PHILADELPHIA –- Amy Gutmann, president of the University of Pennsylvania, has been selected by President Obama to chair the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues. As head of the commission, Gutmann, president of Penn since 2004 and a prominent political scientist, will advise the President on a range of bioethical issues.
The commission will work with the goal of identifying and promoting policies and practices to ensure that scientific research, health-care delivery and technological innovation are conducted in an ethically responsible manner.
As Penn's president, Gutmann has been a forceful advocate for access to higher education, for dismantling the boundaries among academic disciplines and for increasing student and faculty engagement with communities both domestically and across the globe.
The official White House announcement of Gutmann’s appointement is at http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/president-obama-establishes-new-presidential-commission-study-bioethical-issues-nam.
September 13, 2009: Amy Gutmann, President, University of Pennsylvania speech during the inauguration of Ronald J. Daniels as the 14th president of The Johns Hopkins University.
Book overview (from Google Books)
"We are all familiar with the image of the immensely clever judge who discerns the best rule of common law for the case at hand. According to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, a judge like this can maneuver through earlier cases to achieve the desired aim--"distinguishing one prior case on his left, straight-arming another one on his right, high-stepping away from another precedent about to tackle him from the rear, until (bravo!) he reaches the goal--good law." But is this common-law mindset, which is appropriate in its place, suitable also in statutory and constitutional interpretation? In a witty and trenchant essay, Justice Scalia answers this question with a resounding negative.
In exploring the neglected art of statutory interpretation, Scalia urges that judges resist the temptation to use legislative intention and legislative history. In his view, it is incompatible with democratic government to allow the meaning of a statute to be determined by what the judges think the lawgivers meant rather than by what the legislature actually promulgated. Eschewing the judicial lawmaking that is the essence of common law, judges should interpret statutes and regulations by focusing on the text itself. Scalia then extends this principle to constitutional law. He proposes that we abandon the notion of an everchanging Constitution and pay attention to the Constitution's original meaning. Although not subscribing to the "strict constructionism" that would prevent applying the Constitution to modern circumstances, Scalia emphatically rejects the idea that judges can properly "smuggle" in new rights or deny old rights by using the Due Process Clause, for instance. In fact, such judicial discretion might lead to the destruction of the Bill of Rights if a majority of the judges ever wished to reach that most undesirable of goals.
This essay is followed by four commentaries by Professors Gordon Wood, Laurence Tribe, Mary Ann Glendon, and Ronald Dworkin, who engage Justice Scalia's ideas about judicial interpretation from varying standpoints."
Book overview (from Google Books)
"Written by one of America's leading political thinkers, this is a book about the good, the bad, and the ugly of identity politics.Amy Gutmann rises above the raging polemics that often characterize discussions of identity groups and offers a fair-minded assessment of the role they play in democracies. She addresses fundamental questions of timeless urgency while keeping in focus their relevance to contemporary debates: Do some identity groups undermine the greater democratic good and thus their own legitimacy in a democratic society? Even if so, how is a democracy to fairly distinguish between groups such as the KKK on the one hand and the NAACP on the other? Should democracies exempt members of some minorities from certain legitimate or widely accepted rules, such as Canada's allowing Sikh members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to wear turbans instead of Stetsons? Do voluntary groups like the Boy Scouts have a right to discriminate on grounds of sexual preference, gender, or race?
Identity-group politics, Gutmann shows, is not aberrant but inescapable in democracies because identity groups represent who people are, not only what they want--and who people are shapes what they demand from democratic politics. Rather than trying to abolish identity politics, Gutmann calls upon us to distinguish between those demands of identity groups that aid and those that impede justice. Her book does justice to identity groups, while recognizing that they cannot be counted upon to do likewise to others.
Clear, engaging, and forcefully argued, Amy Gutmann's Identity in Democracy provides the fractious world of multicultural and identity-group scholarship with a unifying work that will sustain it for years to come."
Book overview (from Google Books)
Faculty from the University of Pennsylvania's School of Arts and Sciences, School of Law and School of Medicine discuss emerging issues, ethics and options related to recent advances in neuroscience.
This is a short article from the New York Times about the student uprisings in Paris during May 1968 and their lasting effects on French culture and psychology. The title alone, “Barricades of May ’68 Still Divide the French” says a lot about the content, namely that the uprisings were not wholly supported by French society, and that there is a distinct split in between how they are remembered in French society; the Right calls them “the events”, while the Left calls it “the movement.” The article cedes that youth revolt was common throughout the West, but that France was unique in its potential to foment a political revolution, with 10 million striking workers. The article notes how the desire behind May ’68 was unfulfilled, as the right is now in power. It quickly summarizes a chronology of the events, namely that the student uprisings spread out from Nanterre University to the elite Sorbonne, and eventually to the workers of the nation. A former participant in the uprisings says, “the revolution was social not political,” and that while students spoke of revolution they never intended to carry it out. The article also lists the social transformations that French culture has undergone since 1968, and claims that the “anti-authoritarians of the time were fighting against a very different society,” in effect disabling the notion of any future social revolution.
The article provides a useful historical context for the ramifications of the uprisings in 1968, as well as a critique of, essentially, the ambiguity of Vigo’s conclusion to “Zéro de Conduite.” If Paris in May 1968 was a realization of a theory of anarchist pedagogy, its final results were disappointing, because the nation now has a conservative government. The end of Jean Vigo’s film offers an apparent victory, but no steps further than that, something that many anarchists love to do, while not realizing the damage to the credibility of their movement. Perhaps it is for this reason that the protestors of Paris spoke often of revolution in romantic, lofty terms such as the surrealist rebellion presented in Vigo’s film, but in actuality, never attempted to complete that vision because the vision itself was incomplete, a simple specter of the meme that revolution had become in the collective consciousness of French society. Regardless, the article is valuable to my thesis because it challenges the apparent victory of subversive creativity over entrenched power structures, because power always adapts, whereas visions of the revolution have remained anachronistic.
full citation: Erlanger, Steven . "Barricades of May ’68 Still Divide the French - New York Times." The New York Times. 30 Apr. 2008. 30 Nov. 2008 <http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/30/world/europe/30france.html?_r=2&oref=slogin>.
At today’s ServiceNation Summit in New York, University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann joined other college and university presidents in committing their institutions to increased national service.
In May 2008, Dr. Amy Gutmann, Penn President, met with students from the Harlem Village Academy to talk about student financial aid and the Penn Compact, Penn's efforts to increase access, integrate knowledge, and engage locally and globally with communit
© 2003 Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning
Fare-Free Public Transit at Universities: An Evaluation
Florida State University
Daniel Baldwin Hess
University of Buffalo
Universities and public transit agencies in the United States have together invented an arrangement—called Unlimited Ac-cess—that provides fare-free transit ser-vice for all students (and, on some campuses, faculty and staff as well). Unlimited Access is not free transit but is instead a new way to pay for it. The university pays the transit agency for all rides taken by eligible members of the campus community.
This article evaluates the results of the Un-limited Access program at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Bus ridership for commuting to campus in-creased by 56 percent during BruinGO's first year, and solo driving fell by 20 per-cent. Because these startling results were achieved in a city famous for its addiction to cars, they suggest that Unlimited Access can succeed almost anywhere.