March 27, 2003

U.A. Discusses Ward Reactor

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The University Assembly (U.A.) had their monthly meeting yesterday in Willard Straight’s International Room. The meeting regarded four main points: two issues that were raised before the Faculty Assembly (F.A.) were brought to the attention of the U.A., the U.A.’s legislation of Campus Life Committees, and several aspects of the Campus Governance Committee Final Report.


Prof. J.S. Butler, policy analysis and management, called the U.A.’s attention to two orders of business that were recently discussed by the F.A.. The first concerned the closing of the Ward nuclear reactor. Though the administration decided to close Ward about 18 months ago, the F.A. has continued to strongly oppose the decision. The reactor is one of the few remaining reactors in the US, and offers many research opportunities on health concerns such as cancer. It is believed that the decision to close the reactor was for cost benefits, not health risks of having a nuclear reactor on campus.

The second issue Butler raised was the shift in control over the Computer Science department. The F.A. has discussed the delegation of authority being shifted back to the College of Engineering regarding tenure, but not budget decisions. Butler brought these issues before the U.A. because the concerns of other committees, in this case, the F.A., should also be concerns of the U.A..

The third issue the U.A. discussed was the wording of the U.A.’s charters of campus life committees, which include the Board on University Health Services, Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC), the Campus Store Administrative Board, and the Cornell United Religious Work Advisory Board (CURW). It was decided that a sentence be removed from the charter of each of the four campus life committees such that no monthly written reports need be provided to the U.A..

At the end of the meeting, the U.A. passed a resolution and associated bylaw that gives the U.A. the responsibility to propose agenda items for ensuing Leadership Meetings. The U.A. will form these items with the input of the Student Assembly, the Employee Assembly, F.a.culty Senate, and Gradu.a.te and Professional Student Assembly. Representatives of these groups will be invited to a portion of the U.A. meetings to set the agenda items. Previously, these agenda items were established in a immediately preceding the Leadership Meetings. Because the was poorly attended, the resolution to change the procedure was passed.

Two important items on the agenda that were not discussed due to time constraints were the issues of adding an employee seat and a gradu.a.te student seat to the Board of Trustees. Presently, there is only one employee-elected representative to the Board. Before the full Board was downsized, there were two employee-elected representatives, but the second was not restored when the Board recently grew.

Currently, there are only two student-elected representatives that serve on the Board. Both of these representatives are undergradu.a.tes, who have different needs than gradu.a.te students. The gradu.a.te student-elected representative was eliminated when the full Board was reduced, but the gradu.a.te students were left without representation when the Board increased.


These issues regarding the addition of two seats to the Board are expected to be covered in next month’s meeting.

Archived article by Tony Apuzzo