Message from Alan Mittman


As a follow-up to my last article, I wanted to describe some of the work being done by one of the four Board of Trustees committees on which I sit, Buildings and Properties. This committee reviews projects and capital expenditures within certain parameters.

Among the items discussed at the last meeting on March 27 were:

• an update on projects concluding this spring;

• the issuance of a final permit for Lake Source Cooling by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation setting an interim limit for phosphorous for the next five years during further study;

• an update on the installation of the meshes and fence removal at university bridges; and

• the achievement by the university of a higher Gold Star sustainability rating in 2012 than in 2011.

On March 26, Board Chairman Bob Harrison; Jan Zubrow, chair of the Cornell Board of Trustees’ Executive Committee; four of its members; and I had breakfast and an open, free-flowing discussion with more than a dozen members from the Employee Assembly (EA). The breakfast provided a great opportunity for direct contact between EA members and trustee leadership about employee issues, including results of the employee survey.

A few items of interest at the Board of Trustees meeting of March 28 include:

• A presentation by representatives of the student group Kyoto NOW! seeking divestment of university investments by 2020 in the fossil fuel industry. The president’s position can be found in an article at:

• A major presentation by SUNY Chairman of the Board H. Carl McCall, including the SUNY budget and implications for Cornell.

• A report of the Student Assembly (SA) by SA President Adam Gitlin, including campus safety and the effect on students of staff reductions in certain areas.

• A report of the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly (GPSA) by GPSA President Mitch Paine, including a GPSA delegation to Washington, D.C. to argue the deleterious effects on higher education from sequestration, and increased women professional development.

• Comments on a recent interview of Trustee Rubén José King-Shaw in the New York Times found at headlined, Answering Calls to Serve, about his childhood, career in private and public service, and the importance of his undergraduate education at Cornell.

• The dedication, Oct. 25, 2012, the ILR Conference Center building as Patricia G. and Rubén José King-Shaw, Jr. ILR ‘83, Hall.

More after our next meetings in late May. Enjoy Spring!

Alan Mittman, director, Office of Workplace Policy and Labor Relations and Employee-Elected Trustee. Contact: