The University Record, January 28, 1997

Seven faculty granted emeritus title at Regents meeting

Seven faculty members were given the emeritus title by the Regents at their Jan. meeting.

Those retiring are Richard J. Allen, professor of pediatrics and communicable diseases and professor of pediatrics in the Department of Neurology; James L. Daws Jr., associate research scientist in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; Rose C. Gibson, professor of social work;

Walton M. Hancock, professor of industrial and operations engineering and professor of health services management and policy; John C. Mathes, professor of technical communication; Roy Penchansky, professor of health management and policy; and Dwight W. Stevenson, professor of technical communication.

Allen joined the faculty in 1957 and his "primary academic focus has been on understanding the pathophysiology and improving the treatment of neurometabolic diseases of children," the Regents said. "He established a state-funded program to provide optimal treatment for children with several inherited neurometabolic diseases that are detectable in the neonatal period by newborn screening. He has also served as an important advocate for children with these rare disorders. He was a founding member of the Child Neurology Society and hosted the first meeting of this group in Ann Arbor 25 years ago."

Daws joined the staff in 1959 and "most of his research involved the interplay of digital communications systems and pseudo random sequences, now known as `spread spectrum' system. He also developed control systems for automatic processing of underwater acoustic scientific experiments. Dr. Daws was a member of a consulting team on the overall internal communications system for the U-M Replacement Hospital Project and consulted with urban planning researchers for the City of Detroit's radio communications and control systems."

Gibson, who joined the faculty in 1985, is "a nationally and internationally recognized scholar on the subject of race and aging," the Regents noted. "She is known for her empirical models of race differences in the aging process. She was the first to identify a black-white morbidity crossover in national data and to identify race differences in the meaning and measurement of self-reported health in national surveys. Her textbooks on inequality in aging are widely used in undergraduate sociology courses. She is editor-in-chief of The Gerontologist, the largest multidisciplinary peer-reviewed research journal on aging."

Hancock joined the faculty in 1959 and served as associate dean of the College of Engineering and director of the Center for Research on Integrated Manufacturing in 1985-89. "His pioneering studies in the 1960s of direct labor planning demonstrated how human performance data could be statistically analyzed and used to predict plant staffing requirements. In the 1970s, Prof. Hancock recognized the need for cost containment within the health care industry. Using advanced industrial engineering tools, he demonstrated conclusively how various patient scheduling schemes affect hospital staffing requirements and described how surgical units could use industrial engineering methods to improve patient care and efficiency."

Prof. Mathes, who joined the faculty in 1963, "has had a major influence on the development of the current theory and practice of technical communications, having authored eight books and more than 70 other publications. His book, `Designing Technical Reports,' co-authored with his colleague Dwight W. Stevenson, became the model for many of the important current textbooks in the field. His subsequent work explored the relationships among technical communication and such previously unexplored cognate areas as organizational behavior, management communication, multinational communication, and social decision analysis."

Penchansky, who joined the faculty in 1966, "was an innovator in the education of community leaders and health care professionals," the Regents said. "He worked with the U.S. Office of Economic Opportunity to educate leaders in minority populations in the management of community health centers. In the 1970s, Prof. Penchansky developed and instituted the nation's first executive master's degree program in health care administration in the Department of Medical Care Organization. This program has served as the model for five executive programs in other departments in the School of Public Health and has been emulated by numerous universities across the country. He was a pioneer in research on health maintenance organizations."

Stevenson, who joined the faculty in 1959, "has authored or co-authored seven books and numerous journal articles in the area of technical communication, legal communication, business communication, and composition. He has concentrated his research and teaching on making the design of written technical information meet the needs of diverse users within specific corporate contexts. He has also worked extensively on teacher training and the development of new teaching materials. In 1975-85, he co-chaired annual conferences, `Teaching Technical and Professional Communication,' which attracted more than 450 university faculty from all over the world."