Dr. Avery August , Cornell’s Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and leader of the Office of Faculty Development and Diversity, shared his optimism with The Sun that the past six months offered an opportunity for higher education to change for the better.
Students and faculty discussed their own activism and scrutinized Cornell’s solutions to inequality during an Oct. 14 conversation on “Anti-Racism, Activism and Institutional Change” organized by the Institute for Comparative Modernities.
ByShneur Gansburg, Irene Partsuf, Danielle Mimeles and Matthew Samilow |
To the Editor:
On September 7, a group of professors, graduate students and staff published an open letter to President Martha E. Pollack and Provost Michael Kotlikoff, listing the measures they deem necessary for an “anti-racist Cornell.” Buried within this set of proposals was the curious request that the University address “Cornell Tech’s involvement in the gentrification of Queens and, through its institutional partnership with Technion Israeli Institute of Technology, the military occupation of Palestine.”
Naturally, the authors fail to elaborate further on the nonexistent connection between the Technion and race-related initiatives at Cornell. Perhaps they are unsure themselves. Nor do they request that the University address any of its other international partnerships. Instead, they choose to single out the world’s only Jewish state for opprobrium. The decision to gratuitously target Israel and simultaneously ignore Cornell’s actually questionable international relationships raises serious doubts about the intentions and motives of the authors.
The Sun spoke with President Martha Pollack, Provost Michael Kotlikoff, Vice President for Student and Campus Life Ryan Lombardi, Vice President of Facilities and Campus Services Rick Burgess, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Presidential Advisor for Diversity and Equity Avery August and Vice President for University Relations Joel Malina about Cornell’s reopening plan and anti-racism initiatives.