NEWSLETTER

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March 9, 2021

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8:07 p.m.

Three New Trustees; New Media Arts and Design Major | Newsletter for March 10

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Good morning. It’s ninth week. Ready for finals? More importantly, ready for spring break? 🍹

New York Times columnist David Brooks (A.B. ’83) has resigned from his paid position as the chair of the Weave Project at the Aspen Institute, a D.C.–based think tank and nonprofit, according to The Times’s announcement on Saturday.

  • Brooks has been receiving a secondary salary from the Weave Project, which has been funded by Facebook and other donors, since 2018.
  • The Times cited it as a conflict of interest that Brooks did not disclose this position to his readers in his columns, some of which promoted the Weave Project and its donors.
  • Brooks has been a longstanding friend of the University: He was elected to the Board of Trustees in 2012, and he served on the Board of Advisors of the Institute of Politics (IOP) from 2013 until 2018. Brooks spoke at the inaugural Class Day in 2017 and at an IOP event in 2018. When he was an undergraduate, Brooks was a columnist and editor on The Maroon’s Viewpoints pages.

A new major, Media Arts and Design (MAAD), proposed by members of the Media Arts, Data, and Design Center in the College, will launch this fall.

  • MAAD will provide students with an opportunity to study new mediums of communication, such as virtual reality and video games. The major aims to prepare students for careers in the design and entertainment industries.
  • Previously, MAAD was only available as a 600-credit minor. Administrators for the program said that the development of the major was a result of the minor’s popularity.
  • Unlike most other majors, the major will not have a standard introductory course. Up to three courses within the major could be counted toward another major to ensure flexibility.

The University of Chicago Board of Trustees elected Thomas Dunn (A.B. ’81, M.B.A. ’86), Brett Hart (J.D. ’94), and Hilarie Koplow-McAdams (A.M. ’87) as new members. They began serving their five-year terms last spring.

  • Thomas Dunn, currently serving on the University of Chicago’s Urban Labs Advisory Council and the College Dean’s Parent and Family Council, is founding partner and former CEO of institutional money manager New Holland Capital.
  • Brett Hart, currently serving as a board member at the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, is the president of United Airlines.
  • Hilarie Koplow-McAdams, currently serving as the chair of the advisory council of UChicago’s Harris School of Public Policy and the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, is a venture partner at venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates (NEA) since 2017.

On Tuesday, February 16, the Office of the Provost and the activist group #CareNotCops presented two different visions for the future of campus policing during simultaneous online events.

  • The provost’s office used the event as an opportunity to explain current public safety initiatives and discuss potential improvements in service.
  • #CareNotCops hosted its forum as a direct response to the provost’s, referring to it on social media as an “ACTUAL public safety forum.” Speakers criticized UChicago over concerns regarding racial bias and improper mental health training in the University of Chicago Police Department (UCPD).

Fitch Ratings, a leading provider of credit ratings, commentary, and research for global capital markets, assigned an “AA+” rating to a combined $575 million of the University of Chicago’s 2021 fixed-rate revenue bonds in a report issued on February 18.

  • UChicago’s ratings outlook remained “negative,” indicating that the school’s credit rating could be downgraded in the future. The rating was downgraded from “stable” in August.
  • Despite this, Fitch Ratings noted that UChicago has navigated the challenges of COVID-19 deftly. Fitch Ratings also offered praise for the University of Chicago’s selectivity and reputation for academic excellence, factors considered to be indicators of stable revenue growth.

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In Arts

Editor Veronica Chang writes in:

Allison Peters Quinn, director of exhibitions and residency at the Hyde Park Art Center, sat down with The Maroon to discuss the center, artist-run spaces in Chicago, and how to best support artists through the COVID-19 pandemic.

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In Grey City

Editor Avi Waldman writes in:

Despite the temporary closure of the physical dorm, members of Snell-Hitchcock’s tight-knit house communities have managed to maintain and revive time-honored traditions.

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In Viewpoints

Editor Gage Gramlick writes in:

Columnist Clark Kovacs calls for a more consistent COVID policy from UChicago’s administration.

Columnist Noah Tesfaye argues that in order for UChicago to begin the process of giving back power to the people it has stolen from, the University must first interrogate how its success has come at the expense of Black narratives and communities.