Cornell Program in Infrastructure Policy Receives $1.5 Million Grant from Koch Foundation

The Cornell Program in Infrastructure Policy — a seven-year-old program that tackles the ins and outs of infrastructure — just got a big boost with a $1.5 million grant from the Charles Koch Foundation. This program focuses on “improving the delivery, maintenance, and operation of physical infrastructure,” according to its website. Based in the College of Human Ecology, the program funds research about infrastructure, hosts events to discuss important issues in the field and maintains an advisory board of experts in both public and private industries to help carry out the goals of the organization. According to Prof. Rick Geddes, policy analysis and management, the founding director of CPIP, these goals are to “further research, teaching, public engagement, and outreach in the area of infrastructure policy.”

One of the goals of the program will be “to research technology and infrastructure,” specifically the adoption and implementation of these programs in cities and counties, according to Geddes. Geddes pointed out the immense technological advancements that infrastructure is currently undergoing.

‘Rethinking Violence’ Lecture Urges Students to Question Approach to Violent Crime

“The essence of the criminal justice reform model in the popular press has focused on the lowest of the low hanging fruit — the nonviolent drug offender in prison for possession of controlled substances,” Prof. Joseph Margulies, government, law, said in a lecture Thursday afternoon. But, according to Margulies, this narrative often embraced by the media is wrong. Margulies is a self-described “student of the American criminal justice system,” according to his bio on the Cornell Law School website. He has defended numerous people “caught up in the excesses of the so-called war on terror,” such as Abu Zubaydah — a Saudian Arabian national held at CIA black sites and interrogated in 2002 and 2003, the public discovery of which led to the infamous Bush Administration “torture memos.”

He disputed the popularly-held notion that the United States incarcerates large numbers of low-level non-violent offenders for minor possession charges and sentences them to disproportionate sentences — calling that perception the “holy grail” of incarceration. “We don’t send those people to prison … the search for the low-level non-violent drug offender is like the hunt for a snark …They may exist but they are vanishingly rare,” he said.