Surge of Candidates Slows Eng. Dean Search

The marathon race for the deanship at the College of Engineering will be prolonged, the Dean Search Committee announced in an e-mail on Tuesday.
As of last evening, the Dean’s position is contested among about 240 potential candidates, according to John Siliciano, vice provost and chair of the dean search committee. While the committee had hoped to announce and bring the finalists to the Cornell campus by the end of this term, the sheer volume of applications and nominations they received made this impossible, he said.
Therefore, the Provost and the committee decided to extend the preliminary search process in order to ensure a careful evaluation on each candidate.

Statler Hotel Sees Fewer Guests in Recession

Few may have noticed, but in one of the many attempts to trim budgets, specially arranged flowers no longer grace the entrance of the Statler Hotel, the School of Hotel Administration’s teaching hotel.
Hotel occupancy in the United States in Feb. 2009 has fallen by 10.1 percent when compared to the same month a year ago, according to the latest data released by Smith Travel Research, a leading lodging industry research company that also has a partnership with Cornell’s Center or Hospitality Research.

Hotel School Strives to Meet Budget Reduction

Unlike the other seven undergraduate colleges, the School of Hotel Administration is particularly market-driven because of its status as a “tub college.” Although this grants the School more financial independence, the University’s policies — including an across-the-board 4.8 percent budget cut — still directly affect how the Hotel School manages its $60 million budget.
“We are responsible for our own expenses and have our own revenue streams while we pay certain charges to the University, but we operate financially with a bit more independence than the other schools and colleges,” said Michael Johnson, dean of the Hotel School and the E.M. Statler Professor.

Skorton Quells Concerns About Workforce Reduction in Open Forum

This story was originally published on March 16.

Addressing Cornell’s approximately $230 million deficit, President David Skorton summarized the University’s current financial situation and answered pointed questions from an audience of at least 200 this afternoon in an open forum aimed for faculty and staff in Statler Auditorium.

Most of the questions raised were centered on the subject of workforce reduction. Skorton said several times during the question-and-answer session that there would be more layoffs in the future.

Berkelman ’59, Former Director of Laboratory of Nuclear Physics, Dies

Prof. Karl Berkelman ’59, physics, who was the Goldwin Smith Professor Emeritus of Physics and a leader in the design and construction of the Cornell Electron Storage Ring, died Feb. 26. He was 79.
Berkelman received a Ph.D. from Cornell in 1959 and joined the faculty two years later, where he remained for his entire career. Apart from the CESR, he was also actively involved in building many complex detectors that are collectively known as CLEO, according to an obituary published in The Ithaca Journal. The first track finding program for CLEO was also attributed to Berkelman. The program helped future researchers to reconstruct the path and momentum of charged particles following a collision, according to the University.

C.U. Alumni Nominated to Top Posts in Treasury Dept.

Two Cornell alumni were chosen Sunday to fill senior posts in the Treasury Department, which faces the daunting task of saving the nation’s crumbling economy. President Barack Obama nominated Alan Krueger ’83 as the assistant secretary for economic policy and David Cohen ’85 as the assistant secretary for terrorist financing.
Apart from Krueger and Cohen, Obama also chose Kim Wallace to be the assistant secretary for legislative affairs. The three positions will only be made official after a confirmation from the Senate.
“With the leadership of these accomplished individuals and our whole economic team, I am absolutely confident that we will turn around this economy and seize this opportunity to secure a more prosperous future,” Obama said in a White House press release.

One Woman’s Plight Shows Minority Woes

Tai Minfei started a new life 11 years ago when she left Taiwan to marry her husband in the First Ithaca Chinese Christian Church. This Sunday, she may get a second chance at life at the very same church, which is hosting what could be a life-saving bone marrow drive for her.
Tai, who just celebrated her 40th birthday last weekend and is the mother of six-year-old twin girls, is in dire need of a bone marrow transplant. Last March, she was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, a type of cancer in which healthy blood cells are replaced by abnormal cells grown from the bone marrow.

Justice Ginsberg ’54 Treated For Pancreatic Cancer

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Ginsburg ’54 had surgery yesterday for early-stage pancreatic cancer at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, according to a Supreme Court press release. The 75-year-old Cornell alumna is expected to remain in hospital for approximately seven to 10 days.
Ginsburg, a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., graduated from Cornell in 1954 with a A.B. degree. She is the second woman to serve on the Supreme Court. She is also currently the sole woman on the court.
This is not Ginsburg’s first battle with cancer. Although the Justice was treated for colon cancer in 1999, she did not miss a single day on the bench, according to the New York Times.