October 29, 2007

Last Week in Review

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Trustees Return to Campus for Weekend Meetings

Last weekend brought not only fall colors but also trustees to Ithaca for the 57th annual Trustee/Council Meeting, a three-day event culminating in President David Skorton’s State of the University Address.
A variety of events filled the schedule, with a large portion of the time devoted to informing trustees and alumni about Cornell with its diversity of divisions and updating the visitors about its various projects. The weekend also hosted several collaborative meetings between trustees, administration, alumni and student representatives. Yet, among the several meetings held during the weekend by the University Council and various committees of the Board of Trustees, most of the Trustee meetings were closed to the public. Full article

Tompkins Enters Election Season

On Nov. 6, Tompkins County will hold general elections to determine a range of local positions, including the appointment of a new judge to the State Supreme Court. The elections will also decide whether Svante Myrick ’09 will become the fifth student-elected member of the Ithaca City Council, as a representative to the 4th Ward.
There are nearly 60,000 registered voters in Tompkins County for the upcoming election, according to the Tompkins County Board of Elections website. The number of students registered to vote is unknown, due to a lack of resources for keeping statistics on students. Full article

A New Faculty Era?

Cornell is currently in the midst of a swift turnover of retirees to new professors, and thus is examining issues of salaries, tenure clarity, quality of life and academic reputation — all factors of the hiring process — with greater scrutiny.
A recent study conducted by the Harvard-based Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education shows that while private institutions of education may have better compensation and reputations and smaller class sizes, public universities have a tendency to better tenure clarity and faculty satisfaction.
This study places Cornell in a unique category, with its combination of private and public education.
In 2006, faculty in contract colleges earned, on average, $121,250 annually as opposed to $128,950 for faculty in endowed colleges. Provost Biddy Martin noted, however, that the extent of state funding, and thus salaries within the contract colleges, follows cycles. She added that Cornell strives to maintain relatively uniform procedures in hiring and faculty salaries despite fluctuations.Full article

C.U. Celebrates Bailey Plaza

Last Wednesday, members of the Board of Trustees and the University Council joined people from across the University to celebrate the completion of Bailey Plaza.
The $4.5 million project, designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates and constructed by Lechase Construction Inc., began in March. Valkenburgh ’73 is a graduate of Cornell’s Department of Landscape Architecture.
The new plaza replaced a parking lot and provides an aesthetic public gathering space, as well as a forecourt to complement Bailey Hall. The Hall was renovated in 2006 and has come to known one of the centers for academic and cultural life at Cornell, linking the Cornell Plantations, the Deans Garden, the Belkin Courtyard and the A.D. White Gardens. Full article