Wednesday, January 4, 2017

UGA Milestone of Sorts

We spend a lot of time talking about UGA's lack of African-American students compared to the state population, but I just noticed that in Fall 2016 the school reached a different milestone of sorts, this involving Asian students. For the first time, the percentage of Asian students at UGA topped 10 percent (actually, 10.1 percent if you want to be persnickety).

This number represents undergrads, grads, and professional students. In other words, everyone who is a student and indirectly pays my salary. There were 3,706 total Asian students in Fall 2016, up from last fall's 9.8 percent and, if we reach back into the dark ages, higher than the 3.7 percent seen in Fall 1998 (as far back as my data go). I could graph it out over time, but you get the idea, that it's inched up steadily. Factoid: You have to dig back to Fall 2008 before, in a fall semester, you find a higher percentage of black students than Asian students. by Fall 2009 Asians had passed blacks on campus.

What's this all mean? That I need another hobby than staring at numbers in a desperate search for story ideas. But it also reflects what we're seeing at other major universities, though of course here it's nothing like what's seen at West Coast schools.

Factoid II: Asians made up 2.1 percent in Georgia, based on 2000 Census numbers and in 2010 were only 3.2 percent, so the numbers at UGA far outstrip the general population.

Factoid III: In Fall 1998, 63.4 percent of UGA students were listed as white. Back in Fall 1998, it was a lilly-white 83.9 percent.

There's also interesting stuff if you dig into the "not reported" race numbers, or the multiple race numbers. In Fall 2016, 2.4 percent listed two or more races. That was 1 percent in 1998. Also, 4.6 percent did not report a race 2016, up from 3.7 percent back in 1998.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

It's 2017

It's 2017 and it just occurred to me I forgot to write my annual Year in Review of the blog, the usual compilation of stuff nobody really cares about -- how many posts, how many pageviews, how many people insulted, etc. Sadly, it's not easy to do any more, not with the stats made available via Blogger. I can't just separate out the year easily.

The top post, in terms of pageviews, is this one from Sept. 20 on data about various colleges and it is the 10th overall in the history of the blog, which goes back to the dark days of the early 2000s. However, December 2016 was the single best month in terms of pageviews. As is typical, Google and Twitter dominate in terms of referrers to the blog.

So not much of a review. I could do all time, but let's face it ... who cares?

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Oconee River Greenway Authority

I'm messing around the Georgia open government site and decided to click on the section that includes state entities that failed to turn in the paperwork.  Here's the fiscal 2015 entry below. Just one group.

The greenway authority I don't know anything about, other than what I can skim from its website. It's also listed as not having fulfilled its paperwork obligations on fiscal 2014 and 2013. Tsk tsk tsk.

Friday, December 16, 2016

UGA Salaries

The 2016 UGA salary data is available, so let's do our annual peek at all the folks who make far more a year than I do.

For a first blush, let's look at the top salaries. They are:
  1. Jere Morehead (president) $818,775.11
  2. William McGarity (athletic director) $575,000.04
  3. Pamela Whitten (provost) $406,980.00
  4. Henry Schaefer (department head) 598,334.70
  5. Benjamin Ayers (dean) $385,350.00
  6. Tracy Rocker (coach) 385,000.00
  7. Jason Colquitt (professor) $371,207.70
  8. Kelly Kerner (vice president) $349,650.00
  9. Jeffry Netter (department head) $347,370.50
  10. James Sherrer (coach) $331,249.96
OK, look hard at that list and wonder, where's Kirby Smart, the head foohbah coach? He's way down the list with a measly $227.536.21 annual salary. Huh? Because most of his salary comes not through state dollars than athletic department funds, so that's the only part listed in official Georgia data. He makes in the millions.

Doing averages for titles like assistant professor is possible, but problematic. If you're curious, the average salary for an assistant professor is $87,980.55. Keep in mind that sometimes people leave, or start halfway through the fiscal year, and the numbers can be a bit weird. There are several assistant professors listed below $10,000. The average for associate professors is $100,736.04. For full professors (that's me), it's $127,069.64. To be clear, I don't make the average (insert bitterness here).

Bitterness II

I'm a full professor. There are many assistant professors who make far more than me (one listed at $275.726.80 ... and, sigh, yes, most of these are at the biz school). In fact, I count 19 assistant professors who make in excess of $200K. WTF.


The salary data includes travel monies. Lots of these come from grants or are part of the job, so don't freak out. That said, here are the Top Five travelers, at least in terms of money listed.
  1. Scott Jackson (professor) $53,149.72
  2. William Eiland (department head) $50,464.39
  3. Biao He (professor) $45,093.95
  4. Robert Kakaire (research professional) $41,253.40
  5. M.H. Lee (professor) $38.083.70
I could go on and on, but why bother. There is a pretty good correlation between salary and travel (r = .52, for you statistical nerds out there). In total, $18,430,000.18 was spent on travel. That's $18.4 million. That's a lot of Delta skymiles.

Friday, December 9, 2016


By AAU, I don't mean sports, I mean the Association of American Universities, the 62 (so far) top research universities in North America. UGA would love to be invited. That sticky stuff? That's UGA administrative drool -- at the notion of being asked to sit at the big kids university table.

So far, it ain't happened.

I've written about this before, most recently here in which I looked at world university research rankings to show UGA is better than at least a few of the members, measured by these rankings. For example, in those data, UGA is 204th worldwide, far better than AAU member University of Oregon, which is 342nd.

The AAU tends to invite a school every five or 10 years, give or take. It last invited a school in 2012 (Boston University, the first private school invited since 1995). Before that, it was Georgia Tech, our friends just down the road. Of the last 10 schools invited, eight were public universities, I suppose because all the really good privates were already in.

You can see the full list here. It started back in 1900 with 12 schools, nine of them privates with the usual suspects (Harvard, et al.). By 1922 they'd invited 10 more. In total, 36 schools are public, 26 private.

There are specific criteria to be invited, plus it requires a vote of the members. As Emory and Georgia Tech are already sitting at the table, it's hard to say if UGA would or would not get their votes. Looking at the years schools joined, it's really hard to see a trend. Counting backwards, here are the gaps between new members: 2, 9, 5, 1, 6, 4, 3, 8, 5. So there's that big 9-year gap, but also a 1-year gap. This excludes the 2012 entry of Boston University, so before that first "2" you could add a 4 or 5, depending on when you count 2016 or 2017.

My prediction? UGA may get an invite in the next five years, but I would not be surprised if it never comes about. In the SEC, Florida, Missouri, Texas A&M, and Vanderbilt are members. Some of those have the advantages of med schools, engineering schools, or both -- key to producing the kinds of grant money so respected by the AAU. Georgia certainly ranks with those SEC brethren, and indeed that pretty much exhausts the list of quality academic SEC schools, but I just can't tell if AAU is ready to commit to the G.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Avoid Those Noon Games

If you're UGA, maybe you should avoid those noon kickoffs. Here's a table of the regular season organized by time of day, with of course noon games coming first, followed by 2:30, 3:30, 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. Clearly we didn't do all that well on noon games, squeaking by powerhouse Nicholls State and getting clubbed to death by Ole Miss, losing to Vandy (Vandy?), and (sigh) Georgia Tech.

Start Time
Score (Ga 1st)
Nicholls State
Ole Miss
South Carolina
Not Played
Played next day
To Vandy?
Georgia Tech
Not OK

2:30 p.m.
South Carolina
Makeup game

3:30 p.m.
Bad one
3:30 p.m.
Worse one
3:30 p.m.
Good game

5:30 p.m.
Good one

7:30 p.m.
7:30 p.m.
Good game

So at noon, we boasted a 2-4 record. Ouch. Hey, but at least we were undefeated at 2:30 p.m. with a 1-0 record (just one game, that makeup with South Carolina on a Sunday). For the record, we were also undefeated on Sundays this season.

At 3:30, UGA was 1-2, improved and was undefeated at 5:30. And those 7:30 games? Won both of 'em.  Barely, yeah, but victories nonetheless.

The lesson? UGA needs to play late games, not early ones. And avoid 3:30.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Liberals, Conservatives, and Radio

Everyone knows how much conservatives love (and do well) political talk radio. It's dominated by folks like Rush Limbaugh and, to a lesser degree, Sean Hannity and a cast of others. Liberals don't do well with the medium, at least not nationally.

But how do liberals and conservatives differ in how they see radio programming? I provide a first visual, blush at some data crunching based on multidimensional scaling of radio programs, those in talk radio and National Public Radio. The labels are mostly from the host of the program (i.e., Limbaugh) or the full name of a program that isn't host-based. I'll discuss each below. First:

Liberals and Radio Programs

Notice above how liberals bunch all the host-based programs together in one lump on the left side all stuck together more or less on the X-axis? They see them as all the same, regardless of partisan views. and show some distinction among the various NPR programs (Talk of the Nation, All Things Considered, Fresh Air, and Morning Edition). OK, now:

Conservatives and Radio Programs

See the difference? Conservatives distinguish among the various host-based programs, especially Limbaugh and Hannity, but also Glenn Beck and the rest. But conservatives are more likely to lump together the various NPR programs, to not distinguish among them all that much.

What's it mean? From a theoretical perspective this fits, to some degree, in-group and out-group differences. We tend to see lots of variety in our in-group and see all those out-group people as all the same. To put it in college terms, a frat member will see lots of variety among members of fraternities, but an independent (non-Greek) may see them as all the same. That's what I think is happening here. It's the core of a larger study I'm doing.