January 29, 2002

News In Brief

Susan E. Mayer appointed dean of the Graduate School of Public Policy

Susan E. Mayer has been appointed as dean of the Irving B. Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies by University president Don Michael Randel. Mayer, who will begin her five-year term on July 1, is an associate professor in the Harris School and the College. She is also a faculty affiliate for the Center for Human Potential and Public Policy at the University.

Mayer is the second dean of the Harris School. She succeeds Robert T. Michael, who served two terms beginning in 1989. During that time, the Harris School has become a leading center for research on public policy.

"Susan Mayer's scholarship and evident passion for the work of the School will certainly make her an effective intellectual leader for the Harris School as well as a vigorous advocate of it with internal and external audiences alike," Randel said.

Mayer is the former director and current deputy director of the Northwestern University / University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research. She was a research associate at the Institute for Policy Studies at Northwestern University before joining the faculty of the Harris School in 1989.

— Simon Shifrin

University Housing Office, Neighborhood Schools Program and Community Service Center move to location in new Parking Structure

The University Housing Office, the Neighborhood Schools Program (NSP), and the Community Service Center (UCSC) are moving their offices to a new space in the parking structure at 5525 S. Ellis Ave. As a result of the move, the Housing Office will be closed from Thursday, Jan. 31 until Monday, Feb. 4.

"Our phone number won't change, and we'll be checking our voicemail those days," said Cheryl Gutman, Director of the University House System. "We're setting up a new computer system, and we need the extra time to do that."

The Housing Office, which is currently located on the second floor of the Administration building, will be upgrading to much larger facilities.

"It's bigger than our current space," Gutman said. "One of our employees who's been with us for a year and a half currently has no office or phone. The new facilities will definitely suit our needs better."

NSP and UCSC moved into their new space last week. The two offices are together in one location so as to enable greater cooperation between the two.

"It was felt that benefits would result from bringing together units of the University that deal in outreach to the community," said Duel Richardson, director of neighborhood relations and education.

— Carolina Bolado

U of C graduate appointed president of the Central Bank of Argentina

Respected international economist Mario Blejer, who earned two degrees from the University of Chicago's economics department, was chosen to be president of the Central Bank of Argentina last Friday.

Argentine president Eduardo Duhaldo appointed Blejer to fill the spot vacated by Roque Maccarone, who resigned after criticism that he had done little to help the partial freeze on Argentinean bank accounts. The freeze on capital flow six weeks ago has left many locals without money for things such as food and regular household expenses.

Blejer previously worked with the International Monetary Fund as a senior advisor in the monetary and exchange affairs department. Since 1996, he has also been a professor of economics at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and is the author of 17 books and monographs, including Economic Liberalization and Stabilization Policies in Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay: The Monetary Approach to the Balance of Payments, a work published in 1983.

He earned his M.A. from the economics department in 1973 and his Ph.D. in 1975.

According to analysts from The Wall Street Journal, the reputation of the economics department and its devotion to free market economics were the primary reasons for appointing Blejer to the post.

As Central Bank president, Blejer will attempt to halt the continued devaluation of the peso, which traded at 2.15 to the dollar as of January 17. He will attempt to control the Argentinean money supply. Until the January 6 decision to devaluate the currency, the central bank had no control over circulation, and the peso was trading with the dollar at a one-to-one rate. Recently, the peso has been trading on complex foreign exchange markets. The peso's rapid devaluation has been the subject of recurrent rioting and social unrest in the country.

— Andrew Lamb