September 12, 2010

Letter to the Editor: News Article on Bonus Inaccurate

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To the Editor:

Re: “As Endowment Plummeted, Chief Investment Officer Received $400K Bonus” News, Aug. 31

The premise the recent article in the Cornell Daily Sun, entitled “As Endowment Plummeted, Chief Investment Officer Received $400K Bonus” was based on misinformation about the CIO’s compensation. In fact, the bonus the article refers to was based on his performance in the calendar year 2007 — a record-breaking year for Cornell’s endowment performance — and not during 2008, the year the market crashed, as headlined on your front page.No other senior administrators are eligible for incentive bonuses. Some administrators on campus did receive one-time bonuses for taking on additional work or for extraordinary performance in July 2008, which was the beginning of fiscal year 2009. As in the case of the CIO, these were based on their performance in fiscal year 2008, which ended June 30, 2008 — significantly before the market crashed. No senior administrator received bonuses in fiscal year 2010. To the extent any did accept an adjustment for fiscal year 2011, they received the same 2-percent SIP as the rest of the university staff. Moreover as you reported correctly, President David Skorton did take a voluntary 10-percent cut in pay in January 2009 and has not accepted any pay adjustment since that time.

Tommy Bruce, vice president for University communications