The new building also shouldn’t be distant or aloof. The word isle gives us “isolation,” and the future campus is bounded by water on two sides, a park to the south, and the bridge to the north. The $100 million the Bloomberg administration has pledged to juice the project shouldn’t just turn a piece of New York over to Cornell but also help the university knit that patch of land into a crowded city. There are obstacles. Getting on and off the new campus will likely remain a chore; the small population of scientists and engineers probably won’t be numerous enough to justify a new ferry service, or even a footbridge.