February 23, 1999
Volume 45
Number 22

Two New Endowed Chairholders in SAS:

Dr. Hatfield, Dr. Cheibub

Dean Samuel H. Preston has announced the appointments of two SAS faculty members to endowed chairs: Dr. Gary Hatfield of philosophy as the Adam Seybert Professor in Moral and Intellectual Philosophy and Dr. José Antonio Cheibub of political science as the Janice and Julian Bers Assistant Professor in the Social Sciences.

Bers Chair: Dr. Cheibub received his B.A. in history from Fluminense University, Brazil, in 1981, his M.A. in political science from IUOERJ, Brazil, in 1985, and his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1994. His work has focused primarily on the relationship between different types of democratic and nondemocratic political institutions and various aspects of economic, social, and political performance. Dr. Cheibub is completing a book entitled Democracy and Development: Political Regimes and Economic Performance in the World, 1950-1990, which he has coauthored with three other scholars. His research has been honored with a National Science Foundation grant and his appointment as the University of Chicago's Grodzins Prize Lecturer.

The Bers Professorship was established in 1972 by Penn alumni Janice and Julian Bers; it is intended to promote an assistant professor who demonstrates outstanding promise as a teacher and scholar in the social sciences. The late Julian Bers, W '31, was chairman of Imperial Metal and Chemical Company and was an emeritus trustee of the University and emeritus member of the board at HUP. Janice Bers, who graduated with an education degree in 1939, was active in alumni affairs as a class president for many years, and participated in the class's 50th Reunion gift committee.

Seybert Chair: Dr. Hatfield, who received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin­Madison in 1979, taught at Harvard and Johns Hopkins before coming to Penn in 1987.

He works in the history of modern philosophy and the philosophy of psychology and his research interests include the philosophy of psychology, the history of both philosophy and psychology, and cognitive science. In 1990 he published The Natural and the Normative: Theories of Spatial Perception from Kant to Helmholtz; and his translation of Kant's Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics appeared in 1997. Dr. Hatfield also serves as co-director of the Provost's Seminar on the Power of Sight and co-chair of the Philosophy of Science Reading Group.

The Seybert Professorship is one of the oldest endowed chairs in the School, having been established in 1883 through the estate of Henry Seybert--initially with the condition that the holder investigate claims of "psychic" phenomena. As SAS External Affairs notes: "The first Seybert Professor, George Fullerton, led a commission, which included among its members Provost William Pepper, that reviewed the relevant literature and examined self-proclaimed psychics. Not surprisingly, the commission found no evidence of such phenomena. The Trustees determined that this investigation satisfied the terms of the gift and that the chair would thereafter be granted to a member of the Department of Philosophy."

V.P. Business Services: Leroy D. Nunery

At Friday's stated meeting of the trustees, President Judith Rodin announced the appointment of Leroy D. Nunery, a financial specialist who also served as vice president of the National Basketball Association, as Penn's new Vice President for Business Services. Mr. Nunery takes office March 15.

He comes to Penn from the Chicago-based NationsBank Montgomery Securities, LLC, where since 1997 he has been Managing Director, with responsibility for developing capital markets and corporate finance business.

Prior to joining NationsBank, Mr. Nunery was a vice president of the National Basketball Association in New York for four years, responsible for business development and human resources. Earlier he was vice president of several departments for Swiss Bank Corporation, including public finance, merchant banking, retailing industry development, and management development.

Mr. Nunery received his B.A. in history from Lafayette College and his M.B.A. from Washington University. He is a past National President of National Black MBA Association, Inc., and a former member of the Board of Trustees at Lafayette College, and served on the Board of Directors of Pitney Bowes, Inc.

"Lee comes to Penn with a winning track record in business and finance," Dr. Rodin said at the trustees meeting. "His extensive experience in these areas makes him the ideal choice for this important University division, and I am confident that, under Lee's stewardship, Business Services will continue to thrive.

"I am very grateful to Marie Witt for her admirable leadership during our search for a permanent successor to our dear friend and colleague, the late Steve Murray," the President added.

Executive Vice President John Fry, who served for five years with Mr. Nunery on the board of trustees of Lafayette College, said later, "What stands out about Lee is that he has not only the financial skills, the human resources background, the communications abilities, but also a genuine concern for the people being served. This is what makes him the right choice to succeed Steve Murray."

 Scoring in Scholarship

As two of the most prestigious national recognition programs announced their awards last week, Penn faculty had landed five Sloans and seven NSF Early Career Awards.

Then at week's end came the news that Dr. Aravind Joshi, director of the Institute for Research in Cognitive Science, was elected to the National Academy of Engineering [click here for more].

Almanac, Vol. 45, No. 22, February 23, 1999