July 10, 2019
We write with an update on the Social Sciences Review.
The Implementation Committee (members are listed below) has begun meeting and will meet regularly throughout the summer. As was announced on March 28 (email to faculty), this committee has been tasked by the President and the Provost to consider how to implement a policy structure and super-departments.
The charge from the Provost is provided below. It asks the committee to consider two options for a policy structure: 1) transitioning the College of Human Ecology into a college with a primary focus on policy, and 2) creating a new school of policy shared across Human Ecology and Arts and Sciences. These two options were listed in the summary on faculty feedback at the end of last fall. These two options received the most support from faculty and were deemed by the Provost to be ideal for creating a robust, university-wide structure. The charge also includes the objective to ensure that all faculty members impacted by any such changes will continue to be able to work in intellectually stimulating, supportive, and cohesive environments.
We will be sending updates on our progress throughout the summer via emails. We will also post all our communications on the social sciences website. We also welcome any questions, concerns, or ideas at any time; you can send these along to email@example.com.
Thanks for your continued attention, and we look forward to continuing the conversation.
Melissa Ferguson, Christopher Wildeman, and John Siliciano
Charge for Policy Implementation Committee
April 16, 2019, Updated June 21, 2019
In this final phase of the Social Sciences Review, the President and Provost are asking the Implementation Committee to develop detailed recommendations on two key efforts:
Creation of a Preeminent Public Policy Entity
Our first objective is to answer the following set of questions, keeping in mind that the goal of any policy entity is for Cornell to become truly world-class in this space, which consists of having high-quality curricular programs and offerings and doing excellent scholarship.
- What type of entity would best enable us to elevate the prominence of our scholarship and curricular offerings in the public policy domain, and to recruit and retain the world’s best faculty?
- Given that so many current and emerging research questions involve a policy dimension, what type of entity would best facilitate a truly university-level entity through the involvement of public policy faculty in research projects across colleges and campuses?
Focus on the following two options:
- CHE becomes College of Public Policy
- Policy School shared by CHE and CAS, with most PAM faculty plus other policy faculty
Our second objective is to answer the following set of questions, keeping in mind that the goal of any disciplinary structure is for Cornell to become truly-world class in the social science disciplines in the next 10-15 years, meaning we need to anticipate changes in these disciplines over time, as well as noting strategic investments our peers have made in the last 10-15 years.
- For the major social sciences disciplines of economics, psychology, and sociology, what are the specific advantages that could accrue from the creation, or expansion, of super-departments, and under what conditions (e.g., balancing across relevant areas within disciplines, as well as potentially having some shared foci across disciplines) would entering into super-departments make sense?
- What are the disadvantages, and how could they be mitigated? What strategic investments should be made to advance these efforts?
In seeking to achieve these two aspirations, how can we do so while best maintaining important academic connections and successful academic programs, respecting the intellectual contributions of all our faculty, and minimizing unnecessary disruption?
Implementation Committee Members:
- Anthony Burrow: Human Development (CHE)
- Sahara Byrne: Communications (CALS)
- Ben Cornwell: Sociology (CAS)
- Melissa Ferguson (Co-chair): Psychology (CAS)
- Maria Fitzpatrick: Policy Analysis and Management (CHE)
- Shannon Gleeson: Labor Relations, Law, & History (ILR)
- David Easley: Economics and Information Science (CAS)
- Tom Pepinsky: Government (CAS)
- John Siliciano (Co-chair): Deputy Provost
- Laura Tach: Policy Analysis and Management (CHE)
- Christopher Wildeman (Co-chair): Policy Analysis and Management (CHE)