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Public Affairs Update

  • Kincannon Confirmed for Census . . . . On March 13, 2002, the U.S. Senate unanimously confirmed C. Louis Kincannon as Director of the Census Bureau. Kincannon is conversant with the agency and its challenges for preparing for the 2010 Decennial Census-- having spent a considerable part of his career at the Bureau, where he began work in 1963 as a statistician.

  • Feller Addresses NSF Funding Before House . . . .Irwin Feller, Professor of Economics at Pennsylvania State University and Chair of the Advisory Committee for the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Science Directorate (SBE) at the National Science Foundation (NSF) testified on March 13, 2002 before the House Basic Research Subcommittee. His persuasive advocacy for increased support for NSF included examples of exciting, meritorious research. The House Budget Committee was listening to such arguments; their version of the 2003 budget increases NSF by $425 million as guidance to the appropriators.

  • Holmgren Takes on New Leadership in Higher Education . . . .Janet L. Holmgren, President of Mills College, completed a one-year term as Chair of the Board of the American College of Education and took the mantle as Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. She is also Chair of the Executive Committee of the Women's College Coalition.

  • MIT Issues Further Report on the Status of Women. . . .An important sequel to the influential 1999 report of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) was issued in March. This report is a rigorous study on the status of women in the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences; Engineering; the Schools of Architecture and Planning; and the Sloan School of Management. It revealed that marginalization occurs when more women are hired or appointed to administrative posts. The report is available online at

  • Sociologist Takes Lead on New Wildlife Report . . . . Gary E. Machlis, Chief Social Scientist for the National Park Service and Professor of Forest Resources and Sociology at the University of Idaho, is the lead author of Burning Questions: A Social Science Research Plan for Federal Wildland Fire Management. Commissioned by the interagency National Wildfire Coordinating Group, the report focuses on the fire season of 2002 to identify the significance of human dimensions and set forth a research agenda. The report is available from Shelia Williams, National Interagency Fire Center,

  • Data Show Career earnings of Postsecondary Degrees . . . .The Employment Policy Foundation (EPF) has issued a new report on earnings to be expected at different educational degree levels based on 2001 data from the Current Population Survey of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Education continues to matter for earnings: Annual earnings without a high school degree are $21,314; with a high school degree, $30,560; with a two-year college degree, $38,118; with a BA degree, $49,344; with a MA degree, $57,676; and with a professional or PhD degree, $71,573. Additional information on the EPF study can be found at