Red Letter Daze: Ranking the Rankings

Editor’s Note: This article refers to 2009 rankings. New rankings are expected to come from U.S. News and World Report in late August.
Another school year begins, and with it the questions: How do I stack up? Where do I fit in? What does he or she think of me? And it’s not only the new freshman faces asking. With the release of yet another onslaught of college rankings, ranging from the traditional U.S. News and World Report to the “irreverent” standings of Radar Magazine, concerns expressed by the Cornell community indicate that the University, itself, is asking similar questions.

C.U. Develops Multi-Pronged Plan to Alleviate Budget Strain

This article is part two in a series examining the University’s current financial plan.

Lessons learned by Cornell in these trying economic times have catalyzed a transition toward a tri-faceted approach in dealing with the financial strain imposed on the University, President David Skorton said in an interview with The Sun.
Just a few days before members of the Board of Trustees gather at Cornell for meetings, The Sun met with Skorton, Provost Kent Fuchs and Vice President for Human Resources Mary Opperman on Monday to discuss the University’s strategies in the current economic turmoil.

Admins Explain Rationale for Retirement Plan

This article is part one in a series examining the University’s current financial plan.

With university budgets coming under sharp scrutiny as institutions attempt to streamline their operations, the announcement of Cornell’s new initiative on Friday to encourage staff retirement is the latest step in the administration’s effort to keep its finances in check.

'Because It Is My Calling'

If the verbal visionaries of Cornell’s nearly 105-year history of writing stood on each other’s shoulders; Nabokov as a base, cursing in Russian, Vonnegut next to him, muttering to himself about the absurdity of it, Pynchon above them, with a foot on each deltoid, shakily supporting Morrison, and so on — you’d have a ladder of literary giants to rival the clock tower. Even then, despite this towering tradition, the adrenaline-and-laughter inducing irreverence and innovation of Junot Díaz, MFA ’95, displayed to the delight of many in the Cornell community last week, would be enough, sure as Ithaca is cold, to make Uncle Ezra roll over in his grave and call for a pen. The Dominican-born author returned to campus Feb.

Author Diaz '95 Returns to Cornell

While the startling blue of Cayuga Lake could be seen by all those looking out the windows on the top floor of the Johnson Museum yesterday, most of the several dozen people in the conference room were not there for the view. The focus, instead, was to the front where a colorful group, including a composer, a documentary film aficionado, an education expert and a Pulitzer prize-winning author, sat on a panel aptly named “Arts and the Impact on Immigration.”
“Whenever I think about arts, I always think about politics,” said Prof. Helena Viramontes, director of creative writing, who introduced the panel.

Administrators Speak Out on Budget Cuts

The current financial crisis looms large for Cornell as it faces a projected $200 million budget shortfall. Various administrators and deans give a broader perspective on how the necessary budget cuts will affect every college and administrative division of the University.
“While we cannot be certain about the dimensions, depth and duration of the difficulty, we are confident Cornell is in a good position to adjust operations and budget to address a loss in revenue in the wake of the financial crisis, relying on the institutional expertise and commitment of faculty, staff, alumni, students and friends.”
— President David Skorton (in October letter to community)

Suspect in Shooting Charged with Assault

On Jan. 8, shots rang out on the 300 block of First Street, disturbing the usual peace and quiet of an Ithaca evening. Yesterday, the Tompkins County Grand Jury charged Caesar Slaughter, 52, with first-degree assault, according to the Ithaca Journal. Slaughter was also charged two counts of second-degree criminal possession for the alleged shooting, which wounded an Ithaca man.

Reporter's Notebook: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Inauguration

O’Toole caught the ceremony as part of the massive crowd on the National Mall.

When the alarm buzzed at 7 a.m. yesterday, thousands upon thousands of people had already been standing for hours in the morning chill on the National Mall. With every last minute of warmth I relished, thousands more were pouring in to witness history — the inauguration of President Barack Obama. No better motivation to get out of bed.

Students Join Crowd in Washington to Ring in Obama

Today is a day for new beginnings. As the Cornell community comes back to life with the start of spring semester, an estimated 2 million people from all around the country and the world descend on our nation’s capital to celebrate another beginning — the inauguration of the 44th president, Barack Obama. Over 100 of this throng will be Cornellians, looking to take part in the making of lifetime memories and of history.

Univ. Remains Committed to Aid During Crisis

Ripple effects from the current economic crisis have permeated all aspects of American society and may pose particularly grave implications for higher education. At Cornell’s Nov. 14 announcement, the newest financial aid initiative raised the pressing question of how the University will preserve its founding principle of “any person, any study” while accommodating the increase in financial need as Cornell struggles with economic constraints.
Independent of the economic crisis, Cornell’s financial aid policy has evolved significantly over the years to adapt to shifting priorities in education.