Thursday, 08 December 2016

UMich Provost Named Cornell's Fourteenth President
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Martha Pollack, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at the University of Michigan will succeed Elizabeth Garrett as Cornell’s 14th president. She will take office on April 17, 2017. A graduate of Dartmouth and the University of Pennslyvania, Pollack, fifty-eight, is an expert in artificial intelligence and will have tenured appointments in the departments of Computer Science and Information Science.

At a press conference in Myron Taylor Hall on November 14, Pollack spoke of the value of innovation and adaptability, her commitment to diversity, and the need for Cornell to “lead the way in demonstrating why universities are so important and what kind of impact they can have on the world.”

Pollack fielded questions regarding freedom of speech on campus, rising costs of higher education and student debt, and her role with Cornell Tech as a member of the steering committee of the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute.

When asked about her position as Cornell’s second female president she joked that when she joined the Computer Science department at Michigan, “there were more professors named Igor than there were female professors,” but added that “the job of the president is to serve everyone.”

Jan Rock Zubrow ’77, chair of the search committee highlighted Pollack’s outstanding leadership qualities, managerial skills, and ability to “bring people together” as reasons for her appointment. “She is uniquely qualified to realize our dream of ‘One Cornell,’ ” Zubrow said.

Pollack’s husband, engineer Ken Gottschlich, will join her as a member of the Cornell faculty.

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Bill Howard '74, Chairman
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