Notre Dame ReSources

Author: Dennis Brown

*The following Notre Dame faculty are available for additional comment on these people and events in the news:

  • p. Germany : Newly elected German leader Gerhard Schroder’s victory over Chancellor Helmut Kohl was impressive, but a Notre Dame political scientist finds the success of the formerly communist Party of Democratic Socialism even more notable. “By far the most surprising development is the incredible success of the Party of Democratic Socialism, which received enough voter support in the former East Germany to exceed the 5-percent hurdle for gaining direct representation in Parliament,” says A. James McAdams , chair and professor of government and international studies. “This testifies to the fact that nearly a decade after the Wall and the reunification of the nation, tensions between the two parts of formerly divided Germany continue, and many eastern Germans still distrust the political representation they receive in Bonn.” *Contact: Dennis Brown, 219-631-7367;
  • p. Peace talks : The recent progress in talks between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat are part of what “truly has been a protracted negotiating process, often moving by millimeters at a time,” says Alan Dowty , professor of government and international studies at Notre Dame. "There have been signs for some time that a deal could be closed immediately, given the small gap remaining, so it would be foolhardy to make precise predictions. In any event, agreement on this stage of redeployment doesn’t begin to touch the basic issues that remain, and only a true fantasist imagines that these issues will be settled before the deadline of next May 4. *Contact: Dennis Brown, 219-631-7367;
  • p. Mark McGwire : Because their personal behavior sometimes creates negative images, professional athletes are an endorsement risk for many companies. But Michael Etzel , professor of marketing at Notre Dame, says baseball home run king Mark McGwire looks like a good bet. “I would expect McGwire to receive an unlimited number of endorsement offers for two reasons,” Etzel says. “First, he has a very clean image, which he has managed extremely well. Second, he has achieved icon status, so even if he is a less than desirable person, the media is unlikely to attack him. His challenges will be to maintain his credibility by being selective and to manage his time to protect his sanity.” *Contact: Dennis Brown, 219-631-7367;
  • p. Asian economy : Notre Dame economist Kwan S. Kim says too much blame for the Asian financial crisis has been directed toward the role of global capital. “While admitting the reality that small developing nations are vulnerable to the volatile forces of global capital, I would argue that the root cause of the crisis rests essentially with the recipient countries,” says Kim, professor of economics and a faculty fellow in Notre Dame’s Kellogg Institute for International Studies. “In an age of global capitalism, the borrowers are as much responsible as hedge-funds owners for appreciating the nature of new global forces. In the absence of new international institutions that can discipline global capital, the developing countries owe it to themselves to take proper measures for self defense.” *Contact: Dennis Brown, 219-631-7367;
  • p. Clinton I : Indicting President Clinton for perjury and negotiating a plea agreement that does not involve prison time may well be the best way out of the current constitutional crisis, says Douglas Kmiec , professor of law at Notre Dame. “Indictment is the middle course between impeachment and nothing,” says Kmiec in an op-ed for the Chicago Tribune. “Imprisonment for civil perjury is highly unlikely for anyone, and Ken Starr’s obstruction and other claims remain murky as criminal matters, even if they are commonsensical. So having the president voluntarily submit to the prescribed lesser penalty of fine or probation is a genuine compromise and a responsible way out of this crisis. It also would underscore that in our representative democracy, ‘law remains king,’ and any president acknowledging that, even an indictable and only grudgingly repentant one, does us a service.” *Contact: Dennis Brown, 219-631-7367;
  • p. Stock market : A Notre Dame economist says current volatility indicates that “clearly the market is worried about the world banking system and is reacting to that concern.” John Affleck-Graves , chair and professor of finance and business economics, adds: “The Russian ruble is such a small contributor to our economy that it alone can’t be responsible. Latin America is a greater concern.” *Contact: Dennis Brown, 219-631-7367;
  • p. Teaching methods: Barbara E. Walvoord , director of the Kaneb Center for Teaching and Learning at Notre Dame, has complied a list of 10 teaching strategies for college and university faculty.1. Have students write about and discuss what they are learning.
    2. Encourage faculty-student contact, in and out of class.
    3. Get students working with one another on substantive tasks, in and out of class.
    4. Give prompt and frequent feedback to students about their progress.
    5. Communicate high expectations.
    6. Make standards and grading criteria explicit.
    7. Help students achieve those expectations and criteria.
    8. Respect diverse talents and ways of learning.
    9. Use problems, questions or issues ? not merely content coverage ? as points of entry into the subject and as sources of motivation for sustained inquiry.
    10. Make courses assignment-centered, rather than merely test-and lecture-centered, then focus on helping students successfully complete the assignments.

Iraq : The international sanctions policy against Iraq could have been “managed more effectively and humanely,” but it does not constitute a case of “genocide of Iraqis” as some in the Catholic peace movement have suggested, writes George Lopez , professor of government at Notre Dame, in the Sept. 11 issue of Commonweal. “The impact of the sanctions may be either immoral or moral,” Lopez writes, “but judgments regarding their effect on innocent people must be assessed clearly by examining the response of the sanctioned country’s leader and in light of the international relief effort mobilized on behalf of the innocent. In the case of Iraq, the moral ground continues to rest with sanctions.” *Contact: Dennis Brown, 219-631-7367;

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