At the board
Six to receive honorary degrees
Archived article from Dec 15, 2000
By Douglas Frank
The Board of Governors Dec. 8 approved six distinguished men and women to receive honorary doctoral degrees from Rutgers at the 2001 commencement. The candidates are:
Richard Butler, doctor of laws -- Currently serving as a diplomat in residence for the Council on Foreign Relations, he was formerly the executive chair of the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM), charged with ridding Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction. A career diplomat, he was Australia's ambassador and permanent representative to the U.N., 1992-97.
Kevin J. Collins, doctor of humane letters -- Collins, an effective fund-raiser for Rutgers, is chair of the Board of Governors, past chair of the Board of Trustees and an alumnus of the School of Law-Newark. An authority on legal and banking matters, he is a leader in environmental preservation and education advocacy.
Mae C. Jemison, doctor of science -- A former NASA astronaut, a chemical engineer, scientist and physician, she is a professor in the environmental studies program at Dartmouth College. She heads her own institute for advancing technology in developing countries and her own consulting firm.
Walter Kohn, doctor of science -- A condensed-matter theorist in the department of physics, University of California-Santa Barbara, he was awarded the 1998 Nobel Prize in chemistry. He is noted for his role in the creation and development of density functional theory, which revolutionized scientists' approach to the electronic structure of atoms, molecules and solid materials.
Paris Qualles, doctor of fine arts -- A screenwriter and producer-director, his first script for the ABC drama "China Beach" won a Writer's Guild of America nomination for Best Television Drama. Other TV credits include "The Cape," "The Tuskegee Airmen," "The Color of Friendship" and "A House Divided." Qualles is a 1974 Rutgers College alumnus.
Elaine Showalter, doctor of letters -- The Avalon Foundation Professor of the Humanities and a professor of English at Princeton University, she began her academic career at Rutgers, where, during the 1970s, she helped develop the women's studies program at Douglass College. She has donated her 600-volume collection of English Victorian women writers to Rutgers.
Butler will receive his degree at the commencement on the Newark campus, while the other degrees will be conferred at New Brunswick.
The board also adopted a resolution honoring Christine M. Haska, vice president for institutional research and planning, who will be leaving Rutgers in January after more than a decade of service.
The board cited her for her pivotal role and extraordinary leadership in the development and implementation of Rutgers' strategic plan and of the RUNet 2000 communications infrastructure project, and for increasing the visibility and reputation of Rutgers as a center of academic excellence through major institutional research reports, publications and a restructuring of the University Relations area.
"All of the projects and initiatives are the result of an enormous team effort," Haska responded, citing the fact that she has "worked with the most talented, most dedicated people, and I thank you for noting our collective work. This university encourages innovation through collaboration, and I really believe that is the heart of this place."
The board approved the appointment of Doron Zeilberger as a Board of Governors Professor of Mathematics effective July 1. Zeilberger, the Laura H. Carnell Professor of Mathematics at Temple University and an expert in combinatorics and special functions, is the inventor of the Zeilberger algorithm, the co-inventor of Wilf-Zeilberger pairs and the prover of the alternating sign matrix conjecture.
In other business, the board awarded a $2.1 million construction contract for repairs at Voorhees Chapel on the Douglass campus to Paragon Restoration Corporation of Kenilworth and approved the application for funding from the state's Dormitory Safety Trust Fund Program to install automatic fire-suppression systems in all university dormitories.