Update on Social Sciences Implementation Committee

July 10, 2019

Dear Colleagues,

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 ssreview@cornell.edu.

Thanks for your continued attention, and we look forward to continuing the conversation.

Melissa Ferguson, Christopher Wildeman, and John Siliciano
Committee Co-chairs


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.

Focus on the following two options:

Super-departments Objective

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.

Guidance Throughout

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: