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In The News
State and ACLU locked in
Should PLU and other private, church-affiliated colleges in Washington state be considered sectarian religious institutions? PLU says no, the American Civil Liberties Union says yes, and the Washington Superior Court has until mid-July to decide.
church-state battle over grants
In a 1995 suit filed by a Washington State University professor and the ACLU, the parties seek to force the state Higher Education Coordinating Board to prohibit students from using Educational Opportunity Grant money at what the ACLU says are sectarian institutions.
The grants provide up to $2,500 yearly for juniors and seniors who demonstrate financial need and who are "place-bound" — unable to relocate for college due to health, family or work commitments. (PLU currently has 88 students who receive EOG benefits, in a program that pays out $2.4 million annually throughout the state.)
But as the 10 members of the Washington Association of Independent Colleges and Universities have said, EOG money doesn't help colleges, it helps students by giving them flexibility. Students can spend the grant in ways that best meet their needs at the schools most convenient to them.
In trial testimony April 8, PLU President Loren J. Anderson acknowledged PLU's Christian heritage but said Christian values alluded to in PLU policies do not mean PLU imposes a particular religious view on its students or faculty.
In written testimony entered earlier in the trial, Anderson emphasized that PLU seeks a "widely diverse student body" and "intellectually free and unfettered" learning, principles supported both by Lutheran heritage and by tenets of academic freedom. Similar guidelines exist for faculty, curriculum and administration at PLU.
Throughout the controversy, the ACLU has stated flatly that subscribing to principles of Christian education and references to Holy Scriptures in university policies make PLU, and other schools like it, sectarian institutions. The organization believes taxpayer dollars should not be used to benefit religious institutions.
Trial arguments ended April 15, and the judge promised a final decision within the 90 days required by law. The decision will likely be appealed to the state supreme court.
IKEA Seattle donates new furniture to PLU;
Thanks to a donation from IKEA Seattle, the Scandinavian Immigrant Experience Collection and the PLU Archives now has new furniture — and it's even authentically Swedish. The furniture includes work tables, computer tables, book cases, stackable chairs, swivel chairs and armchairs.
Scandinavian documents and artifacts
sought for collection
Located on the third floor of the Mortvedt Library, the archives house all of PLU's historical documents, artifacts and photographs, as well as the Scandinavian Immigrant Experience Collection, which comprises items relating to immigrants to the Pacific Northwest from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.
Anyone willing to donate historical items to either the Scandinavian or PLU collections can contact Kerstin Ringdahl, 253-535-7586. More about the Scandinavian Immigrant Experience Collection can be found at www.plu.edu/ind/archives/home.html.
Registration and admissions go online
Move over telephone, hello Internet. Through a newly implemented system, PLU students can now register for classes over the Internet, and prospective students soon will be able to apply to the university online.
The Banner registration system allows students to search for available courses by class title, professor and time of day, and print out a complete schedule when they're through. Ninety percent of 150 seniors who participated in a trial run of the system in fall 1998 found online registration easier than using the traditional telephone mode.
While some options are not yet available online, the new system was made available this spring for summer and fall registration, and 47 percent of continuing students took advantage of the opportunity, said registrar Julia Pomerenk. And while online registration could replace the telephone, phone-in registration will be available at least through the end of 1999.
Online application for admission to PLU is in the testing stages, said Ardys Curtis, Admissions' systems manager (and campus Banner guru). Students applying for Fall 2000 admission should be able to send most of their information to PLU electronically. Some items, however — such as transcripts, fees and the exchange of signed documents — will still need to be handled through the mail.
Those who apply online will be able to check the status of their application electronically, while applicants using regular mail will not. Curtis said mail-in applications will continue to be an option even when the online system becomes fully operational.
Browning makes history across the Atlantic
In February and March, PLU professor and internationally known Holocaust scholar Chris Browning not only taught history, he made it -- by becoming just the fifth American to deliver the distinguished Trevelyan Lectures at the University of Cambridge, England.
PLU History Professor Chris Browning (right) talks with former PLU regent Don Morken '60 in Trinity House at Cambridge University after one of Browning's lectures.
Browning's six lectures on "Contested Issues in Holocaust Scholarship: Nazi Policy, Jewish Labor, German Killers" put him in prestigious company; other speakers have come from Cambridge, Oxford, Columbia, Princeton and Harvard. The biennial lectures were founded in 1957 to commemorate George Macaulay Trevelyan, a famous English historian.
Browning's Cambridge trip crowns a 25-year career at PLU that has been punctuated with frequent "firsts," honors and top-flight scholarship. In 1995 and 1996, he was a scholar-in-residence at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. And last year, he was considered a top candidate to fill a new chair of Holocaust studies at Harvard (a position that remains unfilled). He also has published four books on the Holocaust.
At PLU, Browning has been chairman of the history department and the winner of two distinguished teaching awards. He has delivered countless talks and lectures, and in 1997 was named PLU's first Distinguished Professor. Amidst this "extracurricular" activity, Browning has continued to teach over-enrolled classes of enthusiastic PLU students.
This fall, Browning accepts the Frank Porter Graham Chair of History at the University of North Carolina's Chapel Hill campus. He took his final teaching bow at PLU during Spring Semester 1999 and was honored at a farewell reception May 14.
Crown Prince of Norway Makes a Stop at PLU
The future king of Norway made PLU the first stop on his first official visit to the Pacific Northwest on March 20. From left, Crown Prince Haakon; Audun Toven, associate professor of Norwegian; Hans Ola Urstad, Norwegian consul general of San Francisco; and an unidentified bodyguard toured campus with (not pictured) President Loren J. Anderson and MaryAnn Anderson before the Crown Prince gave a brief public address in Red Square.
"Let me express again how grateful I am to all of you for all the good work you are doing to link our countries and to enhance and improve the already outstanding relationship between the United States of America and Norway — particularly for doing this through educating young students," he said.
In keeping with the tradition of visits to campus by Norwegian royalty, one of the Rune Stones on Red Square was inscribed to commemorate his visit. Prince Haakon said that PLU's replicas of traditional Viking rune stones — markers that commemorate important people and events in history — serve as a visual reminder of PLU's Norwegian roots.
The most recent previous royal visit was in 1995 when PLU welcomed the Crown Prince's parents, King Harald and Queen Sonja. This was the Crown Prince's first official visit within the United States since 1996 when he began his education at the University of California at Berkeley. The 25-year-old, who spent several years in the Norwegian military before going to college, is a junior political science major.
Retiree gatherings bring back great memories of PLU
A group of 240 PLU retirees and their spouses gather periodically throughout the year for various events. About 55 retirees attended a Feb. 18 luncheon, where guest speaker Phil Nordquist, professor of history, had the audience laughing continuously at his look back to some of the "strange and wonderful" faculty members at PLU during the '40s and '50s. The April 22 luncheon featured retired faculty member Fred Tobiason, who gave a slide presentation on "Adventures with Wildlife Photography." The next retiree function is a picnic on July 22 at Dave Olson's house on Lake Lawrence. For more information on upcoming events, call Dave Olson, 360-894-2628.
Faculty and students address Kosovo crisis
- Several hundred people attended two public teach-ins on the Kosovo crisis, benefiting the PLU Kosovo Relief Fund. The events included a documentary and history presentation on Kosovo, and faculty presentations and public discussion about the country's current situation. Sponsored by the Integrated Studies Program.
- A public symposium on "The Changing Face of War: Ethics and the Military in a New Age" focused on how the changing face of war — technological, geopolitical, religious, conventional and nuclear — affects and should affect our ethical conceptions of war and how it should be conducted. Active and retired military personnel, as well as students and faculty, discussed the implications of modern warfare.
A total of 308 students participated in J-Term abroad classes this year. In just four years, the courses abroad have grown from three in 1995 to 19 in 1999. Last year, 42 percent of graduates had an international experience either during J-Term or the regular school year.
PLU ranked 106th in YAHOO! Internet Life's annual "100 Most Wired Colleges" survey. This year, as an online-only exclusive, 200 colleges were among the survey, which touts the nation's top Internet-connected schools. Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, was ranked number one.
The President's Council of the Associated New American Colleges (ANAC) selected President Loren J. Anderson as its vice-chair and chair-elect effective immediately. Anderson will begin his position as chair in February 2000. ANAC is a consortium of 22 independent or privately controlled schools across the country that integrate liberal arts and professional studies.|
Myra J. Baughman, professor and interim dean of the School of Education, was appointed to the newly established Washington Advisory Council for Professional Administrator Standards by the State Board of Education. WACPAS was formed to study principalship in Washington state and make recommendations to the State Board of Education standards for principal training. Baughman is one of four members representing colleges and universities.
Lynn Beck, Ph.D., was appointed dean of the PLU School of Education effective Aug. 1. She comes from the University of Alabama, where she is professor and chair of administration and educational leadership in the College of Education. She also serves as interim director for the university's Educational Policy Center. Previously, she held several leadership positions in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at UCLA. Beck earned a doctorate in education and human development from Vanderbilt University, a master's degree in English from the University of Mississippi, a bachelor's degree in English from Belhaven College and an associate's degree in nursing from Belmont College
Bill Becvar and Bill Parker, professors of theatre, each received a Northwest Drama Conference Teaching Recognition Award in February. The award is presented to those who have taught, promoted and sustained theatre arts in higher education for at least 25 years.
Sheri Tonn, dean of information resources, was appointed acting vice president for finance and operations effective May 2. She also continues her role as dean of information resources. Leon "Lenny" Reisburg, professor of education, was named acting associate dean of information resources. Tonn joined the PLU Chemistry faculty in 1979, and was appointed dean of the Division of Natural Sciences in 1993. She has served as dean of information resources since 1997. Charles Upshaw, vice president for finance and operations, resigned his position effective May 31 because of health issues. He will serve as a consultant to the university on the new student residence facility project until the end of 1999.
Fulbright Award Recipients
Thad Barnowe, professor of business, will teach at Poland's Poznan Academy of Economics and Poznan School of Management and Banking October 1999-June 2000. This is Barnowe's third full-year Fulbright Scholar Award. He went to China in 1982 and Norway in 1992.
Charles Bergman, professor of English, will teach at the Universidad LaSalle in Mexico City August 1999-March 2000. He will teach a course on environmental philosophy and ethics and will lead related faculty seminars. Bergman's research will focus on wildlife projects underway in Mexico.
Moshe Rosenfeld, professor of computer science and engineering, will teach a graduate-level class, "The Shannon Capacity of Noisy Channels," in the department of applied mathematics at Charles University in Prague September-December 1999.
PLU has been featured numerous times both in major newspapers and on local TV stations. Major stories ran the gamut from events on the Kosovo crisis, the filming of a movie on campus and the teacher salary issue (all published in The News Tribune) to television news segments featuring President Loren J. Anderson on the ACLU lawsuit, PLU students on the Chernobyl computer virus and a lecture on the "Art of Kissing." PLU's programs, faculty and students continue to be seen and heard throughout the Puget Sound. Following are the number of major PLU stories published in the area's daily newspapers and television stations from February through April 1999.
The (Tacoma) News Tribune — 22
The Seattle Times — 2
KPLU 88.5 FM — 2
KOMO-TV (ABC) — 2
KING-TV (NBC) — 1
KIRO-TV (CBS) — 1
KCPQ-TV (FOX) — 1
Craig Fryhle, associate professor of chemistry, coauthored (with T.W. Graham Solomons) "Organic Chemistry" (John Wiley & Sons, price TBA) in July. The textbook emphasizes the biological, medical and environmental applications of organic chemistry.
Ann Kelleher, professor of political science and dean of Social Sciences, and Laura F. Klein, professor of anthropology, published "Global Perspectives: A Handbook for Understanding Global Issues" (Prentice Hall College Div., $24.35) in October 1998. The book provides a multidisciplinary vocabulary for explaining general issues or trends facing the contemporary world involving cultural diversity, economic development, the natural environment, and international peace and violence.
Barbara Temple Thurston, associate professor of English, published "Nadine Gordimer Revisted," (Twayne Publishers, price TBA) in April. The book, part of Twayne's Author World Series, addresses the major issues that bind Gordimer's novels — race, history, the land, ideology, Africanness, economics, revolution and violence, sexuality and gender, and selfhood. Gordimer, winner of the 1991 Nobel Prize for Literature, is one of Africa's most distinguished writers of novels, shorts stories, essays and book reviews.
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