CFA Faculty Recital on Thursday, January 31,
at 8 p.m., at the Tsai Performance Center
Week of 25 January 2002 · Vol. V, No. 20


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The Best 331 Colleges: BU makes the top 10 list of great college towns

The 2002 edition of the Princeton Review's annual The Best 331 Colleges ranks Boston University in the top 10 in the "Great College Towns" category -- at the number 3 spot. Georgetown University topped the list, followed by Emory University in Atlanta. "A private, nonsectarian, coeducational university located on the banks of the Charles River, Boston University is an energizing community," write the editors of the book. "As a major research institution, the University fosters creativity and innovation. As an undergraduate institution, its faculty comprises some of the world's foremost experts who are dedicated to the art of teaching. . . . Boston is an international center of cultural and intellectual activity, with a concentration of facilities for higher education unrivaled around the world. Home to many fine museums, baseball's Fenway Park, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the city has an unmatched, vibrant energy. Because one in five residents is a college student, Boston is the ultimate college town." About the student body, the editors say, "It might seem incredible that such a large and opinionated student body gets along as well as they do. Writes one junior, 'Generally, students are unique and independent and encourage healthy competition and collaboration on projects. They are easy to get along with.' So it's just like the cast of Friends but on a really big scale? Well . . . not quite, according to a sophomore. 'There are, of course, a few cliques on campus composed of students who obviously skipped the day in preschool when they taught 'How to Get Along with Others' . . . How does a fellow BUer feel about his or her fellow students? We like this answer: 'How should I know?' asks a first-year. 'Out of 15,000 undergraduates I have seen about 2,000, spoken to about 500, and hung around with 50.'"

Boston Globe: Loury comments on Cornell West controversy

Cornell West, a popular Harvard professor and one of the relatively few faculty members at Harvard to have attained the prestigious "university professor" designation, is considered by many to be, according to an article in the January 20 Boston Globe, "the pre-eminent black intellectual of our time, a peripatetic philosopher whose dissident wisdom was refined as much by his time at Harvard University as by the angst of growing up a black man in a white-governed America. To his critics, however, he's a charlatan in a three-piece suit, an academic poseur who speaks in grandiloquent tones that obfuscate more than illuminate." Now West is engaged in a battle for his life and his reputation. He will have surgery for prostate cancer at the end of January and his scholarship has been questioned by such diverse people as Harvard's new president, Lawrence H. Summers, and a growing number of conservative commentators. It has even been argued that his status as a Harvard university professor is owed more to affirmative action than to academic prowess. "West's elevation to university professor was certainly controversial," says Glenn Loury, a professor in BU's University Professors program, a CAS professor of economics, and the director of the GRS Institute on Race and Social Division, who has been a frequent critic of West's work. "There was a lot of grousing. He had not yet established himself in the scholarly realm to deserve such a distinction at the time. If you were to take an objective look at Cornel's work as a philosopher, he clearly didn't break out and distance himself from the field."

Journal of the American Medical Association: Most Americans take at least one drug weekly

Most Americans take at least one medication weekly and one patient in six takes herbal supplements that could harmfully interact with other drugs, according to a study in the January 16 Journal of the American Medical Association. Among the 2,590 people aged 18 and older included in a survey conducted by the BU School of Public Health's Slone Epidemiology Unit from 1998 to 1999, 81 percent took at least one medication in the previous week. Half of the survey respondents took at least one prescription drug and 7 percent took at least five in the week preceding their survey response, the study found. Women older than 65 were most likely to use medications, with 12 percent taking at least 10 weekly and 23 percent at least 5. The most popular medications were acetaminophen-, ibuprofen-, or aspirin-based pain relievers, used weekly by at least 17 percent of survey respondents. Herbal supplements were taken by 14 percent of the population, with 16 percent of prescription drug users taking the herbals. "The substantial overlap between use of prescription medications and herbals/supplements raises concern about unintended interactions," says survey coordinator David Kaufman, a School of Medicine associate professor and associate director of the Slone Epidemiology Unit. "Documentation of usage patterns can provide a basis for improving the safety of medication use."


25 January 2002
Boston University
Office of University Relations