Skorton, S.A. Discuss University Cuts

President David Skorton attended the Student Assembly’s weekly meeting yesterday to field Assembly member’s questions and concerns regarding University adaptations to the current recession.
Skorton addressed the Assembly on numerous financial issues including next year’s rise in tuition. “We have agonized over the decision to increase tuition. It is quite a bit more than inflation and I am aware of that,” Skorton said.
To manage the effects of this raise in tuition, Skorton described the University’s efforts to appropriately adjust financial aid.
“We have moved millions of dollars from the construction of campus buildings towards giving students financial aid [and] we have greatly increased financial aid for families at or below the mean family income.”

Student Assembly Meeting

At yesterday’s Student Assembly meeting, a major objective was to discuss a potential timeline of fiscal planning for 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 byline funding. The S.A. discussed their expectations for each byline-funded group to submit a “preliminary application” due late April, specifying the amount they will be asking for. However, the S.A. stressed that the amount each organization requests in their preliminary application will not be final, and the S.A. will request an official application due early next fall.
Ryan Lavin ’09, president of the S.A., articulated that the purpose of the preliminary application is “to be as fiscally responsible as we can be … while maintaining the quality of student activities for undergraduates.”

Stimulus Package Limits Funding for Education

In addition to the $8.7 trillion that the U.S. government has already pledged last November in order to restore the crumbling economy, the Senate and House now have compromised on an additional $789 billion bill in the form of a stimulus package towards the efforts.

N.Y. Gov. David Paterson Speaks Frankly About The State’s Dire Economic Situation

On Jan. 7, Governor David Paterson (D-N.Y.) delivered the State of the State address. In his speech, Paterson’s first since assuming office last March, he focused on the numerous problems that the state is facing. He began the speech with a harsh assessment of New York’s current situation. 
“My fellow New Yorkers: Let me come straight to the point,” he said. “The state of our state is perilous.”
In his speech, Paterson touched on health, education, energy, environmental and economical issues that the state was grappling with, noting the adverse impact of the recession.
“New York faces an historic economic challenge, the gravest in nearly a century,” he said.

Hope and Resolution

It’s been over one week now.

One week since Barack Obama became president.

One week since he surmounted all obstacles and shattered many boundaries to reach the highest office in the country.

The euphoria on Tuesday night at his victory, at the collapse of one more racial barrier, and at the imminent expulsion of President Bush was tremendous. That night, Washington D.C. was ablaze. Cars raced down the avenues, horns blaring, radios loudly blasting the voice of Obama as he gave his victory speech. People were heard shouting in their homes, in the bars, even in the local CVS.

Budget Cuts May Slow Faculty Hiring, Lower Profs’ Retirement Funds

Last week a non-professional hiring pause and construction hold went into effect as part of Cornell’s plan to combat the national economic crisis and state budget cuts to the University. Although the long-term effects of the economic crisis remain to be seen, some effects are evident in different departments across the University.
The hiring pause specifically applies to staff and non-faculty, but the budget cuts may slow down the process of hiring faculty. Even so, most faculty hiring is continuing as usual.
“The president exempted faculty hiring from the pause,” William Fry, dean of the faculty, said. “Right now people are going [on] with hiring that they’ve been permitted to initiate.”

Don't Be Afraid of Deficits

As the candidates continue to talk about the economy, tax policy and ideas for buttressing the financial markets, the federal budget deficit, currently at approximately $455 billion, according to the White House, has come under scrutiny. At the most recent presidential debate, both candidates were asked how they might close the gap in the federal budget by the end of their first term. And what do you know, both candidates skated around the answer. Well, the real answer is that the budget deficit most likely cannot be closed within four years, nor does the deficit as it stands pose a large problem.