Report Finds Univ. Faculty Salaries Increase 5 Percent

Across the country, colleges and universities are struggling to maintain faculty salaries as funds are increasingly spent on both athletics and administration, according to the report entitled “Where Are the Priorities? The Annual Report on the Economic Status of the Profession, 2007–08,” published by the American Association of University Professors on April 14.
“We are critical of many schools … but I would say that Cornell is more of a role model to follow,” said Saranna Thornton, primary author of the AAUP report and professor of economics at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia.

Nobel Winner Lays Out Plan for Environment

As the earth warms up, the human race must also speed up its alternative energy technologies to increase its efficiency, at least according to Nobel Laureate Steven Chu.
“The fact that the earth is warming up is not a matter of debate,” Chu told a crowd last night at the 2008 Hans Bethe lecture. The debate, according to Chu, is about whether or not the climate change is due to humans, which he believes research strongly suggests is true. Either way, temperature fluctuations are much more rapid than predicted and have far-reaching consequences.

M&T Bank, Among Others, Stops Giving Student Loans

College acceptance letters are finally rolling in and, after grueling examinations and endless applications, high school students can finally rest easy — but not quite so fast. Several large banks — including M&T Bank, which has a large presence at Cornell — have dropped out of the Federal Family Education Loan Program.
The bank’s move to leave FFELP — through which certain colleges have chosen to provide federal student loans — decreases the selection of lenders for students who require financial aid. While the consequences for students have become more serious than expected, prospective and current Cornell students need not worry, since Cornell participates in a direct loan program in lieu of FFELP.

Ruckus Downloads Increase

Half a year after Cornell began its partnership with Ruckus, a college-only digital entertainment service that offers free, legal media downloads, 5,842 current Cornell students have registered—about 93 percent of on-campus residents or 43 percent of the total undergraduate population.
“The numbers from Ruckus show that it is doing very well…over 750,000 songs have been downloaded,” said Robert Bourdeau, assistant director of marketing for Cornell Information Technologies.

New Vision to Improve C-Town Cohesion and Business

Amidst the controversial moratorium on Collegetown development, the Collegetown Vision Implementation Committee is moving forward to create a plan for future growth in the area. On Feb. 18, the CVIC will meet with Goody Clancy, the recently selected architecture firm that will be working on the project.
Last October, the Ithaca Common Council voted to halt approval of further development proposals in Collegetown in an effort to create a more cohesive design plan for the area. Since then, the CVIC has been collaborating with Goody Clancy, in addition to the real estate company WZHA and traffic firm Nelson Nygaard. Additionally, the University and the City each have donated $75,000 towards the planning process.

C.U. Baracks the Vote

Eight local bands and 1,100 people traversed icy roads last Friday to attend “Rock for Barack,” a rally and concert held by Ithaca for Obama at the historic State Theatre in downtown Ithaca. College students, native Ithacans, staunch Obama supporters, undecided voters and Hillary advocates alike came out to the event.
“The atmosphere was electric … I didn’t think that many people would make it but there were over a thousand, listening to over an hour of political speeches … and then we had great music. There were people who had mentioned they had never gone to anything political before … and left being energized,” said Brian Hunt, field coordinator in the 22nd Congressional District.

GPSA, Admins Discuss Grad Student Life Issues

The dilapidation of the Big Red Barn has spawned continuous support for not only the building itself, but also for what many claim it represents — the state of the graduate and professional student body at Cornell.
President Skorton acknowledged the lack of visibility of Cornell’s graduate student population in comparison to the undergraduate community at the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly Council of Representatives meeting yesterday, which he attended with Susan Murphy ’73, vice president for student and academic affairs. Skorton and Murphy discussed the Big Red Barn’s progress as well as larger issues such as the Graduate Community Initiative and Master Plan, which includes developing a potential graduate student center. Several other concerns pertaining to the graduate community were also addressed.

Cornell Democrats and Republicans Square Off

Political apathy was certainly no issue among panelists who gathered last night to kick off Kappa Week with a debate on political perspectives and current issues in the United States. Held by Kappa Alpha Psi Inc. fraternity to open their week devoted to community-based events, the debate hosted representatives from the Cornell Democrats, College Republicans, Black Perspectives and The Sun.

A New Faculty Era?

With Cornell currently in the midst of a rapid turnover of retirees to new professors, issues regarding salaries, tenure clarity, quality of life and academic reputation — all of which surround the hiring process — are increasingly being placed under the magnifying glass. A study conducted by the Harvard-based Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education shows that while private institutions may generally have better compensation, more impressive reputations and smaller class sizes, public universities tend to have the edge in tenure clarity and faculty satisfaction. So where does Cornell, an anomaly in its blend of private and public education, stand?