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University news

By Magazine Staff | PRINT EDITION—Sept–Oct/2011

A Becker-Friedman merger, new campus dining options, and developments in the 53rd Street development.

University News | For the Record

Wealth of notions

In June the Milton Friedman Institute for Research in Economics and the Becker Center on Chicago Price Theory merged to create the Becker Friedman Institute for Research in Economics. Nobel laureate Gary Becker, AM'53, PhD'55, is the institute's chair, and Lars Peter Hansen, the David Rockefeller distinguished service professor in economics and statistics, is its research director.

A treasury of experience

Henry M. Paulson Jr. began a five-year position as a distinguished senior fellow at the Harris School of Public Policy Studies on July 1. Paulson, former CEO of Goldman Sachs and a treasury secretary under President George W. Bush, will arrange research collaborations, speaker series, conferences, and workshops. He also plans to open the independent Paulson Institute, located on campus, to focus on strengthening US–China relations.

Capital haul

In the past year, 11 companies started by Chicago Booth School of Business students have attracted more than $85 million in venture capital. Forty percent—or $34 million—went to Braintree, founded by Bryan Johnson, MBA'07, which helps companies process credit-card payments. Online food-delivery service GrubHub and Bump Technologies, which developed the Bump iPhone app, also received funding.

Grant is a catalyst

Jared Lewis, assistant professor in chemistry, received a $300,000 Searle grant to support his research over the next three years. One of 15 Searle Scholars selected from among 180 applicants representing 126 universities and research institutions, Lewis will explore new catalyst systems for efficient chemical synthesis.

Eating globally

After a year of deliberation, the University has introduced new on-campus dining options. The Global Dining Initiative, a committee of students, staff, and faculty members, called for more flexibility and variety. New features include extended hours in dining venues and five separate plans ranging from unlimited meals to as few as ten meals per week. Aramark will remain the campus food service provider.

Urban developments

The University has purchased the former Borders store at 1539 East 53rd Street. The bookstore closed in March, and the University is pursuing retail, home goods, entertainment, or restaurant tenants. The acquisition is part of a University-led retail revitalization in Hyde Park. Also part of the project is a Five Guys burger joint, a Clarke's 24-hour diner, a Whole Foods supermarket, a four-screen movie theater, and a hotel.

Dawson directs race center

Michael Dawson, the John D. MacArthur distinguished service professor in political science and the College, has begun a three-year term as director of the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture. Dawson's research has focused on the development of quantitative models of African American political behavior, identity, and public opinion.

Sher returns to med center

After two years as a White House adviser, Susan S. Sher returned to the University of Chicago Medical Center August 1, as executive vice president for corporate strategy and public affairs. In that role, Sher works with University President Robert J. Zimmer on national health-care issues and on corporate partnerships, coordinates external-relations initiatives, and develops corporate-relations strategy.

Hail philosophical fellows

R. Stephen Berry, the James Franck distinguished service professor emeritus in chemistry, and Olufunmilayo Olopade, director of the Center for Clinical Cancer Genetics, were elected fellows of the American Philosophical Society. Trustee Emeritus Richard J. Franke, chair and CEO emeritus of the Nuveen Investments and a 1997 National Humanities Medal recipient, also was named a fellow.

Wanted: Molecular engineers

Four named professorships have been created for the Institute for Molecular Engineering. Two separate anonymous gifts provided funding to establish the professorships for the institute, a partnership with Argonne National Laboratory, which will recruit 24 faculty members over the next five to eight years.

Tomorrow's payments today

Two fourth-year Pritzker students, Laura Blinkhorn and Maggie Moore, received the American Medical Association's 2011 Physicians of Tomorrow Scholarships, which repays the recipients' medical-school loans.

Pritzker's a charter member

Philanthropist and civic leader Margot Pritzker, AM'01, became chair of the University of Chicago Charter School's governing board on July 1. Pritzker, who has served as one of the 17 board members since July 2007, will lead the oversight of the school's four South Side campuses. Faculty and administrators from the University and the Urban Education Institute, parents from each of the four charter school campuses, and community leaders make up the board.

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