University Statements


President's statement on changes in external relations

March 28, 2013

I write to announce some changes that will be occurring in the university's external relations organization.

Our colleague, Steve Johnson, recently told me of his decision to retire after 40 years of dedicated service to Cornell University. In his roles as assistant vice president for government relations, heading the Washington lobbying office, and most recently as vice president for government and community relations, Steve has given exemplary service to the Cornell community and to the people of Ithaca, Tompkins County, New York state and our country. He has advocated for effective legislative action to help support the educational, research, health care and public engagement missions of Cornell and others in higher education and, in so doing, has had an enormously positive effect on us all.

I hope our community will join me in commending and thanking Steve for his long and dedicated service to Cornell and in wishing him well as he enters this new phase in the coming months.

Glenn Altschuler, the Thomas and Dorothy Litwin Professor of American Studies and Dean of the School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions has, in addition to these ongoing responsibilities, served with distinction as vice president for university relations for the past four years; a role he will relinquish when a new vice president is recruited.

We are now commencing a search for the vice president for university relations, and the search firm of Spencer Stuart has been engaged to assist with the effort. Steve will continue in his current role until that new vice president is hired, and he will serve for several months in a transition role to complete projects on which he has taken leadership.

The vice president for university relations will report directly to me and will be responsible for overseeing Cornell's external relations functions, including Government and Community Relations and University Communications, ably led by Vice President Tommy Bruce. The vice president will help advance our efforts to even more closely coordinate our government and community relations advocacy with our various communications messages in this challenging legislative and communications environment.

David J. Skorton,
President