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David Harris is named Cornell vice provost for social sciences

ITHACA, N.Y. -- David Harris, Cornell University professor of sociology and director of the Institute for the Social Sciences at Cornell, has been named the university's first vice provost for social sciences, Cornell Provost Biddy Martin has announced. The part-time position, which Harris will combine with his duties as director of the institute, will have a five-year term effective July 1. 

"David has extraordinary energy and has dedicated himself to raising the profile of the social sciences at Cornell. He has won the respect of his colleagues here and around the country," Martin said. "In his new role, he will lead our efforts to enhance research and education in the social sciences across the university." 

As vice provost, Harris will provide leadership for creating a vision and defining and achieving goals for the social sciences on campus, Martin said. He also will provide a social science perspective on Cornell policies and priorities.

"I look forward to working with colleagues from across campus, and alums from around the world, to identify and implement strategies to enhance the many strands of Cornell social sciences and to realize the benefits of weaving these strands together," Harris said.

Harris -- who joined Cornell's faculty in 2003 from the University of Michigan, where he had been a faculty member for six years and associate chair of Michigan's Department of Sociology in his final year -- also is active in the Center for the Study of Inequality in Cornell's Department of Sociology. His work focuses on race and ethnicity, stratification and public policy. His current research projects investigate racial classification and the social consequences of being multiracial. He became director of the Institute for the Social Sciences in 2004, and he will retain that post, as well as his faculty appointment.

Harris is a member of the board of overseers for the national General Social Survey and was a consultant for the National Research Council Committee to Evaluate the 2000 Census.

He earned a B.S. degree in human development and social policy in 1991 and a Ph.D. in sociology in 1997, both from Northwestern University.

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