University to Receive Portion of Helmsley Estate

Cornell will be one of the beneficiaries of the late hotelier Leona Helmsley’s multi-billion dollar estate, The New York Times reported Wednesday. Helmsley, was known as the “queen of mean” according MSNBC, and she was able to amass her estimated $5 billion estate because of her cutthroat business mentality.

Cleese Uses His Extensive Travel to Advise Hotelies

Since his appointment as the A.D. White Professor-at-large ten years ago, famed British actor, comedian and screenwriter John Cleese has regularly visited Cornell’s campus to share his thoughts on a wide range of topics, including writing, theatre, film, psychology and religion.
And now for something completely different.
Stepping out of the shoes of Basil Fawlty, a gloriously rude hotel manager in the ‘70s television series Fawlty Towers, Cleese spoke yesterday to 130 Hotel Administration students as a well-traveled customer who has stayed in many hotels around the world.

Hotel Ezra Cornell Dons Vegas Theme

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas; however, that was not the case this weekend as various leaders of the hospitality industry parted from Sin City to impart their insights to students during the 84th annual Hotel Ezra Cornell. For two eventful days and three hedonic nights, students of the School of Hotel Administration hosted HEC, a yearly educational conference showcasing the skills and talents of the students as they temporarily assumed management of Statler Hotel.
The conference kicked off Thursday with “An Evening at Club HEC.” The Las Vegas-themed conference provided students opportunities to “demonstrate their knowledge by planning and executing a weekend full of culinary delights, innovative service and impressive speakers,” according to HEC’s website.

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.

Course Evaluations Serve As a Tool in Class Selection

Many students see course evaluations merely as a tedious end-of-the-semester chore. However, some of Cornell’s colleges are working to turn course evaluations into a tool students can use in considering which classes they should take. Last February, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ Faculty Senate voted to make the numerical component of their course evaluations available to the Cornell community.

Students Protest Ties To Co. With Alleged Labor Law Violations

The labor and management practices at a California hotel — owned by a company that has close ties to the University — are drawing criticism from a hospitality workers union and student groups at several college campuses.
Workers at the Hilton Long Beach and Executive Meeting Center in Long Beach, Calif. allege that the hotel managers are unfairly interfering with their desire to organize. The Hilton Long Beach is owned by HEI Hotels and Hospitality, a company founded in 1985 by Gary Mendell ’79 and Steve Mendell ’82, both of whom graduated from the School of Hotel Administration. HEI owns 30 luxury hotels across the country. The company maintains a “very active relationship” with Cornell, according to its spokesperson, Jess Petitt ’05.