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Triumph and Tragedy
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Thursday, 18 March 2010

While any large institution has its share of ups and downs, the contrast has been especially stark at Cornell in the past month. The athletic teams have had unprecedented success: Women's hockey has won the Ivy League and ECAC championships and is making its first trip to the Frozen Four. The men's hockey team finished second (by one point) in the ECAC regular season, swept Harvard in the quarterfinals of the ECAC tournament, and is on its way to Albany to play for the league title and a guaranteed trip to the NCAA tournament. The men's basketball team won its third straight Ivy title and will play Temple in the NCAA tournament on Friday. The wrestling team — ranked No. 3 nationally — won its eight straight Ivy title, fourth straight EIWA title, and is sending eight wrestlers to the national tournament. And there have been many academic and administrative accomplishments as well, all reported on the Cornell Chronicle website, including the appointment of Deputy Provost David Harris as deputy assistant secretary for human services policy in the Obama Administration.

At the same time, this past month has seen three unfortunate student deaths, leading to a rash of similar articles in local, regional, and national media — some of which have unfairly tagged Cornell as a "suicide school," despite considerable evidence that suicides do not happen at Cornell any more often than they do at other colleges and universities. A few of the stories have been wildly sensationalistic (and error-filled); others, including a front-page article in the New York Times and a report on NPR, have been more balanced, but still tend to give the impression that being a student at Cornell is somehow more difficult and precarious than it is at other rigorous schools. (The Daily Sun's "Sunshine" blog has done a good job of cataloging these articles.)

On Wednesday, more than 1,000 students, faculty, and staff gathered on the Arts Quad to express their sorrow at the deaths and their support for each other. It was a beautiful, sunny day, unusually warm for March in Ithaca. Let's hope that was an omen for the days to come.

Women's Hockey Advances to Frozen Four Print E-mail
Monday, 22 February 2010

For the first time, the Cornell women's hockey team has claimed the championships of the Ivy League, the ECAC Hockey regular season, and the ECAC Hockey tournament. They won the Ivy title — their first outright Ivy championship since 1996 — on February 12 with a 4-0 victory over Brown. A week later, they captured their first-ever ECAC season title by defeating Union 6-1.That win boosted their record to 15-8-6 overall and 14-2-6 in the ECAC.

Goalie Amanda Mazzotta has been outstanding all season, posting ten shutouts and being named ECAC Hockey Goaltender of the Week three times.

In the ECAC Hockey tournament, the Big Red women swept Colgate in the best-of-three first round series and then defeated RPI to reach the championship game. Two third-period goals by Clarkson sent the contest to overtime, where a goal by sophomore Kendice Ogilvie at the 7:52 mark won the game 4-3 for Cornell. Ogilvie was named the tournament's most outstanding player.

In the NCAA tournament, Cornell (20-8-6) defeated Harvard 6-2 in the first round to advance to the Frozen Four, where they will face top-seeded Mercyhurst (30-2-3) in the semifinal at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis on Friday night.

Should Cornell Be More Centralized? Print E-mail
Tuesday, 09 February 2010

For years, there has been an ongoing debate regarding Cornell's decentralized administration, in which the individual colleges have a great deal of autonomy. Is it an asset or a liability? This debate has been renewed, with vigor, in recent discussions about revising Cornell's budget model.

As part of the "Reimagining Cornell" process, one task force was charged with examining the budget model and making recommendations for improving it. Those recommendations include a proposal to pool tuition revenue and give the provost the authority to redistribute that revenue among the colleges. The discussion about this proposal, as reported by both the Cornell Daily Sun and the Cornell Chronicle, has been lively—and it continues.

At a campus forum on February 11, Provost Kent Fuchs said that the new budget model "will change Cornell more than everything else."

Endowed Tuition Up 4.5% to $39,450 Print E-mail
Tuesday, 26 January 2010

On January 25, the University issued a statement announcing that the Board of Trustees had approved a 4.5% tuition increase for undergraduates in the endowed colleges for the academic year 2010-11. That raises tuition by $1,700 to $39,450. The total cost for tuition, room, board, and mandatory fees rises to $52,316.

Tuition for in-state students in the contract colleges will rise by the same dollar amount to $23,310 — a 7.9% increase. Out-of-state students pay the same tuition as undergraduates in the endowed colleges. Graduate school tuition will remain the same: $29,500 in the endowed colleges and $20,800 in the state-supported colleges.

Cyber Insecurity Print E-mail
Tuesday, 19 January 2010

The U.S. Department of Defense has named Fred Schneider '75, the Eckert Professor of Computer Science, to its Defense Science Board, a standing committee that advises Pentagon leaders on cybersecurity issues. Schneider also serves on the Department of Commerce's Information Security and Privacy Advisory Board and co-chairs Microsoft's external advisory board on trustworthy computing, and he is chief scientist of the National Science Foundation-funded TRUST Science and Technology Center, a collaboration involving researchers at five universities, including Cornell. According to the Cornell press release, Schneider is one of only seven university-affiliated appointees among the board's 39 new members.

An interview with Schneider appears in CAM's January/February 2010 issue. "In about a decade," he predicts, "we will move to a world in which life and limb are at stake."

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