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The fall semester began on a campus crackling with uncertainty and mistrust as union workers flooded the streets to launch their ninth strike against Yale in 35 years. As this magazine went to press on September 4, the strike had gone on for eight days, and the two sides continued to negotiate.
The spectacle of students and their parents dragging luggage past picketers chanting “All we want is a CONtract!” drew national attention, as well as Democratic presidential candidates Howard Dean ’71 and Joseph Lieberman ’64, ’67LLB, who came to the campus to express their support for the strikers. The Rev. Jesse Jackson was a ubiquitous sight, leading marchers through the streets and unleashing his trademark call-and-response chants at daily rallies.
Although in August the unions had removed from the table one of their most contentious demands—that the university stay neutral in union organizing drives for hospital workers and graduate teaching assistants—the differences on bread-and-butter issues remained. Bob Proto, president of the 1,100-member service and maintenance union Local 35, called the university’s offer “a substandard contract” and told strikers gathered in front of Woodbridge Hall on the first morning of the strike, “We are not going to be muscled into settling for it.”
Later that afternoon, Associate Vice President for Administration Janet Lindner replied that in the spirit of a new partnership, Yale had put a “fair and reasonable opening offer on the table.” She called it a “good offer” that Yale had “enhanced several times” during the negotiating process.
The university is offering an eight-year contract with across-the-board wage and pension increases. It proposes no changes to a benefits package that includes free health insurance for employees and their dependents, at least four weeks of paid vacation and holidays per year, college scholarships of up to $11,600 for children of employees with six years’ seniority, and grants of up to $25,000 for employees who buy houses in some New Haven neighborhoods. University officials have also pointed out that many corporations and governments are currently negotiating “givebacks” on pensions, health care, and job security, something Yale is not doing.
Both unions are seeking shorter contracts and larger raises. Laura Smith, president of Local 34, the union of the 3,000 clerical and technical workers, says her bargaining unit would agree to a six-year pact with larger raises at the end of the contract. “We expect the economy to rebound, which is why we want more money in the outlying years,” said Smith, an assistant in the Office of Development.
The two sides are even further apart on pensions, which Proto calls “absolutely our flagship issue.” Yale’s director of public affairs, Helaine Klasky, says the university’s most recent offer would give a 65-year-old employee with 30 years of service a “retirement package” (Yale’s pension plus Social Security) of between 84 and 91 percent of his or her final after-tax salary. Union officials argue that such estimates are best-case scenarios and that Yale’s pensions are generally too small.
The university says that 41 percent of workers in Local 34 and 91 percent of those in Local 35 took part in the strike on its first day. The union maintains that 52 percent of Local 34 went out, but Yale says that number includes people on vacation and authorized leave.
Those who were on the picket line focused on the bottom line. “All I know is that I can hardly make my mortgage payments. I’ve had to get a second job,” said Cindy Richan, a clinical receptionist.
The strike had some effect on college routines. Professors moved more than 200 classes off campus, and the residential college dining halls were for the most part closed. (Students received $130 a week as reimbursement for their meal plans.)
As the strike continued, the unions called for binding arbitration to resolve the dispute. But university spokesman Tom Conroy said Yale “does not see any reason why the university and the unions cannot reach an agreement on their own.”
A Worthy Endeavor in Saybrook
Last fall, the residents of Saybrook College got to rewrite history—or at least add to it. The college held an election to determine which two distinguished Yale graduates would be honored alongside the 43 others whose names adorn the entryways in Saybrook and Branford colleges.
The original inscriptions date from 1917, when construction of the Harkness Memorial Quadrangle (which comprises Saybrook and Branford) was begun. The original “worthies,” as they were called, had made names for themselves in letters, politics, and science, and they range from the famous (Nathan Hale) to the forgotten. (Quick: Who was Zephaniah Swift?) When Saybrook master Mary Miller observed that the college’s renovation had left it with two new and uninscribed entryways, she asked the Saybrook transition committee to consider candidates, limiting them to people who lived long enough ago to have been recognized in 1917. The committee presented Saybrook students with five nominees.
The winners: Edward Bouchet, Class of 1874, and O.C. Marsh, Class of 1860. Bouchet was the first African American graduate of Yale College and the first African American ever to earn a PhD. Bouchet likely didn’t make the cut the first time because he was not well-known in 1917: Because of racial discrimination, he was unable to set up a physics laboratory despite an extraordinary academic record. He taught, but could not make his reputation as a researcher.
Marsh, a pioneering paleontologist, was certainly famous by 1917 for finding and classifying prehistoric species. Miller speculates that he may have been left out because his reputation had been sullied by his bitter public feud with rival dinosaur hunter Edward Drinker Cope. Marsh’s honor seems particularly appropriate, since Saybrook stands on the site of the original Peabody Museum, where Marsh’s collections were displayed.
As for Zephaniah Swift, Class of 1778, he was the chief justice of Connecticut and the author of A System of the Laws of the State of Connecticut, which is considered the first American law text.
For Glare, Black is Best
For more than 60 years, athletes have smudged their cheekbones with a black grease, made of beeswax, paraffin, and carbon, to reduce glare on the playing field. More recently, marketers have devised anti-glare stickers emblazoned with corporate or team logos—to make money while improving vision. But does either approach really work? Ophthalmologist Brian DeBroff was skeptical. “I thought that it was more of a psychological war paint than something visually effective,” says DeBroff, who teaches at the School of Medicine. Curious, he set up a face-to-face competition, bringing medical students out into the sunlight and asking them to view a special eye chart, which measures contrast sensitivity, with and without each kind of anti-glare aid.
DeBroff and coauthor Patricia Pahk published the results in the Archives of Ophthalmology. To DeBroff’s surprise, his subjects' ability to read the chart had been improved by one level when they used the eye black. Bad news for the stickers, though: They had no significant effect.
New Haven Aldermen Want Yale to Pay More
It’s been a refrain for centuries—“Make Yale Pay”—and it has surfaced again. In early July, New Haven’s Board of Aldermen voted 16-10 in favor of a resolution that asks the university to voluntarily increase the tax contributions it pays to the budget-strapped city.
“It comes up every few years, and it’s logical it would,” said John Halle, an alderman and music professor at Yale who voted for the resolution. “Yale is a tremendously rich institution in the midst of a very poor city.”
Like other universities, Yale doesn’t pay taxes on its academic property. Under Connecticut’s Payment-In-Lieu-of-Taxes program, known as PILOT, however, the state reimburses New Haven for part of the revenue the city loses because of Yale’s nonprofit status.
The aldermen’s resolution asks the university to consider paying the difference—an estimated $12.5 million this year—between what it would pay as a for-profit institution and what the state pays the city under PILOT.
The university responds that although Yale has its own police department, collects its own garbage, and pays more than $2 million a year for fire services, it is still the city’s largest taxpayer. Yale will pay about $2.5 million this year in property taxes on its commercial holdings. The state’s PILOT payments for Yale will total almost $25 million in the 2004 fiscal year.
“With all of Yale’s giving, and the economic development around the city, and the strategic partnerships, it’s inconceivable to see how any university could do more,” said alderwoman Lindy Lee Gold. “I’ve said it many times: But for Yale, New Haven would be Bridgeport.”
The resolution is not legally binding, but the aldermen have said they’ll take the issue to state lawmakers. In the meantime, the university’s tax status will stay unchanged.
“It’s a request. It doesn’t have any teeth,” Halle added. “But it seems like the right thing to do. It’s an ethical point. The city needs help.”
Sparks Fly over Electricity Plans
Yale got a publicity boost this spring when it announced plans to install an environmentally friendly hydrogen fuel cell on campus. But just a few weeks later, the university was on the defensive when the New Haven Environmental Justice Network revealed that Yale was planning to add another oil-burning boiler to its Sterling Power Plant in the low-income Hill neighborhood of New Haven.
The mayor’s office joined the network in protesting the prospect of additional toxic fumes in an area already polluted by emissions from the plant’s existing six boilers. In response, Yale announced that it would switch to a cleaner-burning oil at the plant, reducing pollution emissions at a cost of more than $1 million a year.
As for the hydrogen fuel cell—the first installed at a U.S. university—it will provide about a quarter of the electricity at the Class of 1954 Environmental Science Center, starting this fall. The cell, located behind the Peabody Museum, will use natural gas to produce electricity, but because it will do so without burning the gas, practically no pollutants will be emitted. Instead, hydrogen from the gas will react with air to produce electricity (and, as a by-product, heat, which will be captured and used to heat water). The fuel cell was purchased with a grant from the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund.
Splendor in the Grass
Last fall, botanist Michael Donoghue, curator of Yale’s herbarium, got a surprise phone call from a curator at the University of Wyoming.
“I’ve been feeling very guilty,” said the Wyoming curator, Ronald Hartman, “and concerned.”
It seems the University of Wyoming’s Rocky Mountain Herbarium (RMH) had in its possession some specimens from the Yale collection. Hartman, like the person who discovers overdue library books left on his shelves by a relative, wanted to return them. There were seven cases' worth of Yale plants in the RMH—12,000 to 15,000 herbarium sheets, each bearing a single pressed specimen, most of them from the grass family. Donoghue was happy to have them back. “But I was surprised and sort of embarrassed,” he admits. “We didn’t know they were gone. It was a missing collection that no one missed.”
Hartman explains that the material had been relocated back in 1968, when a Yale herbarium curator took a new job at the University of Wyoming—and decided to bring with him most of Yale’s collection of grasses, including samples he and his botanist wife had collected. The curator feared for the material’s safety at Yale, says Hartman, who studied with him at Wyoming. (At the time, Yale was moving away from organismal biology, the study of plants and animals, and toward molecular biology.) “He felt the collection would be better cared for at the RMH,” says Hartman. “But it weighed on him.”
Hartman made the restitution just as Yale’s plant collections were being moved to state-of-the-art preservation quarters in the new Class of 1954 Environmental Science Center. Says Hartman, “We all feel better now.”
Like a lot of summer travelers, Carm Cozza went to South Bend, Indiana, this August to see the College Football Hall of Fame. Unlike most of them, though, Cozza wasn’t there to get autographs from new inductees. He was there to be enshrined (as they like to say at the Hall of Fame) alongside them.
“It was tremendous,” Cozza says of the whirlwind weekend of dining, golfing, and media attention, in which Dan Marino, Ronnie Lott, Reggie White, Kellen Winslow, and 11 others were also elevated. “But now I’m home cutting the grass. Back to reality.”
Cozza, who coached the Bulldogs for 32 seasons, retired in 1996 after amassing a 179-119-5 record and ten Ivy titles. At 73 and living in Orange, Connecticut, he still goes into his Yale football office most mornings during the season and watches tape of upcoming opponents. But he’s careful not to step on the toes of the current coaching staff. “I don’t want them to think I’m looking over their shoulder at all,” Cozza says. He enjoys answering coaches' questions about recruiting and alumni, but misses interacting with players. “For me, that’s what football is all about,” he says.
So he’s taken on a new cause: raising money to rebuild the Yale Bowl’s crumbling concrete portals. As part of the fund-raising work, he’s gotten back in touch with former players, soliciting donations from men he recruited over the decades.
Cozza is the fifth Yale coach to make it to the Hall of Fame, following in the storied footsteps of Walter Camp, Amos Alonzo Stagg, and Tad and Howard Jones. Seeing the hall for the first time, Cozza was taken with all the Yale memorabilia on display. Today, Ivy League teams play in Division I-AA, mostly against each other and other non-scholarship schools in New England. But the league was a different, more formidable football beast for most of Cozza’s tenure. Ivy teams played in football’s top division and sometimes placed in the Top 20. There was a 15-year stretch in which the Bulldogs were the top guns of an excellent league, winning nine titles from 1967 to 1981.
Yet Rich Diana '82, '87MD, the star running back who played for the last three of those championship teams, says that even in those banner days, Cozza encouraged his players to put academics before athletics. In a summer of scandal for big-time college sports, Diana says Cozza’s Hall of Fame induction is especially appropriate because Yale football under Cozza “was the way college football should be.”
Adds Diana, “The College Football Hall of Fame is lucky to have a guy like him in it.”
A sure sign of summer appeared on the door of Louis Lunch in August for the 97th time. But since Louis’s claims to have opened in 1895, how did they keep track of those spoons for the first 12 years?
From the Collections
Gods, battles, kidnappings, and elephants rendered in gouache and gold: It’s not hard to see why John D. MacDonald '27 and his wife, Vera, developed a passion for Persian and Indian miniature paintings. Mrs. MacDonald recently gave their collection to the Yale University Art Gallery to strengthen its South Asian holdings. The eighteenth-century image shown here, of the warrior Arjuna (in howdah on elephant) in a battle scene, is from a series illustrating the Bhagavata Purana—“The Ancient Story of God.”
Despite three highly publicized FBI raids on New Haven-area homes over the summer, no one has yet been arrested in connection with the bomb that damaged the Law School in May. A grand jury has reportedly been convened to investigate the crime, which caused no injuries but shook up the campus during a nationwide terrorist alert.
Olympic figure skating champion Sarah Hughes picked Yale over Harvard and is now on campus with the Class of 2007. Hughes, a Long Island native who won the gold medal at the 2002 games in Salt Lake City, says she will continue to train and compete while pursuing her studies.
School of Medicine dean David Kessler left his post over the summer to assume the deanship of the medical school at the University of California at San Francisco. Kessler, who was commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration before coming to Yale in 1997, oversaw the construction of a new $176 million research building. Neurosurgery chair Dennis D. Spencer is serving as acting dean.
Also leaving Yale over the summer was Robert L. Culver, vice president for finance and administration. Culver’s portfolio included oversight of negotiations with Yale’s labor unions. President Richard Levin said that Culver wanted to return to Boston, where his family had remained during his two years at Yale. Bruce Alexander, Yale’s vice president for New Haven and state affairs, is assuming Culver’s duties temporarily.
With a win at the World Cup tournament in New York in June, Sada Jacobson '04 became the top-ranked fencer in the world in women’s sabre. Jacobson, who has won two NCAA titles while fencing for Yale, has taken a leave from the Bulldog team to concentrate on world competition in anticipation of the 2004 Olympics, where women’s sabre will make its debut as an event.
Ivy League sportswriters and coaches see the Bulldog football team finishing third this season, according to a preseason poll. Penn is thought likely to repeat as champion, with Harvard finishing second.
The men’s basketball team will start its season with an appearance in the preseason National Invitation Tournament, facing Connecticut in the first round on November 17. The meeting at Gampel Pavilion in Storrs, Connecticut, will be the first between the Bulldogs and the Huskies since 1997.
New head coaches: Penn State assistant Erin Appleman, who helped steer the Nittany Lions to a national championship in 1999, has been named head coach of the volleyball team. Andy Shay, a former assistant at the University of Massachusetts and at Delaware, will lead the men’s lacrosse team.
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