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BETTEZ | Forget the Public Policy School, Give Us a Design School

Here’s a scenario that has totally never happened to me before: you’ve had a long day of classes and you’re ready to finally head home to your apartment in Collegetown, when you find yourself pulling on a push door as you exit, say, Upson Hall. You feel like an idiot; you’re a junior and here you are, looking like a prospective student visiting campus for the first time. But what if I told you that’s not your fault? That, instead, you’ve fallen prey to one of the most common design errors: the Norman door. First coined in the 1988 novel The Design of Everyday Things, the Norman Door is the result of poor and conflicting design decisions that make it difficult to determine how to operate the door, often resulting in a reliance on signage, or allowing its users to feel like idiots every day.

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GUEST ROOM | An Open Letter to President Pollock Regarding the Revamp of the College of Human Ecology

I am a graduate of the Design and Environmental Analysis program within the College of Human Ecology. I was attracted to the program, and to Cornell, because of its multidisciplinary aspects, and the ideal of Any Person, Any Study. This was a key factor in my decision to attend Cornell and select DEA as the foundation for my future. After graduating from Cornell in 1990, I attended New York University and was awarded a Master of Urban Planning from the Wagner School of Public Service. Now the Director of Regional Planning for the County of Los Angeles, I am arguably the epitome of a public policy leader you are striving to develop.

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GUEST ROOM | Any Person, Any Study: In Defense of the Excellence in Cornell’s College of Human Ecology

If university leadership were to implement the recommendation to disband the College of Human Ecology, they would lose a center of interdisciplinary, community-engaged and diverse research excellence. After months of deliberation, the Social Sciences Implementation Committee issued its final report. The ten voting members of the committee were narrowly divided with a 6 to 4 majority favoring the “re-envisioning” of the College of Human Ecology into a College of Public Policy and the creation of “super-departments” in economics, sociology, and psychology. This recommendation, though, ignores issues reiterated during numerous public listening sessions by stakeholders within the college as well as the broader Cornell community. Three quarters of CHE faculty are not in Policy Analysis and Management and have made it loud and clear that the switch to a policy college would not reflect their research interests, professional expertise and teaching.70 percent of current CHE students are not in a policy-related major and have voiced similar concerns.