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Boston University Arts & Sciences

CAS News: August 2009
Feld Family Foundation Endows CAS Professorship

An important gift from the Feld Family Foundation will create a new professorship in the College of Arts & Sciences. Members of the Feld family pledged $10 million to the University to enhance faculty development, and $2.5 million has been designated for CAS to endow the Feld Family Professorship of Teaching Excellence. The gift also will endow professorships in the School of Management and the College of Communication.

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University Revises FERPA Policy

Boston University implemented a new policy on September 1 regarding communication with parents and guardians about students.

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Launching the First-Year Experience: CAS Café Promotes Community Learning

CAS began a new and innovative program for freshmen earlier this month when it hosted the first-ever CAS Café. Nearly 70 students and faculty joined together for a discussion of Michael Pollan’s provocative book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals.

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Gretchen Peterson Joins CAS

Gretchen Peterson has joined CAS Student Academic Life as the new director of the Office of Student Programs & Leadership. She comes to CAS following a five-year stint at Brown University, where she worked extensively in academic support services with diverse groups of students, faculty, and administrators. She earned a BS in psychology from Dickinson University in Carlisle, Pa., and an MA in public administration from Clark University in Worcester, Mass. Gretchen will work with the Dean’s Office, departments, and student leaders to provide programming in support of the academic culture of CAS outside the classroom, especially for first-year students. Her office is responsible for the coordination of College-wide student-oriented academic calendar events, including Open House, Orientation, and Commencement, and it publishes the weekly newsletter, CAS Student News and Events. Her office is in CAS 130 and you can contact her at casevent@bu.edu.

Wash Your Hands!

The flu has arrived. The best and simplest advice there is for inhibiting its spread—especially to you—is to wash your hands frequently. You can pick up the virus directly from other people or by touching surfaces where the virus has recently been deposited, then transfer it to yourself, for example, by touching your mouth, eyes, or nostrils. For a look at how often we might touch our mouth, eyes, or nostrils, see “A Study Quantifying the Hand-to-Face Contact Rate and Its Potential Application to Predicting Respiratory Tract Infection” by M. Nicas and D. Best. Also see the latest memo from Vice President of Administrative Services Peter Fiedler regarding the H1N1 virus.

Attention Chairs and Program Directors: Alumni Notification and Programming

Do you have events or activities you want to publicize to alumni? Please send them to Roger Fussa in CAS Alumni Relations at rfussa@bu.edu. Also, please e-mail Roger if you have ideas for great faculty speakers for our alumni programs, everything from lectures to Webinars.

MLCL Offers Introductory Courses in Global Languages

Interested in learning a new language, but not able or ready to enroll in a regular course? The Department of Modern Languages & Comparative Literature is sponsoring a fun way to learn basic conversational and cultural skills. “Globally Speaking” offers the BU community free, non-credit introductory courses in Turkish, Arabic, Wolof, Chinese, and Hausa. Sessions began this month and run through November 17 in the Photonics Building, 8 St. Mary’s Street, Room 901. No pre-registration necessary—just drop in and bring your BU ID. For additional information, contact Giselle Khoury or visit www.bu.edu/mlcl/projectgobu.


JOHN BYERS, associate professor of computer science, and his coauthors have won the Association for Computer Machinery’s SIGCOMM  (Special Interest Group for Data Communication)“Test of Time” paper award for “A Digital Fountain Approach to Reliable Distribution of Bulk Data.” According to the association’s web site, the award “recognizes papers published 10 to 12 years in the past in Computer Communication Review or any SIGCOMM sponsored or co-sponsored conference that is deemed to be an outstanding paper whose contents are still a vibrant and useful contribution today.”

PAUL GOLDBERG, professor of archaeology, was selected by the Archaeological Institute of America as the 2010 recipient of the Pomerance Award for Scientific Contributions to Archaeology. This award is one of the two highest honors that the institute confers.

WILLIAM GRIMES, associate professor of international relations and director of the Center for the Study of Asia, received an honorary mention in the first annual Bernard Schwartz Book Award contest, sponsored by the Asia Society. Grimes was recognized for his book, Currency and Contest in East Asia: The Great Power Politics of Financial Regionalism (Cornell University Press). The Asia Society established the award to recognize nonfiction books that provide outstanding contributions to the understanding of contemporary Asia or U.S.-Asia relations.

LES KAUFMANN, professor of biology, and his colleagues at the Flower Garden Banks Long-Term Monitoring program received a Partners in Conservation award from the U.S. Department of the Interior for their longstanding commitment to the protection of the Flower Garden Banks in the Gulf of Mexico, the northernmost coral reef communities in the western hemisphere. In presenting the award, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar noted that it was a testament to the work of the team that “the Flower Garden Banks in the Gulf of Mexico are among the healthiest reefs not only in the Western Hemisphere, but in the world.”

JAMES STONE, professor of physics, was selected a Jefferson Science Fellow for 2009. The prestigious Jefferson Science Fellowships have been established to create opportunities for substantial engagement of tenured scientists and engineers from U.S. academic institutions in the work of the State Department. Physics Professor Michael El-Batanouny was selected as Jefferson Science Fellow for 2008. Biographies and profiles of the Fellows can be found here.

Important Administrative Notices

Leave and Sabbatical Requests Due October 15
Please submit your leave or sabbatical requests for the 2010/2011 academic year to the Faculty Actions Office by October 15. Send requests to Gareth McFeely at garethmc@bu.edu or call him at 617-353-2404.

Guidelines for Cost Sharing of Sponsored Research Proposals
Because of the current increase in research proposal activity and the challenges some of those proposals have posed, GRS Associate Dean Scott Whitaker provides the following guidance on the University’s and the College’s policies on cost sharing and on the best procedures for submitting proposals through CAS, including critical timing issues. CAS cannot guarantee that it will be able to handle cost sharing and other negotiations in time for grant deadlines if these questions are not dealt with in a timely way before submission. As a rule, CAS will not negotiate cost sharing after a grant proposal has been approved.

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Strategic Planning
Dean Sapiro has circulated to all department chairs and program and center directors a memo and instructions for a major strategic planning exercise President Brown has asked all deans to lead this year. Faculty should expect to be involved at the departmental level in developing the assessments and plans. Department, program, and center plans are due to the Dean’s Office no later than January 15, 2010.

Upcoming Meetings and Events

Council of Chairs and Directors Meeting
4 p.m., CAS 132

Discoveries Lecture
“Solving the Health Care Reform Puzzle: How to Balance Cost, Access, and Quality”
7 p.m., GSU Conference Auditorium

Panelists include Arlene Ash, research professor of medicine and public health in the School of Medicine; Gary Young, chairman of the Department of Health Policy and Management in the School of Public Health; and Stephen Davidson, professor of business, policy, and law in the School of Management. Randall Ellis, professor of economics in Arts & Sciences, will serve as the moderator.

Columbus Day, Classes Suspended

CAS Faculty Meeting
(Agendas distributed by October 14. Flag items for discussion and vote to Chris McMullen by noon, October 21.)
At this meeting, department chairs will introduce new CAS faculty. We urge everyone to attend.
Meeting: 4 p.m., CAS 522
Sherry Hour in honor of all new, newly tenured, and newly promoted faculty: 5:00 p.m., CAS 106

Howard Zinn Lecture Series
“The Promise of Change: Vision and Reality in Obama’s Presidency,” a panel discussion featuring acclaimed activist and historian Howard Zinn, BU professor emeritus of political science
7 p.m., Tsai Center

Alumni Weekend

CAS Distinguished Alumni Awards
5:30–7 p.m., Student Village 2, 26th floor

Provost’s Meet & Greet Tea
Noon–1:30 p.m., Trustee Ballroom, 1 Silber Way,
9th floor

Council of Chairs and Directors Meeting
4 p.m., CAS 132

Veterans Day, Classes Suspended

CAS Faculty Meeting
(Agendas distributed by November 9. Flag items for discussion and vote to Chris McMullen by noon, November 16.)
Meeting: 4 p.m., CAS 522
Sherry Hour: 5 p.m., CAS 106

Thanksgiving Break

Keep Us in the Loop

Do you have events or activities you want to publicize? Please send them to cascom@bu.edu for inclusion in the e-newsletter.

Keep Students in the Loop

Do you have events or activities you want to publicize specially to students? Please send them to the CAS Weekly Newsletter for students at casevent@bu.edu.

Boston University

Boston University
Arts & Sciences
725 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215