Faculty News

Saving VW: Next CEO faces 5 big challenges

The next CEO needs to become the surgeon who starts by removing the tumor – the culprits who perpetrated the fraud of adding software to 11 million diesel cars to have them meet emissions standards on the test stand, but not in the real world. That means a purge from the lowliest technician to the highest executive.

“This was blatantly unethical, and they knew it was unethical,” says Sean Hannah, executive director of the Center for Leadership and Character at Wake Forest University School of Business.

Read the full USA Today story here.

Wake Forest professor weighs in on impact of Pope’s visit

After weeks of anticipation, Pope Francis finally arrived to the United States on Wednesday. The Leader of the Catholic Church wasted no time delivering his message to those in attendance and President Barack Obama, speaking directly about air pollution and climate change.

Lucas Johnston, associate professor of religion and environment, said it was an important moment and a timely one for the Pope whose message may reach more people than in previous years. He said the Pope’s humanity and humility has shined a new light on the Catholic Church. “I think it’s refreshing to a lot of people,” said Johnston. “His popularity in the U.S., even among non-Catholics, is quite high.”

See the story from Time Warner Cable News here.

WFU receives $6 million federal grant to study weight loss of osteoarthritis patients

Wake Forest University has received a $6 million grant, the largest ever awarded to the University, from the National Institutes  of Health to study the effects of exercise and     dietary measures related  to knee osteoarthritis.

The grant was awarded to Steve Messier, professor of Health and Exercise Science, and his team, which includes associate professors Gary Miller, a nutrition expert, and Shannon Mihalko, a health psychologist. Messier said he hopes his team can develop a “turn-key” community-based health and exercise program that can be implemented in such locations as church fellowship halls, recreation centers, workout gyms and other community facilities where doctors can send their patients.

“I know we can do this,” Messier said. “It’s not going to be easy.”

Read The Winston-Salem Journal’s story on the $6 million grant here.

If you’re in this debate, you may have already lost

So, how in the world do you win a debate for losers?

“Don’t go,” said Allen Louden, a debate coach, professor and an occasional adviser to political candidates. “I’m serious.” Louden provided comment on the recent GOP debate, featuring four long-shot Republican candidates and front runner Donald Trump.

Read the full story from The Washington Post here.

U.S. News ranks WFU 27th

U.S. News and World Report’s 2016 Best Colleges guide ranked Wake Forest University 27th among 280 national universities. Wake Forest has been ranked in the top 30 in the national universities category for 20 consecutive years and was also 27th in last year’s guide.

Wake Forest was included in the following rankings as well: 10th among national universities for “Strong Commitment to Undergraduate Teaching;” 21st among national universities on the “Most Innovative Schools” list; 27th among national universities on the “High School Counselors’ Top Picks” list; and 30th on the “Best Values” list.

See the full list of National Universities rankings from U.S. News and World report here.

Scientists want to study the world’s best humans

Researchers at Wake Forest University recently won a $3.9 million grant intended to fund a three-year research initiative studying the most morally upright people they can find, nominated by the people who know them. They hope that these “moral superstars,” as the researchers dubbed them, will provide some lessons for the rest of us on how to be good.

Will Fleeson, a Wake Forest psychologist who is leading the project, hopes to include both people who act in small, everyday ways for the good of their community, and people who make huge and costly sacrifices, like anonymous kidney donors. “These are everyday people,” Fleeson said. “They don’t get celebrations; they often never even meet the person they’re helping. They’re never directly thanked.”

Read NY Mag’s story about the $3.9 million grant here.

The future of American history

College history majors used to study The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Today, perhaps, they should also be studying the decline and fall of history majors.

Michelle Gillespie has been teaching American history since 1990. She is also Dean of the College at Wake Forest University. “My students still gravitate toward American history,” Gillespie says, “but they are much more interested these days in seeing that history in a broader world context, whether we are looking at American slavery, the American Civil War, or social movements like civil rights.”

Students today, Gillespie says, “are much more likely to critique American and European scholars for only using Western comparative contexts, and my students are also inclined to bring comparisons from their other courses on African, Latin American, East Asian, South Asian and Middle East history into my U.S. history courses.”

Read NPR’s story “The Future of American History” here.

Dynamic Decade: President Hatch reshapes Wake Forest University with an eye toward the future

After 10 years and with no plans to retire, Wake Forest’s President Nathan Hatch is charting the University’s course forward in his own way. Highly invested in the reputation of his institution, he takes its successes and failures personally, setting a high bar for Wake Forest’s future. Read the Winston-Salem Journal’s feature story on President Hatch here.

Newspaper-style media highlights from Jan. through March 2015 (PDF)

(PDF):  WFN April 2015

Professor of political economy channels Adam Smith on the financial crisis

Bringing Dead Economists Back to Life: Adam Smith on the Financial Crisis: Can Adam Smith provide answers to the challenges of the modern economy? To help answer this question, The Economist featured Wake Forest’s James Otteson, a professor of political economy and the editor of a new book, “What Adam Smith Knew, Moral Lessons on Capitalism from its Greatest Champions and Fiercest Opponents.” The article highlights Otteson’s expertise and references remarks he delivered at a lecture at the Harvard Club of New York on Jan. 21.