As students filter into their dorm rooms and apartments, President Martha E. Pollack, former provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at the University of Michigan, faces her own inauguration as Cornell’s 14th president this Friday.
Though she technically assumed the presidency on April 17, 2016, Pollack’s inauguration will be a two-day event on August 24 and 25. All inauguration events are free and open to the public, with no RSVP required, according to the inauguration official website run by the Inauguration Steering Committee.
Kicking off the inauguration will be “A Festival of Scholarship” on August 24 from 4:30 – 6 p.m. in the Physical Sciences Building atrium. Works will be shared by undergraduate, graduate and professional students from across Cornell’s colleges, as well as from Weill Cornell Medicine and Cornell Tech in New York City, according to the University.
Following the festival, an academic symposium, “Universities and the Search for Truth,” will be held in Bailey Hall from 6:30-8 p.m. A faculty panel will debate different methods of communication and the University’s role in information sharing.
Pollack’s official installation will be held on Friday, August 25, from 2-4 p.m. The event will begin on Ho Plaza and move to the Arts Quad. Faculty and University leaders, including former Cornell presidents, will be in attendance.
After Pollack’s installation ceremony on August 25, a street fair will be held on the Arts Quad from 4-5:30 p.m., featuring musical performances and food vendors from both the Cornell and Ithaca communities.
A Presidential Search Committee was created after the death of President Elizabeth Garrett in March 2016. Former Cornell University President Hunter R. Rawlings III was chosen to serve as interim president until Pollack took her place as president earlier this year.
After the Presidential Search Committee nominated Pollack, The Cornell University Board of Trustees unanimously elected her the next president on November 14, 2016, The Sun previously reported.
Pollack served as a faculty member at the University of Michigan since 2000, and she was appointed to her most recent role there in 2013. As chief academic officer and chief budget officer, she was responsible for Michigan’s academic and administrative programs and institutions, serving a student population of over 43,000.
Pollack’s major interests as an academic include artificial intelligence, with a current focus on designing technology to assist the cognitively impaired. She has been honored several awards for her research publications as well as for her professional service.