University of Rochester

Rochester Review
March–April 2012
Vol. 74, No. 4

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In Brief

University Joins International Network

Rochester is joining a select group of universities around the world as part of a consortium designed to “stretch international ambitions.” The Worldwide Universities Network, established in 2000 with a mission to accelerate the creation of knowledge and develop leaders who will be prepared to address the significant challenges and opportunities in a rapidly changing world, now has 18 members, including Rochester. “Joining WUN signifies our conviction that we must be strongly coupled to the best researchers everywhere in the world,” says Peter Lennie, senior vice president and the Robert L. and Mary L. Sproull Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering. Other U.S. institutions in the network are the University of Washington, Penn State University, and the University of Wisconsin at Madison. International universities include the University of Alberta; the University of Auckland; the University of Bergen; the University of Bristol; the University of Cape Town; Chinese University of Hong Kong; the University of Leeds; Nanjing University; the University of Sheffield; the University of Southampton; the University of Sydney; the University of Western Australia; the University of York; and Zhejiang University.

—Sharon Dickman

inbriefLIBRARY LEADER: Toronto’s Mary Ann Mavrinac is the new Andrew H. and Janet Dayton Neilly Dean of River Campus Libraries. (Photo: University of Toronto)

Mary Ann Mavrinac Named Dean of River Campus Libraries

The River Campus Libraries have a new dean. University of Toronto library leader Mary Ann Mavrinac has been named vice provost and the Andrew H. and Janet Dayton Neilly Dean of River Campus Libraries and will begin her new role June 1. At Toronto, Mavrinac spearheaded the planning and oversaw the 2006 completion of a state-of-the-art facility that was recognized with an innovation achievement award from the Canadian Association of College and University Libraries. She also supervises support for the digital humanities, open access, and scholarly communications at Toronto. Her team provides academic support for the campus Blackboard learning management system, and is the go-to institution for video, podcasting, and emerging technologies. At Rochester, Mavrinac will assume leadership of a library system with a reputation for innovation and user-centered approaches, earning national and international recognition for an anthropological approach to the creation of services and physical spaces and for developing new online tools for academics. Mavrinac succeeds Susan Gibbons, who was named to lead the Yale University Library.

—Susan Hagen

New Center Focuses on Respiratory Pathogens

A new national center established by the National Institutes of Health to protect people against bacteria and viruses that take aim at the respiratory system has been established at the Medical Center. Part of a potential $35 million to $50 million effort funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the NIH, the new center puts University scientists “on call” in the realm of respiratory infections. In times of national need, center personnel are available at the request of federal officials to take on urgent projects to inform public health needs. Established with an initial award of $4.7 million, the Respiratory Pathogens Research Center will be directed by David Topham, an influenza researcher who also directs the University’s new Health Sciences Center for Computational Innovation, an emerging partnership between the University and IBM to establish an array of IBM supercomputers on campus with the capacity to analyze huge amounts of information quickly.

—Tom Rickey

Simon School Ranked Among Top 25 in Business

The Simon School of Business ranks 22nd among the top 25 business schools in the United States, according to an annual ranking of the world’s best business schools by the Financial Times of London. In the Jan. 30 issue, Simon also places 49th among the top 100 business schools in the world. In the newspaper’s specialty rankings, Simon was third in the world for finance and fourth in the world for economics. Simon is also ranked seventh in the world for accounting. Simon has been ranked among the top 25 schools in the United States for 11 of the 14 times that the newspaper has conducted the survey.

—Charla Stevens Kucko

inbriefMLK ADDRESS: Scholar Michael Eric Dyson told a campus audience that King saw promise in America. (Photo: Adam Fenster)

King’s Legacy Is Alive and Vital: Michael Eric Dyson

The legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. is alive and vital today, noted political analyst and author Michael Eric Dyson told a Strong Auditorium audience during a January visit to deliver the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Address. In a talk that drew from King’s life, the history of the civil rights movement, the election of President Barack Obama, as well as from hip-hop artists such as Kanye West, Dyson, a professor of sociology at Georgetown University, said that while King created opportunities for African Americans, he would not have been satisfied with the nation’s continuing difficulty in dealing with race relations, poverty, inequity, and international conflict. He urged young people, in particular, to remember that King saw promise in America. “Martin Luther King didn’t just change black people, he changed America. He made white people more human, he made white civilization more tolerable. And he brought the humanity of black people to bear. But he refused to give up on white brothers and sisters and said there is something dignified and beautiful in the consciences of America when we can appeal to those consciences to transform America.”

—Melissa Greco Lopes

Eastman Circle: 2,000 and Counting

The University’s annual giving leadership society started 2012 with more than 2,000 members, the second time in five years that the George Eastman Circle has surpassed its goals. Ending 2011 with 2,021 members, the society was established in 2006 with an initial goal of 250 charter members. After 1,087 people signed up during the charter phase, the membership goal was increased to 2,000 by December 31, 2011. Jim Thompson, senior vice president for Advancement, notes that the giving society has been the catalyst for greater involvement and engagement with University supporters. The group’s accomplishments include record-breaking growth of the University’s Annual Fund. “The rapid growth of the George Eastman Circle has put us on par with some of our most successful peer institutions with well-established and more mature programs,” says Nathan Moser ’75, University trustee and chair of the Eastman Circle. “Our membership now extends to 42 states and 11 countries.” Members in the society pledge to make unrestricted annual contributions ranging from $1,500 to more than $50,000 for five years. All gifts made through the Eastman Circle count toward the The Meliora Challenge: The Campaign for the University of Rochester. For more about the campaign, visit