LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Puerto Rico’s Governor Should Resign

To the Editor:

As of July 19, 2019, the island of Puerto Rico, along with many cities across the mainland United States, have begun mass protests directed towards Governor Ricardo Rosselló. On July 14, nearly 900 pages of leaked group chat conversations were released to the public. The group chat designated Governor Rosselló as its administrator, as well as other government officials. The comments made in this group chat display misogyny, homophobia and denigration towards other government officials and fellow Puerto Ricans, as well as a mishandling of government information, which was freely and openly discussed in unofficial and inappropriate conversations. These revelations exposed a great deal that has left members of the Puerto Rican Student Association, along with thousands of Puerto Ricans across the island and the mainland United States, with feelings of contempt, disgust, frustration and flat-out disappointment in Governor Ricardo Rosselló and his administration.

EDITORIAL: Three Pressing Questions on Prof. Wansink’s Resignation Cornell Needs to Answer

In a stunning reversal of Cornell’s own internal investigation conducted just last year, a faculty committee has found Prof. Brian Wansink guilty of “academic misconduct.” The professor, who has had 13 papers retracted over the past two years (six of them yesterday), will resign at the end of this school year. While we are glad that Cornell has finally taking the appropriate steps to reprimand Wansink and insulate the University and its students from the growing fallout, the brief statement on matter issued by Provost Michael Kotlikoff is entirely insufficient given the gravity of the situation. There are several questions the University must answer if they are to regain the trust of Cornellians and the broader academic community. Firstly, what is the cause of the discrepancy between yesterday’s finding, and the finding of the April 2017 internal investigation that determined Wansink had not committed “scientific misconduct”? If this result is emblematic of a flaw in Cornell’s initial review process, the University owes it to its students and faculty to address and correct such flaws.

EDITORIAL | What is Cornell Hiding About its Business Dean’s Departure?

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.