Any person.
Any study.
Any Cornelliana.

An alumni
blog about Ezra's
University. (more)


Suggestions? Tips?




[+] Cornell News

[+] Higher Ed News

[+] Campus Pubs

[+] Alumni Interest

[+] Diversions

[+] Blogs

[+] Sports

[+] Other Places


[+] By Month

[+] By Author

November 2006

Shock! Another Unaffordable Cornell Club Event

I'm already on the lookout for good holiday parties, and one in town with lots of Cornellians will surely be near the top of my list. Fortunately, the Cornell Club of Washington has made my choices that much easier by providing me with a great reason not to go to theirs:

Get the Early Bird special! $55 Young Alumni(Class '96 -'06) CCW members; $60 CCW members; $75 Nonmembers until 11/20/06. After 11/20/06: $65 all CCW members, $75 nonmembers.

Thanks, Cornell Club!

Andy Guess | November 30, 2006 (#)

Sun Columnist Takes a Break

I think I speak for all of MetaEzra when I say that Sun columnist Rob Fishman, who's going abroad next semester, will be missed. He provided refreshing insight and nuance on many Cornell-centric issues such as diversity, often doing original reporting to support his columns. His last piece of the semester focuses on the myth of a homogenous group of "Asians" at Cornell. Check it out.

Andy Guess | November 30, 2006 (#)

Post-Season Ivy League Football

It's Thanksgiving. And what would Turkey Day be without some football?

In the last post, we lamented about the decline of big-time Ivy League football, and asked whether or not Cornell might be better suited to join a football league where the games actually amount to more than just an excuse for a bunch of rich kids to network and get drunk.

We can't change Ivy League recruiting policies, but the next best thing is take you back in time to 1940, when Ivy League football still mattered. Cornell played Dartmouth in the last game of the season, and entered into the game undefeated... and, well, you can see the outcome of the game here on YouTube.

Matthew Nagowski | November 23, 2006 (#)

Should Cornell Quit the Ivy League?

Amidst all of the excitement of the Michigan-Ohio State game tomorrow, and the fact that Cornell's football squad lost to Columbia (Columbia!) last weekend, the Times is running an interesting article on the demise of Ivy League football.

In truth, I've often felt that Cornell might be better off if it was in the Big 10. After all, in terms of both the number of undergraduates and demeanor of the student experience, Cornell distances itself greatly from its Ivy League peers. And all it takes is one trip to Lynah Rink to see how excited the Cornell student body can get about a team that can be competitive in a sport of national prominence. At Cornell, the students actually care about their sports, unlike at some other, nameless schools.

While some of Cornell's punditry might seek to "wrap themselves in Ivy", Cornell is really a school that defies stereotype and embodies myriad types of institutions: the eastern liberal arts colleges, the technologically-inclined research institutes, and the large state schools of the Midwest. Moreover, Cornell has actually had a long history of interaction with the Big 10. Andrew Dickson White came from the University of Michigan, and the University's last three Presidents all hailed from Big 10 schools as well.

Of course, there is wistfulness and then there is reality, and there is no denying the fact that it is hard for any top school (academically speaking) to put a competitive squad out on the field. Northwestern, Duke, and Stanford aren't exactly successful in their quest for competitive Division I-A play. The administrators also like the fact that they don't always have to cater to the needs of a football team and its alumni base. Moreover, what would an insecure Cornell alum do if she wasn't able to quip that "it's in the Ivy League" as soon as she tells somebody they she attended Cornell?

But the all-time Michigan-Cornell record still has Cornell in a healthy lead, 12-6. It makes one wish...maybe just for a fleeting moment...that big-time football was a reality at Cornell.

Matthew Nagowski | November 17, 2006 (#)

Spitzer and Cornellians

The Syracuse Post-Standard has an interview with Hunter Rawlings on the topic of Eliot Spitzer's transition team:

I think it's interesting that Eliot Spitzer has put two Cornellians on this group of co-chairs. Liz Moore (a partner at the Nixon Peabody law firm who was an adviser to former Gov. Mario Cuomo) is a Cornell alumna and member of the board of trustees.

I think he sees Cornell as the land grant institution for New York state whose mission is, in part, to serve the state, not only through programs in agriculture and veterinary medicine, but also through public policy.

Sounds about right.

Matthew Nagowski | November 14, 2006 (#)

Hunter and Eliot

While Andy has already posted that Spitzer has appointed Hunter Rawlings to his transition team, it also appears that a Cornell trustee -- Elizabeth Moore '75, has also been appointed to the team as well.

Very good news for New York state, as well as Cornell. And as a born and raised (Upstate) New Yorker and Cornellian, I can't help but elaborate on this good news. Why? Three reasons.

Matthew Nagowski | November 09, 2006 (#)

Hunter Rawlings on Spitzer's Transition Team

We didn't see this one coming.

Of all the political surprises in the past two days, one nearly slipped under MetaEzra's radar. Eliot Spitzer, New York's next governor, has already begun assembling his transition team, and would it really be complete without a former Cornell president on board?

From today's Times:

His transition chairmen are a racially and politically diverse group as he seeks to signal a bipartisan approach. He also said he intentionally excluded elected officials and lobbyists.

His appointees included Richard Parsons, chief executive of Time Warner and a Republican donor who gave money to Mr. Spitzer’s opponent, John Faso; Rosanna Rosado, the publisher of El Diario, the Spanish language newspaper; and Hunter Rawlings, the former president of Cornell University.

Our initial reaction is that this can't be bad for state funding or Cornell's future relations with the New York State government. Spitzer may very well be sending a signal that he takes the land-grant institution seriously; neither Columbia nor New York University seem to be represented in his team so far.

Hopefully Rawlings will provide eyes and ears for President Skorton in this crucial period at Cornell.

Andy Guess | November 09, 2006 (#)

Hockey Players, Not Farmers

Matthew Nagowski | November 09, 2006 (#)

Fish Will Be Thrown

The game that Cornellians have had circled on their calendars since April is tomorrow night. Savor it.

Last spring, a bunch of know-nothing Cantabrigians beat out our boys in carnelian and white for the Cleary Cup. On Friday night, the Lynah Faithful will get their revenge.

Simply put: The energy in Lynah when the Crimson take the ice and the first fish (or lobster or octopus) gets lobbed over the glass in unrivaled. There's nothing else like it in college hockey or in Ivy League sports. Some would-be posers like to think that their football rivalry is important, but it's really just a lame excuse to get drunk by a bunch of kids who don't know the difference between a touchdown and a touch back.

Meanwhile, Cornell Athletics has issued a strongly worded statement citing a "zero-tolerance policy" towards bringing fish into Lynah. Sure. Yeah. Right.

Want to watch the game in your home town? Find out where, here.

Matthew Nagowski | November 09, 2006 (#)

The Costs of Financial Aid

One of the most important parts of the capital campaign is endowing the University’s financial aid offerings. The university guarantees that it will cover all “financial need”, so by endowing scholarships for financial aid students, the University is able to free up more money for other purposes. Like hiring or retaining faculty.

This graph depicts the percentage of undergraduate tuition revenue that is “spent” on financial aid for each tuition-source at Cornell. In a sense, it’s “funny money”, because the University is just paying itself the cost of a student’s tuition. But it’s also a real financial constraint that the University has to work with. In an ideal world, all financial aid money would come from endowed sources, and no tuition dollars would have to go to covering financial aid.


What’s most striking about the graph is the recent spike in financial aid costs. This probably reflects a couple of trends, including more generous financial aid policies, as well as rising tuition rates. (In an ironic twist, as tuition rises, Cornell not only needs to spend more money on financial aid, but it also raises more money to spend on financial aid.)

Of course, the real insight into this graph is this: the rich students are helping less-well off students get an education. So if you are a Cornell student constantly frustrated with the amount of opulence and arrogance that some of your peers display, take a deep breath: they’re helping to subsidize your tuition.

Matthew Nagowski | November 03, 2006 (#)

MSU vs. Cornell

Earlier this week, I had the privilege of hearing Lou Anna Simon speak. Dr. Simon, the president of Michigan State University, spoke passionately about the need for research universities to affirm their role in local, state, and regional affairs, and the need to "democratize" knowledge.

But she also mentioned something else: that she was trying to transform MSU from a "land-grant" institution to a "world-grant" institution. In fact, MSU's 'strategic commitment' makes this claim as well, that "land-grant has become global-grant" and "by 2012, MSU will be recognized worldwide as the United States' leading land-grant research university."

But wait a second. Isn't that Cornell's goal as well? Cornell's campaign literature asserts that by 2015, Cornell will fully realize [its] role as land grant institution to the world.

Which apparently gives MSU three years to be on top...

Matthew Nagowski | November 01, 2006 (#)

Other Recent Posts

-- WSJ: Cornell Wins NYC Tech Campus Bid (EBilmes)

-- Barrier Update: City Approves Nets (DJost)

-- Big Red Cymbal Guy (Nagowski)

-- New York Times Survey on Campus Recruiting is Flawed (KScott)

-- Barrier Update: Legal precedent suggests City of Ithaca will not be held liable for gorge suicide (DJost)

-- Despite MSG Loss, Big Potential for Big Red Hockey (EBilmes)

-- City Council Will Vote on Suicide Nets (DJost)

-- An Encounter on the Upper East Side (Nagowski)

-- Showing Off Your School Spirit (Nagowski)

-- Chipotle Ithaca? (KScott)

-- Cornell at the ING NYC Marathon (KScott)

-- Crossing Over a Fine Line: Commercial Activity on Campus (KScott)

-- Milstein's Downfall (Nagowski)

-- Can any Cornell-associated organization really be independent of the University? (Nagowski)

-- Slope Media Revisited (EBilmes)

-- Slope Media Group Approved for Byline Funding (KScott)

-- Occupy AEM? (KScott)

-- New campus pub to be good for both Greeks and non-Greeks (Nagowski)

-- Gagging the Election (Nagowski)

-- The Changing Structure of Rush Week (Nagowski)

-- Ivy League Humility in the Midwest (EBilmes)

-- Of Median Grades and Economics Minors (Nagowski)

-- Homecoming Recap (Nagowski)

-- My Cornell Bookshelf (Nagowski)

-- The Sun's Opinion Section Has Suddenly Gotten Good (Nagowski)

-- Remembering the 11th (Nagowski)

-- Cornellian Tapped as Top Economic Advisor (Nagowski)

-- Cutting Pledging, and the Good Which Comes With It (EBilmes)

-- Why Cornell Should Not Close Fall Creek Gorge (Nagowski)

-- Welcome to the Class of 2015 (Nagowski)