UC Berkeley News



04 October 2006

Karabel book on Ivy admissions chosen twice more

Berkeley sociology professor Jerome Karabel has picked up a pair of awards for his 2005 book The Chosen: The Hidden History of Admission and Exclusion at Harvard, Yale and Princeton (Houghton Mifflin). Based on an exhaustive review of the archives of the Big Three Ivy League universities, the book has won the 2006 Max Weber Award for Distinguished Scholarship as "essential reading for anyone who wishes to understand the power struggles and prejudices that have shaped admissions policies at elite American universities." Karabel was also presented with the American Sociological Association's 2006 Willard Waller Award, for "an outstanding book in the field published in the last three years."

In its citation, the Weber Award committee lauded the book for "illuminat[ing] the power relationships and symbolic struggles that have shaped admissions policy at these elite institutions over the past hundred years. The Chosen also provides a lens for examining some of the 20th century's most penetrating social forces: anti-Semitism, racism, market competition, and the rise of the civil-rights movement."

The Chosen is a previous winner of the National Jewish Book Award.

Tetlock, Danner honored by APSA

The American Political Science Association names the recognition of excellence in the profession and in the study of politics as one of its most important activities. The association has a number of awards covering dissertations, papers and articles, books, and career achievement. Through the years these awards have played an important role in the careers of their recipients and in marking landmark scholarship in the field.

This year the association recognized two of its members from Berkeley. The Haas School's Philip Tetlock, author of Expert Political Judgment: How Good Is It? How Can We Know? (Princeton University Press, 2005), won the Woodrow Wilson Foundation Award ($5,000) for the best book on government, politics, or international affairs published in the U.S. during the previous calendar year. And Mark Danner of the Graduate School of Journalism won the Carey McWilliams Award ($500) to honor a major journalistic contribution to our understanding of politics.

A grant and an honorary degree for Karlene Roberts

Professor Karlene Roberts of the Haas School of Business has received an honorary degree from the UniversitÚ Paul CÚzanne Aix-Marseille III and a substantial grant from the National Science Foundation.

In June, Roberts was the first woman ever to be awarded a Doctorat Honoris Causa en Sciences de Gestion (honorary doctor of management science) from the UniversitÚ Paul CÚzanne Aix-Marseille III. The degree recognized Roberts' groundbreaking studies of high-reliability organizations, which operate with very hazardous technologies. Roberts has worked on analyses of everything from the shipwreck of the Exxon Valdez to the reliability of plane landings on American nuclear aircraft carriers.

Also this summer, Roberts, a member of the Haas faculty since 1968, won nearly $750,000 in grant funding from the National Science Foundation for a three-year project, "How Institutions Think About the Unthinkable: Organizational Learning and Communication About Catastrophic Events."

Roberts will be the principal investigator on an interdisciplinary project team that will focus on one actual disaster (Hurricane Katrina) and one potential disaster (earthquake and flood threats to the California Delta) to test theories of how organizations learn (or fail to learn) from disasters. The co-investigators are Daniel Farber (law), W. Michael Hanemann (agricultural and resource economics), and James Hunt (civil and environmental engineering).