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.

Prof Salaries Not Cut in Recession

Faculty salaries at major universities across the nation remain unaffected despite widespread budget and general economic woes.
Salaries for professors across the country rose by 3.9 percent last year, well above the inflation rate, according to the American Association of University Professors. According to USA Today, Weill Cornell Medical College Prof. Zev Rosenwaks, obstetrics and gynecology, allegedly earned a paycheck of $3.1 million last year, the fifth highest salary at any U.S. college.
The median salaries at the endowed colleges during the 2008-2009 school year were $93,500 for assistant professors, $109,800 for associate professors and $154,300 for full professors, according to data from the AAUP.

Economy Claims 41 Staff Positions in Alumni Office Reorganization

The changing face of the University will continue with the realigning of the Alumni Affairs and Development Office, which is implementing a strategic plan to tighten up resources and increase efficiency. Although the nation’s dismal economic climate was an impetus for the reorganization, the plan has been in the making for a year and a half.
“We’ve been doing strategic planning for about 18 months,” said Charles Phlegar, vice president of AAD. “Over the summer, we took reports from six committees that had looked at our organization. The financial catastrophe … heightened the need to perform more quickly.”

Skorton Quells Concerns About Workforce Reduction in Open Forum

This story was originally published on March 16.

Addressing Cornell’s approximately $230 million deficit, President David Skorton summarized the University’s current financial situation and answered pointed questions from an audience of at least 200 this afternoon in an open forum aimed for faculty and staff in Statler Auditorium.

Most of the questions raised were centered on the subject of workforce reduction. Skorton said several times during the question-and-answer session that there would be more layoffs in the future.