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Mornings unPHILtered - Furlough week at GSU
Dr. Ron Shiffler
    The first guest on Monday's “Mornings unPHILtered” show was Dr. Ron Shiffler, the Dean of GSU's College of Business Administration. Host Phil Boyum and Shiffler discussed how the staff of virtually the entire University System of Georgia is being furloughed for three days this week in order to meet budget reductions of 8 percent, with 5 percent being met through the savings engendered by the furloughs.
    Certain departments are not affected, including the Campus Police Department. Shiffler said that in the spring there would be another furlough. Many people are concerned about losing three days pay just before Christmas, but agree that saving money by this means was a lot easier to than cutting a substantial number of positions.
    Shiffler said Dean Bede Mitchell of the GSU Henderson Library is probably feeling the cuts more than any other department. Dean Mitchell spends most of his budget on magazine and journals and new book purchases, so every dollar he has to cut means deciding which subscriptions to cancel and which book purchases to put off.
    Shiffler talked about this past weekend's “Open House,” where 900 prospective students from all over the state of Georgia visited Georgia Southern. Questions from the parents and students were much more focused on how many companies recruit from the pool of GSU graduates. Shiffler talked about how much more involved the parents are concerning their children's education.
    Shiffler mentioned that in the day of the cell-phone, kids in college are in daily contact with their parents and all of their friends, whereas before they might not be heard from for weeks. The College of Information Technology and the College of Business Administration, along with the Department of Student Services ran the affair at Hanner Fieldhouse, which Shiffler said went off without a hitch.
    Shiffler spoke of the past weekend's college competitions. There was a mock Forensics Competition in which real judges and lawyers worked with community volunteers being the jury. The student teams had to work to convince the judge to convict, and for the first time they actually were able to get a conviction.
    In addition, the college held the Computer Science Department's “Twenty Four Hour Programming Contest” in which some 70 teams of three or four students were essentially locked into a room for 24 hours under constant surveillance during which time they had to solve several very different programming issues/challenges.
    Boyum next welcomed Debra Chester of the Downtown Development Authority and chair of the Statesboro Downtown Farmer's Market. She dropped by to talk about the second annual “Shopping by Lantern Light.” Last year's event was very well attended. There will hot chocolate and chili provided, and people will be able to peruse the offerings under the warm glow of lanterns.
    This event will be from 6 - 9 p.m. on Tuesday evening in the Sea Island Parking lot. The emphasis will be on food for the holidays, with gift baskets available from local merchants and farmers. Fresh meats will be available from local growers. There will be lots of arts and crafts available as well from local craftsmen and women.
        “Mornings unPHILtered” airs live Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. on and also simulcast on WWNS-AM 1240 on the radio. You also can listen anytime at on
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