Alumni are threatening to pull the University’s endowment funding if the Board of Trustees votes to approve the proposed College of Business at the end of this week. (David Navadeh / Sun Staff Photographer)

Alumni are threatening to pull the University’s endowment funding if the Board of Trustees votes to approve the proposed College of Business at the end of this week. (David Navadeh / Sun Staff Photographer)

December 14, 2015

Cornell to Establish College of Business

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The University seeks to establish a new College of Business to be launched at the start of the next academic year, Provost Michael Kotlikoff announced Monday.

The new college, which will require approval through a charter change by the Board of Trustees in January, will consist of programs from Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration, the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management and the Johnson Graduate School of Management. Each school will continue to maintain its own identity, according to Kotlikoff.

Kotlikoff asserts that three main benefits will come out of the new college, including enhanced opportunities for all members of the college, a better environment for research for faculty and an overall more effective structure among Cornell’s business programs. The new college will also allow Cornell to expand its initiatives and programs at home and abroad.

The new college will include 145 research faculty members and 2,900 undergraduate, professional and graduate students, making it a “top 10 business school in terms of scale and impact,” Kotlikoff wrote.

“Cornell intends to establish a single, unified College of Business, with the goal of cementing the University’s position as a world-class center of teaching, research and engagement for business management and entrepreneurship,” said Joel Malina, vice president for university relations, in a statement.

Soumitra Dutta, dean of the Johnson School, will become dean of the College of Business, while Chris Barrett, director of the Dyson School, will become deputy dean and dean of academic affairs for the college.

While the University seeks to unify its business programs, it does not intend for the integration of the schools to cause them to change their operations.

“Each school will maintain its unique identity and mission, while its already strong stature, scope and impact will be markedly enhanced by its combination with faculty, curricular offerings and programs in a cohesive College of Business,” Malina said.

Additionally, Dyson students who are New York State residents will continue to enroll at the contract college tuition rate, Malina said.

Malina said the University will invite “key stakeholders” to give input for the new college ahead of January’s Board of Trustees meeting. If approved, faculty and academic leaders will “develop the details of the new integrated structure” following the meeting.

Kotlikoff said he believes the creation of a College of Business brings about a long-needed addition to the Cornell community.

“A unified College will advance Cornell’s mission to apply knowledge for public purpose and educate the next generation of leaders and creators to benefit society and solve some of the world’s major challenges,” Kotlikoff said. “I look forward to the exciting changes to come and working with all of you, as a community, to advance the academic excellence of our great University.”

98 thoughts on “Cornell to Establish College of Business

  1. How can a President and Provost who have been in their roles for one semester possibly move ahead with something this big? There’s no way this decision, like many others recently announced, was properly investigated or discussed. The rumors must be true…neither has any interest in hearing what others have to say. What great leadership.

    • This is a decision that has been in the rumormill since prior to Garrett. This is a Skorton rumor era that is just being announced now

    • Maybe instead of being “concerned” now at the time of announcement, you should have been connected with the happenings of the university and know that this was an idea that’s been in the works since before 2012. They just had to get the logistics down and the state’s approval… Stop trying to find ways to bash Garrett and the lack of “leadership”.

    • Agreed. The new president should take the appropriate rime to review and consider the idea. Why should undergrads in top 10 programs now be subject to the faculty of a barely top 25 graduate business school.

    • This a huge step forward for Cornell. The rationalization and synergies are a big plus for the University, the students, faculty, and alumni. Bravo to the new leadership for this bold, but long over due move.

  2. This is wonderful news. As an SHA student, the current division between SHA and The Dyson School is confusing and unnecessary. This is an exciting change and something I have been waiting for. Yay!

  3. The Hotel School has prized itself as being the world’s premier school for hospitality leadership. This seems like a ploy to use The Hotel School’s reputation and MONEY to boost AEM and Johnson’s network and resources.

    The Hotel School alumni are the most generous and committed alumni of Cornell. It is a shame that these resources would need to be split with other schools whose alumni do not donate millions for the deanship, the Beck Center, Baker Real Estate Institute, Pillsbury Institute, etc…

    What’s even more disappointing it doesn’t layout how the Dean of the Hotel School plays in this new structure. Don’t you think the school that contributes the most money should be overseeing the whole program?

    Ridiculous.

    These students better not be automatically inducted into CHS.

    • Completely agreed that this is a terrible idea.

      Yes, it is strange that Dyson is in the Agriculture school, but combining the three under one umbrella will not only take away resources from the graduate business school program and the hotel school, but it also deteriorates the brand of Johnson and The Hotel School.

      Furthermore, The College of Hotel Administration and its network and programs are known worldwide. By placing it under this new “College of Business” it’s as if we’re relegating it to nothing more than a major or concentration.

      I really hope the university will consider the downsides before jumping into this decision.

      • I agree with everything except your comment on deteriorating the brand of Johnson.. because there’s none.. no one outside Cornell knows it’s a business school.. it’s no different than naming a school “Smith”.

    • Skorten was always willing and happy to take Statler’s money but when he rand down the list of industry leading colleges he always seemed to neglect to mention the hotel school. It seems the administration has been moving the hotel school away from the hospitality industry and toward a more general focus

    • You do realize that the undergraduate business program is consistently ranked in the top 5 programs in the country, right?

      The Johnson school is crap though so your concern is fair with regards to that…

      • Let’s recognize that Johnson is ranked around #16 among grad business programs in the US. While it’s not as high as Dyson or SHA, it’s in the same range as Cornell’s overall ranking. With good execution (always a challenge in the context of CU’s fiefdoms), the business college could be a big winner.

    • Classic hotelie worried about her “brand” being tarnished.

      Yes Hotel is one of the top hospitality programs in the world, but it is also a relatively niche program that doesn’t have a ton of competition. AEM is a top 10 undergraduate business program competing with the all the Ivys plus Michigan, Notre Dame, UVA, Duke, and the other several thousand business programs in the world.

      I’m as proud of the hotel school as any Cornell alum, I probably brag about it more than I do my own college, but to suggest that unifying the business classes will tarnish the brand is ridiculous.

      The Hotel School will retain it’s identity and alumni network, but now everyone can take the same general business classes. It’s really not a huge deal.

      • Right–but Hotel is incredibly unique. As you mention, there are a million good undergraduate business programs. There is only one renowned program like Hotel–nothing else like it globally.

    • Did I read that correctly? You seem to be suggesting that the direction of my university be set by a trade school with wealthy, influential alumni. Oh yes, let’s allow the ‘brand’ of one of the world’s leading research institutions to be sullied by such an association. On one thing I can agree – students in other colleges better not be goosestepped into the CSHA.

    • Seems a bit biased. I know AEM students do not want to be associated with Hotelies because of the easiness of their curriculum. Anyone can fold napkins… We will hire you to fold our napkins though!

    • I guess i would expect this kind of a response from a Hotelie…but let us not forget that Johnson has prized itse;f on being a top business school. Furthermore, Johnson is a for-profit entity of Cornell…and has done very well over the years both in providing revenue to the rest of Cornell via the tax it pays to the university and from it’s very generous alumni. It offends me that you would imply otherwise.

      • I graduated from Johnson and while JGSM may be profitable, its student body is not uniformly receiving the benefits of said profitability. It offends me that you suggest that Johnson is considered a top business school…typical bluster from Johnson staff. The pathetic class gift participation from 2015 and the student satisfaction surveys indicate otherwise.

  4. Several comments say that this idea to merge was already in the works since before 2012 or before Garrett. My question is how does everyone know? I can tell you for a fact none of the faculty, individual college advisory councils members, student leaders within individual colleges, or even assistant deans knew about this merger prior to the news announced today. Everyone was blindsided. Deans of colleges were sworn to secrecy not to share this information.

    Personally, I believe this merger will significantly hurt the value of the School of Hotel Administration. We went from the best hospitality school in the world to trying to be the world’s most adventurous business school. Now we are in a business college along with AEM and Johnson. We have lost our hospitality flair. We were one of the few colleges that actually made a profit for the university because it was so well-run.

    The hotel alumni network in SHA is extremely reputable and every alum helped students and connected well with other hotelie alums. This network will be damaged now. It is really sad. I came here to learn more about hospitality business. And I think that I will be in one of the last few classes to get that great hotel education. It is sad.

    Shame on the executive leadership of the university. Everyone should have had an opinion on this — not just Skorton (if he was indeed involved), Garrett, or the university provost.

    • And this was definitely kept secret — the CALS Dean didn’t learn of the initiative until around Thanksgiving. The Dyson faculty in school leadership positions met yesterday to hear about it for the first time.

  5. Just came from a faculty meeting where we were able to ask questions. My takeaway: the devil is in the details and the details have not been ironed out. So this will be an interesting process.

    And it is definitely a top-down decision. Yes, this concept has been discussed in Day Hall for several years but our new President and Provost have decided to push forward with it by stressing the importance of looking forward rather than dwelling on the hurdles in the past.

    One comment made by the Provost: as he has spoken with alumni about this change, once thing has been consistently true — the naysayers have all complained that their school will be dragged down by its association with the others. Hotel alumni criticize Johnson and Dyson while JGSM alums trash the undergraduate programs. And Dyson alumni trash SHA and JGSM.

    • If it’s Skorton’s idea it’s likely to be a disaster. Years from now we will look back at his Admistration with regret. Rarely has anything positive come out of Day Hall. If the bastards at Day Hall would stay out of the way, the individual colleges would be just fine.

    • Agree. This will be a very complicated process that’s actually no different from how some corporations have tried to do it with certain divisions addressing consumers based on industry, applications, etc. Hopefully the President will have the willpower to either move forward with the process or simply kill the process when it doesn’t seem that it will work out.

      Unfortunately, in hindsight, Cornell shot itself in the foot when it first established the business program in the Ag school, the Hotel School, and JGSM in a university structure that’s both a public and private university. Oh well. They have to play the cards they’re dealt with, right?

      That said, to push the rankings higher for these schools, you will need more competitive students at JGSM and more able faculty for all schools (in terms of research). Most likely you’ll need funding from alumni donations to help out with this endeavor. So if I were any of the committee member on this program to integrate these schools, I’d be worried about angering the alumni base. As you said, we all know that students and alumni in different parts of this university have been known to trash each other. I would then have to say the President will need to show her leadership in order for this to work.

      We’ll see…

  6. To all the people saying this is a terrible idea: please. This is long overdue and will finally structure Cornell like every other top business school. You don’t see Wharton, MIT, Berkeley, etc. with 9 different business programs. Nothing will get “diluted.” All it will do is: -combine resources -increase network connections -allow for larger scale events -integration -more choice -much more

    Wow, how horrible that all would be! Seriously though, do each of you really feel THAT elitist towards the other schools? What a disgrace. Did you even read the email as far as retaining certain independence? SHA will still house the #1 hospitality program (just like how Wharton has the #1 RE program–even though it’s only one part of Wharton), Dyson will still have a top-5 undergrad business program, and so on. The only people complaining are likely either immature or faculty with lackluster classes whose students will no longer be forced to enroll in those classes so they are worried about their jobs.

    KUDOS to those finally making this happen. Don’t listen to the haters–it’s a joyous day that will see all schools do better than ever.

    • I am an alumnus and consistent donor. I agree with your comments. The impact and visibility from combining the schools will be powerful. Fundraising should benefit significantly too because the vision of business at Cornell will be clearer and greater, and there will be an additional entity to attract gifts and grants.

    • As a grad of both the Dyson AEM Program and the Johnson School I applaud this decision. Quite simply it is what is “best” for the students. There is not another College of Business in America (or the world) that will offer students the choice of classes, internships, research opportunities that this will.

      When one looks at what UPenn, UVA, Notre Dame have done with their undergrad business programs … elevating simply by focusing and promoting, it is clear that this will be a winner for the Cornell grad.

      If executed correctly I’d expect Cornell College of Business to end up in the Top 1-2 programs in the world. The curriculum and resources are there. Just need to get word out in a “focused” manner. The students will come.

      As far as alumni support for the “business” programs … one might want to check just how much money Dyson & Johnson families, and many others have donated.

    • Well this is exactly the type of bold move that will help turn the school around. If you look at some of the things people are complaining about, they include:

      -Diversity (including female %), and this will easily help
      -Restrictions with business classes outside of Johnson, and this should fix that
      -Being “on an island” as far as recruiting, job postings, and not having co-events with other grad students, and this will absolutely help
      -Lack of a clear plan by Johnson admin–well, this certainly answers that question!
      -By addressing many of these issues, it will increase student satisfaction and, in turn, employer satisfaction, which means higher rankings, more qualified and diverse applicants, higher salary, more donations, and so on.

      Yes, the program has suffered a set back in the past year, but this is absolutely a great move, and one that should have probably happened a long time ago. As for SHA, I can maybe understand some being hesitant if you’re an undergrad, but the grad program is tiny and not nearly as large or competitive as the MBA program. So if they pull in more students and alumni, even indirectly, that’s a big win for the school and will attract prospective MBAs who may not have otherwise considered Cornell for business school. Hopefully that answers your question!

      • I’m curious if you are a Park Fellow, new to Johnson, or simply someone from the administration posing as a student, in a similar vein to the saccharine posts on that P&Q blog with flowery language…

        Some problems with Johnson should be partly improved with the merger. However, in terms of classes, Johnson students already frequently take classes elsewhere, often very willingly. I took classes at SHA and Johnson, sometimes similar in subject material, and frankly I believe SHA cares a lot more about the quality of instruction. A good indicator: SHA student surveys for courses are extensive; Johnson’s surveys are not.

        Admissions standards may indeed improve if the marketing dollars for the “College” benefit from economies of scale. However, let’s look at recent Johnson marketing: I don’t think that a P&Q article that is so white-washed and unrepresentative of the great and talented diversity of the Johnson student body represents good marketing and that’s not something the “College” can naturally fix. Also, it is curious how little PR has been made of this merger announcement within Cornell and certainly within external media. Not a good sign. I didn’t receive an email as an alumnus about this merger either. I don’t understand why.

        Recruiting, etc. cannot be fixed solely by the merger. SHA and Dyson will want to hold on to their contacts where possible…and frankly I can understand why. Johnson does an inconsistent job in prepping candidates for recruitment events, interviews, and employer etiquette. My friends/alumni at other top companies are sometimes dismayed by the etiquette of current Johnson students. And this message does not seem to sink in at Sage very well.

        Finally, let’s talk about bold moves. Cornell Tech was a bold move and that seems to be what is prominently discussed in Johnson alumni media, in the internal press release for this merger, and by the dean. What gets less focus is the core two-year MBA program. Structurally, that is concerning. And I know some current classmates of yours at Johnson that remain frustrated that their program continues to be treated as a second-class citizen in Sage Hall.

  7. The hotel school is more than a school, it is a family that you can’t find anywhere else. The traditions, friendships, mentorships and alumni relations are something that make us so unique. Merging us into another school will impact the the culture and the hospitality mindset you don’t find in other business schools. It will diminish the special relations that are formed and the amazing alumni network we can rely on no matter where we travel throughout the world. It’s one thing to be a Cornellian but it’s another to be a Hotelie.

    Although it’s understandable why the University would want to merge schools so there’s one intro to stats class rather than 1 in each college, for example, the application to the hospitality business will be lost. Additionally, there has to be a better way to allow for cross-utilization of resources and application of credits without merging schools. A re-allocation of credits or the ability to choose to take a similar class in the Dyson School vs the Hotel School makes some sense for intro classes. It also makes sense for study abroad programs but it doesn’t help with honing in on specialized skill sets or passions. Upper level classes are where we were really able to maximize our unique experience in the hotel school and that really resulted from spending time with fellow hotelies in the first and second year where we created those unbreakable bonds of friendship.

    Students enroll at the Hotel School for a particular reason – the focused business program that the school offers, as well as the unique classes. Restaurant Development, Design and Wines are some of the most memorable experiences I have from my time at Cornell. If the schools are merged it’s that much harder to create those in-depth conversations and discussions because people who aren’t as passionate and dedicated to the program will be able to enroll in these specialized classes. These are the classes that separate us from other hospitality schools in the country and around the world.

    Overall there’s a better way the University can work out cross utilizing it’s faculty and resources rather than just merging these schools that, while both business focused, are committed to teaching business from two very different viewpoints and allow for two different experiences while enrolled at Cornell and beyond.

    • Your concern is definitely understandable. I hope they treat this no differently from how companies out in the corporate world have tried to merge with each other, with different culture and relationships being the key to accommodate. This would be textbook M&A. But hey, the faculty that teaches business and management should have no problems making this work, right?

    • To everyone freaking out about dilution–don’t you get it? If anything it only strengthens the programs like SHA and ILR (though ILR isn’t exactly part of this yet). So many students come to Cornell not knowing exactly what they want to do. But many bright people at least know they want to go into business. Maybe “labor relations” or “the hotel school” to the uninitiated sounds too niche at first, so they go to a place like Berkley instead. But now they can come here and discover how great SHA is and realize how it’s so much more than a Hilton GM factory. Same goes with the MBA students. As for SHA’s “family like atmosphere,” I agree it’s special–and it will still be special. And now it will also hopefully influence other programs to have that same attitude because of SHA’s positive influence. And all that means is more friends, more job opportunity in the future, stuff like that.

      At at the grad level, don’t even get me started! SHA and ILR need it. They are not nearly as large and certainly less competitive than their undergrad counterparts. It’s a huge missed opportunity that, for example, ILR isn’t ranked in the top HR programs just because of a technicality of being outside of the MBA program. So most HR focused people go to another school instead. So if they fill out more grad level ILR/CALS/SHA classes with MBAs who want to specialize in those areas, and then those people become excellent executives in those fields, then by all means! That’s good for everyone at Cornell.

    • HOTELIE FOR LIFE, YOU BET. I CAN NOT TELL YOU HOW DISAPPOINTED I AM OVER THIS MERGER. EVERY OTHER HOTEL SCHOOL IN THE COUNTRY MUST BE CELEBRATING, NOW THAT THE PREMIER HOSPITALITY PROGRAM IN THE WORLD HAS LOST IT’S IDENTITY. I WONDER WHAT SEVERAL OF OUR MORE SUCCESSFUL HOTELIE DONORS WILL DO NOW? SAD ALUM OF HOTEL SCHOOL 1957.

    • I completely agree. The courses that can be cross-utilized between the departments are not exactly the same. Courses like microeconomics and financial accounting in SHA are geared towards hospitality and real estate. Yes, general courses would get the concept across and SHA students should be capable of learning broader subjects but that’s not the point. If I am planning on going into a hospitality related field, the specific curriculum is very valuable and from my past internship exeperiences, I can Tell you that it makes a difference. I came to Cornell for the hotel school- NOT for a general business school. If I wanted to take general business classes and go to a business school, I would’ve stayed in state and gone to a top ten school for a heck of a lot cheaper. Though the hotel school will still be the hotel school and the brand will be strong, this is a step in getting rid of it and that’s a slippery slope.

  8. I’m a hotel school alumnus. Rest of y’all need to calm down. We are still hotelies. Undergrads will probably still never have to leave Statler. They’ll standardize econ, they’ll standardize finance, and GOD FORBID A HOTELIE LEARNS CALCULUS, but maybe that’ll happen, too.

    For disappointed alum ’11, did you just call Wines a specialized class? You realize how many non-hotelies take it, right? And of course they’re still going to limit the number of students that can fit in a classroom — I really doubt there’s some tidal wave of students pushing down the doors, held back only by “you’re not a hotelie, you can’t take Facilities.”

    If anything, this will help the Hotel School because they’re actually BE in a business school, not just desperately trying to pretend to be in one. I’m sure some faculty (from all schools) will be let go as they streamline courses, but if anything, each of the schools will be able to focus EVEN MORE on their special programs.

  9. So how did this come about? Did the faculty not vote on this decision? What about ILR? Were they asked to be part? Or Engineering or Human Ecology?

    • Why would engineering or human ecology be in the business school? Dyson, SHA, and Johnson are all a part of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business and have curriculums focused around business.

      • The School of Operations Research and Information Engineering of the College of Engineering could have role in the new business college. There are business-oriented courses in the OR/IE curriculum.

        • I agree that just because a school isn’t associated with the AACSB doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have a place in business education.

        • Yes, but just because there are some business-oriented courses in those schools doesn’t mean it should be in the college of business. By that logic, every school that has some business courses should be in the school. Other business schools like Wharton won’t have engineering or human ecology in them because the main focuses of subjects like that is not business.

          • I said schools like Wharton, meaning top tier business schools. No other business school has engineering subjects in their business school, sinply because that would not make sense.

  10. Seems to me that leaders should be more transparent. When making this kind of change, a more formal, detailed statement should be distributed widely to the entire Cornell community instead of having the 99% hear about this change via a short article in the student newspaper.

    • the faculty traditionally own the curriculum and were left in the dark. even in interviews with the various deans of the hotel school none knew this was going to happen aside from Johnson. this lack of transparency is unprecedented and almost third world like. if the goal was simply to standardize various core classes, a more palatable option, then the administration would have more motivation to make it public earlier. the fact they release this 3 days before winter break speaks volumes about their prediction of the response. Why not release details earlier? It seems almost corporate-raider private equity like.

      • I totally agree that this “soft release” of the news (not even an official email to the school yet) during exam period, winter holidays, and heavy travel plans is a STRATEGIC MOVE by Cornell University leadership to make sure that there is no opportunity for faculty, staff, student input before the decision goes to the Board of Trustees. It’s a cunning and risky move by Garrett and the Provost, but one that shows a particularly style of leadership that needs to be watched.

    • Here’s the full text from the Provost’s e-mail:
      Dear CALS, Johnson and SHA Communities,
      On behalf of President Garrett and myself, I am pleased to announce today that Cornell, pending approval by the Board of Trustees, will establish a single, unified College of Business with the transformative scope and scale to cement the University’s position as a world-class center of teaching, research and engagement for business management and entrepreneurship.
      Comprised of Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration, the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management and the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, the new College of Business will be a top 10 business school in terms of scale and impact, with 145 research faculty and nearly 2,900 undergraduate, professional, and graduate students when it is launched in Academic Year 2016-17. Each school will maintain its unique identity and mission, while its already strong stature, scope and impact will be markedly enhanced by its combination with faculty, curricular offerings and programs in a cohesive College of Business. The Dyson School will remain within CALS and also join the new College of Business. Dyson students who are New York State residents will continue to enroll at the New York State contract college tuition rate.
      While I am sharing this news with you today to allow for more formal planning to proceed, the University’s bylaws require this organizational change to be approved by the full Board of Trustees. The Board will consider this change at its meeting in January. Pending Board approval, faculty and academic leadership will then work together to determine the details of the new integrated structure. Alumni, students, and staff at each school will also be engaged as we work to realize the full scope of opportunities for business study at Cornell.
      Soumitra Dutta, the current Dean of Johnson, will become Dean of the new College of Business, and Chris Barrett, Director of the Dyson School, will assume the role of Deputy Dean and Dean of Academic Affairs. Each school will be presided over by a Dean of the School who will have responsibility for that school’s academic program. We anticipate that organizing the three schools in this way will result in an overall streamlined administration. Our search for a Dean of the School of Hotel Administration remains active and we will begin searches for a Dean of the Dyson School and a Dean of the Johnson School.
      Through the College of Business, Cornell will achieve the full potential of its business programs by integrating Cornell business faculty and students at all levels and coordinating programmatic collaborations that span Cornell’s campuses, including Cornell Tech. The new College will enable us to expand Cornell’s domestic and global initiatives, including further development and diversification of programs at Cornell Tech and educational collaborations with institutions across the globe. The combined College also will create a stronger and unified center from which to enhance recruiting and corporate relationships and expand executive education and faculty scholarship.
      Other meaningful benefits of the new Cornell College of Business include:
      • Enhancing Opportunities for Undergraduate and Graduate Students and Post Doctoral Associates: Students will have greater opportunity to learn across disciplines and collaborate with a broader network of faculty and fellow students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, creating even more knowledge-sharing opportunities for students.
      • Fostering a More Collaborative Research Environment for Faculty: The cohesive College of Business will enable Cornell’s business and management faculty to collaborate more easily and effectively in cross-disciplinary research and grow the national and international influence of faculty scholarship and achievements.
      • Establishing a More Effective Structure: Following the announcement, the leadership of the College of Business, CALS, Johnson and SHA will engage faculty in an effort to develop appropriate internal academic structures so as to enhance collaborations in teaching and research and coordinate faculty recruitment.
      The need for integration among Cornell’s business schools has long been recognized as an imperative by various Cornell constituencies, who believe as I do that a unified College will advance Cornell’s mission to apply knowledge for public purpose and educate the next generation of leaders and creators to benefit society and solve some of the world’s major challenges. As we maintain the individual strengths of our stellar business programs while realizing the numerous benefits of integration, the new College of Business will have a unique profile in, and impact on the world.
      I look forward to the exciting changes to come and working with all of you, as a community, to advance the academic excellence of our great university.
      Michael Kotlikoff
      Provost

      • No wonder they deleted the email: it uses “comprised” when it means “composed”:

        “Comprised of Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration, the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management and the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, the new College of Business….”

        Doubtless the Provost later realized his embarrassing error, and did not want the uncorrected version circulating.

  11. The Cornell community should be concerned. This was done without process, without faculty knowing, top-down, and without transparency. And at the worst possible time — when freshmen applications to Cornell are due in early January — which means Admissions staff will field a lot of questions from confused applicants. Did the top-down decision makers consider this? Why would they shock the community with a non-announcement but instead an article in the student newspaper? What other top-down shockers are coming?

    And the fact that the letter from the provost to the CALS, SHA and Johnson communities was deleted from the original Sun article — time stamp remained the same but the article changed — what’s behind that? Where’s the journalistic integrity? The CU community wants answers.

  12. Unfortunately, this is the beginning of the end of the hotel school.

    Next step will be a common dean and the SHA closure, just keeping a hotel administration concentration from a business degree…

    Too sad for the world’s premier hotel school.

    I’m sorry to say that today is a sad day for hotel school graduates.

    Greetings from Barcelona

  13. Holy cow, some of you hotelies are completely insane. Nothing is going to happen to your precious brand, doomsayers. The Hotel School gets more recognition and fame than almost every other college on campus, stop being so paranoid.

    • Haha, so they are even moving the program to Iowa?! President Garrett is out of control! For real though, that’s a good point–I bet since Cornell College will accidentally get an unintentional big PR boost that it’s probably more excited than anybody 🙂

  14. IMO the creation of a business college is a logical outcome and the dispersed way students study business at Cornell was an issue 40 years ago when I was a student. Ag should be premier in its sector of science and Hotel in hospitality and students who want a business education for entrepreneurship or corporate carer should be in a college that is focused on that. I think that a Letter from the President sent to alumni discussing the creation of a business college would be the appropriate way to handle messaging, not a short Sun article. Sun article left a lot of open questions – does Dyson leave Ag, does Hotel get folded in to new college or just the business classes, etc.

  15. Hotelies,
    Not one to pass judgement… but I’m going to. In my opinion you’re acting irrationally.
    • How does this “consolidation” affect you? If you’re an alum, when you tell people outside the hotel industry that you graduated from Cornell, they typically ask “the Hotel School?” That’s not going to change for you. It may change slightly for the current students, but the reality is that they’re graduating from Cornell, and the entire Hotel world knows what that means.
    • Brand dilution? The brand is Cornell, an Ivy League school, offering students a tremendous education and a moniker which they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. Put whatever tag line you want after it, but the brand is Cornell. You Hotelies of all people should realize this, with the tidal wave of hotel brands in the last few years. Has Embassy Suites been diluted because it was absorbed by Hilton? AC diluted because it was absorbed by Marriott. No. In fact those brands are flourishing.
    • Elitism – a term referencing that you are better than everyone else. Do you not see that you’re being elitists to your own university and its programs? “Don’t let those Dyson kids become CSHA members”. Are you kidding me? We should be welcoming them and EXPANDING the network in every way possible. What better way for us still in the workforce, and especially those students entering or yet to enter the workforce to network with people and find jobs? Expanding the network only benefits people in their careers. Be an elitist if you want…but stay retired.

    • I think the better analogy is the following:

      SHA = The Ritz-Carlton (the gold standard, highly recognized worldwide, generally solid in every aspect)
      Dyson = Fairmont (solid brand in its field, not the best but legit)
      Johnson = Four Points (mediocre brand that is second-tier in its space, not particularly favored by the parent company, not great in execution, expands haphazardly but can’t focus on getting the core product right)

      • As a fellow Cornellian, could I suggest that we halt the friendly fire here?

        If you care about the University in the least it seems the better response would be to say to oneself: “I have concerns about this and I’ll find a way to voice them constructively to University and School leaders” rather than “Because I disagree, let me publicly tear down pieces of Cornell along with many of my fellow Cornellians.”

        • I understand the raw logic behind this decision. It sounds like a sound move recommended by a consultant. It is still troubling. Where is the statement from the SHA Dean lauding the move, and saying it is a step forward. What will happen if the Dean of the Business College decides to economize by combining accounting courses? Is the goal to drive a larger applicant pool for both schools? If so, will the applicants have higher stats but less commitment to hospitality and the personable social intelligence that the school promotes? I certainly trust the SHA leadership and if they buy in, well, who am I to say it is a bad idea. And I don’t think any of the schools at Cornell have anything to apologize for–I agree that opposition to the move should not originate in some alleged lesser quality of the other schools. To the contrary, each of the schools has special characteristics and while scooping them all up together sounds great in practice, mixing and matching cultures and people is easier said than done.

          • You have to remember that the Faculty and Deans don’t exactly have all the same interests as the students. And call me crazy or biased because I’m a student, but students come first. After all, we are the ones in debt up to our eyeballs and paying a mortgage just to be here.

            Some faculty are just worried because they are tenured and literally haven’t updated their lecture notes in decades. Show students more class options and choices, and they may bolt for a more useful, popular, or fun class in another school.

            Same for the Deans, as well as for recruiting. The Deans with big egos may not want to be a Dean of one school while feeling like they have to kowtow to the new CoB Dean. For recruiting, suppose you’re SHA and get a job through the school. Well, that company pays SHA a big fee. And if you don’t, they don’t get that money. And if you’re an SHA student who takes a class in Dyson, that portion of your tuition dollars just went to Dyson.

            The bottom line is the only real reason some faculty/admin are upset is because of profit sharing and politics. But as a student? All this will do is greatly benefit you in the long run, especially the deeper you go into the working world at large.

        • You assume that I, amongst others, have not already attempted these meetings in private.

          What would be your recommendation when groups of students and alumni address reasonable and fixable concerns to the administration and the response is bureaucratic nonsense? That problematic issues are never remedied? In some respects, this new College may end up like the Roman empire near its downfall, where there is so much focus on expansion that no one is tending to Rome itself. See: The Tetrarchy. M&As are quite frequently unsuccessful, as I learned at Sage.

          There is a tremendous disconnect between some administrators and the students that pay their salaries…perhaps the only way weak programs can get their acts together are when they are publicly outed for mismanagement.

  16. unfortunately symptomatic of the poor Skorton administration that valued shallow and opaque decision making and drove the university into an enormous financial hole that everyone is now paying the price for. So much for hoping better things from the new president. Blindsiding faculty with sneakiness is not very promising. Timing suggests that BOT are fully on board to rubber stamp!

  17. If we’re going to something like this, we should just consolidate them into a single school called “Cornell Business School” and ditch sub-brands like Johnson, Dyson, etc.. Johnson, in particular, is an impossible name to turn into a recognizable brand.. most Johnson grads just say they’re from Cornell Business School anyway because Johnson doesn’t mean anything outside Cornell.

    • You’re missing the importance of and potential for naming sponsors. Among the top 25 B-schools, 21 have sponsor names in their titles. The Johnson name was attached to Cornell’s B-school just 26 years ago, and these things take time. The tricky part for Cornell will be how to position the new college in the context of the legacy units, including engineering and ILR as well as the three identified major players. And what kind of an NYC presence will the new college have?

  18. I’m of two minds in this matter:
    (1) SHA is much different now than when I graduated in 1981, and in a few areas that’s good, and in others it’s very bad. My daughter (currently a Hotelie) has classmates who can scarcely wait tables, prepare food in a commercial kitchen, understand food chemistry, or present themselves as future leaders in hotel or restaurant operations. Instead of training future leaders in the Hospitality Industry, there are now lots of Hotelies who can provide a rudimentary valuation of an operating hotel and get to style themselves as financial analysts focused on a hospitality setting. There is something very wrong with that picture.
    (2) Combining Dyson and Johnson makes sense, and by allowing Hotelies access to some business courses better taught in those divisions of the university than in SHA, the combination will certainly benefit students.

    Keep SHA separate, reinvigorate its profile of Hospitality leadership, and let the business school be comprised of Dyson and Johnson. Rolling SHA into some new entity, and degrading its position on campus and in the world will destroy what is still the leading school of its type in the world.

  19. I think this is a great first step in building a top business school. Current structure is just too confusing and we don’t have much to lose from a brand equity perspective (Dyson is relativity young and Johnson is not a big brand in B-school world. Despite its excellent reputation, SHA has always been an unusual stand alone school). It’ll be much easier to market “Cornell College of Business” as the flagship pubic facing brand while using Johnson, Dyson, and SHA names for internal purposes only.

  20. The devil is in the details, but here’s how I see the potential pros and cons:
    Pro
    • Fewer administrative costs (excluding execution)
    • More open electives (during pre-enroll and due to shared classroom capacity)
     Students who want to learn more on a subject can do so more easily
    • Greater quantity/depth of electives
    • More rigorous standards in core/common courses, leading to more well-rounded students
    o May help them more in recruiting by forcing them to learn more material
     E.g. students who want to go into finance careers but can’t get into a more rigorous professor/school’s course can now do so
    o Students who go for “Easy A Teachers” in a subject they’re interested in are actually shooting themselves in the foot since they’ll learn less. This will eliminate that incentive and be good for them.
    Con
    • Higher tuition programs sharing resources with lower tuition programs (“Equity”)
    • Decrease in teaching quality (higher student-faculty ratio, less leeway in course material/format)
    o Concentrates too much power in too few professors
    o Some professors may not want to teach more students across colleges and leave the University
    • Fewer teaching styles to accommodate students (if “similar” electives are consolidated)
    o Students may struggle and learn less material due to problems with teaching style of “standardized” course format
     Course format: mix of tests, readings, lectures, projects, papers, in-class activity,
    o Less breadth of material covered if professors must accommodate specific course format/content, so students might learn less
    o Students spend less time focusing on networking and job-specific electives/skills, more time on courses they might not find useful/necessary
     Students who pick “easier” professors for a subject just want to get by so they can focus on other career-relevant subjects they are more interested in
     Students who pick more rigorous professors/courses will want to learn more on that subject anyway and do so in their own recruiting interests

    • Higher standards in core courses can be achieved without consolidation
    • Decrease in alumni donations (school pride for AEM, Hotel, Johnson)
    • Potential to exclude other colleges from business programs and courses
    • Some say that this new program will be similar to other undergraduate business schools where the majority of non-business school courses (e.g. humanities) must be taken early on. This means that students will have less relevant coursework/knowledge by junior or senior year, when they are recruiting for jobs/summer internships that convert into full-time offers.

  21. Still not understanding the odd communication with regard to this news. Can anyone answer why it still hasn’t made it to the Cornell website? No planned communication to the entire Cornell community?

  22. There was a push to do this 5-6 years ago that didn’t go anywhere. Now with a new president and provost and a lame duck SHA dean, they decided to push it through. Most any outsider looking in would look at our three(+) school break-up of business as completely screwy, so it isn’t a surprise that the new president did also.

    What I would expect to happen (note that I am not for or against this):
    Things will stay as they are for the next 1.5 years, since they are too far into the FY17 budget cycle to make the radical changes necessary to accommodate this. There will be a committee of faculty and administrators who will be given broad parameters, and a few details, and asked to put together recommendations on how to make this merger happen.

    Schools will have a good deal of autonomy at first, though that will erode with time. They will examine doing an economics-style merger of departments or fields across the schools (e.g. all the accounting faculty). Lower division classes and curricula will be standardized to a certain extent. Students, including PhDs, will have greater access to courses and faculty across the three schools. They will also have more access to the interesting possibilities inherent in Cornell Tech. Concerns that SHA will become a hospitality program in the long run are probably well-founded, though if they are the top program from a top business school then that could benefit as many future alums as it may handicap.

    Some faculty will leave/retire, but this will help with faculty recruitment overall. Just by the numbers (e.g. more faculty=more faculty output), this will help the business school rankings, which have a direct impact on quality of students and make a big difference to faculty. It will also attract more PhDs, which is a big problem in SHA in particular, which is a huge factor in drawing top faculty.

    Staff cuts will be significant and will generate lots of cost savings (note again: I am not necessarily saying this is a good thing!). Even if you need the same total number of student services folks, for example, you don’t need three directors. One complication is that Dyson relied on CALS for some of these services (e.g. IT), though I would expect some staff to move from CALS to this new college. Savings could go into more tenured faculty, but are more likely to be eaten up centrally to cover the deficit.

    What I don’t see talked about here is how CALS will be affected. They just lost ca. 20% of their students, tuition, faculty, etc. I believe there are less-profitable areas of CALS that Dyson was subsidizing (I might be wrong there, just rumor), so that could have an even wider impact.

    As far as ILR is concerned, that was talked about on and off. I don’t know why the final decision excluded them, but they are such an odd duck it would have greatly complicated things. For one thing, you would have been adding pure humanities professors (labor history) to this mix. It also might add the state’s labor unions to the groups that will already be opposing this move. And it is always possible that they are saving ILR for a new College of Public Policy, which is another idea that came out of the downturn.

  23. As a hotelie I am sad that we are losing our unique identity. I graduated +10 years ago and work in hospitality, and am beyond proud of being a hotelie. In fact, the first few jobs that I had, including all my internships as a student, were a direct result of the tight alumni network that helped connect me to individuals who wanted to hire other hotelies.

    I have tried to do the same for others, and will go out of my way for a current student who reaches out even if I never get a chance to ever meet him/her in person. That is the spirit that 90+ years of hotelies share.

    I don’t personally know the current dean, but know that this is his last year, and I’m glad for that. I feel upset, disappointed, angry even – that this communication was made in a daily sun article and not by the school’s staff, and it poorly communicates how exactly our school will thrive in the future as a result of this. I understand that the hotel school isn’t being scuttled… but this dean has tried to distance our school from being the world’s greatest school of hospitality… to what, the world’s most ‘adventurous business school’?

    Incidentally, this new focus on increasing applications (and removing the mandatory interview) is a game that the school’s administration is playing to try and make the admissions % rate even ‘better’. Who are we competing against??

    Dear people in Statler Hall who are running the school: PLEASE STOP. You are doing it poorly. Bring back our hotel school.

  24. Are they going to explain where the DEAN of SHA fits into all of this? I see the Dean of Johnson and The Director of the Dyson School are now promoted to oversee this new College of Business and the Dean of the top hotel program in the world is now going kicked to the back? Does this mean that SHA no longer has a seat at the Provost’s table?

    Apparently the administration thinks SHA is a joke of a school and doesn’t really need representation. I hope the members of SHA staff, faculty, students and alumni push back to ensure they don’t lose their recognition, representation, and integrity of the unique program that is the Hotel School.

    While I don’t necessarily disagree with this merger, the way it has been dealt is disgusting. Instead of being collegial and transparent, this is a top down directive that is poaching SHA.

  25. EXTRA EXTRA READ ALL ABOUT IT… besides the Cornell Daily Sun where else is this communicated to alumni? This is a giant change that is worthy of full visibility to all stakeholders. The timeline precludes a full dialogue.

  26. I think anybody who didn’t attend Cornell would look at this and say that it makes perfect sense and things should have been structured this way in the first place. The only realistic potential losers are AEM from merging with academically weaker students and the Hotelies if the Hotel program is slowly marginalized and dismantled in the long term. Both of these are easily avoided. The latter is borderline conspiratorial. My own department, MAE, merged with TAM while I was a student. Despite significant grumbling from the faculty, I think this effectively reduced costs, slightly improved the standing/prestige of the programs, and allowed for a more logical curriculum. There were zero losers that I am aware of.

    The fact that the administration knew it was necessary to be so clandestine in the operation I think speaks more to us than to them. No matter how sensible or optimal a decision somebody makes, a vocal minority always rises in career threatening opposition to them. Only endorsing the latest half baked sub-niche pet project is ever an acceptable course of action. It really is quite peculiar how academia seems to be the only social institution where silly, illogical, unresearched complaints can so effectively shackle the people “in charge”.

    • ok,I understand all the it is so logical stuff. But, how many mergers and changes are seen as logical and fail because nobody actually considered why the pieces are successful. SHA is an unusual institution, but it has been successful in part because it controlled its curriculum. Now, it can’t. What happens if SHA disagrees with the Dean of the “College of Business.” I don’t understand why Johnson and Dyson are separate but why make SHA a third limb. Again, if it is so great, where is the SHA support.

  27. The thing that concerns me the most is that current dean of Johnson Dutta will lead the new college of business.. Im sure he’s a nice guy buy he clearly lacks experience (Johnson is his first and only experience as a dean which he took on 3 years ago).. Based on my interaction with Dutta, his English isn’t all that good either.. I hope Cornell will spend some money and recruit a higher profile leader.

  28. I am a loyal Cornellian, and an alumnus of both the Hotel and Johnson Schools. I am voting NO to consolidation.

    Each is unique in its own way. Embedding the Hotel School in the Johnson School will be its downfall, and, ironically, the ability of the Hotel School to produce outstanding alumni. Who is the biggest giver to Cornell ever? Chuck Feeney, a Hotelie from the class of 1956. What was his first business? Selling sandwiches in the dorms of Cornell as a freshman. Duty Free Shoppes, which sold booze and tobacco to tourists, made him successful. Only a Hotelie.

    Now more than ever the hotel and tourism industry needs a specialized school that maintains its autonomy and ability to produce innovative leaders.

    Autonomy is what made the Hotel School so strong and successful in the first place. The competition amongst schools is what makes Cornell different.

    Why not combine ILR? Also, why not the Vet and Medical schools be combined as they are in many universities, such as the University of Edinburgh? Why not combine Engineering and Business, as is the idea of many Business School and Engineering Deans on many a campus? This list goes on and on…

    Let the campus be fragmented, and the schools compete with each other for resources.

    Instead of consolidation and cost savings, University leadership needs to look at the revenue side, and increase revenues through programs such as online learning. Why not invest much more, as was originally promised, into eCornell and increase not only professional development programs but also accredited online learning in business hospitality, law, medicine and so forth?

    Why not bring many more students on campus and offer AM / PM cohorts? There are many opportunities to bring in more revenue without decreasing the strength of our schools.

    • As an engineering alumnus, I agree with Johnson and Hotel School Alumnus: Merge Dyson and Johnson together. Keep Hotel school separate.

      The hotel school has a unique culture and is one of its selling point. I cannot imagine Johnson school students opening restaurants in the evening (as I recall was quite common when I was an undergrad). It would be similar to merging the Architecture school to the Engineering school.

      I see no problem with the fragmentation of the university. My MBA is from one of the world’s oldest universities, and the university has been run for more than 500 years as a fragmented, yet unified entity. The fragmentation has allowed the university to evolve and move with the times. It is also how new disciplines are formed, such as materials science.

  29. I’m also a dual grad. No question in my mind that Hotel offered a superior education with excellent to exceptional quality from virtually every professor and many administrators.

    Johnson was a weak experience, generally speaking. Some very strong faculty and classes, but I encountered significant mediocrity and unprofessionalism from many at Sage all along the way. And now the average age of the MBA drops as does the maturity of the students and the quality of the educational experience. I hear there are two 19 year olds in the class of 17. You’ve got to be kidding me. How insulting to the value of my degree. I should also note that it took until today for me to be notified of the COB from Dean Johnson and have yet to receive anything from Dean Dutta.

    Dyson and Johnson merging makes sense but leave SHA alone. I do not have significant confidence in the prospective COB leadership to maintain or enhance the prestige of SHA. I also do not have confidence that the 2-yr MBA will benefit by the merger as indicative of the inability for Johnson to sustain its mediocre (and falling) rankings as a stand alone program. The INORDINATE focus on Cornell Tech is suffocating me as an alum, my degree value, and the time of the appointed leadership. This will get worse as the focus on STEM is only mildly relevant to a fraction of grads.

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