August 25, 2010

Dyson Gift Will Bring Changes to AEM in 2010-2011 Academic Year

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New students majoring in Applied Economics and Management are getting acquainted with a school by a different name than the one they applied to. Starting with the academic year 2010-2011, the University will begin budgeting returns from the the $25 million gift that created the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences in June.“The gift is an endowment that will help to sponsor and expand our programs,” said Prof. Loren Tauer, chair of the new school.  As professors and University leaders return to campus, they expect to begin the process of deciding how the new funds will be allocated. The budgeting process, however, is expected to take a great deal of time and deliberation, administrators say. “So far, there’s been a lot of discussion, but there is going to be a planning process this year,” Tauer said. “We would be derelict of our responsibilities if we made a quick decision about what to do with the money.” Applied Economics and Management began at Cornell in 1909 as Agricultural Economics. In 2002, the name was changed to Applied Economics and Management. Though the department has now become its own school, faculty feel it still maintains its traditional connection to CALS.“This [donation] is a recognition of years of outstanding work and outstanding students in the program,” said Prof. Edward McLaughlin, chair of the Dyson School’s undergraduate programs. “Twenty-five million dollars is a very significant gift and we are happy that the Dyson family had the faith to recognize our potential.”  Vaibhav Gupta ’14 said he is excited by the school’s new potential. “This donation will give us a bit more status and give AEM room to expand a little bit,” he said. During Orientation Week, new students like Gupta have been embracing the name and learning more about what this donation means for the AEM program. New freshmen had the opportunity to ask all the questions they wanted about the new school and the transition to college life, said Katie Tretter ’11, president of AEM Ambassadors.“I think the freshmen came out of orientation with a much better picture,” Tretter said. “They got a feel for how the school would be changing and he history of the people behind the program.” Matt Burns ’14 said that his class is excited by the donation and has been learning more and more about it. “We talked a lot during Orientation and about what we’re all going through as freshmen, but we’re talking about the Dyson School as well.”In addition to Orientation Leader and ambassador meetings, freshmen in the Dyson school were able to hear  John Dyson speak to them via Skype at one particular Orientation event. Dyson spoke about his father, Charles H. Dyson, in whose honor the donation was made. With no formal college education, Chales H. Dyson helped organize the International Monetary Fund and co-founded Dyson-Kissner-Moran Corp., which has become one of the largest privately-held companies in the U.S.“It was really inspiring, to hear his personal story and the story about his father,” Burns said. “Its not only about making money, its about family and community.”As these new freshmen progress through the school, they can expect to see more than just speeches. They may finally begin to see the product of the Dyson gift — a donation which has given hope to the future of AEM, administrators say.  “We have had a severe cutback of new hires and there has been a great deal of anxiety in the last couple years,” Susan Henry, former dean of CALS, said. “This is welcome news.”

Original Author: Juan Forrer