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Another CU Candidate for the Supreme Court
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Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Last week, we noted that Leah Ward Sears '76 had been mentioned as a possible replacement for Justice David Souter on the U.S. Supreme Court. Sears is currently chief justice of the Georgia Supreme Court.

Another possible Cornell candidate, reports, is Kathleen Sullivan '76, the Stanley Morrison Professor of Law (and former dean) at Stanford Law School. According to the Bloomberg article, Sullivan "became interested in law after being influenced by what she viewed as the heroic role attorneys played in the Watergate scandal." After graduating from Cornell, she studied philosophy, politics, and economics at Oxford University and received a law degree from Harvard.

Golding Resigns as EVP Print E-mail
Wednesday, 06 May 2009

On May 6, Stephen Golding announced his resignation as Cornell's executive vice president for finance and administration. Golding was appointed to that position in 2005 by then-President Jeffrey Lehman '77.

When Golding was appointed, CAM noted that his position "has been endowed by the Bodman Foundation to honor Samuel Bodman '60, B Chem E '61, who was confirmed as U.S. secretary of energy [under President George W. Bush] in January [2005]; it is believed to be the first such endowed senior financial position in American higher education."

Golding's resignation is effective on July 1. He will remain as a senior consultant to the president, focusing on Cornell’s role on economic development issues affecting the State of New York. According to the official announcement, a search for Golding's replacement "will not be initiated until the University has had an opportunity to review, as part of the president’s strategy to streamline the administration, the need to retain the position."

This review of the EVP position raises questions about the organization and future leadership of  Finance and Administration, which has 1,800 employees and includes the Division of Facilities Services, the Division of Financial Affairs, Cornell Information Technologies (CIT), and the Office of University Investments.

Another Alumna on the Supreme Court? Print E-mail
Friday, 01 May 2009

Ruth Bader Ginsburg '54 already represents Cornell on the U.S. Supreme Court. But could another alumna be on the way to join her?

In the wake of the news that David Souter would be retiring from the court, several news sources—including CNN and the New York Times—have mentioned Leah Ward Sears '76 as a possible replacement.

Sears, currently chief justice of the Georgia Supreme Court, would be the first African American woman to serve on the nation's highest court. She was profiled by Brad Herzog '90 in the July/August 2007 issue of CAM*. In that article, attorney Christopher Madden said: "Given her age and demographics, I can certainly envision a Democratic president wanting to put her on the U.S. Supreme Court. But that's like being struck by lightning."


*Unfortunately, the article is not available online at this time.

Faculty Salaries Frozen Print E-mail
Tuesday, 28 April 2009

As the University adjusts to a new financial reality, one thing that's not being cut is faculty compensation. As the Daily Sun reports, Provost Kent Fuchs has asserted that Cornell must maintain its current level of faculty pay to remain competitive. Faculty salaries have been frozen, says Fuchs, but they will not be reduced. The median salary for a full professor in the endowed colleges is now $154,300—but that number is pulled upward by the multi-million-dollar earnings of some Medical college professors, whose income includes fees from their clinical practices.

One problem in these tough times, as the Sun article notes, is that tenured professors do not have a mandatory retirement age and thus can remain on the University payroll at full salary indefinitely. "Personally, I don’t think there should be tenure without mandatory retirement," said ILR professor Ronald Ehrenberg, an expert in higher education finance. "We need to work on making [the position of] Professor Emeritus more desirable."

Milstein Hall on Hold Print E-mail
Tuesday, 21 April 2009

To provide information during the construction "pause," the University has established a website that provides information on the current status of all approved capital projects. According to the Daily Sun, this has helped to "appease faculty concerns" about which projects are moving ahead—and which are not.

One that isn't, at least for now, is Milstein Hall. The oft-delayed and controversial new home for the Architecture college is not on the list. Its status is being reviewed, and no date has yet been announced for a decision about when (or if) it will be built.

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