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. Social Security : President Clinton’s proposal in his State of the Union address to transfer general revenues to Social Security is a “great idea, and an idea a long time coming,” says Teresa Ghilarducci , associate professor of economics at Notre Dame. “Transferring the surplus avoids raising payroll taxes or cutting benefits. Unfortunately, the proposal to invest some of the surplus in the stock market, though it’s a side issue, has grabbed too much attention. The government already puts plenty of money in the stock market ? trillions of dollars in state, local and federal government employee pension plans, for example, as well as $20 billion from the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation ? and the rates of return are competitive. We also can get high rates by putting the surplus funds in higher yielding government bonds if the stock market idea bothers people. Overall, though, let’s not lose sight of the main step Clinton has taken. The president is exactly on target; Medicare and Social Security need extra money and we have it. There is no better use of the surplus.” Professor Ghilarducci can be reached for further comment at *(219)-631-7581 or at

  • p. Right to die : A decade of right-to-die litigation has taught that there is a “significant difference between the withdrawal of medical care that is essential to a person’s survival and the prescription of a lethal dose of medicine where the prescriber expects the patient to use the medicine to cause death,” says John Robinson , associate professor of law at Notre Dame. “Americans may be presumed to have a constitutional right to the withdrawal of necessary medical care, but there is no such right to a prescription of lethal doses.” Robinson adds that it would be “better for us as a political community to work out end-of-life rules in our legislatures, rather than in the courts.” Professor Robinson can be reached at *(219)-631-6980 or at
  • p. Business ethics : Business schools have added ethics courses to their curricula in direct response to a growing emphasis on integrity in corporate America, says Carolyn Woo , Martin J. Gillen Dean of the College of Business Administration at Notre Dame, in an interview with Business Week. “If you look at any surveys of leadership, they all will ask what the most important attributes of a leader are,” Woo says. "Almost 75 percent to 85 percent of the respondents will cite integrity as number one. The number two attribute tends to be vision, which is about 10 percentage points lower. But all of the leadership polls identify integrity as the major issue. We also look at polls of employers who recruit MBAs at the entry levels. And when you ask them what the important attributes of a leader are, they also cite integrity as a very important issue. So corporate America itself has increased its own understanding of the importance of ethics. The increase in ethics content is a combination of business schools being responsive to their Christians in the academy: Notre Dame historian James Turner writes in Commonweal magazine that Christians in higher education are beginning to solidify and publicize the role religious convictions play in their intellectual lives. While remaining faithful to their scholarly activities, these Christians “have helped to nurture in the academy a heightened sensitivity to Christian faith as a factor important in its own right,” writes Turner, director of Notre Dame’s Erasmus Institute. “They have hardly conquered the high citadels of academe, and they have a long way to go before becoming anything like a major presence in the universities, but they have made their presence felt.” Professor Turner can be reached for additional comment at *(219)-631-9346 or at
  • p. United Nations : Three faculty fellows in Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies contributed to the recently published book, “The Future of the United Nations System: Potential for the Twenty-first Century.” Raimo Vayrynen , professor of government and international studies, authored a chapter titled, “Enforcement and Humanitarian Intervention: Two Faces of Collective Actions by the United Nations.” Robert Johansen , acting director of the institute and professor of government and international studies, contributed a paper on “Enhancing United Nations Peacekeeping.” George Lopez , professor of government and international studies, examines human rights issues in a chapter titled, “Moving Norms to Political Reality: Institutionalizing Human Rights Standards through the United Nations System.” A visiting faculty fellow, Patricia Mische , president of Global Education Associates, also contributed with an article on “Ecological Security and the U.N. System.” For more information, contact the Kroc Institute at (219) 631-6970 .p. Notre Dame News : Award-winning author and documentary film producer Paul Wilkes has been appointed Visiting W. Harold and Martha Welch Professor of American Studies for the 1999 spring semester … Two professors in the Program of Liberal Studies, F. Clark Power and Stephen Fallon , have developed an innovative course on the Great Books exclusively for guests of the Center for the Homeless in South Bend. The participants receive college credits and attend Notre Dame at no charge … The University will dedicate its new academic center on Trafalgar Square in London Feb. 6 with a daylong series of events featuring a Mass at Westminster Cathedral and a dedication address by George Basil Cardinal Hume … Alexander Blachly , associate professor of music at Notre Dame and founding director of the internationally acclaimed New York ensemble Pomerium, has been nominated for a Grammy award for small ensemble for the groups album, “Creator of the Stars” … The motion picture, “Message in a Bottle,” based on the best-selling novel by 1988 Notre Dame graduate Nicholas Sparks , opens Feb. 12. It stars Kevin Costner, Robin Wright Penn and Paul Newman

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