Cameron Pollack / Sun Senior Photographer

February 22, 2016

Provost Michael Kotlikoff to Serve as Acting President While Garrett Undergoes Treatment

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Board of Trustees Chair Robert S. Harrison ’76 announced in an email Friday evening that Provost Michael Kotlikoff will serve as Acting President of the University after President Elizabeth Garrett underwent surgery related to her illness Friday.

Garrett is currently undergoing treatment at Weill Cornell Medicine after a colon cancer diagnosis, the University announced in a statement on Feb. 8.

John Carberry, senior director of University media relations, said the University had no further comment on the change in University leadership.

Here is Harrison’s complete email to the Cornell community:

Dear Members of the Cornell Community,

Earlier today, President Garrett went in for surgery related to her illness. In order to ensure the continuity of university leadership, she has officially delegated the duties and powers of the presidency to Provost Michael Kotlikoff, as provided by the University Bylaws.

Acting President Kotlikoff and I will be sure to keep you apprised of developments and ask you to keep Beth in your thoughts and prayers.


Robert S. Harrison
Cornell University Board of Trustees

  • old alum

    Thoughts and prayers are with President Garrett and her family

  • Eliot Schuman

    This is a time for the Cornell Community to unite behind Acting President Kolitkoff until such time as Predident Garrett resumes her position high atop Cayuga’s waters as we call know and pray she will .

  • Future Trustee

    All best wishes to President Garrett for successful treatment, and elimination of the tumor.

    Now is an excellent time to excise the College of Business proposal so that the University can return to health as well.

    • Grad student

      Wow, what a tasteless comment.

  • David Levine ’80

    Not the time Future Trustee.

    • Future Trustee

      Oh how I wish that were true!
      If the provost shared your sentimentality, that would be the case.
      As the provost is inclined to exploit your sentimentality, now is the time for vigilance.