UI losing star professor to Northwestern

UI losing star professor to Northwestern

URBANA — The University of Illinois is losing one of its academic stars, bioelectronics pioneer John Rogers, to Northwestern University — but not for a year.

Rogers, a professor of materials science and engineering known worldwide for his development of flexible electronics, said he plans to maintain a research affiliation at the UI even after he moves.

"We have a lot of very productive collaborations here with faculty in engineering and chemistry, and joint efforts with physicians at Carle, and those efforts will continue," Rogers said Friday.

Rogers will lead a new research institute at Northwestern as the Louis Simpson and Kimberly Querrey Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Biomedical Engineering and Medicine.

The appointment takes effect in September 2016. Rogers said that will allow him to continue research projects in Urbana and help his postdoctoral and graduate students make the transition more gradually.

Rogers, a MacArthur fellow, holds a prestigious Swanlund Chair at the UI and has appointments in chemistry, bioengineering, electrical and computer engineering, and mechanical science and engineering. He is also affiliated with the Beckman Institute and is director of the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory.

Rogers combines soft, stretchable materials with microscale and nanoscale electronic components to create devices with a range of applications, from medicine to sensing to solar energy. They can be integrated with the human body and help treat conditions such as abnormal heart rhythms or monitor patients after surgery.

He said he'd been prepared to make a move to an unnamed job on the West Coast when the Northwestern opportunity arose. The university wooed Rogers with a $25 million research center that he will lead, the Center for Bio-Integrated Electronics, in a new biomedical research center to be built on Northwestern's Chicago campus.

The biomedical center is named for two donors and Northwestern trustees, Louis Simpson and Kimberly Querrey, who met Rogers last year at a conference and were impressed by his intellect, humility and character, according to a Northwestern release. When they learned he was considering Northwestern, they increased their gift to the school's latest fundraising campaign to $125.8 million to provide $25 million for the Center for Bio-Integrated Electronics.

"It's a phenomenal opportunity," said longtime collaborator Ralph Nuzzo, UI professor of chemistry, who was nonetheless devastated. Nuzzo, who recruited Rogers to Illinois in 2003 when he was an emerging scientific superstar, called Rogers a "once in a generation" talent.

"It's awful," Nuzzo said, adding that he wasn't surprised since "everybody's been trying to hire John forever."

"Anybody who's ever met John would tell you he's a genius. John is to engineering science what Mozart is to music. He's just one of these rare kind of people, a fantastic, first-tier talent."

College of Engineering Dean Andreas Cangellaris said it's the college's worst liability and claim to fame: "These faculty are wanted by everybody around the country."

Rogers said his decision had nothing to do with the state budget crisis or recent controversies that led to the resignation of the chancellor and provost. His conversations with Northwestern started before the recent issues emerged and things moved quickly, he said, calling the timing coincidental and "a little bit unfortunate."

Rogers said it was a "tremendously difficult" decision, noting that he built his scientific reputation and his accomplishments over the last 10 years at Illinois.

"I owe everything to this place," he said.

The idea of staying in Illinois, close to his Urbana colleagues, was an attractive part of the Northwestern job, Rogers said. Most of his research grants are collaborative efforts with faculty in Urbana, and some of those grants will likely remain at the UI.

"I think I'll be able to maintain a robust and productive interactions with a lot of the same folks I've been working with over the last decade," Rogers said. "I think it will be great for everyone."

Rogers already collaborates with professors at Northwestern's engineering and medical schools, and its existing hospital offers an opportunity to test biomedical devices more quickly than he could at the UI, such as a neonatal intensive care monitoring device. He said he feels some "urgency" as he looks ahead to the rest of his career.

He wanted to take his inventions to market and benefit people's lives, "what every one of us is looking for," Cangellaris said. "That investment by Northwestern made that possible in a way that we could not."

One of the goals of the UI's new engineering-based medical school, set to open in 2018, is to retain top talent like Rogers, who need access to patients to test biomedical advances.

"I have several others up and coming who are going to become the John Rogers of tomorrow, and I'm going to lose them if I don't have a College of Medicine here in Urbana-Champaign," Cangellaris said.

Rogers said he hopes to continue to help the UI with its development of the new medical school.

"It's absolutely the direction folks need to take here. I'm willing to do whatever I can," he said.

Rogers is the inventor on more than 80 patents and patent applications and started several companies based on his research. He was recently elected to the National Academy of Sciences, one of the highest professional honors for a scientist.

Rogers received bachelor's degrees in chemistry and physics from the University of Texas at Austin in 1989, and a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1995.

He was a junior fellow at Harvard University from 1995 to 1997 and founded Active Impulse Systems, a company that commercialized technologies developed during his Ph.D. work. He worked at Bell Laboratories before coming to the UI.

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wayward wrote on August 29, 2015 at 10:08 am

This kind of thing worries me more than the Athetic Department's (seemingly) endless problems. Unlike football and basketball, engineering is supposed to be a strong area for Illinois.

vcponsardin wrote on August 29, 2015 at 10:08 am

Indeed.   In the long run, this loss will be significantly greater for the U of I than the firing of the football coach or the resignation of top administrators.  Administrators and coaches come and go, but the loss of the major academic superstar is a major blow to the university's long-term reputation.

vcponsardin wrote on August 29, 2015 at 10:08 am

Expect more top-flight faculty leaving the UI soon.  With less and less state support and a slew of major blunders and embarrassments throughout the university, the best faculty are being easily wooed away by better schools.  It won't be long before the UI is just another regional state college--perhaps "East Central Illinois State"?  And you don't think that'll have a massively huge impact on local businesses and lifestyle?... Just wait and see.

Alexander wrote on August 29, 2015 at 11:08 am

1. The GOP leadership wants this. They ONLY want places like Northwestern to have all the talent and want no support for public universities. Why would you want to help educate the middle class?

2. Forget the "just wait and see". Do you really expect GOP underlings to draw a *statistical* connection between Rogers and their financial situation? Please. Think about what else they don't believe despite all the evidence.  

3. See how that works?

Reykjavik wrote on August 29, 2015 at 10:08 am

Notice the effect of the effect of private donors.  The gift that allowed Northwestern to attract Rogers is the size of the ANNUAL fund raising for the entire UIUC. 

In terms of impact on the local economy, Rogers' research program probably spends a few million per year.  CU lost the equivalent of a mid-sized company and the loss of some great PR for the community.

These events have massive implications for the UI Foundation, UIUC, and Champaign-Urbana.

ERE wrote on August 29, 2015 at 1:08 pm
Profile Picture

Not sure the high-tech startup company approach to healthcare advocated by this type doesn't make investment bankers hot under the collar more than it actually improves the health of the many that don't even have preventative care-unless he can invent a chip that makes people get up off their butt, exercise, and eat well....


Nonetheless, the this daily drama of "who's leaving next?" playing out in the NG pages makes me wonder...will I log in tomorrow only to find that Papa Del's has up and left for Bloomington?!

andrewscheinman wrote on August 29, 2015 at 2:08 pm

UIUC gets more NSF funds than any other US university -- c. 700M per year.  Chicagoland gets about the same c. 700M per year in NIH funding (UIC, UC, Northwestern ...).

This points out why the push to build the UIUC College of Medicine WITHOUT trying to work with Chicago was such a brain-dead idea.  Chicago needs UIUC for the big data and other (NSF-type) research, but UIUC CANNOT spoin out companies without real commercialization $ and executive talent, which UIUC doesn't have and won't ever get.

Rogers probably left for a variety of reasons, let's hope Killeen taps him to help build a better bridge to Chicago, a relationship that benefits everybody.

Of course, that would require a bit of setting aside of the empire building that Wise, Leonard and etc. were on with the COM.

Andrew Scheinman


Manscape wrote on August 30, 2015 at 11:08 am

But UIC has spun out companies with their executive talent and commercialization money??? What are you talking about? You don't even know about half of the success that have come out of the research park.

This just shows you have no clue what you are talking about. I bet in your mind UIUC needed you to fulfill this "executive talent"...excuse me while I laugh. With every post, you expose yourself as a narcissist as well as someone who has taken a not too healthy interest in the goings on at the research park, for whatever reasons may be, but with the names you keep mentioning, people are reading between the lines.

andrewscheinman wrote on August 30, 2015 at 12:08 pm

Well, actually, the last company I was involved with was just bought by a very large Japanese company, and the company before that was bought for North of 50M, based at least partially (although hardly all of my doing) on it's IP.

I'm also an entrepreneur in residence at Barnard College in NYC, at the NY State Agency NYSERDA, I coached a RIT undergrad team to 150K in business plan winnings, and etc.  So I think, yes, I do know exactly what I'm talking about.

As far as the companies spun off here, the major one in biomed seems to have been the FACS sorting company, which was great, but happened a while ago.  The lack of real investment $ and executive talent here is a FACT -- go read the Cluster Report commissioned by the Park as the first push to get the College of Medicine and you'll see exactly those two things talked about.  They're a problem everywhere except centers like San Diego, Boston and NYC, as cities like Raleigh (I lived and worked there), Rochester (ditto) and even Chicago to some extent (ditto) will attest.

Am I a narcissist?  If the definition of that term is being an alum of UIUC who cares a great deal about it continuing on as a great university, then, YES, I am, and proud of it.

What's YOUR story?

Andrew Scheinman


Manscape wrote on August 30, 2015 at 6:08 pm

Ah Andy, where to begin with a response from such an accomplished entrepreneur. I guess we (and by "we" I mean myself and the rest of the world) have a different intrepretation of the word entrepreneur than you do. You forgot to mention, maybe because your list is so long, of all the companies YOU yourself have started and brought through to success. Maybe you got a few shares for doing the IP for that ONE company, maybe not. But it doesn't matter. Let's get to the real crux of your problem with the research park - you were told to go take a hike and I can't imagine why, seeing as how you helped a team get $150k from a business plan competition, truly a remarkable feat that would never happen here in Champaign-Urbana unless you rescued the research park. And you always mention Laura Frerichs, interesting...But I'll let that one slide for the time being. And as for being a narcissist, since you obviously don't know the meaning of entrepreneur, it doesn't surprise me you don't understand that term either.


But I'll throw you a bone....how would you improve on the success of the research park in biomed (since you mentioned that area). I take it a man of your stature, seeing as how you came back to CU, has binders full of contacts within the biomed field? Amirite?

tominmadison wrote on August 29, 2015 at 3:08 pm

For whatever reason: UIUC loses.


denials of the long decline are now laughable.


UIUC is no longer first tier R1 university; and self inflicted wounds, demography, and lifestyle considerations spell second class.


reality bites






BruckJr wrote on August 29, 2015 at 4:08 pm

LOL, GOP leadership.  This university has been losing top academics since Small was governor, if not before.

byrdslover wrote on August 29, 2015 at 4:08 pm

Obviously, if we still had the Chief he would have never left.  Life was perfect until U of I got rid of the Chief.

Anonymous71 wrote on August 29, 2015 at 6:08 pm

Just another lazy liberal Professor who is overpaid to teach classes. Isn't that what all of the conservatives think about faculty in higher education? Whereas, in reality, people like Rogers are talented, dedicated, and hard-working. They work evenings, weekends, and on vacations for less pay then they would get in industry (and without bonues or stock options) to serve students, the University, and society. But hey, as long as the state can save some money, who cares, right?




Anonymous71 wrote on August 29, 2015 at 6:08 pm

Just another lazy liberal Professor who is overpaid to teach classes. Isn't that what all of the conservatives think about faculty in higher education? Whereas, in reality, people like Rogers are talented, dedicated, and hard-working. They work evenings, weekends, and on vacations for less pay then they would get in industry (and without bonues or stock options) to serve students, the University, and society. But hey, as long as the state can save some money, who cares, right?




dadogg wrote on August 29, 2015 at 9:08 pm

I hope the UofI would get rid of some liberal arts professors and spend some more of that money on the hard sciences. 

moderndaycowboy wrote on August 29, 2015 at 9:08 pm

This is quite possibly the most ignorant, uninformed comment I've ever read on here. You clearly don't understand higher education.

Alexander wrote on August 30, 2015 at 5:08 am

Although I agree with your general sentiment, I suspect "most ignorant,..." is an overstatement. Right now, what is true is that liberal arts and the social "sciences" have a difficult image problem. Locally, while I disagree with unappointing Salaita after he was hired, I have a hard time understanding how "the liberal arts" hired him to begin with. In brief, "He's hired into an Indian studies program, from an English department, on the basis that he *writes* about native Americans by analogy with Palestinians." sounds super weak. I'm sure there's a valid reason, but the ones I've heard sound like double talk. I'm happy to hear if this is a typical thing (and if so, why it would be that "expertise" can be earned like this) or unusual. Nationally, there's the embarassment of the Michael Lacour situation; no, I don't regard that as a "science" problem despite where it was initially published.

What the person above was likely saying is "Wow, look at Rogers, he produces stuff people use. He's a world expert, and we had him and he brought glory to the school." vs "Wow, look at people like Salaita, a total BSer, and the people who hired him. God, look at all the embarassment he's brought to the school." 

David Green wrote on August 30, 2015 at 11:08 am

Perhaps if the "prestige" of UIUC wasn't such a fetish, we could put this in perspective. We have a lousy healthcare system because it's about profit, not about people. Where research $ go and for what purpose isn't going to change that. I'm glad that there's technological progress. But if that progress has little or nothing to do with general prosperity and health, what's the point, other than the wealth of the few? The idea that UIUC has to "compete" for 1% funding is part of the problem, not the solution. The idea that technological/medical progress relies on the "beneficence" of the 1% is symptomatic of a broken healthcare/public health system, and radically unequal society. Meanwhile, corporate/neoliberal privatization has gutted public universities. And people sit and talk about "prestige." Oh right, we need an excuse to beat up on Steven Salaita.

Manscape wrote on August 30, 2015 at 11:08 am

There you go again. You actually, for once, had somewhat of a point, but then you just had to throw in Salaita. Seriously, what's dinner like at your house. "Pass the salt and water...BOYCOTT ISRAEL!! Why haven't you passed the salt yet?"

David Green wrote on August 30, 2015 at 4:08 pm

Hey, why don't you read the comment above mine, and another one further up, if you want to understand why I mentioned Salaita in this context. Some people see even this article's issue as just one more reason to pound on "south of Green." And that of course relates to the mentality of the corporate neoliberal university. And if you want to engage me on that topic or healthcare instead of using any excuse to be insulting and dismissive, please do so.

Manscape wrote on August 30, 2015 at 6:08 pm

I don't need to read the comment above your comment or read your comment for that matter. I just need to read your name and I could write your comment for you. "Corporate noeliberal university". Where do you come up with such great words? And believe me, those in the sciences don't need anymore reason to "pound on south of Green". You guys do a fine job of bringing it on yourself. 

I ask you, serious question - aside from seeing the destruction of Israel, what gets you out of bed in the morning? Is it the takedown of "corporate neoliberal universities"? Or is it writing comments in the comment section of the news-gazette? What did you do before the internet? Enquiring minds want to know (well, not really, but I'm bored this evening).

David Green wrote on August 30, 2015 at 8:08 pm

It's always perplexing when people in comments sections criticize people for writing in comments sections. Sorry if that annoys you; don't read them if you don't like them. You make a lot of assumptions. I'm not part of South of Green Street, and I'm critical of the identity politics that has destroyed most class-based critical thinking over the past 40 (yes, neoliberal) years. The alleged ideological radicalism of the liberal arts/social sciences is largely mythological. They've been compliant, especially regarding Israel/Palestine, but also about aggressive U.S. foreign policy and neoliberalism in general. There are a few exceptions, mostly in history, geography, library science. Salaita would be an exception, especially in an environment in which the Israel Lobby literally paid for professors to teach Zionism. Economics, political science, and sociology are largely conservative, capitalist disciplines. Regarding Israel/Palestine, I'm part of a growing dissident Jewish movement that is tired of the assumption that most Jews go along with Israel's racist and violent nonsense; which is also an extension of U.S. foreign policy, with all its violence and belligerence. I do that partly out of respect for a liberal Jewish tradition in relation to social justice. Unfortunately, Israel is a moral abomination; so is the U.S.; but I don't want to see either destroyed. I would only ask that they withdraw from the occupied territories and allow the Palestinians to chart their own course. Just like we should get out of the rest of the world with our 800 military bases; and stop providing billions of dollars of weapons to Israel to kill Palestinian children. That's pretty basic. Israel can figure out it's own ethnocratic/racist nonsense at that point; the Palestinians who are Israeli "citizens" (there really is no such status as Israeli citizen) will have to struggle from within at that point--not to destroy Israel, but to save it from becoming just another oppressive society, in spite of all the grand rhetoric about the Jewish homeland and historical destiny. If you want to read about neoliberalism, you can read David Harvey's "A Brief History of Neoliberalism." It's pretty clear. When you get out of bed in the morning, does it ever bother your that the vast majority of people in this country are being screwed? And for no reason other than greed. I have a nice, modestly privileged life. I enjoy the pleasures of life. That doesn't absolve me from being concerned that a small number of individuals who are invested in this dysfunctional system are destroying the future of the vast majority of children, perhaps including my own; not to mention the planet. I can actually be a nice person while holding that thought in my head. If you can't, that's the way it goes sometimes. Sorry if you are bored by the truth. If you're not bored by lies, you can certainly find plenty in the News-Gazette. But that's just a shame.

Manscape wrote on August 30, 2015 at 9:08 pm

Sorry, too long, did not read. Can you condense?

David Green wrote on August 30, 2015 at 9:08 pm


Manscape wrote on August 30, 2015 at 9:08 pm

Oh Well. Remember, this is the interwebs. Manifestos are not looked upon favorably.

Alexander wrote on August 30, 2015 at 8:08 pm


If you're responding to my comment ("Rogers vs Salaita"), I think your attempt to diminish the accomplishments of science and technology is misguided. While I agree the healthcare system is messed up, surely these advances will eventually benefit the 99% (I certainly hope so). Your argument seems to ignore this. 

My comment was not really an attempt to attack "south of Green". Actually it was in response to a person who called into question the liberal arts "the most ill-informed thing he's heard" (roughly). In reality, if one doesn't come up with reasons for some field, detractors will come up with them for you. Neither the "you're ill-informed" commentor nor you (in your comment under question) do this; rather both seem to me like a lash out. 

Now, I don't expect you to spend the time to write about the great benefits of Native American studies etc for my benefit. (In general, broad educational infrastructure is laudable.) However, I did want to clarify my remarks.



David Green wrote on August 30, 2015 at 8:08 pm

The accomplishments of science and technology are magnificent. But they haven't contributed to general prosperity and social justice, and they can't possibly contribute to that within this profit-driven, rapacious, predatory, heartless system. I would think that those working in those fields want a just society as much as anyone. But they are also part of this system. It's understandable that they don't have the time to gain such insight into systems that basically privilege them. But that doesn't absolve them of the responsibility of understanding and changing those systems. They could begin by being less compliant in relation to the corporate and profit-driven authorities that govern the campus, our community, this state, and this country.

Alexander wrote on August 30, 2015 at 9:08 pm

"But they haven't contributed to general prosperity and social justice..."

I disagree. For one, how are we communicating right now?

David Green wrote on August 30, 2015 at 9:08 pm

You really don't understand that as high-tech innovations have been implemented and disseminated, economic inequality and the prison population have grown, and that workplaces have become increasingly oppressive? You don't understand that the technology that enables high-stakes testing is destroying education? And that the U.S. has literally destroyed the Middle East over oil with high-tech weaponry? At best, you're asserting a non sequitur.

Alexander wrote on August 31, 2015 at 5:08 am

I care about all those issues you speak of. I don't accept for a fact that technology primarily contributes to those problems. (After all, those problems have increased since you've been born, so perhaps you're the primary cause of the problems.) 

However, let me grant, for the sake of argument, that they are the primary contributor. It seems to me that you find it difficult to hold two logically separate, but *emotionally* opposed views at the same time. For example:

1) Science and technology contributes to war and suffering AND can help alleviate suffering through advances in health care, education dissemination etc.

2) New advances in health care initially helps the very well-off AND later helps the rest of us (like how new computer technology becomes "cheap").

3) Salaita was wronged once hired AND is a bum hire. 

The third one is less obvious, but the first is, I would think, very clear to any thinking person.

David Green wrote on August 31, 2015 at 10:08 am

You twist the logic because you don't see the bigger picture. In a profit-driven context, the benefits of technology can't be equitably disseminated. In an imperialist context, with the incentives of violence and war, technological advances operate in a profitable cost-plus monopolistic framework, obviously not for the common good. In a profit-driven privatized context, healthcare seems to get more and more expensive and less available to increasing numbers who are impoverished in the same context. The technology is neutral; the neoliberal context is not. Finally, your comment about Salaita is just an assertion on your part. If you don't agree with his politics, fine. But he's an insightful and appropriately provocative scholar who would be a good counter to the Zionist bias of the faculty here. You likely haven't spent much time researching either Israel/Palestine, or Salaita. You're likely operating purely on bias and conventional (liberal/conservative/mainstream/Zionist) wisdom.

Alexander wrote on August 31, 2015 at 12:08 pm

Based on our interaction, let me make the following remarks. The reason why there is this apparent divide between "north and south of Green" is that from the scientific perspective, you want to know the truth, and the truth has some objective test. Moreover, one is not interested in "debate tricks" or denial of basic logic (what you call "twist of logic"), just to suit the thesis being argued. Different evidence is weighed differently based on some sort of metric. The way you argue is "I have a point, I ignore your point (debate trick), I attempt to state my point more elegantly, and appeal to some authority (deeper knowledge of Israel conflict), so I win". Why don't you try to see what happens if you assume science and technology have a greater overall positive impact than negative impact (this could be estimated: total deaths due to war vs total lives saved due to advances in medicine). In other words, in none of your replies have you ever shown the analysis of what happens if you are just wrong, or any demonstration that you've tested the alternative in your mind. Is that really how the humanities generally operates (=debate tricks)? No wonder there's a divide.

David Green wrote on August 31, 2015 at 12:08 pm

I'm not sure about "debate tricks." How about gathering evidence and thinking rationally about reality, the methodology of which is somewhat different, depending on the discipline. Let me see if I can make this real simple for you. Advances in medical science are one thing. The social dissemination of those advances is something else. One doesn't necessarily follow from the other. The latter depends on a system of dissemination that has a lot to do with political economy and economic inequality. So we have to inquire as to how that works, apart from the technology itself, the specific nature of which has nothing to do with it. So therefore, you might ask why longevity is greater in Cuba than in the U.S. You won't find the answer, I don't think, in technology per se. You'll likely find it in the social organization of the training of physicians and the healthcare delivery system. Or look, for example, into the differences in hurricane deaths in New Orleans and Cuba. I'm not saying that "south of Green" is particularly good at any of this, especially economics/political science. They represent privilege and conventional doctrine. But there is a tradition of analysis that can address such issues which informs the work of a minority of those "south of Green." Regarding Israel/Palestine, Salaita is squarely in that tradition of critical and moral analysis, which isn't really that hard if you stick to the facts. And at "higher levels" of influence, a common sense analysis of what happens when power relations are extremely unequal and ideology is fanatical, such as in I/P, can't be tolerated on the faculty. The idea that social justice and human rights is a sham in this regard has to be suppressed; and it was and is, including by you.

Alexander wrote on August 31, 2015 at 3:08 pm

"How about gathering evidence and thinking rationally about reality, the methodology of which is somewhat different, depending on the discipline."

You mean, evidence versus philosophizing. 

"Let me see if I can make this real simple for you."

OK, please do.

"Advances in medical science are one thing. The social dissemination of those advances is something else. One doesn't necessarily follow from the other."

Debate trick #1. Rewording the opponent's point in a false form that can be bashed. I never said this. They both follow from technological improvement in general (you know, A need not imply B, rather C implies A and B). Just look at how easy it is to get some basic medical information from the internet these days, compared to 20 years ago. The next few sentences are a take down of a strawman argument.

"So therefore, you might ask why longevity is greater in Cuba than in the U.S."

OK, finally an actual fact.

"You won't find the answer, I don't think, in technology per se."

Debate trick #2: deliberately vague language. Do you think technology is part of the answer, a larger part of the answer or none at all? Surely they use some of the antibiotics, vaccinations, x-rays etc medical science developed, if some time ago.

"You'll likely find it in the social organization of the training of physicians and the healthcare delivery system."

Debate trick #3: You convert your previous claim, so vague that it has to be accepted (sure, there are other factors) into a strong claim for which you have no scientific evidence. Perhaps Cubans live longer for reasons of genetics. Perhaps they eat less. You want it to be about their socialist society (which it may be), but you have not presented anything to show this. More to the point, you do not even give indication that you've thought about these possibilities.

"The idea that social justice and human rights is a sham in this regard has to be suppressed; and it was and is, including by you."

Debate trick #4: ascribing motives to the opponent. No I haven't suppressed Salaita's rights. I never voted him down. In fact, as I've clearly stated, I wish his hire went through given that he was hired. I just don't think he was the best possible hire into the Native American studies program to begin with. Such a hire on its face looks absurd and nothing I've heard or read indicates otherwise. His tweets don't add to his academic luster, so yes, he'd be an embarassment to the school (in my first amendment protected opinion).


David Green wrote on August 31, 2015 at 4:08 pm

So you find the need to use abstract logic to obfuscate something so plausible (if not empirically provable) as the claim that Cubans live longer because of their healthcare delivery system, or perhaps the manner in which they selectively deploy technological advances within that system (vs. the U.S., where pharmacology is driven by patents and profits). Instead, you speculate that it might be their genes. Of course, I would broaden the argument to say that it might have something to do with relative social equality, as Wilkinson has shown in Britain. Or it might have to do with diet, since McDonald's hasn't reached the level that it has here (yet). Nevertheless, you use your intellectual talents to obscure rather than illuminate plausible explanations, and to defend hypotheticals. All in the service of avoiding what is ultimately a "material" argument that emphasizes social and power relations. Not very scientific of you; but very ideological, in a perverse way, of you. By the way, you still haven't gathered any actual evidence on Salaita. Not very North of Green of you.

Alexander wrote on August 31, 2015 at 6:08 pm

...and on and on it goes. I'm doing something very scientific: I'm saying I don't know. You're the one who is making specific claims, so the onus on you to show it (not that I expect you to do it here). Do you even know how that works scientifically? Based on our interaction, I doubt it. (I admit I don't understand how the humanities operates, which is part of my reason engaging this topic. I still haven't really found out.)

Look, how did we get here? I remarked on how the *layman* could perceive a difference between science scholars and humanities scholars here on campus. I believe that the way things have played out incontrovertibly makes humanities look inferior to that layman when compared to the scientific advances. This is not to say I have proved, or attempted to prove that this is actually true.

You took offense to my remark on Salaita. This seemed to have you to the emotional claim you took that OVERALL, scientific and technological advances have been to the detriment to society. Indeed, the only person I've ever heard that from is the Unabomber. THAT argument I find implausible.

Then we go on to the debate tricks and philosophizing that you so love to employ. Good for you, but have you convinced anyone that matters of your point? All you've shown me is that you need to double down on an absurd point.

If you simply accepted that scientific advances have had positive effects and ought to continue to do so, WHILE there are inefficiencies due to social inequity etc that one should work on fixing, then you would sound reasonable. 


David Green wrote on August 31, 2015 at 8:08 pm

Once again, I'll try to keep it as simple as possible. Technology is neutral. Technological advances benefit the general good and broad social progress only when oppressed groups successfully struggle to make that the case. The unquestioned drive for profit and accumulation of wealth stands in the way of that. Basic Howard Zinn, basic Noam Chomsky. The first a stellar humanist and radical historian, the second one of the most brilliant scientists in human history (and a brilliant historian in his own right). South of Green, identity politics stands in the way of the insights of these men and others.

Alexander wrote on August 31, 2015 at 9:08 pm

You underhandedly assert you're going to "keep things simple" and then you immediately move to an obscure appeal to authority (debate trick, again). By the way, as celebrated/brilliant as Chomsky is, *his* linguistic work is mostly not scientific in the usual sense of the word (hypothesis, controlled experiments etc) (IMHO). (In the same way, "computer science" is not a science, despite the name. Then there's social science.) 

andrewscheinman wrote on August 30, 2015 at 8:08 pm

Ah well, "man", I've started a number of companies, at present I'm working on patent search software that is completely different from what others have done.  This apart from the fact that if "entrepreneur" were merely someone who started a company then children who have lemonaide stands are entreprenurs.  Which they are, but it does tend to obscure the meaning of the word even more than it's already obscured.  And btw, I don't believe I EVER called myself an entrepreneur -- personally I loathe the term because of its meaninglessness.  What I do say about myself is that "I start companies," which is exactly what I do.

As far as contacts, actually i do have an extensive rollodex of biomed companies.  I'm working with another one that's developing an advanced form of ultrasound for breast imaging, they've been funded for several million and, if I thought Carle was better, I'd consider possibly moving them here to take advantage of what Carle does in terms of imaging.  But I don't, so I won't.


What's required is very simple, and it's what I said before -- and in fact what the Cluster Report said better: leverage UIUC's huge amount of NSF funding (700M) and connect to ChicagoLAND for $ and executive talent.  In your earlier email you laughed at UIC as a startup center, but I NEVER suggested UIC, what I suggested was "Chicagoland" writ large.  Universities are good sources of basic tech but not very good at commercializing, again that's why what we need from Chicago is really angel $ and, at some point, good execs (which are always hard to find).

UIUC already has a partnership going with the Mayo clinic, and I'd seen a few things between UIUC and UIC in terms of data extraction.  That's what we need to leverage.

Does that help answer your questions?  Oh and btw, your narcissist remark is just incoherent.  If you want to be insulting, at least be clever about it, okay?

Have a great evening!

Andrew Scheinman


Manscape wrote on August 30, 2015 at 9:08 pm

Oh, so you're a serial entrepreneur....my bad. 

You know, I think you're on to something. All you need to do is make the rounds up in Chicago to all the well-heeled investment groups...explain how you helped a group of undergrads win $150k business plan competition, continue to crow about how you brought down the Chancellor (there's the narcissist remark, but I don't expect you to figure it out), and voila! You, yes you, Andy, have now  bridged the gap we have down here in CU. You have saved us from ourselves! Halellujah! 

I don't know what we would have ever done without your vast entrepreneurial experiences - which landed you in CU. I can't believe the research park would have told you to go take a hike, based on your connections to money managers, investment groups, angels, etc...


If I had your "experience" and "connections", I'd go out and raise a fund. Since it's likely your first (I say likely because you are a serial entrepreneur, after all and you may have already closed a few funds), start off small, say $100M, and turn the research park around. Put your money where your mouth is. Come on, we need you in the game, man.


andrewscheinman wrote on August 31, 2015 at 11:08 am


I'm assuming that little rant made you feel better?  Good, I'm glad I could do that for you.

As for me, I take these issues very seriously, because they profoundly affect UIUC's going-forward.  UIUC needs more outside connections; I never said I could provide them, I never claimed to be anything other than concerned, and willing to help.

I've never made a secret of those motives, and I'm hardly the only one to express them, or by any means the most capable of those expressing those desires.  I continue to hope that things get better, that there's more activity.  And I continue to believe that discussions should be positive, not puerile rants.

Andrew Scheinman


ERE wrote on August 31, 2015 at 7:08 pm
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you guys need to lighten up! It's about the U losing a noted faculty, not a troll cage match

Manscape wrote on August 31, 2015 at 7:08 pm

ERE, you are absolutely right. However, you'll notice Andy's poasts always center around his narcissism and obsession with all thing research park and certain people within. As such, I will fight the good fight and contintue to make fun of him. The rest of you can go about your business. I have him under control. He can't FOIA me.

GlenM wrote on August 31, 2015 at 7:08 pm

Republicans typically support postsecondary eduction more than Democrats, who have preferences for K-12 education and their unionized workforces.  Democrats' desire to fund public sector unions in the perpetual-motion machine that is corrupt state politics has destroyed the state budget that the current Republican governor is actually trying to address.  Previous democratic governors simply kicked the can down the road and finally the bill must be paid.  It is a difficult time for the University, but to blame Republicans in Springfield ignores the developments of the last fifteen years. UIUC was generally healthy under Republican governors.  

ERE wrote on September 01, 2015 at 10:09 am
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loopillini wrote on September 02, 2015 at 7:09 am

This is a prime example of why we need to build the Carle-Illinois COM. We have to make it very difficult for other institutions to poach our stars.

David Green wrote on September 02, 2015 at 12:09 pm

Which "our" you talkin about white person? We need egalitarian institutions that foster and fairly reward talent for the greater good; not a "star" system that exorbitantly and disproportionately rewards some for discoveries that don't benefit the greater good because of wealth accumulation and inequality. Such a system fosters corruption and greed. Can't you see that by now, with the COM emails? That's a system cooked for the 1%, most of whom are not scientists but creepy Wall Street financiers. You might like to check out your childish identification with institutions. Are you low on self-esteem? Get a dog.

justthefacts wrote on September 02, 2015 at 9:09 am


Which type(s) of egalitarianism are you proposing be incorporated into the UI operations?



  • Economic Egalitarianism (or Material Egalitarianism) is where the participants of a society are of equal standing and have equal access to all the economic resources in terms of economic power, wealth and contribution. It is a founding principle of various forms of Socialism.

  • Moral Egalitarianism is the position that equality is central to justice, that all individuals are entitled to equal respect, and that all human persons are equal in fundamental worth or moral status.

  • Legal Egalitarianism the principle under which each individual is subject to the same laws, with no individual or group or class having special legal privileges, and where the testimony of all persons is counted with the same weight.

  • Political Egalitarianism is where the members of a society are of equal standing in terms of political power or influence. It is a founding principle of most forms of democracy.

  • Luck Egalitarianism is a view about distributive justice (what is just or right with respect to the allocation of goods in a society) espoused by a variety of left-wing political philosophers, which seeks to distinguish between outcomes that are the result of brute luck (e.g. misfortunes in genetic makeup, or being struck by a bolt of lightning) and those that are the consequence of conscious options (e.g. career choices, or fair gambles).

  • Gender Egalitarianism (or Zygarchy) is a form of society in which power is equally shared between men and women, or a family structure where power is shared equally by both parents.

  • Racial Egalitarianism (or Racial Equality) is the absence of racial segregation (the separation of different racial groups in daily life, whether mandated by law or through social norms).

  • Opportunity Egalitarianism (or Asset-based Egalitarianism) is the idea that equality is possible by a redistribution of resources, usually in the form of a capital grant provided at the age of majority, an idea which has been around since Thomas Paine (1737 - 1809).

  • Christian Egalitarianism holds that all people are equal before God and in Christ, and specifically teaches gender equality in Christian church leadership and in marriage

David Green wrote on September 02, 2015 at 12:09 pm

If you have the first 4, you don't have to worry about the rest.

justthefacts wrote on September 02, 2015 at 1:09 pm

Here is a link to an interesting theory regarding income inequality and human nature.


Perhaps this explains some of what is happening to wealth distribution in today's world.