Category: University Affairs

Mytrus Secures Exclusive Rights to Clinical-Trials Patent from Boston University

June 20th, 2011 in News Releases, University Affairs 0 comments

Contact: Richard Taffe, 617-353-4626 | rtaffe@bu.edu

(Boston/San Francisco) — Boston University and San Francisco software firm Mytrus today announced an agreement for Mytrus to purchase the exclusive rights to BU’s patented method for more efficiently managing clinical trials remotely over the Internet from a single coordinating center.

The 2007 patent, “Method For Conducting Clinical Trials Over the Internet,” covers critical aspects of a clinical trial such as recruiting and consenting patients online, distributing experimental products to patients, and managing clinical data over the Internet from a primary, remote site. Mytrus will have exclusive rights until the patent expires in 2017.

“This patent is critical for Mytrus as we further our mission to make studies more efficient by bringing clinical studies directly to participants in their homes,” said Dr. Steve Cummings, Mytrus co-founder and CEO. “Securing the patent helps us solidify our competitive advantage as a company and assure our clients that their studies are protected.”

Mytrus is pioneering techniques in clinical research to find, consent, and treat patients remotely from a single site. This method makes it possible for patients to participate in important research studies regardless of where they live. It also helps drug and device research companies run more cost-effective studies that start and finish faster. In an industry where the cost of bringing a drug to market is estimated to be over $1 billion and a decade of clinical study, efficiencies and innovation are critical.

“Reducing the cost of clinical trials is an important factor in controlling healthcare costs,” said Jonathan Jensen, Director of Business Development at Boston University. “Using information technology to carry out some components of clinical trials is a step in that direction and one that the market and regulatory environments appear ready for. We believe Mytrus has the people and vision to make this happen. We’re pleased that the work done and the intellectual property generated at Boston University by Dr. Tim McAlindon and Karim Kabbara will contribute to Mytrus’ mission.”

About Mytrus — Mytrus is a San Francisco-based software company built on the idea that modern technologies can enable people to safely participate in clinical trials from the convenience of their own home, thereby improving accessibility, convenience and compliance, as well as cutting costs. Learn more about Mytrus at www.mytrus.com.

About Boston University — Founded in 1839, Boston University is an internationally recognized institution of higher education and research. With more than 30,000 students, it is the fourth largest independent university in the United States. BU contains 17 colleges and schools along with a number of multi-disciplinary centers and institutes which are central to the school’s research and teaching mission.

Boston University to Recognize Three Professors for Excellence in Teaching Honors

May 6th, 2011 in College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, College of Fine Arts, News Releases, School of Public Health, University Affairs 0 comments

Contact: Richard Taffe, 617-353-4626 | rtaffe@bu.edu

(Boston) — Boston University announced it will bestow its highest teaching award at Commencement May 22nd to College of Fine Arts School of Theater Associate Professor Judith B. Chaffee, the 39th recipient of the Metcalf Cup and Prize for Excellence in Teaching. BU also will recognize School of Law Professor David I. Walker and School of Public Professor Wayne W. LaMorte as recipients of Metcalf Award for Excellence in Teaching.

“We expect much from the members of our faculty in their roles as researchers and scholars, as active participants in the life of the community, and especially as teachers,” said BU President Robert Brown. “It’s particularly fitting that we present the Metcalf honors during our commencement ceremony. This is an opportunity for us to show the entire community how highly we value excellence in teaching and to show our respect and appreciation for the most outstanding teachers in our community.”

The Metcalf Cup carries with it a prize of $10,000. The Metcalf Award winners each receive a prize of $5,000. Students, faculty and alumni nominate candidates for the awards established in 1973 by a gift from the late Boston University Board of Trustees chairman emeritus Arthur G.B. Metcalf.

Judith B. Chaffee

“It is a joy to teach skills that will be valuable to students throughout their lives; skills that nurture their imaginations, and that bring personal empowerment,” says Chaffee, who aims to teach how and why the body is a universal language of expression and communication. “My teaching style has changed from demonstrating and explaining in class, to a more effective approach of evoking imagery and suggesting possibilities so that students are not just copying or doing what I say, but rather sensing their musicality or discovering their own potentials.”

A Newbury, Mass., resident, Chaffee joined the BU faculty in 1974 as Director of Dance in the Department of Physical Education and Recreation and later joined the School of Theatre and the BU Opera Institute as movement coordinator for actors and singers as well as choreographer. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Skidmore College, a master’s at Smith College, and a diploma from the International School of Comic Acting in Italy. She has acted in the U.S. and abroad, taught at theater groups and universities worldwide, and serves as choreographer for numerous groups including OperaBoston, the LA Shakespeare Company, and the Huntington Theater Company.

David I. Walker

“Most broadly, I strongly emphasize public policy considerations in my basic income tax and corporations classes,” Walker said when asked how encourages students to see the life-long impact of the material he teaches. “In tax, we spend a significant amount of time talking about the impact of tax rules on the distribution of the economic burdens of funding society. In corporations, we talk about the proper role of government in regulating private enterprise. But frankly, it isn’t difficult getting law students to see the big picture.”

Walker, a Boston resident who joined the BU School of Law faculty in 2002, teaches taxation, corporate law, law and economics, and the economic structure of deals. Having had an earlier career in the oil industry after earning an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering from Vanderbilt University, he graduated from Harvard Law School in 1998 and worked in the Ropes & Gray law firm tax department before coming to BU.

Wayne W. LaMorte

“Students, even those who are initially less motivated, like challenges and puzzles, particularly if they have relevance to the real world,” says LaMorte whose teaching reaches gpublic-health and medical students, both undergraduate and graduate, on-line students, and even high schoolers. “Students tend to become hooked when they realize that the subject material matters to them. For example, instead of presenting epidemiology as an arcane science, I teach it as a form of ‘structured thinking’ that is a simple, logical and powerful way to evaluate information in order to identify important associations and separate truth from fallacy.”

A resident of Weymouth, Mass., who has been on the Boston University faculty 29 years, LaMorte received a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University, his MD from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, and both a master’s in public health in epidemiology and biostatistics and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from BU. Both an assistant dean and professor of epidemiology in the BU School of Public Health, he directs three of the school’s dual-degree programs and is principal investigator for a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to manage the Local Public Health Institute of Massachusetts, which provides training to public health workers in the state’s 351 communities.

Founded in 1839, Boston University is an internationally recognized private research university with more than 30,000 students participating in undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. BU consists of 17 colleges and schools along with a number of multi-disciplinary centers and institutes central to the school’s research and teaching mission.

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(Note to editors: High-resolution digital photographs of the 2011 Metcalf Cup and Prize winner and the Metcalf Award winners are available — password “Teaching Excellence” — at http://buphotos.photoshelter.com/gallery/Metcalf-Award-Winners-2011/G0000yRaSzITwqoI).

Boston University Announces Online Master of Social Work Degree

April 27th, 2011 in Education, News Releases, School of Social Work, University Affairs 0 comments

Contact: Jason London, 617-358-5149 | london14@bu.edu

The Boston University School of Social Work is pleased to announce a new online Master of Social Work (MSW) program in Clinical Social Work Practice. Taught by the School’s nationally recognized faculty, the online program will initially enroll human service professionals with a minimum of two years of supervised experience.

This part-time program can be completed in eight consecutive semesters and consists of taking courses online, participating in a single, extended field internship within the student’s geographic area, and attending a one-time, four-day residency component on the Boston University campus.

“This program is an excellent addition to the fine programs we offer at the School of Social Work,” Boston University School of Social Work Dean Gail Steketee said. “It continues the School’s commitment to educate outstanding social work practitioners in the community and for the community.”

The program focuses on clinical practice with individuals, families, and groups, with an integrated curriculum that emphasizes ethical practice, and social and economic justice. Courses are delivered with both asynchronous and synchronous (real-time) components, which with each course lasting seven weeks. The 65-credit program allows individuals to earn an MSW degree while continuing to live and work in their own communities.

Tracing its beginnings back to 1937, the School of Social Work is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and is ranked among the top 15 percent of graduate social works schools by U.S. News & World Report. Part of Boston University, the School is committed to producing social workers who possess excellent skills and the ability to practice within a variety of contexts, from clinical counseling to community-based settings.

Since 2001, Boston University has pioneered a trusted model of distance learning unparalleled in American higher education. Designed by the University’s Distance Education office in close partnership with distinguished University faculty, BU’s online programs bring the University’s groundbreaking research, academic innovation, and internationally renowned faculty to students situated around the globe.

Currently, more than 3,000 BU students tap into their full learning potential from a distance, using the latest interactive technology and online learning tools. A recipient of the Sloan Consortium’s Award for Excellence in Institution-Wide Online Education, Boston University’s online programs include 26 graduate-level degrees and certificates, three doctoral degrees, and a bachelor’s degree completion program. A number of non-credit certificates are also available.

For more information on the School of Social Work’s online Master of Social Work, visit onlinemsw.bu.edu or speak to an admissions advisor at 877-308-9945.

Founded in 1839, Boston University is an internationally recognized private research university with more than 30,000 students participating in undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. BU consists of 17 colleges and schools along with a number of multi-disciplinary centers and institutes which are central to the school’s research and teaching mission.

Clarissa Hunnewell Appointed Boston University Chief Investment Officer

March 7th, 2011 in News Releases, University Affairs 0 comments

Contact: Tom Testa, 617/353-2240 | ttesta@bu.edu

(Boston) — Clarissa (Lila) Hunnewell, former managing director for Cambridge Associates LLC, has been selected as Boston University’s chief investment officer, announced BU President Robert A. Brown. Starting May 4, Hunnewell will manage the day-to-day oversight of a $1 billion-plus endowment.

“It is a pleasure to have Lila join the Boston University leadership. She is a very well-respected investor who deeply understands the roles of endowments in universities,” said Brown. “Lila brings a level of experience to Boston University that will lead both the continued growth of our endowment and the role of the Investment Office in stewarding our financial assets.”

A member of Cambridge Associates since 1991, Hunnewell’s clients have included a $650 million educational institution, a children’s hospital-cum-research institution, pension funds, and a range of educational, cultural, religious and conservation groups. Working with clients holding up to $1.8 billion in assets, those clients earned investment returns from 11 to 15 percent in fiscal year 2010.

“I’m excited to join such a vibrant community that’s working together to meet its new strategic plan, and to build upon the terrific accomplishments of the current investment staff,” said Hunnewell. “As the global economy improves, there’s still plenty of uncertainty and the challenge is to keep the balances that have been built into the portfolio, to deal with the uncertainties, robust and fresh.”

Hunnewell replaces Pamela Peedin, who in 2007, was appointed the University’s first-ever CIO before leaving to helm the investment office at her alma mater, Dartmouth College.

Hunnewell graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in economics from Princeton University and later earned her MBA from the Harvard Business School, graduating summa cum laude.

About Cambridge Associates
Cambridge Associates is a privately held independent consulting firm that provides consulting and investment oversight services to more than 900 clients worldwide. The company strives to help global institutional investors and private clients meet or exceed their investment objectives by offering proactive, unbiased advice grounded in intensive and independent research.

About Boston University
Founded in 1839, Boston University is an internationally recognized private research university with more than 30,000 students participating in undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. BU consists of 17 colleges and schools along with a number of multi-disciplinary centers and institutes which are central to the school’s research and teaching mission.

The Boston University Art Gallery Appoints New Director and Chief Curator

February 28th, 2011 in Arts, BU In the Community, College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, News Releases, University Affairs 0 comments

Contact: Lauren Davalla, 617-358-1688 | davalla@bu.edu

(Boston) – The Boston University Art Gallery (BUAG) is pleased to announce the appointment of Kate McNamara to the role of Director and Chief Curator. McNamara comes to BUAG with an extensive background in curation and instruction both in New York and Western Massachusetts. She will fill the position currently being held ad interim by Exhibitions and Special Projects Coordinator of BU’s School of Visual Arts Lynne Cooney and will begin her tenure in mid-March.

“We are thrilled with the addition of Kate McNamara to the BUAG staff,” said Provost Jean Morrison. “Her extensive experience in curating and outreach make her a seamless fit for the role of Director and Chief Curator of the BU Art Gallery.”

McNamara has experience curating at MoMA PS1 (Long Island City, NY), Cleopatra’s (Brooklyn, NY), Ramapo College (Ramapo, NY), Participant, INC. (New York, NY) and fordProjects (New York, NY). She also worked at The Bronx Museum (New York, NY), Real Art Ways (Hartford, CT), New Museum of Contemporary Art (New York, NY) and Artists Space Gallery (New York, NY). She co-founded and co-directed at Cleopatra’s (Brooklyn, NY) and held a position on the board of PopRally at the Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1 (Long Island City, NY). McNamara held the positions of curator in residence at AIR Antwerpen (Antwerp, Belgium) and curatorial fellow at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Residency Program (New York, NY). She lectured as a visiting curator at Hampshire College (Amherst, MA) and taught with Project Common Bond at Queens University of Belfast (Belfast, Ireland). McNamara received an MA in Curatorial Studies at Bard College (Annandale-on-Hudson, NY) and a BA in Curatorial Studies at Hampshire College (Amherst, MA), also studying at Studio Arts Center International (Florence, Italy).

Dedicated to serving the public of New England as well as the university community, Boston University Art Gallery (BUAG) is a non-profit art gallery geared toward an interdisciplinary interpretation of art and culture. Maintaining an ongoing exhibition schedule in its current location since 1958, now named the Stone Gallery, exhibitions focus on international, national, and regional art developments, chiefly in the twentieth century. BUAG has a particular commitment to offer a culturally inclusive view of art, one that expands the boundaries of museum exhibitions.

College of Communication to Honor Harold Burson

February 15th, 2011 in College of Communication, News Releases, University Affairs 0 comments

Contact: Kira Jastive, 617-358-1240 | kjastive@bu.edu

(Boston) – Harold Burson, one of the world’s most successful public relations practitioners, will be honored Friday, February 18 when Boston University’s College of Communication (COM) helps him celebrate his 90th birthday with a symposium beginning at 1 p.m. in the Colloquium Room of the Photonics Center (8 St. Mary’s Street, Boston). The event is free and open to the public.

Burson co-founded Burson-Marsteller, one of the world’s largest public relations agencies, with Bill Marsteller in 1953 and has been credited with introducing integrated communication marketing to public relations practice. Throughout his career, Burson has supported public relations research and education, developing training programs and mentoring young professionals. His company has a long history of collaboration with BU and has hired many Boston University COM graduates.

In 2000, PR Week named Burson as “the century’s most influential PR figure” in recognition of a culmination of more than 50 years of service as a counselor to and confidante of corporate CEOs, government leaders and heads of public sector institutions.

Although Burson never attended BU, he has been a significant supporter of public relations education within COM for several decades and received an honorary degree from the University in 1988. He also is responsible for funding the Harold Burson Professor and Chair in Public Relations in COM.

The highlight of BU’s birthday celebration will consist of a speech by Burson. Prior to the speech, Burson will be recognized and honored through remarks by students, alumni and faculty of COM.

The students will be represented by Mary Kate Joyce a senior from Pittsburgh, PA, majoring in public relations. She is the President of BU’s Edward L. Bernays Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA).

Alumni will be represented by Sarah D’Souza, Vice President of Edelman, a worldwide public relations firm headquartered in New York.

The faculty representative is Dr. Otto Lerbinger, Professor Emeritus of Public Relations at BU, and the first recipient of the Burson Professorship.

Other speakers include Rob Flaherty, President and Senior Partner with Ketchum and Dr. Stephen Greyser, Richard Chapman Professor Emeritus at the Harvard Business School.

Founded in 1839, Boston University is an internationally recognized institution of higher education and research. With more than 30,000 students, it is the fourth largest independent university in the United States. BU consists of 17 colleges and schools along with a number of multi-disciplinary centers and institutes which are central to the school’s research and teaching mission.

Boston University Trustee Bahaa Hariri Gives $15M to Establish New Institute for Computing

December 2nd, 2010 in News Releases, University Affairs 0 comments

Contact: Tom Testa, 617/353-2240 | ttesta@bu.edu

(Boston) — Boston University Trustee Bahaa Hariri has pledged $15 million to establish an institute for computation and engineering that will support teams of University and outside experts pursuing transformative, interdisciplinary research, today announced BU President Robert A. Brown.

“We are extremely grateful for Bahaa Hariri’s visionary commitment in creating this institute at the nexus of modern computing and a range of critical applications,” said Boston University President Robert A. Brown. “Boston University has tremendous faculty and research activities in these areas, and the creation of the institute will build the foundation for new interdisciplinary collaborations across these boundaries.”

Set to open in Fall 2011, The Bahaa Hariri Institute for Computational Science and Engineering will propel discovery and innovation through the use of state-of-the-art computational approaches, as well as catalyze advances in the science of computing inspired by challenges from a multitude of disciplines.

“Supporting great research universities is an act of faith and a resilient commitment to contribute positively to the well-being of societies,” said Hariri, who has been a BU trustee since 2004. “My contribution today is a testimony to my father’s everlasting devotion to the pursuit of knowledge and an enduring hope to many around the world.”

“This is another example of extraordinary, pace-setting generosity on the part of the University’s trustee leadership,” said Robert A. Knox, chairman of the Board of Trustees. “Bahaa has once again shown us how generosity combines with vision to move BU forward. It’s an exciting development for us all.”

The institute’s affiliated faculty will collaborate on research and educational initiatives targeting four broad “clusters”: biology and medicine; physical science and engineering; social and management sciences; and the arts, communication, and education.

“Computational and data-driven methods play a crucial role in all four of the targeted application clusters,” said Azer Bestavros, the institute’s founding director and professor of computer science in the BU College of Arts and Sciences. “Computational immunology research can dramatically advance how we come up with new vaccines. By fusing and mining geoscience data collected over time from multiple sources, we can tell what’s happening with the environment. Just think about how advances in social networking could influence business administration, sociology research, privacy legislations, and public policies.”

The institute will support two types of activities: workshops and research projects. The workshops will be intense discussions of up to several months’ duration involving BU faculty, research staff, and students, as well as visiting experts. At any one time the institute will support both exploratory workshops and specific research projects.

“Computing-based approaches have become critical for interpreting the ever-increasing amounts of data being collected in virtually all areas of human endeavor,” said Andrei Ruckenstein, BU vice president and associate provost for research. “This establishes a common need and also a common language among practitioners of very different disciplines. Promoting literacy in this language of computing among our students and faculty outside of scientific disciplines, as well as with the public at large, is also an important goal of the Hariri Institute.”

Ideas being considered for the official institute launch include a three-month workshop on the role of computation in health care delivery and a pilot research project on green computing that would be connected with the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center in Holyoke, which is being built by a consortium that includes BU, Harvard, MIT, Northeastern, and UMass, EMC Corporation, Cisco Systems, Inc., and the commonwealth of Massachusetts. Other projects under discussion include computation and the arts, the role of computation in pedagogy, and quantitative social sciences and policy.

Hariri is the son of assassinated Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, who was a BU trustee from 1990 to 2003, when he was named an honorary trustee. After his graduation from the University, Bahaa Hariri worked in his family’s construction and development company in Saudi Arabia until leaving to set up his own firm. He is founder and chairman of the Horizon Group, a property development and investment group operating in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Lebanon. He also founded Geneva-based investment portfolio company Exceed SA.

Founded in 1839, Boston University is an internationally recognized private research university with more than 30,000 students participating in undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. BU consists of 17 colleges and schools along with a number of multi-disciplinary centers and institutes which are central to the school’s research and teaching mission.

Dr. Jean Morrison Named Boston University Provost

October 19th, 2010 in News Releases, University Affairs 0 comments

Contact: Tom Testa, 617/353-2240 | ttesta@bu.edu

(Boston) — Boston University President Dr. Robert A. Brown announced today that Dr. Jean Morrison, executive vice provost for academic affairs at the University of Southern California, has been named BU provost, effective January 2011. Morrison succeeds Provost David Campbell, who will return to teaching and to research projects he set aside more than five years ago when he was appointed provost.

“I am very excited to bring Jean Morrison to Boston University in this key academic leadership role,” said Brown. “She has the academic experience, skills, and vision to help the University continue on the path of increasing quality and impact.”

A member of the USC faculty since 1988, Morrison has guided the office of undergraduate programs, the USC Graduate School, and the office of continuing education and summer programs.

“I’m incredibly excited about the opportunity at Boston University,” said Morrison. “Large research universities have a kind of energy that’s unique, and BU’s a big place. That makes for some unique and creative possibilities. It’s one of the nation’s upcoming research universities, and it has outstanding faculty, which is the heart of a research university.”

As provost, Morrison serves as the chief academic officer, guiding the educational and budget policies for the university’s 14 schools and colleges that comprise the non-medical, dental and public health portion of Boston University. Over 27,000 students and nearly 2,300 faculty are represented on the Charles River Campus.

A professor of earth sciences, Morrison is a metamorphic petrologist whose research addresses how the earth’s crust evolves over time. In particular, she studies the isotopic composition of rocks and minerals to understand the role that fluids play in fault systems. She served as an editor of the Journal of Metamorphic Geology and as an associate editor of the American Mineralogist and the Geological Society of America Bulletin. In 2000, she was named the Sigma Chi Professor of the Year and received Sigma Gamma Epsilon’s Excellence in Teaching Award. In 2002, she received the prestigious USC Associates Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Morrison received her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1988; her M.S. from the University of Georgia in 1983; and her B.A. from Colgate University in 1980.

Founded in 1839, Boston University is an internationally recognized private research university with more than 30,000 students participating in undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. BU consists of 17 colleges and schools along with a number of multi-disciplinary centers and institutes which are central to the school’s research and teaching mission.

Dr. Jean Morrison, Provost, Boston University
Dr. Jean Morrison, Provost, Boston University

Boston University Welcomes New Faculty to School of Education

October 5th, 2010 in BU In the Community, Education, News Releases, School of Education, University Affairs 0 comments

Contact: Lauren Davalla, 617-358-1688 | davalla@bu.edu

(Boston) – Boston University School of Education (SED) welcomes three new tenure-track faculty and four new clinical faculty beginning in the Fall semester. Coming from far reaching regions of the United States, the three tenure-track faculty members were hired as Assistant Professors of Education.

“We are pleased to welcome the new faculty members to Boston University,” SED Dean Hardin Coleman said. “SED received many competitive applications and we are thrilled to have hired such a diverse group of educators for the 2010-2011 school year.”

Included on the new tenure-track faculty roster are Dr. Alejandra Salinas, Dr. Jennifer Greif Green and Dr. Julie Dwyer. Salinas will be teaching Mathematics Education at the undergraduate and graduate levels. She received her BSE and MA from the University of Michigan and her PhD from University of Miami. Greif Green received her BA from Brandeis University and her MA and PhD from University of California, Santa Barbara. She will be teaching on the prevention, assessment and interventions for children with emotional and behavioral disorders (Special Education). Dwyer received her M.ED. from Harvard University, her Ph.D. from University of Michigan and will be teaching courses in Early Childhood Education.

New clinical faculty include Sarah Sparrow teaching Physical and Health Education, Kevin Koizol in Special Education, Brian Bucci in Deaf Studies and American Sign Language and Jason Norman in Deaf Studies and American Sign Language. The clinical faculty is a group of both former adjunct professors and new educators to SED.

Boston University School of Education is seeking to fill seven open faculty positions to start in September 2011. For more information or to apply, please visit www.bu.edu/sed/about-us/faculty/job-opportunities.

Established in 1918, Boston University’s School of Education serves a diverse student body of 400 undergraduate and 600 graduate students, 112 of whom are pursuing doctoral degrees. It has 52 full-time faculty, numerous adjunct faculty, and 40 staff members. In addition to a significant focus on preparing education professionals, the school is regarded highly for programs in the fields of literacy, mathematics education, deaf studies, international educational development, special education and science education. It is further distinguished by its productive partnerships with local school districts, most notably with Chelsea and Boston.

Founded in 1839, Boston University is an internationally recognized private research university with more than 30,000 students participating in undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. BU consists of 17 colleges and schools along with a number of multi-disciplinary centers and institutes which are central to the school’s research and teaching mission.

Boston University Names Donald K. Wright the Burson Professor and Chair in Public Relations

September 1st, 2010 in College of Communication, News Releases, University Affairs 0 comments

Contact: Kira Jastive, 617-358-1240 | kjastive@bu.edu

(Boston) – Boston University today announced that it has named Donald K. Wright the Harold Burson Professor and Chair in Public Relations. The appointment, effective for five years beginning September 1, 2010, was announced by Tom Fiedler, Dean of BU’s College of Communication (COM), who called Wright an internationally known professor, researcher and corporate communications consultant.

Established in honor of Harold Burson, Founder and Chairman of Burson-Marsteller, one of the world’s largest public relations agencies, the endowment that established the professorship and chair was funded by Burson-Marsteller, its employees and clients, and by Young and Rubicam, Burson-Marsteller’s former parent company.

Burson co-founded Burson-Marsteller with Bill Marsteller in 1953 and has been credited with introducing integrated communication marketing to public relations practice. Throughout his career, the 89-year-old Burson has supported public relations research and education, developing training programs and mentoring young professionals. His company has a long history of collaboration with BU and has hired many of its COM graduates.

In 2000, PR Week named Burson as “the century’s most influential PR figure” in recognition of a culmination of more than 50 years of service as a counselor to and confidante of corporate CEOs, government leaders and heads of public sector institutions. That same year, the magazine also recognized Wright as one of the “top-ten public relations educators in the nation.”

According to T. Barton Carter, Chair of the Department of Mass Communication, Advertising and Public Relations, the decision to have the Burson chair and professorship at BU demonstrates a strong reflection on the fact that the university enjoys an impressive reputation in public relations teaching and research.

“BU is home to the world’s oldest university degree in public relations – the Master of Science in Public Relations degree – that has been offered continuously since 1947. In addition to this highly regarded master’s program, BU also offers a public relations emphasis as part of its undergraduate Bachelor of Arts in Communication degree,” said Carter.

Carter pointed out that BU’s reputation for excellence in public relations education is enhanced by the faculty’s unique mix of practitioners and academics. The entire Department of Mass Communication, Advertising and Public Relations at BU is well-known for teaching and research success. The Chronicle of Higher Education recently ranked the department first in the nation on its Faculty Scholarly Productivity Index.

Wright, who is in his fifth year as Professor of Public Relations, is one of the world’s most published public relations scholars. The majority of his research focuses upon communication ethics, employee communication and social media.

In addition to teaching, conducting scholarly and applied research, and lecturing in more than 30 countries on five continents, Wright has worked full-time in corporate, agency and university public relations, and has been a communications consultant for three decades working with a number of major corporate clients including Bayer, Fidelity Investments, Lockheed Martin, Nortel, Siemens, the U.S. Postal Service, United Technologies and Westinghouse. Prior to moving to BU, Wright held faculty appointments at the Universities of Texas (at Austin), Georgia and South Alabama.

Wright serves on the boards of trustees of both the Arthur W. Page Society and the Institute for Public Relations. He is a past president of the International Public Relations Association and is a Research Fellow of the Institute for Public Relations. He is editor of Public Relations Journal, the quarterly, open-access, online, blind reviewed scholarly publication of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and also serves on the editorial review boards of the Journal of Public Relations Research and Public Relations Review and is director of two noted national professional development training programs for corporate and agency practitioners: the Public Relations Executive Forum and the Public Relations Leadership Forum.

Wright is the third BU faculty member to hold the Burson professorship and chair. The inaugural recipient was Otto Lerbinger, who taught public relations courses at BU for 50 years prior to his retirement in 2004 and held the Burson professorship and chair in 2003 and 2004. Chris Komisarjevsky, a former CEO of Burson-Marsteller, served in the position during the 2005-06 academic year.

The Harold Burson Professorship and Chair in Public Relations is one of two endowed professorships at COM. An international search currently is underway for the Feld Professorship in New Media in the college.

About Boston University
Founded in 1839, Boston University is an internationally recognized private research university with more than 30,000 students participating in undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. BU consists of 17 colleges and schools along with a number of multi-disciplinary centers and institutes which are central to the school’s research and teaching mission.

Additional contacts:

Tom Fiedler, tfiedler@bu.edu, 617-353-3450

T. Barton Carter, comlaw@bu.edu, 617-353-3482

Don Wright, dkw@bu.edu, 617-353-5970 or 617-306-4006

Harold Burson, Harold.Burson@bm.com, 212-614-4444