Pacheco postpones journalism decision

Compiled by Christina Woo

Arizona Summer Wildcat

The UA journalism department will have to wait another six to nine months before a decision is made regarding the plan to phase out the department by 1998.

President Manuel T. Pacheco released a memo last week stating that a commission would be formed to review recommendations that would either require keeping the department open and restructuring it or to phase it out in the near future.

"Nothing that we do now could not be done in six to nine months," Pacheco wrote. "I have elected to defer my decision."

Pacheco also wrote, "that there is nothing in the current situation that should discourage students from declaring a major in journalism."

Journalism faculty members told the {Arizona Daily Star} last week that they were "dismayed" by the decision and that further waiting only hurts the department more. The {Star} reported that the department, in the current situation, cannot replace faculty that leave and that student enrollment in the department is expected to dwindle.

The journalism department as well as the statistics and physical education programs have been under review for over a year. Backing Pacheco and Provost Paul Sypherd's recommendation, the Arizona Board of Regents voted to close statistics and physical education in late May.

Biology apprentices departing

High School students from around the state will finish their five-week apprenticeship at the UA at a ceremony tomorrow, July 6, at 2:30 p.m. in the college of Pharmacy, Room 325. The students, who will be high school seniors this fall, have been working with scientists on biology research. The High School Biology Research Apprentice Program, now in its seventh year, is funded by Arizona's Flinn Foundation and the National Institutes of Health, and was begun with a grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Foundation.

Arizona Rep. Jim Kolbe will address the students at the ceremony, which will include presentation by the students of their research projects. Three of the 10 students, Velvet Li, Laura Larson and Laura Moore, are from Tucson; other come from as far away as Page, Tuba City and Yuma.

Law prof helps write Senate bill

A UA law professor has written the basis for federal legislation that would introduce some common sense to class action lawsuits. In fact, the proposal by Professor Elliott Weiss and his colleague, John Beckerman, is due to be published by the Yale Law Journal, but is also part of a bill currently on the floor of the U.S. Senate.

Weiss and Beckerman's proposal addresses a major problem in class action litigation who represents claimants with the most at stake in lawsuits, for plaintiffs' attorneys hoping to earn contingency fees that currently average more than $2 million. Once the lawsuits are filed, the plaintiffs' attorneys control them.

Weiss and Beckerman found that, contrary to common belief, class action suits are usually brought by large institutional investors, such as mutual funds, and not the thousands of investors with small claims. Currently, courts usually appoint the first attorney to file a claim as lead counsel for the class action. That creates an incentive for lawyers to act fast and file first.

The problem is that the most diligent and best-prepared lawyers who have taken the time to study the case are not always the first in line to file a claim. Weiss and Beckerman instead propose that the courts make clear they will appoint as lead counsel the lawyer selected by the class member with the largest economic interest. Their proposal has been drafted into Senate Bill 240, the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.

Four hundred women in Tucson will take part over a five-year period in the most extensive study to date to examine how exercise and estrogen may redue a woman's risk of osteoporosis.

The Bone, Estrogen, Strength Training (BEST) study, which is funded by the National Institutes of Health, is being conducted by the University of Arizona.

The BEST study is scheduled to begin testing the first group postmenopausal women between the ages of 46 and 65 this summer. Women in that age group who are interested in participating in the study and are 3 to 10 years postmenopausal, are encouraged to contact Michele Graves at 621-8523 in the Department of Exercise and Sports Sciences.

Engineering fair coming to town

The 47th International Science and Engineering Fair comes to Tucson next May, hosted by the UA and Biosphere II. More than 1,000 of the brightest young scientific minds from all over the world will be competing for nearly $1 million in prizes, educational junkets and scholarships. The event should bring international recognition and close to $2 million in tourism revenue. The UA, Biosphere II and a host committee of local science teachers and volunteers will manage the event.

Biosphere II, the environmental research project near Oracle, will host opening ceremonies on May 7, 1996, featuring a "Cinco de Mayo" theme to introduce participants to the rich cultural heritage of the Southwest.

Judges for the fair will include faculty and researchers from the UA, Arizona State University, Biosphere II, Hughes, IBM, Intel and other local high-tech firms, says organizer Gil McLaughlin, assistant director of the UA Flandrau Science Center and chairman of the host committee. Call McLaughlin at (520), 621-4515, or by fax at (520) 626-2056, or via e-mail at

Professor, artist honored

The Western States Arts Federation has awarded $5,000 to Aurore M. Chabot, an associate professor of art at the UA, one of 30 artists who have received the 1995 WESTAF/National Endowment for the Arts (Regional Fellowships for Visual Arts. The awards are for achievement in crafts, photography and sculpture. WESTAF is the largest of the nation's seven regional arts organizations, serving 12 states. Chabot, who makes ceramics, has samples of her work available to view on-line through the UA Art Department's home page. Call Chabot at 621-7570 for more information.

Former optics head to lecture

Peter Franken, professor of optical sciences and physics, will receive the Klopsteg Memorial Lecture Award for 1995, given by the American Association of Physics Teachers, on August 10 at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. The lectureship includes a $2,000 honorarium. Franken, who headed the UA Optical Sciences Center from 1973 to 1983, will lecture on "Municipal Waste, Recycling and Nuclear Garbage." Call Franken at 621-4185 for more information.

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