A front-page, above-the-fold story in the Sep. 21 issue of The Sun, “Undergrads May Teach FWS to Reduce Cost,” caused some distress; it turned out to be wrong. When a front-page story is not correct, a comprehensive look is worth the effort. A few factors were at play here, and The Sun has since taken steps to do right by its sources and its readers.
Taken at its face, the story seemed like a real scoop. With a foundering endowment and a call for spending cuts, departments across Cornell are making difficult decisions on a tighter budget; hypothetically, having undergraduates teach First-Year Writing Seminars might help reduce costs. It might also alleviate problems associated with a growing undergraduate population but a declining number of graduate students.