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N.B. MetaEzra will not be at Homecoming this year, for the first time in eight years. We would like to say it has something to do with scheduling Fordham (?!?!) as the opponent, but in truth, our cousin is getting married. We will, however, be on campus and available to meet up over a pint at the Chapter House this coming Monday through Wednesday. We will be wearing a swine flu mask. Just be in touch: editor@metaezra.com

But reading the Sun today, it's impossible not to connect some of the dots between pro-active budget cuts and re-active budget cuts:

The study done by Bloomfield is not only applicable to Rockefeller Hall, but also to all other buildings on campus that leave lights on unnecessarily — most buildings on central campus would fall under this category. There are 260 “major” buildings on campus. If only 5 to 10 percent of these buildings — about 20 buildings — waste energy like Rockefeller Hall, then turning off their lights could translate into about $1,215 in savings in one week, $63,180 in a year; and 275 metric tons of CO2 could be saved in a year.

“So, just by turning off the lights in about 20 buildings,” Bloomfield stated in his study, “Cornell could save more than $60,000, and reduce its carbon footprint by almost one percent. Shouldn’t Cornell just be employing undergrads to turn off the lights?”

And we've talked about the fate of the Svenska program before. But the Sun follows-up on its plight:

Godec also mentioned that the termination of both Swedish and Dutch programs will result in a total savings of $90,000 per year — a small amount, Godec maintains, when compared against the $135 million budget deficit that the University faces.

“The budget crisis is very real and I understand that difficult decisions have to be made,” Van Morgan said. “At the same time, these are critical languages that serve numerous constituencies, including faculty and students. In light of this, I hope that the College will reconsider the decision to cancel them.”

Godec also highlighted the importance of Dutch and Swedish as elements that allows Cornell to boast its well-publicized motto of “any person, any study.”

“Dutch and Swedish are not widely taught languages. Only 15 universities in the United States and Canada combined have a Dutch language program,” Godec said.

The elimination of the Cornell Swedish and Dutch language programs will also affect graduate students and faculty whose research utilizes such languages.

Somewhere I know there is just a wealthy Swedish family waiting to endow Cornell's Svenska program.

Matthew Nagowski | Posted on October 16, 2009 (#)

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