Drama Dean Search
Current Yale School of Drama Dean Stan Wojewodski announced his intention to leave the school in the spring of 2000, and — after several top candidates declined the prominent job — Yale has yet to announce a replacement. While the search continues, Wojewodski may stay for as long as another year.
Jovin murder Investigation
In December 1998, Yale senior Suzanne Jovin ’99 was brutally stabbed to death by an unknown assailant in the East Rock neighborhood, about a mile north of campus. No arrests have ever been made, and New Haven police have come under fire for allegedly mishandling the investigation.
Yale’s AIDS Drug
Yale entered the spotlight in the global AIDS fight this spring when Nobel Prize-winning humanitarian group Doctors Without Borders requested Yale to relax its South African patent for the Yale-invented AIDS drug d4T. Yale and its pharmaceutical company partner Bristol-Myers Squibb granted the request. But soon, other AIDS-ravaged poor countries may ask Yale to relax its patent. While Yale may well be willing to comply, BMS may be more hesitant to let other companies produce generic versions of d4T.
In an overwhelming vote, faculty recently approved a proposal cancelling classes for all students on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The vote comes at the end of a long string of protests and campaigns by the MLK Day Coordinating Committee, a student group, and faculty supporters. Students will continue to campaign for University support in order to plan a full day of University-wide events next year, making it a “day-on” rather than a day off.
Recently undergraduate students formed a new student organization, United Students at Yale, an undergraduate student union. The group, following the model of area unions such as Locals 34 and 35, has taken on such diverse campaigns as financial aid reform and an increase of dance performance space. In addition to these undergraduate concerns, they are looking to weigh in on New Haven issues such as contract renegotiations for Locals 34 and 35.
Yale will likely change its financial aid policies after Harvard and Princeton universities announced sweeping changes in the winter, reducing student debt. Yale administrators are evaluating possible options over the summer and expect to announce their decision early in the fall.
Yale, with its $10.1 billion endowment, may be among the wealthiest institutions of higher learning in the world, but regulations govern and limit the use of its vast monetary resources. The extent to which officials can roll out new initiatives is limited by a spending rule that dictates what proportion of the endowment can be spent each year.
Over time, however, a steady increase in the endowment’s value creates new opportunities in the operating budget for administrators. In fiscal year 2001, endowment spending accounted for $323.9 million of Yale’s revenue, up from just $149.3 million in 1995.
The controversial effort of the Graduate Employees and Students Organization to form a union for graduate student teaching assistants at Yale heated up last year. GESO’s campaign gained some momentum as New York University TAs set a powerful precedent by forming the first such union at a private university in this country. GESO also has allied itself with other local labor groups, including Yale’s two official unions, Local 34 and Local 35, which represent Yale clerical and dining hall workers. A battle may be brewing between labor groups and the Yale administration, as the contracts of Locals 34 and 35 expire in January.
Timothy Dwight College’s renovation this year continues the long line of college renovations planned for the next decade. Berkeley, Branford and Saybrook colleges have already been renovated, and the other colleges are waiting in the wings. Administrators are cutting the size of the Class of 2005 to ease an ongoing on-campus housing crunch.
The $500 million initiative to renovate and build numerous Science Hill facilities is underway. The plan, which was announced in the winter of 2000, includes new facilities for environmental science, chemistry, biology and forestry.
The recent $35 million renovation of the Payne Whitney Gymnasium, $7.5 million overhaul of Gilder Boathouse, and the construction of a new artificial turf lacrosse and field hockey stadium are precursors of things to come in the University’s ongoing project to improve athletic facilities. The biggest project of all is the renovation of the dilapidated Yale Bowl, for which former Yale football coach Carm Cozza is currently coordinating fund-raising efforts.
Yale’s $250 million arts plan, announced in the fall of 2000, includes the expansion of the Yale Art Gallery, extensive renovation of the Art and Architecture Building, and construction of a new Art History building designed by prominent modern architect Richard Meier.
The University will continue its yearlong celebration of its 300th birthday with a final blow-out this October.