YAM Notes: May/June 2015

By Marty Snapp

Bad news for that other school in Cambridge: It has lost one of its ablest administrators. Last July 1 Jorge Dominguez retired from two of his full-time jobs—university vice provost and director of Harvard’s largest research center for international social sciences—but decided to keep the third one: professor.

“For the past 20 years I have known in minute, precise detail what I would do next,” he says. “Even now, just a couple of days after the announcement that I would step down as vice provost in June, it is liberating not to know what I would be doing exactly on July 1.

So what’s next? “Beyond freedom from my schedule, high on the list is that I have six grandkids. I was actively involved when my two daughters were growing up and hope to be more involved than thus far I have been with my grandkids. (Three live a bit over an hour away and the others in Toronto.) In terms of professional work, I have enjoyed serving as visiting professor elsewhere, mostly in Mexico, for months at a time, and hope to do so again in the academic year ahead when I will be on leave from Harvard; I like to teach, yes, at Harvard, but also elsewhere.

He’s also catching up on some long-delayed scholarly projects. “As vice provost, I was able to write articles and book chapters but not books, and I still have ideas for books. These are necessarily vague because I have not had enough time in years to think about them. But, for example, I have been long intrigued that Latin America is the only racially and ethnically heterogeneous part of the world that has lacked nationwide, sustained political parties and political movements based on race and ethnicity—nothing like the US Civil Rights Movement or the Scottish National Party.

“I’ve also worked for some time on US–Latin American relations and hope to write about it in some depth. I’ve been a public opinion pollster in Mexican presidential elections since 1988 and want to be ready for the 2016 election. These projects can keep me busy, but they will not tyrannize me day in and day out. They will give me an opportunity to think and write, much more than has been possible for many years, and it will give me a much saner balance between work and life.”

It would take 20 columns to list all that Jorge has accomplished at that place, but among them are establishing new professorships in Islamic studies and Southeast Asian studies and creating fellowships for students, postdocs, and visiting professors from countries as diverse as Brazil, Egypt, Mexico, and Taiwan.

Meanwhile, John Lungstrum has been selected to receive the prestigious American Inns of Court Professionalism Award for the Tenth Circuit. The award will be presented at the Tenth Circuit’s Annual Judicial Conference in August. John is a senior judge on the US District Court for the District of Kansas. He was first appointed to the bench in 1991 by President George H. W. Bush and served as chief judge from 2001 to 2007. He served as chair of the District Bar’s bench and rules committee from 1995 to 2000. In 1996 Chief Justice William Rehnquist appointed him to the Committee on Court Administration and Case Management of the Judicial Conference of the United States, where he served until 2005. He was also president of the Judge Hugh Means American Inn of Court in 2006 and 2007 and received an outstanding service award from the Kansas Bar Association in 2007. And did you know that he wrote a biography of Alf Landon while he was at Yale? It won the Saybrook Fellows’ Prize.

Dennis Jaffe has retired from teaching after 38 years and has begun to do a project he has wanted to do for many years. “I am interviewing family members from 100 global large family enterprises, to learn about their values—how they stay together as a growing family and business, and what they do that makes them different from the public company, where the investors have no personal relationship,” he says. “I am writing working papers and learning about the nature of responsible, values-based capitalism and business. To do this, I have been traveling around the world, interviewing families and doing workshops and talks about this. I do a big trip every two months, and have been to every continent almost every year. I have been to around 30 countries in the past two years, meeting families and learning about global family business. I have dreamed about doing this, and now I have the time and the energy to take it on.”

Dennis puts all his writings on his website, dennisjaffe.com, where they can be downloaded and enjoyed by anyone. “I love the idea of sharing stuff like this at the reunion,” he says.

Bill Howze reports, “After retiring from Baylor College of Medicine, where I was an IT executive, I was given an opportunity to revive the art history and art museum training I received at Yale to select works of art—and write a reflective essay about each work—for the textbook Medical Humanities: An Introduction, just published by Cambridge University Press. Securing the various permissions required to reproduce each work turned out to be a challenging but entertaining sort of scavenger hunt.”

Finally, Justin Baldwin died on February 7, 2014, after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s and cancer. My deepest sympathies to his wife Susan and their children, Jeremiah and Caroline, who suggest that in lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Hospice & Palliative Care Charlotte Region, 1420 East Seventh Street, Charlotte, NC 28204; The Ivey Senior Adult Day Care, 6030 Park South Drive, Charlotte, NC 28210; or St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 115 West 7th Street, Charlotte, NC 28202.