Volume 2, Issue 35January 5, 2011
Privatization continues to gain popularity throughout United States

Mary Scott Nabers
As public entities nationwide face staggering budget deficits, many are looking at opportunities to privatize services. The goal, of course, is to save money by relying on private sector firms to perform certain functions more economically. It often allows public employees to become private-sector hires.

Last March, New Jersey created a Privatization Task Force that reviewed opportunities within its state government. Savings of more than $210 million were projected as a result of privatizing certain services. In Philadelphia, $275 million was saved through the privatization of nearly 50 city services.

North Carolina is proposing to privatize its Information Technology services. The governor is also seeking to consolidate 14 state departments into eight and outsource the state procurement process. The state currently spends more than $1 billion per year on IT.

$1.4B in school projects funded
U.S. construction figures up
Upcoming education opportunities
Other contracting opportunities
Where are they now?
Opportunity of the week
Calendar of events
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California announces $1.4B for 442 'shovel-ready' projects


Construction projects on tap for more than 130 school districts throughout state

Cynthia BryantPublic school construction in California is about to get very busy. The State Allocation Board (SAB) recently announced it is allocating some $1.4 billion to 137 school districts throughout the state. The state matching funds will help pay for more than 440 school construction projects that are "shovel ready."


SAB Chair Cynthia Bryant (pictured) said this allocation is the largest round of K-12 school construction projects funded in California since 2008. She said the funding will "give a boost to the economy by providing much-needed school facility funds that help create construction jobs in communities across California." This allocation is the second phase of funding approved under new rules approved in May by the SAB. The first phase included the allocation in August of $408 million for 78 school construction projects in 42 school districts.

Qualifying school districts first had to certify that they could come up with local matching funding within 90 days of receiving the state funds. The local fund match generally was 50 percent of the total project cost. They also had to assure the SAB that they had at least half of their construction contracts in place. Those schools facing financial hardships competed for funding to either buy project sites or begin design work. In the past, the funding was granted based on receipt and approval dates of complete funding applications or on a first-in, first-out basis. Each approved project had up to 18 months to request release of the SAB-approved funds. Most of the districts received funding for modernization of school facilities, new construction, rehabilitation or to address overcrowding. Among the allocations by county are:

  • Alameda County - 13 awards to six school districts, totaling $59.06 million;
  • Butte County - three allocations to two school districts, totaling $11.24 million;
  • Contra Costa County - 17 awards to six school districts, totaling $46.6 million;
  • Fresno County - nine awards to three school districts, totaling $14.85 million;
  • Glenn County - three awards to one school district totaling $2.41 million;
  • Imperial County - three awards to three school districts, totaling $12.67 million;
  • Kern County - 11 awards to six school districts, totaling $38.7 million;
  • Lassen County - two awards to two school districts, totaling $2.09 million;
  • Los Angeles County - 137 awards to 15 school districts, totaling $504.45 million;
  • Madera County - three awards to one school district, totaling $3.96 million;
  • Marin County - two awards to two school districts, totaling $1.272 million;
  • Mendocino County - one award to one school district, totaling $25,886;
  • Merced County - four awards to one school district, totaling $43.36 million;
  • Monterey County - three awards to three school districts, totaling $18.78 million;
  • Napa County - two awards to one school district, totaling $5.69 million;
  • Nevada County - one award to one school district, totaling $564,973;
  • Orange County - 25 awards to six school districts, totaling $75.29 million;
  • Placer County - five awards to one school district, totaling $4.049 million;
  • Riverside County - 17 awards to nine school districts, totaling $32.51 million;
  • Sacramento County - eight awards to three school districts, totaling $20.61 million;
  • San Bernadino County - 15 awards to six school districts, totaling $135.7 million;
  • San Diego County - 47 awards to 11 school districts, totaling $144.26 million;
  • San Joaquin County - four awards to three school districts, totaling $23.44 million;
  • San Luis Obispo County - three awards to one school district, totaling $8.97 million;
  • San Mateo County - five awards to three school districts, totaling $19.24 million;
  • Santa Clara County - eight awards to five school district, totaling $10.63 million;
  • Shasta County - two awards to one school district, totaling $353,525;
  • Siskiyou County - one award to one school district, totaling $1.124 million;
  • Solano County - two awards to one school district, totaling $9.52 million;
  • Sonoma County - seven awards to three school districts, totaling $22.76 million;
  • Stanislaus County - 25 awards to five school districts, totaling $69.15 million;
  • Sutter County - one award to one school district, totaling $502,168;
  • Tehema County - one award to one school district, totaling $439,438;
  • Tulare County - 30 awards to 13 school districts, totaling $55.34 million;
  • Ventura County - 12 awards to four school districts, totaling $26.52 million;
  • Yolo County - four awards to four school districts, totaling $3.99 million; and
  • Yuba County - six awards to one school district, totaling $10.31 million.

To see the complete list of school districts and how much money they will receive, click here and look under "Recent Reports."


Construction spending in U.S. up for third month in row


Money spent on government construction projects remains strong

Construction UpConstruction in the United States rose for a third straight month, as November figures showed spending at $810.2 billion, a .4 percent increase over the previous month. For the first 11 months of 2010, construction spending was at $753.9 billion. 

Although private construction was only .3 percent higher in November than in October, government construction projects remained strong. Some of that spending could be attributed to funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.


Public construction spending increased .7 percent from October to November, and totaled $318.5 billion during November. Education building was at $73.4 billion and highway construction accounted for $86.8 billion.


Upcoming education opportunities


New construction, expansion announced for Massachusetts university
Evan DobelleWestfield (Massachusetts) State University's revised master plan includes $80 million for a new residence hall, a new academic building and expansion of its dining facilities. The university's Board of Trustees has moved to the design and development stage for the new facilities and expansion. The design and engineering studies are expected to begin in the spring. Officials are still studying locations for the new buildings. WSU President Evan S. Dobelle (pictured) has recommended that the final site selection be based on design and engineering studies on two sites. Construction of the two new buildings is expected to take two years. The projects will be funded through a revenue bond. Some $4 million is already set aside for expanding the dining area, which could begin early this year. The new residence hall will be a four-story facility with 410 student beds. The dining addition will mean an additional 200-300 seats with a new wellness or fitness center. That expansion could be completed by 2013-2014. The new academic building will likely serve either general academics of science and technology.


Variety of construction projects on tap for Kansas government entities
A number of construction and renovation projects are being planned in the state of Kansas. Among them are:

  • A $746,000 renovation of Tanner Hall on the campus of Pittsburg State University with a bid date of February 2;
  • A $140,000 reroofing project for Hickory Cottage at the Parsons State Hospital and Training Center with a bid date of Jan. 13;
  • A $34,000 masonry repair project at the Wesley Building at the University of Kansas campus with a bid date of Jan. 6;
  • A $1.278 million replacement of a substation at the Osawatomie State Hospital with a bid date of Jan. 18;
  • A $316,152 reroofing project for Waters Hall on the Kansas State University, Manhattan campus with a bid date last week;
  • A $3.4 million project for mechanical and electrical improvements at Murphy Hall on the University of Kansas campus with a bid date last week;
  • A $749,086 low slope reroofing project at Hale Library on the Kansas State University campus with a bid date of last week; and
  • A $720,000 reroofing project at the Ahearn Field House on the Kansas State University, Manhattan, campus with a bid date last week.

Apartment building cluster on Kent State main campus to be demolished
Betsy JosephA group of apartments on the southern edge of the main campus of Kent State University in Ohio will soon be razed. The nine buildings, which include 164 apartments, will close by 2015. The first buildings will be demolished in summer 2012. Betsy Joseph (pictured), director of residence services, said it is not feasible to repair the buildings, two others of which were razed in 2006. "The buildings are safe now," she said, "but it will be cost-prohibitive to maintain them in the future." Two of the buildings will close in July. Officials think current housing will be sufficient in spite of occupancy at the complex being at 86 percent.


Dr. Seuss author's wife donates $2M for renovation at UC San Diego
Audrey Geisel, widow of Thedor Geisel who wrote the Dr. Seuss books, has donated $2 million for renovations at University House, the private residence of the University of California-San Diego chancellor. It is not the first donation to the university. Geisel has donated more than 8,000 of her husband's original drawings, sketches, books, etc., and in 1995 donated $20 million to the university library that now bears her late husband's name. A number of renovations are planned for the chancellor's home, with upgrades expected to start this year and be completed in summer 2012.


California school district to take $270 million bond issue to voters in April
Greg KrikorianOfficials of the Glendale (California) school district have voted to put a $270 million bond election before voters on April 5. If approved, the bond proceeds will be used for a variety of capital improvement projects at numerous schools in the district. Board President Greg Krikorian (pictured) said the bond funding would likely help leverage state and federal matching grants. Among the projects that the bond would support include school safety improvements, technology upgrades and science lab renovations. It would also free up additional funds that could be used for other purposes. The local teachers union is hopeful that money will be used to improve classroom instruction. 


Iowa school district to seek $11.1 million in bonds for facilities plan
An $11.1 million bond issue will go before voters in the Gilbert (Iowa) Community School District in February. The funds will be used to help pay a portion of the district's $23.5 million facilities plan. Among the planned projects are a new high school and improvements to other schools over the next two years. Sales tax revenue, cash on hand and revenue bonds will fund the remainder of the projects.

Voters in New Jersey school district facing $30M referendum this monthTracey Stellato
Later this month, voters in the Lyndhurst (New Jersey) School District will decide the fate of a $30 million bond vote on Jan. 25. The bond proceeds would be used to build a new 125,000-square-foot middle school. Superintendent Tracey Stellato (pictured) met with attorneys before the holidays to complete building specifications and the wording for the referendum later this month. The $37 million middle school would be funded both by the town and the school district, with the town throwing in $7 million as part of a shared-services agreement to use the auditorium and run the emergency management office, recreation programs and senior programs from the school.


Illinois school district plans project with surplus funds
The Downers Grove (Illinois) School District has some surplus funds it plans to use for upgrades and rehab at some of its schools. The district has some $3 million in surplus funds from a $10 million set-aside that resulted in a number of bids on projects coming in under budget. Now the district plans to use the funds for windows at the Herrick Middle School, heating work at Hillcrest School, for a new paved walkway at Belle Aire School and new coat bays at El Sierra School.


Randy WoodsonNC State chancellor's resident to undergo renovation, expansion
A $7.5 million renovation and expansion is planned for the chancellor's resident at North Carolina State University. The 82-year-old building will become home to a museum that includes some 27,000 pieces of art and other items. Chancellor Randy Woodson (pictured) and his wife Susan plan to move into a new $3 million residence on Centennial Campus by the middle of this year. Once that move occurs, the existing chancellor's home will be renovated. 


Oregon State University has numerous projects in its construction pipeline

A variety of projects on the Oregon State University campus will keep construction workers busy this year. Among the projects are:

  • A $10 million Hallie Ford Center for Healthy Children and families, scheduled for completion in summer 2011;
  • A $7.75 million Outdoor Recreation Complex to be funded by fee increases, this structure will feature a 600,000-square-foot multisport complex to be completed in fall 2011;
  • $5 million for a variety of wiring projects; $4 million in track upgrades;
  • $3.75 million in renovation to the McAlexander Fieldhouse to include upgrades and to add amenities such as an indoor climbing wall;
  • First of a two-phase $3.5 million upgrade to structure and appearance of the Arnold Dining Hall;
  • A $4 million continuation of the Goss Stadium expansion; and
  • A $3 million boathouse remodel; and $2 million for renovations to the four-story Poling Hall, which houses 250 students.

Expansion of center on tap in Franklin County, Pennsylvania
Construction of a new Career Magnet School, an expansion of the Franklin County (Pennsylvania) Career and Technology Center, is one step closer to fruition. The estimated cost of the facility that would alleviate overcrowding is more than $10.3 million. The district could have upgraded the current high school with capital improvement projects, constructed a new 900-student high school or constructed a new 538-student high school at the career center campus. The school district chose the 538-student option. The expansion will add another 32,250 square feet of space on the north side to the 123,250-square-foot Career Center building, providing nearly 20 classrooms, two science rooms and two program labs. There would also be a new gym, library and administrative offices. 


Strategic Selling to GovernmentProcurement Consulting

Other upcoming contracting opportunities


City in Florida exploring outsourcing some services
Bill GanzOfficials in Deerfield Beach, Florida, are looking for budget savings and to achieve those savings, they're looking long and hard at whether to outsource some city services. "We have to look at all our options," said City Commissioner Bill Ganz (pictured). Officials said they will be reviewing all operations, including both field and office staff. The city is studying savings other cities are seeing from privatization - Broward County saved $2.2 million a year by privatizing security at Port Everglades. Other cities have realized savings by outsourcing bus service, janitorial services and code enforcement. Deerfield has already told some employees it is looking at the possibility of privatizing city beach, parks and grounds maintenance. Officials say they will not only look at dollars saved, but quality of service before making any changes.

Mesilla awarded funding for technology, vehicle security
A $184,000 U.S. Department of Homeland Security grant is headed to Mesilla, New Mexico. The town's Marshal's Department, headed by Marshal Jeff Gray, has big plans for the funding, which amounts to about half of the department's total budget. The funds, from the Operation Stonegarden program, are to be used for border security efforts. Gray said he plans to purchase cameras and computers for the department's vehicles, printers for computers and possibly two new vehicles.

Ohio county agrees to construction of new juvenile detention center
Ben NutterPlans will move forward in Seneca County, Ohio, on construction of a new juvenile detention center. The commissioners voted recently on a resolution of support for replacing the Youth Center, a 1950s structure that neither complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act nor is it energy efficient. The new facility, with a price tag of $2.88 million, will be funded in part by a $1.8 million state grant, with the rest of the amount likely to be borrowed. However, a project to renovate the county's more than 100-year-old courthouse will have to wait a while. Board President Ben Nutter (pictured) said he wanted to wait to pass a resolution in support of the courthouse renovation until a new commissioner who has been meeting with the redevelopment group takes office. A capital campaign for the renovation is seeking to raise $1.6 million toward the project. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved a $5 million loan for the project.


Transit service in Iowa plans wind turbines to generate power at center, bus garage
The Grand Rapids mass transit bus system is planning to install six rooftop wind turbines that will be used to generate power at its new expanded operations center and bus garage currently under construction. Power generated by the wind turbines will be sent to the electric grid and used to reduce the transit agency's energy costs. The turbines are part of an overall package of energy efficiencies aimed at making the new building LEED certified. Other features will include natural lighting, a water reclamation system on the bush wash, a snow melt system, solar heating and rain water collection. The overall project will cost $32.4 million and take two years to complete.


Grants approved to improve New Jersey county parks
Lillian BurryOpen space grants totaling $2.5 million were approved recently by the Monmouth County (New Jersey) Board of Freeholders. Thirteen towns in the county will use the funding to either create or improve park facilities. Freeholder Director Lillian G. Burry (pictured) said with this round of grants, the county has now funded more than 100 community projects. "Sharing the cost of these municipal projects supports and improves the quality of life in our communities and furthers the county's ongoing commitment to land preservation for parks, recreation, open space and farmland," she said. Among the awards were $250,000 to Aberdeen to purchase more than 20 acres of land for recreation use including hiking and nature viewing, $250,000 to Marlboro to purchase 16.8 acres that will provide open space and recreation space within walking distance of local neighborhoods and $250,000 to Avon for development of facilities at Riverfront Park to expand park and recreation opportunities year-round at the waterfront.


Financial success allows Massachusetts city to plan host of projects for 2011
The City of Attleboro, Massachusetts, has a full slate of projects for the new year, thanks to good management practices and creation of a healthy stabilization fund. Streetscape improvements, new sidewalks and street lighting projects are on the agenda for the summer. Phase Two of an infrastructure initiative is ready to begin. This phase will be paid for mostly through the Greater Attleboro Taunton Regional Transit Authority, which will pay for 80 percent of the cost. On the other hand, grants will help pay for replacement of conventional lights with LED lamps in traffic signals. Additionally, the Hyman Fine, Studley and Hill-Roberts elementary schools are all due new roofs and a new translucent wall is slated for the high school gym. These school projects will carry a combined price tag of about $3.4 million. However, the city will be reimbursed almost 60 percent of the costs by the state's school building authority, meaning the city will only have to pay about $1.46 million.   


Minnesota highway, infrastructure projects earn preliminary approval
Dan McElroyThe Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development and the Minnesota Department of Transportation have given preliminary approval for 11 highway and infrastructure projects totaling nearly $33 million. The funds are awarded through the Transportation Economic Development (TED) Pilot Program. Funds are awarded when entities can prove they can complete the projects - financially and through environmental requirements and planning standards. DEED Commissioner Dan McElroy (pictured) said the programs shows that "transportation improvements often are a critical ingredient in economic development" and contribute to creating and keeping jobs. The projects receiving preliminary funding approval include:

  • Aitkin County - $138,750 - to upgrade one mile of Highway 5 so that it can handle vehicles with a load capacity of 10 tons per axle. Total project cost: $555,000;
  • City of Bloomington - $4.2 million - to improve the interchange at Interstate 494 and 34th Avenue, thus increasing traffic capacity and reduce accidents. Total project cost: $6 million;
  • Hennepin County - $9.4 million - for new entrance ramp to northbound Interstate 35W at Fourth Street South, as well as an auxiliary lane on northbound Interstate 35W from University Avenue SE to Stinson Boulevard. Total project cost: $13.5 million;
  • City of Marshall - $575,000 - to install turning lanes and a bypass lane on Highway 68 near the proposed Lake Road Industrial Park. Total project cost: $822,500;
  • City of Perham - $4 million - to construct an interchange for an existing overpass at Highway 10 and Highway 34. Total project cost: $6.7 million;
  • City of St. Charles - $570,000 - for a new 20-acre industrial park, including roads, turning lanes and utilities in the park. Total project cost: $2.6 million;
  • City of St. Cloud - $8 million - to provide an interchange at an existing overpass at Highway 15 and 33rd Street. Total project cost: $12 million;
  • City of Stewartville - $400,000 - for a new road and utilities in an existing business park, located on Highway 63. Total project cost: $1.6 million;
  • City of Two Harbors - $1 million - to close six accesses to Highway 61 and add an intersection to the east side of Highway 61 at Highway 26. Total project cost: $1.7 million;
  • City of Worthington - $3.3 million - to extend a four-lane divided section of Highway 59 by another 1,200 feet to the north. Total project cost: $4.7 million; and
  • City of Zumbrota - $1.15 million - to improve existing roads and upgrade and add utilities along Highway 68. Total project cost: $2.3 million.

TIGER grant funds could be used to improve D.C. public transportation
Kwame BrownThe Washington, D.C. region is in line to receive $58.8 million in Transportation Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants. Some $26 million of the funding will be used to improve bus corridors with dedicated bus lanes, traffic signal priority, improved bus stops and passenger information in real-time. A priority bus transit connecting Prince William and Fairfax counties and Alexandria with D.C. will garner $19.9 million in funding and $12.3 million will be used to construct a Takoma/Langley transit center in Prince George's County. D.C. Councilman Kwame Brown (pictured) said the regional grant was "the only one awarded to a metropolitan area for a large-scale, multi-modal regional project."


Tennessee county moving closer to having new jail facility
Following passage of a resolution outlining a plan of action, Stewart County (Tennessee) is moving closer to having a new jail. The resolution must be passed so that the state will continue certifying the old jail while the new one is under construction. Officials are hoping to have an architect in place by April. That would mean preliminary plans could be ready by September or October. The county is looking at approval of plans by early spring 2012, with a completion date of the end of 2012. Officials are looking at a 96-bed facility in Dunlap in Sequatchie County near Chattanooga as a prototype for the Stewart County facility. That structure has a central control tower and includes courtrooms. Ninety-six more beds could be added in two pods for men and one for women. That many beds would also allow the county to house inmates from other counties to generate up to half a million dollars a year.


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Where are they now?
 Are you a government official who has moved into a new position or to a new agency? Did you recently retire? Were you recently named to an executive-level position at a state-supported college, university or community college? Have you secured a new job as superintendent of a public school? If so, we'd like to hear from you - and so would your friends and colleagues - for our "Where Are They Now" column. Just drop us a line at and let us know about your previous job and where you are now. This week we feature Lupe Martinez.

Lupe MartinezLupe Martinez began her career in corrections in New Mexico as an intern while working toward a college degree. After earning her bachelor's degree in criminal justice and social work in 1985 from New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, she began her corrections career as a classification officer. She methodically worked her way up the ladder in the industry. She served as associate warden of programs at the Las Cruces prison from 1993 to 1996 and was named warden at the Fort Stanton Correctional Facility in 1999. She returned to the Las Cruces facility in 1999 to again serve as associate warden of programs until 2003. Martinez served as a deputy warden for various programs at the Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility in Las Cruces from 2003 to 2008, and was named warden of the Roswell Correctional Center in 2008. Martinez currently serves as warden at the Western New Mexico Correctional Facility in Grants, a position she has held since 2009. She was recently nominated by New Mexico Gov.-elect Susana Martinez (no relation) to become the state's first female corrections secretary. Her nomination is subject to Senate confirmation.
Opportunity of the week...
A state-supported university in Pennsylvania is planning a $746,000 renovation project for one of its facilities, with bids due in February. Want to know more? Contact Reagan Weil at 512-531-3900 or
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Bonnie UprightStephen MaybergNick CoxBonnie Upright (top left), who was hired by the Duval County (Florida) School Board last summer to recruit business partners for local schools, has submitted her resignation, effective Jan. 14. Stephen W. Mayberg (top center), who has been in charge of the California Department of Mental Health through three administrations, has announced his retirement. Nick Cox (top right), director of the Department of Child and Families Suncoast Region in Florida, will leave that position to take the job as statewide prosecutor for Attorney General-elect Pam Bondi and Mike Caroll, who has more than two decades with the Suncoast Region, will serve as acting director for Southwest Florida DCF operations. Ron Arrington, director of early childhood education and former junior high principal, director of secondary education and Early Childhood Center principal with the Denison (Texas) Independent School District, is retiring after more than four decades with the school district. Ryan Sinovic, who has served as an aide to outgoing Kansas Attorney General Steve Six, has been named the media director for Kansas House Minority Leader Paul Davis, replacing former Chief of Staff Craig Grant, who is retiring. Gina L. Kelly, tourism director for Sierra County (New Mexico) and the town of Truth or Edwin BussBryan KoonScott DarnellConsequences, has been hired as the village of Ruidosa's director of tourism through a professional services agreement. Florida Gov.-elect Rick Scott has hired Indiana Corrections Commissioner Edwin G. Buss (upper middle right) to serve as secretary of the Florida Department of Corrections. Scott also has named Bryan Koon (upper middle center), director of emergency management at Wal-Mart Stores, as the new head of the state's Division of Emergency Management, replacing David Halstead. New Mexico Gov.-elect Susana Martinez has tabbed former state GOP communications director, 26-year-old Farmington native Scott Darnell (upper middle left), to be her communications director. James C. Smith, former city manager in Washington, North Carolina, for five years, has been hired as the town manager in Farmville. Pauls Valley, Oklahoma's new police chief, Mitch McGill, has named longtime local officer Derrick Jolley as his new assistant police chief. Rod Butler, who has served as city manager of Crescent City, California, for the last two years, will bring 20 years of experience to his new position of city manager of the City of Patterson when he takes over the post in February. Pat Gleason (lower middle left), who currently serves as Florida Gov. Pat GleasonKen PetersonHanna SkanderaCharlie Crist's special counsel in the Office of Open Government, is returning to the attorney general's office, where she will work for newly elected Attorney General Pam Bondi. Former Minnesota deputy attorney general for government operations, Ken Peterson (lower middle center), has been chosen by Minnesota Gov.-elect Mark Dayton to serve as head of the state's Department of Labor and Industry. Dallas native Hanna Skandera (lower middle right), who led school reforms in Florida under then-Gov. Jeb Bush and has served as senior policy adviser at the U.S. Department of Education, education undersecretary for California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and education policy adviser during Sen. John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign, has been picked by New Mexico Gov.-elect Susana Martinez to serve as the state's next public education secretary. Brian Nutt, who was chosen by Pennsylvania Gov.-elect Tom Corbett to become Corbett's chief of staff, has announced he will decline the offer to join a political consulting firm as a managing partner. Scott Minckler, who moved to Lincoln, Maine, less than a year ago, has resigned his post to return to Massachusetts to be with his family. Arlington, Texas, assistant police chief Lisa Womack (bottom right), Lisa WomackAnthony TataPatricia McKeownwho has also been police chief in Sugar Land and Elgin, has accepted the position of chief of the Lakeland, Florida, Police Department, effective in March. Retired Army Brig. Gen. Anthony J. Tata (bottom center), who has also served as chief operating officer of the D.C. Public School System, has been hired to head up the Wake County (North Carolina) school system, the largest in the state. Patricia McKeown (bottom left), interim president of Bellingham (Washington) Technical College for more than 25 years and former vice president of instruction, dean of professional technical education, curriculum specialist, program developer and home and family life program coordinator, has been named president of the college. New members of the Tom Corbett administration in Pennsylvania include Annmarie Kaiser, who will become Secretary of Legislative Affairs; Jennifer Branstetter, the new director of Policy and Planning; and Kevin Harley, director of Communications. Former Tennessee gubernatorial candidate Jim Henry, who has also served as Kingston mayor, state House minority leader and Tennessee Republican Party chair, has been selected by incoming Gov. Bill Haslam to serve as commissioner of the new Department of Intellectual Disabilities.


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Association of American Colleges, Universities planning annual meeting

The Association of American Colleges and Universities will host its annual meeting Wednesday through Saturday, Jan. 26-29, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in San Francisco. The meeting will focus on "Global Positioning - Essential Learning, Student Success and the Currency of U.S. Degrees" as colleges strive to become more global. Among the speakers are Kavita Ramdas, former president and CEO of the Global Fund for Women; Leo Chavez, professor of anthropology at the University of California, Irvine; Mark Schapiro, senior correspondent at the Center for Investigative Reporting; Catharine Stimpson, university professor and former dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Science at New York University; and Heather Knight, president of Pacific Union College. Registration is now open. For more information, contact or call AAC&U at (202) 387-3760.


NAICU planning annual meeting in January in D.C.
The National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities will host its 2011 annual meeting Sunday through Wednesday, Jan. 30-Feb. 2, 2011, at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Among the speakers will be Darrell G. Kirch, M.D., president and CEO of the Association of American Medical Colleges, who will discuss the nation's political, economic and health care realities and the challenges they present for higher education. A team from Abilene Christian University will discuss how to connect emerging technologies to learning. A number of other speakers are also scheduled and attendees can expect to visit with numerous key elected officials in Congress. For more information, click here. To register, click here.


EPA to host annual Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools symposium
The Environmental Protection Agency annual Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools national symposium is slated for Thursday through Saturday, Jan. 13-15, 2011, at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, D.C. The event brings together teachers, school nurses, maintenance and custodial staff, school decision-makers, school administrators, parents, school and health association members and community leaders from across the country to discuss the importance of developing effective IAQ management practices. Attendees will learn about available resources and materials, including the IAQ Tools for Schools Action Kit, that will enable them to support and implement good IAQ practices in schools. Some of the topics for the event are designing, building and maintaining healthy, high-performance schools, building science and school building design, facility management, effective risk communication and more. To view the agenda, click here. To register, click here.

TxDOT announces three Small Business Briefing conferences 
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) Business Outreach and Program (BOP) Services has announced three upcoming FY 2011 Small Business Briefing conferences. A  Nov. 10 conference is set this year in Beaumont, an April 20, 2011, conference is slated in Fort Worth and a July 20, 2011, conference is planned for San Antonio. The conference goal is to provide small and minority-owned business communities an opportunity to learn more about contracting opportunities with TxDOT.  Information will be available to help them do business with the agency and the State of Texas.  The sessions not only allow small businesses to be introduced to TxDOT and other state agencies, but also allow them to learn more about the economic development opportunities in their regions.  It also gives agencies a chance to show the myriad of prospects available for small and minority businesses in the state. For more information and to register, click here or call 1.866.480.2519, Option 2.

TxDOT Business Outreach & Program Services hosts webinars 
In fiscal year 2010, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) Business Outreach & Program (BOP) Services implemented a series of webinars offering technical business development opportunities to small, minority and women businesses in the field of construction and professional services in the state of Texas. The webinar series topics ranged from how to become a pre-qualified bidder on TxDOT contracts, TxDOT Plans Online, How to Market Your Business To Prime Contractors, Construction Industry Bonding and much more. Each session's goal was to provide valuable information to contractors, suppliers and small businesses on how to do business with TxDOT, how to increase business capacity and improve opportunities to bid and obtain contracts with TxDOT. The final 2010 webinars concluded in August, but the 2011 fiscal year webinar series planning is under way and will be announced later in the 2010 calendar year. Each free webinar is limited and registration slots are on a first-come-first-serve basis. More information on each webinar can be found here. Questions should be forwarded to or call 1.866.480.2518, Option 2 for more information.

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