My last semester of college began…awkwardly.

Cornell University surprised everyone with news that they are establishing a “College of Business” at Cornell, uniting:

  • School of Hotel Administration
  • Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management
  • Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management

With this change, Cornell seeks to compete at the same level as as other business programs (i.e. Wharton School of UPenn). Sure it sounds like a great change doesn’t it? Well not exactly. Stop reading if you do not wish to hear my opinion/the opinions of SHA students/faculty/alumni.

Springing this announcement on us didn’t exactly go over well among SHA students or faculty. The worst part about this announcement of a big change is that no details have been worked out yet, leaving people a bit confused.  The push back started on facebook actually-where hotelies posted their thoughts about the College of Business-come to think of it, I don’t know anyone personally who supports this change.

SHA students recently created a the “Keep Cornell Hotel School Independent” face book page with 1300+ likes.

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Hotel School faculty recently responded to a survey asking about opinions on the new College of Business. Only 16% support this change.

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Even alums and some of the University’s/SHA’s biggest donors have expressed concern and have threatened to stop donations.

The university held an open forum led by Provost Michael Kotlikoff on Tuesday evening to discuss this plan. Almost 150 Hotel School students and staff walked to the forum in solidarity.

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In this meeting, Kotlikoff tried to address concerns specifically about how the identities of the three different programs would remain intact. I personally am not exactly convinced.

“Essentially all I heard at this meeting was both, ‘We’re doing a new thing and everything’s going to get better,’ and at the same time, ‘Nothing’s going to change,’” Kimmel (’16) said. “You can’t do both.”

No matter how things end up, I’m glad this doesn’t go into effect until 2016-17 academic year when I will have graduated.

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