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UT News

In the Know

The Jan. 19 weekly roundup of campus kudos and press mentions.

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Press Mentions

Reuters: Obama shifts to populist tone on economy
Jan. 19

A fiery, more populist rhetoric will mark President Barack Obama’s economic message in 2010, as he puts job creation and a vow to take on special interests like Wall Street at the top of his agenda.

Obama moves into his second year in office grappling with a sharp drop in his popularity to roughly 50 percent compared to the 70-percent approval rating he enjoyed at his inauguration a year ago on Wednesday.

“(Obama) is up against very determined opposition across the board on a number of issues that has dented him in the polls,” said Bruce Buchanan, a political scientist at The University of Texas at Austin. “What he needs to do is mobilize some support and appeal to people who have been driven away by opposition attacks on things like health care.”

The Christian Science Monitor: Haitian earthquake relief: Obama taps Bush, Clinton for help
Jan. 14

Maybe President Obama is doing former President George W. Bush a favor.

Obama plans to announce that his immediate predecessor will team up with former President Bill Clinton to help on humanitarian relief efforts and fund-raising for Haiti. Obama called Bush Wednesday night, and he accepted, according to White House press secretary Robert Gibbs. For both ex-presidents, the role seems logical. Clinton was already the UN special envoy for Haiti when a massive earthquake struck Tuesday. And he served in a similar capacity along with the first President Bush five years ago after the Asian tsunami — at the behest of the 43rd president, the second Bush.

The junior Bush had signaled a year ago, as he was leaving office, that he would serve if asked. But there’s an awkward aspect to Bush’s new assignment.

“The thing about ’43’ is that of course he was the acrimonious target of the Democrats who replaced him, and was perceived as discredited, and now he’s being offered a little bit of redemption by those former opponents,” said Bruce Buchanan, a political scientist at The University of Texas at Austin. “That makes this interesting.”

CNN: How are dog people and cat people different?
Jan. 13

Do you rejoice at the sound of barking but cower at a meow? Or do you look at a cat and feel an instant sibling-style connection?

With the proliferation of Web sites cultivating photos and videos of animals doing cute things, it’s easier than ever to get your daily fix of the pet variety you have, or wish you had. Ever wonder what your preference for cats or dogs says about you?

A team of researchers led by psychologist Sam Gosling at The University of Texas at Austin wanted to find out. They posted a questionnaire online as part of a larger study about personality called the Gosling-Potter Internet Personality Project.

Read press mentions related to the Haiti earthquake disaster.

Campus Kudos

The Center for Women in Law at The University of Texas School of Law has appointed Linda Bray Chanow as its new executive director, effective immediately. Launched in 2008, the Center is poised to be the premier American institution devoted to the success of the entire spectrum of women in law, from first-year law students to the most experienced and accomplished attorneys. “Linda is a nationally recognized expert on issues relating to women lawyers, and the Center is very gratified that it was able to recruit her and attract her family to Austin,” said Lauren Eaton Prescott (UT Law class of 1975), one of the Center’s founders and a member of the Executive Director Search Committee.

Dr. John DiGiovanni, internationally known cancer researcher, has joined the faculty of the College of Pharmacy, Dean M. Lynn Crismon announced. DiGiovanni comes to the university as a professor of pharmacy and nutrition with a 50 percent appointment in both the College of Pharmacy’s Division of Pharmacology and Toxicology and the College of Natural Sciences‘ Department of Nutritional Sciences. He will hold the Coulter R. Sublett Chair in Pharmacy, and his research lab will be located at the new Dell Pediatric Research Institute, adjacent to Dell Children’s Hospital.

Read last week’s In the Know.