Searches begin for provost; student and campus life VP

The university has launched searches for a new provost and vice president for student and campus life, with the formation of search committees and the selection of search firms.

The committees will work to develop position descriptions that incorporate ideas solicited from campus stakeholders on the desired characteristics and competencies for each position. It is expected that the positions will be filled by next fall.

“The provost and vice president for student and campus life are critical to the success of the university,” said President David J. Skorton. “I am grateful to the members of both search committees for their dedication to finding and recruiting the strongest candidates for these positions.”

President-elect Elizabeth Garrett, who is chairing the Provost Search Committee, said of the searches: “The leaders selected will have substantial influence on Cornell’s future direction, and we look forward to identifying inspiring and visionary people for these key positions.”

The provost is the university’s chief academic officer and chief operating officer for the Ithaca campus and all related campuses, including Cornell Tech, and serves as the president’s first deputy officer. The provost oversees all academic programs and units of the university, other than those reporting to the provost for medical affairs. The provost also is responsible for strategic planning and budgeting, tenure and promotion, and academic and research initiatives.

In addition to Garrett, the members of the Provost Search Committee are:

  • Alan D. Mathios, vice chair, dean of the College of Human Ecology;
  • Gerard Aching, director of the Africana Studies and Research Center, professor of Romance studies;
  • Avery August, chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, professor of immunology;
  • Francine D. Blau, the Frances Perkins Professor of Industrial and Labor Relations, professor of economics;
  • Joanne M. DeStefano, vice president for finance and chief financial officer;
  • Deborah Estrin, professor of computer science at Cornell Tech, professor of health care policy and research at Weill Cornell Medical College;
  • Kimberly J. Haines-Eitzen, professor in the Departments of Near Eastern Studies and Classics, and the Religious Studies Program;
  • Graham S. Kerslick, executive director of the David R. Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future;
  • Jon M. Kleinberg, interim dean of the Faculty of Computing and Information Science, Tisch University Professor, professor in the Departments of Computer Science and Information Science, and chair of Information Science;
  • Gary Koretzky, dean of the Weill Cornell Graduate School and associate dean for research at Weill Cornell Medical College;
  • Amy McCune, professor and chair of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology;
  • Lois Pollack, professor of applied and engineering physics;
  • John A. Siliciano, senior vice provost for academic affairs;
  • Matthew Stefanko ’16, economics and government major; and
  • Catherine (Kai Weng) Wong, executive vice president of the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly.

The search firm Spencer Stuart, which recently assisted in Cornell’s presidential search, has been retained for the provost search, and Jennifer Bol and Chuck Jordan are the search leads. On campus the committee is being assisted by Debbie Philip, associate director for administrative human resources; Jane Miller, executive assistant to the president; and Lisa Yager, administrative assistant in the Office of the President.

A website for the provost search has been created, and questions can be sent to

Kathryn J. Boor ’80, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, is chairing the search for the vice president for student and campus life, formerly called vice president for student and academic services.

The vice president for student and campus life reports to the president and provides strategic leadership to one of the campus’s largest divisions, with nearly 4,000 staff and student employees. The unit provides comprehensive services to undergraduate and graduate students, including housing and dining, academic and career services, athletics and physical education, health services and community and public engagement opportunities.

In addition to Boor, members of the Vice President for Student and Campus Life Search Committee are:

  • Judith A. Appleton, vice provost and director of Engaged Cornell;
  • Edward E. Baptist, Carl Becker House professor and dean, and associate professor of history;
  • Juliana R. Batista ’16, executive vice president of the Student Assembly;
  • Laura S. Brown, senior vice provost for undergraduate education;
  • Sahara E. Byrne, associate professor of communication;
  • Janet L. Corson-Rikert, associate vice president for campus health;
  • Betsy R. East, assistant dean for student services, College of Engineering;
  • Cheryl Finley, associate professor of the history of art;
  • Stephanie Firehammer, Graduate and Professional Student Assembly representative;
  • Linda He ’15, Asian and Asian American Center intern, First Year Initiative Mentor Program coordinator;
  • Joel M. Malina, vice president for university relations; and
  • John Andrew Noel, director of athletics and physical education.

The search firm Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates, which specializes in higher education executive searches, has been retained. Staffing the search on campus are Hayley Harris, senior human resources consultant, and Miller and Yager from the Office of the President.

Questions and input on desired characteristics of the ideal candidate can be directed to, and nominations can be sent directly to the search firm at

Media Contact

Joe Schwartz