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4:15 p.m. Thursday, June 30, 2016

University launches presidential search

Board of Trustees Chairman Nelson Carbonell said he and other presidential search committee members will look for a candidate to build on the work done by University President Steven Knapp. Hatchet File Photo.

Board of Trustees Chair Nelson Carbonell said he and other presidential search committee members will look for a candidate to build on the work done by University President Steven Knapp. Hatchet File Photo.

GW has started the search to find its next president, the University announced Thursday.

A 19-member search committee, chaired by Trustee Madeleine Jacobs and vice chaired by Alan Greenberg, a professor and chair of the department of epidemiology and biostatistics, will have votes “in the process of selecting finalists to be recommended to the board,” according to the release. The final presidential selection will be made by the Board of Trustees.

The presidential search comes after current University President Steven Knapp announced earlier this month that he would leave the University at the end of this upcoming academic year.

Jacobs said in the release that she and Greenberg will “keep the GW community informed about the search process” once the process begins.

“We look forward to engaging the university community and will provide additional details about how community members can provide feedback and input in the coming months,” Jacobs said in the release.

The search committee will come up with a “statement of desired presidential qualifications,” based on University priorities for the next decade and will be made public once approved by the Board of Trustees, according to the release. Finalists will be chosen by January and the final selection is expected to be made by early 2017, the release stated.

“We are looking for an exceptional leader who will build on the progress made by President Knapp and bring the George Washington University to new heights as it enters its third century,” Nelson Carbonell, the chair of the Board of Trustees, said in the release. “The committee will conduct a vigorous national search, and I am certain we will attract the most highly qualified candidates.”

The University will also seek help from an outside search firm, the Faculty Senate Executive Committee and “a faculty consultative committee to be elected in the fall by the Faculty Assembly.” The search committee will begin its work over the summer, according to the release.

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Nelson Carbonell, the chairman of the Board of Trustees, and his wife have a son with autism. They donated $2.5 million to fund the director position. Hatchet file photo.

Nelson Carbonell, the chairman of the Board of Trustees, and his wife have a son with autism. They donated $2.5 million to fund the director position. Hatchet file photo.

A researcher with 15 years of experience will lead GW’s autism institute, the University announced today.

Kevin Pelphrey was named the inaugural director of the Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Institute, according to a press release. Pelphrey, who specializes in cognitive neuroscience and developmental disorders, will start at GW April 1.

The Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Institute was created in 2010 and is one of five new research institutes that have launched since 2009. The institute will be housed on GW’s Virginia Science and Technology Campus.

Pelphrey was the founding director of Yale University’s Center for Translational Developmental Neuroscience. He will bring $20 million in seven active grants that he currently holds with the National Institutes of Health and the Simons Foundation according to the release.

The institute will work with the Children’s National Medical Center and focus on adults with autism.

“Autism is a lifelong diagnosis but is so rarely researched past childhood,” Pelphrey said in the release. “The Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Institute provides the opportunity for us to take a lifespan perspective and consider the disorder from molecules to minds, looking at everything from the chemical makeup of the disorder to how it manifests in people’s behaviors.”

GW is investing more than $5 million to establish the institute as a leader in autism research. Pelphrey will soon be tasked with hiring five new faculty members and administrative staff, according to the release.

The institute began their search for a director in 2014. Leo Chalupa, the vice president for research, said they were looking for a candidate who is a leader in the field and would bring established research funding.

“Dr. Pelphrey’s experience as a psychologist, neuroscientist and parent of a child with autism makes him the ideal person to lead the Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Institute,” Chalupa said in the release. “I am confident that he will build the institute into a top-tier resource for individuals with autism and their families.”

Nelson Carbonell, the chairman of the Board of Trustees, and his wife have a son with autism and donated $2.5 million to help fund the director’s position. He said that they hope expanded research at GW will help the cause.

“Dr. Pelphrey will be a catalyst to bring in more resources to help autistic children and adults,” Carbonell said in the release. “Right now, there aren’t enough programs, policies or strategies for adults and teens with autism transitioning to adulthood, but the Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Institute, under the leadership of Dr. Pelphrey, has the real potential to change that.”

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Faculty voted to not extend governance to non-tenured faculty during an all-faculty assembly. Charlie Lee | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Faculty voted to not extend governance to non-tenured faculty during an all-faculty assembly. Charlie Lee | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Faculty voted to not allow some non-tenured faculty to serve in the Faculty Senate during an annual all-faculty meeting Tuesday.

The resolution, which was presented to the Faculty Assembly, would have allowed all full-time faculty, including specialized and research faculty, to be eligible to serve on the Faculty Senate, which has traditionally been limited to tenured and tenure-track faculty. All members will still be required to have tenure or be tenure-track.

In the final vote, 169 faculty voted in favor of the resolution and 159 against, falling short of the two-thirds of votes the resolution needed to pass.

Nelson Carbonell, the chair of the Board of Trustees, called for a task force to investigate faculty governance two years ago and said the group found that in over half of their meetings with faculty that faculty wanted to extend participation in the senate.

“It’s important to tell you that we didn’t revise the resolution in just the way the board saw fit,” Carbonell said. “This has been an experience which has reinforced my belief that GW can be among the top and most respected institutions in the world in teaching, research and service.”

Charles Garris, the chair of the Faculty Senate’s executive committee, proposed an amendment to the resolution that would allow regular but not specialized faculty to participate in governance. The amendment did not pass.

“We have no direct input that there is a desire among specialized faculty to belong to the Faculty Senate
and the people I have talked to said joining the senate is the last thing they want to do,” Garris said.

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The Board of Trustees approved three resolutions that will change how faculty can participate in governance at GW, according to a University release Monday.

The changes include allowing more professors — including specialized and contract faculty who are considered associate professors — to participate in the Faculty Senate, updating how faculty members are awarded tenure and streamlining how deans of each school are chosen.

Board of Trustees Chairman Nelson Carbonell said in the release that the changes will help the University be “more in line” with peer schools.

“There has been broad consensus that the goal of the GW community is to move the university into the ranks of the most respected and admired institutions in the world,” Carbonell said in the statement. “The changes to the Faculty Code will help us achieve our aspirations by enhancing the university’s ability to attract and retain top faculty and deans, strengthening tenure at George Washington and expanding participation in shared governance.”

It is unclear from the release whether or not the wording of the resolutions passed by the Board of Trustees differed from that approved by the Faculty Senate last month, a concern many faculty members raised in April. Carbonell and the chair of the board’s academic affairs committee, Madeleine Jacobs, said at a Faculty Senate meeting later that month that trustees would be sure to include faculty input when finalizing the resolutions.

The resolution for promoting professors calls for “written criteria” to outline how promotions will be granted and requires that professor’s department to verify that those criteria have been met, according to the release. A University-wide committee for appointment, promotion and tenure, which has been widely discussed in the past, will not be created.

In May, the Faculty Senate passed three resolutions that would revise the Faculty Code to update how faculty participated in dean searches and individual school by-laws. The senate decided to table one resolution on extending governance rights and participation in the Faculty Senate to specialized faculty, but the board chose to adopt a similar measure. University President Steven Knapp will present that resolution to the Faculty Assembly for approval in October.

The Faculty Senate also approved a proposal that would change the percentage of tenured faculty in each school, but the Board of Trustees requested “further study” on the proposal, according to the release.

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University President Steven Knapp announced a partnership with Siemens that will provide new software for student use. Samuel Klein | Senior Photo Editor

University President Steven Knapp announced a partnership with Siemens that will provide new software for student use. Samuel Klein | Senior Photo Editor

GW’s engineering students will now have access to some of the best software in the field, thanks to a collaboration with Siemens.

The partnership will allow students in the School of Engineering and Applied Science to use $30 million worth of software and is the first of multiple phases in an agreement between the company and GW.

“Obviously, a lot of the work that’s done these days requires sophisticated software,” University President Steven Knapp said in an interview. “Siemens is really at the forefront of a lot of advanced manufacturing technology.”

The product lifecycle management software, which is already available to universities across the country, will allow students to work with programs they wouldn’t otherwise use until after graduation.

Matt Bruce, an academic director of Americas Velocity Program for Siemens’ product lifecycle management, said students will be able to use the software for projects like creating 3-D, state-of-the-art models.

Students, administrators, faculty and staff gathered on the main floor of the Science and Engineering Hall to celebrate the building's grand opening Wednesday. Samuel Klein | Senior Photo Editor

Students, administrators, faculty and staff gathered on the main floor of the Science and Engineering Hall to celebrate the building’s grand opening Wednesday. Samuel Klein | Senior Photo Editor

He added that students enrolled in programs at the Virginia Science and Technology Campus and the School of Medicine and Health Sciences will be able to use the software for collaborative projects with students in SEAS.

“Delivering the industry’s most advanced product lifecycle management technology, Siemens product lifecycle management software provides students with the skills, knowledge and experience required to stand out in today’s highly competitive economy, and better prepare them for entering the workforce,” he said.

The announcement was made during the grand opening of the Science and Engineering Hall. The $275 million complex, which has been in the works for more than a decade, opened for classes in January and houses 118 faculty from GW’s engineering and science departments.

Funding for the building shifted after officials revealed earlier this year that the plans to pay for the space using government subsidies and donations fell through. The University is now depending entirely on rent from its commercial properties at The Avenue to pay for the complex.

Board of Trustees Chairman Nelson Carbonell thanked all those who helped open the Science and Engineering Hall, but asked them to continue to support the building through the years.

“All of us here collectively feel responsible for making this a success, but I wanted to call on each and every one of you as individuals to do your part,” he said. “If each of us take on that responsibility, then each of our efforts to get here will be worth while.”

Colleen Murphy contributed reporting.

This post was updated to reflect the following correction:
The Hatchet incorrectly referred to Siemens as the Siemens Foundation. We regret this error.

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Friday, Sept. 19, 2014 6:09 p.m.

Shenkman Hall dedication honors trustee

Trustee Mark Shenkman gave $5 million to the University last spring, renaming Ivory Tower. Jordan McDonald | Hatchet Photographer

GW renamed Ivory Tower after Mark Shenkman, a member of the Board of Trustees who gave $5 million to the University. Jordan McDonald | Hatchet Photographer

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Henry Klapper.

The University dedicated the former Ivory Tower residence hall to Mark Shenkman on Friday, four months after he made a $5 million donation and GW renamed the hall after him.

Dozens attended the ceremony in the building’s courtyard, where University President Steven Knapp, Board of Trustees Chair Nelson Carbonell and Residence Hall Association President Ari Massefski all spoke.

Knapp also gave Shenkman a framed Shenkman Hall banner, a smaller version of the flag that hangs outside the residence hall, as a “small addition” to Shenkman’s flag collection.

Here are some of the highlights from the event:

1. Completing a “lifelong dream”

Shenkman said at the ceremony that he has always dreamed of having a building at GW named in his honor. He graduated in 1967 with a master of business administration degree from the GW School of Business.

“One of my lifelong objectives was repaying GW for accepting me and giving me my opportunity at my Wall Street career,” Shenkman said. He went on to start Shenkman Capital Management, a Wall Street wealth management firm, in 1985.

Mark Shenkman got his master's degree from GW in 1967. Katie Causey | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Mark Shenkman earned his master’s degree from GW in 1967. Katie Causey | Hatchet Staff Photographer

“I can now check a box in my life accomplishments,” he said at the end of his speech.

Shenkman’s gift will go to the Career Services Center and career services in the business school.

2. An “inspiring example” to our students

Knapp said Shenkman’s ongoing commitment to the University serves as an “example of what it means to be an alumus to our students.”

His $5 million donation is the largest-ever gift from a sitting trustee. Shenkman also played a role in connecting billionaire philanthropist Michael Milken to GW. Milken and Sumner Redstone gave a combined $80 million to the public health school last spring, which prompted GW to name it the Milken Institute School of Public Health.

Carbonell said Shenkman is “quite a confidant,” who has given him advice about overseeing the Board of Trustees.

“He has a tremendous sense of pride in GW, in its history and connection to George Washington,” Carbonell said.

3. Making students proud

“Students will be proud to be able to say that they lived in Shenkman Hall,” Massefski said at the ceremony.

“Future generations will eat dinner, hang out in the lounges and probably meet their future husbands and wives in Shenkman Hall,” he said.

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The University’s highest governing body elected three new members last week, including a recent graduate.

Three alumni will join the Board of Trustees in July, GW announced in a release Monday.

Sally Nuamah, a race, education and public policy researcher, will become one of the board’s youngest members just three years after earning her bachelor’s degree from GW. She was awarded the University’s Manatt-Trachtenberg Prize before graduating magna cum laude in 2011.

A Ph.D. student at Northwestern University, Nuamah has conducted research across the U.S., Ghana and South Africa for several groups including the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Triple alumnus Kyle Farmbry will also join the board. The acting dean of Rutgers University’s Graduate School-Newark and an associate professor of public affairs and administration, Farmbry is also the vice president of communications for GW’s alumni association.

In 2009, he was named as one of about three dozen Fulbright New Century scholars and previously earned a grant to study nongovernmental organizations combating HIV/AIDS in Japan.

The third trustee elected last week, Art Wong, is a physician and co-founder of the the Emergency Physicians Medical Group. He is a member of the board of San Francisco’s YMCA and has served on the School of Medicine and Health Sciences’ Dean’s Council for the last decade.

Trustees are expected to help the University attract future donors, a key role as GW embarks on a $1 billion fundraising campaign.

They have also been some of the University’s most notable donors. In April, chair Nelson Carbonell gave $2.5 million to create an autism research hub at GW, and the following month trustee Mark Shenkman donated $5 million to rename Ivory Tower – the largest-ever gift from a sitting trustee.

Earlier this year, Michael Milken donated $50 million to rename the public health school after Shenkman spent years encouraging the billionaire philanthropist to give to GW.

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Faculty in the Milken Institute School of Public Health cut ribbons to officially open the school's new building on Washington Circle Thursday. Katie Causey | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Faculty in the Milken Institute School of Public Health and top administrators cut ribbons Thursday to open the new building on Washington Circle. Katie Causey | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Philanthropist Michael Milken joined GW’s top administrators and trustees to formally open the Milken Institute School of Public Health on Thursday, cutting thick, colorful ribbons in the atrium of the new building on Washington Circle.

About 100 faculty, administrators, donors and trustees filled the floors of the school’s new $75 million building to celebrate the opening of the luxurious space.

Michael and Lori Milken, the namesakes of the school, used gold scissors to cut the tape. It was their first time on campus since announcing that the Milken Institute and the Milken Family Foundation would donate a combined $50 million to the school to fund scholarships, faculty hires and research.

Michael Milken stressed in a speech that the school’s faculty should not leave public health problems like obesity and diabetes to students to solve. Milken is a survivor of prostate cancer and has donated millions of dollars to medical research at institutions across the nation.

“They’ll have plenty of other problems to worry about if we can solve the problems of health and medical research,” Milken said.

They visited more than 200 universities around the world before trustee Mark Shenkman convinced them that “the talent that was leading George Washington University was world class,” Milken said. Another $30 million of the three-part gift to name the school came from the Sumner M. Redstone Foundation. Media mogul Sumner Redstone, whose family owns Viacom, did not attend the event.

The seven-floor building houses two atriums and is surrounded by windows to let in natural light. University President Steven Knapp lauded the design for embodying “the values of public health,” pointing to the offices equipped with standing desks for faculty to use. The stairs are also more visible than the elevators to encourage people to walk, Knapp said.

Other attendees included the school’s former dean Richard Southby, as well as Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Penn.

The building unites the school’s seven departments under one roof for the first time in its fourteen-year history. Dean Lynn Goldman has said she hopes that the building will encourage more research collaboration among faculty members.

Like Milken and Knapp, Goldman stressed that the new building encourages faculty to conduct more research and resolve public health crises.

“We’re leaving the next generation with a lot of serious problems to solve, and we also need to leave them with the knowledge and skills and capacity to do that,” she said.

Board of Trustees Chair Nelson Carbonell said he hadn’t anticipated how much the school would succeed when the University broke ground on the project two years ago.

“It’s an important event for the University because it brings together the community,” he said. “I’m pleased that we have the Milken Institute as our partner in this endeavor.”

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Chairman of the Board of Trustees Nelson Carbonell and his wife, Michele, announced a $2.5 million donation to GW's autism research institute this week.

Chairman of the Board of Trustees Nelson Carbonell and his wife, Michele, announced a $2.5 million donation to GW’s autism research institute this week.

The chairman of the Board of Trustees and his family will donate $2.5 million to help create an autism research hub at GW, in honor of his son who was diagnosed with the disorder at two years old.

Neslson Carbonell and his wife Michele will fund an endowed professor to serve as the director of GW’s Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorder Initiative, according to a University release on Wednesday.

The Carbonell family said they had been challenged to help their son, Dylan, transition into adulthood, and hope that expanded research by GW professors would help other families.

“Nobody has figured out how to create a world in which these young adults can live independently, have jobs and have a real life,” Carbonell said in the release. “Now that our son is 20, we’re facing similar challenges that we faced when Dylan was 2 years old. There aren’t good programs, policies or strategies for adults and teens with autism transitioning to adulthood.”

GW’s autism institute has put off an official launch after it was first conceived in 2010. Two years later, the Office for the Vice President of Research hired Heather Russell, its first development director, who was charged with raising the funds to formally launch the research center.

Leo Chalupa, the vice president for research, had said the center would need $10 million to fully launch, but that its development could start with less funds.

His office has eyed space in the $275 million Science and Engineering Hall, which is scheduled to open next year.

Chalupa said hiring the center’s leader would help lift the initiative off the ground, and support from the chairman of GW’s highest governing body was a key stamp of approval.

The institute, which links more than 80 faculty from across five schools, including the Milken Institute of Public Health and the Graduate School of Education and Human Development, will focus on studying how autistic teenagers transition into adulthood. Researchers will search for ways to allow autistic young adults to lead independent lives.

“GW has done many things in this area, and we think that our gift will allow us to bring those efforts into focus to make it real and make it permanent,” Carbonell said in a release.

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Board of Trustees Chair Nelson Carbonell announces he will give $51,000 to GW's scholarship fund at last year's senior class gift event. Hatchet File Photo.

Board of Trustees Chair Nelson Carbonell announces he will give $51,000 to GW’s scholarship fund at last year’s senior class gift event. Hatchet File Photo.

Looking to snag two front row tickets to Commencement on the National Mall next month?

Board of Trustees Chair Nelson Carbonell and his wife, Michele, will give away a pair of highly coveted seats to a student who donates to the Senior Class Gift Campaign by Friday. Carbonell said he hopes the raffle will excite more seniors to donate to the fund, which challenged at least 55 percent of the Class of 2014 to donate before accepting their diplomas this year.

“The committee thought that would energize participation. So I put up my two tickets as an incentive,” Carbonell said. “I am glad to be able help out with the commencement tickets and our matching gift.”

If the senior class gift reaches its participation goal, this year will be the third that the Carbonells donate a five-figure match. They have given $101,000 to GW’s scholarship fund each of the last two years as part of the annual challenge.

Getting graduates in the habit of donating each year will also be a key for GW to expand its relatively small alumni donor base. Colleges nationwide see challenges like the senior class gift as a way to get students donating early.

The winning ticket holders will also have access to the VIP tent at University-wide Commencement, where headline speaker and celebrity chef José Andrés will relax after the event.

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