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Transportation Center Moves to McCormick

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November 17, 2004

In order to provide stronger faculty leadership and focus its research efforts, Northwestern’s Transportation Center will become part of the Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science Jan. 1, 2005.

At the same time, the executive education programs offered by the Transportation Center will be administered by the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern officials announced today (Nov. 17).

“These changes will enable the Transportation Center to integrate its research more closely with the undergraduate and graduate programs at McCormick, while at the same time provide stronger support for its executive education programs in Kellogg,” said Provost Lawrence B. Dumas.

The new alignment will allow the research programs to build a stronger relationship with the Infrastructure Technology Institute in McCormick and establish connections to other research centers in both McCormick and Kellogg, Dumas said.

Joseph Schofer, McCormick’s interim dean, welcomed the addition of the Transportation Center to the ranks of McCormick’s research centers. “Locating the Center within McCormick will make it easier to take advantage of important relationships through our Walter P. Murphy Co-operative Education Program and the Office of Industry Relations, which can help preserve and enrich the historic relationships of the Center with business and industry. I think it’ll be a good fit, and the Center will be a real asset to McCormick.”

Two key areas related to the Center, the Transportation Library and the endowed Patterson professorship and lecture, will not be affected by the move, Dumas said.

The Transportation Library, located within Northwestern’s main University Library, will continue to be a focus for the library. Containing over 400,000 items, the Transportation Library is one of the largest transportation information centers in the world, encompassing information on all transportation modes, including: air, rail, highway, pipeline, water, urban transport and logistics. It includes a significant collection on law enforcement, police management and traffic enforcement and its collection of environmental impact statements is one of the most complete in the world.

The William A. Patterson Chair in Transportation was established in 1979 to enhance and support Northwestern’s scholarly activity in transportation education and research. Now vacant, the professorship will be filled by a scholar who can play a role in leading the Center in its new structure, Schofer said.

The annual Patterson lecture brings a top official in the transportation industry to Northwestern’s campus. Last year’s lecturer was Michael Eskew, chairman of UPS, Inc., and previous lecturers have included Herb Kelleher, chairman and CEO of Southwest Airlines; Robert Krebs, chairman and CEO of Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway; and other industry leaders.

In addition, Chambers Hall, located at 600 Foster St., will continue to be the headquarters for the Transportation Center. The building houses faculty offices, space for collaborative research and conferences and provides classroom space for the Center. It also houses the Center for Public Safety and some of its classes.

C. Bradley Moore, Northwestern’s vice president for research, said,  “We want to focus the research program and to integrate that research better with our academic programs. By coupling the management of these programs to the outstanding leadership in McCormick and Kellogg, this reorganization will reinvigorate and redirect the research and executive education programs of the Center to meet the evolving technical and managerial needs of its constituencies.”