Lehman Keeps Presidential Compensation After Stepping Down

November 13, 2007

It is mid-November, time for The Chronicle of Higher Education to release executive compensation numbers. The Cornell Daily Sun article sums up the relevant info nicely:

After stepping down as Cornell’s 11th president, Jeffrey S. Lehman ’77, who left office under controversial circumstances, was compensated $785,518 for the 2005-06 fiscal year — over $75,000 more than then-Interim President Hunter R. Rawlings III. … Lehman’s post-job compensation in 2005-06 was more than all the Ivy presidents, except Yale University President Richard Levin, who earned $869,026.

As you may remember, Lehman made over $1 million in 2004-05, the most in the Ivy League. Rawlings took over as the president on July 1, 2005.


Facebook Used by College Admissions Offices

September 10, 2007

Companies have been using Facebook when making hiring decisions. As Facebook spreads beyond just college students, so are its uses.

The Brown Daily Herald reports:

“We don’t use Facebook unless someone says there’s something we should look at,” said Dean of Admission James Miller ’73. But Miller conceded that admission officers take outside tips seriously. “Anything we get, we follow up on,” he said. Associate Director of College Admission Elisha Anderson ’98 agreed with Miller. There is a “limit to what we can appropriately judge people on,” he said, but added, “You have to remember (Facebook) is a public place.” He said there was “maybe one case” in which Facebook yielded information that affected an admission decision.

It should be noted, though, that certain applicants are actually trying to show off their profiles:

Sometimes admission officers receive friend requests on Facebook from applicants, Anderson said, noting that accepting the requests “would appear weird.”

Sending those requests in the first place is probably more weird.

Cornell Named Hottest Ivy by Newsweek

August 13, 2007

Cornell must be doing something right to be labeled one of 25 hottest schools in the nation.


Unlike the other Ivies, Cornell is a land-grant college emphasizing problem solving as well as scholarly debate. The university boasts a world-class engineering college and top-flight liberal arts, science and fine arts. The hotel school is considered the world’s best. Cornellians, proud of the variety on campus, point to the president, David Skorton, a cardiologist, jazz musician and computer scientist who is the first in his family to have a college education.

Via IvyGate.

Class of 2011 Acceptance Rates Released

April 5, 2007

Class of 2011 acceptance rates are making headlines. Seems like it has been a good year for many schools.

The New York Times:

It was the most selective spring in modern memory at America’s elite schools, according to college admissions officers. More applications poured into top schools this admissions cycle than in any previous year on record. Schools have been sending decision letters to student applicants in recent days, and rejection letters have overwhelmingly outnumbered the acceptances. … Harvard College received applications from 22,955 students, another record, and accepted 2,058 of them, for an acceptance rate of 9 percent. The university called that “the lowest admit rate in Harvard’s history.” … Applications to Columbia numbered 18,081, and the college accepted 1,618 of them, for what was certainly one of the lowest acceptance rates this spring at an American university: 8.9 percent.

Yale Daily News:

Excluding Yale, other Ivies and peer institutions broke admissions records for applications and admit rates this year. Harvard University accepted 9 percent of 22,955 applicants, down from 9.3 percent last year. Columbia College and the university’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences accepted 10.4 percent of 21,343 total applicants. Brown University admitted 13.5 percent of a pool of 19,043 applications, while the 14,159 applications received by Dartmouth College resulted in a 15 percent acceptance rate. The University of Pennsylvania admitted 3,610 students, or 15.9 percent of its 22,634 applicants, and 20.5 percent of Cornell University’s 30,383 applicants received acceptance letters.


Princeton University rejected 90.5 percent of applicants for its next freshman class, the highest percentage since at least 1953, mirroring a trend among many of its Ivy League peers. … Cornell University, another Ivy, admitted 20.5 percent of 30,383 applicants, a record for the school, down from 24.7 percent a year earlier. The Ithaca, New York school has had a 24 percent increase in applications over the past two years.

Meanwhile, The Sun is focusing on other statistics:

High-risk drinking is marked by the consumption of five or more drinks consecutively, and, according to The Core Alcohol and Drug Survey conducted by Gannett in 2005, 31 percent of Cornell students reportedly consume, on average, five or more drinks in one night.

Admissions Offices Open Up Through Blogs

March 21, 2007

Last August, Cornell launched the Life on the Hill project to allow prospective students get a feel for campus life. While this initiative faced criticism from independent bloggers, it was an interesting move nonetheless.

It turns out colleges have been exploring other ways of using blogs to attract applicants. Admissions offices, traditionally shrouded in mystery, are beginning to open up. Yale Daily News sums it up:

In recent years, the increasingly intense college search process has given rise to online forums in which college-bound seniors swap advice, statistics, and stories in order to increase their chances of acceptance to top-tier schools. Now, some colleges are bringing information to the students in the form of behind-the-scenes blogs and message boards that offer a revealing look at what goes on inside America’s most selective admissions offices.

Yale does not have an admissions blog and has no plans for one. A quick search reveals that neither does any other Ivy League school. The only exception is Cornell’s College of Engineering.

Here is a small sample of schools jumping on the admissions blog bandwagon:
Bryn Mawr – www.brynmawr.edu/admissions/blog
Case Western – blog.case.edu/admission
Chicago – uncommonapplication07-08.blogspot.com
Connecticut College – admissionblog.conncoll.edu
Cornell (Engineering) – cornellengineeringadmissions-jill.blogspot.com
Johns Hopkins – hopkins.typepad.com
MIT – www.mitadmissions.org/blogs.shtml
Olin College – admissionblog.olin.edu
Oregon State – oregonstate.edu/admissions/blog
SUNY Stony Brook – sbuchris.blogspot.com
UCLA – blog.admissions.ucla.edu
UVA – uvaadmission.blogspot.com

It’s certainly refreshing to see schools make a legitimate attempt to connect with the potential future students during the stressful application process. I can only hope that more colleges follow their example.

Yale May Establish an Arts Program in Abu Dhabi

February 5, 2007

From today’s Yale Daily News:

A desert island teeming with mangroves and gazelles may seem like an unlikely site for a Yale arts program, but the government of Abu Dhabi, attempting to create the world’s next artistic and cultural haven, is betting that Yale will want to be a part of it. … The program would be the first of its kind in the Middle East for Yale.

Brings back the memories (from April 2001):

In an unprecedented expansion of the international presence of American higher education, Cornell University and a private foundation organized by the Emir of Qatar announced today (April 9, 2001) the establishment of the Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar. The new medical college will offer a complete medical education in Qatar leading to a Cornell University M.D. degree, based on the same admission standards and curriculum as the New York campus. … “This agreement is a first in Cornell’s 136-year history, and, in fact, a first for U.S. higher education,” said Hunter Rawlings, president of Cornell.

Just a little flashback.

Lehman One of the Top-Earning Educators

November 20, 2006

According to an annual survey of compensation by The Chronicle of Higher Education, seven college presidents received over $1 million during the 2004-2005 academic year. From the International Herald Tribune:

Audrey Doberstein, who stepped down in June as president of Wilmington College in Delaware, ranked first in total compensation, receiving $2.7 million in the 2004-05 academic year. That package comprised about $705,000 in salary, $798,615 in deferred compensation and $1.2 million in benefits.

Her successor, Jack Varsalona, said Doberstein’s total compensation had been increased by a change in the university’s retirement plan that required her to take the deferred compensation in a lump sum.

“It’s a really inflated figure,” Varsalona said.

Other presidents in the million-dollar club were Peter Traber from Baylor College of Medicine (more than $1.3 million), E. Gordon Gee of Vanderbilt University (nearly $1.2 million) and Karen Pletz of Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences (more than $1 million).

Three other presidents who stepped down recently also earned more than $1 million: Jeffrey Lehman of Cornell University, Roger Hull of Union College and Donald Ross of Lynn University.

Bloomberg had a slightly different spin on the numbers:

Cornell University President Jeffrey Lehman earned more than $1 million in his final year, the most in the Ivy League and almost twice as much as his Harvard counterpart.

Also recently released is the salary list for Iowa state workers. The Des Moines Register spotted a familiar name:

Then-U of I President David Skorton was paid $350,769 last fiscal year. Skorton left in June to become president of Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.

Looks like he received nice raise.