Cornell Presidential Search Committee to hold open meetings

ITHACA, N.Y. -- Cornell University's Presidential Search Committee, charged with conducting a search for the university's next president, will hold four open meetings over the next few weeks to receive input from the campus community. Edwin H. Morgens, vice chair of the Cornell Board of Trustees, chairs the search committee. He released a report today (April 24, 2002) describing the search procedure.


The Search: A Process of Inclusion

The Presidential Search Committee will strive throughout the search -- and particularly in the early stage -- to ensure that its process is inclusive. In addition to the broadly representative composition of the Committee itself, the Committee will send letters to all faculty, staff, students, and alumni seeking their input.

To assist in the process of obtaining input from the campus community, the Search Committee has established several subcommittees. The subcommittees will work specifically with faculty, staff, students, alumni and the Weill Cornell Medical College and Graduate School of Medical Sciences community. [See attached list of subcommittees.] In addition, members of the subcommittees will host open meetings in Ithaca and at the Medical College. The following events are scheduled:

Tuesday, April 30: Open meeting for Ithaca students from 4:30-6 p.m. at Hollis Cornell Auditorium in Goldwin Smith Hall.

Tuesday, May 7: Open meeting for Ithaca faculty from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in Hollis Cornell Auditorium in Goldwin Smith Hall.

Wednesday, May 8: Open meeting for Ithaca staff from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in Bailey Hall.

Thursday, May 16 : Open meeting for all members (faculty, students and staff) of the Weill Cornell Medical College and Graduate School of Medical Sciences at 5 p.m. in Uris Auditorium at the college.The purpose of the open meetings is to solicit input on what attributes the next president should have to lead Cornell through the completion of its previously articulated strategic priorities; to identify what type of individual would be able to bring his or her own vision into this context; and to identify any other challenges or opportunities Cornell is facing that need to be part of the incoming president's priorities for the University.

In addition to the open meetings, Search Committee members will meet with senior administrators and deans to solicit the same type of input as will be invited from other campus constituencies. A significant portion of the May 2002 Board of Trustees meeting will allow trustees the opportunity to answer these questions, as well.

Based on the input received during this initial phase of its work, the Search Committee will develop a "case statement" -- to be made available to the public -- that will articulate the characteristics Cornell seeks in its next president. Once that document is created, the Committee will begin the confidential process of researching and identifying prospects.

The Presidential Search Committee

The Presidential Search Committee is comprised of 19 members plus two advisers. The Committee includes Board-elected trustees; faculty, employee, student and alumni members of the Board of Trustees; as well as additional distinguished members of the faculty from Ithaca and the Weill Cornell Medical College, a graduate student and a representative of the senior administration. [Note that the following list has one change (Prof. Kenneth McClane replaces Prof. Sandra E. Greene) and one addition (Michael Esposito is the newly elected employee trustee) from an earlier press release issued by the Cornell News Service.]


Trustee Members

Edwin H. Morgens, chair; Leslie C. Barkemeyer, student-elected trustee; J. Thomas Clark; Diana M. Daniels; Michael V. Esposito, employee-elected trustee; Samuel C. Fleming; Barbara B. Friedman; William E. Fry, faculty-elected trustee; Myra M. Hart; Peter C. Meinig, chair-elect of the board; Rebecca Q. Morgan; Andrew M. Paul; Harold Tanner, current chair of the board; and Jan Rock Zubrow, alumni-elected trustee.

Non-Trustee Members

Patrick M. Carr, graduate student; Harold G. Craighead, faculty; Kenneth A. McClane Jr., faculty; Ralph Nachman, M.D., Medical College faculty; Inge T. Reichenbach, university administration.


Sanford I. Weill, trustee emeritus and chair of Cornell's Weill Medical College Board of Overseers, and Stephen H. Weiss, trustee and board chair emeritus.

Executive Secretary

Barbara L. Krause, Assistant Secretary of the Corporation and Associate University Counsel

Subcommittees for Constituency Groups

Faculty: H. Craighead, W. Fry, K. McLane, D. Daniels and M. Hart

Students: L. Barkemeyer, P. Carr, A. Paul and J. Zubrow

Staff: M. Esposito, L. Barkemeyer, T. Clark and S. Fleming

Alumni: I. Reichenbach, T. Clark, B. Morgan and J. Zubrow

Medical College: R. Nachman, D. Daniels, B. Friedman and H. Tanner

The Search Firm: Isaacson, Miller

The Search Committee has selected the national search firm of Isaacson, Miller (Boston, Mass.) to assist it in identifying and recruiting the strongest possible candidates. Staffing Cornell's search are John Isaacson, President and Managing Director; and Barbara Stevens, Vice President and Director.

Mr. Isaacson received his B.A. from Dartmouth in 1968; he studied politics, philosophy, and economics at University College, Oxford, on a Rhodes Scholarship and graduated in 1970. He received his J.D. from Harvard in 1973. He had a lengthy career in public service in Massachusetts before founding Isaacson, Miller in 1982.

Ms. Stevens attended Wellesley College and received her B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley. She has been with Isaacson, Miller since early 2000 and previously held senior administrative positions at Yale University (associate director, Community and State Relations), University of Pennsylvania (executive assistant and chief of staff to the President) and Georgetown University (executive director, Administrative Excellence).

Isaacson, Miller is affiliated with The Washington Advisory Group, an association of 15 of the most distinguished and accomplished scientific and academic leaders in the nation.

How to Contact the Presidential Search Committee

Persons wishing to contact the Presidential Search Committee may do so by writing to the following address:

Presidential Search Committee

P.O. Box 4688

Ithaca, NY 14852-4688

Comments may also be sent via e-mail to .

A web site devoted to the search is under construction and will be available in the near future.

The Importance of Confidentiality

All of the advice the Search Committee has received and Cornell's own past experience indicate that a confidential process is critical to a successful search. The best candidates will not appear for an open or compromised search. Toward that end, all members of the Presidential Search Committee and the staff supporting the Committee have signed a confidentiality agreement. A copy of that agreement follows.

The Search Committee is comfortable that the significant efforts to obtain input at the beginning of the process, as well as the broad representation of campus constituencies among the membership of the Committee itself, will allow the Committee to consider all community voices throughout the search process.


In consideration of my designation as a member of the Cornell University Presidential Search Committee (hereinafter Search Committee) and the resulting access I will have to confidential information and materials related to the presidential search, and with full knowledge of the critical importance of the principle of confidentiality to the integrity and success of the search process, I hereby agree:

(1)That the deliberations of the Search Committee and any and all information, whether verbal or in the form of papers, books, files, documents, electronic communications, or in any other form or format, which comes into my possession or knowledge in my capacity as a Search Committee member and relates to the presidential search and the work of the Search Committee, is confidential.

(2)That I will not in any form or manner, directly or indirectly, divulge, disclose, or communicate such confidential information to any person, firm, corporation, or other entity, other than a Search Committee member or a person otherwise designated by the Chairman to receive such confidential information.

(3)That all contacts with the media, and any contact with other third parties in which confidential information will be disclosed, shall be conducted either by, or with the specific prior authorization of, the Chairman.

4)That the obligation to maintain confidentiality described in the above paragraphs exists both during the period that the Search Committee is active and at any and all times thereafter.

I have read, understand, and agree to abide by all of the terms of this Confidentiality Agreement as a condition of my continued service as a Search Committee member.


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