May 10, 2008

Wrapping It Up

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Classes are over, Slope Day was sloppy and publication may be on leave for the next three months, but those of us here at The Sun (side note: not the actual Sun office but “here” in mind nonetheless as we too attempt to study in one of the various libraries on campus) are still working hard to get keep our website updated and our readers aware of what is going on at C.U.

On Monday, Managing Editor Sarah Singer and I sat down with several of the vice provosts to hear final updates on this year’s main initiatives, and learn what to expect over the summer and in the coming months. Throughout the year, The Sun makes an effort to keep in touch with leading administrators on campus. This helps up keep up-to-date with the news and establish relationships with the people who help coordinate the sprawling institution of Cornell. Some issues that came to light during the meeting were dean searches, academic initiatives and a re-structuring of Cornell’s administrative staff. We’re excited to see the plans pan out next year.

The two ongoing searches for the new deans of the College of Architecture, Art and Planning and the College of Human Ecology are progressing as the University, working with consultants, continues to narrow the applicant pool.

According to Vice Provost John Siliciano, who is leading the searches, these searches are somewhat “off cycle,” starting late after the previous deans, Mohsen Mostafavi in AAP and Lisa Staiano-Coico in Hum Ec, stepped down somewhat unexpectedly. The small pool of applicants who have made it through the screening process thus far will be brought to campus for confidential screening interviews in the next couple of weeks.

The current interim deans of AAP and Hum Ec, W. Stanley Taft and Alan Mathios, respectively, will continue to serve for at least the next several months as the search moves forward.

As of now, no replacement has been named for David Wippman, vice provost for international relations and professor of law, who will be stepping down at the end of this semester. However, one may be named in the next few months.

In addition, the search for the replacement of Robert Harris, vice provost of diversity and faculty development, should be completed by the end of the month, according to Deputy Provost David Harris. The position will now be Chief Diversity Officer and will link together efforts for faculty, staff and students.

Construction on Weill Hall, the new life sciences technology building, is moving forward and the building should be starting to be operational this summer and open in the fall, according to Steve Kresovich, vice provost for life sciences.

A new program focusing on academic integrity may also be included in the freshman writing seminar program. The University will also be examining ethics across the Cornell curriculum and may include some interactive virtual world technology, such as Second Life.

These are some of the programs that the vice provosts presented. The Sun will continue to report on others as they develop, including looking at financial year-end reports and enrollment data as they are released throughout the summer.

Willimina Bromer is one of The Sun’s news editors