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WHAT’S INSIDE F O R P E O P L E W H O M A K E G R E AT T H I N G S H A P P E N AT U T

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SEPTEMBER 2009

McCombs’ Michael Clement E&Y award recipient

p3 ut Law Professor Charles silver Recognized for research and work

p4 raymond orbach

p6 McCombs’ ethan burris Explores speaking truth to power

p10 ut Closing gender equity gap College of Liberal Arts hires 23 new female faculty members

Photos Pete Smith

New Energy Institute’s director

the big read: edgar Allan Campus Club closes and reopens as University Club in AT&T Center Poe By Ashley Moreno

Thomas F. Staley, Harry Ransom Center Director

By Elena Watts

I

n spite of his ubiquity in modern literary circles, Edgar Allan Poe, born less than a month before Abraham Lincoln in 1809, died penniless and largely unappreciated in 1849, according to Charles Brower’s introduction in “Great Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe.” On the 200th anniversary of Poe’s birth, UT’s Harry Ransom Center in conjunction with The Big Read, a project sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts, in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services, celebrates Poe’s work with an exhibition entitled “From Out That Shadow: The Life and Legacy of Edgar Allan Poe.” It opens Sept. 8 followed by a month-long series of literary events.

William Powers, University of Texas at Austin President

“With his C. Auguste Dupin stories, ‘The Murders in the Rue Morgue,’ ‘The Mystery of Marie Rogêt,’ and ‘The Purloined Letter,’ he [Poe] more or less invented the detective fiction genre,” said Coleman Hutchison, UT English professor and Poe expert, “a genre that would later give us Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot and Philip Marlowe, among others.” The Mystery Writers of America named their annual awards the “Edgars,” he added. “We knew that the Poe exhibition was coming up, and at the same time The Big Read had just added Edgar Allan Poe’s short stories and poems to their list of possible books for the program,” said Danielle Brune Sigler, curator of academic programs for the Harry Ransom Center. “And so it just seemed

Elizabeth Richmond-Garza, University of Texas English Professor

to be a wonderful fit, so we applied for the grant in hopes that we could host The Big Read in conjunction with the exhibition and we received it.” According to the National Endowment for the Arts’ Web site, http://nea. gov, the impetus for The Big Read was a 2004 study that found literary reading in dramatic decline. “Reading at Risk: A Survey of Literary Reading in America” reported a 10 percent decline in literary readers from 1982 to 2002, representing 20 million potential readers. The overall rate of decline accelerated from five to 14 percent during that time. “This report documents a national crisis,” said then-endowment Chairman Dana Gioia. “The Big Read was created by Dana Gioia,” Sigler said. “He was very concontinued page 8


campus • september 2009

McCombs Professor Receives E&Y Award Clement one of only five honored By Kira Taniguchi

M

ichael Clement first came to the University of Texas as a professor of accounting at the McCombs School of Business in 1997. This fall, his notable work at the University to promote inclusiveness in the workforce made him a recipient of the Ernst & Young Inclusive Excellence Award for Accounting and Business School Faculty. Clement took a self-professed scenic route to becoming a professor. Despite the fact that his father was a business school professor, Clement decided he wanted to try a different career path. “My dad always told me I would enjoy being a professor,” Clement said. “So I thought I had to go do something else.” Clement’s much-lauded academic and professional credentials have led him on a path through various jobs across the country. Graduating magna cum

Photo courtesy of Ernst & Young

page 2 • our

laude, he earned his undergraduate degree in accounting from Baruch College in 1980. After a few short years as a senior assistant accountant with Deloitte Haskins & Sells, Clement was a manager at Citicorp until 1986. When it was time to return to the classroom, he earned his master’s in finance from the University of Chicago. In 1988, Clement returned to Citicorp as vice president of capital planning and analysis. His doctorate in accounting from Stanford University followed in 1997. “Michael was an outstanding student in the doctoral program at the Stanford Graduate School of Business [GSB],” said Joanne Martin, former director of the doctoral program at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. “It was such a tough place to be outstanding and he managed it, with grace, good values and a constant concern for the well-being of others and the in-

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tegrity and excellence of the program.” Clement reflected on the impact his career was having in his life, and decided to take the plunge into teaching as an assistant professor of accounting at the University of Texas at Austin in 1997. “My dad seemed like he enjoyed his job more than I was enjoying mine,” Clement said. “I thought I might enjoy being a professor.” He left the classroom in 2002 to pursue a job with Goldman Sachs & Co., where he became vice president of global investment research. In 2004, Clement returned to the University for good as associate professor of accounting. The McCombs School of Business has been his home ever since. “I think being a professor is the best job I ever had,” he said. “I never had a job this long, that I still liked and wanted to do. I enjoyed all my jobs, but this is

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the best one.” At the beginning of August, the American Accounting Association’s annual meeting was held in New York City, and Clement’s dedication to inclusiveness both in the classroom and at the University paid off. At the meeting, Ernst & Young announced that Clement was one of five winners of the first annual Ernst & Young Inclusive Excellence Awards for Accounting and Business School Faculty. E&Y UT Campus Recruiter Lauren Sheaks said Clement received 25 nominations from fellow faculty, former students and other UT alumni. She was touched by the accolades that poured in about Clement’s passion and dedication to his students. “Through Michael’s impact on students as a role-model, and his commitment to diversity and inclusion through selfless work, he has demonstrated far more than a distinguished faculty member

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in the classroom,” Sheaks said. Award recipients were selected from more than 250 nominations based on their contribution to diversity and inclusiveness in the classroom. When Clement received the announcement about nominations for the award, he said his colleagues encouraged him to think of people who would nominate him. Clement mentored UT alumnus Oselaka Albert Okagbue who earned his master’s degree from UT. Clement immediately reached out to Okagbue when he arrived at the University in 2007 because he was one of only two African American students in the MPA program. A couple years later, Okagbue nominated Clement for the award. “I believe he [Clement] deserves this honor because of the time he takes to nurture students like me whom he could so easily ignore,” Okagbue wrote in the nomination letter. “As a mentor, Continued page 11

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our campus • september 2009 • page 3

UT Law Professor Charles Silver Recognized

Recipient of Robert B. McKay Law Professor Award combines academic research, practical work By Emily Pennington

I

n 1972, the bloodiest prison uprising in American history took place at Attica Correctional Facility in New York, leaving 32 inmates and 10 hostages dead. In the wake of this event Robert B. McKay, attorney and dean of NYU’s School of Law, rose to prominence as chair of the special commission created to investigate the role of the state in this event. In addition to serving on numerous commissions and being responsible for the law school’s rise in prestige, McKay had an award posthumously named in his honor. Today, the Robert B. McKay Law Professor Award is traditionally given to professors “who have shown commitment to the advancement of justice, scholarship and the legal profession, demonstrated by outstanding contributions to the fields of tort and insurance law,” according to the American Bar Association. This year, that professor is Charles Silver, who is also the ninth recipient of the last 23 to have ties to The University of Texas. “It’s kind of astonishing how we’ve dominated,” Silver said. University of Texas President William Powers said most law professors are unlike Silver because they lean toward either academic research or practical work for the bar. “Charles is the ideal professor; he is doing good work that brings both the academic and the professional approach together,” Powers said. Surprised by his own achievement Silver said, “The prior recipients are pretty prestigious. To be in the same crowd with these people, that’s so exciting.” Among this crowd of former recipients are former UT School of Law Deans W. Page Keeton and William Powers Jr., Judge

Robert E. Keeton and Charles Alan Wright, who Silver said is possibly one of the most cited law professors in history. “Charles richly deserves this honor for his dedication to justice and scholarship in the legal profession, displayed not only by his unwavering service in higher education, but also by his valuable involvement with the TIPS Task Force on the Contingent Fee,” said Tim Bouch, the immediate past chair of the American Bar Association’s Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section in a press release. In his service to higher education, Silver currently holds the Roy W. and Eugenia C. McDonald Endowed Chair in the UT School of Law, where he has been teaching courses on civil procedures and professional responsibilities to law students for 22 years. Although he declined to teach his professional responsibilities course this semester, he thoroughly enjoys teaching first-year law students civil procedure. “Oh it’s fun, first-years are excited, nervous and alive,” Silver said. “You never have to worry about them not being prepared for class.” Silver says with his teaching method there is “no hide the ball.” “The first year the students really need to learn to think about legal problems in a very structured and detailed way because they’re just not used to doing that,” Silver said. He believes this goal can be accomplished by laying everything out in great detail, going slowly and discussing the subject in depth. “I think his politics tend to make him more interesting than most professors,” said former student and second-year law student, Elliot Becker. Becker described Silver as “someone who cares about society at large, but is very wary of

power being accumulated in the hands of the government or the government making decisions for people.” “I don’t think I try to exclude my political beliefs from class, but I also don’t forcibly introduce them,” Silver said. He said the two topics are one in the same because politics addresses the relationship between freedom and liberty, and the fundamental job of lawyers is to maintain a successful balance between those two entities. “So it just naturally comes up,” Silver said. Silver’s own work lies at the intersection of three fields of study: civil procedure, tort law, which deals with accidents and un-contracted costs, and professional responsibilities of lawyers. “I don’t think you can understand what happens in litigation by looking at any single area,” Silver said. “Instead you have to really have a variety of different kinds of knowledge and you have to appreciate how some kinds of forces interact with others.” In addition to his studies in these three areas, Silver has also done graduate work in political science. He originally set out to become a political science professor, but found in graduate school that he was more interested in legal problems and decided to pursue his law degree. “Law is a social product, it’s a tool—it’s not just something that exists in the abstract,” he said. “We’re surrounded by law because we need law. We have an incredible variety of needs for law that arise from human social and economic interactions.” As a UT law school professor, Silver has published 62 articles in peer review journals. Prior recipient of the Robert B. McKay Award, Ellen Pryor, who is currently a professor at Southern Methodist University, said Silver’s work can be identified by a few qualities.

“He always asks very basic, foundational questions,” Pryor said. “Then he brings to bear on these questions the full richness of modern agency theory and economic theory, without letting the theoretical model itself drive the analysis.” Silver said one of the most noticeable changes in the UT School of Law is that the balance between faculty devoted to writing and research and faculty focused on clinical education has shifted in favor of research. Silver first came to UT with a wave of faculty who were recruited based on their publication and interdisciplinary education track records. Although he said that was unusual at the time, it is common to have entry-level candidates with book manuscripts today. In the future, Silver will keep

his shoulder to the wheel and continue writing and researching. He is currently working on a book project with his research group that covers medical malpractice litigation in Texas. Together, the group produced many studies on the subject, which Silver claims have lain to rest a number of mistaken beliefs and effectively end much of the debate on the subject. It will move the debate beyond useless finger pointing, hopes Silver, and “toward thinking about concrete ways of actually improving health care.” While Silver has experienced immense success in his career, he said his biggest accomplishment is “getting my daughter through adolescence.”

Photo courtesy Charles Silver


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campus • september 2009

University Hires Distinguished Expert to Head Energy Institute

Orbach brings experience, contacts from U.S. Department of Energy By Bryan Brah

“W

hat starts here changes the world.â€? The slogan adorning University of Texas’ T-shirts, stationery and Web sites for the past few years has become almost clichĂŠ. Now, a physicist fresh off an appointment with the Department of Energy intends to make good on this promise. On Aug. 1, Raymond Orbach, Ph.D., the first undersecretary for science under the George W. Bush administration, joined the University as director of the Energy Institute. Orbach replaced acting director David Allen. Working out of his backpack in a conference room because his office furniture had not yet been delivered, Orbach talked to Our Campus about the University of Texas at Austin’s Energy Institute and what he hopes to accomplish. The creation of the institute is recognition that though Texas made its fortune from energy, the world is changing. “It made sense to utilize the extraordinary resources of the University to focus on energy security,â€? Orbach said. “Our mission is to bring together the public and private sectors to develop technologies and policies to overcome the energy and climate challenges of the 21st Century.â€?

Orbach framed the institute’s goal in a question: How can we ensure that Texas’ resources, which have been so plentiful and have given such economic strength to the state, continue in the face of carbon constraints? “This is a new world. There are going to be carbon constraints in our future,� he said. “That’s the issue. Of course, it’s not just a Texas issue, it’s a global issue.� According to the University’s announcement of Orbach’s appointment, the institute will “integrate the most advanced expertise from across the University’s schools and colleges.� “I don’t particularly like the word ‘multi-discipline,’� Orbach said. “The Energy Institute will take the intellectual resources of the campus and try to bring them together. That includes policy as well as science and engineering research.� But the institute is not a separate academic department. Although Orbach is faculty, he does not have any teaching positions for the fall semester. “Right now I’ve got to get the institute up and running. That’s what the University hired me for,� he said. “I’ve taught all my life, I love teaching, I love students, so at some point I hope to get back into the classroom. I’ll probably end up teaching freshman physics again.�

Orbach is already settling in and laying the groundwork for the future success of the institute despite three unfilled positions. “Right now, it’s just me and Claudia [Martinez-Castanon], but I have positions open for three associate directors,� he said. “Broadly speaking, they will serve as liaisons between the institute on one hand and government, business and the University faculty on the other.� Orbach believes that this structure will provide the greatest flexibility and academic freedom for solving various aspects of a particular problem. Faculty from various departments that compose the Energy Institute will pursue energy issues independently. This decentralized approach to problem-solving allows departments to develop their own agendas, pursue the lines of inquiry that interest them and come together only when a problem warrants a multi-disciplinary solution. Many of these aspects are currently unknown and unforeseeable. Orbach argued that letting individual departments pursue the aspects of a broad issue on an individual basis gives the widest possible coverage to the issue. “These [aspects] are unknowns, so when I talk about policy, these are the kinds of

things the law school is working out,� he said. Orbach has worked as a physics professor and researcher since 1961 and has published more than 240 scientific articles resulting in dozens of accolades for his work. No stranger to the politics of large organizations, he served as provost of the College of Letters and Science at UCLA and later as chancellor of UC Riverside before accepting his 2002 appointment as the highest-ranking science policy administrator in the U.S. Department of Energy. His experience both as a researcher and as an energy policy expert have prepared him for the challenges of coordinating research projects that involve faculty from the colleges of science, public policy, law, business, architecture and even liberal arts. Although the institute is not the first of its kind in academia, a unique confluence of factors makes UT-Austin ideal for this type of program. “I would like very much to develop new curricula, maybe new programs, new degrees, or expand existing degrees and take advantage of them in the energy sector,� he said. Orbach is also interested in the position because Texas provides a quarter of the nation’s energy needs and its electric

grid operates independently of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that controls the rest of the country. The close proximity of the state legislature is also a key factor in his decision to join the University. Orbach sees developing and implementing new technology as a problem too large to be undertaken by either industry or government alone. He believes it will take a partnership among the private and public sectors, as well as the University, to solve the problems of a carbon-constrained environment. “To be able to take advantage of the public sector, the University and the private sector all in one state [is a benefit of this appointment],� he said. “Austin is also a wonderful place. You’ve got a symphony, a ballet, an opera and one of the most sophisticated intellectual climates of any city, anywhere. I think of Austin in the same way that I think of Berkeley or Cambridge.� Orbach considers his work at the Energy Institute as a continuation of his work at the Department of Energy. In his prior role as the department’s undersecretary, he was responsible for basic research and how investments in research would help meet the needs of the country. “Those are exactly the kinds of issues that we face in Texas,� he

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said. “It’s delightful to be able to go from a policy position in the government to an implementation opportunity here in Texas.� The Energy Institute will approach basic research from a holistic perspective. Government and industry will fund University research programs that will tackle the problem from every possible angle to develop comprehensive solutions. The University will then turn the technology over to industry and provide recommendations for the formation of government policy, Orbach explained. The process Orbach describes is beneficial for all involved. The American Competitiveness Initiative was the impetus for an increase in federal support of basic research, he said. The initiative recognizes that 50 percent of economic growth in the U.S. is a result of investment in basic research. He believes that research is essential to overcome obstacles in the energy sphere as well. Global warming is an upcoming issue the institute will address. Orbach acknowledges the changing climate, but is cautious to attribute this change to human activity. With his knowledge of climate models, Orbach guesses that the anthropogenic contributions to global warming will be known within the next three to four years. Rather than wait for the climate models to improve, Orbach takes a proactive approach when it comes to energy conservation. “You don’t have to believe in global warming to make energy conservation a good idea. We’re importing well over half of our oil from abroad and it is going to increase to more than twothirds,� he said. “That puts the energy security of the country at risk, so it makes sense to try and conserve. I believe that if we don’t address this now, it will be too late.� The Institute is also working on specific research problems utilizing money the University received from the Energy Frontier Research Center, which Orbach invented at the Department of Energy. Funding was granted to 46 programs around the

country of which 41 were universities. Electrical energy storage and carbon capture are the projects underway at UT. Electrical energy storage is the Achilles heel of intermittent power sources like wind and solar, Orbach said. UT currently has two researchers, John Goodenough and Arumugam Manthiram, working on a solution. Another project that is near and dear to Orbach’s heart is an inexpensive and efficient method to capture and sequester CO2. Besides the funding from the Energy Frontier Research Center, additional federal research

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grants will become available after the FY 2010 budget is approved. “There is another DOE initiative called ‘Energy Hubs’ that covers some of what we talked about. Each of these [eight projects] is worth $25 million per year for ten years, and I want at least one, if not two of these hubs at UT Austin. I’m trying to engage faculty members to respond to funding requests in these areas,� he said. “We are not world leaders in every one of these areas, but we are in many of them.� The most exciting project of

all, Orbach said, is “fuels from sunlight.� “Can we take water, CO2 and sunlight and produce fuel? No plants, no microbes, just do what nature does?� Orbach asked. “I don’t know if the fuel produced will be hydrogen or hydrocarbons, but that fuel will run a generator. It will burn and produce CO2, which will be fed back into the system to produce more fuel. It will close the CO2 cycle. You’ll produce energy with no net CO2!� If Orbach’s dreams become reality, then what started here will truly change the world.

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page 6 • our

campus • september 2009

Management Professor Burris Explores Speaking Truth to Power By Elena Watts oward Aiken, Harvard inventor of IBM’s 1944 Mark I computer, summed up the sentiments of generations of employees when he said, “Don’t worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you’ll have to ram them down people’s throats.” In recent studies, Ethan Burris, Ph.D., professor at the McCombs School of Business, explores the difficulties employees experience when communicating ideas to their bosses. While the tactics he offers employees to transform workplace communication are more subtle than Aiken’s, the methods he recommends for em-

H

ployers are aggressive. “Everything starts at the top, so you have to have commitment from the CEO and the top management team to really begin a culture change because that’s what you’re talking about as far as solutions,” Burris said. “If we have a problem with voice then we need to change the culture and the way people interact in that organization in order to improve the work environment or the climate for voice.” Across 70 different industries, 70 percent of the 260 employees interviewed in a study conducted by management researchers Kathleen Ryan and Daniel Oestreich said they feared repercussions for

Ethan Burris, Ph.D., teaches introduction to organizational behavior and leading groups and teams in McCombs School of Business.

speaking up about problems or with potential improvements to the workplace. Successful companies have leaders in place at the top that demand their managers solicit feed-

back from employees, demand to hear the new insights and do not care about managers’ failures, Burris said. “So they [top management] have to convey to middle manage-

Photo Debbie Finley

ment that there are not going to be repercussions from the surveys when employees have good ideas,” he said. “Or if they [employees] criticize a manager, the manager is not going to be fired.”

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our campus • september 2009 • page 7

Burris has heard a number of stories from managers about why people are not willing to speak up at work. If managers are reticent to hear what employees have to say or even ridicule them, the employees withdraw and are less likely to speak up in the future. “[The boss] could say, ‘That’s a great idea, maybe we’ll do that next month,’ and then never follows up,” Burris said. “Eventually, if [the employee] keeps on having these ideas and speaking up and [the boss] doesn’t acknowledge them beyond that one time, doesn’t follow up, and doesn’t implement them, [the employee] will begin to perceive that as a waste of time.” One of the more pervasive findings in a study of 11 credit unions Burris conducted with James Detert, Ph.D., professor of management at Cornell University and David Harrison, Ph.D., professor of management at Penn State, is

the difference in how passive and active managers respond to employee voice. “So you can be a nice person, you can have an open door policy, you can be perceived as being open to employee ideas,” Burris said. “That’s great, but it’s very different than a boss who actively solicits employee feedback.” Proactive bosses venture out of their own offices and directly ask employees about the issues or problems they are facing, Burris said. On the other hand, bosses with an open door who listen to what employees have to say might be completely unaware of the real issues because they are not taking an active stance in trying to understand what their employees’ daily lives are like. “I’ve seen great frustration on managers’ parts,” Burris said. “They say, ‘I am a nice person, I do have an open door, I don’t know what I can do to make employees

feel comfortable.’” Burris attributes this to a lack of understanding about how difficult it is for employees to speak truth to power. It takes hard work on the part of the managers to make employees feel comfortable. “At the end of the day, employees want to feel like they have an investment and can make an impact on their work environment, and one way to do that is through

ideas,” Burris said. If employees are not able or do not feel comfortable contributing ideas, he added, it makes a huge impact on their psyches and the likelihood that they become invested in the company. In another study, Burris found that many managers feel threatened by employees who speak up about a policy or procedure in which they have been invested.

Employees who speak up can be viewed by their managers as less competent, less loyal and more threatening when they challenge the status quo, in comparison to employees who support the way things are. Burris winced at the suggestion that American businesses might be built on a foundation that stifles innovation. “I think it is a dangerous thing Continued page 11

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page 8 • our

campus • september 2009

Edgar Allan Poe

Performances and Readings

THURSDAY (Sept. 24), 7 p.m Jessen Auditorium Isaiah Sheffer of Selected Shorts hosts “Edgar Allan Poe: Poet and Storyteller,” featuring actors Rene Auberjonois and Fionnula Flanagan. WEDNESDAY (Oct. 7), noon Poetry on the Plaza: Edgar Allan Poe THURSDAY (Oct. 15), 7 p.m. Lucien Douglas, Professor of Theatre and Dance at UT, presents “The Tell-Tale Heart,” and other selections from Edgar Allan Poe Images cour

Exhibition Tours

TUESDAYS (Sept.15 – Dec. 29), noon Docent-led tours

tesy of Harry

Ransom Cent

er

Arthur Garfield Lerarned (1872-1959) A portrait of Edgar Allan Poe, undated

THURSDAY (Sept. 17), 7 p.m. Tour with co-curator Richard Oram SATURDAYS (Sept. 19- Jan. 2), 2 p.m. Docent-led tours SATURDAYS (Oct. 3- 31), noon Family-friendly mystery tours THURSDAY (Oct. 22), 7 p.m. Tour with co-curator Molly Schwartzburg

Film Series

MONDAY (Sept. 28), 7 p.m. Silent Classics: “The Fall of the House of Usher” (1928), “La Chute de la Maison Usher” (1928) MONDAY (Oct. 5), 7 p.m. “The Fall of the House of Usher” (1960) MONDAY (Oct. 12), 7 p.m. “The Pit and the Pendulum” (1961) MONDAY (Oct. 19), 7 p.m. “The Raven” (1963) MONDAY (Oct. 26), 7 p.m. “Spirits of the Dead” (1968) (Histoires Extraordinaires) SATURDAY (Oct. 31- Nov. 1) State Capitol Harry Ransom Center Booth at Texas Book Festival

Continued form page 1

cerned about the lack of reading across the country, and in particular in certain populations: younger men. In men, generally reading tends to be less important.” Lisa Murray, public programs associate at Harry Ransom Center, said communities offer different programs around the country that are always focused on the books and materials provided by The Big Read. “There are 30 books overall now, but they started with four or five titles [in 2006] and they add books every year,” Murray said. “The programs are meant to bring people together to discuss the work and to look at it in new lights, or even just to introduce them to the work and hope that they would then go and read the books.” Hutchison said that many people consider Poe’s biggest contribution to literature to be the sense of psychological realism with which he imbued his short fiction and poetry. What is certain, he affirmed, is that Poe’s work demonstrates an unprecedented attention to his characters’ inner lives. “We’re doing a lot more outreach to middle and high schools mainly because of the broad appeal of Poe,” Murray said. In addition to hosting a teaching

Edgar Allen Poe’s fair copy manuscript of the final stanza of “The Raven,” ca. 1846 An image of a raven from the cover of Stephàne Mallarmé’s French translation of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven,” entitled “Le Corbeau” (1875)

workshop where lesson plans and ideas for working with Poe are taught, the center will distribute reading and teaching guides. Murray said the goal is to have the teachers return for a visit with their students. A new outreach program that excites Murray is an interactive Poe Web site, http://hrc.utexas.edu/poeproject, featuring material from the collection, a biographical sketch of Poe and places for visitors to create their own parodies of “The Raven” or submit illustrations of “The Fall of the House of Usher.” “We’re also going to be repeating our theatrical performance [“The Tell-Tale Heart”] with Lucien Douglas, a UT professor in theatre and dance,” Murray continued. “He’s going to go out to at least three to five high schools in the area for Ransom Center and Big Read outreach to raise awareness about the program.” Although, the curators’ tour of the exhibition is Sept. 17, The Big Read kicks off Sept. 24 with Isaiah Sheffer, host of public radio’s “Selected Shorts,” reading Poe’s poetry and short stories in the company of two actors. The film series, guided tours, performances and readings culminate in the Texas Book Festival on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1. “We’ll have a booth at the Texas Book Festival and distribute materi-

als and books,” Sigler said. “While the [Ransom Center’s] exhibition goes on until Jan. 3, The Big Read concludes at the book festival.” Hutchison said, Poe offers contemporary readers an uncommon bargain. “Here is a hugely inf luential and important American writer who also appeals to readers at all levels,” he said. “One can read Poe for both pleasure and edification, both plot and deeper meaning.” This is evident, he continued, in Poe’s readers who often first encounter his poems and tales of mystery and imagination in childhood, yet also find his work on college syllabi and in academic journals. “Poe’s work also bridges elegantly the high literary and the pop cultural, with his name and characters appearing in both contemporary philosophy tomes and on ‘The Simpsons,’ in psychoanalytic journals and on the helmets of football teams (i.e., the Baltimore Ravens),” Hutchison said. “Poe’s ubiquity in our culture encourages readers to find contemporary relevance in his stories and poems. In turn, his ability to capture and to project a variety of psychic states and emotions invites readers to find personal relevance as well.” Murray recently had the opportunity to visit one of Poe’s homes in Pennsylvania.


“That was a great experience too, giving me more context, which is something the exhibition is really going to do as well,” Murray said. “When you see the personal material of the author it really re-sparks that interest to go back and read what they had written in that space or on that desk as the case would be here.” One thing that makes the Ransom Center’s participation

our campus • september 2009 • page 9 in The Big Read fairly unique, said Sigler, is the primary source material available to community members as they read Poe. “They can see his letters, they can see his writing desk, they can see a lock of his hair, and really bring the author and his work to life,” Sigler said. Harry Ransom Center’s Associate Director and Hobby Foundation Librarian Richard Oram described Poe as one of a hand-

ful of 19th century American writers who still has appeal for the general reader. “There is something about Poe that appeals to just about everybody, from young readers to academics,” Oram said. “He is one of the great storytellers, and if you like mystery, the macabre, and the fantastic he is certainly your man.”

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page 10 • our

campus • september 2009

UT closing gender equity gap revealed in Gender Equity Task Force Report By Laura Kandle

T

he hiring of 23 new female professors to the College of Liberal Arts marks the beginning of what will hopefully become major progress for gender equity at the University of Texas. The new female faculty, six of which have been hired full-time, comprise about half of the 50 professors added to the college’s faculty this year. Jennifer Johnson-Hanks, new full-time professor in UT’s Department of Anthropology, comes from the University of California at Berkeley. “I was impressed by the sense of intellectual mission that the dean, associate dean, department chair and faculty members seem to share—a real commitment to first-rate, forward-looking work,” Johnson-Hanks said. “It seems like a wonderful community of scholars to be part of.” The other full-time women joining the liberal arts college include: Barbara Bullock and A. Jacqueline Toribio from Penn State, Philippa Levine from the University of Southern California and Jo Ann Hackett from Indiana University. The name of the sixth has not officially been released. “When I first visited here in March, the people we met, from the faculty to Dean Diehl, were all obviously enthusiastic about building up the ancient side of

Middle Eastern Studies and Religious Studies,” Hackett said. “That enthusiasm was contagious, and I left here after just two days knowing that I wanted to be part of it.” Bullock’s main reasons for joining the University are the renowned reputations of UT and its linguistics department, which is her area of specialization. The College of Liberal Arts hired twice as many full-time female professors as full-time male professors this year, a move which will begin to even out the unbalanced findings on gender disparity acknowledged in the Gender Equity Task Force Report. In 2007, Provost Steven Leslie, with the help of administrators and faculty members, created the Gender Equity Task Force to identify and measure the main equity and achievement barriers for female faculty at the University. The final report issued by the task force in 2008, revealed that the University of Texas at Austin had the second widest gap in gender for full-time professors when compared to eleven other peer institutions including The University of California at Berkeley and Michigan State University. At the time of the report’s release, women constituted only 19 percent of full-time professors, 25 percent of tenured faculty and 39 percent of tenure track faculty. “Gender equity is a hard strug-

By Curt Youngblood

College of Liberal Arts Hires 23 New Female Faculty

Jennifer Johnson-Hanks, one of six full-time faculty members hired by UT’s College of Liberal Arts, will be teaching classes in the Department of Anthropology. She comes from the University of California at Berkeley.

gle for every campus in America, in part because the problem is so complex,” Johnson-Hanks said. “I applaud UT for conducting the research to understand how gender equity issues play out here specifically.” The report dissects major disparities between male and female faculty including promotions, salary, leadership and positions for seniors. Statistical analysis revealed that UT’s female professors earned nearly $10,000 less than their male equivalents in 2007. “Overall, UT-Austin has too few women full-time professors, which has a negative impact on the University community— especially on women assistant professors, women associate professors and women students,” according to the report. During the summer, Leslie met with the dean of each college with a “focus specifically on plans for each dean to recruit women faculty…with a particular focus on senior women faculty.” The recent addition of these six full-time female professors attempts to rectify the problem reported. Leslie said, “It is one indication of the broad effort on campus to engage the Gender Equity Task Force Reports.” However, there are concerns other than salary and tenure gen-

der equity gaps. According to the report, responses to questions about care responsibilities indicate that women are more likely to feel that UT does a poor job of providing support for workfamily balance, and that use of work-family policies is likely to be viewed negatively by colleagues. Among the policies that need updating is the 12-week, unpaid maternity leave, which the task force suggests be replaced with six weeks of paid leave. “One real test, it seems to me, will be hiring younger women, and then retaining and promoting them,” Hackett said on the difficulties of achieving gender equity. However, Linda Millstone, associate vice president for institutional equity at UT, said women are not the sole recipients of inequity. “I would suggest that there are also underpaid male faculty,” she said. “Men want to take time off so that they can take care of their children…the days of women having all responsibility and men having no responsibility [when it comes to childcare] are over.” Therefore, Millstone believes that an even broader effort can be made to create a fully equitable campus and attract exceptional staff. Although, there are many more

steps in the process of gender and general equity on UT’s campus, there is a definite movement toward the fair treatment of deserving female faculty. “I’m in the enviable position of having Esther Raizen as my department chair,” Hackett said. Raizen has just been appointed associate dean in the College of Liberal Arts, where one of her duties is to oversee the genderequity plan explained Hackett. “I am confident that we are in good hands. Beyond Professor Raizen’s appointment, however, I’ve sensed a real commitment here to do the extra work that it takes to achieve equity,” she said. “I have been very impressed by the campus administration so far, and have every reason to think that these new policies will bring about important improvements for women faculty,” JohnsonHanks said. Overall, the recent female additions to the liberal arts’ faculty signify administrators’ interest in implementing essential policies that will ensure the University continues to excel in teaching in an atmosphere most conducive to learning. To view the Gender Equity Task Force’s full report, visit the reports and research section at http://utexas.edu/provost.


Clement Recognized Continued from pgae 2

he listened to my career goals, paying careful attention to the options ahead of me. He helped me understand things I didn’t already know and helped me with creating a framework for approaching those choices.” Kenneth Bouyer, Ernst & Young director of diversity and one of the judges, said a panel of judges comprised of deans from across the country and E&Y professionals review the nominations. The nominees are evaluated on their contributions to building inclusive excellence in the business school community,

Speaking Truth to Power Continued from page 6

to say that this is a pervasive thing across all of America, that we’re not seeing innovative ideas come to fruition because we are,” he said. “But I do think there is a natural tendency to want to be right, to want to see your ideas put into place as a manager and see those ideas carried out.” Burris said managers’ gut reactions when employees criticize their ideas are to question their own competence, believe they should have thought of the issues ahead of time and worry what their performance will look like to their bosses. “Those are very real issues and feelings, and I think that to the extent that organizations can design structures to mitigate those,” Burris said, “then that’s where you start to see a lot more comfort involved on both employees’ and managers’ parts in the whole voice process—both speaking up and hearing exactly what is said.” Burris pointed out that Austin’s 3M is famous for being innovative, proving his findings are not pervasive holistic barriers to implementing new and better ideas. Burris said such companies have explicit structures in place to make sure they are listening to employees, capturing their ideas

our campus • september 2009 • page 11 the number of nominations and the quality of the recommendations. Bouyer said one of the nominations for Clement read, “He believed in me, when I didn’t believe in myself.” It became compelling at that moment, Bouyer said, that Clement should receive the award. “In reading through the nominations, I had a chance to learn about what an incredible individual he [Clement] is, and his willingness to give constantly to others,” Bouyer said. “I’m really proud to know him.” While this was the inaugural year for the award, Bouyer hopes to continue the tradition for years to come.

“Diversity and inclusiveness is a cornerstone for Ernst & Young,” Bouyer said. “We wanted to take a second to recognize faculty who work in diverse and inclusive cultures.” The PhD Project is one of Clement’s national projects. It encourages minority students to pursue doctorates in business. Clement was a founding member in 1994 and has since helped recruit doctoral students at UT. At the University, he advises the KPMG Future Diversity Leaders Program and the National Black MBA Association, which he started, and participates in a faculty and staff mentoring program. Winning the award comes

with more than praise. Clement received $7,500. True to his inclusive efforts at UT, he named two possibilities when asked how he intends to spend the money: provide a minoritybased scholarship or divide the money among minority groups in the business school. He is looking forward to teaching his “bread and butter” course, financial statement analysis, during the fall semester. Clement views his most rewarding experiences as the relationships he forms with students. “One of the reasons I wanted to be a professor, was because I wanted to be a positive role model for young people,” Clement said. “I have been blessed

from having great role models in life. I know what difference an example can make.” His two boys, ages 14 and 18, keep him busy. The oldest is a basketball player, and Clement and his wife travel all over Texas to watch him play. In his free time, Clement enjoys watching college basketball, going to the gym, listening to music and both still and video photography. Clement said proudly that he put together a highlight film for his son. “I think my story is pretty basic. My parents raised me to believe that you can go out and be a blessing to someone else,” he said. “I feel like I have been blessed in my lifetime.”

and creating avenues for innovation. “Those [companies] that don’t explicitly pay attention to that up front have a much higher likelihood or are at much greater risk of stifling employee ideas,” he added. Burris stressed the importance of implementing formal processes to follow up after employees share their ideas. Even if the conclusion is that it is not financially feasible to act on the idea at the time, managers need to explain to their employees why action was or was not taken. Another of Burris’ studies indicates the better performing employees know when to speak up, and when not to, while the lower performing employees speak up no matter what. “So there are some people who are better able to read the cues of what is a more or less open environment for voice,” Burris said. “When it’s not as open, you have to pick your battles.” Social skills, emotional intelligence and political savvy help employees gauge the receptivity of their bosses. Burris suggests employees ask themselves these questions: Is it an important enough issue or should I let it slide? Should I bring it up in public or behind closed doors? Is it the right time to bring it up? Political environments where people look out for their own interests rather than those of the

company prohibit employees from speaking up as well, Burris said. Once a generic goal or vision to collect employee feedback is set forth, and safeguards are put in place for middle managers, it is small behaviors, such as a task force or a survey, that can open the doors for employees to speak up in a very safe way. At the end of the day, Burris said, middle managers should understand that improving the way the company functions and its profitability are the ultimate goals. Another ongoing project looks at the role of co-workers in the voice process. “So if you feel uncomfortable about speaking to your boss, do you speak sideways to a co-worker who can either give you advice or perhaps even speak up on your behalf to your boss?” Burris asked. “Perhaps because he or she has a better relationship or a better understanding of what issues may or may not fly, or how to present those ideas.” Burris and his colleagues just finished collecting data and are in the process of analyzing it. Their immediate findings indicate that co-workers who are approached most often are not necessarily the highest performers. “That’s really not the main criteria. We find that trustworthiness matters a lot,” Burris said. “You have to know that you can trust not only their advice but

that they’re not going to go running their mouth to your boss or the wrong person without your knowledge or permission.” Conversely, Burris said managers approach the objective, best performer to get a pulse on the workgroup. A mismatch between employees approached by co-workers and those solicited by bosses ensues. “And so this leads to a sort of irony that the people who comment and have the most influence on what ideas are actually brought up to management are not the ones management wants commenting,” Burris said. “They’d rather have their best performers as the ones setting the stage for which ideas are being brought up and which ones aren’t.” One of the main takeaways for

managers, said Burris, is that they cannot readily identify who is going to have the best ideas. In order to get an accurate read on the workgroup or in order to solicit better ideas, managers cannot only target one person or one type of individual. “You need to take a pulse from a number of people, not just your best performers,” he said. “It could be the person you know is not that invested in the organization, and is even perhaps close to being on their way out, because they’re going to see things very differently than the person who is doing very well at their job.” Fostering effective workplace communication is very much a two-way street that Burris said “starts at the top.”

Photo Debbie Finley


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