Friday, August 25, 2006

Ah, rankings

We had a little mention on Good Morning America that just makes you yell, "Yes!" Here is a link to the clip, which requires QuickTime Player to view.

Even though the spot is only a few seconds long, Diane Sawyer still manages to buy into the pervasive myth that the toughest schools to get into are also the best, and that all any college student should want is to be surrounded by other people who have very high SAT scores. She also echoes what a lot of people have in the back of their minds when they think about Chicago: "I guess it's good to get off of the East Coast..."

Interesting tidbit though: Diane Sawyer is married to film director Mike Nichols, an alum of the University of Chicago. While he was on campus in the 1950s, he was involved in the Compass Players, the world's first improvisational comedy group. He eventually went on to more legitimate theater projects, won seven Tonys, and then went into film, directing Closer, The Birdcage, Postcards from the Edge, Working Girl, The Graduate, and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Fall travel and school visits

Right now in the office, we're gearing up to do our fall travel, which includes public information sessions and high school visits.

So far, we've scheduled one late-summer information session in the Fort Myers area. It will be in the afternoon on Sunday, August 27. Click here for more information and to register for the session.

We're also contacting high school counselors to set up our high school visits. Usually we visit four or five schools in a day. If we are visiting yours, you will get an email in September or October.

Joint travel with Columbia, Cornell, Brown, and Rice (we like to call the group BroCoCoRiChi) will happen September 17 to September 21. We will be visiting Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Virginia. (That was in alphabetical order, not in order by date!) Click here to see our exact locations and times.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Argonne National Laboratory

Yesterday morning, faculty and staff got an email from our new president, Robert Zimmer (more on him later) announcing that we have won our bid to continue to manage Argonne National Laboratory! Here is Bob's letter:

Re: Argonne contract

I am delighted to report that the U.S. Department of Energy announced today that the University's company, UChicago Argonne, LLC, has been selected to manage Argonne National Laboratory for a five-year period beginning October 1, 2006. The contract can be extended, based on performance, for up to twenty years without competition.

The University of Chicago has managed Argonne National Laboratory since 1946, when the Laboratory was established to build on work originally done at the University. Several years ago, Congress mandated that the Department of Energy put contracts for several national laboratories up for competitive bid, and the University has been involved for well over a year in the competition for the contract to manage Argonne. We are very pleased to be able to continue our management role.

The University is fully committed to the stewardship of the extraordinary national resource that Argonne represents. In recent years, the scientific partnership of the University and Argonne has deepened, contributing to both the strength of the Laboratory and to science and technology development at the University. We anticipate that this relationship will continue to strengthen and evolve productively in the years ahead. The award of this contract is a basic component of our capacity to contribute to the development of science and technology at the highest levels, and through it to enhancing the well-being of the nation.

The University will manage Argonne through a new entity, UChicago Argonne, LLC. The University is the sole member of the LLC, which will bring together the expertise and experience of the University of Chicago with Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc. and BWX Technologies, Inc., both high-quality industrial firms with proven experience in science and technology management. We also benefit greatly from our partnerships with Northwestern University and the University of Illinois, which are represented on both the Argonne Board of Governors and the Board's Science Policy Council.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank those at the University and Argonne who worked tirelessly to achieve this success, including Vice Presidents Thomas Rosenbaum, Hank Webber and Beth Harris, Argonne National Laboratory Director Robert Rosner, Argonne National Laboratory Deputy Director Don Joyce, and Assistant Vice President Diana Jergovic.

As members of the University of Chicago community, we can all be proud of this achievement. The University has a 60-year record of success in stewardship of Argonne, and I anticipate a future of lasting scientific and technical contributions for generations to come.

What does that mean for undergrads? Why, fully-funded internships, of course!