Nye Makes Surprise Appearance

For almost a week, Prof. Bruce Lewenstein, communication, tantalized his class, Communication 2850: Communication in the Life Sciences, with only the vaguest of details about a “super secret mystery guest.” Lewenstein would only say that the “mystery guest” was tall, thin and a Cornell alumnus.
“While I heard the gossip about his potential appearance, when he actually walked into the room I was so surprised,” Josh Helfgott ’11 stated in an e-mail. “He walked in wearing his trademark bow tie and smiled at the class. All I could do was smile. He looked just like he does on TV.” [img_assist|nid=37164|title=The Science Guy|desc=Bill Nye ’77 speaks to Communication 2850: Communication in the Life Sciences yesterday in Warren Hall.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]

Medical College Hopes Weill Donation Will Set Precedent

The $170 million donation that Sanford Weill ’55 advanced to the University ahead of schedule in January is more valuable than its monetary worth alone, college officials say.
“We needed it as an inspiration … for others to come forward … with a gift,” said Stephen Cohen, associate provost and executive vice dean for administration and finance at Weill Cornell Medical College.
Around $135 million of the total donation will be used to fund the construction of a new 480,000 square foot medical research center in New York City, while the remainder will be put towards programming in Weill Hall, the new life sciences building on the Ithaca campus.

Movement for Academic Freedom Stirs Campus

While much of the history surrounding the Straight Takeover of ’69 focuses on students, the dramatic confrontation and the events that led up to it illuminate a pressing issue regarding professorial rights as well.
In 1968, the economics department in Goldwin Smith was taken over, a precursor to the Straight Takeover that would gain national attention almost exactly a year later. Many of the same student members of the AAS who took over the Straight took over the economics department primarily because they disputed the purportedly racist lectures of Father Michael McPhelin, who taught Economics 103: Economic Development. McPhelin lectured about the poor in America, occasionally implying that they lacked the necessary drive and ambition to elevate their social statuses.

Information Technologies Advises Cornell Computer Users to be Wary of Viruses

The Information Technologies sent out an alert yesterday advising all individuals on campus to exercise caution when using University computers. In the statement, sent out by Tom Young of I.T. Security, there are three “immediate threats to our computers and networks” — fake video software, hijacked network connections and a work called Conficker that is expected to undergo changes today.
“The I.T. Security Office has noted a large number of computers that became infected with [malicious software] when fake video software was installed,” the I.T. special bulletin read.

Student Assembly Elects Three Vice Presidents

Members of the Student Assembly held internal elections yesterday to elect three vice presidents as well as members of the appropriations committee and the SAFC liaison.
Nikhil Kumar ’11 was elected vice president for internal operations, Chris Basil ’10 was elected vice president for finance, Vincent Andrews ’11 was elected vice president for public relations and Justin Min ’11 was elected the SAFC liaison.
The members elected to the appropriations committee were Adam Nicoletti ’12 (CALS), Adam Raveret ’12 (Arts and Sciences), Zach Glasser ’12 (Engineering), Mike DeLucia ’12 (Engineering) and Kristan Welch ’10 (Human Ecology).

President Obama Selects Woman With Cornell Ties to Head FDA

President Barack Obama has selected Margaret Hamburg to serve as the new head of the federal Food and Drug Administration pending Senate confirmation, according to inside sources confirmed by Reuters. 
After earning her M.D. from Harvard Medical School and finishing her medical training at the Cornell University Medical Center, she went on to hold numerous jobs and official titles, padding her resume and reputation as a public health leader and bioterrorism expert, which led to her recent appointment. She also held an academic position at the Cornell Medical College in New York City. 

HumEc Prepares Budget

The College of Human Ecology had no inclination as to any future benefits when it was given three days notice that it had to abandon the old north wing of Martha Van Rensselaer Hall eight years ago. In 2001, the college effectively lost 30 percent of its space that it used for academic, research and outreach programs when the north wing of MVR was determined to have structural deficiencies, according to John Lamson, assistant dean of communications for Human Ecology.

Paterson Unveils Retirement Plan

While Cornell is providing incentives for its staff to retire early in order to conserve funds, Gov. David Paterson (D-N.Y.) is proposing a new system to delay individual retirement in order to improve the finances for the state of New York.

AEM Ranks Second in ‘Return on Investment’ Index

One popular ranking device for business schools across the country is return on investment. BusinessWeek argues that especially in the current economic climate with jobs becoming scarcer, a business program’s overall value can be determined based on what the graduates are getting for the amount of money they spend gaining the requisite education.
While BusinessWeek ranked Cornell as having the eighth best undergraduate business program in the country, Cornell was ranked second among private institutions in terms of ROI. Brigham Young University claimed the top spot for private universities with an ROI of $12 for every dollar spent on tuition. Cornell was a very distant second as its graduates earn $2.70 on the job for every dollar spent on tuition.

Two Cornell Students Charged for Vandalism of Gaza Flag Display

Two students have been charged by the Cornell Police for their involvement in vandalizing a display on the Arts Quad meant to inform passersby about the recent violence in the Gaza Strip. The students were charged on Feb. 20 for allegedly destroying parts of the display on Feb. 9. The students’ actions violated the Campus Code of Conduct’s regulations regarding disorderly conduct and criminal mischief, according to the University.