July 11, 2002
Vol. 21 No. 18

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    In the News

    John Huizinga, Deputy Dean and the Walter David “Bud” Fackler Professor of Economics in the Graduate School of Business, has been in the news regarding his assistance to native Chinese basketball player Yao Ming, the Houston Rockets No. 1 pick in the NBA draft. Yao, with the help of Huizinga and Erik Zhang, an M.B.A. student in the GSB and distant relative of Yao’s, is negotiating with Chinese sports authorities for his release from the Shanghai Sharks ball club and permission to play professional basketball in America, as well as keep his earnings as an NBA player. Stories about the negotiations and Huizinga and Zhang’s involvement in them appeared in the Thursday, June 27 Wall Street Journal, the Tuesday, June 25 online Wall Street Journal, the Thursday, June 27 Associated Press Newswires and the Monday, July 1 Crain’s Chicago Business.

    The cover story in the Friday, June 28 issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education explored the controversy surrounding the faculty’s recent changes to the civilization course offerings. By tracing the long history of change to the civilization courses in the curriculum, as well as the motivations and goals of the faculty in the more recent changes, the article suggested that in a recent, well-publicized campaign of criticism, “the substance of the change has been repeatedly misrepresented.” Referring to those critics, Steven Pincus, Associate Professor in History and the College, said, “It strikes me as an incredibly wrong-headed attack. What we’re trying to do is keep general education alive and well here.” Dean of the College John Boyer said, “Developing new courses is part of the natural work of the University.” And Rachel Fulton, Associate Professor in History and the College, said, “We’re trying to create a course that looks at this with more complexity.” The story also quoted James Redfield, the Edward Olson Distinguished Service Professor in Classical Languages & Literatures and the College; and cited an earlier alumni magazine interview with Hugo Sonnenschein, President Emeritus and Honorary Trustee and the Charles L. Hutchinson Distinguished Service Professor in Economics and the College.

    Daniel le Grange, Assistant Professor in Psychiatry, was interviewed for a story about anorexia nervosa and a controversial new treatment called the Maudsley approach, which involves parents in their child’s therapy and recovery. The story, which appeared in the Tuesday, June 11 New York Times, described the approach and reported on its recent successes, the views of its opponents and the views of those who are utilizing the therapy, including le Grange, an author of the treatment manual. “This is not a green light for parents to be aggressive, controlling or hostile toward their children,” he said, describing the parental involvement in recovery.

    Emily Buss, Professor and Faculty Director of Academic Affairs in the Law School, wrote an op-ed about the recent Supreme Court ruling in the Pledge of Allegiance case, which appeared in the Sunday, June 30 Chicago Tribune. Buss argued that removal of the text “under God” from the pledge would be just as wrong as the addition of those words in 1954. Buss wrote that children could receive an inappropriate message as a result of removing those words at this time as much as from the inclusion of them. “To suggest that children will take the words “under God” as anything other than an entirely serious message that we, as a community, define ourselves as religious believers is to underestimate children’s seriousness and overestimate their sophistication,” wrote Buss.

    Anil Kashyap, Professor of Economics in the Graduate School of Business, wrote an op-ed that was published in the Monday, July 1 Chicago Sun-Times. Kashyap wrote about Mayor Daley’s Zoning Reform Commission and argued that it was on the right track when it moved to require additional parking for new construction to eliminate future parking congestion. “Requiring an adequate number of parking spots to accompany new construction prevents imbalances upfront. The opponents argue that proposed rules will create a glut of parking spots. If true, we would expect to find it easy to rent parking spaces throughout the city and to find parking prices falling or at least stable. This appears to be totally false,” wrote Kashyap.

    Eugene Fama, the Robert R. McCormick Distinguished Service Professor of Finance in the Graduate School of Business, was quoted in the Sunday, June 16 issue of The New York Times in an article on investing, specifically the scaling down of expectations for long-term stock returns. “A few years back, everyone was talking about the new economy. We argued then that there was no evidence––that the new economy wasn’t showing up in the earnings, and that’s turned out to be true. But stock prices haven’t gone down––not enough to generate future expected returns like we’ve had in the past,” he said.

    Julie Roin, Professor in the Law School, was quoted in a Chicago Tribune story that appeared Friday, June 21. The story reported on the Supreme Court’s recent decision to give the Internal Revenue Service greater power to track the earnings of those who collect tips, such as restaurant wait staff. The law will permit the IRS to estimate cash tips flowing into a restaurant based on credit card receipts. Commenting on the possibility of restaurant owners passing along the cost to customers, should their employees be dishonest about their tip earnings, Roin said: “You can look at it as if the mashed potatoes are 50 cents more or the federal deficit is 50 cents less. The public as a whole always pays for tax avoidance.”

    The work and research of Paul Sereno, Professor in Organismal Biology & Anatomy, and W.J.T. Mitchell, the Gaylord Donnelley Distinguished Service Professor in English Language & Literature and the College, was cited in a U.S. News & World Report article published Monday, July 1. The article reported on the changing faces in paleontology––not the faces of those leading the discoveries of new dinosaur fossils, but the faces that once covered those bones being found on such continents as Africa, Asia and South America. Sereno discussed his discovery of Suchomimus, a carnivorous dinosaur with a crocodile-type of snout. Mitchell’s book, The Last Dinosaur Book, was cited as well.