- 2011-2012 Cornell University Annual Report (22.7MB pdf)
Chronicle coverage: Provost taps eight key faculty to draft strategic plan
Dec. 18, 2009
Provost Kent Fuchs issued the following message to the Cornell community:
The following document provides my perspective on the academic task force reports that have been prepared during the course of this year. Some aspects of the reports focus primarily on budget savings, but many are aimed at using this difficult time as an historic opportunity to rethink the focus, scope and direction of our academic enterprise. A number of the proposals are ready for implementation, but for others I am requesting additional study and development. In all cases, I have sought to respect the need to accord individual academic units an appropriate degree of autonomy, while at the same time ensuring that all such decisions support and advance the overall strength of the university.
President Skorton and I want to offer our profound thanks to the task force members for their efforts in this critical undertaking. Of the many things that make us proud of our great university, none exceeds the deep and selfless commitment of those who serve it. We are very grateful for the work of the twenty academic task forces and for everyone who is contributing to our broad planning efforts. We look forward to working with you as we implement many of these exciting ideas in the coming year.
Very best wishes for a restful and enjoyable holiday season.
Provost Kent Fuchs
December 18, 2009
This document provides the perspective of the provost on the twenty academic task force reports www.cornell.edu/reimagining/taskforces.cfm. The next steps outlined here primarily deal with issues that require resolution at the university level. These include, but are not limited to, those that:
Issues and proposals contained in the task force reports that do not meet the above criteria and are not mentioned in this document should be treated as unit-specific issues, and the unit should move forward, consistent with its own internal decision-making processes. Input on unit-specific plans from faculty, staff, and students is encouraged. All academic units should inform the Provost's Office in advance of any significant actions resulting from their task force reports or from budget decisions. Units must also communicate and collaborate effectively with all other units that may be affected by their actions. All decisions related to the task force reports must have academic excellence as the highest priority. (See attached Statement by President Skorton on Criteria for Decisions). Over the next two months, priorities will be set for the work required to implement the initiatives resulting from the task force reports and this document.
Many issues and areas that are important to the future of the university are not addressed in the task force reports or in this document. The charge given to the task forces was limited to determining how Cornell should be organized and focused in the context of a significant reduction in resources and budgets. Cornell's longer-term priorities and aspirations will be addressed in the strategic planning document currently under development www.cornell.edu/reimagining/plan.cfm. A draft of that document will be available for comment by the Cornell community in March 2010.
While last year's budget cuts were, of necessity, across the board, we are committed to implementing further reductions in a way that protects, to the maximum degree possible, the university's core commitments to education, scholarship and outreach. To this end, we plan to address a significant portion of the remaining shortfall through a comprehensive initiative to reduce the expenditures from our administrative operations. The president and provost announced this week the process we are implementing to achieve these administrative savings www.cornell.edu/statements/2009/20091216-pmo-announcement.cfm.
There will continue to be long-term budget pressures beyond the current economic recession due to reductions in endowment payout, an expected reduction in funds from New York State, limited growth in external research funding, constraints on increasing tuition, higher demands for financial aid, and the slow return to pre-recession levels of fundraising. We must take appropriate and bold actions now that will position Cornell to be academically stronger in the context of these enduring budget pressures.
The decisions and next steps described below are organized into three groups:
Chronicle coverage: Library system will see changes, administrators say
Public Policy School/Institute
Student and Academic Services
Agriculture and Life Sciences
Architecture, Art, and Planning
Proceed with the planning of a design-centered college/school, e.g., a College of Design. This process includes the following initiatives
Arts and Sciences
Computing and Information Science
Continuing Education and Summer Sessions
Industrial and Labor Relations
Johnson Graduate School of Management