Iowa Growing Top University Leaders

May 23, 2006

The media is obsessed with David Skorton’s Facebook presence. From the January 23 Inside Higher Ed article “Cornell Turns to Iowa (Again) for a President” :

At Iowa [Skorton] has placed an emphasis on connecting with undergraduates — notably creating a profile for himself on Facebook, and using the popular Web site as a way to stay in touch with his hundreds of undergraduate Facebook friends.

And later on a little bit of trivia:

The University of Iowa may increasingly be seen as a market place for — among other things — university presidents. Skorton’s three immediate predecessors left for the top jobs at the University of Michigan (Mary Sue Coleman), Cornell (Hunter R. Rawlings III, who preceded Lehman and has been back in Cornell’s president’s office since Lehman left) and Dartmouth College (James O. Freedman). In 2003, Texas Tech University hired Jon Whitmore, then Iowa’s provost, as president.

That is something.


Uncle Ezra Faces Facebook

May 17, 2006

You don’t have to be a president to be fascinated with Facebook. A quick look at Dear Uncle Ezra yields some results of interest.

For the unaware, Dear Uncle Ezra claims it was “the first on-line helpline in the world” created to “help students, staff, alumni, prospective students, parents — readers all around the world — calm their fears, consider courses of action, determine resources, feel heard and feel empowered.”

In the spirit of being heard and empowered, I present the following entries. May these questions posed by members of the Cornell community guide you through all your Facebook troubles.

From “Questions for Thursday, April 28, 2005” :

My dearest uncle,
I am just having a crush on a girl, based on her facebook profile. She seems like my dream girl. But I couldn’t figure out any way to contact her other than sending her a message through web. We don’t have any common friends. What can I say to her? “I am very impressed with your profile and blah,blah blah..? This would seem like a cheap, cliché move. I seek comfort in your wise counsel.

From “Questions for Thursday, October 20, 2005” :

Hi Ezra.
I live in Balch Hall, and I have a problem. Groups of people are incessently walking through the courtyard and screaming PENIS at all hours of the night. It is VERY annoying, as it goes on quite often. Even worse, these people are proud of it (they even have a facebook group dedicated to it). However, it is not funny because everyone just wants to sleep at night without being woken up by the antics of drunken people. What steps can be taken to stop this?

From “Questions for Thursday, May 4, 2006” :

Hi Uncle,
I have a question with regards to whether something would be ok or considered sketchy. I’m sure you’ve heard of the latest craze on college campuses, Facebook. Do you think it’s okay to use Facebook as a dating site to some extent and ask people out based on their facebook profiles? I feel that if someone writes that they are single, doesn’t that mean they want people to know so that if you’re interested you can ask them out? Or, am I rationalizing and would it be considered sketchy to write to someone who all you know about them is from their profile?

Ivy League Presidents on Facebook

May 14, 2006

On March 3, The Daily Princetonian published “Poke your prez: ‘Tighman’ friendless on facebook” by Brett Amelkin and Sophia Ahern Dwosh. It starts off: helps students network with friends on campus, those at other universities and even friends in high school. Now, facebook is doing more than simply bringing students together. Have you “friended” your college president yet?

It continues:

“Tighman” is not the first among Ivy League presidents to have a facebook account. Her counterparts at other universities, however, outrank her in their number of facebook friends. … The presidents of Cornell, Yale and Columbia have not yet had accounts set up in their names on facebook.

Good research Princeton.

No love.

New Day New Sun

May 11, 2006

Earlier today, The Cornell Daily Sun came out with a revamped web site featuring a new look and a new backend. After roughly two years, the College Publisher partnership was dropped.

From one of the new Sun blogs:

As you can see, got a facelift! This new website will hopefully do more than just give you the daily news of what’s happening on the hill. Check out our brand new forums and wikipedia sections! Post your event on our online daybook! Read your favorite columnists’ blog!

Mid-May Mail Update

May 10, 2006

Two emails were sent by fans in recent weeks.

First one came from Leo on April 22:

Hi. Through some crazy mash of clicks and links I arrived to at your blog… if you are an ex prez of Cornell–that is awesome, I hope all is well.

I don’t know if you have already seen this, but:

take care,

Yes, a Facebook profile is a very crazy mash of clicks and links. Awesome!

The other came from Tamara on May 5:

hey whats up cant hear from you


Skorton Inauguration Date Announced Yet Again

May 2, 2006

As declared in today’s Cornell Daily Sun, “David J. Skorton will be inaugurated as Cornell’s 12th president Sept. 7, the University announced yesterday.” “The Ivy League school announced Monday that Skorton’s installation will take place Sept. 7, on Cornell’s historic Arts Quad,” wrote the Ithaca Journal. Other area news outlets had similar stories.

I was under the impression that the news outlets should report news. The Cornell Chronicle Online ran a story on April 12 that read, “Thursday, Sept. 7, has been set as the date for David J. Skorton’s inauguration as Cornell’s 12th president.”

Maybe the Chronicle piece was edited later on. If only there was some sort of a web publication that tracked changes. Wikipedia’s entry for Cornell University from as far back as March 15, 2006, clearly stated, “Inauguration: September 7, 2006.”

I certainly hope that more research is done for the important stories hot off the press.