An artist’s concept shows the 53rd Street Bicycle Center, which is located next to the Metra station at 53rd Street and Lake Park Avenue. (Illustration by Built Form LLC)
University news
An executive director for the Institute of Politics, an arts incubator in Washington Park, and a definitive history of intellectual property wars.

Executive decision

In June Darren R. Reisberg became the executive director of the University’s Institute of Politics. Reisberg, previously deputy superintendent and general counsel of the Illinois State Board of Education, was a labor attorney at Sidney Austin LLP and clerked for US District Court judge Rebecca Pallmeyer, JD’79. Working with the institute’s inaugural director, David Axelrod, AB’76—a political adviser to President Obama who begins his duties in early 2013—Reisberg will help establish a visiting fellows program, expand public-service internship opportunities for students, and create a series of public lectures.  

A hub for spokes

A bicycle center now occupies a long-vacant space that the University leased from the Metra commuter rail service at 53rd Street. Providing storage and rentals, the center also participates in the University’s bike-share program. Operated by Bike and Park, a unit of the Chicago-based Bike and Roll, the center offers monthly memberships for commuters and dozens of bicycles for rent.  

Let the good times enroll

The proportion of admitted undergraduate students who chose to enroll at Chicago rose from 40 percent last year to 47 percent for the class of 2016. Record percentages of African American and Latino students joined a class that is 42 percent students of color. More students from families with low to moderate incomes also will attend the College, which offers Odyssey Scholarships (see “Epic Venture”) that reduce or eliminate loans for those with annual family incomes of less than $90,000. In all, the College attracted 25,307 applications, accepting 13.3 percent, with 1,525 students set to enroll in September.  

Small named social-sciences dean

Mario Small, professor in sociology and the College, became social-sciences dean July 1. Small, previously the sociology department chair, is the author of Villa Victoria: The Transformation of Social Capital in the Boston Barrio (University of Chicago Press, 2004) and Unanticipated Gains: Origins of Network Inequality in Everyday Life (Oxford University Press, 2009). He succeeds John Mark Hansen, the Charles L. Hutchinson distinguished service professor in political science and the College, who returns to teaching after two five-year terms as dean.  

Intellectual property

Adrian Johns, the Allan Grant Maclear professor in history, has received the 2012 Gordon J. Laing Prize from the University of Chicago Press for his book Piracy: The Intellectual Property Wars from Gutenberg to Gates (2010). The Laing Prize goes to a faculty author, editor, or translator of a book published in the previous three years that brings the press the greatest distinction. “From Cervantes to Sonny Bono,” the Press wrote, “no chapter in the story of piracy evades Johns’s analysis in what will be the definitive history of the subject for years to come.”  

Roth redux

Martha T. Roth has been reappointed to a second five-year term as humanities dean. In her first term Roth, the Chauncey S. Boucher distinguished service professor of Assyriology, oversaw a 12 percent faculty expansion, increased the division’s leadership in digital humanities, and led the creation of the Indian Ministry of Culture Vivekananda Visiting Professorship. Two new deputy dean positions also have been created. Bill Brown, the Karla Scherer distinguished service professor in American culture, has been appointed deputy dean for academic and research initiatives, and Mario Santana, associate professor of Spanish literature, has been named deputy dean for languages.  

Promoting student life

On July 1 Karen Warren Coleman became vice president for campus life and student services. Joining the University in 2009, Warren Coleman has supervised the student housing and dining system, including the creation of the UChicago Dining department and the completion and opening of the New South Campus Residence Hall and Commons. Warren Coleman succeeds Kimberly Goff-Crews, who became vice president for student life at Yale University, her alma mater.  

Arts incubator

A $400,000 grant will help fund  the Washington Park Arts Incubator, a project of the University’s Arts and Public Life Initiative. ArtPlace, a collaboration of national and regional foundations, banks, and federal agencies, provided the funding. The Washington Park Arts Incubator, housed in a 15,000-square-foot 1920s building undergoing renovations, is scheduled to open in the fall. The mixed-use facility, which will provide space for local artists, students, faculty, and community members  to collaborate, is meant to help revitalize the Washington Park neighborhood just west of the Hyde Park campus.  

Home of the brave

First-year law student Teo Stoica was one of 106 immigrants from 46 countries to take the oath of American citizenship at an April ceremony in Chicago. A native of Romania who moved to the United States with her parents at age 10, Stoica thought of their sacrifice. “I realized how different my life would’ve been had my parents not taken the big risk coming here, giving up everything. ... Now I’m determined to do something as amazing as my parents.”  

A prince of a prize

Martha C. Nussbaum, the Ernst Freund distinguished service professor of law and ethics, has received the 2012 Prince of Asturias Award for Social Sciences. The 50,000-euro award, which Nussbaum will receive in October from Spain’s Prince Felipe, honors her “universalistic conception of human dignity and women’s rights to overcome the limits of cultural relativism.” Nussbaum, whose books include The New Religious Intolerance: Overcoming the Politics of Fear in an Anxious Age (Belknap Press, 2012), Not for Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities (Princeton University Press, 2010), and From Disgust to Humanity: Sexual Orientation and Constitutional Law (Oxford University Press, 2010), has appointments in law, divinity, and philosophy.