President Joe Biden appointed Princeton faculty members Andrea Goldsmith, the dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science, and Stephen Pacala, the Frederick D. Petrie Professor in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, to the PRESIDENT’S COUNCIL OF ADVISORS ON SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY. Two alumni, Caltech engineering professor John Dabiri ’01 and UCLA mathematician Terence Tao *96, were among the president’s new appointments, which were announced Sept. 22. Two of the council’s three co-chairs, biomedical engineer Frances Arnold ’79 and geneticist Eric Lander ’78, are alumni as well.
There was a “SIGNIFICANT INCREASE” IN THE NUMBER OF A GRADES awarded during the pandemic, according to a report of the Faculty Committee on Examinations and Standing. About 59 percent of all transcript grades were A’s during the 2020–21 academic year. The report showed an increase of 0.042 points in the overall GPA from 2019–20 (3.520) to 2020–21 (3.562). The overall GPA has increased 0.172 points since the revised grading policy went into effect in 2015. The committee cited generous grading during the pandemic, including the optional P/D/F policy, for the raise and questioned whether it was helpful or encouraged “the race to attain a 4.0.”