barranquilla, Colombia.last_img read more

Smith, Perez keep Adams XI in charge with day remaining

first_imgSpeedster Niall Smith snapped up 4 wickets while Raymond Perez will be eyeing a fifty, as the Anthony Adams XI gained the upper hand over the Leon Johnson-led side when day two of the ongoing 3-day practice game continued at Providence.Heading into the final day, Adams XI were, in their second innings, on 76-3 after 21 overs. Opener Perez, 10 short of a half-century, will be looking to achieve his landmark when he resumes on 40 with six fours.The dangerous Johnathan Foo hit 3 fours during his 52-minute stay in the middle for his unbeaten 27. Fast-bowler Keon Joseph snapped up two early wickets to keep the Johnson side in contention.Tevin Imlach (4) and Akshaya Persaud (1) were removed by Joseph while Kevin Sinclair followed up is half-century with a wicket.Chasing a first innings total of 174, Johnson’s XI were blown away for 127 in 34.5 overs thanks mainly to the pacer, Smith, who, just like in the domestic 50-over league, bowled with pace and precision to end with 4-34.Spinners Ramaal Lewis (2-18) and skipper Adams (2-29) and fast-bowler Qumar Torrington (2-25were exceptional in their support of Smith.Kevin Sinclair was the guiding light for the Johnson XI with a classy 53 from 69 balls with 8 fours and a solitary maximum. The all-rounder oozed class as he kept his team afloat amidst the dramatic collapse around them.Resuming on their overnight score of 80-2, Adams XI were eventually knocked over for 174 in 68.3 overs.The devastation was brought about by Devendra Bishoo, who warmed-up for the 4-Dayers with a 5-wicket haul.The Windies Test spinner snapped up 5-45 in 18 overs to help keep the opposition at bay in their first innings.Tevin Imlach (28), Ronaldo Ali-Mohamed (25), Raymond Perez (23) and nightwatchman Smith, who showed skill with the bat to end on 27, were the primary scorers for Adam’s XI.Johnson’s side got off to a shaky start after losing both openers to the pace of Smith who knocked over the stumps of Windies Test opener Chandrapaul Hemraj for a duck, then trapping the temperamental Trevon Griffith LBW for two.Johnson (2) and Vishaul Singh were unable to utilize their West Indies experience as the skipper was removed by Smith while Qumar Torrington snuffed out the latter for six.Chris Barnwell played a brief aggressive knock of 25 off 25 balls with three fours and a six, before falling to his Demerara Cricket Club (DCC) team-mate, Torrington.Anthony Bramble was expertly caught and bowled by the opposition captain, Adams, for eight runs. Smith removed Veerasammy Permaul for a duck before Lewis sent back Gudakesh Motie (16) and Bishoo for two.Sinclair continued to motor on as he reached his 50 off 57 balls with eight fours and a six as his team sought to apply more pressure on their opponents.Earlier, Bishoo got help from veteran all-rounder Barnwell, who grabbed 2-19 while spinners Sinclair and Motie chipped in with a wicket each.The young side, although positive, were outfoxed by Bishoo and tied down by the pair of spinners along with Barnwell’s inroads.The third and last day bowls off today at 9:30hrs. (Clifton Ross)last_img read more

Fourth alleged victim may emerge to accuse Fine

first_img Comments Published on November 29, 2011 at 12:00 pm Robert Hoatson, an advocate for victims of sexual abuse, said a woman contacted him Nov. 21 and said her family member had also been affected by Bernie Fine. He has not spoken with the family member who was allegedly affected. At press time, there was no confirmation that a fourth accuser had stepped forward and spoken with authorities. Hoatson was in Syracuse on Nov. 21 to reach out to victims in response to Jim Boeheim’s ‘outrageous remarks’ and to provide support for possible victims of sexual abuse. After speaking on two radio programs that morning, he got a call while sitting in Faegan’s Cafe & Pub. The call was from a woman who said ‘that her family had been affected by Bernie Fine,’ Hoatson said. She did not provide details but said it was a ‘comparable story to others,’ he said. Hoatson said he urged the woman to contact the authorities and believes that she has now contacted the Syracuse Police Department and the district attorney’s office with the claims. Since the call, Hoatson said he has spoken with the woman about half a dozen times. He has not spoken to the potential accuser.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text District Attorney William Fitzpatrick and Sgt. Tom Connellan of the Syracuse Police Department could not be reached to comment. ‘At the time, I said, ‘You might consider calling the authorities,’ and they made contact with them,’ Hoatson said. Hoatson is the president and co-founder of Road to Recovery, a group which provides support to victims of sexual abuse, mainly by members of the clergy. Hoatson has loudly criticized Boeheim’s initial remarks that the other accusers are liars. The family is ‘in the very early stages of trying to deal with the revelation of this,’ Hoatson said, and the woman has not said whether her family intends to go public with the allegation. Attempts by Hoatson to reach out to Bobby Davis, Mike Lang and Zach Tomaselli have not been successful, Hoatson said. He and another member of the organization also had breakfast at the diner owned by Lang’s family on Nov. 21 in an attempt to reach out to Lang. As Tuesday was the first basketball game since Fine’s firing, Hoatson came to Syracuse to promote awareness of sexual abuse. He stood on the corner of Waverly Avenue and South Crouse Avenue and also stood near the Carrier Dome to speak with people, he said. kronayne@syr.educenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

SPECIAL FEATURE: Prof loses tenure bid after appeal

first_imgOn April 3, Assistant Professor of International Relations Mai’a Keapuolani Davis Cross, who had traveled cross-country from her tenure track position at Colgate University to join USC in 2008, was told she would not be granted tenure.Her position at the university will be terminated following the current academic year.Tenure, as it is described in the university’s faculty handbook, is indispensable to the success of an institution in fulfilling its obligations to its students and society. For faculty, attaining tenure provides not only freedom of teaching and research, but economic security.The process begins with the preparation of a dossier presenting evidence of a candidate’s fitness for tenure. Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs Beth Meyerowitz said candidates are put through an extensive and carefully vetted review process.“It starts at the department level closest to the faculty member,” Meyerowitz told the Daily Trojan last October, when reporting for this story commenced. “Then it goes through the Dean’s office and then through the University Committee on Academic Promotions and Tenure  and then finally to the Provost and the President.”The dossier includes letters from both internal and external peer review sources.“We seek outside letters from experts around the country about the impact that their work has had in their field,” Meyerowitz said.According to a letter dated April 9, 2012, from then-Dornsife Dean Howard Gillman, Cross’s denial of tenure was because of a lack of discipline-wide enthusiasm of her scholarly contributions.Marvin E. Krakow, Cross’ attorney, who shared Gillman’s letter with the Daily Trojan, said the denial of her tenure came as a surprise.“Professor Cross’ evaluations uniformly were outstanding or outstanding plus,” Krakow said in an interview. “She was recommended by the department for tenure. She was also recommended by the faculty.”Laura Pulido, a tenured professor of American studies and ethnicity and founder of the Committee for Tenure Justice at USC, said she has serious concerns regarding the university’s tenure process.“I’ve been here since 1993 and I’ve seen a lot of tenure cases come and go during that time,” Pulido told the Daily Trojan last November. “Over the last decade or so, it just seems to be a problem.”In March 2011, Pulido presented her Tenure Bill of Rights to students and faculty in the hopes of convincing UCAPT to enact 13 points to make the tenure system more transparent.One of the main issues addressed in the Tenure Bill of Rights is the lack of feedback regarding why an individual was denied tenure.“You should be able to share that with a person since you’re determining their livelihood,” Pulido said. “It’s important to know how your peers view your work and where you can improve.”In addition to Cross’ award-winning publications — including three books, four book chapters and eight journals — she received USC’s 2011 Steven B. Sample Teaching and Mentoring award, which is awarded to one junior faculty member annually.Cross filed a protest of the tenure decision to UCAPT, requesting an informal resolution of her concerns. Cross’ grievance points out that her tenure application had the support of her department and faculty, but was denied after senior administration sought what she called unauthorized and improper input from scholars outside Cross’ discipline, a violation of USC’s normal procedures.According to a hearing panel report addressed to USC President C. L. Max Nikias on December 12, 2012, Cross claimed that former Dean Gillman made improper contacts during the final stages of the tenure evaluation process, or “cold calls,” with improperly documented outside sources who lacked relevant knowledge of her work and area of concentration.In addition to the procedural violation, Cross’ grievance included a lack of basis for a denial of tenure, failure to give serious consideration to the recommendations of the School of International Relations and the Faculty of the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, breach of contract and improper and discriminatory conduct on the part of the university.The faculty grievance panel found that “Dean Gillman’s phone calls to additional referees during the UCAPT review level lacked appropriate protocols resulting in a procedural defect that materially inhibited Professor Cross’ tenure review process.” The panel also recommended that Gillman’s “cold calls” documentation be removed from Cross’ dossier and that Cross’ application be re-evaluated. The panel found no other procedural defects.In response to the alleged lack of basis for the denial of tenure, the university maintains that “Cross’ application for tenure and promotion process was conducted in a manner consistent with the UCAPT Manual and the Faculty Handbook.”Cross, who is of Hawaiian and Asian descent, also protested the university’s alleged discriminatory employment practices by filing a federal discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on Jan. 2, 2012, on the basis of race, gender and national origin.Cross also alleged that the university’s procedures demonstrate a pattern of ethnic and gender discrimination.“I am pursuing USC’s internal grievance process to correct the unfair damage to my career, and to help assure that women and minority candidates will have the same chance to earn tenure as do their white, male colleagues,” Cross said in a press release dated August 2012.A report conducted by Cross and her colleague Professor Jane Junn, an expert on public and polling methods, found that of 55 junior faculty in the social sciences and humanities departments between 1998 and 2012, 92 percent of white men considered for tenure received it. Comparatively, 55 percent of women and professors from minority groups who worked in the same departments were awarded tenure during the same period.But Nikias found limitations in Junn’s analysis, according to a Jan. 23, 2013 letter given to the Daily Trojan by Krakow.“[Junn’s] memo shows some subjective choices: counting cases without a decision as ‘not awarded tenure,’ including dual appointments with other USC schools but excluding social scientists and humanists based in those schools, omitting some humanities departments, and encompassing an arbitrary period of 14 years,” Nikias wrote to Cross.According to the UCAPT manual from March 2013, 86 percent of tenure-track, university-wide faculty who completed the UCAPT process were granted tenure between 2006-07 and 2011-12. The report also found that, university wide, the proportion of women receiving tenure was 1.2 percent higher than the rate for men.National statistics from the American Association of University Professors in fall 2012 show that 76.8 percent of the university’s tenured faculty is white, compared to the 74 percent national average.Comparatively, USC’s percentage of Latino tenured faculty is slightly less than the national average, with 3.1 percent versus 4.1 percent nationally. Black tenured professors make up 2.3 percent of the university’s tenured faculty compared to the national average of 5.5 percent. The university boasts an above-average percentage of Asian tenured faculty of 14.5 percent compared to the 8.6 percent average.In an email to the Daily Trojan, Vice Provost Martin Levine, the primary liaison to the Academic Senate, said past allegations of discrimination have been unfounded.“Every few years, someone raises the question of possible discrimination in tenure statistics,” Levine said. “Each and every time, analysis of a multi-year period shows there are no statistically significant differences between the tenure success at USC of female and male faculty, or minority and non-minority faculty.”Despite the allegations of tenure discriminations among minorities, Levine said that the university’s reputation speaks for itself.“We are proud that government statistics show that USC is, and has been for years, tied for No. 1 as the most diverse faculty among the private research universities of the Association of American Universities,” Levine said.Pulido, however, said there is limited data to support this.“There have been times where people have asked for data on tenure by department, year, minority status and gender, and the university has refused to give us this data,” Pulido said. “What they say is that USC values its privacy. We have no way of checking their data or their methodology.”Pulido said the statistics also cannot be taken seriously unless they are backed with hard data.“If a faculty were to conduct a study without showing their data, it would be considered unscientific and would be rejected,” Pulido said.Another tenure dispute was filed in 2010 by Jane Iwamura, an assistant professor of religion and American studies. A published author, Iwamura was also the recipient of the Albert S. Raubenheimer Award, USC College’s highest faculty honor. Iwamura said she received positive recommendations by both the Department of American Studies & Ethnicity as well as the Department of Religion.After submitting her dossier in spring 2009, Iwamura said there was no way for her to know the progress of her case because of the lack of transparency in the evaluation process.“There is more transparency in other schools where candidates can read the redacted letters,” Iwamura told the Daily Trojan last November. “USC’s system was much more of a black hole — you submit everything and that’s it.”After the university informed her that she would not be considered for tenure, Iwamura decided to pursue the reconsideration process.After reformatting her dossier to include her newly published book, Virtual Orientalism: Asian Religions and American Popular Culture, securing a second book deal and submitting the necessary materials, Iwamura submitted her reconsideration case in spring 2010.However, Iwamura learned later in the spring that her reconsideration was unsuccessful. Despite the disappointment, Iwamura was most frustrated with the lack of feedback and transparency throughout the process.“It takes years and years to build your dossier and this is a decision that not only has to do with your continued employment but also plays into your confidence as a scholar,” Iwamura said. “Having no kind of objective recourse was almost equally as frustrating.”Levine, however, said this concern is based on a misunderstanding of USC’s tenure process.“The provost’s decision memo always states the reason for each denial,” Levine said. “If a candidate wishes more detail, a second memo from the dean to the candidate explains the reasons at length. This has been our rule for many years.”According to the UCAPT manual, denied tenure candidates have the opportunity to request a letter from the dean explaining the decision. When Iwamura requested a letter following her tenure denial, she said the responses were vague.Looking forward, Pulido said that the university should have a more thorough discussion about tenure.“It’s time to get serious about opening up the tenure process so that it’s more transparent and so there’s a greater level of accountability,” Pulido said.University officials said that the manual of the tenure committee has been published for a decade in order to de-mystify the tenure criteria and process.“The university’s tenure committee is a rotating group of outstanding scholars, educators and creative artists,” Levine said. “And their goal is to make USC even better.”The Faculty Academic Committee did not respond to requests for interviews.On April 3, Cross received a letter from Dornsife Dean Steve A. Kay, saying that after reconsideration, Cross would not be awarded tenure.“UCAPT carefully reviewed the evidence presented in support of promotion with tenure, including the new evidence presented in your reconsideration dossier,” Kay said in the letter. “The provost has concluded that the record does not support a promotion with tenure.”Krakow said the university must still address the institutional problems regarding discrimination against women and minorities.“The Office of Equity and Diversity still has the issue that was presented to it as a result of Professor Cross’ grievance,” Krakow said.Cross’ complaint with the EEOC is pending.last_img read more

Virginia’s Isaiah Wilkins, stepson of NBA legend Dominique Wilkins, forges his own path

first_img Published on January 23, 2016 at 9:34 pm Contact Paul: pmschwed@syr.edu | @pschweds Again and again Isaiah Wilkins launched himself toward the basket on the driveway outside his grandfather’s house. At first he couldn’t jump high enough. Then he could only graze the rim. He tried hoisting the ball up with two hands to compensate. All he wanted to do was dunk, but years passed and he never could.His continued frustration once boiled over, kicking the ball and smashing the garage window.“It was things like that that I knew he was adamant about, dunking the basketball,” Isaiah’s grandfather, James Taylor said.The skill that helped make Isaiah’s stepfather, Dominique Wilkins, famous was one he initially struggled to master until he was 15. It’s just one example of how his career differs from the NBA Hall of Famer’s. Being known solely as the stepson of Dominique Wilkins is an identity Isaiah wants to shed. The forward for No. 13 Virginia (14-4, 3-3 Atlantic Coast) credits his grandfather, not his stepfather, as being the most influential person in his basketball career. And he’ll continue shaping his own name when UVA hosts Syracuse on Sunday at 7 p.m.Isaiah Wilkins’ relationship with the nine-time NBA All-Star is fickle. Taylor described Dominique more as a provider than a father-figure. He’d take Isaiah to Atlanta Hawks games, All-Star games and even got his stepson to be a ball boy at the 2010 Olympics in Beijing. But he isn’t always there for Isaiah the way Taylor is.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“I feel like I’m doing my own things, trying to pave my own way,” Isaiah said. “I feel like it’s important that my granddad gets the credit because he’s really helped me pretty much since I was born.”After every Virginia game, Taylor texts Isaiah and shares his thoughts on the game. Taylor knows his grandson wants to make it to the NBA and, though he tries to be positive, lets Isaiah know how he assesses his progress.When Isaiah’s biological father pulled him out of a private high school to avoid paying tuition, Taylor offered to pay it and got him back in. He wants to make sure his grandson has the most opportunities to succeed.“One of the things I think he appreciates, just somebody being on his back, having him go through that process and just being that for him,” Taylor said. “He can call me at anytime, it doesn’t matter, day or night.”Dominique started dating Isaiah’s mom when he was about 7 years old. At first, he didn’t know his eventual stepdad was such a popular celebrity. Being around him at Hawks games, though, he quickly learned of his significance.Isaiah met Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal and other basketball legends because of his stepdad. He’d come back and tell Taylor about his memorable experiences.“I think that also helped Isaiah develop his passion for basketball,” Taylor said.Regardless, Isaiah said he doesn’t talk much about his own game with Dominique. They’re in touch occasionally and it’s usually just to check in.With each passing day, he’s doing more and more to shake the legacy he can’t control and write the one he can. While at an AAU tournament that Wilkins was playing in, Virginia head coach Tony Bennett was scouting Washington’s Noah Dickerson. But Wilkins stood out with his play on the court, not by the name on the roster.“I had noticed this young man’s a good player that was playing with a lot of energy and passion,” Bennett said, “… and I think someone pointed out, ‘that’s Dominique Wilkins’stepson.’ That’s about the extent of it.”Wilkins sees himself as his own person, and he appreciates when others, like Bennett, see the same. Over the years, Wilkins’ dunking ability has come around.He still can’t dunk like Dominique Wilkins — at least not yet — but he also doesn’t have to. Isaiah may hold Wilkins’ name and expectations from some that come with it, but he’s just trying to be Isaiah.“I really, really value Coach Bennett as a coach and as a person, because he never really paid attention to the last name,” Wilkins said. “That was the least important thing for him. I just thought that was really cool because for me, it’s just a name.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more