As the semester comes to a close, Prof. Charles McClintock, policy analysis and management, and the College of Human Ecology's associate dean for state relations, will join students in their exodus from Ithaca

Sunnier skies are ahead for McClintock, as he will leave Cornell to become the Dean of Human and Organization Development at the Fielding Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, Calif.

"McClintock was instrumental in the formation of the Department of Policy Analysis and Management," said Francille Firebaugh, dean emerita of the human ecology college, in a press release.

McClintock was involved with undergraduate and administrative services, graduate studies and research, she said.

"He assumed responsibilities at critical times in the college and contributed greatly to the college's initiatives," she added.

The Fielding Graduate Institute is a professional graduate school that offers programs in educational leadership, psychology and organizational studies.

"I'm excited about Fielding's educational philosophy that recognizes the distinctive needs of adult learners," McClintock said. "Their approach is based on a scholar-practitioner model that emphasizes the linkage between learning and research, a community of students and faculty and flexibility of study within defined knowledge areas."

In addition to McClintock's departure, the human ecology college will bid farewell to Profs. Donald Barr, policy analysis and management, Carol Anderson, human development, Lee Lee, human development, and Colin Campbell, nutritional sciences.

Despite these departures, human ecology Dean Patsy Brannon remains optimistic about next semester.

"We are very excited about the outstanding new faculty coming," Brannon said. "Our faculty recruitments will enable us to build in three strategic initiatives- health, life course and genomics- and to enhance our existing strengths in design and technology, nutrition, human development and social and economic well-being."

In addition, the college will dedicate its new courtyard during graduation weekend. And, although behind schedule, the addition to Martha Van Rensselaer Hall will soon be completed.

For the human ecology college's fellow statutory schools, the College of Agriculture and Life Science (CALS) and the School of Industrial and Labor Relations (ILR), changes are on the horizon.

Prof. William E. Fry Ph.D. '70, plant pathology, will become the senior associate dean of CALS in June. Fry will succeed Prof. Brian L. Chabot, ecology and evolutionary biology, who plans to continue his research in ecology.

"Fry really understands the mission of our college in the fields of research, teaching, as well as extension. He has been at Cornell for his entire career and he was really recommended by everyone," said CALS Dean Susan Henry, who was a new addition herself this year.

Henry also welcomes the formation of the environmental sciences major, which awaits approval for next year.

"We expect that it will be approved by SUNY and the state within the next 6 to 9 months," said Prof. Susan Riha, earth and atmospheric sciences.

The major's curriculum will integrate preexisting, cross-disciplinary courses, with a focus on biotic systems, earth systems, economic systems and social systems.

CALS students will also benefit from the completion of the Mann Library addition while frolicking in its newly planted garden.

"Not only will [the garden] look nice, but it can be used as an outdoor classroom for future classes to see how the site matures," said Peter Schrempf, administrative manager of Mann Library.

The winds of change are blowing through ILR as well.

The school will continue its expansion of the Catherwood Library in Ives Hall. The finished library will retain its original 43,000 square feet, but will hold many new and technologically advanced facilities.

"The project is moving along as expected," said Allan Lentini, director of administrative operations in ILR. "We are [soon] hoping to provide more service to Cornell students with the latest in access to library information."

The library will have larger reading rooms and a new reference and reserve area. New classrooms with distance learning facilities will be installed, though the University has yet to purchase the technology.

Archived article by Rachel Einschlag

November 18, 2015

Cornell Releases Data on Graduate Student Injuries

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Approximately 26 veterinary students reported injuries in the 2014-2015 academic year, representing 63 percent of reported graduate student injuries. Additionally, around 25 percent of the total reported injuries were classified as cuts, lacerations and abrasions.

The University has pooled this data after implementing a new set of procedures to handle graduate student injuries, responding to a Graduate and Professional Student Assembly resolution from 2014. The new process allows students to formally record an injury through Cornell’s injury report system. After graduate and professional students seek medical help, they should file an accident report, through this new online portal, according to a University press release.

On the new online portal, students can indicate if they are graduate or professional students, which prompts assistance from many different agencies, including Cornell’s workers compensation fund, according to Timothy Fitzpatrick, director of Occupational Health and Safety.

“Selecting this category during the entry process triggers a timely, coordinated response by the various offices to address the injured student’s needs,” Fitzpatrick said.

Responding agencies include the Offices of Graduate Student Life, Risk Management, Graduate Academic and Student Affairs, Student Disability Services and Environment, Health and Safety.

Since the procedure has been implemented, all four of the workers compensation claims filed by students with medical expenses associated with their injuries have been paid by Cornell’s Worker’s Com­pensation fund, according to the University.

According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, a lab accident in August 2013 left Richard Pampuro grad severely injured, leading some to question whether graduate students should be entitled to workers’ compensation payments. This accident highlighted the “murky” procedures in place to handle graduate student injuries, inciting debate about workers’ compensation payments for graduate students.

Paul Berry grad said he believes graduate students should be guaranteed worker’s compensation payments, but the current policy “leaves open many ambiguities as to who is actually covered.”

“Workers’ compensation coverage is the most basic rights of any employee anywhere: the right to paid medical expenses and financial compensation for a workplace injury,” Berry said. “The position of the Cornell Graduate Students Union, our grad union,  is that Cornell graduate workers are workers as well as students. We work long hours and produce value for the University. Cornell’s standing as a top research institution is built the labor of its graduate employees.”

The new graduate student injuries procedure, aims to make it easier for injured graduate students to receive the assistance they need.

“In the past,” Fitzpatrick said, “there was not a single portal designed specifically for graduate and professional students to report an injury, so it was not clear to injured students who they should tell about their injury and how they could seek help with missed classes, delays in research progress, filing insurance forms, or seeking disability accommodations.”

One goal of the new procedure is to help students get the assistance they need to handle the unique challenges graduate students face when their injuries get in the way of their work.

“Graduate students in research degree programs face particular challenges if their injury prevents them from conducting their thesis or dissertation research scholarship, which can sometimes be time-sensitive,” Fitzpatrick said. “In some cases, it is much harder to ‘make up’ missed research than it would be to get the notes from a missed class or hand in an assignment later.”

A system for handling injuries is necessary because graduate students may be exposed to “potentially hazardous and risky conditions” on university property on while engaging in university-sponsored activities depending on their research and professional training, according to Fitzpatrick.

“For example, graduate students in chemistry need to be aware of potential risks associated with use or storage of chemicals and know how to follow appropriate chemical handling procedures,” Fitzpatrick said.  “Graduate students in anthropology need to be aware of potential risks associated with travel to other countries and know how to use the international travel registry.”

A second goal of the new procedure is to prevent future injuries by collecting data and learning about the conditions that lead to injuries.

“A key component to reducing the risk of injuries is to ensure everyone involved in the research project understands the potential hazards of the work they are performing, equally understands or develops the necessary steps to perform that work safely and follows that safe method every time,” Fitzpatrick said.

Berry added that he believes the best course of action for graduate students is for Cornell Graduate Students United and the University to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement “that provides clear and enforceable protections in every situation.”

“By unionizing and securing labor rights for graduate workers, our union hopes to have a productive, mutually-beneficial relationship with the University that makes Cornell a leader in graduate employee engagement among private universities nationally,” Berry said.