May 9, 2002
Vol. 21 No. 15

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    In the News

    The Chronicle’s biweekly column In the News offers a digest of commentary and quotations by a few of the University faculty members, students and alumni who have been headlining the news in recent weeks. Chicago faculty members are some of the most frequently quoted experts, so space allows publishing references to only selected examples. To read many of the full newspaper articles mentioned in this column, visit the In the News column at the University News Office Web site at: http://www-news.uchicago.edu/.

    David Galenson, Professor in Economics and the College, and his latest research and associated book, Painting Outside the Lines, were featured in a Thursday, April 25 article published in the Chicago Tribune. The article described Galenson’s research, which involved quantifying the artistic creativity of visual artists using economists’ statistical methodologies. “To art historians, I’m just a nerd with a computer,” said Galenson, whose work art historians have not embraced.

    Roman Weil, the V. Duane Rath Professor of Accounting in the GSB, was interviewed for a New York Times article that appeared Thursday, April 25, and reported on developments in settlement talks between Arthur Andersen and creditors and shareholders of Enron Corp. Failure to negotiate a settlement would hamper Andersen’s efforts to sell some of its business lines because buyers would be leery of picking up any of the firm’s potential liability, Weil said.

    Barbara Schneider, Senior Social Scientist in the National Opinion Research Center and Professor in Sociology, was quoted in a Washington Post story about the Ms. Foundation for Women adding boys to its Take Our Daughters to Work Day, an annual, national event where working women take their daughters to the workplace for a day on the job with “mom.” The Thursday, April 25 story reported that Schneider said that gender should not limit participation. “It’s very important for our young people today, boys and girls, to become exposed to the issues of mom and dad working, because in most families that is the case.”

    Kenneth Goins, Associate Professor in Ophthalmology & Vision Sciences, was featured in the Chicago Defender’s Monday, April 22 issue. The story described Goins’ work at the University and his travels across the world to provide health care to disadvantaged people living in such places as Bangladesh, India and Syria.

    Melissa Roderick, Associate Professor in the School of Social Service Administration, was quoted in a Chicago Sun-Times story reporting on school reforms being carried out by Arne Duncan, CEO of the Chicago Public Schools. Roderick is currently leading strategic planning for improved achievement in Chicago schools under Duncan’s leadership.

    Michael Turner, the Bruce V. and Diana M. Rauner Distinguished Service Professor in Astronomy & Astrophysics and Physics, was quoted in stories that appeared in The Chronicle of Higher Education Friday, April 26, and the Sunday, April 12 issue of Science magazine. Turner commented on recent astrophysical discoveries that have revealed evidence of a possible new form of matter in the universe that is made up of quarks. The evidence came from images of stars captured by the Chandra X-ray Observatory.

    A working paper co-authored by Merle Erickson, Associate Professor of Accounting in the Graduate School of Business, was cited in a Wall Street Journal article that appeared Wednesday, May 1. The article reported on the benefits––mainly, a profitable sale of a business––of structuring small businesses as S corporations instead of C corporations. Erickson’s research found that privately held companies structured as conduit entities, which includes S corporations, could potentially reap 10- to 20-percent higher profits when they are sold than would C structured businesses.

    Locke Bowman, Lecturer and Director of the MacArthur Justice Center at the Law School, who, with a team of other lawyers, has sought a special prosecutor to investigate allegations of police brutality against former Chicago police lieutenant Jon Burge, was quoted in an April 25 Chicago Sun-Times story. “The time has come to find out how this cancerous sore on our criminal justice system got to be there,” Bowman said.

    The Graduate School of Business’ New Venture Challenge was featured in the Tuesday, April 16 Wall Street Journal, which quoted Ellen Rudnick, Executive Director and Clinical Professor of Entrepreneurship in the GSB, and several students who are currently developing new business plans. “Mundane is in, the Internet is out,” the article reported. At the University’s GSB, only four entrants in this year’s business-plan competition were Internet-related plans, down from 20 last year and 78 in 2000.

    Thomas Blondis, Associate Professor in Pediatrics, was quoted in a Chicago Sun-Times investigative report on children living in Chicago and its suburbs being prescribed drugs, such as Ritalin, for attention deficit disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The story, published Sunday, April 21, showed that children living in the wealthiest Chicago suburbs are getting prescriptions more often than children living in poorer Chicago neighborhoods and suburbs. “The system is very much out of balance,” said Blondis. “If guidelines were followed, chances are there would be more kids in the inner-city being treated and fewer kids in the suburbs being treated.”

    The path-breaking research that enabled Robert Fogel, the Charles R. Walgreen Distinguished Service Professor of American Institutions in the GSB, to win the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics was featured in the Saturday, April 13 issue of The Economist. Before Fogel conducted his studies of American slavery, “most economists thought that slavery was not just bad, but also inefficient,” the magazine reported. Then in the 1970s, Fogel found that “the economies of America’s slave-holding states were actually 9 percent more productive than those of free states,” The Economist reported.

    Astronaut and alumnus John Grunsfeld (S.M. ’84, Ph.D., ’88) was featured in a Wednesday, April 24 Chicago Sun-Times story about his visit to the Adler Planetarium, where he spoke to schoolchildren and returned the compact disc with art images to pupils of the University’s Laboratory Schools. Grunsfeld had taken the pupils’ CD with him on his March voyage to the Hubble Space Telescope, where he and a team of astronauts made extensive repairs.

    Jacqueline Stewart, Assistant Professor in English Language & Literature, who also has an appointment in Cinema & Media Studies, was a guest on WTTW Channel 11’s Artbeat program last month. Stewart discussed the race films series she curated and which took place on campus during Winter Quarter.