Testimonials from Former House Professor-Deans

My time as House Professor-Dean (2015-2021) has been one of the most impactful experiences of my faculty career to date. It gave me a much more comprehensive understanding of the university as a whole – both by building deep connections and friendships with faculty and students from across the full breadth of the university (a relatively rare occurrence at the institution) and by seeing more holistically the substantial elements of undergraduate experience and university life that fall beyond our classrooms and majors (including rich partnerships and collaborations with Student and Campus Life). It’s changed the way I think about students in the classroom (and the burdens and challenges they face), and also my sense of how the university as an institution operates – including the crucial function of community and belonging in supporting a meaningful and engaged academic life: a point true and necessary for students and faculty alike, but which not everyone manages to achieve. It was also a rich and fulfilling experience for our family as a whole, including kids ages 12-18 and 9-15. While the role represents a significant investment in time, care and imagination, it was for us a rare and valuable opportunity to experience the true richness and diversity of the university, while helping to foster a kind and level of community that is not always present at Cornell (and no doubt other similar institutions).

- Steve Jackson, professor, Information Science, and house professor dean, William Keeton House, 2015-2021

Being a House Professor expands your sense of Cornell as an institution, and the role you as a faculty member can play in creating an intellectually rigorous yet caring environment where students can thrive. You experience and learn the rhythms, the challenges, and the joys of university life from so many people so very different from you: a remarkably diverse group of student residents, a student staff team who include 6 doctoral students from across the university, and the permanent staff who keep your House running and include teams from dining, facilities, building care, and Student & Campus Life. There is the tight community of 10 House Professors and Assistant Deans who run West Campus collaboratively, and the group of two dozen or so Faculty and Community Fellows associated with each House. The experience of being part of this community shapes how you learn, teach and engage – in many wonderful ways – too many for one testimonial to capture!

- Neema Kudva, professor, City and Regional Planning, and house professor-dean, Carl Becker House, 2017-2023