News briefs

No B.S.

Henry Louis Gates Jr., who had been scheduled to speak at the next SAS Dean’s Forum Lecture on March 23, had to cancel. The good news? The School has found an able replacement: Harry G. Frankfurt, author of the bestselling “On Bullshit.” Go to for more information. .

Change of the guard

Late last month Omar Blaik announced his resignation as senior vice president of Facilities and Real Estate Services effective March 31. Blaik, the driving force behind two billion dollars worth of campus development initiatives from 40th Street to the postal lands, is launching his own development venture focusing on urban universities nationwide. He plans to base his new firm in Philadelphia. Tom Stump, currently the associate dean for the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences has agreed to step into the breach as interim VP of FRES until a permanent replacement has been hired.

Critical, not Creative

In an article in our Feb. 23 edition we mistakenly stated that Thomas Devaney, the subject of our “Moveable Feast” column, was a writing fellow in the University’s Creative Writing Program. Devaney is actually a fellow in the Critical Writing Program. You can find out more about this program, and “Food for Thought,” the seminar on food writing that Devaney teaches, at Information on the Creative Writing Program, another kettle of fish altogether, is at

On the move

In late March ISC is launching a mobile edition of the online directory. Formatted for tiny screens, it will allow folks who use devices like Treos and Blackberrys—or any handheld device with a web browser, including web-enabled phones—to search for directory information more easily. Penn Directory Mobile supports both the Public View and the Penn View of search results, though you’ll need an SSL-capable web browser to access the Penn View.

Originally published on March 16, 2006