Statement of President Martha E. Pollack on War in Ukraine

President Martha E. Pollack issued the following statement March 2:

Over the last week, the world has watched Russia’s deplorable and unprovoked invasion of the sovereign nation of Ukraine, an attack that is both devastating for the people of Ukraine and has deeply impacted countless others, including members of our own community. My heart goes out to each of them.

We have reached out directly to our students from Ukraine and Russia to offer support and resources. We have confirmed that no Cornell students, faculty, or staff are registered to be in Ukraine or Russia at this time. Nor do we have any academic programs currently operating in Ukraine or Russia.

The Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, of which I am a member, has taken the lead in pushing for protections and work permits for Ukrainian students. And I assure you that Cornell will work to offer safe harbor and refuge to scholars and students displaced by the unrest, as we have after other international tragedies.

Cornell’s rich diversity of lived experience, knowledge, and understanding positions us to convene thoughtful conversations about an extraordinarily difficult moment in history. Professor Emeritus and Nobel Laureate Roald Hoffmann coordinated a statement signed by 163 Nobel Laureates, which I urge you to read. Numerous Cornell faculty members have spoken to the crisis and its implications in national and global media. And on Friday afternoon, the university is hosting a faculty panel that is open to the public.  

As is always true during times of crisis, our community must, and I know will, rise to support one another. I hope fervently for a rapid, peaceful, and just resolution to this terrible situation.

Media Contact

Rebecca Valli