August 29, 2002
Knife-Wielding Attacker Assaults Ithaca Woman
| August 29, 2002
A woman was assaulted Aug. 21 on the corner of N. Tioga St. and Cascadilla Ave. by a white male assailant. The man, carrying a knife, cut the woman, according to a City of Ithaca Police Department (IPD) news release.
She was taken to Cayuga Medical Center and was released the same a few hours later.
According to the IPD, the assailant threw the woman to the ground and attempted to rape her. When she screamed, neighbors came out of their houses to investigate. At that point the assailant ran from the scene.
He “was last seen running east on Cascadilla Ave and then south on N. Aurora St.,” the release stated.
“No one has said anything about it being a Cornell person,” said Linda Grace-Kobas, director of Cornell News Services. “Generally, we would found out by now if it were a Cornell student,” she added.
Archived article by Maggie Frank
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August 30, 2002
The Presidential Search Committee that will appoint the successor to President Hunter R. Rawlings III released a statement Aug. 21 that addressed the state of the University and indicated desirable qualities of presidential candidates. ‘Opportunity’ The document released by the search committee, entitled “The Cornell Opportunity” and available on the Board of Trustees website, specifically outlines the challenges that the University’s 11 president will face in addition to several characteristics the committee has deemed ideal in the next president. “The search committee has used the summer months to good advantage, working diligently to move the search process forward,” wrote Edwin H. Morgens ’61, chair of the search committee in the introduction to the Aug. 21 statement. “We are very pleased with the response received to date as we continue to identify the best possible candidate to serve as Cornell’s eleventh president.” “This is a document of the Search Committee. There were some people who worked on it, but the Search Committee approved it,” said Barbara Krause, executive secretary of the search committee. The lengthy statement was constructed by members of the search committee based on input from the Cornell community. In addition to several forums held in May to answer questions and obtain suggestions from various University constituencies, the Committee contacted every member of 1,500 faculty; addressed every student, including at least 18,000 undergraduates, graduates, Ph.D. candidates by e-mail and post letter; and sent 160,000 letters to alumni. Input The student forum, held in May, was sparsely attended. In a July interview with the Sun, Morgens said the Committee also wrote to community leaders and spoke directly with every dean, sixteen in all, and every member of the senior staff. Additionally, the Committee has “read, acknowledged and catalogued” more than 3,000 letters received in return. “The Cornell Opportunity” follows an advertisement the Committee placed in The Chronicle of Higher Education early this summer. Now the Search Committee is in the process of gathering names of candidates for the presidency. “The Cornell Opportunity” opened with a statement addressing the nature of the University from its founding and mission to its modern position. The document then listed several challenges the next president will encounter in the coming years, involving a broad array of University issues from diversity to information technologies. An outline of personal qualities and employment experience concluded the statement. The main source of names will come largely from contacts involved in higher education from around the country, including former University President Frank H.T. Rhodes and Stanley O. Ikenberry, former president of the American Council on Education, according to Morgens. Considering the experience “The Cornell Opportunity” seeks in a candidate, former or current university presidents will most likely comprise the list of potential nominees, according to Morgens. However, he said that the Committee will not exclude provosts and other university administrators from its search. “We’re not closing out any characteristics, like age, gender or background,” Morgens said. “There will be no cutoff per se. There will be a dividing of the list: A candidates, B candidates.” The committee will divide the list perhaps into a group of an initial 50 candidates, then 25 then 10 and then a final few according to Morgens. “We’re going to actually speak with more than 25 candidates and less than 50,” he said. While the current search has been modeled on the 1994 search process that ultimately nominated Rawlings, Morgens said that the committee is “ahead of the 1994 process which didn’t start forums until September. We’re well ahead of schedule.” Cornell’s next president, “has to understand and embrace its complexity, has to understand its mission and strategic initiations which have been brought up by the community,” Morgens said. Of those characteristics promoted by the Search Committee, Morgens said, “we’re not going to get them all.” Despite the individuality of Cornell as a partially privately endowed, partially statutory university, Morgens said he is still confident the University will attract candidates of the highest caliber. “Cornell is in a great position as a University. It’s got a balanced budget, low level of campus strife, the departing president is having garlands spread before him and he’s not even leaving campus. This is a plum job in academia today,” Morgens added. Morgens added that the search committee must maintain a level of strict confidentiality and discretion to ensure attracting the ideal candidates. When the search committee has identified several potential nominees for the presidency, it will conduct interviews at their places of business, their homes or in New York, to most accommodate the candidates. “This has to be done in a very discreet manner. In an open search [such as those conducted by large state universities], most candidates won’t surface because they are already gainfully employed. If the search gets compromised we could lose a lot of good candidates,” Morgens said. “We do not report on candidates to the Board of Trustees or the executive committee. We’ve told the Board and the Board agrees that we have to [conduct the search] in a very discreet manner.” To foster the process of confidentiality and discourage inappropriate influence, the search committee has established separate offices in Ithaca and New York City in addition to separate fax machines, post office boxes and e-mail accounts. The search committee has also chosen not to reveal the location and times of their meetings. While the search committee plans not to release the details about their meetings, Morgens told the Sun in a July interview that the committee had met twice, in April and June, and had tentatively scheduled a meeting for July and two for August. “In terms of the committee schedule, it’s not something we’re discussing publicly other than that, as mentioned in the [August 21] press release, we’ve made good progress,” Krause added. Following Rawlings’ announcement of his intention to retire at the March 15 meeting of the Board of Trustees in Ithaca, Peter C. Meinig ’62, chair of the Board of Trustees and Harold N. Tanner ’52, then-chair, announced the appointed members of the committee. The 1994 Presidential Search Committee announced its nomination of Rawlings the December following President Frank H.T. Rhodes’ announcement at the March 1994 meeting of the Board. Archived article by Laura Rowntree
August 30, 2002
A federal jury rejected a former Cornell employee’s claim last week that the University had discriminated against her because of her multiple personality disorder. Position Patricia O’Neill, who worked in the library system from 1989 to 1999, filed a federal lawsuit against the University in August, 1999, after her contract was not renewed. O’Neill suffers from a variety of mental disorders, including multiple personality disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and major depression, according to Nelson E. Roth, who, along with Wendy Tarlow, represented Cornell. After O’Neill took a part-time leave of absence in the spring of 1997, the University librarian temporarily removed her from her position as physical sciences librarian due to increasing concern about workplace issues, which included recurrent absences, according to Roth. After temporarily removing O’Neill, the University librarian met with O’Neill’s staff, who “came forward virtually uniformly suggesting that the workplace was completely dysfunctional,” Roth said. Due to their complaints, O’Neill was removed from her position, but paid in full for two years until her five-year contract expired in June 1999. “[O’Neill] could not do her job,” Roth said. “The University had to balance the interests of running the library, her personal interests, and the interests of her staff. Her mental illness had nothing to do with it. Bad behavior is bad behavior.” In an effort to receive long-term disability benefits, O’Neill wrote a letter to the University in 1998 in which she described her alter personalities, according to The Syracuse Post-Standard. Disorder In the letter, O’Neill stated that she has five alter personalities: Elaine, Quiet Elaine, Elizabeth, Youth and one other who did not want her name published, which rendered her incapable of concentrating at work. These alter personalities emerged in 1996 after O’Neill began to face the memories of childhood sexual abuse she had repressed, according to The Post-Standard. “My behavior with my children and at work became more erratic as various alters became more active in my every day life, routinely showing up at work and at home,” O’Neill wrote. “There have been several instances where alters have been in charge at work. One caused the delay in getting a new computer operating system to function, leaving me without a computer station for a day.” O’Neill now claims that the letter inaccurately describes her situation since one of her alter personalities may have written it, the Post-Standard reported. The Syracuse jury deliberated for 40 minutes following a two-week trial. “She got a full and fair hearing in court,” Roth said. “They decided there was no merit to her case.” O’Neill’s lawyer could not be reached for comment. “The University, from beginning to end, acted in good faith,” Roth said. “They tried and did the right thing.” Archived article by Stephanie Hankin