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Cornell names new President

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The Cornell University Board of Trustees Monday unanimously elected Martha E. Pollack, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at the University of Michigan, Cornell’s 14th president. Pollack will assume the presidency April 17, 2017.

The board’s vote followed the selection of Pollack by a Presidential Search Committee that was formed in April 2016 following the death on March 6 of President Elizabeth Garrett. Hunter R. Rawlings III, who has served as Cornell’s interim president since April 25, will remain in his current role through April 16, 2017.

“I am humbled and honored to have been elected to lead this great university,” Pollack said. “As a private university with a public mission, Cornell is the embodiment of my own deeply held belief in the ability of knowledge to improve the human condition. I can’t wait to get started, and I look forward to meeting and working with Cornell’s outstanding faculty, students, staff and alumni in Ithaca, New York City and around the globe.”

“I am delighted to welcome Martha Pollack as Cornell’s next president,” said Robert S. Harrison ’76, chairman of the board of trustees. “She is the perfect person to take the helm of Cornell at this important moment in our history. She has successfully managed a comparably complex institution and is a bold thinker who will inspire our faculty and students in Ithaca and across all of our campuses; her academic background in computer science will serve us extremely well as we open the Cornell Tech Roosevelt Island campus next year; and her familiarity with the issues facing academic medicine will be invaluable as we continue to grow Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City.”

Pollack was appointed to her current position at the University of Michigan in 2013. As the university’s chief academic officer and chief budget officer, she is responsible for the academic enterprise, which serves more than 43,000 students with over 16,000 faculty and staff, has annual operating revenues of $3.4 billion, and includes 19 schools and colleges, a number of freestanding research units, libraries and museums, and an array of academic support units. She also oversees the academic programs, ensuring that they maintain the highest level of quality and a persistent commitment to diversity and equity, and that the university’s administrative functions are aligned with its academic mission.

At Cornell, Pollack will have tenured appointments in the Departments of Computer Science and Information Science. She currently serves on the Steering Committee of the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute, the academic partnership between Cornell and the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology at Cornell Tech.