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Boston University Arts & Sciences

CAS News
Happy New Academic Year!

Just a note to wish you a good new academic year—productive, enjoyable, enlightening...and everything else you might hope for.

We have a great new crop of undergraduate and graduate students. In the next few days especially, you will notice quite a few of them looking just a little lost. They might be glancing nervously back and forth from a piece of paper to a door, or staring intently at a building trying to figure out whether this is the right one, or wandering in and out of any building now labeled "CAS" or "SMG" looking for the actual buildings with those names. Just ask them whether they need help; they'll be very relieved!

And welcome to our new faculty. Some of them might be doing the same thing!


BU Researchers Predict Seasonal Temperature Extremes to Become the Norm

In an article in the current issue of the journal Climate Change, Boston University researchers have estimated the impact meeting a 2°C global warming target will have on global, seasonal mean temperatures.

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Econ Prof Johannes Schmieder Named a Peter Paul Professor

Each year, Boston University has the pleasure of recognizing a handful of talented young faculty emerging as future leaders within their respective fields through the award of Peter Paul Professorships. This year, one of the three awardees was CAS Assistant Professor of Economics Johannes Schmieder.

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NASA-Funded Study Refutes Claims of Drought-Driven Declines in Plant Productivity

A new, comprehensive study by an international team of scientists, including scientists at BU and the universities of Viçosa and Campinas in Brazil, has been published in the current issue of Science (August 26, 2011) refuting earlier claims that drought has induced a decline in global plant productivity during the past decade and poses a threat to global food security.

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Archaeology Dept. Receives Praise in Huffington Post

CAS undergraduate student Zoe Strassfield wrote a moving explanation of why she chose to come to BU in the Huffington Post recently, citing her passion to be an archaeologist and the benefits of studying in the only stand-alone archaeology department in the country.

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Panels to Reflect on 9/11 and the Wars that Followed

The College will be hosting a series of panels this fall in conjunction with the course "America at War," taught by Professor of African American Studies Neta Crawford and Assistant Professor of Political Science Doug Kriner. Ten years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, panels will reflect on various aspects of the War on Terror and will include both BU and guest scholars.

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Aeroecology Taking Flight

For the first time, the Ecological Society of America included a session on aeroecology at its annual meeting last month. CAS Professor of Biology Thomas Kunz, a leading proponent of this emerging field, delivered the lecture. Read the Inside Science article. Read another article about Kunz in OnEarth Magazine.

Name Change: BU Humanities Foundation now Boston University Center for the Humanities (BUCH)

Since 1981, the Boston University Humanities Foundation has provided support and encouragement for research and discussion in the humanities. Last year, the foundation's Executive Committee voted to change the foundation's name to the Boston University Center for the Humanities (BUCH), effective September 1, 2011.

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Meet Your New Colleagues at the September 21 Faculty Meeting and Annual Reception

All CAS faculty, new and returning, are encouraged to attend the first Faculty Meeting of the academic year on September 21, followed by our Annual Faculty Reception. At the meeting, which runs from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in STONE B50, all new CAS faculty will be introduced. At the reception, following the meeting and held in the Tsai Lobby, faculty will enjoy the chance to mingle with new and returning colleagues.

CAS Launches Facebook, Twitter Pages

Join us on Facebook and Twitter for news, event info, and discussions about the College. Go to www.facebook.com/bostonuniversitycas or visit us on Twitter at @BU_CAS. Hope to see you there!

Request for Proposals: Summer Alumni College

This is an invitation to CAS faculty members to submit proposals to develop a weekend educational program—to be held for Boston University alumni on June 8–10, 2012—and to serve as the Director of the program. The theme should revolve around the arts, broadly construed. Read more.

Fall Resource Guide for Faculty

As fall classes start, this special edition of CAS News provides some just-in-time reminders and resources to help ensure that faculty and students enjoy a smooth and successful return to our essential work of teaching and learning. Read more.

The Hariri Institute: A New Computing Resource for Faculty

All CAS faculty members are invited to join the newly established Hariri Institute for Computing and Computational Science & Engineering (HIC), which is set to open its doors this fall semester. HIC faculty affiliates are eligible to tap into the institute’s resources, including: applying for funding in support of research projects; using the institute’s newly constructed space at 111 Cummington Street to house visitors, collaborators, and group meetings; and access to staff for assistance with special events and outreach activities, among others.

To join the HIC, please complete the form. This will also include you in the institute’s email distribution list. Please contact Professor of Computer Science and HIC Director Azer Bestavros (best@bu.edu) if you have any questions about the institute in general, or about joining it in particular. For more information on the HIC, visit www.bu.edu/hic.

Get Your Office "Green Certified"

In May 2010, Boston University’s Energy Conservation and Sustainable Buildings & Operations Working Groups created a task force to address the impact of the behavior of faculty, staff, and students on sustainability. From this task force emerged the Green Office Certification. By meeting certain criteria, offices and individuals can earn a Certified, Silver, or Gold rating and a badge to display on their office name plaques. Please contact us at GreenOffice@bu.edu if you are interested in getting your office certified. Read more

Fall 2011 Faculty Action Deadlines

With the Fall 2011 semester upon us, please be aware of these important Faculty Actions deadlines. Please note that some of these deadlines may change for reasons beyond our control; any updates will be communicated by email as soon as we are aware of the need for modification. Please submit the required information to the Faculty Actions office by the following deadlines:

  • Requests for Leaves of Absence or Sabbaticals for 2012/2013: Friday, October 14
  • Reappointment or non-reappointment papers for full-time faculty with a December 15, 2011 notification date: Friday, October 18
  • Overbase part-time lecturer appointments for staff members: Tuesday, November 1
  • Recommendations for appointment or reappointment of part-time lecturers and senior teaching fellows/lecturers for the Spring 2012 semester: Monday, November 14
  • Requests for routine overbase payments for full-time faculty members: Tuesday, November 15
  • Mid-tenure reviews: Friday, December 2
For a full list of deadlines and information, go here.

New Pilot Course for First-Year Students

This year, CAS is piloting a new one-credit course for first-year students only: FY 101: The First Year Experience. A continuation of the orientation process, FY 101 is designed to provide an open forum for discussion about college transitional issues, promote students’ growth and understanding of themselves as scholars and individuals, and expose them to the people and resources that can help pave the way for a richer and fuller college experience.

Through discussions, assignments, class activities, and some large group activities, the course will investigate the social, academic, and cultural dimensions of both the College and the University. Each of the 26 sections of FY 101 will be taught by a BU or CAS staff member as well as two peer mentors. Please visit http://www.bu.edu/fye/ for more details.

Sundaes with the Dean

On Monday, September 26, Dean Sapiro invites all interested students for a chat over ice cream about everything BU. Please encourage your students to attend and bring with them both their questions and appetites. The event will run from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in the GSU Terrace Lounge.

New Lecture Series: Muslim Women and the Challenge of Authority

The BU community is invited to a lecture series to be held at the Boston University Institute on Culture, Religion & World Affairs in Brookline, MA. This series brings sustained attention to negotiations over authority in a range of times and places. Speakers will address Muslim women’s own authority—to write and interpret texts, to structure their own spiritual lives, to manage wealth and make marital choices—and the authority wielded by husbands and kin, governments, religious leaders, and normative texts. See the lecture schedule for speakers, topics, dates, and times.

Critical Language Scholarship Opportunities for Foreign Language Study

There are many nationally based scholarship opportunities available for students of languages deemed important for national security or “Critical Languages.” Particularly common are opportunities for intensive summer language programs or language and research travel experiences for those at the intermediate level. Feel free to let your students know about these exciting opportunities. Read more.


Professor of Earth Sciences Ethan Baxter will be a Mineralogical Society of America (MSA) Distinguished Lecturer for 2011–12. Read more.

Professor of Computer Science Mark Crovella, College of Engineering collaborators Ioannis Paschalidis (ECE) and Christos Cassandras (ECE), and Paul Barford (GRS'00, computer science) at the University of Wisconsin have won a $600,000 grant from the U.S. Army Research Office for their project, "A Coordinated Approach to Cyber-Situation Awareness Based on Traffic Anomaly Detection." Read more.

Professor of Mathematics Bob Devaney was elected President of the Mathematical Association of America. Read more.

Assistant Professor of Chemistry Linda Doerrer and her research group have received a four-year, $710,000 grant from the Office of Basic Energy Sciences in the Department of Energy to investigate a new potential water oxidation system. Read more.

The New Yorker recently published an interesting piece about a reading by CAS Writing Program Lecturer William Michael Giraldi from his debut novel Busy Monsters. Read the article.

The Field Museum in Chicago will present the Parker Gentry Award in Conservation Biology to Professor of Biology Les Kaufman on December 1 with an event in his honor.

Professor of Mathematics Eric Kolaczyk was inducted as a Fellow of the American Statistical Association at the annual meeting in Miami Beach on August 2. Read more.

Thomas Kunz, William Fairfield Warren Distinguished Professor and Director of the Center for Ecology & Conservation Biology, will be awarded the Outstanding Edited Book Award by the Wildlife Society for his book Ecological and Behavioral Methods for the Study of Bats.

Columbia University Press recently published a book by Religion Department Associate Professor Diana Lobel titled The Quest for God and the Good: World Philosophy as a Living Experience. Read more.

Student Accolades

While completing her degree at BU, Christina Marmet engaged in multiple internships at the New England Aquarium, an official academic partner of the BU Marine Program. Last spring, the 2011 graduate of the Marine Science program was chosen as the Giant Ocean Tank Intern, perhaps the most sought-after internship in the aquarium.

Faculty Meetings and Deadlines

CCD Meeting
4 p.m., Location TBD

First Faculty Meeting and Annual Faculty Reception
New Faculty Introduced During Meeting
Meeting: 4–5:30 p.m., STONE B50
Reception: To follow, Tsai Lobby

Natural Gas Workshop
Learn about issues surrounding natural gas leaks in Boston
9 a.m.–2 p.m., Trustees Ballroom, 1 Silber Way, 9th Floor
Read the agenda.
Read the article.

Sundaes with the Dean
Dean Sapiro chats with students over ice cream about everything BU
Please encourage your students to attend
5:30–7 p.m., GSU Terrace Lounge.

Requests for Leaves of Absence or Sabbaticals for 2012/2013 Due to Faculty Actions Office

Reappointment or Non-reappointment Papers for Full-time Faculty with a December 15, 2011, Notification Date Due to Faculty Actions Office

Overbase Part-time Lecturer Appointments for Staff Members Due to Faculty Actions Office

Recommendations for Appointment or Reappointment of Part-time Lecturers and Senior Teaching Fellows/Lecturers for the Spring 2012 Semester Due to Faculty Actions Office

Requests for Routine Overbase Payments for Full-time Faculty Members Due to Faculty Actions Office

Mid-tenure Reviews Due to Faculty Actions Office

Faculty Meetings (Wednesdays 4–5:30 p.m., STO Room B50):
September 21
October 19
November 9
December 14 (if needed)

CCD Meetings:
October 12 –
Natural Sciences CCD in CAS 200, Humanities CCD in CAS 132

October 26 –
Social Sciences CCD in CAS 132

November 16 –
Natural Sciences CCD in CAS 200, Humanities CCD in CAS 132

November 30 –
Social Sciences CCD in CAS 132

Fall Committee Meeting Dates:

Humanities Curriculum Committee (Wednesdays 10–11 a.m., CAS Room 200):
September 14, October 19, September 28, November 2, October 5, November 16, November 30

Natural Sciences Curriculum Committee
(Tuesdays 11 a.m.–12 p.m., CAS Room 132): September 13, October 25, September 27, November 8, October 11, November 22, December 6

Social Sciences Curriculum Committee
(Thursdays 11 a.m.–12 p.m., CAS Room 132): September 15, October 20, September 22, November 3, October 6, November 17, December 1

Academic Policy Committee
(4– 5:30 p.m., CAS Room 200): Monday, October 3; Wednesday, October 26; Wednesday, November 16; Wednesday, November 30; Wednesday, December 14 (if needed)

Chairs' Calendar

Keep Us in the Loop

Let us know about news or upcoming events. Please send news items to cascom@bu.edu, or call Patrick Farrell at 617-358-1185. Announcements about upcoming events can also be submitted online. Events geared toward students should be submitted to the Student Programs Office.

For all matters regarding your alumni, please contact Associate Director of Alumni Relations Kirsten Lundeen at 617-358-5525 or Assistant Director of Alumni Relations Lauren Hall at 617-353-1060.

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Arts & Sciences
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Boston, MA 02215