The declining pace of new featured articles was a focus of considerable attention this week, prompting debate and activity in other projects and on the wikien-l mailing list about how to address the situation.
Six articles were promoted to Featured status this week: Mercantilism, French law on secularity and conspicuous religious symbols in schools, W. Mark Felt, Richard O'Connor, Peterborough Chronicle, and Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me). The pace of new featured articles has fallen just under one per day; while a significant backlog of featured articles has not appeared on the Main Page yet, the decreased production has given cause for concern.
Earlier, Featured Article Director Raul654 had noted that the ratio of featured articles to other articles in English Wikipedia was about to fall below 1:1000, or 0.1%. Toothpaste called this event "a sad day in Wikiland." 
This led to an extended discussion about the causes of the problem, including debate about the value of the featured article process itself. Tony Sidaway expressed the opinion that many featured articles had managed to get through the process in spite of being badly written. The criticism also ties in with the complaint of a business journalist who commented on the poor writing in two other (non-featured) articles (see related story).
In an effort to compensate for the problems with both quality and quantity, several projects are underway. The Collaboration of the Week project and the Peer review process are two efforts that have been particularly productive in generating successful featured article candidates. Talrias expressed concern that the activity level on the Collaboration of the Week "has fallen quite considerably" in recent months, and called for ideas on how to reinvigorate the project. Also, the Featured Article Drive, designed specifically to help guide articles through the process, was re-launched this week by Rob Church.
This week, thirteen users gained administrator status: Gyrofrog (nom), Durin (nom), Kwamikagami (nom), OwenX (nom), NicholasTurnbull (nom), Nabla (nom), 23skidoo (nom), Graft (nom), Brian_Kendig (nom), Mairi (nom), DragonflySixtyseven (nom), RoySmith (nom) and BillyH (nom).