May 25, 2010

Spring 2009: Financial Crisis Hits Cornell

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The financial storm sweeping across the globe took its toll on Cornell’s finances. The Uni­ver­sity’s endowment, valued at $6.1 billion on June 30, 2008, declined by at least 27 percent that fiscal year and the University faced a $200 million budget shortfall. The administration took quick action to quell the loss of funds.Five Percent University-Wide Cuts: An across-the-board budget cut of 5 percent was applied to all colleges, while the president’s and provost’s offices underwent a 10-percent cut.Construction Pause: The University put a pause on most construction projects in order to re-evaluate proposed projects.Cornell Increases Class Size by 100 Students: Cornell an­nounced that it would accept 100 more students to its incoming Class of 2013 in an effort to raise capital.Bond Sale: In March, Cornell sold its largest offering of taxable bonds, valued at $500 million, within 30 minutes.Retirement Incentives: In February, Cornell initiated its two staff retirement incentive plans. As of April, all 423 employees who applied for the Staff Retirement Incentive initiative were accepted into the program.Cut Courses: Due to budget constraints, the University decided in April that its Swedish, Dutch and ESL writing programs would no longer be offered. The Turkish program was also downsized.Library Closures: Facing a $2 million slash in budgets, the University library system an­nounced in March that the Physical Sciences Library and the Knight Visual Resources Center would shut down.

Original Author: Sun Staff