Friday, March 30, 2012

Which Angelo State 2011 Nursing Pass Rate?

Which number, 60% or 75%, is correct for Angelo State University's RN pass rate for 2011? The Texas Board of Nursing used 60%, while Texas Tech/ASU internal documents assert a 75% pass rate.  (Click on any image to view it in a larger size)

Note the red arrow which indicates a lower target for 2012 vs. 2011.  This seems in-congruent with a program that "increased" its pass rate from 71% to 75% in the last year.  Normally, the target would rise in such a case, not fall.

If I had to hazard a guess, I'd theorize ASU parsed its pass rate by excluding RN programs slated for elimination.

That said, I've been wrong before and will be again.

Update 3-31-12:  The Standard Times reported ASU's RN pass rate soared to nearly 90% for December graduates.  The question is when they took the exam.  Was it in 2011 or 2012?

Thursday, March 29, 2012

ASU's Associate Degree RN Program Gets Warning

Angelo State University's Registered Nurse pass rate plummeted in 2011.

When did Dr. Rallo arrive and ASU adopt its grow at all costs model?

Our goal is to grow to 10,000 students by 2020. We also want to strengthen the three programs of distinction (nursing, agriculture and teacher education) and other academic programs.

ASU's declining RN pass rate resulted in a warning from the Texas Board of Nursing.  Will this information make the Second and final monitoring report submitted to SACS, due April 15

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

MedHab's Product Launch Leaks to Fall

The Lubbock Avalanche Journal reported on MedHab co-founder Johnny Ross' talk at Texas Tech Rawls College of Business last week::

Ross, pitcher and catcher for the Red Raiders in 1983 and 1984, laid out for an audience of about 80 people at the Rawls College of Business Chief Executives’ Roundtable the experience and vision that has led MedHab to a planned launch this fall of a monitoring device that can help orthopedic surgeons and physical therapists precisely monitor a patient’s recovery.

Compare this timeline to a Standard Times report from January this year:

According to a city memo, its first product will hit the market in Australia in June, "with a launch in the U.S. as soon as they receive final FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approval."
Ross gave a 45 day window for a decision on a production site, with San Angelo and Abilene vying for MedHab's plant.  A Valentine's Day decision leaked back.  It nears April Fool's Day.  That could be an ominous sign.

MedHab Co-Founder Spoke at Texas Tech CEO Roundtable

MedHab co-founder Johnny Ross spoke at Texas Tech's Rawls College of Business Chief Executive Roundtable last week.  As the video is not yet available, it's not clear what progress MedHab made in selecting a production site or how it might've levered over $3.8 million in economic development support into mezzanine capital raising.  It's nearly been three months since San Angelo opened its economic development wallet for MedHab.  The parties remain silent on all fronts. 

I wonder if Johnny Ross spoke of San Angelo's largesse, given Angelo State University's association with Texas Tech.  San Angelo Mayor Alvin New missed the City Council meeting on MedHab's economic development incentives.  That was fortuitous given the Mayor's declared conflict of interest via his MedHab equity holdings.  Council removed a bylaw requirement that would've forced New to step down as Mayor or sell his investment and have MedHab wait for six months before assistance could be approved.

Mayor New made his fortune via Town & Country Food Stores.  He rose to the office of President, where he navigated the sale of Town & Country to Susser Holdings.  Ironically, Sam Susser spoke at TTU's Rawls College of Business in April 2010.  The son Sam Susser couldn't make it, due to a $425 million bond refinancing.

Father Sam told how his company courted Steve Stephens, but lost out to family members and a professional manager, likely Alvin New.  Sam Junior stayed in relationship with Town & Country executives.  A decade after its first run, Susser bought out Town & Country. 

A tiny chunk of Alvin New's 2008 Town & Country proceeds turned into MedHab equity investment, evidenced by affidavits in May and November 2011.  How much will San Angelo economic development support enhance Alvin New's equity stake in MedHab, which could be magnified via New's board slot and its compensation arrangement?

I found it interesting that Johnny Ross dangled jobs before San Angelo in his letter of support for then Mayoral Candidate Alvin New.  His 2010 decision leaked two extra years into 2012. 

If this were a business case, it'd be worth asking, why the delays?  I'd also require students to identify the benefits of taxpayer-provided nonequity, nondebt capital injections.  Quick answer:  Investors win!

Update 2-7-13:  TTU posted the video and slides for this talk on their website.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Dream Duo: Other Darby & Chase

The Texas Tribune will host a conversation with San Angelo's state representatives on April 24 at Angelo State University's C. J. Davidson Conference Center. One must RSVP to attend.

I've been hopeful that citizens could get back their $35 million from Vought Aircraft Industries, which reneged on its Texas job commitments while under Carlyle Group ownership.  That seems like a pipe dream.  If it were truly a hot seat, such a question might come up.

That said, I miss Drew Darby's older brother.  Drew used to joke he was related to Dr. Pres Darby.  Pres came to mind this week with the death of Dr. Ralph Chase.  The last time I visited Pres, I crashed his and Dr. Chase's regular visit.  The pair kept me in stitches for well over an hour.

Ralph shared a story from his stint in the Navy while stationed at Williamsburg, Virginia.  Ralph had a date with a coed from William & Mary, a university where my nephew is currently enrolled.  The house mother grilled Ralph, treating him like a hayseed Texan. Dr. Chase laughed that he just might've been that, but he found the self importance of Virginians off putting.

I'm sure as politicians go, Drew Darby and Robert Duncan will be entertaining.  But I don't think they could hold a candle to Drs. Pres Darby and Ralph Chase.  There are some things the Texas Tribune can't do, no matter how much I wish.  God Bless San Angelo's healers, the ones no longer with us.  They were better than hot.  They had heart.

Update 4-12-12:  ASU's press release on the event came out.  The event is sponsored by the Texas Tribune, a nonprofit media organization focusing on state government and public policy.  ASU's press missed the event's corporate sponsors.

Update 6-19-12:  Dr. Jim Bob Brame extolled Dr. Chase's virtues.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Veterans Get Higher Health Insurance Premiums, Like COSA

Retired military veterans and City of San Angelo retirees have something in common.  They were promised free health insurance.  National and local leaders reneged on these pledges. 

The Standard Times reported:

Many military retirees are upset about President Obama’s proposal to raise fees for Tricare, the military health care insurance program.

They don’t think the proposal keeps the government’s promise to provide medical care for life in return for 20 years of service in the military.
Mayor Alvin New and City Council increased retiree dependent health insurance by 34 to 58% starting January 2011.  Although there has been slight premium relief in 2012, the City is applying federal ERRP funds, which are intended to help with health insurance increases, in a year when the city expects to save nearly $500,000 from an exclusive provider arrangement with San Angelo Community Medical Center. 

The City is purposefully utilizing ERRP funding, when prudence would have it set aside for the next draconian premium increase. 

A Standard Times commentator offered:

We WERE promised free healthcare. We've had to pay for it for some time already and now Obama wants to raise it even more because we don't pay what the private sector does?
City retirees know this feeling well.  For many its one of abandonment.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Spring Break of a Different Variety

One out of ten students at Angelo State University took a nontraditional Spring Break this semester.  They didn't come back. It would be interesting to see the mix of nonreturners from Fall.  Otherwise, it was a record Spring Enrollment in the Student Drive to 10,000.  Round 'em up!

Click on the image to make it larger.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

ASU's Deteriorating Value

Graduation rates at Angelo State University remain embarrassingly low.  ASU's rate is less than half of UT or A&M's.

ASU's tuition, fees, room and board seem cheap in comparison to its peer group.

However, if value is a measure of cost in relation to output and that output is graduation rates, ASU's value proposition is on the decline.