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Fracking Fracas Continues

View From the Trike; Profs Clash Over Effects of Shale Gas Drilling; Johnson School Names Dean; Endowed Tuition Rises 4.5 Percent; 7.4 for Statutory; Cornell's First Police Dog Dies; Royal Palm Serves Final Pint; Gabby Giffords Resigns; Senator Kirk Suffers Stroke; Outgoing Board Chair Honored; Barlow Ware '47 Dies   View from the trike: As […]


View From the Trike; Profs Clash Over Effects of Shale Gas Drilling; Johnson School Names Dean; Endowed Tuition Rises 4.5 Percent; 7.4 for Statutory; Cornell's First Police Dog Dies; Royal Palm Serves Final Pint; Gabby Giffords Resigns; Senator Kirk Suffers Stroke; Outgoing Board Chair Honored; Barlow Ware '47 Dies


View from the trike: As of late January, Cornell's campus is visible on Google Maps' Street View, allowing Web surfers to tour the Hill from the comfort of their laptops. The images were captured via cameras mounted on a tricycle-like vehicle; viewers can move down streets or view the campus in 360-degree panoramas. Other U.S. campuses on Street View include Boston University and Stanford.

Profs Clash Over Effects of Shale Gas Drilling

In the article "Hot Topic" (Currents, September/October 2011), CAM summarized the conclusions of a paper on the impact of shale gas extraction written by Robert Howarth, the Atkinson Professor of Ecology and Environmental Biology, and two Cornell colleagues: Anthony Ingraffea, the Baum Professor of Engineering, and Renee Santoro '06, a research technician. Their paper, published in Climatic Change Letters in April 2011, stated that natural gas released through hydraulic fracturing causes more global warming than coal. Over a twenty-year period, the researchers concluded, the greenhouse gas footprint of shale gas is at least 20 percent greater and possibly more than twice as great as that of coal.

In another paper published in the same journal in January 2012, Cornell earth and atmospheric sciences professor Lawrence Cathles and colleagues called the Howarth paper "seriously flawed" and contended that "shale gas has a greenhouse gas footprint that is half and perhaps a third that of coal." Howarth responded, telling the New York Times that he had submitted a follow-up paper to Climatic Change Letters and stating: "We stand by our approach and findings published last April, and find little of merit in the criticisms by Cathles and colleagues." Howarth added that "using all available information and the latest climate science, we conclude that for most uses, the greenhouse gas footprint of shale gas is greater than that of other fossil fuels on time scales of up to 100 years." Cathles fired back, asserting that "the argument that substituting natural gas for other fossil fuels will increase warming is false." The ongoing dispute hinges on conflicting data about the release of gas during the extraction process and the time period used to measure the atmospheric impact.

Johnson School Names Dean

Soumitra Dutta

A professor of business and technology at a graduate business school in France has been named the eleventh dean of the Johnson Graduate School of Management. Soumitra Dutta comes to Cornell from INSEAD, which has campuses in Fontainebleau, Singapore, and Abu Dhabi. "Professor Dutta's appointment is a natural fit with Johnson's increasingly global outlook," says President David Skorton. "He has expertise in new and emerging media, he has studied the conditions that promote innovation, and he has extensive experience on the international stage." Dutta succeeds current dean Joseph Thomas, who will return to teaching and research after his five-year term ends on June 30.

Endowed Tuition Rises 4.5 Percent; 7.4 for Statutory

The Board of Trustees has approved a tuition rate of $43,185 for undergrads in the endowed colleges in 2012–13. The figure represents a 4.5 percent hike over the current academic year. With room, board, and fees, a year at Cornell will cost $57,041. In the statutory colleges, in-state students will see a 7.4 percent rise to $27,045; out-of-state tuition will go up 4.5 percent and equal that in the endowed colleges. According to Elmira Magnum, vice president for planning and budget, the increase "reflects the University's need to provide resources for the rising operations budget—26.3 percent of which comes from undergraduate tuition." Trustees also approved tuition rates for the graduate and professional schools, including a 3.9 percent hike (to $55,220) at the Law School and 4.5 percent (to $53,796) at the Johnson School.

Cornell's First Police Dog Dies


Cornell's first explosive-sniffing dog, a twelve-year-old black Lab named Sabre, died in early January following a long battle with a chronic infection. After being adopted from the Tompkins County SPCA, Sabre graduated from the Southern Tier Police Canine Association and was certified by New York State and the Eastern Police K-9 Association. He retired in 2008 after an eight-year career keeping venues safe for such dignitaries as President Bill Clinton, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, the Dalai Lama, and former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres—not to mention celebrities like Gwen Stefani and Snoop Dogg.

Royal Palm Serves Final Pint

Citing changes in student drinking habits, the owner of Collegetown's venerable Royal Palm Tavern closed the bar in late February after seventy-one years in business. Joe Leonardo told the Daily Sun that students are no longer spending as much time in bars as they did a decade ago. He noted that the widespread habit of coming to the tavern just half an hour before closing—nicknamed "Palms o'clock"—has been "a business killer." The Palms is the third Collegetown bar to close in less than a year, following Dino's and Johnny O's.

Gabby Giffords Resigns; Senator Kirk Suffers Stroke

In January, Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, MRP '97, announced that she would step down to focus on her ongoing recovery from a brain injury. A year earlier, Giffords was gravely wounded in a mass shooting at a meet-and-greet event in Tucson that left six dead and nineteen injured. Another lawmaker facing a long recovery from a brain injury is Senator Mark Kirk '81, who suffered a major stroke at the end of January. Kirk, who holds the Illinois seat vacated by President Barack Obama, suffered swelling in the right side of his brain; it did not affect his speech or mental capacity, but caused paralysis on the left side of his body.

Outgoing Board Chair Honored

In January, outgoing Board of Trustees chairman Peter Meinig '61, BME '62, was honored for his decade of service with a gala dinner at the New York Public Library. Trustees, deans, vice presidents, provosts, and members of Meinig's family gathered to mark his accomplishments as chair, which included the hiring of President Skorton and supporting the winning bid for the technology campus on Roosevelt Island. "The words to describe Pete Meinig are many," Skorton said. "Some that come to mind are a calm spirit, absolute integrity, a clear-eyed view of the best way forward, and the courage to follow that way." The event included the unveiling of Meinig's official portrait, which will hang in Uris Hall.

Barlow Ware '47 Dies

W. Barlow Ware '47, former voice of the Big Red and longtime Alumni Affairs staffer, died of cancer on December 19. He was eighty-six. Ware joined the Alumni Affairs staff in the Fifties; from 1957 to 1986, he was the voice of Cornell hockey and football, known for his play-by-play coverage. "He didn't try to become the show," says athletics director Andy Noel, "but he was always an interesting part of the event." Ware was inducted into the Cornell Athletic Hall of Fame in 2003. As the Cornell Chronicle noted in a 2004 profile: "In the fall of 1943, a dapper Manhattanite in Brooks Brothers sport coat, gray flannel pants, and bucks, a young man whose name appeared (as it does today) in the Social Register, stepped from the train in Ithaca to begin his study of farming…. Thus began an adventure that grew into a lifelong love affair with Cornell, its students and alumni, its staff and faculty, its coaches and players."

Read more in Ezra UpdateTribute: Consummate Cornellian Barlow Ware '47

Read more at eCommonsBarlow Ware


uprisingSeptember '71: A photo of the Attica prison uprising is among the nearly 2,000 images of African American life recently donated to the University Library by Beth and Stephan Loewentheil, JD '75.