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Skorton and Altschuler Advocate Gun Safety
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Friday, 04 January 2013

In January, President David Skorton joined the presidents of nine other universities who serve with him on the executive committee of the Association of American Universities (AAU) in issuing a statement that condemns gun violence in the United States. "As leaders of public and private universities," they stated, "we strongly urge the President and the Congress to seek effective means of mitigating this scourge of American life. We believe that strong, meaningful action needs to occur in three domains: gun control, care of the mentally ill, and the culture of our contemporary media." The statement was also signed by President Emeritus Hunter Rawlings, president of the AAU. A PDF of the full text is available at the AAU website.

In addition, President Skorton and Dean Glenn Altschuler have written a Forbes blog that opposes laws requiring public colleges and universities to allow concealed weapons on campus. "Campuses are a risky environment for guns," they wrote. "We don't need to put more firearms in the hands of college students, a cohort that includes emotionally volatile young men and women and abusers of alcohol and drugs." They argue for allowing each institution to set its own policies. "We believe that the great majority will continue to prohibit guns," they conclude, "and our campus communities will be all the safer."

Happy Holidays! Print E-mail
Thursday, 20 December 2012

As we come to the end of a difficult year, one that has seen too many of us dealing with natural disasters and man-made tragedies, it's good to remember the values and associations that sustain us — the people and places that make life fulfilling even during the most trying times. For a reminder, please take a moment to view the holiday greeting sent by the Cornell Plantations.

I look forward to seeing many of you at CALC and other Cornell events in 2013. Happy New Year!

Jim Roberts '71

Editor & Publisher

Austin to Depart Print E-mail
Monday, 17 December 2012

A number of Canadian media sources, including the Globe and Mail of Toronto, are reporting that football head coach Kent Austin is leaving Cornell to become the head coach and director of football operations for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League. Austin was an outstanding player and head coach in the CFL before coming to the Big Red. He won a league championship with the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 2007.

And now it's official:

Attack of the Killer Bugs Print E-mail
Tuesday, 11 December 2012

We are facing a crisis in medicine, warns a Weill Cornell researcher, because of the failure to develop critically needed new antibiotics. "The cause can be traced," says Carl Nathan, MD, "to two profound problems." The first of these is economic, explains Nathan, who is the chairman of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the Medical College in New York City. Producing new antibiotics is not as profitable for the large pharmaceutical companies as making drugs that people take for many years, like asthma medications. The other problem is the rapid mutation of bacteria, which evolve and become resistant to current drugs.

If we don't address this problem soon, Nathan asserts, many more people could die from bacterial infections. He makes his case in a New York Times op-ed published on December 10.

Endowment Value Declines in Last Fiscal Year Print E-mail
Monday, 12 November 2012

On November 7, Chief Investment Officer A. J. Edwards announced that the value of Cornell’s long-term investments (LTI) was $5.23 billion on June 30, 2012. This represented a drop of 2 percent from the end of the previous fiscal year, when the LTI—which includes the endowment and two smaller funds—had a year-end value of $5.35 billion. Although there was a small positive return of 0.14 percent on the University’s investments during the most recent fiscal year, it was not enough to offset the annual payout from the endowment, which supports operations and financial aid.


As the Daily Sun reported, Cornell was in good company: Harvard had previously announced a negative investment return of –0.05 percent and a 4 percent drop in its endowment, representing a loss of $1.3 billion. Dartmouth fared the best among the Ivies, with a 5.8 percent investment return and an increase of $73 million in its endowment.

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