HUP Named Top Local Hospital by U.S. News

U.S. News and World Report recently ranked hospitals in the Philadelphia region and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania took the top spot. Jefferson was second, and Christiana Care hospital in Newark, Delaware, was third. HUP’s data also includes Penn Presbyterian Medical Center.

Penn was nationally ranked in 13 different disciplines, including a No. 3 ranking in Ear, Nose & Throat. (Fun national ranking fact: In 1947, Penn finished the season ranked No. 7 in football.)

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Swarthmore Applications Drop Due to Extra 500-Word Essay, School Says

Applications to Swarthmore College dropped 16 percent this year, and the school has a culprit: The extra supplemental 500-word essay the school required in this year’s app. By contrast, applications at Penn — which dropped an essay this time — saw applications to the school rise 15 percent.

“Twice as many essays at twice the length was too much,” one prospective student who chose not to apply told the Inquirer. To be fair to Swarthmore kids, lots of people go there for math and whatever. But also it’s an extra 500-word essay for a liberal arts school. You’ll be writing much longer papers if you decide to attend the school!

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Ex-Penn Recreation Director Accused of Stealing Treadmills, Elliptical Machines

Amy Wagner, former director of recreation at Penn’s Pottruck Health and Fitness Center, was arrested last month at the gym. She has been charged with 24 counts of theft and forgery. She is accused of stealing treadmills and elliptical machines and selling them.

The arrest happened in May of last month, but was not made public until this week when a University employee tipped off The Daily Pennsylvanian. An administrative officer told the DP the school couldn’t comment on the arrest because it was “not public information.” Wagner was recreation director at Pottruck from 2007 to the time of her arrest; she is no longer employed by the University.

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Breaking University City Retail News

The image used to market the space. Via LoopNet.

The image used to market the space. Via LoopNet.

The bad news: Rittenhouse’s Hello World and Wash West’s Hello Home are closing. The good news: They’re combining to open a “lifestyle” store (also called Hello World) at 3610 Sansom Street—which is right near another so-called “lifestyle” store, Urban Outfitters. Only Urban isn’t accessible via the Penn Bookstore. Do we hear the sound of tooth-gnashing at the Navy Yard?

Shoppist’s Emily Goulet spoke with the owner of both stores, who worked with Michael Salove Company on the UCity real estate deal. He gave her more great news, like the opening of another store dedicated to midcentury furniture. But I won’t say any more! Go here for all the details:

BREAKING: Hello World and Hello Home are Combining Into One Huge University City Lifestyle Store [Shoppist]

Penn Professor: Many Faith-Based Colleges Shouldn’t Be Accredited

In an essay Monday in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Penn English and education professor Peter Conn writes of “The Great Accreditation Farce.” His take: Colleges that require professors to sign a “faith statement” — one that, say, requires faculty to believe in intelligent design — do not deserve to be accredited.

A little background on college accreditation: The U.S. Department of Education recognizes many accreditation boards that accredit colleges and universities “to ensure that education provided by institutions of higher education meets acceptable levels of quality.” The process, which Conn writes schools spend millions of dollars and tens of thousands of person-hours on, involves reports generated by the school and on-site visits by accreditation teams.

Accreditation is supposed to confer legitimacy on a school, but it’s not like an independent board needs to tell anyone that Penn or Temple provides you with an education at or above acceptable standards. The secondary reason for accreditation is the more important one: Students attending unaccredited schools cannot receive federal financial aid. A-ha!

Conn, who was on a site-visit at a Johns Hopkins accreditation in 2004 and led Penn’s accreditation self-study in 2003, has issues with the process. His complaint in the Chronicle essay: Many colleges that require faith statements do not meet acceptable standards.

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UPDATE: Penn Says Tobacco No “Moral Evil”

[Update 1:26 p.m.] “A proposal for the University of Pennsylvania to divest its $7.7 billion endowment from tobacco companies died on Friday without a vote by the board of trustees,” the Inky reports. “Board Chair David L. Cohen said tobacco does not qualify as a ‘moral evil,’ even though it causes serious health problems.”

[Original] Penn officials are considering whether the university’s endowment should divest itself of ownership in tobacco products after 530 senior faculty members signed a letter urging the action.

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