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For the record

Chicago’s new CFO
Nim Chinniah, Vanderbilt University’s deputy vice chancellor for administration and academic affairs, is Chicago’s new vice president for administration and chief financial officer, effective August 1. Chinniah will develop a long-term financial plan for the University and will lead the 400-plus staff of the Administration and Finance Division. He succeeds Donald Reaves, now chancellor of Winston Salem State University in North Carolina. 

Knapps get U of C Medal
At this year’s Chicago Convenes dinner in Rockefeller Chapel, President Robert J. Zimmer awarded the University of Chicago Medal to Gwen and Jules F. Knapp, who have named the University’s Jules F. Knapp Research Center, the Gwen Knapp Center for Lupus and Immunology Research, and the Jules and Gwen Knapp Center for Biomedical Discovery, which opened last year. The medal is Chicago’s highest honor.

U of C joins Google library
Along with the rest of the 12-university Committee on Institutional Cooperation, Chicago has agreed to digitize select collections in its library as part of the Google Book Search project. The project gives Google—and users—access to portions of the committee schools’ more than 75 million volumes, including Northwestern’s Africana collection and Chicago’s South Asia holdings.

Secretary in charge
President Robert J. Zimmer named Harvard University administrator David Fithian as secretary of the University, effective July 1. Formerly associate dean and secretary of Harvard’s arts and sciences faculty, Fithian oversees the activities of Chicago’s Board of Trustees, working closely with the board, deans, and senior administrators.

Uncoding through ENCODE
The National Human Genome Research Institute awarded $9.1 million over four years to a University-led research team studying fruit-fly DNA sequences that control when and where specific genes get turned on and off. The grant is part of a $57 million effort called the ENCyclopedia Of DNA Elements (ENCODE), created to produce a catalog of all functional elements in the human genome. Human genetics and ecology & evolution professor Kevin White leads the Chicago team.

Humanities honors core values
Assistant philosophy professor Jason Bridges won the first annual Whiting Foundation Research Fellowship for Excellence in Core Teaching. Given by the Division of the Humanities and the College, the fellowship recognizes teaching in the humanities, art, music, and drama cores. Bridges has taught the humanities core sequence Philosophical Perspectives since 2001 and has been its coordinator for the past three years.

Keeping tabs on the labs
Vice President for Research and National Laboratories Donald Levy has appointed Laurence Hill, AM’86, MBA’04, associate vice president for research and national laboratories. Hill oversees site operations, University contract management, and board staffing for Argonne National Laboratory and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. Previously Hill was assistant dean for research operations in the Biological Sciences Division and the Pritzker School of Medicine.

New sexual-assault policy
This spring Chicago introduced a sexual-assault policy that defines what actions constitute such an offense, lists University and external support services, and explains disciplinary procedures. Previously, sexual assault fell under the sexual-harassment policy. In a campus-wide e-mail, Provost Thomas Rosenbaum said the new policy was created “in recognition of the fact that sexual assault is a severe, distinctive, and underreported problem.” The statement is at

Breathe easier
The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation awarded $1 million to Joe G. N. Garcia, Department of Medicine chair, and assistant professor of medicine Imre Noth to study pulmonary fibrosis, which causes progressive scarring of the lungs and decreases their ability to transfer oxygen to the blood. Garcia and Noth plan to launch the Center for Excellence in Pulmonary Fibrosis—creating a database of Chicagoans with the disease, designing drugs for those whose conditions progress rapidly, and studying the genes of mice injected with pulmonary fibrosis.

Social service at the highest level
Professor in the School of Social Service Administration Sarah Gehlert was elected to a two-year term as president of the Society for Social Work and Research, beginning in 2008. Gehlert studies women’s health and social factors that create group-health differences.

Top finance under 40
Graduate School of Business finance professor Tobias Moskowitz won the American Finance Association’s 2007 Fischer Black Prize, which honors the field’s top scholar under age 40. The association cited Moskowitz’s 2005 work showing that zoning rules and property-tax assessment procedures influence commercial real-estate contracts in a manner consistent with corporate-finance theory.

Philosophical alumni
Chicago alumni Stanley Lieberson, AM’58, PhD’60, David Tatel, JD’66, and Joseph Neubauer, MBA’65, were elected to the American Philosophical Society, which recognizes accomplishments in scholarly research, professional meetings, publications, library resources, and community outreach. Lieberson teaches sociology at Harvard, Tatel is a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and Neubauer is chair and chief executive officer of ARAMARK and a University trustee.

One chemist, three awards
Chemistry professor Hisashi Yamamoto has won a trio of prizes for his work using Lewis acids to streamline chemical synthesis. Yamamoto received the 2007 Japan Academy Prize and the 2006 Tetrahedron Prize for Creativity in Organic Chemistry Award from the American Chemical Society. He also won a 2007 Humboldt Research Award from Germany’s Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

Illuminating mental development
The University’s Joseph P. Kennedy Mental Retardation and Development Disabilities Center won a $4.6 million grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, to be distributed over five years. The grant will improve facilities, expand research fields, and foster more cross-institutional interaction at the Kennedy Center, which brings together biologists and social scientists from the U of C, Northwestern, and the University of Illinois at Chicago to study mental-development disabilities.

Chicago represents at AAAS
President Robert J. Zimmer; nine Chicago faculty members; and trustee George Ranney Jr., JD’66, president and CEO of Chicago Metropolis 2020, were elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. With 11 fellows, Chicago was the third most-represented institution, behind MIT and Harvard. Faculty inductees include: Jerry Coyne in ecology & evolution; Karl Freed in chemistry; Susan Gal in anthropology and linguistics; John Goldsmith in linguistics and computer science; Janellen Huttenlocher in psychology; Robert Pippin in social thought and philosophy; Bruce Winstein in physics; Wu Hung in art history; and Harris School visiting professor Donald Stewart.

University loses chapel dean
Allison Boden, dean of Rockefeller Memorial Chapel for the past 12 years, becomes Princeton’s dean of religious life and the chapel August 1. At Chicago Boden led international trips to foster cross-cultural understanding, established the “What Matters to Me and Why” lunchtime series, taught in the Divinity School’s ministry program, and was a resident master in Broadview Hall and Burton-Judson Courts. Provost Thomas Rosenbaum has appointed a search committee to recommend her successor.

Guggenheim quartet
Four U of C professors were named 2007 Guggenheim fellows, receiving six- to 12-month research grants. Classics professor Shadi Bartsch will examine the function of metaphor in classical antiquity, while Divinity School associate professor Catherine Brekus will complete her book Sarah Osborn’s World: Popular Christianity in Early America. Near Eastern languages & civilizations professor Fred Donner will study seventh-century Arabic papyri, looking for changes in Islamic political vocabulary that may illuminate evolving conceptions of Islam. And history professor Bernard Wasserstein will research a book on European Jewish intellectuals.