President Hunter R. Rawlings III delivered his “State of the University” address to eighty members of his most-feared “lobbyists” this weekend in the Statler ballroom.
Rawlings told the President’s Council of Cornell Women (PCCW) Friday that he used to dread the annual membership meeting of this fundraising and advisory organization.
After all, in the past ten years, the PCCW has wielded its fair share of lobbying power. The group has given more than $36 million to Cornell, in addition to 120 grants to students between 1991 and 2000, according to numbers compiled by Toby Kleban Levine ’64, the outgoing chair of the PCCW.
In early 2000, for instance, the PCCW was instrumental in bringing then- First Lady Hillary Clinton to speak on women’s health care issues.
“Cornell is a very hot university right now,” Rawlings told his audience over dinner. “We’ve had an outstanding number of applicants. The yield rate has also jumped.”
With the John S. Knight Writing Program earning Cornell the rank of “College of the Year” from Time Magazine and the Princeton Review, Rawlings also reported that eight universities have adopted a similar system.
“We are pleased that we are able to help Princeton with their undergraduate curriculum,” he said.
Rawlings noted renovations to facilities on the Arts Quad, pointing to Lincoln and Bailey halls. “I will be able to go to Bailey Hall and fit in the seats,” Rawlings said.
The president’s announcement that the Class Halls will be knocked down was met with applause. To which he responded, “We have already a long line of alumni standing in line to [operate] the wrecking ball.”
In her introduction of Rawlings, Levine touched on four of the PCCW’s goals for the year.
“The first of our goals is to increase the number of tenured faculty,” she said. “All the colleges are competing often for the same few candidates. Sometimes we’re not successful, but it’s not for lack of trying.”
The group’s second goal was related to securing extended child daycare for female faculty. “There is not a child daycare center in Tompkins County which stays open past 5:30,” Levine said.
This goal coincided with one of Rawlings’ goals to increase the number of female faculty members; the president singled out the Johnson School of Management — with three new women professors — and the College of Engineering as two weak areas which have made strides.
Another one of Levine’s goals was raising money. “We’ve done very very well here. Our leadership fund … has reached every goal set for it,” she said. At $582,437, the campaign is “little more than half-way” toward reaching its goal of $750,000, she noted.
In addition, the PCCW has contributed $75,000 to the women’s softball field.
Archived article by Beth Herskovits