The Dyson school is one college that will be merged into the new business college this summer.

David Navadeh / Sun Staff Photographer

The Dyson school is one college that will be merged into the new business college this summer.

May 10, 2016

Administrators Update Faculty on Cornell College of Business Progress

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Faculty and administrators gathered for an in-depth update on the development of the new Cornell College of Business in Malott Hall Tuesday.

Provost Michael Kotlikoff introduced committees — steering, faculty governance, staff synergy, alumni engagement, graduate student synergy, undergraduate student synergy and communications — established in January to “provide broad input into [the college’s] structure and policy.” The College of Business was approved by the Board of Trustees in January and will begin operations in the fall, The Sun previously reported.

The priorities of the faculty governance committee include continuing the schools’ separate missions and programs, faculty expectations, cohesion of the college and fairness of process and outcomes, according to Prof. Chris Barrett, deputy dean and dean designate for the College of Business and director of the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management.

“The cohesion of the College is the central purpose for creating the College of Business,” Barrett said. “Cornell makes a massive investment in these three schools [Dyson, Johnson and Hotel], yet we can coordinate more effectively if we formalize the links among our faculty in ways that we don’t presently.”

The faculty in the three schools are currently identifying their preferred area of affiliation. Seven possible areas include accounting, applied economics and policy, finance, management and organizations, marketing and communication, operations, and technology and information, according to Barrett.

“As of 7 a.m. [Tuesday morning], 153 faculty had already declared their preferred alignment. We expect to have all of those area affiliations pinned down later this month and begin to identify area coordinators, whose responsibilities will be to help coordinate curriculum, to coordinate scholarly life across their areas,” Barrett said.

Barrett said the college’s design is “multidisciplinary,” which will “differentiate it from other elite colleges of business across the country and throughout the world.”

“The [faculty governance] committee developed extremely detailed protocols around how we hire, how we do annual reviews, how we do reappointment and promotion and tenure reviews,” Barrett said.

Prof. Rohit Verma, hotel administration and dean designate of external relations for the college, said students’ concerns and recommendations have been organized into three broad categories: curriculum and academic affairs, student and career services and student governance.

“There is a strong desire for students to maintain the current cohort,” Verma said, noting that students want to make sure class sizes and specific curriculum focuses stay the same.

Other considerations, based on student suggestions, include increased course coordination among the three schools and the potential availability of new minors, majors and dual degrees, according to Verma.

While students hope each school to retains its own identity — including governance, clubs and organizations — Verma said they also want “a voice in the uniting of the college.”

“[The college] will have to find some mechanism to incorporate student governance into each of the individual schools and into the college as well,” Verma said.

Dean of the Johnson Graduate School of Management and incoming dean of the College of Business Soumitra Dutta said he expects a two-year interim Hotel School dean to be announced in the next four weeks, a full-term Johnson School dean to be selected in the next two months and the search for a full-term Dyson School dean to begin later this month.

Joel Malina, vice president for University Relations, said the communications committee has been informing “internal and external audiences” about the college and its future potential.

“We’ve been working with Undergraduate Admissions to make sure that sufficient information for prospective students on the College of Business is incorporated into various websites,” Malina said. “We’ve also been maintaining the [CCB] website, which will transition over the coming months as we move toward the launch of the College.”

As many prospective students consider enrolling at Cornell, Dutta said admissions is working to make sure it is preparing “an exciting vision of what the College of Business represents.”

“This is a continuous process and we will aspire to communicate as best as we can,” Dutta said. “Our comparison should be some of the best business colleges in the world, and we should ask the question — how can we in fact be even better than that?”

College operations are expected to launch on July 1, according to Kotlikoff.

3 thoughts on “Administrators Update Faculty on Cornell College of Business Progress

  1. This Hotelie alumnus continues to be quite cynical about CornCOB and the comments reported in this article. First, I get the feeling that professors in a number of academic disciplines (e.g., accounting, finance, marketing, HR, etc.) that exist now across the schools will soon get to play a rousing game of musical chairs for their jobs. Second (and more troubling for me) why is it that a search is underway for a SHA dean who will be in place for only two years, while other deans will be hired for full employment terms?

  2. None of the discussions have included consideration of how movement of the Dyson School to the business college will affect the development economics program at Cornell, one of Cornell’s premier programs, and international initiatives in CALS. Many CALS faculty have had productive, long-standing collaborations with Dyson School faculty because economic analysis is an essential element of international development programs. Affected programs include agriculture, nutrition, governance, veterinary medicine, engineering and the environment, some of Cornell’s most highly ranked programs. CALS invested a hefty proportion of its very limited discretionary income to strengthening the Business Program in what was then Applied Economics and Management. These investments meant that other important programs in CALS lost faculty positions, graduate asistantships and research support to strengthen busines. This policy was followed for at least a decade, but now there is no prospect for recouping the college’s investment to repay the sacrifice of CALS other programs. As a member of the faculty who worked in a good faith effort believing that we needed strong development economics during this period, the administration owes CALS considerable amounts of money and an explanation to the CALS faculty. There were many years during this period, when faculty raises were zero, so this was not a hypothetical sacrifice on the part of CALS faculty.

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