Campus Buzz

Robert holds Cort: Producer Robert Cort C’68,G’70,WG’74 returned to his alma mater Feb. 18 to unveil his 52nd film, “Against the Ropes,” to an audience of undergraduates and film aficionados from the faculty, staff and community. He gave the film its East Coast premiere at The Bridge in part as a tribute to one of his academic mentors, History Professor Emeritus Lee Benson, who was in attendance. Cort said that Benson and Professor Emeritus of Social Systems Sciences Russell Ackoff “taught me to see how the world works, how people behave.” Also among those present for the screening were President Judith Rodin CW’66, School of Arts and Sciences Dean Samuel Preston, Center for Africana Studies Director Tukufu Zuberi and Center for Community Partnerships Director Ira Harkavy.

In a question-and-answer session following the film, the producer of such films as “The Hand that Rocks the Cradle,” “Mr. Holland’s Opus” and “Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey” explained that at this point in his career, he can afford to wait until a story grabs him to produce a film. “If a movie doesn’t connect with me personally, I don’t do it,” he said. Buzz’s verdict on the film: The story seems formulaic at first, but a crucial incident midway through keeps it from being a purely sentimental feel-good drama. Meg Ryan, acting against type, is excellent as female boxing promoter Jackie Kallen, on whose life story the film is based. It’s worth checking out.

Another mind-bending museum? Paul Philippe Cret Professor of Architecture Daniel Libeskind has just received another high-profile commission—for a new museum in Prague, Czech Republic, devoted to the works of surrealist artist Salvador Dali. The New York Times reported Feb. 17 that Libeskind will unveil his design for the $15.7 million museum in Prague on May 11, the 100th anniversary of Dali’s birth.

Wharton makes book: Penn now has its own business press—Wharton School Publishing, a new joint venture between Wharton and the world’s leading educational publisher, Pearson Education. The imprint’s first titles, set to ship in July 2004, include “The Power of Impossible Thinking: How to Transform the Business of Your Life and the Life of Your Business,” co-authored by Professor of Marketing and WSP Co-editor Jerry Wind, and “Making Strategy Work: A Guide to Effective Execution Throughout Your Organization,” by Associate Professor of Management Lawrence Hrebiniak. You can get a sneak peek at all upcoming titles at the press’ web site,

Penn in ink: According to Professor of Nursing and Sociology Linda Aiken, we have a nursing shortage not because there are too few nurses, but because hospitals aren’t hiring enough of them. In a St. Petersburg Times interview Feb. 10, Aiken said, “We have more nurses than we’ve ever had before. But it’s easier to blame the shortage of nurses than it is to solve the problems in the health care industry.”

Originally published on February 26, 2004