In response to The Sun’s Oct. 29 article, “Cornell Bleeds Red Ink in Latest Financial Report with Operating Losses of $104 Million,” as an alum, parent and long-time volunteer for the University I was not surprised by the bad news. While student tuition and alumni contributions continue to rise, once again University expenses outpaced revenues. In the world of finance, most businesses and not-for-profits lose money by either not generating enough revenue or they pile on too much administrative overhead. Many iconic brands like Eastman Kodak, Lehman Brothers and Enron filed for bankruptcy or closed because executives rewarded themselves with fat salaries and happily ran to the bank while taking their eye off the true meaning of their business.
“In college, I think this is one of the first times where you have a little bit of freedom in managing your own finances and budgeting … and so starting early kind of leads you to develop very good habits that I think are very important long-term,” said Bogan.
Mayor Svante Myrick ’09 blasted the University in an interview with The Sun on Thursday for not contributing enough to its home city after he unveiled a new budget plan for the city of Ithaca in which Cornell’s contribution increased by only a little less than $30,000.
Provost Michael Kotlikoff discussed changes to international student financial aid and the Student Assembly passed a referendum that would allow students to take American Sign Language for their college language requirement at their weekly meeting Thursday.
American higher education is facing an ever-growing plague of exploding tuition costs. Currently, the average tuition rate for private schools stands at an eye-popping $32,405 –– and the number keeps growing. As each year passes, more and more students contribute to the ballooning student debt bubble (which currently totals $1.2 trillion). And considering the modern job market all but demands at least a bachelor’s degree, America’s student loan crisis is set to grow even further. Now, more than ever, it is crucial to look into how the nation’s colleges and universities can effectively respond to this growing crisis. To examine where changes can be made, I suggest that we look at the micro-level — specifically, we need to look at how changes can be made at a single university.
The University announced Wednesday that Executive Vice President Stephen Golding has resigned from his role as the overseer of finance and administration. Come July 31, he will move to a new role as senior consultant to President David Skorton, where he will advise the president on Cornell’s role in the Upstate New York economy. Golding has served as the executive vice president since April of 2005.
Golding told the University: “It is even more essential today than ever before that we develop effective strategies to leverage the positive role they can play in promoting the New York state economy in the coming decade.”
The Obama administration, by its own admission, is redefining the role of the federal government. This is evidenced by the President’s budget for the fiscal year 2010, which is not only a document of numbers and figures, but one of goals, priorities and yes, ideology. This is not to say that all aspects of the President’s budget are misguided, but Americans need to be made aware of the changing reality in which we are living.
While Cornell faces a $200 million budget shortfall and University-wide budget cuts, the Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar is continuing to expand. The Qatari campus, which is largely funded by a non-profit organization established by the Qatari government, expects a larger budget and expanded research program next year.
Cornell’s campus in Qatar, a small nation on the Persian Gulf, was established in 2002. It has not yet reached its “full maturity,” said Stephen Cohen, the associate provost of Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City.
“Overall, the student body is still growing and faculty is growing,” he said.