• The college has green-lighted the renovation of the Lord Jeffery Inn, which has been closed for more than a year. While reduced in scope from the plan initially proposed in 2008, the project will involve renovating the 49 guest rooms and adding event space and an expanded restaurant. The plan is to begin construction this spring and reopen in spring 2011.
  • The National Science Foundation has awarded a $360,000 grant to Professor of Physics Larry Hunter to support research that could someday drastically change scientists’ thinking about two long-held beliefs concerning the physical world. Hunter is using the grant to test for violations of two major physical theories: local Lorentz invariance and time-reversal invariance.
  • Austin Sarat’s CV just grew even longer: the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Jurisprudence and Political Science and Five College 40th Anniversary Professor recently won the Hugo A. Bedau Award from Massachusetts Citizens Against the Death Penalty and the Rappaport Center for Law and Public Service. Also, he was quoted in a Maryland newspaper article about the November execution of Beltway sniper John Allen Muhammad.

  • Amherst’s new interim dean of students is Professor of Psychology Allen Hart ’82, whose term will be for three years. Hart, dean of new students since 2003, joined the faculty in 1996. He holds a Ph.D. in social psychology from Harvard. He replaces Ben Lieber, who left the position to become the college’s dean of student research and academic support.
  • It was Copenhagen or bust for two of Amherst’s Copeland fellows, Chris Cuomo and Diana Pei Wu, who took part in the U.N. Climate Conference in Denmark in December. Cuomo participated with a delegation focused on gender and climate change, while Wu was affiliated with a delegation of grassroots community organizations pushing for “climate justice.”
  • The college has a new official seal, a refined version of the one introduced in 1949.