Campus Digest: Fall 2023

News and happenings from around Boston College.

Photo of Paul Romer on a sidewalk

  Photo: Joshua Dalsimer

Acclaimed Economist Paul M. Romer Joins BC

Last month, the Nobel economics laureate Paul M. Romer began his new job as the Seidner University Professor in the Carroll School of Management. Romer will launch the Carroll School’s new Center for the Economics of Ideas, which Provost and Dean of Faculties David Quigley said will “expand on his pathbreaking accomplishments and open up new horizons to direct change for the common good.”

A former chief economist and senior vice president at the World Bank, Romer won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 2018 alongside Yale University’s William Nordhaus for work that involved “integrating technological innovations into long-run macroeconomic analysis.” Romer, a native of Denver, Colorado, comes to BC after thirteen years at New York University, and studied at the University of Chicago, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. Carroll School Dean Andy Boynton called him “one of the most respected and accomplished economists in the world.”

Romer said he was excited to join the community at BC and get to work establishing the Center for the Economics of Ideas. “In the pursuit of progress, the market can be the vehicle, but the values of science, scholarship, and enlightenment must be the compass,” he said. “We’ve got plenty of disruption. What’s missing is direction.” —Lisa Weidenfeld


Campus News

This fall, BC launched its new data science minor. The program, open to all undergraduate students, will prepare students to thrive in a job landscape that increasingly rewards data skills. The minor will emphasize the human-centered application of data analysis and modeling for the common good, and participants will learn to think critically about data and the ethics of using it.

The Woods College of Advancing Studies has a new director for its Master of Science in Leadership and Administration program. Mary Ellen Joyce ’75 assumed the position in May, bringing decades of experience in leadership education, adult learning, and instructional design, including twenty years directing the executive programs division at the Brookings Institution.

Todd Interdonato has been named the new BC baseball head coach. Interdonato comes to the Heights from Wofford College, in South Carolina, where he spent sixteen years as head coach and led the school to two Southern Conference regular season championships. He replaces longtime BC head coach Mike Gambino ’99, who recently took over the Penn State baseball program.

BC Facilities Management completed seventy-two renovation projects around campus over the summer. Included were a major facelift of the Higgins Hall auditorium and a refresh of the Fenwick and Fitzpatrick dorms. But the star attraction is the new Hoag Basketball Pavilion. (And make sure to take a peek inside the new facility.)

Diana Bowser has been named Associate Dean for Research and Integrated Science at the Connell School of Nursing. Bowser started in the role in July, and comes to BC with twenty years of experience in health system analysis on the topics of health economics and health policy.

Painting by Winslow Homer

Peter Lynch Art Collection Goes on Display

Starting this fall, the Boston College community has the opportunity to view a number of important artworks, including an original sketch by Pablo Picasso, that are now part of the permanent collection at the McMullen Museum of Art, and displayed in the University Confernece Center. The legendary investor Peter Lynch ’65 donated the twenty-seven paintings and drawings—from renowned artists including John Singer Sargent, Mary Cassatt, and Winslow Homer—to BC in 2021. “Every item in this collection was selected in a joint manner by my late wife Carolyn and me, and in most cases, Carolyn was the lead advocate,” Lynch said. “It brings great joy to my family knowing that the collection will be enjoyed by BC students and the wider community for generations to come.”

Book cover

Heather Cox Richardson on Rising Authoritarianism

BC History Professor Heather Cox Richardson, whose Letters from an American newsletter has made her one of the country’s most influential pundits, recently released her new book Democracy Awakening: Notes on the State of America. We asked Richardson to tell us about the new work.

“It’s an attempt to understand how people in democracy willingly vote away democracy in favor of authoritarianism. And crucially, how they can get it back. What it argues is that the way authoritarians take over democracy is through their use of language and of history. The first third of the book is, how did we get to the place where people gave up on democracy? The second third is the Trump years, so what does it look like when you put a strong man in power? And the last third of it is how you reclaim a sense of the Declaration of Independence—the idea that we should have a shared common interest, that we have a right to a say in our government, and that we have a right to equality before the law.”

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