Willamette University

Tidbits & Briefs

Willamette Announces 2010–11 Atkinson Lecture Series

Willamette will host two extraordinary journalists during its 2010–11 Atkinson Lecture Series: David Rohde, Pulitzer Prizewinning investigative reporter for The New York Times; and David Brooks, acclaimed conservative columnist for The New York Times and commentator on PBS NewsHour

David Rohde

Fall 2010: David Rohde

On Nov. 2, Rohde will share the compelling story of his capture and detention in Afghanistan. For seven months, Rohde witnessed a sprawling Taliban mini-state that brainwashed young Afghan and Pakistani suicide bombers, plotted terrorist attacks and helped shelter Osama bin Laden — with tacit support from Pakistan’s military intelligence service.

Prior to taking leave to write a book, Rohde was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize for coverage of Afghanistan and Pakistan. He has worked at The New York Times since 1996, first as a reporter for the metro desk and then as cochief of the South Asia Bureau. His stories for The Christian Science Monitor on the mass execution of 7,000 Bosnian Muslims won the Pulitzer Prize in 1996.

David Brooks

Spring 2011: David Brooks

On Feb. 17, Willamette will host acclaimed writer David Brooks, whose opinion pieces in The New York Times focus on cultural and political issues. Spurred by his interest in human behavior, he is writing a book about neuroscience, due out in 2011.

Brooks has written an op-ed column in The New York Times since 1993 and is a weekly commentator on PBS NewsHour. He has held editorial positions with The Wall Street Journal, The Weekly Standard, Newsweek and The Atlantic Monthly. Brooks has also contributed to many other publications and broadcasts, including The New Yorker, The Washington Post, and Forbes.

The Atkinson Lecture Series was established through a generous endowed gift from the Atkinson family with the purpose of continuously enhancing intellectual life at Willamette.

Atkinson Graduate School of Management Retains Dual AccreditationAtkinson Graduate School of Management Retains Dual Accreditation

Atkinson Graduate School of Management Retains Dual Accreditation

Atkinson Graduate School of Management (AGSM) remains one of only two programs in the world to be dually accredited for both business (through AAC SB International) and public administration (through NA SPAA). Both accreditation groups reviewed and renewed AGSM this year.

Achieving accreditation is a process of rigorous internal review, evaluation and adjustment and can take several years to complete. For one of the accreditation programs, AGSM developed and implemented a plan to meet 21 standards, ecompassing a high-quality teaching environment, a commitment to continuous improvement, and curricula responsive to the needs of business.

The College of Law

College of Law Jumps in Rankings

The College of Law climbed 17 spots in the latest edition of U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings of the nation’s law schools.

Additionally, the college was ranked 58th on The National Jurist’s list of “Best Value Law Schools,” defined as schools that “carry a low price tag and are able to prepare their students incredibly well for today’s competitive job market.” It was 83rd in per-capita faculty publications in the “top 50” journals and 89th in the percentage of graduates included in the prestigious “Super Lawyers” list.

The Graduate School of Education (GSE)

Graduate School of Education Gains Accreditation

The Graduate School of Education (GSE) received final word during the spring semester of its accreditation by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and the Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission.

Accreditation formalizes and reinforces the GSE’s existing role among peer institutions for preparting local and national educators.

In addition, the GSE continues a programmatic expansion that includes a new environmental literacy seminar series, as well as online English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and reading endorsement programs.

Marlene Moore

Marlene Moore Begins as CLA Dean, Facilitates New Education Network

Marlene Moore has stepped in as the new dean for the College of Liberal Arts, replacing Interim Dean David Douglass, who has moved across campus to serve as dean of campus life.

Moore, who comes to Willamette from the University of Portland, has already brought with her a $50,000 National Science Foundation grant that will help build a network among Oregon colleges to improve undergraduate biology education. The grant will form the Willamette Valley Biological Education Network, which is to be coordinated by Willamette biology Professor Barbara Stebbins-Boaz and will include faculty from Lewis & Clark College, Linfield College, Pacific University, Western Oregon University, Mt. Hood Community College and the University of Portland.

Moore’s efforts stem from a strong belief in collaborative thinking. “One of the things I see at Willamette is strength in interdisciplinarity, and in people working together across fields. That’s a tremendous asset that many universities, small and large, have not managed.”

Moore served as the dean of the University of Portland’s College of Arts and Sciences; chair of the college’s science division; and scientist-in-residence at Project Kaleidoscope, a national alliance for supporting undergraduate science, math and engineering programs. Her academic background includes a PhD from Baylor College of Medicine and a liberal arts degree from the University of St. Thomas.

Professor Seth Cotlar

Liberal Arts Research Collaborative Takes Shape

Led in its inaugural year by history Professor Seth Cotlar, the Liberal Arts Research Collaborative (LARC) is poised to begin its first round of shared research programs among students and faculty.

Among the central ideas guiding the program is the notion that interdepartmental work on shared topics benefits all members involved in the conversation.

“Let’s say you’re working on contemporary water issues,” says Dean of Campus Life David Douglass, who has been instrumental in the program’s development. “Put an artist, a biologist and an economist in the same room, and collectively they will generate a broader and more integrated perspective on the subject than would have been possible had they worked in isolation.

“This integrated perspective, in turn, fosters appreciation both for the complexity of the subject and diverse methods of inquiry, and it generates superior solutions to problems. These results would be unobtainable if students and faculty remained in their disciplinary silos.”

To increase collaboration among institutions, LARC will also allow Willamette to create the Northwest Conference for Collaborative Research, a yearly gathering for undergraduates and faculty to present their research. A new online, peer-reviewed student research journal will strengthen the student experience.

The proposal-writing and selection process will go through this academic year, and research will begin next summer.

Denise Callahan

By the Numbers

Admission’s Roving Road Trip

Each summer, members of the CLA Office of Admission conduct an educational trip throughout the West along with a handful of their Northwest peers. The tour is organized through the Pacific Northwest Colleges Consortium, which includes Lewis & Clark College, the University of Puget Sound, Reed College, Whitman College, and Willamette University.

Much of the following is from the slides used to introduce Willamette to prospective students and families. How much did you know?

Willamette overview

  • Number of undergraduates (2010): 1,997 53 percent women, 47 percent men
  • States represented: 47
  • Countries represented: 27
  • International students: 7 percent
  • Students who live on campus: 73 percent


  • Student/faculty ratio: 10:1
  • Graduation rate (in four years): 79 percent
  • Retention (freshman to sophomore): 88 percent
  • Notable student academic awards (last 10 years)
    • Fulbright: 28
    • Goldwater: 8
    • National Science Foundation: 11
    • Truman: 9
    • Udall: 10
    • Watson: 6
    • NCAA postgraduate scholarships: 8
  • Peace Corps national ranking: 12
  • International Study
    • Study abroad sites available: 45
    • Number of Willamette-sponsored programs: 54
    • Class of 2010 graduates who earned credit abroad: 55 percent


  • Varsity (NCAA) programs: 20 (10 men, 10 women; 31 percent participation)
  • Club teams available: 34
  • Intramural participation (by graduation): 61 percent
  • Campus recreation programming participation by graduation: 93 percent

Incoming Class of 2014

  • Number of first-year students: 476
  • Median SAT: 1870
  • Median ACT Composite score: 28
  • Median GPA: 3.79 on a 4.0 scale
  • Students from historically underrepresented groups: 23 percent

Commencement Recap Classes of 2010

  • College of Liberal Arts: 410 bachelor’s degrees (top five majors: economics, history, psychology, biology and sociology)
  • College of Law: 138 JD and LLM degrees
  • Atkinson Graduate School of Management: 118 MBA degrees
  • Graduate School of Education: 96 MAT and MEd degrees

Peabody Award-winning writer Scott Simon delivered the CLA commencement address and received an honorary doctorate in humane letters. Simon is a reporter for the BBC and host of National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition Saturday.

The College of Law’s commencement speaker was the Honorable Richard A. Paez, a circuit judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals who is a member of the court’s Executive Committee and former chair of the Ninth Circuit’s Court-Council Committee on Bankruptcy Appointments. Atkinson Graduate School of Management welcomed Alfred William “Bill” Sweet, a retired bank executive and distinguished public servant, and the Graduate School of Education heard from Christine Sleeter ‘70, a professor emerita at California State University Monterey Bay who conducted extensive research on anti-racist multicultural education and multicultural teacher education.


The Sports Page

Football Begins Season with Number 18 National Ranking

The Bearcat football team arrived on campus in early August ranked 18th in the country for NCA Division II, according to the D3football. com Top 25 poll. The Bearcats posted an 8-2 record last year and ended 2009 ranked 24th in the same poll.

Another top ranking, the Lindy’s college football guide, has Willamette at number 17.

The 2010 season begins Sept. 4 with a visit to the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Home play starts with a matchup with Southern Oregon University Sept. 18, and the first conference game will be at rival Linfield College Oct. 2.

For news and schedules for all of Willamette’s fall sports, visit willamette.edu/athletics.

Athletics Reunions Approach

In conjunction with Reunion Weekend 2010 (Sept. 24–26—see p. 30), several athletics teams are organizing reunion events this fall:

  • Men’s rugby “Old Boys” match: alumni vs. current team Coach: Mike Scott (mjspdx@aol.com)
  • Baseball reunion and alumni game: alumni vs. current team Coach: Aaron Swick (aswick@willamette.edu or 503-370-6011)
  • Men’s basketball reunion (years 1974–77) Coach: Kip Ioane (kioane@willamette.edu or 503-370-6063)
  • Men’s and women’s tennis reunion (to take place Oct. 2010) Coach: Becky Roberts (rbrobert@willamette.edu or 503-370-6804)

Those interested should contact the coaches and check out the Reunion Weekend 2010 schedule of events, available at the Office of Alumni Relations reunion website: willamette.edu/alumni/reunion.

From the Collegian

Quotes reprinted from the May 2010 graduation issue.

“Here’s my advice as we head on out: heads up, shoulders back, eyes wide open. See everything: leaves on trees, the cornice on the building at the corner, corruption in high places. Serve the community somehow, each month. Act kindly so as to become kind through practice. At all costs, avoid saying ‘in regards to.’ Develop skills in irony and humor. Live with enthusiasm.”

— Roger Hull, professor emeritus of art history

Non nobis solum nati sumus. Big words for such a small school, right? Well, not when you look around, at least not to me... Almost every student is doing something each day that affects someone besides themselves in a positive way... The truth of the matter is that if college teaches you nothing else, it should at least leave you with the understanding that you are not the center of the universe.”

— Behzod Sirjani ‘10, The Collegian feature editor

“Even though I feel like I’m leaving here more confused and with crazier ideas about the future than when I started, I’m still very happy to have called WU home these past four years. I’ve loved all the people I’ve met, professors who’ve taught me and activities I’ve gotten involved in. It’s been a great ride. And I’m glad I can say, with confidence, bring on the real world!”

— Caitlin Rathe ‘10

“Be sober and remember to distrust; these are the limbs of the senses.”

— Ortwin Knorr, professor of classics, citing Greek writer Epicharmus of Kos

Read The Collegian online at willamettecollegian.com.