Cornell Hires Outsiders to Ease Budget Woes

As part of its campus-wide campaign to drastically cut costs, Cornell has hired global consulting firm Bain & Company to examine the University’s non-academic infrastructure and spending.
The administration believes that despite the large price tag associated with such prominent consultants, the University will reap the benefits of an outside perspective for years to come.
Although administrators have pledged for a transparent strategic planning process, the University is not disclosing the details of its arrangement with Bain, and has yet to announce a decision about releasing Reimagining Cornell reports.

Selecting a Consulting Firm

Finding Wisdom, Philosophers in ‘Unlikely Places’

[img_assist|nid=37649|title=Over there|desc=The Philosopher Kings, a documentary about custodians from universities around the country, starred two Cornell custodians: Jim Evener (left) and Gary Napieracz (second from left). The film was screened in Bailey Hall yesterday.|link=node|align=center|width=336|height=221]
It was a unique and powerful moment in Bailey Hall yesterday afternoon.
An audience that filled nearly half the auditorium had the opportunity to see someone “invisible.”
No, they didn’t catch a glimpse at the ghosts of A.D. White or Ezra Cornell. Rather, they saw projected on a screen in front of them footage of a Cornell custodian cleaning the floors of the very auditorium in which they sat.

Students, Ithacans Spar Over C-Town Planning

The Ithaca Common Council, the city’s top legislative body, will likely hold an important vote in August on a contentious issue that has dominated town-gown relations in Ithaca for the past several years –– the future of development in Collegetown.
As various city bodies, hired consultants and neighborhood planning organizations have worked to formulate a comprehensive urban plan for Collegetown, the process has sparked an often heated yet complex debate among permanent Ithaca residents and students.

Oscar Mayer ’34, Retired Chair of Meat Company, Dies at 95

Oscar G. Mayer ’34, retired chairman of Oscar Mayer Foods and former business manager of The Sun, died on Monday at the age of 95.

Mayer’s wife, Geraldine, told The Associated Press that he died from complications of old age.

Mayer was the third generation to run the family meat business, which was started by his grandfather, Oscar F. Mayer.

Mayer was named president of Oscar Mayer Foods in 1955 and worked for a total of 41 years at the company. During his tenure, Mayer oversaw tremendous growth at the company, as it went national and implemented the iconic “Oh, I wish I were an Oscar Mayer wiener … ” campaign.

Albany Man Fabricated Terror Plots About C.U.

A former Sienna College student has admitted he was lying when he told the FBI last year that a Cornell student was plotting terrorist attacks against the University and the country.
Manik Gupta, 22, of Albany, pled guilty in federal court on Monday to one count of making material false statements to the FBI.
According to prosecutors, Gupta sent a series of e-mails to the FBI in February 2008 in which he pretended to be a Cornell student and claimed that a fellow student was “dangerous” and a “threat to the nation.”

Cornell Receives $2.5 Million from Stimulus Funds

Scientific research money from the federal stimulus package — which earlier this year injected more than $10.4 million into the budget of the National Institutes of Health — has found its way to Cornell.
The University will receive $2.5 million “to upgrade and improve resources,” Senators Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) announced last Thursday.
Cornell is set to receive $2 million for high-resolution equipment to advance research into the flow, perfusion, diffusion and spectroscopy of human tissue, according to a statement issued jointly by both senators.
In addition, $500,000 will be dedicated for equipment at Cornell’s Proteomics and Mass Spectrometry Core Facility.

University to Receive Portion of Helmsley Estate

Cornell will be one of the beneficiaries of the late hotelier Leona Helmsley’s multi-billion dollar estate, The New York Times reported Wednesday. Helmsley, was known as the “queen of mean” according MSNBC, and she was able to amass her estimated $5 billion estate because of her cutthroat business mentality.

Gov. Prosposes Bill to Legalize Gay Marriage

Gov. David Paterson (D-N.Y.) introduced a bill yesterday that would legalize gay marriage in New York.
“For too long, gay and lesbian New Yorkers — we have pretended they have the same rights as their neighbors and friends. That is not the case. All have been the victims of what is a legal system that has systematically discriminated against him,” Paterson said at a news conference yesterday, according to the Associated Press.
The bill comes on the heels of recent victories for gay rights advocates in Iowa and Vermont, where a court and a legislature, respectively, approved same-sex marriage. Con­nec­ticut and Massa­chusetts are the only other states that permit same-sex marriage.

Rare Fungi Sent Back to China

President David Skorton announced yesterday that the University will be giving China back a collection of rare fungi that was originally smuggled to Cornell nearly 70 years ago.
In the 1920s, Shu Chun Teng was China’s premier expert on fungi after studying mycology at Cornell. To preserve Teng’s specimens from destruction following the 1937 Japanese invasion of China, 2,278 of the specimen packets were smuggled by ox cart to Indochina and then by sea to the United States, eventually arriving at Cornell in 1940, according to the Associated Press.

Univ. Accepts All 423 Staff Who Applied for Retirement Plan

The University announced on Friday that it accepted all 423 Cornell employees who applied to participate in the optional Staff Retirement Incentive Program.
The SRI, which has originally publicized in February, aimed to reduce the size of the University’s workforce. Personnel costs for the University’s more than 10,000 employees comprise 60 percent of Cornell’s operating budget, according to Vice President for Human Resources Mary Opperman.
The University currently faces a shortfall of approximately $230 million in its operating budget.
Opperman said that the University will save money by eliminating “a majority” of the positions vacated by the 423 employees.