Moments in Time
The Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice—which seeks to apply what its executive director John F. Hollway C’92 LPS’18 calls a “systems approach to preventing errors in criminal justice”—has been around since 2013. In those seven years, it has made significant contributions to reform efforts by exposing, through its research, the negative impacts of cash bail, pretrial detention, and “stop and frisk” police practices, among others.
But as frequent contributor Julia Klein notes in this issue’s cover story, “Connecting the Data,” the center’s work has gained new urgency and relevance as the wave of protests initially sparked by George Floyd’s death at the hands of police in Minnesota in late May have expanded into a broad interrogation of systemic racism in the US far beyond the issue of police brutality. “We’re precisely placed for this moment in time,” Hollway told her.
Before founding the center, which is housed in the law school where he is an associate dean, Hollway had worked as a corporate lawyer, also involved in pro bono criminal cases; as an executive in pharma and tech companies; and as a participant in the Northern California Innocence Project. This varied set of experiences alerted him to the ways in which justice is not administered fairly and provided insight from disciplines outside the legal system into how to correct—ideally, to prevent—such miscarriages without recourse to the enormous expense and lost years of life and effort required in relitigating individual cases.
The center’s approach draws on the work of management guru W. Edwards Deming, who espoused “continuous quality improvement.” Another important function is to bring together Penn’s disparate expert voices on the subject of criminal justice reform, from Dorothy Roberts—an advocate of abolishing the police and prisons—to John M. MacDonald, who contends that reforms can be accomplished through changes in policies and practices without major social changes.
The recent protests have also helped inspire initiatives here on campus. In “Gazetteer,” associate editor Dave Zeitlin C’03 talks with University Chaplain Chaz Howard C’00, who has been appointed to the new position of vice president for social equity and community. Penn also announced that it will look at campus iconography, continuing a reckoning with the University’s past that began with the Penn & Slavery Project a few years ago; it has already been decided that the statue of George Whitefield will be removed from the Quad. And the role of scholarly publishing in bringing issues like defunding the police into the mainstream is part of what will motivate the new leadership team at the University of Pennsylvania Press.
Meanwhile of course, COVID-19 continues to cause devastating health and economic impacts, and Penn and other schools have been faced with making decisions in an uncertain landscape as the virus has spiked in many places in the US over the summer. In the end, those rising case counts dashed hopes that the University could bring students back to campus for the fall semester. We have the details in “Gazetteer.”
While he led last spring’s popular virtual class on the pandemic, Wharton’s Mauro Guillén was also awaiting the publication of 2030: How Today’s Biggest Trends Will Collide and Reshape the Future of Everything. (With some minor caveats, he says the virus will accelerate them.) “The Future Is Coming—Fast!” describes the new world to come within the next decade and offers some “tips and tricks” Guillén recommends for making the best of it.
Some things endure, like the friendship between Rob Hyman C’72 and Eric Bazilian C’75. Also, their band, the Hooters, featured on the cover of the December 1989 issue of the Gazette and back in our pages now, in “Rocking Through the Decades with Rob and Eric” by Jonathan Takiff C’68, sometime Gazette contributor and longtime music journalist and supporter of the band (see his bio on page 41).
His original plan was to write about the band’s 20+20 tour celebrating 40 years of performing as the Hooters, scheduled to launch on Memorial Day. The coronavirus rendered that moot, so the piece is more of a career retrospective—but with a guardedly optimistic ending. The tour has been rescheduled for next summer, and Hyman told Jonathan, “We’re sure hoping we can get back on that horse again.”
—John Prendergast C’80