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IU Vice President for Research Fred Cate honored by Phi Beta Kappa

Oct. 9, 2015


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Phi Beta Kappa Society has presented its President’s Award and Judith F. Krug Medal to Fred H. Cate, Indiana University vice president for research and Distinguished Professor and C. Ben Dutton Professor of Law in the IU Maurer School of Law.

The award and medal were presented Thursday in Denver at the 44th Triennial Council of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious academic honor society. They recognize outstanding service and commitment to advancing the liberal arts, freedom of inquiry and academic excellence.

“I am greatly honored,” Cate said. “For more than two centuries, Phi Beta Kappa has advocated for academic excellence in the liberal arts and sciences, and the skills such training necessarily involves: freedom of inquiry, critical thinking, creative problem-solving, clear and persuasive advocacy, and the ability to argue with civility and an open mind.

“Those skills are needed more than ever today for individuals to live productive, fulfilled lives; for employers to hire a workforce capable of addressing not only familiar issues but new, unimagined ones; and for a self-governing society to find productive paths forward even in the absence of broad consensus.”

The society also presented its President’s Award to George Greenia, professor of Hispanic studies at William and Mary and a Phi Beta Kappa senator.

Cate is only the second person to receive the Krug Medal, which was created in 2009. It was named in honor of Judith F. Krug, a former Phi Beta Kappa vice president who was founding director of the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom, founding executive director of the Freedom to Read Foundation and creator of Banned Books Week. Joseph W. Gordon, dean of undergraduate education at Yale University, received the Krug Medal in 2012.

Cate was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa at Stanford University in 1984. He was appointed senator in 2001, elected senator in 2003 and re-elected in 2009. He was elected Phi Beta Kappa president in 2009.

“As president, Fred Cate exhibited great diplomacy, grace, and humane and practical insight, political adroitness, and a clear talent for applying pressure with a light, consistent touch,” said Katherine Soule, the current president of Phi Beta Kappa. “He also mixes all of these skills with a strong measure of wit.”

An international expert on privacy, security and other information law and policy issues, Cate is director of the IU Center for Law, Ethics and Applied Research in Health Information and the Center for Information Privacy and Security. He served as the founding director of the Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research from 2003 to 2014, where he is now a senior fellow. He became university vice president for research in August 2015.

About Phi Beta Kappa

Founded in 1776 by five students at the College of William and Mary, the Phi Beta Kappa Society embraces the principles of freedom of inquiry and liberty of thought and expression and celebrates and advocates excellence in the liberal arts and sciences. Phi Beta Kappa chapters invite for induction the most outstanding arts and sciences students at 283 leading U.S. colleges and universities.