Jun

28

Party like it’s Brooklyn

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What’s the point, exactly, of throwing a Coney Island-themed party on South lawn, complete with burgers, ice cream, a bounce house, a mini-lighthouse, and singing dogs? One eyewitness characterized it as a “fundraiser thingy,” but couldn’t figure out what the event this afternoon was trying to raise money for.

Maybe just an acknowledgement that most of us won’t actually make it out that far on the N, Q, D, or F–next time, can we have a scale model of Aqueduct Race Track?

More photos by Sumaiya Ahmed after the jump.

Coney Island

kids

south field

main entrance

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27 Comments

  1. quiqui

    It's for University employees and their families, I believe.

  2. how generous  

    And all the university employees got free baseball hats too.

  3. Credit  

    Who took these pictures?

  4. how dare they  

    waste valuable tuition money on employees.

  5. It was cute;  

    and the "Doc Wallace String Jazz" were great, too.

  6. Actually,  

    the university makes money from tuition. That was one reason they increased the size of Columbia College.

  7. actually

    the university makes loads of money from its research labs. they take 50% of every grant that comes to one of the labs. so if someone gives you $10 mil to develop something, guess what? Bollinger just earned $5 mil pretty much by umm...doing nothing.

  8. yeah..

    the science labs pay far more than they use or earn from the university for taking classes. The university takes a significant amount of whatever grant money they earn--which means the science departments probably operate at a net profit for the university considering the size of some of the grants because the quality of work is so high.



    as for coney island day..it gives workers and their kids, as well as local folks to enjoy columbia. nothing wrong with that.



    i imagine the interest of columbia's endowment helps with whatever else the university needs to make. as well as the money they make of their professors patents.

  9. just to make that clear

    anything you patent while using the university resrouces in anyway (unless you negotiate a specific contract) results in part of the patent profits going to the university. which means lucrative products developed by scientists earn for the university.

  10. aquaduct  

    is in queens, on the a-line. Coney Island is in Brooklyn.

    • Research  

      Nice links! Great to actually see data on the BWOG and not hyperbolic speculation.



      In response to 'actually' (response 11)... fuzzy math... The university does not make loads of money from research. Each grant pays ~61% overhead on specific items (research student stipends, PI salaries, and supplies). Overhead is not paid on grad student tuitions, equipment (very expensive), and sub-contracts greater than $25k. That means for every grant of $10MM grant, assuming that overhead is paid on everything, Columbia gets ~$3.8MM. However, a $10MM grant is very rare, and most of the science grants spend a lot of money on expensive equipment which the university does not get overhead from.



      What does this money pay for? The researcher's use of Columbia facilities (lab-space is not cheap), staff support, and things of that nature. I am not sure how much of that goes to prezbo. I am pretty sure $0. Hell, I am not sure how much money, if any, from a grant to SEAS actually goes to CC. Either way, i don't think that research grants are a huge revenue producing stream.



      To put things in perspective; some research companies pay over 100% to pay their overhead (for every dollar spent, only $0.50 goes to research).



      Columbia does get a lot of money from patents. Any discovery made using columbia resources (labs, computers, salaries...) is mostly owned by the university. But this is true of any employer. Columbia, i believe, is actually generous to the inventor when compared to inventions from companies.

      • except

        the whole post is hyperbolic speculation! "um, there's something going on. somebody tell me what it is." brilliant, really. I realize you don't claim that this site has actual facts, but every once in a while a fact probably wouldn't kill you.

    • question; data

      dude, i'm not an accountant. how do you read these things? if you look at http://www.columbia.edu/cu/controller/pdf/financials.2005.pdf there's no mention of patent money anywhere.



      it does say, though, that Alma got $467M from tuition $461.5M from grants, and and $142M from skimming off the top of the grants, if that's what "overhead" means in the above post.



      If I understand what "overhead" means, it sounds like this: the professor walks the street for cash, the army or government or whatever is the john that gives the professor the cash, and Alma is the pimp, and overhead keeps the overhead for big time pimping fees.



      but like i said i'm no accountant

      • I'm no accountant

        But I am a (currently)bored financial writer.



        From data available at the College Board website, you can estimate Columbia collects $476.56 million from tuition from its four undergraduate schools, about 75.6% of what they're reporting. They give out around $117.92 million in financial aid to those schools (using a conservative, $15 million estimate for GS, which has no data available), or about 72.2% of the total reported. [Email me if you want to see my methodology]



        Since the University gets about $338.56 million from "other educational and research activities" (for all effects and purposes of this discussion, patents), whoever said Columbia makes more money from tuition than patents is right.



        Sort of.



        The University also gets $461.55 million from direct government grants. How much of that is granted to Columbia because specific things have been invented and/or are being developed here (and how much are entitlements given to all colleges, or to colleges with certain academic programs) is anyone's guess.



        In any case, the debate over wether the University makes all of its money in tuition or patents is stupid. Go back to the financial forms. The single biggest line item in terms of revenue is $603.74 million in capital gains: gains in real estate, stocks, bonds, etc.



        The conclusion: Columbia is neither a diploma mill nor a patent factory. It's a real estate holding company!

  11. hey guys

    stop being mean. i'd rather read hyperbolic speculation while procrastinating at work than nothing at all. don't bite the hand that feeds you!

  12. Do you read the drivel you write?  

    "Nice links! Great to actually see data on the BWOG and not hyperbolic speculation.....



    What does this money pay for? The researcher's use of Columbia facilities (lab-space is not cheap), staff support, and things of that nature. I am not sure how much of that goes to prezbo. I am pretty sure $0. Hell, I am not sure how much money, if any, from a grant to SEAS actually goes to CC. Either way, i don't think that research grants are a huge revenue producing stream.



    To put things in perspective; some research companies pay over 100% to pay their overhead (for every dollar spent, only $0.50 goes to research)....

    But this is true of any employer. Columbia, i believe, is actually generous to the inventor when compared to inventions from companies."





    You just blabbered random speculation in favor of whatever view you held after cribbing about random speculation. Are you mental handicapped? Regardless, the 38 vs. 50% still is revealing of how the grant process works for many seas profs--and while lab space and a support staff does account for some of the overhead, the association with the Columbia name is probably more important. Otherwise, it isn't that hard to find space in nyc and most engineering/physics/math profs nowadays have a deep understanding of network administration through linux and are excellent programmers.



    This is speculation, but i can bet you that say many cc departments offer at a higher loss than seas ones, and I'm a cc student. It's just the reality of the modern university.

  13. Back to the part about the party..

    My favorite was when there was a late 20something walking into Hamilton saying "I wonder if it's someone's graduation.. Oh, look! I love those old-timey bands!"

  14. Wall Street tool

    Columbia needs to be acquired by a consortium of private equity investors who can ram through some bold restructuring moves. Columbia should then launch a hostile bid for Manhattanville and emerge again, leaner, more efficient, and with higher profit margins than before.



    Waste = bad. Profit = good. Columbia = waste.

  15. Private equity

    Columbia should launch a private equity arm. That would be far more lucrative than real estate holdings. And it would diversify the portfolio a bit.

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