May 1, 2016

Search Committee Contemplates Cornell Presidential Criteria

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Cornell’s presidential search committee is still determining the criteria for its candidates, according to committee member Prof. Emer­itus Isaac Kramnick, government. Two open meetings — which will be held on May 4 —will allow Cornellians to provide feedback on the search, according to a University press release.

“The committee wants to hear what students, faculty and staff are hoping for in a president and will be on campus this week to listen,” Kramnick said.

Kramnick added that he, personally, is seeking a president who “will be an inspirational champion for learning.”

“I am hoping that the new president [defends] the academy against those who attack [it], such as science-deniers, humanities-bashers and state legislatures who are defunding the great public universities,” he said.

Kramnick has held positions from vice provost for undergraduate education to associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Cornell, according to the University. He has taught English and American political thought and history at the University since 1972 and was voted “favorite professor of the year” in 1996, in a ballot run by The Cornell Daily Sun.

The committee is headed by Jan Rock Zubrow ’77, a member of the Board of Trustees. Zubrow also led the search committee that chose President Elizabeth Garrett, who died of colon cancer on March 6, according to the press release. She currently serves on the boards of two nonprofit organizations that promote education nationally and internationally, and was previously the president and founder of MedCapital, LLC, a venture capital firm that invests in health care companies, according to the University.

“I am humbled, but proud, to once again lead a committee that will choose a leader who will both carry Beth’s momentum forward and bring his or her own unique vision to Cornell’s future,” Zubrow said in the release.

Robert S. Harrison ’76 is the chair of the Board of Trustees and the CEO of the Clinton Global Initiative. He previously served as the co-head of the Global Communications, Media and Entertainment Group in the Investment Banking Division at Goldman Sachs and a lawyer at Davis Polk & Wardwell, according to the University.

Yamini Bhandari ’17 is a student-elected trustee and a member of the Committee on Student Life, Committee on Academic Affairs, and the Trustee-Community Communications Committee. She served on the Student Assembly as a freshman-at-large representative and women’s representative. Bhandari is also a youth ambassador for the Parliament of World Religions, the University said.

Jessica M. Bibliowicz ’81 is a member of the Board of Trustees and a senior adviser at Bridge Growth Partners, LLC — an equity firm that invests in technology and financial services — according to the presidential search website. The magazine American Banker chose Bibliowicz as its “Innovator of the Year” in 2003, when she was the chairman of National Financial Partners, which advises companies and individuals of high net worth, the University said.

Dara Brown ’13 grad, who was elected student trustee on April 20, is a student in the Cornell Law School and was involved in community service and women’s issues while she was an undergraduate. On the S.A. she was the chair of the Women’s Issues Committee and promoted bystander intervention programming, Title IX reform and Cornell’s late night shuttle system, according to the University.

Chad O. Coates was chosen employee-elected trustee on April 22 and is an assistant dean of admissions and academic advising in the College of Arts and Sciences. Coates also directs the Pre-freshman Summer Program and helps plan Cornell’s annual Diversity Hosting Month initiatives, according to the College of Arts and Sciences website.

David Croll ’70, a member of the Board of Trustees, founded and is currently a managing partner of M/C Venture Partners, which manages funds for 10 media and telecommunications services, according to the website. Croll and his wife are trustees of a family foundation supporting education, art and the environment, the University said.

Ruben Jose King-Shaw Jr. ’83 is a featured lecturer at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Public Health and chief investment officer of Mansa Capital, LLC — an investment firm specializing in health care services — according to the University. Through a fellows program in their name, Shaw and his wife fund worldwide projects in health care, education and community development, according to the University.

Peggy J. Koenig ’78 is a member-at-large of the Board of Trustees and on the board of overseers for Cornell Tech. She is also co-CEO of ABRY Partners, LLC, an investment firm that focuses on the media, information and business services, according to the University.

Prof. Bruce Lewenstein, science and technology studies and communication, is the speaker of the Faculty Senate and a trustee-elect. Lewenstein studies how science is communicated to the public and how the public perceives controversial scientific topics, according to his website.

Ronald D. McCray ’79, a member of the Board of Trustees, is the interim president and CEO of the Career Education Corporation, a company that provides online and on-ground degrees through the doctoral level. He was previously the vice president and chief administrative officer of Nike Inc., according to Nike.

Donald C. Opatrny ’74 is a member of the Board of Trustees and a private investor. Opatrny was also a managing director at Goldman Sachs, an advisory director for the firm and a member of the company’s Private Equity Group Advisory Committee, the College of Arts and Sciences website said.

Leland C. Pillsbury ’69, a member of the Board of Trustees, founded and is co-chairman and CEO of Thayer Lodging Group, which sponsors private equity funds for large institutional investors, according to the presidential search website. Six of his nieces and nephews have attended Cornell, according to the University.

Andrew H. Tisch ’71 is the vice chairman of the Board of Trustees and holds multiple positions within Loews Corporation, a company run by Tisch and two relatives. Tisch is also a director of CNA Financial, Diamond Offshore Drilling and Boardwalk Pipeline Partners and K12 Inc, according to the University. He and his wife have created a foundation to support education, Jewish agencies and medical research, the University said.

Prof. Charles Van Loan, computer science, was elected dean of the Faculty Senate on March 25 and has previously been the Department of Computer Science’s director of undergraduate studies, director of Ph.D. studies and chair. Van Loan’s research focuses on matrix computations, according to the University.

Fred Van Sickle is the Vice President for Alumni Affairs and Development at Cornell. Prior to joining the University in January, Sickle was the chief development officer of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton and worked with alumni relations for Columbia University, according to the University.

Barton Winokur ’61 is a corporate partner and CEO of Dechert LLP. He is serving his second term on Cornell’s Board of Trustees. He is the chair of the board’s Audit Committee and is a member of the Finance Committee on Academic Affairs, the Committee on Development, and the Volunteer Leadership Initiative Task Force, according to the Board of Trustees website.

Prof. Mariana Wolfner, molecular biology and genetics, served as associate department chair of her department. She is a member of the Provost’s Life Science Advisory Council and is a member of the General Committee of Cornell’s Graduate School.

Peter Meining ’61 is chairman of a private holding company of different manufacturing and service businesses. He has been a member of the Cornell Board of Trustees since 1991 and served as chairman of the board from 2002 to 2011, according to the University.

Harold Tanner ’52 is president of Tanner & Co. Inc., a private investment banking firm in New York City. Tanner has served as a trustee of The University for over 30 years and was vice-chair of the Presidential Search Committee that selected Hunter Rawlings to be the 10th president of Cornell. He is now serving on his fifth Presidential Search Committee, according to the University.

Sanford Weill is a former chairman of Citigroup and CEO of Casa Rosa Ventures. He was named one of CNBC’s First 25: top rebels, icons and leaders. He also served as chairman and CEO of Travelers and president of American Express Company, according to The New York Times.