Resolution 142: The College of Public Policy Model

Passed: February 12, 2020
Sponsor: University Faculty Committee
Senate Discussions: January 2020

The Resolution

Whereas Cornell is a renowned global university with faculty expertise in domestic and international policy research, teaching, and outreach extending across multiple colleges;

Whereas the case that a college structure would multiply Cornell’s strength in public policy is not compelling given that college boundaries are frequently cited as barriers to collaboration on Cornell’s decentralized campus;

Whereas the Interim Report identifies legitimate concerns that relate to the impact that both options would have on CHE;

Whereas the concern that has created the most attention, not fully explored in the Final Report, is what the College option implies for the four CHE units where faculty research, teaching, and outreach are not centered on public policy;

Whereas there was no voiced support for the vision articulated here that it might be possible to inject over time a unifying public policy theme across the CHE that would enhance all of its rich research traditions;

Whereas the College option was only marginally recommended by the Committee;

Whereas no faculty member spoke in favor of having a College of Public Policy at the January 22 meeting of the Senate;

Whereas the successful implementation of the College model would require a much higher level of faculty buy-in than is currently observed;

Be it resolved that the Faculty Senate does not support the “re-envisioning” of the College of Human Ecology as a College of Public Policy.


The Implementation Committee associated with the Provost’s Review of the Social Sciences has released its Final Report.

Committee Synopsis:

This is an exciting time for the social sciences, as the President and Provost seem engaged with the social sciences and poised to invest. The majority of our committee thought that a College of Public Policy and super-departments of Economics, Psychology, and Sociology would best position the social sciences for achieving excellence in policy and the social sciences. At the same time, a substantial minority of committee members favored a shared school of public policy. Regardless of their recommendations around policy, there were significant concerns about the well-being of non-policy units in CHE, and the committee especially stressed the need for the President and Provost to carefully consider these issues as they deliberate.

Sections of interest include:

The Executive Summary
The Introduction
Recommendation on Public Policy Structure
Recommendation on Super-Departments

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Prior reports from the Provost website:

The work of the Committee can be tracked through its March , April , and September postings. After the Senate update on November 13 the Committee released its Interim Report. The report begins with an introduction and an overview of the two options. We reordered the rest of the report to make it easier for the busy reader to compare the pros and cons of the two options with respect to these issues:

Undergraduate Training
Masters Training
Doctoral Training
Extension and Outreach
Implications for the College of Human Ecology
Implications for the College of Arts and Sciences
Implications for the University and Conclusions

The Super-Department recommendation in the Final Report feeds off of three subcommittee reports:

Appendix C: Economics
Appendix D: Psychology
Appendix E: Sociology

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