July 1, 2005

Rawlings Begins Term as Interim President

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With the resignation of former President Jeffrey S. Lehman ’77 completed, Hunter R. Rawlings III today began his second term at the helm of Cornell University.

Lehman announced that he would resign at the end of June during his State of the University address June 11. As part of the announcement, which came during reunion weekend, Lehman stated that he and the Board of Trustees had “different approaches to how the University can best realize its long-term vision.”

Rawlings agreed to take over as interim president until a new president is named.

The Board of Trustees is currently forming a search committee.

Rawlings sent an e-mail message to the Cornell community today, stating that “Cornell will continue to be one of the top research universities in the world, a creative generator of new knowledge, a wise teacher of generations of students and an institution serving the needs of the State of New York, the nation and the world.”

“The past few weeks have been an unsettling period. President Lehman’s resignation was an unfortunate event for many reasons, and it has generated lingering questions in our community because it came suddenly and without extensive explanation. As you may have read, President Lehman and the Board of Trustees have agreed that his and the institution’s best interests will be served by foregoing more open discussion. Despite the understandable frustration that creates, I am confident that they have acted in the university’s interests,” Rawlings continued.

Archived article by Sun Staff