University Takes 15th Place in Annual U.S. News Rankings

The annual U.S. News and World Report rankings, which grade the nation’s top universities, always elicit a flurry of excitement from students and administrators wondering how their respective schools stack up. The most recent batch of rankings for 2010 — released at the end of August — named Cornell the nation’s 15th best university, representing a one spot drop from last year and a three spot drop from two years ago.
Cornell has jumped around dramatically in recent years, garnering as high as sixth place in 1998, before which Cornell was ranked number 14.
In the standings, Cornell also ranked sixth in economic diversity, ninth for its undergraduate engineering program and 10th for best undergraduate business program.

Council Votes to Contract Out Security for City Hall

It only took one shoe flying towards Mayor Carolyn Peterson last spring to alert the Common Council that City Hall safety needs more careful attention.
Council members made repeated mention of taking “preventative measures” yesterday as they voted six to one in favor of hiring a security company to guard the entryways to City Hall. In a discussion that was extended into an off-the-record “executive session,” alderpersons debated the merits of contracting out security for a trial period extending until the end of March.

Arts College Task Force Suggests Extensive Cuts

Downsizing the College of Arts and Sciences over the next few months will no doubt be a tough task, especially considering that the academic unit already endured a 6-percent cut to its operating budget this spring. With challenges fully laid out, the task force charged with proposing ways to streamline the college as part of the recently announced “Reimagining Cornell” is considering ideas that could lead to merging departments, abandoning some areas of study and further decreasing the number of faculty. Master planning initiatives faced that challenge head on by thinking of ways to envision the college with a 15-percent smaller budget.

Common Council Endorses C-Town Plan

The 2009 Collegetown Urban Plan and Conceptual Design Guidelines, a document containing specific master planning recommendations for the neighborhood bearing its name, has, after a years-long process, earned the endorsement of the Common Council. The plan, originally created by Goody Clancy Consultants, has undergone changes and revisions as residents and student constituencies have butted heads over the future development of Collegetown.

IFC Votes to Alter Rush, Pledging and Social Processes

In a special meeting on Saturday, the Interfraternity Council passed a set of resolutions that may fundamentally change the processes of recruitment, pledging and open parties. With a quorum of just over half the chapter presidents, five main changes were voted into effect, the sixth being tabled until tomorrow’s meeting. Most changes will go into effect next semester.
“These are things that are long overdue,” said Eddie Rooker ’10, IFC president. “They are problems we’ve had in the past, especially with new member education. We are a self-governing system, so we have to tackle the problems.”

Mother of Five Cornellians Is Among Victims of Binghamton Shootings

The shooting in Binghamton that left the small city reeling in its wake has a connection to the neighboring Cornell community.
Teacher Roberta King, who was killed inside the  American Civic Association while substituting for an English as a Second Language class, left behind 17 grandchildren, including Ilisa Naukam ‘09. King was the mother of 10 children, five of whom went to Cornell, according to the Associated Press.

Weills Give $170M to Med School

Sanford Weill ’55, whose name adorns multiple buildings throughout Cornell’s Ithaca and New York City campuses, has once again pledged a nine digit sum to his alma mater, helping the University continue to grow even as it faces a stringent budget deficit.
Vice President for University Communications Tommy Bruce confirmed last night that Weill gave the Weill Cornell Medical College $170 million in December and January in order to allow the University to build a new medical research building.[img_assist|nid=36637|title=Weill Donations|desc=|link=node|align=left|width=131|height=198]

Bond Sale Secures Liquidity

When the University decided that it would take on $500 million in debt to raise liquidity on March 6, Cornell’s financial officers went to work picking a date during which the bonds would fetch the best interest rate in this dramatically fluctuating market. The coupon rate, or rate of interest on which the bonds sell, depends heavily upon events like release of jobless rates, corporate earnings reports, other assets being sold that day and religious holidays, according to Joanne DeStefano, vice president of finance.

Student of Straight Takeover Reflects on Cornell Activism

Correction Appended

This is the second in a series of four interviews with people involved with the Willard Straight Takeover of 1969, in which black students took over the Straight to demand greater equality for minority students at Cornell. The interviews, along with a newspaper supplement and panel discussion in April, will commemorate the 40th anniversary of the takeover.