Jan. 23, 2003 – Vol. 22 No. 8

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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: http://www-news.uchicago.edu/.

    Paul Sally, Professor in Mathematics and the College, recently presented his views on collegiate mathematics at the Joint Mathematics Meetings of the American Mathematics Society and the Mathematical Association of America (See story, Page 8). WNUA-FM radio station aired a story Friday, Jan. 17, and United Press International carried the story on Saturday, Jan. 18, about that presentation in which Sally criticized the trend in higher education toward offering mathematics courses for non-majors that teach about mathematics rather than teaching how to do mathematics. The Chicago Sun-Times published a story that same day about Sally’s concerns about the growing number of “numerically illiterate” college graduates across the country. Describing the less-rigorous math appreciation courses offered to non-majors at some universities, Sally said: “They are describing what is going on in mathematics, without demanding any of the skills it takes to do it and without telling them what mathematics means.”

    The University Hospitals’ liver transplant on a 13-year-old girl was cited in numerous news stories, including those broadcast by WBBM-TV, WMAQ-TV, WLS-TV, WGN-TV, WFLD-TV and CLTV, as well as those published in the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times. The liver recipient, Aayushi Patel of Schaumburg, Ill., received a new liver just as she approached her 14th birthday. Michael Millis, Associate Professor in Surgery, performed the critical procedure.

    Edward Snyder, Dean and the George Pratt Shultz Professor of Economics in the Graduate School of Business, was quoted in a Jan. 5 Chicago Tribune story about a shortage of well-qualified CEOs. Snyder said: “We need to be more discriminating in some of our CEO choices. Markets don’t like vacuums of leadership,” adding that the vacuum “has been building for years and has indirect linkages back to the ’80s.” Snyder noted an executive disconnect with mainstream America that he said has its origins in the layoffs that came despite companies posting record profits.

    Elizabeth Garrett, Professor in the Law School, and Geoffrey Stone, the Harry Kalven Jr. Distinguished Service Professor in the Law School and the College, discussed President Bush’s decision to submit a brief on the Supreme Court case regarding the University of Michigan’s affirmative action policy on programs that aired on WLS-TV and WBBM-TV.

    Norval Morris, the Julius Kreeger Professor Emeritus in the Law School, was quoted in a front-page Thursday, Jan. 16 Chicago Tribune story that reported on some of the fallout of former Illinois Gov. George Ryan’s blanket commutation of death row inmates in the state.

    Locke Bowman, Lecturer and Director of the MacArthur Justice Center at the Law School, was interviewed for a Wednesday, Jan. 15 Chicago Sun-Times article that reported on the Cook County State’s Attorney’s request that 10 of the commutations be voided by the Illinois Supreme Court. “The governor’s clemency power is based upon the Illinois Constitution, which authorizes the governor to issue executive clemency orders upon conviction,” said Bowman. “These people are under convictions for crimes for which a death sentence is possible. Obviously, there is a legal question for the Supreme Court to work out.”

    John MacAloon, Associate Dean of the Social Sciences Division and Director of the Master of Arts Program in Social Sciences, was quoted in a Los Angeles Times online article that reported on the troubles facing the U.S. Olympic Committee, which include leadership changes, political infighting, allegations of doping scandals and ethics-related controversies. Describing the committee as one with “major structural problems,” MacAloon stated: “The great failing of the Amateur Sports Act is that the U.S. Congress refused to accept an active oversight role itself but put in no effective independent board of directors to serve the same function.”

    Austan Goolsbee, Professor of Economics in the Graduate School of Business, discussed President Bush’s economic stimulus plan in an interview on WGN-TV’s morning news segment, which was broadcast Tuesday, Jan. 7.

    Richard Epstein, the James Parker Hall Distinguished Service Professor in the Law School, was quoted in a U.S. News & World Report story published Monday, Jan. 13. The story reported on evangelical groups at U.S. colleges and universities being banned or stripped of funding because the groups “discriminate” by not allowing non-Christian students to be leaders of their organizations. According to Epstein, anti-discrimination laws are being used by critics of private groups as “a public hammer with which to beat groups they oppose.”

    Joseph Neubauer (M.B.A.,’65) was named one of the 16 best managers of 2002 in Business Week magazine’s Monday, Jan. 13 issue. Neubauer is chairman and CEO of ARAMARK Corporation. The article noted that he has led ARAMARK to record profits and revenues in each quarter of its first year as a public company.