Search Results

Below are your search results. You can also try a Basic Search.

Lindback, Provost awards announced

(04/11/91 9:00am)

For ten professors, teaching has become an especially rewarding experience. These professors, whose names were announced at yesterday's University Council meeting, are the 1991 recipients of the Lindback and Provost Awards for Distinguished Teaching. Each of the professors will receive a $1,000 prize along with the recognition of being one of the University's top teachers. Lindback and Provost Award winners were nominated last fall by students and faculty, and selected this spring by committees composed of past Lindback winners and students. Four awards are given to professors in health schools, while four are awarded to faculty in the non-health schools. For the non-health schools, Associate Music Professor Norman Smith, Mathematics Professor Dennis DeTurck, Chemistry Professor Madeleine Joullie and Physics Professor Fay Ajzenberg-Selove received Lindbacks, the University's most prestigious teaching award. Lindback winners in the health schools were Associate Psychiatry Professor Gary Gottlieb, Associate Nursing Professor Lois Evans, Assistant Veterinary Medicine Professor Raymond Sweeney and Assistant Neurology Professor Steven Galetta won awards. According to Executive Assistant to the Vice Provost for University Life Therese Conn -- whose office coordinates the award process -- committees in both the health and non-health schools judge nominees using comprehensive dossiers including recommendation letters, resumes, and course evaluations. "We had a strong pool in both areas," Conn said. "The committees had a difficult time in making their final decisions. All of the candidates were certainly qualified, so then it was a matter of looking at the dossiers." Provost Awards for Distinguished Teaching, intended for University teachers who are not part of the standing faculty, were awarded in the health schools to Dental Medicine Clinical Professor Arnold Weisgold and in the non-health schools to Urban Studies Assistant Director Elaine Simon. The final decision on award recipients was made at the provost's staff conference last Thursday. Deputy Provost Richard Clelland received the honor of calling Lindback and Provost Award winners late last week, since Provost Michael Aiken is currently in France. "It's a very pleasant set of phone calls to have the privilege of making, really," he said last night. Clelland said winners he called were both surprised and pleased -- and that some recipients seemed so surprised that he suspected they had not even known they were nominated. Associate Music Professor Smith said he knew he had been nominated, but added that he was still extremely surprised and happy to learn he had won the award. "I've been teaching here 30 years," said Smith. "Teaching has always been an absolute love of mine. It's always nice to have some formal recognition for it." Smith said members of his department threw a party for him yesterday afternoon to commemorate the Lindback. He said he is also looking forward to the reception for Lindback and Provost Award winners being held on April 25. Urban Studies Assistant Director Simon did not know she had been nominated for the Provost's Award until she was notified she had won, although she said she grew increasingly suspicious as several students began expressing hopes she would win. "It was very thrilling to have won this," Simon said yesterday. "I hope I deserve it." Simon added that teaching in the Urban Studies department has been rewarding in itself because it allows her to relate better with the students she advises. For this year's Lindback awards, there were 17 nominees in the non-health schools and 7 within the health schools. There were 5 nominees for this year's Provost Awards.

Three profs receive Guggenheim awards

(04/11/91 9:00am)

Three University professors have been named recipients of Guggenheim fellowships for their continued work in medical research and the social sciences, President Sheldon Hackney announced yesterday. The professors, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Professor Mark Greene, History Professor Susan Naquin and German and Comparative Literature Associate Professor Lilliane Weissberg, received the awards from the Guggenheim Foundation after going through a comprehensive and competitive application process. The foundation gives out more than $5 million annually to about 200 researchers. To apply for the grant, professors submit information on their work and their careers. The foundation contacts other leaders in the applicant's field for additional insight on who to select. Greene, who will use the funding to continue a project entitled "crystallographic analysis of the neu receptor," said last night he was extremely happy to receive the selective award. "I was delighted and honored," Greene said. The other recipients could not be reached for comment. The Guggenheim Foundation is headed by former School of Arts and Sciences Dean Joel Conarroe and located in New York City.

Faculty concerned about salary trends

(04/10/91 9:00am)

Increases in inflation, along with University and state budget pressures, could soon lead to declines in the real value of professors' incomes, according to a recent Faculty Senate report. Released Friday and published in yesterday's Almanac, the report by the Senate's Committee on the Economic Status of the Faculty also calls attention to discrepancies between higher incomes of faculty recruited away from other schools and the lower incomes of professors who have spent most of their academic careers at the University. Committee Chairperson Henry Teune, a Political Science professor, said yesterday the report offers a starting point for issues the committee will continue to examine over the next year. Teune said faculty have become increasingly concerned by growing ranks of students and added teaching, research and service duties in a period when faculty size has remained constant. He cited a wide range of budget forces leading up to worries about the future of faculty salaries, including the federal government forcing states to pay for welfare programs, residents who no longer want to pay additional taxes for state subsidies to universities, and students and parents requesting more health, safety and administrative services. Teune also said he is concerned about the development of a "two-tier salary system" at the University, where professors recruited from other schools receive more money and benefits than those who follow the University tenure track and choose to remain here afterward. "We don't want to have a two-tier faculty," he said. "Then there's no pretense of a community." Differences in faculty incomes arise when the University has to bid against other schools to bring high-level professors here. Bello, who is on Teune's committee, said the system may reward those who "always have one foot out the door," while penalizing professors who remain loyal to the University or need to remain in the area. Many faculty argue enticements are necessary to attract the best possible faculty and remain competitive in the recruiting market. Rather than eliminating the bonuses, they recommend salary raises for long-time faculty whose salaries fall behind. On the positive side, the report says statistical studies reveal no difference between the incomes of male and female professors, although it adds that Provost Michael Aiken is investigating "the possibility of some instances of discrimination based on gender." Faculty will continue to discuss the cloudy income outlook at their annual plenary session next Wednesday, where debate is expected to split between concerns that faculty budgets were slighted by administration growth in the last decade, and fears that faculty incomes may be compromised in the next decade.

U. women receive awards at Faculty Club ceremony

(04/10/91 9:00am)

Although Wheaties cereal was not served, an awards ceremony yesterday morning could aptly be named "The Breakfast of Champions." The awards, presented in memory of female scholar and leader Leonore Rowe Williams and suffragist Alice Paul, were presented to University women as part of a Faculty Club breakfast gathering of the Association of Women Faculty and Administrators. The awards honored successful female faculty members, administrators and students who had worked to raise campus awareness of issues involving student government, acquaintance rape, racism and sexism. The association named Medical School Associate Dean of Minority Affairs Helen Dickens and outgoing Nursing School Dean Claire Fagin recipients of the Leonore Rowe Williams Award. Former Undergraduate Assembly Chairperson Duchess Harris received the first of eight Alice Paul Awards, presented to outstanding undergraduate and graduate students. In accepting her award, Harris, a College senior, related a freshman-year story of mistakenly going to the president's office, at College Hall room 100, when she intended to go to her advising office -- Logan Hall room 100. Harris said she has returned to the president's office under more familiar terms on official UA business, and added that when women find themselves in a top administrative office it has become more and more likely they have "found the right room." The ceremony also marked the first time an Alice Paul award was presented to a male student, College senior Nicholas King, for his work to raise awareness of aquaintance rape as a founding member of Students Together Against Acquaintance Rape. In accepting his award, King blasted the incoming board of the Undergraduate Assembly, saying the new leadership -- some of whom are fraternity brothers -- comes from groups "notoriously unsupportive" of women's issues and women's rights. "The boys are getting a little smarter," King said. "Everyone's going to have to be very careful." The organizers also presented their first ever award to a group -- the organizers of the Women's Theater Festival. For her acceptance speech, Alice Paul award recipient and Pan-Asian Circle Coordinator Amy Hsi read a poem calling for men and women to work together against problems of sexism, racism, and homophobia. "I just want to say although there are all these problems, I love being Chinese-American and I love being a woman," Hsi said after the poem. Other winners included STARR co-founder Anne Siegel, and graduate students Beth Hackett, Lesley Rimmel, and Elin Danien.

SEC upset at growth of admin.

(04/04/91 10:00am)

The Faculty Senate Executive Committee yesterday adopted a resolution criticizing a 12-year trend of administration growth and the "shrinkage of support" for academics at the University." The resolution was prompted by a report of the Senate's Committee on Administration which concluded that the percentage of the University's budget devoted to administrative and clerical expenses has increased dramatically while the percentage devoted to faculty has decreased. The study, released last month and led by Bioengineering Professor Solomon Pollack, questioned whether administration spending should be cut to help support faculty, and rhetorically asked if the lack of faculty increases showed a declining interest in teaching and research at the University. Faculty Senate Chairperson Almarin Phillips, who was an ex-officio member of the committee which prepared the report, said discussion of the study at yesterday's meeting lasted approximately an hour before the resolution was adopted. The resolution passed almost unanimously, with one abstention. The resolution states that SEC is "dismayed" by the trend and asks the administration to explain its growth in spending. "We really want an explanation," Phillips said. "We want a serious, detailed explanation of what caused the growth and what's being done to contain it." Administrators have asked Budget Director Stephen Golding to study the report within "the larger budget context." Golding will meet today with Pollack to discuss sources used in the report. Golding said last night he plans to review the study and tell faculty "what the budget says about the growth of administration and what that reflects of the University's values." Golding stressed that the goals of the University are teaching and research, not administration. John Gould, executive director of the president's office, said yesterday the administration is waiting for Golding's analysis before it reaches any conclusions on the study. "It's the sort of report where you really have to look at the numbers and the interpretations," Gould said. Gould said many administrators are already working on ways to contain costs in their departments because of the University's budget problems. Phillips said he hopes the study will draw faculty to the Senate's larger plenary meeting April 17 and also convince the president and provost to speak to faculty on the issues raised in the report. Golding said last night he is analyzing the study as quickly as possible but work on the University's 1992 budget may slow him down.

Study shows U. hiring compared to PhD pool

(04/03/91 10:00am)

Some undergraduate schools are hiring minority professors, particularly Asians, in increasing numbers over whites, a recently-released University report indicates. The study, entitled the "Affirmative Action Report for the Current Standing Faculty," is conducted each year by the Office of Planning and Institutional Research at the provost's request. It compares the number of new University professors hired to the precentage of women and minorities who have received PhDs in the last eight years. Despite increases in minority hiring, most departments across the University continue to underhire women in relation to pools of recent U.S. doctoral recipients. The pools of available doctoral recipients are a major factor in how many faculty members universities can hire from any given ethnic or gender group. Figures in the report show that most departments hire females and minorities roughly in proportion to their representation in the pools. Analysis of data across schools and within the schools themselves, however, yields a mixed verdict on faculty affirmative action hiring practices. The Wharton School, for instance, hired 13 more Asian candidates since 1982 than predicted by their proportion in the pool, while retaining 12 fewer white candidates than expected. Both Wharton and the School of Arts and Sciences also hired fewer women than the doctoral pool would predict, according to the study. Schools across the board show a trend toward hiring minorities over whites. The report also shows the makeup of departments and schools as a whole, including tenured professors. Comparing these statistics to PhD recipient data shows that many departments still lag behind in the hiring of women and minorities. However, the data also shows that some schools and departments have both overcome the slow-changing nature of faculty composition and surpassed doctoral recipient figures for some gender and ethnic catagories. In comparison to the PhD recipient pool, women are actually overrepresented in the Engineering and Nursing schools, while Asians are overrepresented in parts of Wharton, Engineering and the School of Arts and Sciences. Faculty, who have had approximately a month to study the report, are now beginning to offer their opinions on what the study may indicate. At a noontime gathering Monday of the Faculty Senate's Committee on the Faculty, professors prepared a statement on the report for presentation at the Senate Executive Committee's meeting this afternoon. According to Finance Professor Morris Mendelson, chairperson of the Senate's Committee on the Faculty, the committee agreed that this year's results show little change from last year. He said the committee's statement will target problem areas, but that it neither condemns nor congratulates departments as a whole on their hiring practices. Last year's report spawned debate within the Faculty Senate over appropriate methods for monitoring hiring activity of so-called "delinquent" departments. The study revealed that 13 SAS and three Wharton departments had disproportionately hired males over females in relation to the available pool of candidates for their disciplines. Other committees are also taking an interest in the latest report. Dental School Biochemistry Professor Phoebe Leboy, chairperson of the president's Affirmative Action Council Committee on Faculty Recruitment and Retention, said the report will be discussed at a gathering for her committee in late April. In the meantime, Leboy said she has mixed reactions to the study's findings. "There are some areas that seem to be doing well, if one defines well as hiring people in relation to there representation in the pool," Leboy said Friday. "There are still other departments that are not doing as well." Leboy said she feels "considerable dismay" over the hiring records of departments in her own area, the natural sciences, and within the medical schools. She stressed, however, that she was extremely grateful the provost has continued to produce the "badly needed" study. Provost Michael Aiken said last week he has not received any feedback on the latest report, but feels the information is important and will allow interested parties to draw their own conclusions on faculty hiring practices. "The reason we do this is to bring this to the attention of the community," Aiken said. The 122-page document -- which offers data with little analysis -- contains tables comparing the faculty composition and hiring patterns as of last fall, broken down by gender and ethnicity. Ethnicity is divided into categories for blacks, whites, Asians and Hispanics. The report provides the actual number of new assistant professors hired in the last eight years in these gender and ethnic divisions, compared against the "proportional representation" of these gender and ethnic groups in the pool of U.S. doctoral recipients from 1981 to 1988. The report contains separate data for each University department, including undergraduate, graduate, professional programs and medical schools. Executive Assistant to the Provost Linda Koons said the report has been circulated to school deans, department chairs, and affirmative action officers throughout the University. She said the report's findings will also be summarized for publication in a forthcoming issue of the Almanac.

Minority, women faculty hiring matches differences in PhD pool

(04/01/91 10:00am)

University faculty hiring has roughly matched gender and ethnic differences in the U.S. doctoral pool, while lagging behind percentages for the country's population as a whole, a study released last week indicates. The report, formulated by the Office of Planning and Institutional Research, is the latest in a series looking at affirmative action hiring of faculty at the University and will be discussed today by the Faculty Senate's Committee on the Faculty. It is stull unclear whether faculty and administrators are encouraged by the results of the 122-page document, which compares the number of assistant professors hired relative to the available gender and ethnic pools of PhD's. In the past, only a few departments have been criticized for lagging behind in hiring minority and women. The report, which offers only data and no analysis, contains tables comparing the faculty composition and hiring patterns as of last fall, broken down by gender and ethnicity. Ethnicity is divided into categories for blacks, whites, Asians and Hispanics. The report provides the actual number of new assistant professors hired in the last eight years in these gender and ethnic divisions, compared against the "proportional representation" of these gender and ethnic groups in the pool of U.S. doctoral recipients from 1981 to 1988. The report contains separate data for each University department, including undergraduate, graduate, professional programs and medical schools. Officials will start receiving feedback on the study, as one faculty committee concerned with hiring issues meets today to discuss the study and another prepares to consider it in a meeting slated for later in the month. Last year's report spawned debate within the Faculty Senate over appropriate methods for monitoring the hiring activity of so-called "delinquent" departments. The study revealed that 13 School of Arts and Sciences and three Wharton departments had disproportionately hired males over females in relation to the available pool of candidates for their disciplines. This year's findings, distributed early last month, could provoke similar controversy, and faculty committees are giving the study high priority at upcoming meetings. Finance Professor Morris Mendelson, chairperson of the Faculty Senate's Committee on the Faculty, said members of his committee are holding a meeting at noon today to compose a statement regarding their views on this year's study. Dental School Biochemistry Professor Phoebe Leboy, chairperson of the president's Affirmative Action Council Committee on Faculty Recruitment and Retention, said the report will be discussed at a meeting near the end of April. In the meantime, Leboy said she has mixed reactions to the study's findings. "There are some areas that seem to be doing well, if one defines well as hiring people in relation to their representation in the pool," Leboy said Friday. "There are still other departments that are not doing as well." Leboy said she feels "considerable dismay" over the hiring records of departments in her own area, the natural sciences, and within the medical schools. She stressed, however, that she was extremely grateful the provost has continued to produce the "badly needed" study. Provost Michael Aiken said last week that he has not received any feedback on the latest report, but feels the information is important and will allow interested parties to draw their own conclusions on faculty hiring practices. "The reason we do this is to bring this to the attention of the community," Aiken said. Executive Assistant to the Provost Linda Koons said the report has been circulated to school deans, department chairs, and affirmative action officers throughout the University. She said the report's findings will also be summarized for publication in a forthcoming issue of the Almanac.

Faculty say U. budget cuts won't affect them, students

(04/01/91 10:00am)

The loss of 300 faculty and staff may sound imposing, but a number of academics, from assistant professors to school deans, said this week that the announced cuts, the freeze on new hiring and the reduction of school budgets will have almost no effect on faculty, research or the classes students are pre-registering for this fall. Seemingly the most dramatic part of a series of budgetary cutbacks, the 300-position cut through retirement, attrition, reassignment and layoffs, is regarded by faculty as less worrisome than the hiring freeze, which some fear will lock out new talent, and the budget cuts, which many fear will affect salaries. Faculty, however, said administrators seem to realize significant cuts could quickly hurt the University's prestige, particularly in the area of research. Faculty also say administrators seem to have received their message that salaries below current levels would make the University less attractive to outside talent. Top administrators, however, have acted quickly to allay any lingering fears. A special meeting was held last Wednesday to allow President Sheldon Hackney, Provost Michael Aiken and Budget Director Stephen Golding to present the budget to faculty members. Engineering Dean Gregory Farrington even held his own meeting soon after to explain what the cuts will mean to Engineering faculty in particular. The message, according to Mechanical Engineering Assistant Professor Vijay Kumar, was that cuts will mean very little. Kumar, who serves as an assistant professor representative to the Faculty Senate's Executive Committee, said any layoffs would probably affect small numbers of staff members rather than faculty, and that, among schools, Engineering would probably be one of the least affected. "I don't think faculty raises will be compromised either," Kumar added. Since faculty, particularly those with tenure, are protected from layoffs, Kumar said the University may instead offer special incentives to make retirement attractive to older professors -- an opinion shared by many at the University. Kumar further said it would be "foolish" for the University to cut assistant professors currently on the tenure track and said any departing assistant professors during the period of cuts would probably be those with poor records. Other faculty admitted they have trouble interpreting the 300-person cut, calling it a vague budgetary goal since the retirement of one senior professor can save income comparable to that of several assistant professors. "I kind of read it as an abstract declaration," Elaine Simon, assistant director of Urban Studies, said yesterday. "I don't think they've thought specifically about it." "Maybe they think the state will reinstate some of that money so they won't have to do it as seriously as they have said," she added. Simon said the budget structure of the Urban Studies program, which relies heavily on outside experts to teach classes, probably protects its classes from the freeze. She said the program is budgeted to pay for specific classes rather than specific lecturers, allowing them to keep the money for a course even if the professor changes. Simon added that hiring outside lecturers is generally less expensive than using standing faculty, arguing that it would save little for the administration to cut from a program that offers that kind of "bang for the buck." "I had some momentary thoughts that it might affect some way," Simon said. "It didn't send shock waves. I didn't panic." Department heads and faculty members in several departments echoed Simon's viewpoint, and said they do not foresee budget cuts affecting student's classes at all. Officials in the Registrar's Office said they have received no feedback from individual schools that budget cuts will lead to cancelled classes next fall, but said any cuts would be published in the Course and Room Roster for next fall and schedule addendums.

Faculty Senate elects slate

(03/22/91 10:00am)

The full slate of uncontested Faculty Senate nominees were declared elected earlier this week after no petitions were filed in the two-week period following their nomination announcement this month. The elected candidates include Statistics Professor David Hildebrand, named chairperson-elect of the Senate Executive Committee, and Anatomy Associate Professor Peter Dodson, named secretary-elect. Both will be entering the faculty's chief policy-making body at a time when budgetary pressures are mounting for University professors. All 21 elected candidates, comprising the new members of both the SEC and several of its subcommittees, will start their terms of office on May 1. Senate Chairperson-elect Hildebrand said earlier this week that he was both flattered and excited by his nomination to the post. In the context of budget announcements Wednesday -- which included plans for a reduction of 300 faculty and staff positions, slower faculty salary growth, and cuts in faculty programs -- Hildebrand is entering SEC's ranks at a crucial time in the University's fiscal life. Hildebrand said Wednesday that he thinks faculty feel deeply responsible for the University and will be unwilling to "sit idly by" and allow massive cuts in the University's state allocation to take place. Current Faculty Senate Chairperson Almarin Phillips will move from his post to become past-chairperson, being replaced by Chairperson-elect Louise Shoemaker when the newly elected candidates assume their positions later this semester. Phillips said last night he is looking forward to the somewhat lighter duties of the post of past-chairperson, but said the Senate -- including the newly elected officials -- will be extremely busy with cost containment issues over the next year. "The good side is service to the University and exposure to many interesting and important subjects," Phillips said last night. "But they're also getting themselves in for a lot of hard work -- the two seem to go together." Hildebrand faces a three-year commitment to the Senate, holding the official position of chairperson-elect for the first year, to become chairperson for a year, and then past-chairperson a year later. The other elected candidates receiving three-year terms include the SEC at-large members Oriental Studies Professor Roger Allen, Dental School Professor Irving Shapiro, Finance Associate Professor Susan Wachter and Mathematics Professor Herbert Wilf; Senate Academic Freedom and Responsibility Committee members Medical School Associate Professor Jill Beech, Geology Professor Robert Giegengack and School of Social Work Assistant Professor Mark Stern; and Senate Committee on the Economic Status of Faculty members Mathematics Professor Peter Freyd and Linguistics Professor Ellen Prince. Those sharing two-year terms include SEC Assistant Professor members English's David Boyd and Social Work's Catalina Herrerias; Senate Academic Freedom and Responsibility Committee members German Associate Professor Liliane Weissberg; and Senate Conduct Committee members Chemistry Professor Madeleine Joullie, Law Professor Howard Lesnick, and Physics chairperson Gino Segre. Officials assuming one-year posts in May include SEC at-large member Social Welfare Professor June Axinn; Senate Academic Freedom and Responsibility Committee members, Geology Professor Ian Harker and Nursing Professor Barbara Lowery; and Senate Economic Status of Faculty Committee member Economics Professor Robert Summers.

Faculty, staff cuts still undetermined

(03/21/91 10:00am)

Faculty seemed to accept the administration's budget proposals for next year yesterday, even though the proposals include a reduction of 300 faculty and staff positions. The proposals, presented to faculty in a special meeting yesterday afternoon, prompted professors to call for grass-roots advocacy in an attempt to sway state legislators to reinstate funding. The University's budget problems are a direct result of Governor Robert Casey's proposal to cut $18.6 million in state funding to the University. President Sheldon Hackney yesterday described the new budget policies as a "careful and judicious" strategy to protect the University's academic core. But, without a reinstatement of state funding, the proposed cuts will halt the creation and expansion of several faculty programs and may even include faculty layoffs. Administrators said yesterday they did not know how drastic faculty and staff cuts would be, saying the reduction would be achieved through a combination of attrition, retirement, reassignment and layoffs. Administrators said they had not yet determined how many layoffs would be necessary or where layoffs would occur. Other cuts, amounting to $2.9 million, from the Provost's Subvention Fund could hurt faculty programs. The proposal eliminates plans for the Social Science Research Institute outlined in the University's five year plan, freezes further committments to the Trustees' Professor Program and eliminates additional funding that would help individual schools grant raises to faculty as part of promotions and merit awards. However, faculty yesterday appeared more interested in attempting to reverse Casey's decision than in protesting the cost-cutting proposals the University will enact if the state budget passes in its current form. During the faculty meeting and yesterday's University Council session, Microbiology Professor Emeritus Robert Davies, past chair of the Faculty Senate, urged faculty to start a letter writing campaign asking state legislators to renew funding. However, at the University Council meeting, City Planning Professor Anthony Tomazinis cautioned against allowing faculty salary increases to fall below the rate of inflation, pointing out that it is faculty work itself that helps bring in University funding. Several Council members also said they were concerned the University could eventually lose research funding. Council members said it takes competitive salaries to draw top-notch researchers to the University, who in turn attract research funding. If salaries do not keep up with inflation, researchers may be less willing to come to or remain at the University. Provost Michael Aiken, who helped present the proposed cuts yesterday, indicated after the Council session that he had expected more feedback from faculty during the budget presentations. "I expected more discussion and I can't really explain why there wasn't more discussion," Aiken said. Faculty leaders said the lack of debate may indicate professors' willingness to work with the administration to reverse the threatened cut in state funds. "They have my vote of confidence," Faculty Senate Chair Almarin Phillips said yesterday. He said Senate leaders have been in close contact with the administration throughout the budget development process. Statistics Chairperson David Hildebrand, who will become Faculty Senate chair-elect in May, indicated that the faculty as a whole seem willing to work with the administration. "Certainly it would be a lot healthier if we could work together to restore these cuts," Hildebrand said. Hildebrand described a bleak budget picture for the University if the state funding is lost, and joked that he is not expecting a 60% pay raise next year. "It's still not going to be much fun for the next year or two," Hildebrand added. "It's going to be rough unless the cuts get restored."

Regional Science prof to head grad education

(03/19/91 10:00am)

In a move which brings a recommendation of the Provost's Working Group on Graduate Education one step closer to fruition, Regional Science Professor Janice Madden has been named the first Vice Provost of Graduate Education. The appointment was immediately hailed by graduate students and administrators alike as a boon to graduate education at the University. Madden, currently the director of the Women's Studies Program and the undergraduate chairperson for the Regional Science department, said last night that she was "very pleased by the challenge" the new position would offer when she enters it on July 1. As part of her responsibilities in the new post, Madden will oversee and advise the provost on all aspects of graduate programs and graduate student education. The new post includes additional administrative duties as chairperson to both the Graduate Council of Faculties and the Graduate Council of Deans. Madden defined the new position's challenge as helping graduate students "get their Ph.Ds, get them quickly, and get placed in good jobs." According to Regional Science graduate student Laura Huntoon, whose graduate dissertation work is overseen by Madden, the professor has always stressed the importance of not lingering in graduate school longer than necessary, a goal she said is shared by graduate program administrators. Huntoon said Madden has good ideas for incentives that should help students achieve their aims quickly and focus on their research goals, as well as preparing them for future work in research and education. "She's very attuned to how to be a researcher, how to become a good teacher," Huntoon said. Huntoon, who has also taken two of Madden's classes and served as a teaching assistant for others, added that she has been equally impressed with Madden's productivity. "[In comparison,] sometimes I feel that I'm slogging along at microspeed," she said. Several administrators last night also expressed great enthusiasm for the Madden's appointment to the newly-created post. "It's a great thing for the University," Regional Science Chairperson Ralph Ginsberg said last night. Ginsberg said Madden is an internationally known researcher for her work on urban labor markets and issues of sexual and racial discrimination in the labor force. He added that Madden has had an excellent relationship with her students during her 19 years at the University. "She's someone who has a serious interest in graduate education," Ginsberg added. "She's concerned about higher education and she's very supportive of students." Madden, an economist by training, has written three books and overseen numerous programs exploring issues of labor discrimination in urban marketplaces in general and in Philadelphia in particular. Her work has included consulting positions with the Justice Department and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Madden's term as director of the Women's Studies Program will end immediately before her new responsibilities as vice provost begin. She said she has "greatly enjoyed" serving as the program's director, particularly in organizing a capital campaign which she hopes will make the program "secure within the University forever."

Experts: Peace will not come overnight

(02/28/91 10:00am)

University experts tempered their happiness over prospects of peace last night with warnings that peace will not be accomplished overnight. Speaking shortly before Iraq officially agreed to accept all United Nations resolutions in withdrawing from Kuwait, several professors said they welcomed the end of the war but said several problems remain. They said the U.S. and its allies must still work to stabilize the region and must still worry about Saddam Hussein's government. They added that rebuilding Kuwait will be equally difficult. Daniel Pipes, director of the Foreign Policy Research Institute -- a campus-based think tank for United States foreign policy -- said last night he was "very pleased" with the ceasefire announcement, but indicated he was perhaps even more impressed with the success of the allied military campaign. "With all due reservations that things could change, at the moment it looks like a very carefully planned, thoroughly planned American effort has led to an overwhelming military victory -- the sort of victory you don't often see," Pipes said. Other faculty members said they were pleased the war appears over but said they were still unhappy with U.S. involvement in the Middle East. History Professor Robert Engs said although the ceasefire is "wonderful," his happiness over the end of Gulf war is not based on support for the war itself. "I hate people killing people," Engs said last night. "When people stop killing people, then I'm happy." Engs said he wished the U.S. had given sanctions an opportunity to work and he questioned the motives behind Middle East intervention. He also said he saw little indication of any improvement in the region resulting from the conflict. "I hope all Americans will look at this and say 'That's what we do with the billions of dollars we spend,' " Engs said. "It's awesome. It's also appalling." Emeritus Professor of Pharmacology George Koelle -- an expert on the effects of chemical weapons -- said last night he was delighted with the President's announcement of a ceasefire. But he cautioned that much work remains to be done in the region. "I think it's gone beautifully," Koelle said. "The number of allied casualties, it's just unbelievable -- it's infintesimal." Koelle said he was surprised Iraq has not employed chemical weapons, but suspected the U.S. secretly threatened severe retaliation if Iraq were to use the weapons on the battlefield. Koelle added that although chemical weapons production facilities were probably badly damaged by allied bombing efforts, Iraq is likely to have large supplies still in storage. University experts said thoughts must now turn to the task of rebuilding and improving the Gulf region, goals which they said will require great effort. "The challenge in Iraq's future is for Iraq to have a government that is not aggresive, not too weak, not too strong, that moderates, that balances Iran as a power, that doesn't repress its own population -- and that's a tall order," Pipes said. "I don't see that that sort of happy solution is around the corner, but there's a profound shakeup of Iraq that suggests the possibility of change, and given how bad it was, it's highly likely that change will be for the better." Earlier in the evening, Political Science lecturer Adam Garfinkle warned that the United States could be using the ceasefire as a ploy to move supplies to the front lines in preparation for an assault on Baghdad. However, as of early this morning, his theory did not come to pass as U.S. troops moved into defensive positions and awaited Washington's next orders. (CUT LINE) Please see CAUTION, page 9 CAUTION, from page 1

U. Museum holds black history tribute

(02/25/91 10:00am)

High school senior and New York City resident Judith Joseph traveled over 100 miles to attend the second annual "African American Celebration" held Saturday at the University Museum, but did not regret the trip. "I think it was excellent," Joseph said at the end of the celebration Saturday. "I haven't seen anything like this in Brooklyn." Joseph, one of 162 prospective University students visiting campus for Minority Scholars Weekend, came to the event with several other University students who heard about the event last week. The group joined hundreds of Philadelphia residents of all ages in a day-long celebration, complete with African music, dancing, food and craft demonstrations scattered throughout the museum's auditoriums and galleries. The event, which is part of the University's continuing Black History Month celebration, also marked the opening of the Museum's renovated African Gallery. Tours of the gallery focused on the symbolic aspects and cultural significance of African artifacts used in both mystic rituals and the chores of everyday life. "I think you got a good picture from beginning to end," said Philadelphia high school student Aaron Witherspoon after touring the refurbished gallery. A capacity crowd filled Harrison Auditorium at the museum for the JASSU Ballet, a series of pieces performed by four female dancers in shimmering robes and colorful dress to the pounding beat of an energetic five-man drum section. Over 100 children accepted an invitation to join the dancers on stage at the end of the program and learn basic techniques of African dance. Children also sat on the floor and atop parents' shoulders during performances to an overflow crowd of the Women's Sekere Ensemble, which performed music from countries including Brazil and Ghana to the accompaniment of the Nigerian sekere, a hand-held percussion instrument. In the University Cafe, the catering staff prepared dishes following recipes from Sierra Leone. In the Roman Sculpture Gallery, those interested could learn "Swahili for Beginners." In the Mosaic Gallery, young and old alike helped create the "Make Your Own Music Band" using hand-crafted African percussion instruments. A group of children from the Anti-Drug and Alcohol Crusade After-School Program played along in one of the bands. Margo Davidson, their chaperone, said the outing was a chance for the children to temporarily escape drug-addicted parents. "I saw this going on and I thought it would be a great opportunity to expand their horizons," Davidson said.

Inexperienced troops facing new obstacles

(02/25/91 10:00am)

As the U.S. entered the ground war in the Persian Gulf this weekend, faculty drew on their knowledge of land assaults in wars past to make predictions about this war's future. Faculty experts say the air component of the U.S. offensive bears many similarities to those in World Wars I and II, while efforts to ravage the Iraqi infrastructure to deter future conflict compares to strategies in Vietnam. And, as in almost all previous U.S. wars, ground troops have little actual combat experience. Yet, in many respects, faculty say this battle is unlike any the U.S. has previously faced. The unique difficulties posed by the desert setting, the unparalleled threat of biological and chemical warfare and the heightened reliance on state-of-the-art military technology are unknown variables hampering their predictions. Although faculty offered differing assessments of how this land war will compare with those in the past, all said that any ground combat means increased risk and increasing deaths. "In ground war, often the casualties are enormous," Associate History Professor Robert Engs said yesterday. "And if it doesn't happen in this war, that will be incredible." The prospects for casualties are heightened by U.S. soldiers' lack of combat experience. Engs said, however, this innocence might make the "well trained and well disciplined" U.S. troops a better fighting unit. He added that Iraqi troops, reportedly surrendering in large numbers, may have lost their will to fight because of their knowledge of war's human cost. Iraqi soldiers have faced death under both the heavy Allied bombings in this conflict and in the fighting of the Iran-Iraq war which preceded it. "They know what it's like and they don't want it to happen to them," Engs said. "You can be macho until you see the guy's head blasted off in the foxhole next to you. Then you stop being macho." Yet, if Iraqi troops are depending on the lessons of the war in Iraq, they may still find themselves surprisingly inexperienced. According to professors, the U.S. does not use the same deceptive ground maneuvering and mass assault tactics for which Iran became known. "I think one of the interesting things in all this is that the Iraqi army is experienced fighting the Iranians," said Political Science Professor Frederick Frey. "But the Iranians are quite primitive compared to what they're facing now." Iraqi technology, while not primitive, also lags behind what the U.S. and its allies have in their arsenals. "Our weapons are so much better, so much more powerful," said Engs. "We have weapons that were designed for Eastern Europe, but apparently seem to work in the Saudi desert too." The modern weapons also seem to be working above the Saudi desert, professors indicated, arguing that the ground campaign will be tied to assaults from the air. These will be used to soften Iraqi positions and reach Iraqi divisions once they are flushed out of their bunkers and trenches. The technological advantage is also used specifically on the ground, helping the U.S. fight at a distance and avoid risky face-to-face combat and, in this case, the threat of biological and chemical warfare. "This is the standard way in which the U.S. fights wars -- to make use of its overt technical superiority, it's domination in superior military hardware," History Professor Bruce Kuklick said. "The wealth of the U.S. is used to design these weapons, which are meant to save lives," Kuklick added. Kuklick argued that the technological advantage has also been used as a deterrent against opposing the U.S. and to keep world peace, a subtle strategy developed even as the U.S. lost the Vietnam conflict. "Basically the way the war ended in Vietnam was to teach anyone that the cost of winning against the U.S. is so painful that it isn't worth it," Kuklick said. Ironically, though, the current conflict in the Persian Gulf may bear its greatest similarity to a short, almost forgetten quarrel that occured in the late nineteenth century -- where inexperienced U.S. soldiers still overwhelmed their opposition. "[It can be compared to the Spanish-American war] in that the U.S. has picked on a country that is considerably less powerful than the U.S. in a variety of obvious ways," Kuklick said.

Professors expected ground war, but some feel it was avoidable

(02/25/91 10:00am)

For faculty who have been following developments in the Persian Gulf war since the invasion of Kuwait last August, the United States' announcement on Saturday evening that a full-scale ground war was underway was not unexpected. Several University experts said they had previously predicted the land component of the "liberation of Kuwait" would begin this weekend. Others said they had felt it was only a matter of time until it began. Perhaps, then, it is no surprise that very few were around for the announcement that the "mother of all battles" had actually begun. Some faculty members said they had turned in early and had slept through the Saturday night announcements. Other professors said they were out to dinner with their spouses when the assault was announced. Yet, no matter how inevitable the conflict had seemed, one University expert said his feelings still changed somewhat after he turned on news reports two nights ago. "Up until now the war had been antiseptic, exceptionally cost free," Middle East expert and Political Science Lecturer Adam Garfinkle said late Saturday night. "It hasn't really been a war." "Now we're talking about a war," he added. "Now we're talking about body bags." And Garfinkle was not the only faculty member to express anxiety over the new allied offensive. "I think it's regrettable," History Professor Bruce Kuklick said yesterday. "I will be very surprised if it continues to be as easy for the United States as it has been before." "I think if you take a baseball bat and hit a hornet's nest -- that's Iraq -- the result would be very unfortunate," added Kuklick, an expert in recent American history. Despite the increased danger, faculty experts still predict a fairly short conflict in which coalition forces would ultimately be victorious, due to superior technology and training. Garfinkle said that in order to avoid casualties, it would be "absolutely crucial to use electronic intelligence assets." Garfinkle, who occasionally serves as a consultant to the Central Intelligence Agency, said he had reason to believe that new technologies may even allow the allies to insert their own messages into Iraqi communications, leading the Iraqis wherever the Allies desired. "We'll have them shooting at each other," he said. Yet professors still cautioned that the new technology does not come without risk, and that the ground offensive will not come without cost. "We have entirely different kinds of equipment and we don't know if they work," Associate Professor of History Robert Engs said yesterday. "We're still going to lose people and that's pretty distressing." While faculty agreed the land offensive was bound to come soon, they disagreed over the immediate necessity of the move. Engs said yesterday that he actually thought the ground assault would begin sooner. Garfinkle, on the other hand, said he has disagreed with the timing of allied offensives against Iraq for some time. He said he felt the air war began later than he thought it should, while the ground war actually has begun earlier than he would have preferred. He said the peace accord reached by the Soviets and Iraqis last Thursday, though unsatisfactory, offered a starting point for a joint meeting between Secretary of State James Baker and Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz in Geneva. Garfinkle said he feels torn because, even though he disagrees with President Bush's decision, he supports the president, the troops, and the efforts to remove Iraqis from Kuwait. "Even though I think this is the wrong thing to do, I want to win," Garfinkle said. He further argued that the military fought the air war with the intention of switching to a ground fight all along. He said allied bombing was used primarily to soften Iraqi positions, rather than to force the country into submission with strikes against Iraqi transportation networks and food and water supplies. "This is what happens when you let army guys run an air war," Garfinkle said.

U. Museum to hold black history celebration, tribute tomorrow

(02/22/91 10:00am)

The University Museum will hold its second annual African-American Day Celebration tomorrow, assembling foods, crafts, arts, storytelling, music and dance events as part of a day-long tribute to African heritage. The celebration, one of the city's largest Black History Month events, will feature a tour of the museum's refurbished African Gallery at 1:15 p.m., showing changes made to the gallery in its recent renovation, the first major changes to the gallery since the 1950s. Kris Hardin, assistant curator for the Museum's African section, said yesterday that approximately 150 pieces were added to the African Gallery. Hardin added that descriptions of objects were updated to reflect changes in African culture, as well as in the collection's thematic organization. Demonstrations of African art and culture will be scheduled for throughout the day. The museum will be open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and admission is free to University faculty, staff and students.

Progress slow in attracting diverse profs

(02/20/91 10:00am)

The University has made little progress in its goal of attracting a more diverse faculty in the last year, but has also avoided a backward slide, statistics released this week by the provost's office show. The survey, detailing composition of both the tenured and standing faculty as of October 31, includes breakdowns of the male and female composition of each of the University's schools. The survey further classifies faculty into white, black, Hispanic, Asian and Native American ethnic categories. This information was not completely available in the past. Deputy Provost Richard Clelland, responsible for compiling the statistics, said yesterday the statistics relate a "tale of slow progress" in the University's attempts to recruit professors from a wider variety of backgrounds. "It's progress in the right direction, but much slower than we'd like to see," Clelland said. Compared against past years, the statistics indicate that women posted small gains in terms of faculty composition while black faculty remained frozen in number. Data for Hispanic, Asian and Native American faculty members were released for the first time this year so it cannot be compared to previous years. "People are interested in these figures and there's no reason people shouldn't know about these things," Clelland said. The statistics indicate the University added 19 members to its standing faculty, reaching a total of 1,924, but the number of tenured faculty shrunk by nine members to 1,035. Of the 19 members added to the standing faculty, nearly three-fourths were women. Among tenured faculty, the nine-person loss actually includes a gain of two positions for women, countered by a decrease of eleven positions for men. Comparisons against past data indicate the University is currently stalled in increasing the ranks of black faculty, whose count remained steady at 50 standing members for this year. According to Clelland, the University recruited several new black faculty in the past year, but lost an equal number through retirement and attrition. Students and faculty contacted last night said they had not yet seen the data, but said they were interested in the apparent trends. Clelland said the statistics are used by a wide range of administrators, including the affirmative action office, the provost's office, school deans, department chairs, faculty members and students. Wharton junior Ileana Garcia, the vice president of La Asociacion Cultural de Estudiantes Latinos Americanos, said last night that although she had not seen the newly-released data on Hispanic faculty, she planned to "check it out." She said students have pressured the administration to step up Hispanic recruiting efforts but have seen little progress. "I know in the past students have made a great effort," Garcia said. "But it's always a struggle." Garcia, who transferred from the College to Wharton, said she was disturbed by a lack of Hispanic faculty in the business school after having contact with Hispanic faculty in the College as a freshman. "You feel kind of ostracized in a way," she said. The new data show that there are 26 Hispanic, one Native American, and 93 Asian standing faculty members at the University, although the groups are unevenly distributed between schools. For example, there are Asian faculty in the School of Arts and Sciences and the Engineering, Dental, Medicine, Social Work and Veterinary Schools, but there are none in Annenberg, the Graduate School of Education, the Graduate School of Fine Arts, the Law School, the Nursing School or Wharton. "We're short of Asians in the humanities and Arts and Sciences," Clelland said. "But that, I think, reflects the pool." Clelland said an additional report comparing statistics on faculty distribution between departments to available ethnic recruiting pools, compiled with the help of the Office of Affirmative Action, would be released in the next month.

U. professors take to the airwaves with war expertise

(02/19/91 10:00am)

Don't be surprised if you turn on the evening news and your Political Science professor is on talking about the Persian Gulf war. Several University professors have had a high profile in the national media in recent weeks, serving as special analysts in several network's coverage of the Gulf war. But the media attention has been a mixed blessing. Although faculty have had a chance to express their views to a large audience and to boost the prestige of the University, constant interview requests have started to become a drain. Some professors said the attention has become so great it is detracting from their teaching and research. Since the outbreak of the war, local and national media, starved for information on all aspects of the developing conflict, have agressively pursued many University professors to obtain answers to a wide array of questions. For example, as news broke Friday of a possible Iraqi offer to withdraw from Kuwait, at least a dozen television stations, radio stations, and newspapers across the country interrogated Political Science Professor Adam Garfinkle on the implications of the move. And only a day before, Garfinkle's views were broadcast to millions in an interview for Voice of America radio. Garfinkle serves as the Political Science Coordinator for the Foreign Policy Research Institute, a campus-based think tank studying foreign policy issues that has become a center of media attention since the August invasion of Kuwait. He is also teaching a class for the Political Science department on Middle East politics. But Garfinkle was hardly the only faculty member receiving air time recently. On Monday of last week, it appeared as if Annenberg Dean Kathleen Jamieson was pulling an all-nighter when she appeared on CBS News "Nightwatch" at 4 a.m. -- giving new meaning to the phrase "exhaustive coverage." Jamieson has actively publicized a conference held at the Annenberg School early this month on the effects of media coverage of war violence on children. The "Nightwatch" show, actually prerecorded in Washington, D.C., was only one of several recent news appearances for the communications professor. "What I was trying to do was make sure the issues at this conference got out to as many [media representatives] as possible," Jamieson said yesterday. She added that she has been attempting to persuade television networks, including CBS and CNN, to be more sensitive to the needs of parents and children by displaying warnings before broadcasting explicit war footage, a goal developed at the conference. The dean said CBS acted on her recommendations last week by presenting warnings before coverage of the bombing deaths at an underground Iraqi shelter, and added that the producer for Peter Jennings' special news programs for children agreed to consult with her before the next show. But Jamieson said heavy media attention is not without its disadvantages, because it diverts attention from the day-to-day business of the school. "We have obligations to our students, our staff, and our colleagues that have to come before our media coverage," Jamieson said. Garfinkle has reached the same conclusion. "The more hours we spend talking to reporters, the fewer hours we have to do what we're paid for," Garfinkle said. Recently, however, Garfinkle said the Foreign Policy Research Institute struck a deal with ABC's local affiliate, WPVI Channel 6, so that professors are paid a small sum for serving as on-air consultants to the station's "Action News" programs. These consulting payments are the first in FPRI's history. "It's a real breakout," Garfinkle added. "We're thinking about cultivating this." Despite potential gains in recognition, or even in funding, there may be a down side to the increased publicity. Garfinkle said journalists have tracked him down both at work and at home, on both weekdays and weekends. Garfinkle, who is Jewish, said he considers himself lucky he is forced to take a break from the press calls during the Sabbath. Assistant Political Science Professor William Harris argues that faculty prominence may also have unforseen costs for students as well. Harris said he fears broadcasting faculty opinions in the media and in classes may undermine students' feelings about the significance and importance of their own views, particularly if those views differ. "The idea is that University professors are pretty privileged and pretty powerful people in the world," Harris said. "They have to be really careful about how they use that power." Harris also suggested that the media -- by simplifying issues as only two-sided and relying on short quotes and "clever turns of phrase" -- works against accurate representation of the views of faculty who have learned to value subtlety and balance. "Newspapers will tend to pick up the clever comments, the sound bites, the slogans," said Harris, who worked as a reporter for several years. "It's very difficult to portray a broad perspective in a news story." Some faculty members, however, are in demand simply for their factual knowledge as opposed to their political opinions and analysis. Pharmacology Professor Emeritus George Koelle, who said he has been following the development of chemical weapons since World War II, has been interviewed recently by The Chicago Tribune and The Philadelphia Daily News, as well as local television and radio stations. Koelle said along with talking about the qualities and dangers of chemical weapons, he has acted on his knowledge of their past use to prevent their use in the future. He said the use of chemical weapons in World War II by the Axis powers may have been prevented by rumors of U.S. retaliation. Koelle wrote to government officials recommending that the U.S. use similar measures to prevent use of chemical weapons in this conflict. "I am very much concerned that it not be used because it would be a terrible thing in the desert," Koelle said. "That's why I wrote to President Bush, [Secretary of Defense Richard] Cheney, and [Joint Chiefs Chairperson Colin] Powell and several congressmen, and finally I got it to Cheney and he acknowledged it."

Persian Gulf war petition angers some History profs

(02/18/91 10:00am)

About a dozen history professors signed a petition posted in the History Department office supporting a peaceful resolution to the Persian Gulf crisis before another group of professors complained and the petition disappeared. The petition, which was taped to a counter in the department, was also sent to the mailboxes of many History faculty and graduate students by a splinter group of the American Historical Association calling itself "Historians Against War in the Persian Gulf." According to History Professor Robert Hartwell, many professors became angry about the petition after several faculty had signed it. They argued that its presence in the office was a "tacit endorsement" of the petition's anti-war stance by the department and the University. Hartwell said he was so incensed by the petition's placement in the department office that he wrote a letter to President Bush disavowing the department and the University of the views of the petition's signers. "I found it totally unacceptable that the petition -- or for that matter any petition on either side -- should be given a tacit endorsement by the History Department by being placed in the department office," Hartwell said. Hartwell complained about the petition to other professors and it subsequently was removed from the office. Hartwell said he did not remove the petition, and several other professors said they do not know where it went. Secretaries in the office also said they do not know who removed the petition. Assistant History Professor Ruth Karras, a member of the American Historical Association, said last week she received a copy of the petition by mail but also signed the copy placed in the History Department office. Karras, who is opposed to U.S. intervention in the Middle East, said that "quite a few members of the department signed the petition." Associate History Professor Walter Licht placed the petition in the office and said last week he was "kind of in charge of it," but added he wasn't aware of the circumstances behind the petition's removal. The petition was written at a New York City convention of the American Historical Association last December before the war started and has since been mailed to AHA members around the world. A group of graduate students at Rutgers University currently handling the petition said they have collected approximately 800 signatures from people at schools including Stanford, Harvard, Yale and Columbia universities, as well as nearby schools such as Temple and Villanova universities. They added that they continue to receive signatures by mail weekly. Executive Director of the American Historical Association Samuel Gammon said although the Association itself does not take stands on political issues, the names of the petition's signers might be published in their newsletter later this spring. Gammon added that the Association "applauds all efforts to educate out fellow citizens about this area of the world." The petition, created by a group of about 100 AHA members, pushed for peaceful resolution of the Gulf crisis and an increased focus on the problems facing the U.S. domestically. "As educators, scholars and members of the American Historical Association, we are compelled to go on record in opposition to American military intervention in the Middle East," the petition reads. "A war in the Middle East will fail to resolve any of the issues at hand in the present crisis." "War will intensify all of the problems now plaguing our economy, campuses and cities," the petition continues. "While we condemn Hussein's invasion of Kuwait, we oppose any military solution and call for the use of peaceful means to resolve this international crisis."

FOCUS: Knocked around the tenure track (Part I)

(02/11/91 10:00am)

According to many colleagues, Assistant History Professor Hilton Root is a cutting-edge researcher whose scholarship abilities are world-renown within his profession. According to past students, Hilton Root is an inspiring educator who lectures on topics untouched by other University faculty and whose teaching consistently ranks above average. But, according to a recent History Department tenure vote, Hilton Root will be forced to leave the University in June 1992. In December, History Department faculty voted for the second time not to recommend tenure to Root, who has been an assistant professor for six-years and specializes in comparative European economic history. The negative tenure recommendation has mystified several colleagues who say they wonder what voting faculty used in their decision, whether it was from Root's confidential tenure file or in departmental meetings that preceded the vote. The decision has also disappointed several students who say they have developed close ties to the assistant professor and his unique brand of research, and feel the History Department has effectively eliminated both. The exact reasons for Root's tenure denial are obscured by a thick veil of confidentiality which prohibits History Department faculty and School of Arts and Sciences officials from revealing any details of Root's case. Root himself said he will not comment on the matter while he "pursues other avenues." Those avenues included a meeting with School of Arts and Sciences Dean Hugo Sonnenschein last week, and several students and faculty said they believe he will file a grievance with the University. The December vote was not the first time Root has been denied tenure in his six years at the University. Root first requested consideration for tenure two years ago and received a negative recommendation. Root's former students, who have followed his case since the first tenure vote, said there are several possible explanations. One possibility is that Root's research does not fall within the traditional domain of a history department but lies somewhere between economics and history. Another explanation is that Root, considered by some to be arrogant, may have had personality conflicts with members of the department. But former students place much of the blame on History Professor Lynn Hunt, who often studies the same subject area as Root but takes a different approach to it. They say Hunt created the opposition against Root, but are unable to offer first-hand evidence of this. The students say their conclusion is based on discussions with department faculty. They have also been in frequent contact with Root over the past two years. The students say Root could not have been denied tenure for any legitimate reason. According to the University's Faculty Policies and Procedures, the basis for University tenure decisions lie in the candidate's research and teaching performances, which are gleaned from a comprehensive dossier which includes outside evaluations and supporting statements. Colleagues and students say Hilton Root has excelled at both. · Though faculty generally consider teaching quality less important than research achievements when judging tenure cases, there is little question that teaching has been of primary importance in how students judge Root. Before coming to the University in 1985, Root taught at the California Institute of Technology and the University of Michigan. He has also taught courses in France and Belgium. Reviews of six of Root's classes published in the Undergraduate Course Guide over the past five years ranked Root as an instructor from 3.0 to 4.0 on a four point scale. Ratings for the courses themselves and their difficulty ranged from 2.2 to 3.8. College and Wharton senior Todd Rosentover is one of several students who is currently protesting Root's second tenure denial. Rosentover has known Root since his freshman year, when he took Root's class entitled "England and France Were Once Developing Nations Too." Rosentover's sophomore year coincided with Root's first tenure denial and he said last month he was extremely disappointed with the outcome. Rosentover remembers hearing rumors at the time that the decision was based on doubts about Root's teaching ability, so he decided to act on the rumors. "I pointed out that no undergraduates were consulted," Rosentover said. He and another student also began an extensive letter writing campaign to students who had previously taken Root's courses. The other student, first-year Wharton graduate student George Walker, said he regarded the rumored assertion that Root's classes were unpopular with students as a "smoke screen." "That's why we came up with the letter writing campaign," said Walker, who received his degree from Wharton's undergraduate division last year. "If you're going to attack the guy, you've got to come up with an argument that holds water, and that he's a poor teacher certainly doesn't." Walker said former students were surprisingly willing to write letters on Root's behalf, considering the fact that Root had not taught in the year prior to the tenure decision. According to Rosentover, at least twenty letters were presented to History Professor Drew Faust, a member of the committee which prepared Root's tenure file for the second vote. The committee was headed by History Professor Alan Kors and also included History Professor Moshe Levine. Faust said the letters were included in the file for the second tenure decision, and that the committee itself had also written letters to every student Root ever taught -- including graduate students advised by Root who were never in his classes. "We really tried to be scrupulously fair on all of this," Faust said. But Faust was unable to say what these letters said or what kind of feedback the committee received because of confidentiality regulations. · More important to Root's tenure decisions than his teaching, many faculty and administrators indicate, was his research -- both the quantity and quality of his writings and the prestige of the organizations that have printed them. Root's research credentials include two books and numerous articles, several of which have been nominated for awards. In 1986, Root won the Chester Higby Prize from the Modern European History Section of the American Historical Association for writing the best article published in the previous two years. The bulk of Root's research concerns peasant revolts in eighteenth century France. Applying economic principles to historical events, Root explained the revolts as the result of severe restrictions on agriculture and free markets within the society. Finding that peasants were forced by the upper classes governing society to sell their grain at artificially low prices, Root wrote that farmers decided it had become unproductive to raise crops for sale -- resulting in irate, starving peasants ready to fight against upper class rule. Students supporting Root say the nature and quality of this mix of economic and historical research has won Root admirers throughout the U.S. and Europe. Public Policy Assistant Professor Ed Campos, who collaborated with Root on a recent report, indicated that the research may even be more appreciated abroad than domestically. He said Root's work has often been translated into French and their collaborative report has been published in Italian. Campos said he has been impressed with Root's commitment to research. "I don't think many people have the patience or diligence," Campos said. Campos recalled Root returning from an annual summer research trip to France with material for their joint report -- as well as a back pain that kept him from sitting or standing for long periods of time. Campos said Root endured the unexpected ailment by lying on the floor of Campos's apartment for hours at a time as they "cranked out the article." Root's student Rosentover said one of Root's strengths in research is his reliance on primary sources. Rosentover pointed to an instance where Root physically "found" sixty French chateaus which other historians had long assumed were destroyed by peasant revolts. "What he's basing his things on are facts and not theory," Rosentover said. And Campos indicated that Root is only now entering the "prime of his career," with a "ton of research in first-rate publications" and a second book forthcoming. "He's clearly capable of producing first-rate work that economic historians can agree on," Campos said. · But not everyone seems to agree with Root's work. Several of Root's supporters maintain Root's History Department colleagues reached different conclusions than Root did. They say many department faculty pursue their studies from a Marxist perspective and have arrived at conflicting explanations for the rebellions of eighteenth century French peasants. While Root argues that the peasants rebelled against the results of market control by the upper classes, others take the position that the French peasants rebelled against the free markets themselves. Root was recruited by the University away from Cal Tech in 1985. History Professor Hunt, who students say spearheaded the campaign against Root, was recruited from the University of California at Berkeley shortly after Root. Students say she takes a view opposite to Root in many of the same areas of research. Hunt said last week that allegations of research conflicts do not have "any bearing at all on the situation," calling Root's area of research "interesting, valuable and useful." "The department never chooses between fields in making these decisions," Hunt said. Hunt said that while Root, herself, and History Professor Alan Kors have all studied eighteenth century French peasants in the past, she researched the political and cultural aspects of their society, while Root looked into the economic aspects and Kors probed the intellectual sphere.