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Three Days of Hope
Illustration by Rafal Olbinski   It brought together ministers and mayors, city commissioners and scholars. It combined impassioned testimonials to the constructive power of organized religion in urban areas with dispassionate examinations of strategies and managerial systems. It offered hope -- with a sobering underpinning of reality. Continued...


Barchi Chosen as Provost
   The University will gain a new provost next month: Dr. Robert Barchi, Gr'72, M'73, the David Mahoney Professor of Neurological Sciences who has served as chair of the Departments of Neuroscience and Neurology at Penn's School of Medicine. The 52-year-old scientist, a member of the faculty since 1974, will step into his new role on February 1, succeeding Dr. Stanley Chodorow, who resigned at the end of 1997 to seek a university presidency. Dr. Michael Wachter, who had served as interim provost since Chodorow's departure, has returned full-time to his previous posts as the William B. Johnson Professor of Law and Economics and director of the Institute for Law and Economics. Continued...


Building Up Undergraduate ResidencesPhoto by Greg Benson
   Although some significant details still have to be worked out, the University is preparing to embark on a massive program of building new undergraduate residences and dining facilities and renovating old ones. The project, expected to cost upwards of $200 million over the next decade, is intended to complement the programmatic changes that have accompanied the introduction of the college-house system.
Continued...


Illustration by David McClimansAnnenberg Survey: "Negative" is Not a
Four-Letter Word

   There's negative, and then there's negative. And in a recent study of American voters' attitudes, the Annenberg Public Policy Center found that when it comes to campaign ads, the public has a better grasp of such subtle distinctions than do the experts.
Continued...



From Civic Center to Cancer Center

   A bill to turn part of the Philadelphia Civic Center property over to the University and to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia was approved last month by Philadelphia City Council. Penn and CHOP plan to construct a cancer-research and -treatment center on the property, which covers 10.7 acres of the 19.2-acre Civic Center site. Continued...


Trim the Fat, Not the Bone
Illustration by Roxana Villa   Americans' views on health care are much like their views on airline travel, observed Dr. Robert Blendon, director of the Harvard Program on Public Opinion and Health and Social Policy, in a lecture he delivered at Penn's School of Nursing in October. "They'll pay $90 to go to Florida. They'll squinch their knees, they'll eat lousy peanuts, they'll be late" -- but they won't tolerate an increased chance of the plane crashing. Similarly, with managed care, he said, "People will choose the less expensive plan. They'll put up with hassles, they'll put up with less choice, but they'll not put up with an increase in the risk of dying."
Continued...


Physician, Heal (But Don't Medicate) Thyself
   A study by researchers at Penn's Medical Center indicates that the widespread practice of self-prescribing medication by physicians begins early in their careers Continued...


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