Resolution 144: Social Science Superdepartments

Passed: March 11, 2020
Original Resolution proposed by the University Faculty Committee
Amendment proposed by Professor Richard Bensel
Senate Discussion: November 2020, January 2020, February 2020

The Amendment

Strike everything in the pending resolution and replace with:

Whereas, the Provost has announced a plan to create “super-departments” in the social sciences before the Faculty Senate has discussed the issues raised in that plan;

Whereas, the Faculty Senate, under University bylaws, must be consulted on major changes in educational policy before they are adopted;

Resolved, the Provost’s actions violate University bylaws.

The Original Resolution

Whereas there are several existing examples of successful cross-college departments at Cornell that heighten the level of collaboration and facilitate the hiring of excellent faculty which could serve as models for the proposed super-departments;

Whereas there are challenges associated with such arrangements as revealed in both the super-department section of Final Report and the transcript (pp.40-45) of the January 22 meeting of the Senate;

Be it resolved that the Faculty Senate endorses the Committee recommendation to pursue the creation of “super-departments” in Economics, Psychology, and Sociology;

Be it further resolved that there is strong agreement with the Committee’s wish, as noted in the Final Report, that there be “additional conversations among the respective units in the Spring 2020 semester, a commitment of resources to facilitate the re-organization, and continued attention to the issue of co-location.”


Same background as for Resolution 142.

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