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Student success will mean College of Business success

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John Carberry
Rohit Verma
Chris Kitchen/University Photography
Rohit Verma, dean of external relations, describes the benefits of the College of Business to students at an open forum May 11.

While Cornell has multiple goals for creating the College of Business, student success is paramount, said Dean Soumitra Dutta.

“Our goal is that student success in every possible arena is strengthened and enhanced. Your success is our success, not just on the job market upon graduation, but long term in your careers,” Dutta said May 11 at an open forum for students on the college’s development, in Malott Hall.

Provost Michael Kotlikoff and the college’s leadership highlighted how the college will benefit students as they presented recommendations from seven planning committees.

Students will profit from governing principles established by the Faculty Governance Committee, said committee co-chair Chris Barrett, deputy dean and dean of academic affairs. The principle of continuing each school’s missions and programs will ensure students continue to learn from faculty in their respective schools, he said. “By maintaining three distinct schools, each housing its own faculty, we maintain the strong Cornell tradition of a really close-knit community of students and faculty. That’s one of the hallmarks of business education at Cornell,” he said.

Forum for alumni
An online-only open forum for alumni will take place May 19, from noon to 1 p.m. The College of Business leadership will discuss planning committee recommendations that have helped to shape the college thus far. The forum can be accessed here.
College of Business picnic
A College of Business picnic for faculty and staff will be held May 23, from 4-6:30 p.m. at the large pavilion at Stewart Park in Ithaca. Faculty and staff at the Dyson, Hotel and Johnson schools and their families are welcome. For details, please RSVP by May 16.

The principle of college cohesion will leverage faculty across schools, also a bonus for students, Barrett said. For example, the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management recently hired a professor of information technology management who was drawn to the job because of the opportunity to work at Dyson, with Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management MBA students and with Cornell Tech, Barrett said.

Two student committees – one for undergraduates and another for graduate students – found many opportunities to enhance the student experience in curriculum and academic affairs, student and career services, and student governance, said Rohit Verma, dean of external relations.

Students strongly recommended maintaining cohorts within the schools, Verma said, but also encouraged college leaders to add majors, minors, dual degrees and accelerated Master of Science degrees. They also recommended giving students a stronger voice in academic areas, Verma said.

Both committees said the college could offer major improvements in career services, Verma said, as well as a more diverse student body, better-coordinated international opportunities and a central calendar of events.

A task force has already started coordinating career services across the college. “This will provide opportunities at the college level but also ensure that we have staff available in each school who focus on issues specific to that school,” Verma said. Students will have access to each school’s internship and employment databases. And a broader range companies and recruiters are likely to visit campus, especially smaller firms that have previously opted out of coordinating with the three individual schools, he added.

Student governance structures, student clubs and organizations at each school will remain in place. The committees also recommended creating a new governance body that interacts directly with the college dean, Verma said.

The Alumni Engagement Committee created working groups on communications, advisory councils and cross-school engagement. They addressed structure for a new advisory council and identified programming to engage college alumni such as networking, student and faculty access, educational and professional development and philanthropy.

The Cornell College of Business Forum for students.

Overall, the alumni committee gave extensive recommendations to enhance alumni relationships within and across schools. “They said, while we try to develop cohesive groups for the college, we have to make sure that we maintain alumni groups in each individual school,” Verma said.

A student in the School of Hotel Administration asked how the university is dealing with alumni, especially those who oppose the college. Kotlikoff said university and college leaders have had many meetings, forums and other interactions with alumni to communicate the benefits of the college, and they’ve made a lot of progress.

“That notwithstanding, there are still individuals who are never going to buy into this,” Kotlikoff said. “Our job is to make this place great in the future, not just to celebrate greatness in the past. We think we’re doing what we need to do as stewards of the university.”


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