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CU to Cut Faculty & Staff
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Monday, 23 February 2009

In an interview with the Cornell Chronicle, Provost Kent Fuchs said that the economic crisis will force Cornell to reduce faculty over the next three years. Some positions that become vacant because of attrition will simply not be filled. "We need to manage the reduction in the number of faculty strategically," Fuchs said, "so that high-priority areas don't lose critical faculty." Deciding where the reductions should take place will be part of an insititutional planning process that will begin in March.

Staff will also be reduced. On February 27, President David Skorton and Vice President for Human Resources Mary Opperman announced a "retirement incentive" program that will allow senior staff — those over the age of 55 with at least 10 years of service — to take immediate retirement with a lump-sum payment and an enhanced university contribution to their retirement plan account. A phased retirement plan, with reduced work hours, is also being offered.

 
Red Hot Hockey Redux Print E-mail
Wednesday, 11 February 2009

It's official (almost) . . . Pending the crossing of a few T's and the dotting of some I's, it looks as if the Big Red men's hockey team will once again be facing Boston University at Madison Square Garden on the Saturday after Thanksgiving (November 28, 2009).

Watch the Cornell Athletics website for more information on the game.

Plans are also being made for a pre-game rally and reception; check www.alumni.cornell.edu/bigred/ for more about that.

 
Applications Up Again Print E-mail
Wednesday, 04 February 2009

Cornell has received 34,192 applications for the Class of 2013 — an all-time high and a 3 percent increase over the previous year. According to the Daily Sun, members of the Cornell Alumni Admissions Ambassador Network (CAAAN) received word of the applications total via an e-mail from the admissions office. This year, Cornell also admitted more students by early decision — 1,249 — than ever before.

 
Milstein Hall: Boon or Boondoggle? Print E-mail
Friday, 30 January 2009

The long-delayed construction of Milstein Hall—the new home for Architecture, Art, and Planning—appeared to clear the last major hurdle on January 27 when, as the Daily Sun reported, Ithaca's Planning and Development Board approved the final site plan. (Also reported, with more background, in the Cornell Chronicle.)

Not so fast, said a group of 25 professors and alumni whose letter was published in the Daily Sun on January 30. Citing the University's current financial crisis as well as concerns about the design and environmental impact of the building, they said that moving ahead with the project was difficult to justify. "In search of a more innovative, cost-effective, and nature-friendly way to serve the space needs of AAP," they wrote, "we urge that Milstein be included in the building moratorium and that this project be reconsidered."

 
Endowment Declines 27 Percent (Updated) Print E-mail
Tuesday, 13 January 2009

During a January 9 interview with CAM editor and publisher Jim Roberts, President David Skorton said that the value of Cornell’s endowment had declined 27 percent between June 30 and December 31, 2008. This is similar to losses that have been announced by Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and other institutions.

The total value of Cornell's endowment and other long-term investments was $6.1 billion on June 30, but Skorton said that some illiquid assets, such as real estate, have not been revalued yet—so the full extent of the decline is unclear. The 27 percent decline, if it is accurate for all of Cornell's long-term investments, represents a drop of almost $1.7 billion.

Skorton noted that Cornell’s operating budget is not as dependent on endowment earnings as that of some other institutions and expressed great confidence in the University’s financial managers and trustees as they deal with the current economic crisis.

A full report on the endowment will appear in the March/April 2009 issue of the magazine.

After a meeting of the Board of Trustees on January 23-24, Skorton issued a statement outlining Cornell's response to the financial crisis, including budget cuts and an extension of the "pause" in hiring and construction.

 
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