November 18, 2010

Letter to the Editor: Skorton did not defy U.A. advice

Print More

To the Editor:

Re: “Our Kids Are Not for Sale” Opinion, Nov. 17

We regret the need to clarify an assertion from Professor Sydney Van Morgan’s, sociology op-ed: The President did not ignore the recommendations of the University Assembly Childcare Services Subcommittee. The U.A.’s Childcare Services Subcommittee reports and offers recommendations only to the University Assembly, not to the President. While the author correctly notes that President Skorton’s decision about the Cornell Child Care Center does not call for the early severance of the contract with Bright Horizons (as the Faculty Senate recommended), it is important to clarify the record as it pertains to the University Assembly.  The University Assembly considers matters that involve the interests or welfare of the entire University community: faculty, staff and students. It is improper to claim the President went against the University Assembly’s Childcare Services Subcommittee recommendation — this committee functions solely to inform the University Assembly, not to offer recommendations to the President. The University Assembly received and considered our subcommittee’s long and hard work on this issue, together with new information directly solicited from parents, teachers, Bright Horizons and Cornell administration, in addition to the growing body of data and satisfaction surveys Cornell has conducted. While we cannot presume to say what particular information swayed University Assembly members one way or another, the end result is that the Assembly voted 14-2-1 (yea-no-abstention) to recommend that the contract with Bright Horizons be continued until its normal termination. This alone was the University Assembly’s recommendation offered to the President.

The Executive Committee of the University Assembly:

Ned Le Celle staff

Jared Feldman ’11

Ed Strong grad

Professor Emeritus Charles Walcott Ph.D. ’59, chairman