Cornell Graduation Rates

25 10 2013

4-8-2013 231

Graduation; perhaps the most important part of the Cornell experience. Facts are from the university factbook, as is the image below:


-For freshman who started in Fall 2007 (graduating 2011-2013), the overall university graduation rate (frosh who finish in six years or less) was 93.2%. Human Ecology set the standard at 95.5%, with most of the other schools clustering near the average, except for AAP, which polled at only 88%. Arguably, AAP’s number are more prone to skewing, since they’re the smallest college and it takes 5 years to complete architecture degrees; but the facts are what they are, AAP usually ranks below average, and is often the worst of the seven colleges for graduation rates.

-Over the decade, graduation rates jumped in the first half from 92 to 93.4%, but have dipped slightly since. The number still poll better than the 1990s, when graduation rates were just under 91%. The localized max is 98.7% for Fall 2004 ILR freshman, and the local min is the 69.9% for fall 2001 AAP freshmen. Compared to the 1990s, students seem to averaging a slightly quicker completion of their courses of study, with an increase in the less-than-4 year path, and a decrease in the percentage of super-seniors.

-Women consistently graduate at slightly higher rates than men. In 2007, 95% of women graduated within six years, vs. 91% of men. This is consistent across schools and in most years, though in some years the gap is as low as 1%, but the gap has trended slightly larger in the past few years.

-University-Recognized Minorities (URMs, referring to non-white and non-Asian students) graduate at slightly lower rates, 88% for those starting in fall 2007 (the value has been in the upper 80s for most of the past decade). URM males fare worse, at 85% for fall 2007’s freshman class. For African-American males, the rate has been as low as 75% in recent years.

-International student finish at rates not substantially different from the general student body, but they finish in less than 4 years at much higher rates – 20 to 30% of those freshmen will finish early. If I remember correctly (i.e. I can’t seem to find anything to back this up), certain countries, like Singapore, push their students to finish as quickly as possible.

-About 1 out of every 8 students will graduate from a college different than the one they were enrolled in as a freshman (ex. started in Arts and Sciences, finished in CALS). There’s no real trend over time, or for school transfers (evidence that AEM is trying to become more exclusive?)

-Transfer students graduate at rates virtually identical to those who started at Cornell as freshmen, with the exception of AAP, where they do not do as well. Once again, small incoming transfer numbers can skew this figure easily.

-About 3-4% drop out after freshman year. From there on, about 1-1.5% who finish their sophomore or junior year will not come back for the subsequent year of their matriculation.




News Tidbits 10/15/13: Ithaca’s Had Better Weeks

16 10 2013


It’s weeks like this that make me want to crawl into bed.

News piece one – The only piece of news that isn’t bad.  the Holiday Inn-turned-Hotel Ithaca will be taking a little longer than expected. Not a bad thing, just the schedule being re-arranged; the old hotel portion will be renovated in phase one (November 2013 – May 2014) and keep its 90 employees throughout the process. The conference center will now begin construction in March 2014, and the new hotel tower will start construction in May. If it keeps people employed, then I’m certainly not going to complain.

News piece number two – the Purity Ice Cream apartment project is dead, as Ithaca Builds reported yesterday. The reasons cited were “market conditions”, which I’m disinclined to believe, but then, I don’t know what numbers they’re running with. The building will still be renovated and add about 2,600 square feet of office space on the second floor, including a little rooftop terrace. You’re right IB, this is a bummer.

The latest planning board agenda suggests nothing particularly new or exciting, unless you count adding space down in big-box land.

News piece number three, four, etc – The Syracuse Post-Standard seems to be having a field day running all these crime reports from Ithaca.  The nutjob looking for his lily-white nymphs seems to be a hit with the commentariat.

So…better luck next week, I guess.

A Bigger Vet School

10 10 2013


I’ve only ever been in the vet school once, to deliver an invitation for a wine and cheese event to an alum of my fraternity house who worked as a researcher at the vet school.  When it came to getting photos, I would just take advantage of my Bradfield perch, take my photos, and that was that.

The vet school is not unlike the rest of the school in that it’s been built in spurts. The original vet school was in James Law Hall, where Ives Hall stands now (and even prior to that, it shared space in the north wing of Goldwin Smith Hall, the old dairy science building). The vet school moved further east with the construction of Schurman Hall in 1957, and expanded with the Vet Research Tower in 1974, the Vet Education Center and Vet Medical Center in 1993 and 1996, and the East Campus Research Facility and Vet Diagnostic Lab in 2006 and 2010 respectively.  Essentially, the vet school is like many human hospitals, a mish-mash of additions and new wings/buildings, incoherent and even incompatible. The completion of the the  VDL building left a large amount of vacant space in Schurman Hall that was difficult to repurpose, hence the approved plan – demolish 68,000 square feet of space, build 65,000 square feet of new space, and renovate 33,000 square feet of existing space, to be done in two phases with a combined cost of $63 million.

Looking east from Tower Avenue. Rendering property of Cornell.

Looking east from Tower Avenue. Rendering property of Cornell.

Given those stats, it seems like a misnomer to call it an expansion, but one of the effects of the reconstruction will be to increase the number of matriculating vet students in a year from 102 to 120 – and given Cornell’s #1 vet school ranking, they will not be lacking in applicants. Over four years, you have 72 more professional students – you’re welcome, Ithaca landlords. Among the details, the old auditorium will be torn down, and in its place comes the new Flower-Sprecher library, two new lecture halls, a new dining hall, large gathering spaces (i.e. yet another open atrium) offices, an expanded anatomy lab, and a green roof. The architects of this plan are New York-based Weiss/Mandfredi, who specialize in hypermodern glassy spaces.

Looking west from new courtyard. Rendering property of Cornell.

Looking west from new courtyard. Rendering property of Cornell.

As for the time frame, Phase I, which comprises the tear-down and new construction, will start in April 2014 and be completed in a 12-month time frame. Phase II, the renovation component, will commence at that time and proceed towards a tentative completion in October 2016. I will already be beyond my 5-year reunion, so that kinda freaks me out.

Straying a bit here, but I’ve heard from my vet school friends that the market isn’t absorbing new grads like it used to, and not at the salaries that it used to. A for-profit school planned for Buffalo was recently cancelled. But, I suppose for the #1 school, these are concerns that the college is reasonably shielded from. Adopting a dog in the next couple years is on my priorities list (if I can ever establish enough of a schedule that makes me feel like I’d have adequate time to love it), so in my totally uneducated opinion, more vets is fine by me.

News tidbits 10/2/13: Old People and Affordable Housing

2 10 2013

A smattering of news articles worth noting, but not worth going to the trouble of giving their own articles…


1. Lansing Reserve is dead. The 65-unit project slated for a wooded parcelnorthwest of the intersection of 13 and Warren Road has been bought out by the village of Lansing, which intends to use the space as a “park”. The project, originally proposed in early 2011, has been beset with issues since the first public meeting, with concerns of traffic and wetland protection and “ruining the unique of [the] village”. Apart from Wal-Mart, it’s probably the only project I’ve seen proposed in recent years that the locals created their own websites and exaggerated figures/renderings in their efforts to oppose the project. Lansing town and village seemed to have struck an anti-development tone in the past several months, with this and the cancellation of the town’s sewer project (again).

2. Meanwhile, the same two groups that proposed Lansing Preserve are now looking to develop a parcel in the town of Ithaca, on West Hill near the hospital (aka the Biggs property). The town put out a request for bids on the parcel in late summer 2012, which I covered previously. Nothing formal proposed yet, but the project is expected to contain about 60 townhomes in the affordable housing market range (30-90% of local median income). Shades of Lansing playing out here, as the anti-development Ithaca West neighborhood group has been opposed to the sale of the parcel, let alone its development (the reasons cited – traffic and an increase in crime). However, their stance pits them against Ecovillage and their connections, so this should be an entertaining show. Ithaca Builds provides more coverage here.

3. Deep-pocketed retirement facility Kendal at Ithaca is preparing an expansion of its own. The 212 unit (indepedent living) and 71-bed (assisted/skilled care) facility plans to add 24 more indepdent living units (the parcel allows a max of 250) and 13 more beds to its skilled care group. This would be achieved with the construction of a new 2-story apartment building and three new 1-story wings for the reconfigured skilled care space. Chiang O’Brien are the architects and the project should be completed in the spring of 2014. Kendal at Ithaca first opened in 1995. to by Cornell-centric readers, the only reason you might care about this is that the facility hosts a sizable number of retired CU faculty/staff.

-65+60+24 = +19 units. Well noted.