Antarctic biology, the International Polar Year, and beyond

first_imgAs we draw towards the end of the massive effort that has been the International Polar Year (IPY), it is opportune to consider what impact it has had on Antarctic biological research and its research community. Have we seen or are we going to see major advances in any particular areas of science? Has the hoped-for international integration of research communities been advanced, including those of the ‘non-traditional’ or ‘less developed’ polar nations? Have the ‘global public’ become more engaged with the polar regions?last_img

Coffee Break: Introducing Instant Cappuccino

first_imgHi all,I’m taking a break from end-of-year packing to introduce myself, and this blog, to you. Mine is a big packing job, since I’m heading back to the US of A after 9 months as a Visiting Student in this watery isle and spire-y university. The year’s been incredible, and I leave with rich impressions of England and the English, most of which I’ve published in my opinions column at the Brown Daily Herald. If you’re interested, check out my musings.I’ve been writing for the Herald since 2004, on politics, culture and how our generation (Y, if you were born between 1980 and 2000), experiences the world. Oftentimes, defining Gen Y culture has a lot to do with the technology and trends (iPods, e-books, wikipedia, facebook and blogs like this one) for which we 20-somethings are the guinea-pigs. If there’s one place that the Internet has made its biggest impact, it’s in schools and universities—can you imagine writing an essay without Google or JStor? I can’t. And if you believe social theorists like David Brooks, who say that the biggest culture wars occur over education, that people are defined by educational experience, then changes in our world, in the lives of 20-something students, are the harbingers of changes in the world at large. The second front in the Internet culture war is the world of journalism. As a Herald columnist, a blogger here and elsewhere and a news reporter for Cherwell and Cherwell24, I’ve watched news media slowly adjust to the Internet Age. Mainstream print papers are diving into the blogosphere; blogs are turning into big business. As the place we turn for the truth about our world, changing news media means big changes in our social worldview. Once again, as the first group to grow up with GoogleNews, LexisNexis, RSS feeds and CNN Pipeline, we, generation Y, are the test case.Here at Instant Cappuccino, I’ll post news stories and videos about our changing world. I’ll post my thoughts on technology, politics and popular culture. As a forum for students, Cappuccino will focus on issues in education and the spread of information. As a blog, Cappuccino will be part of the transformation.Of course, what makes our culture of Wikipedia and YouTube different from the first Internet revolution of Yahoo and Netscape, is that interaction is overtaking information as the premium capital. So please, post your own thoughts. Tell me when (and this happens often) I am wrong about what’s trendy. Link to Cappuccino on your own blogs, and tell me what other sites I should be following. With your participation, over a cup of virtual coffee, we can make sense of the new world we live in, and predictions for the world to come.Cherwell 24 is not responsible for content of external linkslast_img read more

11 bottlenecks that are slowing down your lending process

first_img 27SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Preston Packer Preston Packer is the Director of Sales & Marketing for FLEX. Preston has been with FLEX since 2000 and has worked in various sales management roles over that time. Preston’… Web: www.flexcutech.com Details Last year, the Financial Brand made reference to a study reporting, “slow loan processing is the single biggest pain point” for the Millennial segment of the consumer group that was surveyed. The PACE report for 2017 found, “Millennials have difficulty finding time to visit a branch and have trouble accessing loans quickly enough to take advantage of an opportunity”, such as purchasing a car or funding education. The common thread being the speed and convenience of lending matters! Which begs the question, if the current lending process is too slow or inconvenient, what are the bottlenecks that are slowing down the process and making the experience so painful? Separate Platforms: This doesn’t apply to seamlessly integrated applications through an Application Programming Interface (API). However, it does apply to separate platforms where loan officers have to launch multiple programs, maintain different usernames and/or passwords and alternate between applications for core functions and lending functions.Forms: Different loan types require different forms. If your loan officers are spending time making sure they have the right forms for the loan being funded, they are wasting time. Loan Origination Systems (LOS) should allow forms to be grouped and assigned to loan types. This makes the loan officers’ job easier by only prompting for the forms required for that specific loan type. Credit Report Integration: If pulling a credit report is not directly integrated into your LOS, this could be your worst bottleneck. Loan officers shouldn’t need to leave their loan workflow, sign into another application or import obligations and trade lines manually. Integration with loan decision tools like Hart Software or CBC should also be considered in this bottleneck.Lending Queues: How automated is the loan application assignment process? Can employees create a custom view of loan applications they are assigned to? Are employees notified when a new loan application is submitted, approved or funded? The lifecycle stage of loan applications can be disparate and confusing if not organized efficiently.Disparate Mobile Lending: Is your mobile loan application seamlessly integrated to your lending platform? Your staff shouldn’t have to manually import mobile loan applications into your LOS. Signatures: DocuSign and many other eSignature companies have researched the bottlenecks of signatures within the financial and credit union industry. In fact, DocuSign found that electronic document flow with e-signatures reduced loan processing time in credit unions by 80%. Most of this reduction is a result of the time it takes for the borrower to sign the documents, with 91% of loan docs being returned in less than 10 minutes, and 66% in less than 5 minutes of sending.Duplicate Data Entry: This should be elementary, but if loan officers are manually typing member information that already exists on the member account, they are wasting valuable time.Entry, Approval & Funding Lifecycle: Some credit unions allow the same loan officer to enter an application, approve it and then fund the loan. Other credit unions want more control over the process and require a different loan officer to fund the loan than the individual who approved it. For security reasons, this has the potential of catching the eye of some auditors. Your LOS should be able to simply set these types of permissions and provide efficient ways to notify loan officers when a loan has been approved and assigned to them for funding.Accuracy: This can be a serious bottleneck and one that is often times overlooked. Your loan processing workflows should be simple and easy to comprehend. When loan officers are in a hurry, they can overlook certain information or forget to input member information that will keep the loan from being funded later on. Explore your system options to make certain fields required and impede loan officers from progressing in the workflow unless the information has been filled out.3rd Party Add-ons: Add-ons to your LOS can bring additional functionality, but they can also bring headaches if not properly integrated through an API. Overrides: When a loan officer with lower lending limits reaches their threshold, an override is required. Your staff shouldn’t have to leave the member waiting while they track down their supervisor. With remote overrides, instant notifications can be sent to supervisors who can review the situation and approve the action without leaving their desk.For more ideas on reducing lending bottlenecks and closing more loans quickly and efficiently, read the related article: How to Trim Loan Processing Time by 80%.last_img read more