For the Record

BSD researcher dies
Molecular-genetics researcher Malcolm Casadaban, who studied a weakened laboratory strain of the plague bacteria, died September 13. The strain is not known to cause illness in healthy adults and requires no special safety precautions. Officials are still trying to determine if an underlying condition contributed to Casadaban’s death. An associate professor in molecular genetics and cell biology and in microbiology, Casadaban had worked at Chicago since 1980.

Schill named Law School dean
Michael H. Schill becomes dean of the Law School January 1. In five years as dean of the UCLA law school, Schill launched three legal-research centers and two academic specialization programs. Alumni fund-raising participation doubled during his tenure, and private philanthropy tripled. A property-law scholar, Schill was founding director of New York University’s Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy.

Chicago to hire more faculty
In a September e-mail to faculty, students, and staff, President Zimmer announced plans for a “gradual expansion of the faculty…over the next five years.” Zimmer also said that, in the wake of the economic downturn, the University has increased financial aid and that further budget reductions were not anticipated this year.

Medical research stimulated
A study on the genetic underpinnings of asthma, led by professors Carole Ober and Dan Nicolae, PhD’99, has received a $5.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. The project was among 15 at the U of C that earned a total of $42 million in funding—the most awarded to an Illinois institution—from $5 billion earmarked for medical research in the federal economic stimulus package.

True grid
The University has received a $30 million National Science Foundation grant to expand TeraGrid, a national system of interconnected supercomputers dedicated to scientific discovery and education. The world’s largest computer storage and networking system for open scientific research, TeraGrid connects supercomputers via ultra–high-speed networks.

Med Center union signs contract
Teamsters 743 accepted the Medical Center’s contract offer in September with a two-thirds majority of about 700 voting members. The union had rejected the previous offer a month earlier. After more than 20 bargaining sessions, union members voted to accept a 2 percent pay raise for the next two years, a 3 percent increase in 2011, and a moderate increase in medical-insurance copayments.

If it pleases the courtyard
The Illinois chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects has recognized the Law School’s renovated courtyard with its President’s Award, the organization’s highest honor. Eero Saarinen’s original 1959 design featured a fountain and basin for the Laird Bell Law School Quadrangle, which had to be drained during the winter. Wolff Landscape Architecture Inc. worked with Saarinen’s original plans to construct the zero-depth reflecting pool suitable for all seasons while staying true to Saarinen’s vision.

State of the arts
William Michel, AB’92, MBA’08, the University’s assistant vice president for student life and associate dean of the College, has been named executive director of the Reva and David Logan Center for Creative and Performing Arts, the University’s hub for visual arts, theater, music, cinema studies, and creative writing, set to open in 2012. Theaster Gates, an artist in residence and lecturer in visual arts, has been appointed director of arts-program development.

U of C No. 7 in the world
Chicago ranked seventh in The Times Higher Education 2009 World University Rankings. The University was third among U.S. schools, behind Harvard (No. 1) and Yale (No. 3). President Zimmer’s 2008 statement about what defines a world-class university drew praise from THE. “Our contributions to society rest on the power of our ideas and the openness of our environment to developing and testing ideas,” Zimmer said, prompting a reader to write that he “brought joy to my heart, tears to my eyes and a renewed sense of commitment to the life of the mind.”

Futurity is now
Chicago has joined several leading research universities in launching, an online news service that links readers to reports, videos, and other materials that explain university research news.

Schiller departs for NPR
Ronald J. Schiller has resigned as vice president for alumni relations and development to become senior vice president for development at National Public Radio and president of the NPR Foundation. During Schiller’s four-year tenure the University set annual fund-raising records each year, increasing from $225 million in 2005 to $517 million in 2009.

Performance initiative
Anne and Kenneth Griffin, the founders of Chicago-based Aragon Capital Management and Citadel, respectively, have donated $10 million to fund a school-improvement initiative. Chicago economists John List and Steven Levitt, along with two Harvard scholars—an economist and an education expert—will work with teachers, parents, and students in a Chicago Heights–based program to identify programs and strategies for improving performance.

Help ID Project X
Fermilab’s Project X plan to build a new machine for accelerating protons—which had been on hold since 2008 because of budget cuts—received a $53 million boost from the economic stimulus. Now Fermilab administrators want a more distinctive name for Project X, which will produce proton beams with a new technology called superconducting radio frequency cavities. The suggestion box is open. E-mail Fermilab deputy director Young-Kee Kim at with your ideas.

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