The University Record, September 27 , 1999

Regents’ Roundup

Editor’s Note: The following actions were taken by the Regents at their September meeting.


Appointments to professorships

The following appointments to endowed and titled professorships were approved, all effective Sept. 1.

Edwin M. Curley, professor of philosophy, will hold the James B. and Grace J. Nelson Professorship of Philosophy.

Michael J. Duff, professor of physics, was named the Oskar Klein Professor of Physics.

Ronald G. Larson, professor of chemical engineering and of macromolecular science and engineering, will hold the George Granger Brown Professorship of Chemical Engineering.

Homer A. Neal, professor of physics, will hold the Samuel A. Goudsmit Professorship of Physics.

Peter Railton, professor of philosophy, was named the James B. and Grace J. Nelson Professor of Philosophy.

Carroll Smith-Rosenberg, professor of history and women’s studies, will hold the Alice Freeman Palmer Professorship of History.

Domna C. Stanton, professor of Romance languages and women’s studies, will hold the Elizabeth M. Douvan Collegiate Professorship.

Duncan G. Steel, professor of electrical engineering and computer science and of physics, will hold the Peter S. Fuss Professorship of Engineering.

Raymond H. Van Dam, professor of history, was named the Richard Hudson Research Professor of History.

Kendall L. Walton, professor of philosophy, was named to the Charles L. Stevenson Collegiate Professorship of Philosophy.

“Prof. Curley is a preeminent historian of 17th-century European philosophy,” said Patricia Y. Gurin, interim dean LS&A. “His books include Spinoza’s Metaphysics (Harvard, 1969), Descartes Against the Skeptics (Harvard, 1978), and Behind the Geometrical Method, A Reading of Spinoza’s Ethics (Princeton, 1988). He has also published a number of definitive scholarly editions and translations: The Collected Works of Spinoza, Volume I (1985, Princeton) and Hobbes, Leviathan (Hackett, 1994; second edition, 1995). Prof. Curley also has forthcoming electronic editions of Hobbes and Spinoza.”

“Prof. Duff is a world renowned high energy theorist,” noted LS&A dean Shirley Neuman. “His interests lie in unified theories of the elementary particles, quantum gravity, supergravity, Kaluza-Klein theory, superstrings, supermembranes and M-theory. Prof. Duff is one of the few key players in the so-called ‘second string revolution,’ for which he carved the intellectual path with his contributions to all-encompassing M-theory. He has been elected Fellow of the American Physical Society and is Spokesman for British Scientists Abroad.”

“Prof. Larson is a preeminent researcher in the areas of the rheology of complex fluids; the flow properties of biomolecules; stimulation of surfactant microstructure; and fracture, slip, and cavitation of polymeric and simple liquids under high stress,” said Stephen W. Director, the Robert J. Vlasic dean of the College of Engineering. “His work in the rheology of complex fluids is of particular importance for the optimal design of such fluids for applications in the polymer, pharmaceutical and electronics industries. His work in the flow properties of biomolecules includes the micromanipulations of biomolecules, such as DNA, for genome analysis and other applications.”

“It is impossible to enumerate all of the service duties Prof. Neal has been involved with throughout his career,” Neuman said. “He has had a major impact as an academic administrator, leader of departments and colleges, chief research officer of the institution and as interim president of a major public university. While this in itself is a reflection of a brilliant academic career, it is only a fraction of the service activities Prof. Neal has been involved with. He has served as a member of the National Science Board, the Board of Trustees of the Center for Strategic and International Research.”

“Prof. Railton’s research has had a major impact on both ethics and philosophy of science,” Gurin said. “He has also published on Locke, Marx, and conceptions of welfare. Over the past 15 years, Prof. Railton has been known as one of the foremost defenders of moral realism in metaethics and consequentialism in normative ethical theory. He is unique among moral realists who take moral value to be a naturalistic property of the world in that he takes seriously the charge that naturalism must supply a convincing account of the normativity of morality and moral conviction.”

“Prof. Smith-Rosenberg is a leading feminist historian, a founder of women’s studies in this country, and a scholar of international reputation,” Gurin said. “The author of two monographs (most recently, Disorderly Conduct: Visions of Gender in Nineteenth-Century America), a co-edited volume, and numerous essays and articles, her work has consistently defined the cutting edge of her field. Prof. Smith-Rosenberg is currently at work on a third book, Federalist Capers: Constituting the American Subject, 1770–1860, that promises to reshape the contours of early American history.”

“Prof. Stanton is a recognized authority in such diverse fields as 17th-century French literature and culture, early-modern studies, women writers, feminist and critical theory,” Neuman said. “She is a versatile and accomplished scholar of 17th-century French literature and is a leader in the application of feminist criticism to 17-century French studies. Her book The Aristocrat as Art and several of her articles are considered to form part of the essential bibliography of 17th-century French studies. She is considered to be one of the founders of the field of women’s studies, in which she continues to be a highly visible and influential participant.”

“Prof. Steel is a leading scholar and internationally recognized in a broad range of areas in applied physics and engineering,” Neuman said. “His extensive interdisciplinary research program includes the study of laser-plasma interactions; coherent nonlinear spectroscopy in atoms, molecules and semiconductor heterostructure; and single molecule and protein spectroscopy. In collaboration with colleagues in physics, engineering and medicine, he is at an important interdisciplinary frontier, combining fundamental physics and engineering with fundamental biomolecular problems of practical importance.”

“Prof. Van Dam is a major figure in the study of classical and Roman history,” Gurin said. “During his tenure as the Richard Hudson Research Professor of History, he will be focusing on two projects. The first is a study of scholarly, political and religious representations of Constantine, the early fourth-century Roman emperor and the first to convert to Christianity. The second is an innovative project on religious conversion in the Roman Empire, a local case-study highlighting the social and political implications of conversion to pagan cults.”

“Prof. Walton’s research is primarily in the area of aesthetics, where he is generally regarded as one of the preeminent figures in the world,” Gurin noted. “His book, Mimesis as Make-Believe: On the Foundations of Representational Art (Harvard, 1990), is credited with bringing aesthetics into a newly dynamic interaction with other areas of philosophy, such as metaphysics and philosophy of language. It is animated by the beautifully simple, yet powerful idea that aesthetic appreciation often involves pretense, that a fictional world is one of make-believe.”

Tenured faculty appointments

Tenured faculty appointments, all effective Sept. 1 unless otherwise noted, included:

Norman J. Betts, from the New Jersey Dental School, associate professor of dentistry. Betts also will be chair of the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery/Hospital Dentistry.

Sara B. Blair, from the University of Virginia, associate professor of English.

Iain D. Boyd, of Cornell University, associate professor of aerospace engineering.

Gary J. Fisher, a senior associate research scientist at U-M, associate professor of dermatology, effective Sept. 17.

Kevin K. Gaines, of the University of Texas, Austin, associate professor of history and of Afroamerican and African studies.

Jinyong Hahn, of the University of Pennsylvania, associate professor of economics.

David M. Halperin, of the University of New South Wales, Sydney, professor of English.

Barry H. Kantowitz, of the University of Washington, professor of industrial and operations engineering, effective Jan. 1, 2000.

John L. King, of the University of California, Irvine, professor and dean of the School of Information, effective Jan. 1, 2000.

Daniel J. Klionsky, of the University of California, Davis, professor of biology, effective Sept. 1, 2000.

Pamela Trotman Reid, a visiting professor and research scientist, professor of education, School of Education, and research scientist, Institute for Research on Women and Gender.

John E. Schulenberg, adjunct associate professor of developmental psychology, associate professor of psychology and senior associate research scientist.

Penny M. Von Eschen, of the University of Texas, Austin, associate professor of history and of Afroamerican and African studies.

Forest Avenue parking structure

Approval to proceed with the design for reconstruction of the Forest Avenue parking structure, in partnership with the City of Ann Arbor, was granted.

“In recent years,” said Robert Kasdin, executive vice president and chief financial officer, “the University’s Central Campus has experienced a shortage of parking for faculty and staff. The City of Ann Arbor and the South University Merchants determined that in order to maintain and enhance the vitality of the South University business area, additional parking is required in the area.

“In August 1998, the University agreed to assist in determining the feasibility of a shared parking structure at the corner of Forest Avenue/Willard. The feasibility team determined that a joint structure can be constructed and operated for the benefit of both the city and the University,” Kasdin added

Based on current design estimates, the structure will accommodate approximately 867 parking spaces utilizing seven levels above grade. The University will have the use of 32 percent, or approximately 277 spaces, and the city will have the use of 68 percent, or approximately 590 spaces. The city will own all land and the University will fund equity in the property based on the agreed upon percentages.

The City Council approved the project last April, and approved the agreement with the University at its Sept. 20 meeting. Construction costs and final contractual arrangements will be reviewed by the Regents later this fall.