Following a series of open meetings that solicited feedback from the entire Ithaca campus community, nominations for the Presidential Task Force on Campus Climate opened this week: Peer nominations are due Wednesday, Nov. 15, and all self-nominations are due Friday, Nov. 17.
Members of the Cornell community can nominate themselves or others; if someone is nominated by others, the nominated person will still have to fill out a self-nomination form to confirm their interest in serving. The forms ask about personal background; identity and affiliations; experience and skills; past involvement with and within the community; and ranking of preference for the subcommittee on which the individual would serve.
Links to the nomination forms:
Cornell President Martha E. Pollack announced the co-chairs of the task force in October and shared its charge, which involves three areas, each of which will have a dedicated subcommittee: Campus Experience, Regulation of Speech and Harassment, and Campus Response.
The nominations process was discussed and shaped during seven open meetings held Nov. 1-11, hosted by the Scheinman Institute on Conflict Resolution at the ILR School. At the summary meeting held Nov. 11, Cornell trustee Martin F. Scheinman ’75, M.S. ’76, said about 175 Cornellians – graduate and professional students, undergraduate students, faculty, staff and alumni – gave input at one of the meetings or through an online form.
“I’m grateful to Marty Scheinman and the wonderful team at the Scheinman Institute for the time and attention they have devoted to developing the task force nominating process with the community. This nominating process, by being transparent and inclusive, will help move us closer to our founding ideal of a diverse, respectful and welcoming community,” Pollack said.
Scheinman Institute members will evaluate the nominations and present recommendations of about 30-35 people to Pollack, who will make the final decision on the task force members. Scheinman said the announcement of the task force members and their subcommittee assignments is optimistically expected before Thanksgiving break.
At the Nov. 11 meeting, Scheinman stressed that no one will get an automatic seat at the table – and that task force nominations, as well as the Scheinman Institute’s recommendations to Pollack, should be reflective of an entire community, including multiple perspectives and marginalized groups, and should include voices of individuals who do not necessarily occupy formal campus or group leadership roles.
“This task force is not just about dealing with the specific incidents that have already occurred …,” Scheinman said. “This is a much bigger conversation about how do we respond – and how do we live together in a diverse community.”
Once the task force and its subcommittees begin work, they will engage with the broader community through a variety of mechanisms. Check the president’s task force page for updates.
“Process matters,” Scheinman said, noting the work done by institute members who compiled the extensive feedback from the open meetings.
The president has asked the task force to provide recommendations before the end of the academic year, with interim recommendations possible if consensus is achieved on particular issues sooner.