April 1, 2012

The Sun’s Archives Trace Timeline of Corson’s Tenure as C.U. President

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Timeline of Dale Corson’s tenure

Dale R. Corson, the eighth president of Cornell, died Saturday at 97. To learn more about his time as president of the University, The Sun has dug through its archives and compiled a timeline of some of the most important stories from his tenure.

1 – Corson Begins His Presidency Planning to Focus on Education – Sept. 10, 1969

Provost Corson assumes the role of Cornell president, succeeding president Perkins, who quit six months after the Straight Takeover.

2 – Corson Attacks War’s Impact – Oct. 19, 1969President Corson, speaking yesterday on behalf of the Vietnam moratorium, condemned the war before a crowd of 2500 people on the Arts Quad, stressing “the disastrous effect of the war on education, and especially on higher education.”

3 – Corson Releases Statement Shifting the Africana Center to North Campus – April 7, 1970

After the Africana Center was burned down, Corson agreed to the demands of a delegation of black students, who held Corson up to his pledge of restoration and progress of the Africana Center.

4 –  Corson Appoints Council on Minority, Female Jobs – Feb. 4, 1971

A committee of faculty and administrators has been appointed by University President Corson to advise him on the University’s hiring, training and promotion policies for minority groups and women.

5 –  Elimination of Biased University Hiring – Nov. 9, 1971

Stating “elimination of discrimination” in University hiring practices as his main objective, Ramon E. Rivera, the new affirmative action officer, spoke to the Senate Committee on Minority and Disadvantaged Interests yesterday. The Affirmative Action Program was established in 1970. At that time, President Corson stated the program’s purpose as taking “positive steps to seek out, hire and upgrade minority groups and women.”

6 – Cornell Statement Against Vietnam War – April 20, 1972President Corson issues a statement on the Vietnam War:“I have joined in a personal statement with the presidents of the other Ivy League institutions and the president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) because I believe that such a statement of personal belief is warranted on any issue which has destructive implications for the traditional campus atmosphere of study and learning. I believe that continuation of United States involvement in the Vietnam war seriously interferes with the education goals of Cornell University. I have avoided public expression of political issues in the past except those affecting the University’s educational goals.”

7 – Enrollment of Females Increases – Oct. 17, 1973

There are fewer men, more women and a total of 287 more students on the Cornell campus now than there were at the same time last year, according to figures released yesterday by University Registrar Byron G. McCalmon. Enrollment this fall was 16,128, of which 11,068 students were men and 5,060 were women. There were 93 fewer men than last year, while the number of women increased by 379. McCalmon said there is no University-wide policy which accounts for the proportionate female increase, since each college determines its own admissions rules. Enrollment this fall was nearly on target with President Corson’s projection in the University’s long-range planning report, “Cornell in the Seventies,” which forecast a figure of 16.200.

8 – Regents Order Ujamaa College to Desegregate – Jan. 28, 1974

Cornell has been ordered to dismantle Ujamaa Residential College “as it is presently constituted” by the New York State Board of Regents, who have said the unit’s “segregated … arrangement represents a violation of Regents policy.” In a letter to President Corson, Ewald B. Nyquist, state commissioner of education, asked the University to submit a plan which would effect the integration of the special project residential unit.

9 – Hearing Board Considers Options Involving Jurisdiction in Sex Suit – Feb. 5, 1974

The University Hearing Board last night opened a Pandora’s box of judicial questions when it heard seven presentations on its jurisdiction in a case where the University is being sued for alleged sexual discrimination. In October, President Corson  reaffirmed an earlier statement saying the statement “is University policy, except for those sections footnoted as requiring further ratification by the Faculty Council of Representatives.” Penney, dean of faculty, also objected to the statement, calling it “a mix between a bill of rights and a penal statute.”

10 – Cornell Presidents: Years of Protest – Sept. 16, 1977

Upon his retirement, Corson commented, “being president in the late 1960s and early 1970s was hard to find satisfaction in.” In fact, being president, Corson continued, is “not something you enjoy, it’s something you endure.”

Original Author: Manu Rathore