Huttenlocher, who will depart Aug. 1, served as Cornell Tech’s founding dean since 2012. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate will return to his alma mater to assume the position of inaugural dean of the new MIT Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing.
On October 2, ILR Dean Kevin Hallock shocked the ILR community by sending out a mass e-mail announcing that he had sought and received an appointment as the Dean of the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business, an apparent promotion over his position at the School of Industrial and Labor Relations. As Dean Hallock goes on to what he and Cornell’s senior administration believe to be bigger and better things, he leaves behind an ILR school at an important crossroads. Will the ILR school be reduced to a niche business school and a stepping stone for promising business leaders or will it fulfill its potential to be the world’s leading institution for the study of work, workers and employment? The ILR school was founded in 1945 during an era of massive change in the American labor market. Enabled by New Deal legislation and fueled by a wave of post-depression left-wing militancy workers across the United States were joining unions by the millions and organizing bold and confrontational strikes to demand a bigger share of the economic fruits of their labor.
Habemus decanum! Kevin Hallock, the current dean of the ILR school, has been announced as the next dean of the SC Johnson College of Business. While we — along with what often seems like a vast majority of students, and indeed, faculty — are still slightly confused as to what the College of Business actually is, we see reason to be hopeful of Hallock’s appointment. The College of Business is comprised of three rather disparate elements — the Johnson Graduate School of Management, the hotel school and the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management — and much of the controversy surrounding the business college’s creation dealt with each constituent school’s frustration at being subsumed into an amorphous, indistinct body. That frustration is certainly merited; each individual school prides itself on its unique flavor of education and expertise, and it certainly would be a shame if those flavors were overpowered by the bureaucracy of an umbrella college.
For two years, all Cornell could talk about was the College of Business. So why is the administration so tight-lipped following the sudden departure of Soumitra Dutta, the college’s dean, on Tuesday? Dutta, who had served as the dean and public face of the controversial SC Johnson College of Business since its launch in 2016, resigned yesterday without explanation. A University spokesman declined to comment because Cornell “does not comment on private personnel matters,” and in an email to colleagues, Joe Lyons ’98, executive director of leadership gifts, communications and donor engagement, said that “no further comment will be coming.”
The college Dutta led is integral to the University’s plan for the 21st century, and Cornell’s lack of transparency is unacceptable. Endowed by the single largest donation to Cornell’s Ithaca campus, housed in the $25-million state-of-the-art Breazzano Family Center, built to catapult the Johnson name into the ranks of Wharton, Sloan, Kellogg and Haas — and yet, not a whisper about why its founding dean has made such an unceremonious exit.
This coming Tuesday, New Yorkers will have the opportunity to call for a state constitutional convention. While the idea of revising the state constitution is an attractive one, to do so now would be at best a non-event with costly side-effects, and at worst a dangerous exercise in the rollback of currently-existing protections. As a result, we urge voters to reject a constitutional convention at the ballot box this week. In the event of a convention, almost all delegates would be elected from existing state senate districts (15 would be elected at-large). The state senate map is consistently gerrymandered by the Republicans who have controlled the upper chamber for all but three years since 1938.
I believe deeply in the value of these programs. As research enterprises and educational units, these programs greatly enrich the College of Arts & Sciences. In the context of the curriculum review we are currently endeavoring in the college, our faculty have affirmed the value of such considerations with the proposal to add a “human difference” category to the breadth requirements. If we are to prepare our students to be good global citizens and navigate an increasingly heterogeneous world, then we must prepare them to understand how social categories are created, and the implications that this has for our society more broadly.