C.U. Looks Within as Deficit Looms

With Cornell’s current budget deficit still totaling a grave $135 million, the University has been forced to seriously reconsider its future. Reimagining Cornell — an effort the University is touting as “one of the most comprehensive self-examinations in its 144-year history” — will, once complete, provide a strategic plan that top administrators hope will set the university on stable financial footing.

Inevitable Changes Lead to Skepticism

Neoma Mullens ’98, director of Cornell’s Internal Transfer Division, sighed as she pulled out a modest stack of confidential documents outlining possible reductions in her department of two people. She did not disclose the documents to The Sun.
“Honestly, I think there is still some waste [left in the University], but it’s hard to pinpoint without pointing fingers. Self-examination is important, but not everyone has the courage to do so.”
 Although faculty, students and alumni agree that “Reimagining Cornell” is a necessary project to assure the long-term health of the institution, the uncertain future of teaching, research and student life at Cornell is leading many to view the changes taking place around them with an air of skepticism.

Provost’s Office Reallocates Duties of Axed Positions

The Office of the Provost is the launch pad for all cuts, merging and scale backs associated with “Reimagining Cornell.” However, no facet of the University has been untouched by the financial crisis, and the office is scrambling just as much as academic departments to slim down its bloated administrative body.

Early Preparation Enables ILR to Better Face Budget Cuts

This is the third article in a series examining the effects of the University’s budget cuts on individual schools and colleges.

As some of Cornell’s seven colleges scramble to meet Provost Kent Fuchs’ call for a five percent University-wide budget cut, the School of Industrial and Labor Relations has taken it in stride. With the need to cut $1.7 million from ILR’s $34 million unrestricted budget, Dean Harry Katz has pledged that the cuts would not directly affect students, classes, professors or other faculty members on campus.

Cornell Profs Express Views On Obama's Stimulus Plan

President Obama signed the most sweeping piece of economic legislation in the nation’s history on Feb. 17 in Denver, Col., officially sparking what may prove to be a long road to financial recovery. On campus, students and professors voiced their opinion, highlighting attitudes ranging from cautious optimism to vitriolic critique.

Recession May Contribute to Rise in Gannett Counseling

As America’s financial well-being continues to suffer from the economic recession, individuals likewise share the pain from the emotional repercussions that come with the stress of increased financial hardship.
Matt Boone, assistant director of Counseling and Psychological Services and coordinator of the “Let’s Talk” program at Gannett, said he has seen evidence that the finance crisis affecting the mental health of the Cornell community.
“I’ve seen from myself in my own practice and have heard from my colleagues that students are [more often] presenting issues of anxiety relating to the financial situation, whether it’s things going on in their own family … or whether they are worried for themselves about internships or future jobs,” Boone said.

Univ. Budget Cuts Plague Slope Day

One of Cornell’s most visible student events appears to have fallen victim to the University-wide budget cuts that were announced earlier this week.
Slope Day, the annual concert held on Libe Slope on the last day of spring semester classes, will receive significantly less funding from the University, which has historically offered financial support for the event, according to Mandy Hjellming ‘09, chair of the Slope Day Programming Board.
Hjellming said that this the SDPB will be forced to cover an estimated $70,000 that the University had provided in the past for logistical and infrastructural expenses. That figure is a low estimate and the actual deficit could actually be higher, she said.

U.S. Dollar Affects Abroad Choices

With so much news focusing on economic problems at home, some Cornellians might not be aware that changes in the international value of the U.S. dollar have the potential to affect study abroad, a program in which over 800 undergraduates participate each year.
Changing dollar exchange rates have always been an issue in the U.S., and events like the formation of the European Union have caused dramatic fluctuations [img_assist|nid=34353|title=Off we go|desc=| The rate of exchange in foreign countries may deter students planning to study abroad. |link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]in the value of the dollar. But with decreasing prosperity at home, will the exchange rate issue become more important to Cornellians hoping to study abroad?

C.U. Sees Endowment Decline by 27 Percent

While Cornell was able to largely avoid the Bernard Madoff ponzi scheme that cost other universities millions of dollars in losses, Cornell’s finances were not invulnerable to the economic meltdown that has gripped the country. According to The Cornell Alumni Magazine, Cornell’s endowment, which was valued at $6.1 billion on June 30, 2008, fell 27 percent during the second half of 2008.
Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration Stephen Golding in an interview on CNBC, considered the current economic status “the perfect financial storm.” He explained the complexities and the uniqueness of the current situation by adding, “This is a much broader problem with many more components at one time than what many of us have historically seen.”