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CNBC: "Trump's attack on Amazon has some basis in truth"

08/18/2017

CNBC: "Trump's attack on Amazon has some basis in truth"

President Donald Trump attacked Amazon again on Wednesday, saying the e-commerce giant is responsible for killing jobs and damaging "tax paying retailers."

While 140 characters can't capture the nuance of Amazon's complex tax situation, Trump's claims aren't entirely baseless and could potentially gain support from a number of states.

Amazon currently collects sales tax in every state where it's required for the products the company actually sells. But more than half of items purchased on Amazon come from third-party merchants, who use various parts of Amazon's storage, payments and logistics systems and generally aren't required to collect sales tax.

That tax-free zone gives Amazon sellers a significant edge over physical retailers, who are already struggling to stay afloat.

"It is an unfair advantage that's killing retailers, especially small businesses and specialty retailers," said Paul Rafelson, a state and local tax attorney and adjunct law professor at Pace University in New York.

Online merchants don't have to collect sales tax if they don't have a physical presence in a particular state. It gets tricky for sellers on Amazon's marketplace.

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Journal News: "At work during the eclipse? Companies letting employees sneak a peek"

08/18/2017

Journal News: "At work during the eclipse? Companies letting employees sneak a peek"

Monday's solar eclipse is being called a once-in-a-lifetime event.

A solar eclipse is when the moon goes between Earth and the sun resulting in an obstruction of the sun and blocking sunlight. The total solar eclipse covers a band of the United States roughly 70 miles wide plus some other countries.

Although in the Lower Hudson Valley, it won't be a rare total eclipse, those who venture outdoors between 1:30 to the peak at 2.44 p.m. will witness a partial eclipse.

Many eclipse viewers will be at work during that time. In anticipation of Monday's event, which hasn't occurred in 38 years, local businesses are planning to take it outside.

Journal News Article

...Pace University in Pleasantville is inviting the public to a viewing on campus starting at 1:30 p.m. Hosted by the new college president Marvin Krislov, it includes a Q&A with astronomy professor Matt Ganis. It takes place at the main quad off 861 Bedford Road in Pleasantville from 1:30 to 3 p.m. 866-722-3338; pace.edu/westchester 

 

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The Ladders: "Why we should get rid of generational labels in the workplace"

08/15/2017

The Ladders: "Why we should get rid of generational labels in the workplace"

They isolate employees

Helene Cruz, Director of Career Counseling at Pace University Career Services, said she is proud that her team is multi-generational.

“We have established a culture that cultivates learning from one another across seven generations,” she said. “We appreciate our millennial colleagues and rely on the fact that they are technically-savvy and creative, ready to bring new ideas to the table and not afraid to embark on new initiatives.”

All employees, no matter their age, contribute to the organization, Cruz said. 

“We glean a tremendous amount of insight from our millennial teammates because they are closer in age to the students and can more fully express the student perspective/experience,” she said. “In turn, because employer representatives are also our clients, many Baby Boomers and Gen X staff have previously worked in various industries, have hired employees, and therefore can speak to the needs of the employers, which we share with our millennial teammates.”   

The focus should not be on how generations differ, but on how they can work together, Cruz said.

“Establish environments where they interact with multiple generations,” she said. “Highlight the strengths of people at different ages in life, and how each person adds value. Find or create situations where different generations can interact meaningfully.”

 

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Statement on Racism and Violence in Charlottesville, Virginia

08/14/2017

Statement on Racism and Violence in Charlottesville, Virginia

What occurred in Charlottesville, VA, is tragic and I condemn the bigotry and hatred exhibited. The Pace Community mourns the loss of life and the injuries inflicted on those who were defending what we hold dear in our country—equality and respect for one another no matter our race, creed, or ethnic background.

As we observe Constitution Day this September 18 and the document that created our government and laws, and guaranteed basic rights for every citizen, we will thoughtfully and respectfully discuss our current cultural climate and different perspectives. It is our common bond and a reminder of what is right and just, and wrong and indefensible, of who we are as a people, and of who we must always strive to be. It is proof that bigotry, violence, and hatred can never prevail.

Ours is a diverse, inclusive, and welcoming community and we can show by example our openness to learn from one another. There is no better place for this to occur than at an institution devoted to education. I look forward to these discussions.

Marvin Krislov
President
Pace University

 

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El Paso Times: "UTEP among nation's best at lifting students from poorest backgrounds, study finds"

08/14/2017

El Paso Times: "UTEP among nation's best at lifting students from poorest backgrounds, study finds"

The University of Texas at El Paso is one of several of the nation’s schools that is helping generate large returns for students from the poorest backgrounds, according to a working paper released recently week by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

The report lists UTEP among 10 schools that are strong engines of upward mobility for the nation’s poorest children. But, the report contends, those engines are slowing down.

The study, which was drafted in part by Raj Chetty and Emmanuel Saez, pioneering economists of socioeconomic inequality and mobility, focuses on each university’s “mobility rate,” the share of its students who come from the lowest fifth of the U.S. income distribution and end up in the top 20 percent. This metric is measured by multiplying the fraction of students from the lowest income bracket, or “access,” by the share who end up with incomes in the top fifth, or “success rate.” Researchers used data for more than 30 million college students from 1999 to 2013 for the study.

 

For UTEP, the findings indicate that just less than 25 percent of its students from the poorest backgrounds reach the uppermost income quintile. That is well behind the 58 percent of students who reach the highest quintile from “Ivy Plus” schools, the report’s listing of Ivy League universities and other elite schools such as Stanford and Duke. But only 3.8 percent of Ivy Plus students are from the lowest income bracket, compared with UTEP’s 28 percent. That gives UTEP a mobility rate (6.8 percent) that is more than three times higher than the Ivy Plus schools’ 2.18 percent.

The school with the highest mobility rate, according to the study, is California State University, Los Angeles with 9.9 percent. The school with the highest number of students from poor backgrounds who reached the uppermost income quintile was Pace University in New York, which boasts a success rate of 55.6 percent. Pace’s mobility rate, according to the study, is 8.4 percent.

 

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Westchester County Business Journal: "Q&A: Former Oberlin president Marvin Krislov takes over at Pace"

08/14/2017

Westchester County Business Journal: "Q&A: Former Oberlin president Marvin Krislov takes over at Pace"

While he won’t be officially inaugurated until the end of October, Marvin Krislov is already busy with the new job at Pace University. After serving for 10 years as president of Oberlin College and Conservatory in Ohio, Krislov was appointed president at Pace earlier this year.

He officially took over the role Aug. 1, succeeding Stephen Friedman, who retired this year after 10 years at the helm of the Pleasantville and Manhattan-based private college. In taking over the role, Krislov moves from a liberal arts college of just under 3,000 students in rural Ohio to a university that enrolls close to 13,000 undergraduate and graduate students across campuses in Pleasantville and Manhattan, plus a law school in White Plains.

He spoke with the Business Journal about making the transition to Pace.

What drew you to the job at Pace?

“I really was compelled by the mission and the people that I met during the course of the process. The mission being to provide a wide range of students, including a number from first generation or from more working class backgrounds, and give them an excellent education, and really help them think about careers and opportunities beyond their undergraduate education. And of course there’s some wonderful master’s and professional programs, but the combination of a very strong liberal arts education with professional opportunities is really, I think, a very exciting model and it meets a lot of the needs of people today.”

Oberlin and Pace are certainly different universities in a number of ways, particularly in size. What are the similarities between the two schools?

“In both Oberlin and Pace there’s a strong focus on liberal arts education, exposing people to different perspectives and different disciplines. I also think that one of the things I’ve seen at both places is a commitment to providing students with entrepreneurial opportunities and experiences in the community. In particular in Pace’s case, you have the whole New York metropolitan area, which is just so rich in opportunities, though there were activities at Oberlin as well. They are different institutions, but there are similarities as well.”

What will be the biggest adjustment shifting from Oberlin to Pace?

“Just the geography. In Oberlin, it was five minutes from my house to the office. Here, we have multiple campuses and it can be a little more complicated getting from one place to another. Dealing with that and figuring out how to adjust my schedule has been interesting. But I’m getting there (laughs).”

Pace ranked recently as a top school in the country for upward mobility. What does the university do well in that regard and how can you build on it?

“In fact, we were number two in the study The New York Times did based on data from the Equality of Opportunity project. And I think one of the ways we have done this is the Pace Path, which is a combination of strong academics, mentors and advisers, internships and a four-year plan that tries to really help launch students on a path. The placement and salary rates reflect the success here.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s free in-state tuition program was approved this year. In the process leading up to that, private colleges throughout the state expressed concern that it could draw students away from the state’s private colleges. Do you share those concerns and what do you think Pace can do in response to the new program?

“I think what’s really helpful is to demonstrate the contribution of private institutions to the economic growth and development in the state. The state of New York does support private institutions, and I hope that we can have further discussion about ways in which the state can do perhaps even more for institutions like Pace. Because a majority of our students do stay in the state and contribute. For instance, the number of Pace alumni living in Westchester County is 20,000 people. Those are taxpayers and they make a big difference.”

How can you work with the business community in Westchester to help students at Pace?

“I think we do a lot already in working to connect students to employers both in the for-profit and the nonprofit sector. I talk to the career services people and I think there’s a lot of excitement about that. But one of my goals is to meet people in Westchester and I’ll be doing that soon to try to find more ways to collaborate.

I think there’s a real commitment to build even greater bridges to the community, but a lot exists already. I’m told we have 650 employers in the area that hire Pace students and a lot of students that work in Westchester, whether it is during the school year or afterwards.”

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Daily Voice: "Summer Guests Having A Whale Of A Time In Area Waters"

08/11/2017

Daily Voice: "Summer Guests Having A Whale Of A Time In Area Waters"

NEW YORK -- Millions of visitors travel to the New York City area each year for a variety of reasons. Some seek nightlife and fine dining, while others look to experience world-class culture, museums and entertainment. However, for several of the area's most recent -- and largest -- visitors, the bright lights of Broadway aren't what's brought them to town.

In what has become somewhat of an annual tradition, humpback whales have been spotted in the waters surrounding New York City this summer. Ranging from the New York Harbor and Lower Hudson River in the west, to the Long Island Sound and coastal Connecticut in the east, whales have be spotted in areas not traditionally known for such wildlife. However, according to John Cronin, senior fellow at Pace University's Institute for Sustainability and the Environment, the appearance of these apex species shouldn't be a surprise to anyone.

"These whales should be in the harbor," said Cronin. "If you read colonial accounts of the area ecosystem, they are fairly amazing." Records show Dutch settlers complaining of countless noisy waterfowl keeping them awake at night, and marveling at the plentiful oysters, crabs and fish available in the waters surrounding Manhattan.

"New York was once a coastal paradise of intricate marshes and estuarine ecosystems," he said. "The whales' natural inclination is to wander back to where they belong."

However, much has changed since the days of Henry Hudson and Adrian Block.

"We conveniently partition the ecosystems of the East and Hudson Rivers, New York Harbor and Long Island Sound along manmade boundaries, but if you follow the animals you'll see it’s just one big habitat to them," said Cronin. And while the return of whales to the region is a positive sign for overall environmental health, he cautions against thinking cleanup work is done. "The health of an ecosystem isn't only determined by the appearance of a superstar species like a humpback whale," he said. "Rather, it starts from the bottom up." In this case, the bottom begins with filter feeders such as oysters and other shellfish and continues up the food chain to menhaden, an oily bait fish and veritable buffet for whales.

"There is an abundance of food this time of year in the lower Hudson and Long Island Sound," said Cronin. "The whales are feeding off animals that have spawned here, and are integral to the ecosystem." Like many species, the humpbacks will hang around only as long as food is readily available. "Whales have a chemical sense of where they’ve migrated before and will return to feeding grounds unless they link up with food elsewhere in their trip," he said.

As summer slowly winds down and water temperatures begin to cool, many whales will begin their trip south to the waters off Bermuda, sometimes traveling more than 3,000 miles round trip. There, pods will spawn and spend the winter. Come springtime, the whales -- following the food back north -- should reappear off New York and Connecticut once again.

"As you’re standing on the banks of the Hudson River in Manhattan or the shores of the Sound, you have to remember that whales aren't looking at asphalt and buildings," said Cronin. "To them they’re in the wilderness. Why wouldn't they be here?"

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Law 360: "Law Profs Urge NY’s Top Court To Take On $10B Saudi Appeal"

08/11/2017

Law 360: "Law Profs Urge NY’s Top Court To Take On $10B Saudi Appeal"

Law360, New York (August 9, 2017, 5:05 PM EDT) -- Experts in New York state civil procedure said Wednesday that a New York appellate court incorrectly dismissed a Saudi contractor’s $10 billion fraud suit against Barclays PLC by misinterpreting the state’s standards for when a case is filed too late.

Patrick M. Connors, a professor at Albany Law School, and Jay C. Carlisle II, an emeritus professor at Pace Law School, said that the First Judicial Department of the New York Supreme Court's Appellate Division wrongly applied a federal standard for determining when the statute of limitations began running on MBI International Holdings Inc.’s suit against the British bank when it dismissed the contractor’s case in June.

According to the two professors, the intermediate appellate court used the Second Circuit’s rule that the statute of limitations expired two years after a fraud occurred, instead of New York’s standard that the clock starts on fraud claims only after a victim had time to conduct a thorough investigation.

Because of that, the New York Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court, should allow MBI to appeal the lower appellate court’s ruling, Connors and Carlisle said.

“It is not the mere duty of inquiry that begins the two-year limitations period, as the First Department held. It starts when a reasonably diligent inquiry would have revealed the fraud,” Connors and Carlisle said in a brief filed with the New York Court of Appeals.

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Fortune: "15 Ways Food Companies Try to Convince You Their Packaged Products Are ‘Natural"

08/11/2017

Fortune: "15 Ways Food Companies Try to Convince You Their Packaged Products Are ‘Natural"

Browse the shelves at your local grocery store, and you’ll find highly-processed product after highly-processed product marketing itself as a natural option.

This is communicated in a variety of ways. Terms such as “whole,” “real,” and “fresh” are liberally used, as are references to farmers and harvests. But one of the most popular strategies is also the most straight-forward: sales for products containing the term “natural” rose from $29.6 billion in the 52 weeks ending July 6, 2013 to $43.7 billion in the 52 weeks ending July 1, 2017, according to data from Nielsen.

A quick visit to my neighborhood supermarket bore this out. String cheese packages were stamped with the term “natural,” as were containers of frozen gluten-free chicken nuggets. The word, while frequently used on its own (“100% Natural,” and “All Natural”), was also deployed to describe flavors, colors, sources, even carbonation.

So -- what does natural actually mean? And why are companies allowed to use it to describe everything from boxes of Cookie Crisp cereal to bottles of raspberry iced tea?

The short answer: natural doesn’t mean much of anything. “You may think it means straight from the earth or tree, but not a chance,” Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition at New York University, told Fortune in an email. The FDA hasn’t established a formal definition of the term (it is currently reviewing comments from the public). As it stands, the agency advises that “natural” only be used to describe products for which “nothing artificial or synthetic (including all color additives regardless of source) has been included in, or has been added to, a food that would not normally be expected to be in that food.” These parameters are broad (processed foods fall under the “natural” umbrella) and ambiguous (what does “not normally be expected to be in that food” mean, exactly?). They’re also largely besides the point: at the moment, the FDA doesn’t have the legal authority to intervene even if a company violates its definition of natural.

Still, in the wake of the FDA’s indecision, a number of class action lawsuits have been brought against companies for labeling products “all natural” that contain synthetic, artificial, or GMO ingredients. As a result, some major food manufacturers have preemptively stopped using the term -- only to start using similar claims.

Even if the FDA puts its foot down, “companies are always going to be able to find a new synonym or creative marketing term" that doesn't run afoul of regulations, says Margaret Pollan, an assistant professor of environmental food law at Pace Law School.

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The New York Times: “Google Gender Debacle Speaks to Tech Culture Wars, Politics”

08/10/2017

The New York Times: “Google Gender Debacle Speaks to Tech Culture Wars, Politics”

The Associated Press interviewed communications professor Jennifer Lee Magas about the firing of a Google engineer over a controversial memo on gender in the workplace. The story has appeared in media outlets across the country including “The New York Times,” “U.S. News and World Report,” "ABC News" and the “Houston Chronicle.”

NEW YORK — The Google engineer who blamed biological differences for the paucity of women in tech had every right to express his views. And workplace experts and lawyers say Google likely had every right to fire him.

Special circumstances have contributed to the outrage and subsequent firing. These include the country's divisive political climate and Silicon Valley's broader problem with gender equity.

But the fallout should still serve as a warning to anyone in any industry expressing unpopular, fiery viewpoints.

Though engineer James Damore has filed a labor complaint against Google over his firing, experts say he's not likely to prevail.

Jennifer Lee Magas, public relations professor at Pace University, says Damore "forfeited his job" by making the remarks.

NY Times

U.S. News and World Report

Houston Chronicle

ABC News

 

 

 

 

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