November 4, 2004

Cornell Ranked 6th in Survey of 25 "Most Connected" Campuses

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Cornell is the sixth most technologically connected campus in America, according to a Princeton Review survey released in late October.

The survey ranked Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y. as the most technologically connected campus. Bryant University in Smithfield, R.I. took second place, followed by DePauw University, Temple University and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, respectively. The University of Pennsylvania, ranked at number nine, was the only other Ivy League university to break the top 10. Although the Princeton Review surveyed 357 colleges, only the top 25 received rankings.

The survey results were determined by asking colleges and universities to answer questions about the technological sophistication of their campuses. Such questions included whether the college has a campus-wide data network, the ratio of school-owned computers to undergraduate students, whether students can register for classes online, whether the school streams audio and video for courses online and whether network access is available in dorm rooms. Princeton Review editors then determined point values for each question according to the perceived importance of that criterion to university life. posted the results for each of the surveyed schools. According to the site, Cornell marked “yes” for all of the 20 questions except for three: “Are students required to own a computer?” “Does tuition include a computer?” and “Do students have access to Usenet newsgroups?” While Cornell does not require its students to purchase a computer before coming to campus, it does have Usenet newsgroups, rendering one of the survey answers incorrect, said Jim Lombardi ’92, assistant vice president for information technology.

Lombardi, who gave the answers for the survey, said that the incorrect answer to the Usenet question was accidental.

“Of course we have Usenet; we’ve had it for years,” he wrote in a press release. “We were going through 50 or 60 answers from the previous year and inadvertently failed to correct a mistake that was several years old.”

Nevertheless, members of the Cornell Information Technology staff expressed their enthusiasm with the survey results. Polley McClure, vice president for information technologies, stated in an e-mail, “Information technology folks all over the University work very hard to make sure the infrastructure and services are in place to support our faculty and students, so when the results of all that work are recognized, it is great!”

McClure said that to boost Cornell’s rating in the future, her office would need an increase in funding.

“At Cornell, we are primarily limited by funding,” she said. “So the important question is what new or enhanced capabilities do Cornell students and faculty most need and how can we find a way to fund the projects to make them a reality.”

Archived article by Olivia Oran
Sun Staff Writer