Talk:Northwestern University

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Northwest Territories?[edit]

The article states that NU was intended to "serve the people of the Northwest Territory". While the area of Illinois and other Upper Midwest states were indeed parts of the Northwest Territory, the Territory ceased to exist in 1803, more than 45 years prior to NU's inception, Illinois itself achieved statehood in 1818, more than 30 years before NU came around.

Could this be reworded somehow to clarify that the university served the former NWT or was there some official recognition of the former NWT that I am unaware of that could be cited to clarify this? I would make the changes myself but there might be someone better qualified to fix this.N9jig (talk) 03:00, 18 October 2009 (UTC)


Intro Paragraph Rankings[edit]

We need citations for what programs/departments/schools NU is ranked in, or else anybody who thinks their department is good will put their department on the list. But I'm not too sure how to best handle this. For instance communications is good at NU, but it's hard to compare such specialized departments. Also, I'm not a big fan of rankings, but at least it's something objective. According to THES, we're ranked in the social sciences... Deen Gu (talk) 05:47, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

I took out the non-rankings sentance from the lead since it was ultimately unverifiable and didn't reflect content in the rest of the article. If more content is added on the various academic programs and offerings in the academics sections, we could include this, but it was WP:PEACOCK-y as it was before. Madcoverboy (talk) 00:02, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

History of Northwestern University[edit]

I've been working on the History of Northwestern University and have taken care of most of the pre-WWII history and a smattering of topics since then. I would welcome other editors' assistance in expanding the article, getting it assessed, and nominating it for GA and FA in the coming months. Madcoverboy (talk) 22:12, 13 July 2008 (UTC)

Wow, thanks for updating the history article. Could you update the main history section if needed? I might try to do a quick edit of the academics section. Deen Gu (talk) 17:16, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

The Rock image[edit]

New rock image

User:CrazyCats60201 has been reverting edits to ensure than an image of the rock he uploaded appears on this page. In addition to being unnecessarily obscene, the image is poorly lit and provides no context for the environment around the rock. I have uploaded an image of mine under the assumption that the CrazyCats didn't like the previous image although it appears he is intent on ensuring that his image remains up there. Obviously, other editor's input is needed to ascertain what (if any) image should be used here. Madcoverboy (talk) 06:08, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

I went ahead and removed any of the 3 images of the rock on the article pending consensus on which should be used. Madcoverboy (talk) 19:12, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
I think the picture to the right is fine. It's your call. Deen Gu (talk) 18:11, 6 August 2008 (UTC)
The picture to the right looks good. Pummer (talk) 20:00, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

Shouldn't the Logo just be NU's seal?[edit]

And not the stylized "NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY" underneath? This would be more in line with other peer universities, including, for example University of Chicago and Duke University Pummer (talk) 20:01, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

I don't object. But just make sure, in absence of the text, that the logo is bigger to fit the box. Deen Gu (talk) 18:09, 6 August 2008 (UTC)
Done. I think this one works better. Pummer (talk) 20:01, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

http://www.northwestern.edu/univ-relations/publications/logo/guidelines.html "The logo is a single unit; the two elements of the seal and the words "Northwestern University" are always to be presented together, in the relationship shown here." —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.15.239.212 (talk) 06:36, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

Bot report : Found duplicate references ![edit]

In the last revision I edited, I found duplicate named references, i.e. references sharing the same name, but not having the same content. Please check them, as I am not able to fix them automatically :)

  • "purple" :
    • {{cite web|url=http://www.northwestern.edu/univ-relations/publications/logo/guidelines.html|title=Guidelines, Northwestern Identity System, Publications, Northwestern University|accessdate=2007-09-26}}
    • purple

DumZiBoT (talk) 20:15, 8 August 2008 (UTC)

Push for GA[edit]

I might just be talking to myself, but if there's anyone out there, I'd like your help to push this article to GA or A status. I especially need help in the traditions section as I have no experience with the importance or salience of these events, so I'm calling on any alums or current undergradutes to help build out that section by first and foremost visiting University of Michigan#Student life, Texas A&M#Student life, and Duke University#Student life as these are model articles which we should emulate. Or really any of the rest of the sections there. Madcoverboy (talk) 12:02, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

Endowment numbers[edit]

The NACUBO numbers are most reliable numbers since they are comparable on the same criteria. I'm not an accountant by any means, but there are lots of numbers in financial reports that can be construed as the endowment and I'm only going to trust NACUBO. Their report on 2008 endowments should be published by the end of January 2009. Madcoverboy (talk) 15:33, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

I recommend some flexibility with endowment numbers right now given the financial climate and how quickly many endowments are plummeting. I don't think this is necessarily applicable in this instance but it's something to keep in mind. --ElKevbo (talk) 16:38, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
Given the complexity and scale of endowments and the non-profit mission of universities, I believe official endowment numbers are only collected/released in an annual report. The reliability of anything not citing an annual financial report or standardized data set (like NACUBO) is dubious as it might be conflating pension funds, gifts but not expenditures, etc. Hopefully, it's not the case that NACUBO is delayed for months like the NRC.... Madcoverboy (talk) 17:14, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
I think USNWR always underreports NU endowment figures. I don't know why. But even at the height of our endowment, (late-summer 08) the 2009 USNWR reported ~4.9 while the NACUBO reported ~7.2. Deen Gu (talk) 16:41, 8 August 2009 (UTC)

citation needed[edit]

Maybe a few more than needed were added, but if you look at the other sections of the article, they are all well sourced. Now look at the marked sections. Essentially zero citations. Horrible. Needs to be fixed. 129.105.81.116 (talk) 19:49, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

Campus Life and Alumni still need to be fixed. 75.31.250.206 (talk) 13:21, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
WP:SOFIXIT Madcoverboy (talk) 13:25, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
Good idea. couldn't find sources for most things, so now fixxed. 75.31.250.206 (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 17:02, 16 March 2009 (UTC).
Reverted. Blanking the entire sections of the article because they are uncited is inappropriate. I intended to convey that editors should find citations to back up the assertions and claims and only remove them if they are non-neutral or unverifiable. Madcoverboy (talk) 17:34, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
"couldn't find sources for most things"
"only remove them if they are [...] unverifiable."
lol - that he did —Preceding unsigned comment added by 129.105.19.151 (talk) 19:42, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
I restored some of the other guy's edits (some were actually good if you read them) and added some clean up of my own. Some things I was a bit iffy about changing, but I changed them anyway, deciding to be bold. So at the very least look at my edits before reverting them all, as you did with 75.31.250.206. 129.105.19.151 (talk) 20:06, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
I think 129's cleanup has the article looking much better after a first glance. It will likely just take a a few Google News searches to turn up neutral and verifiable citations for currently uncited material. Madcoverboy (talk) 20:20, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

Translation into Chinese Wikipedia[edit]

The 03:37, 7 March 2009 Sinneed version of this article is translated into Chinese Wikipedia.--Wing (talk) 14:34, 7 March 2009 (UTC)

Popular culture and fictitious alumni[edit]

Wikipedia is not a directory to house lists of cultural ephemera like the fact that Northwestern was mentioned in a television show, a fictional character is an alumni, etc. This content does not warrant a standalone section within the article since it does absolutely nothing to increase the reader's understanding of Northwestern. If the content can be integrated into another part of the article or a subarticle List of Northwestern University alumni without undue weight, then attempt that. But please stop creating "Northwestern in popular culture" and "Fictitious Northwestern alumni" sections in the article. Madcoverboy (talk) 13:34, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

NU intro[edit]

Maybe there's a way we could change it a little so not every sentence starts with the word Northwestern? I propose this slight change. Plus, I think telling people how much acreage is redundant.

"Northwestern University (NU) is a private research university located primarily in Evanston, Illinois, United States. Northwestern was founded in 1851 by John Evans and eight other Chicago businessmen to serve the people of what had once been part of the Northwest Territory. Instruction began in 1855 and women were first admitted in 1869. Today, Northwestern's main campus is located in Evanston, Illinois, along the shore of Lake Michigan. The law and medical schools are located in downtown Chicago's Streeterville neighborhood. In 2008, the Medill School of Journalism and School of Communication opened a campus in Education City, Doha, Qatar.

Northwestern is organized into twelve undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools and colleges and in 2008 enrolled 8,476 undergraduate and 9,955 graduate and professional students. Northwestern's schools of management, engineering, and communication are among the most academically productive in the nation in their respective disciplines.[9] Northwestern managed research and development budgets totaling $420.0 million in 2006, 34th among all universities and 13th among private universities in the United States. Alumni include three Presidential nominees, two Supreme Court justices, two Nobel Prize laureates, nine Pulitzer Prize laureates, and six Academy Award laureates.

Northwestern is a founding member and remains the sole private institution in the Big Ten Conference. The Northwestern Wildcats compete in 19 intercollegiate sports in the NCAA's Division I."

Deen Gu (talk) 02:37, 20 December 2009 (UTC)

This seems fine to me on a first pass. Madcoverboy (talk) 03:54, 20 December 2009 (UTC)

Cite gone missing[edit]

There are 4 or more references to a work "Williamson and Wild" in the article, yet the original full citation seems to have gone missing. Would the author contributing the original cite or someone who knows of the original cite please assist in restoring it Thanks. Sctechlaw (talk) 02:35, 16 October 2010 (UTC)

Is this the cite originally used?
Harold F. Williamson and Payson S. Wild, Northwestern University, A history, 1850-1975 (Evanston: Northwestern, 1976)
Sctechlaw (talk) 03:44, 16 October 2010 (UTC)

Sports confusion[edit]

In the "Athletics" section, NU is claimed as "holding the record for the longest losing streak in Division I-A, losing 34 consecutive games between 1979 and 1982." Yet immediately after this, the article states that, "In 2004, Northwestern broke a 33-year losing streak (46 years at home)." Which is it? Is the latter a streak of losing seasons? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 98.206.139.254 (talk) 04:47, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

Two profs[edit]

The article, when listing notable faculty, states: "sexual psychologist J. Michael Bailey;[161] Holocaust denier Arthur Butz..."

Butz is indeed a Holocaust denier, but he doesn't teach Holocaust or even history at NU. He teaches electrical engineering, which has nothing to do with the subject. It seems his Holocaust denial is separate from his position at NU. Thus, I think its UNDUE to mention that he is a Holocaust denier on this article.

Bailey is a sexual psychologist. And his methods for teaching the subject he does have come under attack (i.e the live sex demonstration). That should certainly be mentioned.VR talk 17:44, 6 March 2011 (UTC)

Avoid dated statements[edit]

Please remember the guideline WP:DATED to avoid words like "currently". It might be "current" when you add it, but it quickly gets out of date. This is an encyclopedia, not a news item. In particular, as per the #Endowment numbers discussion above, the article now is not even consistent. An unregistered editor just changed it to say "eighth richest" with current endowment of 6.3B, but the source cited shows it as number 9 with only 5.9. The Daily article cited elsewhere gives the higher figure, and explains they were both done in 2009 when investments changed so quickly these numbers could not be compared that accurately. I will try to fix the article to agree with sources and back out some other dated language. W Nowicki (talk) 22:57, 1 July 2011 (UTC)

An unregistered user at IP address 74.108.11.21 again tried to put the $6.3B figure into the lead without any edit comment or discussion here. The cited source clearly shows the value of $5.9B, which in 2009 was fairly meaningless since values were changing so fast. Please read the guidelines on lead sections and avoid dated details. Also saying "richest" is a bit colloquial. Tha might also be interpreted as many rich people go there, also ill-defined and not encyclopedic. Thanks. W Nowicki (talk) 19:21, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

Unregistered IP address 74.108.11.21 again claimed in the lead the August 2010 number was "current". It is not, and sourced to a student newspaper article anyway. Please read guidelines about dated statements and lead sections. Perhaps time to semi-protect the article? W Nowicki (talk) 16:05, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

The vandal is back again, making changes that undo others without edit sumaries nor discussing them. Not sure if I would be accused of an "edit war" by fixing it again within 24 hours, so sounds like time for semi-protection, if someone can give an opnion. Or am I the lone voice in the wilderness opposed to saying something from a student newspaper last year is "current"? W Nowicki (talk) 19:07, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

George RR Martin[edit]

He belongs on the list of notable alumni.

That is all. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 199.79.10.117 (talk) 17:08, 31 August 2011 (UTC)

Andrew Mason[edit]

Is listed as "Northwestern alumni involved in professional sports include...". I Don't think Groupon is a professional sports organization — Preceding unsigned comment added by 38.98.137.29 (talk) 21:56, 1 September 2011 (UTC)

Spanking rules in the 1920s[edit]

Carrite has removed the following from the "Traditions" section:

Corporal punishment for undergraduates was introduced in 1922, when it was announced that students of either sex could be spanked for a range of offenses in public, including swearing, smoking (if aged under 21), rollerskating in the downtown district, or being rowdy in an ice cream parlor.[1]

Carrite says in the edit summary: "Removes section based on a 90 year old news report. There is no "tradition" of corporal punishment at Northwestern." Clearly not now, but evidently there was in the 1920s (the New York Times being a reliable source). Why should this intriguing factoid, taking up a mere one sentence, be left out? Is it suggested that somebody might think those rules and that punishment still apply? If that is the problem, unless can we find a source for when it ceased, I propose that we simply find a wording that makes clear that this is a purely historical point. The history of a university should be as significant in an article about it as the present. -- Alarics (talk) 12:03, 12 June 2012 (UTC)

I agree that we should cover the history of the university but this seems to be minor trivia. Unless it supports a larger narrative, it should remain deleted. ElKevbo (talk) 14:55, 12 June 2012 (UTC)


I agree that this is minor trivia. The practice may well have been so prevalent among many universities at the time that the historical distinction is non-notable. This is an encyclopedic summary of notable topics, not an exhaustive history of the institution. Madcoverboy (talk) 15:11, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
Stupid, stupid, stupid trivia which does little to enhance the article. Let's leave it out. BTW - what is it about your fascination with corporal punishment? O_o - Alison 00:27, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

Prentice Demolition[edit]

The assertion "In October 2013, Northwestern began demolishing the architecturally significant Prentice Women's Hospital after a morally-questionable publicity campaign equating re-using the building with allowing people to die." is simply not supported by the citation given [44], a Sun-Times article by a Northwestern Professor explaining why the building should be demolished. If it is not supported, it should be removed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2601:D:9D80:5B4:95F9:4304:65A8:3EAA (talk) 19:26, 7 April 2014 (UTC)