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Stolen Computer Puts 45,000 at Risk for Identity Theft
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Friday, 26 June 2009

On June 23, Cornell posted an announcement that a university-owned computer with personal information for 45,000 students, faculty, staff, and alumni had been stolen. E-mails were also sent to the affected individuals. The information on the computer included names and Social Security numbers, putting the affected individuals at risk for identity theft. The computer was being used by a CIT employee who was troubleshooting data-transmission problems.

According to the Daily Sun, the files were not encrypted and the laptop was left in a physically unsecure environment, which violates University policy. Cornell spokesman Simeon Moss '73, BA '82, told the Sun that the stolen computer had the Social Security numbers of 22,546 students (10,597 of whom are alumni) and 22,731 faculty and staff members (of whom 4,284 are retirees or separated employees). All of the individuals at risk will be provided credit-protection services at University expense. State Police Investigator Aaron Lewis told the Sun that there is a chance that the person who stole the laptop does not know that it contains the personal information. So far, there is no indication that any of the information has been abused, although Lewis cautioned that now that the theft has been publicized, the perpetrator may realize that the computer has this information.

Former CU Goalie Charged with Rape Print E-mail
Thursday, 25 June 2009

Former Cornell hockey goalie David McKee '07, who left school after his junior year to sign with the NHL's Anaheim Ducks, has been charged with rape after an alleged 2006 incident in Newport Beach, California. According to a June 25 article in the Ithaca Journal, McKee pleaded not guilty on June 5 to charges of rape of an unconscious person and rape by intoxication. It is unclear why the charges were filed so long after the alleged incident, but McKee's attorney, Allan Stokke, termed it "highly, highly unusual."

Playing for the Big Red in 2005-06, McKee set school records for consecutive games played and career shutouts, and he was a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award, college hockey's highest honor. In his last game in a Cornell uniform, he made 59 saves in 1-0 loss to Wisconsin in the NCAA tournament.

The OC Register of Orange County, California, reported that the alleged incident took place on July 12, 2006. McKee, who was attending an NHL hockey camp, went to a bar in Newport Beach to drink with a friend, where he met the 25-year-old victim, prosecutors said. McKee, along with a group of both men and women, went back with the victim to her apartment. The victim went into her bedroom alone to go sleep. He then went into her room and sexually assaulted her while she was unconscious, prosecutors said. The victim woke up during the alleged attack, and called police.

C-town Plan Approved Print E-mail
Thursday, 18 June 2009

On June 17, the planning committee of the Ithaca Common Council voted 4-1 to adopt the somewhat controversial Collegetown Urban Plan and Design Guidelines. As the Ithaca Journal reported, the lone dissenting vote was cast by Mary Tomlan, MA '71, who said that approval of the plan should have been postponed until after the city completed a revision of its comprehensive plan. The plan gives a green light for taller buildings in some areas and will allow builders to forgo on-site parking by paying fees for alternatives such as remote parking garages or mass-transit improvements.

Cornell Honors Retirees Print E-mail
Tuesday, 09 June 2009

At a June 8 ceremony on the Arts Quad, the University honored a group of staff retirees, including 432 who accepted the offer of a special voluntary retirement package with benefits that included a lump-sum payout equal to one year of base pay, as well as an additional 30% contribution to a retirement account set up through the University Retirement Program. Some of the vacated positions will be permanently eliminated as part of Cornell's budgetary belt-tightening.

As the Ithaca Journal noted, it was tough for many to say goodbye to their longtime colleagues. Others—not quite done yet—had to dash back to work.

Green Light for Milstein Hall Print E-mail
Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Meeting in Ithaca on Commencement weekend, the Board of Trustees accepted the recommendation of President David Skorton and gave the go-ahead to construction of Paul Milstein Hall, the controversial new home for the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning. In a statement, Skorton said that "this has not been an easy decision" and noted that he was "swayed by the programmatic imperative of securing the [architecture] program's accreditation" as well as by a cost reduction of more than $12 million achieved by deferring the parking garage that was part of the original proposal. Although the Board also approved the construction of the addition to the Johnson Museum, many other capital projects remain on hold.

But, as the Daily Sun reported, not all faculty are convinced that going ahead with the Rem Koolhaas design for Milstein Hall is a good idea.

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