Cornell Faculty Senate Candidates Vie for Dean Position

The Faculty Senate will consider possible replacements for Dean of the Faculty Prof. Joseph Burns Ph.D. ’66, astronomy, mechanical and aerospace engineering — who is currently on medical leave — at its Wednesday meeting. The faculty dean is the University faculty’s chief administrative officer and liaison to the president, trustees and Cornell community, according to the University Faculty website. There are currently five candidates for the position, according to Acting Dean Prof. Michael Fontaine, classics. All candidates stressed the need for shared governance, especially when determining the details of the new College of Business. Prof. Paul Soloway, nutritional sciences, said the administration’s method of creating the college indicates a lack of trust in the faculty.

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: A Lack of Transparency

Re: “Alumni Threaten to Pull Donations Over Proposed College of Business,” News, Jan. 24
To the editors:
Congratulations to The Sun for its excellent and timely coverage of the University’s controversial decision to create a new College of Business. The articles discuss concerns of the alumni of the Hotel School especially and the fact that there were no “courtesy calls” or prior warning before the official announcement that the matter would be put to the Board of Trustees.  The Sun also refers to a unanimous resolution of the Faculty Senate to request that the Trustees table the proposal rather than approve it. It quotes President Elizabeth Garrett’s response to the Senate resolution but does not provide much context for the resolution itself. As a member of the Faculty Senate, I thought I could offer my understanding of that context.