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GUEST ROOM | Paying With Cashnet Strips Your Legal Rights

Paying a bill on Cornell’s Cashnet is clunky. The first payment page has no record of your outstanding balance, so you must memorize the amount before submitting. The only accepted form of payment is by bank transfer — a silly way to pay a $40 student activity fee. The form for entering your bank information does not allow you to paste your account or routing numbers, inviting mistakes. After that slog, you might be forgiven for not reading the fine print.

Guest Room

GUEST ROOM | A Call for Transparency and Labor Focus in the ILR Dean Search

Five months after Kevin Hallock stepped down from the helm of the School of Industrial and Labor Relations to lead the newly formed SC Johnson College of Business, the nation’s premier institution of labor education and research continues in its search for a new dean. While the search committee has voiced desire for student input, we fear the opinions of those most impacted by the management of this program will not be made a central concern. In fact, the Provost has made no commitments to transparency in this process, and has indicated to faculty members that he may be departing from well-established norms by not giving faculty and students the ability to comment on candidates being considered for the position. The Provost would require the select faculty members who meet the finalists to sign confidentiality agreements, agreeing to refrain from discussing potential candidates with their colleagues. The fact that the previous dean was so easily able to transition to leading an institution of management is indicative of the corporate bias of the search process to date.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR | ILR Faculty Respond to Interim President Hunter Rawlings’ Statement on Graduate Assistant Labor Union Representation

To the editor: 

In his “statement on graduate assistant labor union representation” (October 27), Interim President Hunter Rawlings cites the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations (ILR School) as being “the leader in the field of labor education.” We write here as faculty of the ILR School, drawing on our expertise and experience in the field of labor law, labor relations and labor rights. We agree with President Rawlings that it is essential that the University respect the graduate assistants’ choice of whether they wish to be represented by a union. We also agree that it is important that graduate assistants have access to information relevant to making their choice. Unfortunately, however, President Rawlings’ statement presents a negative view of unionization based on speculation and unsubstantiated assertions. In responding to these speculative claims, our letter seeks to provide useful information about the reality of unionization in universities.