Sept. 26, 2002
Vol. 22 No. 1

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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/.

    Reports about a recent discovery of polarized microwave radiation in deep space–which was made by John Carlstrom, the S. Chandrasekhar Distinguished Service Professor in Astronomy & Astrophysics and a team of astronomers at the South Pole–appeared in several newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune, The New York Times, the Chicago Sun-Times, Agence-France-Presse and on the MSNBC Web site. The discovery supports cosmologists’ theory of the Big Bang and the expansion of the universe that followed. “Think of these telescopes as a time machine. This whole theoretical framework [the Big Bang Theory] and everything that has been derived from it are supported by this measurement,” said Carlstrom in the Chicago Sun-Times story. The news reports appeared Friday, Sept. 20.

    Two Professors in the Law School, Albert Alschuler, the Wilson-Dickinson Professor, and Cass Sunstein, the Karl N. Lewellyn Distinguished Service Professor, wrote op-eds, which appeared in the Wednesday, Sept. 18 Chicago Tribune and the Tuesday, Sept. 17 Wall Street Journal, respectively. Both wrote in support of Michael McConnnell, a former University Law School professor who was nominated by President Bush to serve on the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Their commentaries were published shortly before the Senate Judiciary Committee would question McConnell. “The issue is not whether the Senate can properly take account of a nominee’s views. It is whether people who care strongly about one issue should be allowed to block the confirmation of a nominee with differing views,” wrote Alschuler. And in the Wall Street Journal, Sunstein wrote: “A degree of accommodation from the Senate Democrats should produce some accommodation, and perhaps a measure of compromise, from the White House as well. Both sides need to find ways to reduce the acrimony that has too often characterized the confirmation process in the last decade. Confirming Mr. McConnell would be an excellent place to start.” Stories about the nomination that cited Sunstein’s views also appeared in the Chicago Tribune and The New York Times.

    An editorial published in the Chicago Tribune and written about the New York-based College Board’s decision to add a 25-minute writing test to the SAT I college entrance exam, suggested that the board subcontract the job of creating the exam’s essay questions to Ted O’Neill, Dean of College Admissions. The Tribune editorial praised O’Neill for continually developing questions that inspire college applicants’ imaginations and critical thinking, while it criticized the model questions written by the College Board for the SAT I exam, which would appear on the test in 2005. O’Neill also was quoted in a Monday, Sept. 16 Chicago Tribune story about the importance of essay questions on college admission applications.

    Steven Kaplan, the Neubauer Family Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance in the Graduate School of Business, was quoted in the Sept. 23 issue of Newsweek magazine on how the Internet and other high-tech fields remain a strong area for profits to flourish as long as entrepreneurs have undertaken solid business planning. “If you want to get beyond simple freelancing and do more than fly solo from your favorite table at Starbucks, you’ve got to have a legitimate business plan. No matter how great your idea is, make sure there are customers who want what you offer and will buy it.”

    A full-page story that featured Linda Waite, the Lucy Flower Professor in Urban Sociology and the College, appeared in the Sunday, Sept. 6 Chicago Sun-Times. The story described Waite’s recent research, which shows both men and women benefit from being married, whereas singles and cohabiting couples do not reap those same benefits, including financial, emotional/psychological and sexual benefits.

    Locke Bowman, Lecturer and Director of the MacArthur Justice Center at the Law School, was quoted in a front-page, Tuesday, Sept. 10 Chicago Tribune story that reported on a federal judge’s ruling that enforces the right to legal counsel for witnesses being questioned by Chicago police and Cook County prosecutors. The judge’s injunction stated that such rights have been routinely violated in Chicago. First Defense Legal Aid, a not-for-profit group that provides free legal advice to the poor while they are at police stations, filed the suit. Bowman represented First Defense and said in the story: “The police basically take the position that it’s acceptable to take people off the street, place them in locked interrogation rooms for extended periods of time and sweat them in there–so long as they throw up the fiction that the person is free to leave.”

    Daniel le Grange, Assistant Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry, was photographed and interviewed for a Sunday, Sept. 6 Chicago Sun-Times story about involving parents in the treatment of anorexia. Le Grange, who trained at London’s Maudsley Hospital, for which the treatment plan he supports is named, said: “Be relentless and persistent and consistent in requesting your child to eat. You have to be relentless, because the illness is relentless,” he added.

    Martha Nussbaum, the Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law & Ethics in the Law School, Philosophy, Divinity School and the College, was one of 12 Americans The New York Times asked to comment on the “most significant change the country has undergone in the year since Sept. 11, 2001.” Nussbaum’s op-ed was published Sunday, Sept. 8, and in it she wrote that more Americans have become curious about places they once knew little about, including the Middle East and South Asia. “The more knowledge there is available, the easier it becomes to undermine crude stereotypes,” she wrote.

    John Brehm, Chairman and Professor in Political Science and Professor in the College, was quoted in a Chicago Tribune story that was published Wednesday, Sept. 4. Brehm provided one reason that political pollsters are having such difficulty reaching large percentages of people to participate in polls. “One of the great problems we have in this industry is the really high proportion of people who have just had it with total strangers getting to them over the telephone,” he said. The story reported on a decline in polling responses.

    A program titled the Directors’ Consortium, which the University’s Graduate School of Business helped to develop, was the subject of a Tuesday, Sept. 3 New York Times article. The consortium was created to educate company officers and directors, who attended the lectures to learn what their fiduciary duties and legal liabilities are and how to avoid the kinds of recent corporate scandals that have hit such companies as Enron, Arthur Anderson and WorldCom. Richard Epstein, the James Parker Hall Distinguished Service Professor in the Law School, Steven Kaplan, the Neubauer Family Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance in the GSB, and Roman Weil, the V. Duane Rath Professor of Accounting in the GSB, were three University professors who lectured at the consortium.

    A full-page story in the Tuesday, Sept. 3 Chicago Tribune reported on two differing economic schools of thought, represented in the article by Eugene Fama, the Robert R. McCormick Distinguished Service Professor of Finance in the GSB, and Richard Thaler, the Robert P. Gwinn Professor of Behavioral Science & Economics in the GSB. Fama belongs to the efficient market camp of economists who believe people can be predicted to act in their own self-interest, while Thaler, a proponent of behavioral economics, believes the markets are unpredictable because people do not always act as they should.

    Ann McGill, Deputy Dean of Full-time MBA Programs and the Sears Roebuck Professor of General Management, Marketing and Behavioral Science in the Graduate School of Business, was quoted in a story about business schools’ new practices to screen M.B.A. applicants’ integrity by verifying employment histories, salaries, job titles and responsibilities, as well as hiring ethicists to devise character-eliciting questions for interviews. The story appeared in the Sunday, Sept. 15 New York Times.

    Allen Sanderson, Senior Lecturer in Economics, who is a well-known sports economist, was quoted in the Wednesday, Sept. 18 USA Today, regarding a decline in baseball game attendance following speculation of a players strike.