Faculty Call For Increased Input At College of Business Open Forum

Faculty and staff emphasized the need for increased involvement in administrative decisions when discussing the College of Business initiative at an open forum Wednesday. Provost Michael Kotlikoff moderated deliberations about the administrative rationale for the decision at the forum. Although many have characterized the decision as sudden and surprising, Kotlikoff said discussion of the College of Business actually began in 2008. The provost called the creation of the College of Business a politically difficult initiative, explaining that this made the administration choose to bypass the faculty senate when making the decision to merge the colleges. “If we had entered an extended debate with faculty and alumni, it would have been tremendously resisted,” he said.

Faculty Say Bylaws Forbid Admins to ‘Circumvent’ Senate

Prof. Richard Bensel, government, said that the creation of the business college was in violation of Article XIII of the University’s bylaws, which state that, “The function of the University Faculty shall be to consider questions of educational policy which concern more than one college, school or separate academic unit, or are general in nature.”

LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Shared Governance is a Sham

To the Editor:
Is the broader Cornell community seriously surprised by the decision of the trustees, including elected representative trustees and President Elizabeth Garrett, to approve the new Cornell College of Business and completely ignore Cornell’s representative assemblies? This decision has ample precedent at Cornell in the failed attempt of the provost in summer 2002 to dismantle an entire college without consulting faculty. More importantly, though, our campus needs to actually engage in dissent outside of shared governance bodies lacking actual impact on university decision-making: It is time to stop feeling ashamed of dissenting in ways that circumvent “the usual channels.”
After approving the new college at a meeting in New York City — over 200 miles away from the campus which these decisions would actually impact — President Garrett emailed to say that the vote “marks the beginning of an inclusive and crucial process” to “more fully define” the new college’s structure. Given the usual administrative lag for anything at Cornell, it seems likely that the true “beginning” of this process was months ago. President Garrett and Provost Michael Kotlikoff still aren’t concerned with our collective disapproval of this undemocratic process; rather, they simply wanted to rush their questionable agenda through to approval.