The University Record, February 27, 1996

11 Faculty members are granted emeritus status by Regents

Eleven faculty members were given the emeritus title by the Regents at their February meeting.

Those retiring are Seymour M. Blinder, professor of chemistry; C. William Castor Jr., professor of internal medicine; Joseph A. Clayton, professor of dentistry; Richard G. Cornell, professor of biostatistics; Carleton H. Griffin, professor of accounting; Garth W. Jones, associate professor of microbiology and immunology;

Terry Kammash, professor of nuclear engineering and radiological sciences and the Stephen S. Attwood Professor; Myron Levine, professor of human genetics; Joseph A. Placek, associate librarian; Om P. Sharma, South Asia librarian; and Daniel J. Weintraub, professor of psychology and research scientist.


Seymour M. Blinder,
professor of chemistry

Blinder, who joined the U-M in 1963, has had "an extraordinarily diverse career in both teaching and research," the Regents noted. "He has been an inspiring teacher for a generation of graduate and undergraduate students and has offered the largest number of different courses ever taught by a member of the chemistry faculty. He has also published two texts on such different subjects as classical thermodynamics and quantum dynamics, both of which have received great acclaim as models of incisive scholarship and precision and have been much imitated by other authors. His research has centered around various forms of perturbation methods in physics and chemistry."


C. William Castor Jr.,
professor of internal medicine

Castor joined the faculty in 1954 and "his illustrious investigative career has resulted in the publication of approximately 100 peer-reviewed publications and multiple reviews and book chapters," the Regents said. "His early research was some of the first to use cell culture methods to study the human synovium. The application of cell culture techniques to examine the mechanisms of inflammatory activation responsible for joint destruction in arthritis was ground-breaking and has subsequently become central to almost all investigation of cellular mechanisms underlying arthritis inflammation."


Joseph A. Clayton,
professor of dentistry

Clayton, who joined the faculty in 1966, "has served the School of Dentistry and the University through membership on a number of committees, including those governing graduate dental education, human subjects, research, resuscitation and eme rgency procedures, student affairs, and student table clinics. He directed the graduate program in restorative dentistry (crown and bridge) for 20 years. Dr. Clayton's service has extended to membership and offices in professional societies, including the American Association of Dental Research, the American Academy of Crown and Bridge Prosthodontics, the American College of Dentists and the American Dental Association, and has served the Washtenaw District Dental Society in several capacities, including president."


Richard G. Cornell,
professor of biostatistics

Cornell, who joined the faculty in 1971, "served as chair of the Department of Biostatistics for 14 years, building the department into one of the major biostatistics departments in the country," the Regents noted. "He served again as interim chair of the department in 1990­93. In 1993­95, he postponed his planned retirement to serve as interim dean of the School of Public Health. He displayed steady and wise leadership during that period of serious controversy within the school, which included a review of the school's activities and culminated in a major reorganization from eight to five departments. Through his research Prof. Cornell made important methodological contributions to medical decision-making and to the design and analysis of surveys and clinical trials."


Carleton H. Griffin,
professor of accounting

Griffin, who joined the faculty in 1985, has been "an outstanding teacher and faculty adviser. Where a normal faculty course load is three or four courses, he has consistently taught five courses every year. His teacher ratings are routinely among the highest in his area and in the school, ranging between 4.5 and 5.0 on a 5.0 scale," the Regent said. "He recently received the Student Award for Teaching Excellence in the B.B.A. program for 1994­95, a highly regarded, student-selected award. Prof. Griffin's presence in the classroom will be sorely missed, both by students and by his colleagues who have relied on him as an example of classroom excellence and leadership."


Garth W. Jones,
associate professor of
microbiology and immunology

Jones joined the faculty in 1975 and "the main thrust of his research involved the adhesive properties of bacteria and the role of adhesion in bacterial pathogenicity and in the colonization of the body by these microorganisms. His early wo rk on the adhesive properties of pathogenic E. coli bacteria was a pioneering contribution that, for the first time, proved conclusively that bacterial adhesion to the tissues of the body is an important mechanism in the development of infectious disease. Prof. Jones has been an invited speaker at numerous conferences and symposia and has been a visiting professor at universities in Europe and Australia."


Terry Kammash,
professor of nuclear engineering
and radiological sciences

Kammash joined the faculty in 1958 and his primary research since the early 1960s was in magnetic fusion. "He carried out some of the more comprehensive analyses of plasma dynamics in the magnetic mirror machine and was credited with the identification of several major plasma instabilities that have practically eliminated the mirror machine as a potential power reactor," the Regents said. "His recent proposal for utilization of the gas dynamic mirror as a propulsion device could open up the solar system and beyond to human exploration. NASA has expressed interest in this device and plans to carry out basic experiments to test his ideas."


Myron Levine,
professor of human genetics

Levine, who joined the faculty in 1961, was "responsible for introducing the discipline of prokaryotic molecular genetics to the Department of Human Genetics. He succeeded in describing the complex program of molecular events required for ly sogeny, including sequential gene activation and recombination of phage and cell DNA. He next turned his attention to herpes simplex; for the past 20 years his laboratory has been in the forefront of the molecular genetic analysis of this important human infection. Among his former students are a Nobel laureate, as well as others who have become nationally known geneticists and virologists."


Joseph A. Placek,
associate librarian

Placek joined the University Library in 1967 as head of the Slavic Area Program Unit. "In the course of his 28-year career, he helped develop the library collection and helped establish local and national bibliographic databases," the Regents noted. "During his tenure as head of the Slavic Area Program Unit, Mr. Placek was instrumental in developing the specialized collection of monographic and serial publications through acquisition of quality material and creation of bibliographic records for local and national databases. He established a strong relationship with the Center for Russian and East E uropean Studies and closely supported the faculty and graduate students in their research efforts."


Om P. Sharma,
South Asia librarian

Sharma came to the U-M in 1966 as bibliographer and head of the South Asian Unit and "assumed responsibility for building nationally significant vernacular language collections from India, Pakistan and other countries of South Asia," the Regents noted. "Dr. Sharma's efforts have been enhanced by his unusually broad command of South Asian languages. This language competence, reinforced by his scholarly study of South Asian cultures, has made him uniquely qualified to build research library collections, contribute expert cataloging support, provide insightful reference assistance, teach courses on South Asian bibliography, and serve as a long standing member of the executive committee of the Center for South and Southeast Asian Studi es."


Daniel J. Weintraub,
professor of psychology
and research scientist

Weintraub joined the faculty in 1962 and his research "has made significant contributions to our understanding of human visual perception," the Regents noted. "He was among the first to use the concepts and analytical methods of the information-processing approach to gain new insights into the classic issues in perception. His work has covered a wide range of those issues; however, his primary work has been on visual perception of pattern and form, with particular emphasis on the geometric visual illusions. As one of this century's foremost contributors to that enduring topic , he has presented ingenious and carefully crafted dissections of many of the classic visual illusions that have revealed important aspects of the mechanisms responsible for those illusions, and for pattern perception in general."