Five new additions to the Cornell University Board of Trustees were recently elected. Rosemary Avery, professor and chair of policy analysis and management, was elected by the faculty as a faculty trustee; Beth McKinney '82, director of Cornell's Wellness Program, was elected by university staff as an employee trustee; Michael Walsh, a doctoral student in biological and environmental engineering, was elected by the student body to serve as a student trustee; and Elizabeth J. Altman '88 and Ronni S. Chernoff '67 were elected by the alumni as alumni trustees.
The Cornell Board of Trustees helps determine major policy directions for the university and has an important role in safeguarding the integrity of the university. Cornell is the only Ivy League university -- and one of the few universities across the country -- whose board of trustees includes student, faculty and staff representatives as full voting members. There are two faculty and two student trustees and one employee trustee on the 64-member board.
Avery has been on Cornell's faculty since 1988. As a board member, she hopes to further Cornell's reputation as a premier research institution, she says, and focus on issues that impact excellence in the research and educational component of the university's mission.
McKinney began her career at the university in 1994 and has been instrumental in helping the Wellness Program adapt to the varying demands and concerns of its participants. As an employee trustee, McKinney says she will focus on improving communication across staff levels and departmental boundaries, supporting sustainable growth through creative solutions and working to continue to make Cornell an "employer of choice."
As graduate student trustee (Cornell's undergraduate student trustee is elected in alternate years), Walsh plans to focus on such key issues facing graduate students as affordable housing, transportation and sustainability. He also hopes to help build a more cohesive graduate community and more streamlined communications between students and the university administration.
Altman, of Framingham, Mass., is vice president of strategy and business development at Motorola. She has served on the Cornell Council, the President's Council of Cornell Women (PCCW), the College of Engineering Advisory Board and the Cornell Alumni Admissions Ambassador Network. During her term she would like to help deepen Cornell's research agenda, especially work that bridges colleges, departments and external partners.
Chernoff, of Little Rock, Ark., is associate director of education at the Little Rock Geriatric Research, Education and Clinic Center, part of the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System. Her alumni service has included the Human Ecology Alumni Association Board, Cornell Council and the PCCW. One of her top priorities as a trustee is faculty recruitment and retention.
The new trustee terms begin July 1. The student trustee term is two years, and the terms for the faculty, employee and alumni trustees are four years.