Spotlights: Challenging the status quo; Peruvian liberator

By Ed Cohen

*You have a better idea?* If you're going to challenge the status quo at the office, it appears you'd better have an innovative solution to propose. A study by J. Michael Crant, Notre Dame associate professor of management, and colleagues at the University of Illinois-Chicago, found that criticism for the sake of criticism isn't looked on kindly in the work place and won't move you up the ladder. More likely, it will create ill will.

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Wondering Out Loud: What is that CE label?

By Ed Cohen

You’ve been seeing it for years now on the backs of computers and other electronic products or on the boxes they come in. What does that bold, black, rounded “CE” signify?

It means the product conforms with all health, safety and environmental protection standards of the 18-nation European Union and is therefore eligible to be sold within those countries. CE is an acronym for Conformité Européene,

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Students Think, Therefore They IM

By Ed Cohen

It started getting serious around 1997.

Workers wired up the final residence halls, and then any residents with a computer and ethernet card had free, high-speed access to the Internet at their bedside.

The time had long since arrived when computers were nearly universal in dorm rooms. But with a high-speed connection, the machines grew beyond super typewriters, calculators and toys into a virtual milieu.…

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Letter from Campus: Who Cared About the War?

By Ed Cohen

I looked back over my calendar and checked a few websites a minute ago to make sure I had the date right. It’s true. Less than two months have passed since President Bush went on national TV and announced U.S. forces had commenced bombing Iraq. It seems like a lot longer ago.

As I look out my Grace Hall office window now, what I can see of the campus looks deserted. All of the students except the seniors have gone home, and many of them are off at Cedar Point or somewhere enjoying Senior Week ahead of commencement. I’m trying to remember what it was like during the month or so when the war was going on.…

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Seen and Heard

By Ed Cohen

This year’s Notre Dame Award for international humanitarian service went to Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan—except he couldn’t come to campus to pick it up. The award was announced in late March, by which time the prince had curtailed his travel, a statement said, because of the war in Iraq. The war was then about a week old. As of late May the ceremony had yet to be rescheduled. Hassan is the younger brother of King Hussein, who reigned in Jordan from 1952 until his death in 1999. He served as the king’s political adviser, confidant and deputy, and founded and has been active in numerous educational, developmental and humanitarian institutions in his own country and internationally. . . . Also preempted by the war

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Seen and Heard, web extra

By Ed Cohen

The founding and long-time director of the Center for Continuing Education, Thomas P. Bergin ’45, died in May at age 79. Bergin joined the business faculty in 1947 as a specialist in economic growth and development and later served as head of the Department of Business Administration. In 1964 President Hesburgh appointed him founding dean and director of the Center for Continuing Education, where he remained in charge until 1991. . . . In the latest survey, Notre Dame has the highest percentage of students participating in study abroad programs among American research universities.

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ND Commencement 2003

By Ed Cohen

Speakers at the May 2003 commencement reminded graduates that the world is a different and scarier place than when they arrived at college. One said the way to cope with it is through a worldwide system of accountability for weapons of mass destruction. Another simply implored, “Do not be afraid.”

Valedictorian Margaret Laracy ’03 from Jersey City, New Jersey, recalled that four years ago, when she and her classmates arrived at Notre Dame, “the economy was strong, jobs were plentiful, and Americans felt secure.” Today, she said, jobs are scarce, terrorism threatens, and war has become a reality.…

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Notre Dame Students Today: What They're Like

By Ed Cohen

There was a time when a telephone with a bulbous red flashing light on it meant something. The Soviet premier was ringing the White House to inquire about a bomber squadron screaming over Siberia in the direction of Moscow. Or Commissioner Gordon needed Batman’s assistance with an arch villain wielding an amnesia ray.…

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In search of the world's first farmers

By Ed Cohen

Watching Ian Kuijt and his excavation team delicately trowel and sift rock and relics from dust on a lifeless parched plateau next to the Dead Sea, you’d never guess what the archaeologist thinks went on there 11,500 years ago.

Farming.

In fact, the Notre Dame associate professor of anthropology theorizes that this desolate desert locale in eastern Jordan was one of the places where mankind first traded in the hunter-gatherer lifestyle for year-round housing and the food security of cultivated plants. He calls this transition “the most important social and economic event in the history of the world.”…

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Checkback: Jimmy Gurule

By Ed Cohen

The latest on law-professor-on-leave Jimmy Gurulé, who was tracking the money trail of terrorists as undersecretary of Treasury for enforcement: After 18 months on the job Gurulé resigned from the Treasury Department in early February to return to the Law School. The professor, who had been on a two-year leave of absence, said his decision was prompted by the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, which transferred several of his agency responsibilities to Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge. Gurulé said he considered working for the new department but opted to return to Notre Dame. “It wasn’t something I found as interesting or as challenging as the Treasury,” he said. Under Gurulé’s leadership, more than $125 million in financial assets belonging to suspected terrorist financiers was blocked. For his efforts Gurulé was awarded the Treasury Medal, one of the department’s highest honors. Gurulé is currently writing a book about his experiences at the department and the role he played in investigating terrorist financing. He plans to resume teaching in the fall.…

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NDTV on Cable

By Ed Cohen

Notre Dame students now have their own TV show.

NDTV, a biweekly half-hour magazine-format program, premiered last October on South Bend’s public access cable Channel 3. New shows debut every other Tuesday night at 10 with reruns the following two Thursdays at 5 p.m.

As in most cities, programming on South Bend community access is typified by poor picture quality, irritating sound and a succession of people reading Bible verses into the camera. “One of our first episodes was pre-empted by a spelling bee,” says junior Lance Johnson, one of NDTV’s four student executive producers.…

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NDbay bypasses bookstore

By Ed Cohen

Given the Internet and students’ near-universal displeasure with what the bookstore charges for textbooks and pays for sell-backs, something like this was bound to happen.

In December two sophomores launched an online textbook-trading website, NDbay.com. In its first buy-sell period—the end of fall semester and start of spring—the site generated about 300 sales, said one of its creators, Chris Kelly.…

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Weathering the Economy

By Ed Cohen

“Notre Dame’s Investments Quarterback Takes His Team Into the Record Books,” a headline in the Wall Street Journal’s September 13, 2000, issue declared.

Underneath, in a feast of football metaphors that surely made promoters of Notre Dame’s academic aspirations gag, the story marveled at the 57.9 percent return on the University’s endowment investments for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2000. A year “worthy of a Heisman,” the writer called it. The rate was tops among university endowments.…

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Seen and Heard, web extra

By Ed Cohen

Athletic director Kevin White, now beginning his fourth year on the job, received a two-year contract extension. His original five-year contract had already been extended five years and now reaches to 2012. Notre Dame was the only school last fall to qualify all six of its teams for NCAA tournament play or a football bowl game. After the fall sports the Irish stood third in the standings for the all-sports Directors’ Cup. . . . Women’s volleyball coach Debbie Brown received the NCAA

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Seen and Heard

By Ed Cohen

Father George Rozum, CSC, may have taken his second-last ride in a coffin. Rozum ‘61, ’80MSA has been rector of Alumni Hall since 1979 and for many years was a central figure in a bizarre ritual associated with the hall’s signature springtime event, the Alumni Wake. Originally a commemoration of the much-disputed 1978 decision banning kegs in dorms, the Wake grew into an annual week-long series of festivities culminating in a dance in the hall’s basement. The rector would arrive at the dance at midnight, carried in from the hall chapel inside a coffin. New rules aimed at curbing abusive drinking have put an end to all in-hall dances, and apparently the coffin ritual also has been laid to rest. Student Affairs officials and Father Rozum agreed that it was time to change the character and demeanor of the event. As of February ideas were still being discussed as to what form this year’s Wake would take and whether to bury the coffin. . . . It was the greatest mile race ever run at Notre Dame, maybe the greatest anywhere. Senior Luke Watson won the Meyo Mile at the annual Meyo Invitational meet in the Loftus Sports Center in early February in a time of 3:57.83. It was only the second sub-four-minute mile ever run by a Notre Dame athlete, breaking Chuck Aragon’s school record of 3:59.9 set in 1981. More amazing, the top five finishers in the race all broke four minutes and posted what were at that date the five fastest indoor mile times in the world in 2003. The times were so good that any one of them would have won last year’s NCAA

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ND backs affirmative action in admissions

By Ed Cohen

Notre Dame joined 37 private colleges and universities in a legal brief supporting the University of Michigan’s affirmative action policies. The polices, opposed by President Bush, were being challenged in a case before the U.S. Supreme Court. Said Father Malloy: “At Notre Dame we believe it is imperative that our incoming classes reflect, as much as possible, the diversity of our nation, and we feel that our mix of students from all over the U.S. and the world adds to the educational experience.”…

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Wondering Out Loud: Why did Japan attack Pearl Harbor?

By Ed Cohen

Japan became a rising world power with its victory in the 1905 Russo-Japanese War, but the country felt increasingly at a disadvantage economically and politically as European powers and the United States raced into China and other parts of Asia to establish colonies and trade relationships. Japanese society turned more and more militaristic and nationalistic, culminating in an invasion of Manchuria in 1931 and brutal incursions into other parts of China in 1937.…

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Mystery of Freshman's Disappearance Ends Grimly

By Ed Cohen

Like most students, Chad Sharon was ready to unwind after the last day of fall semester classes.

Five days separated him from his first final exam. So around 11, when a group of guys from his dorm said they were driving to a party off campus and invited him along, the freshman hopped in the car.

By 1 a.m. his friends were ready to leave the party, which was at a house on Corby Boulevard, south of campus. The friends said Chad was still enjoying himself, so he declined a ride home. He said he would walk the five or six blocks back to campus. He assured them he knew the way.…

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The Unseen Notre Dame

By Ed Cohen

“Shoot,” I said, remembering I’d left my pen down below with my notebook. I was standing in a sort of crow’s nest that hangs inside the Golden Dome directly beneath Mary’s two-ton, 16-foot-tall, hollow iron statue. My legs trembled faintly and I kept a hand clamped on anything solid and vertical as I stepped around the tiny platform. Gaps between some of the planks, I couldn’t help noticing, were wide enough to swallow a leg.…

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What became of Notre Dame's lawsuit against the contractors on the stadium expansion?

By Ed Cohen

In September, 2003, a St. Joseph County Circuit Court judge approved a settlement of the many lawsuits that arose out of the stadium expansion completed in 1997. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed. Cracking concrete and other problems discovered after the stadium reopened required millions of dollars in repairs. In 1999 the University filed suit against project architect Ellebe Becket Inc. and the general contractor and construction manager Casteel Construction Corporation of South Bend. Those companies in turn sued more than a dozen subcontractors. Ellebe Becket had been Notre Dame’s primary architect for buildings for decades prior to the stadium expansion but reportedly has not done any work for the University since then.…

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Trustees chair McCartan re-elected

By Ed Cohen

Cleveland lawyer Patrick McCartan ‘56, ’59J.D. was re-elected chair of the Board of Trustees, extending his tenure to 2007. He has been a trustee since 1989 and was elected board chair and a fellow of the University in 2000. McCartan is senior partner of the international law firm Jones Day and has been cited in surveys by The National Law Journal as one of the country’s most respected and influential lawyers.…

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Notre Dame arrives downtown at last

By Ed Cohen

In Notre Dame’s earlier years priests and brothers would patrol sections of downtown South Bend and drag students back to campus from areas deemed detrimental to their development.

Now the University has its own facility in the heart of the city.

Notre Dame Downtown opened in late October at 217 S. Michigan St. in a storefront that was once part of Robertson’s department store. It’s located across the street from the State Theatre and a few doors north of the landmark Dainty Maid Bake Shop.…

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Notre Dame Prize to Brazil Presidents

By Ed Cohen

Brazil’s two most recent presidents were selected to receive the 2003 Notre Dame Prize for Distinguished Public Service in Latin America in recognition of the peaceful transition they worked to achieve between their administrations.

The award honors the leadership shown by President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva and his predecessor, Fernando Henrique Cardoso in the national election of 2002. The voting represented the first democratic transition between elected presidents in Brazil since the early 1960s.…

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Irish Inquisition Plays Persecutor for Laughs, Enlightenment

By Ed Cohen

A black-robed Grand Inquisitor who interrogates “the summoned” from atop a tennis umpire’s chair.

A mute assistant who drinks what appears to be gasoline straight from the can and gets his math advice from a brick.

Speakers compelled to swear an oath on the Notre Dame football media guideā€”held between their knees.

These are all elements of the Irish Inquisition, an often zany, sometimes thought-provoking program that debuted on campus fall semester.

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Improved economy spurs building resumption

By Ed Cohen

Jordan Hall of Science

The University ended its yearlong moratorium on new campus construction in a big way November 1, breaking ground on what will be the most expensive building in school history, a long-awaited science learning center just north of the Joyce Center on Juniper Road.

The $70 million Jordan Hall of Science, expected to be completed in summer 2006, will feature 40 undergraduate labs for biology, chemistry and physics, several large lecture halls, faculty offices, a greenhouse, an herbarium and an observatory.…

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How is the emeritus professor who wounded in the August 2003 bombing of the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad doing?

By Ed Cohen

Read a story by Gil Loescher in the magazine’s spring 2004 issue.

Emeritus Professor of Political Science Gilburt Loescher, who was nearly killed in the bombing at the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad in August 2003, continues to recuperate in England.

He lost both of his legs above the knee, his right hand was badly damaged, and he spent weeks unconscious after the terrorist blast. But as of early December he was learning to walk on prosthetic legs and had even taken his first drive in a car equipped with hand controls. He and his family are keeping an online journal of his progress at caringbridge.org/pa/gilloescher/

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Letter from Campus: The Playful Peacemaker

By Ed Cohen

Desmond Tutu is convinced that God has a great sense of humor. He said so in his talk last September in McKenna Hall, the Center for Continuing Education. But the Nobel Peace Prize winner from South Africa is pretty funny himself. Consider this bit of national self-deprecation:

“Have you heard about the spaceship South Africa plans to launch to land on the sun? People said, ’You’ll burn up long before it gets close.’ You think we are stupid? We’re going to launch it at night.’”…

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Arthur Andersen refugees reflect on what went wrong

By Ed Cohen

Two Notre Dame alumni who held leadership positions with Arthur Andersen say mind-boggling corporate structures, pressure to keep earnings looking good to Wall Street, and negligent board directors all contributed to the wave of scandals that rocked the business world and toppled their long-venerated accounting firm at the turn of the 21st century.…

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