ROBERT HARRISON: Welcome to the 65th Joint Annual Meeting of the Board of Trustees and the Cornell University Counsel. This morning, it is my honor to welcome President Elizabeth Garrett, to her first Trustee Council meeting, and Frank and Rosa Rhodes our ninth president and his wife-- Frank and Rosa are attending their 38th Trustee Council weekend-- the former Chairman of the Board, my predecessor, Pete Meinig and his wife Nancy, Pete's predecessor, Chairman Harold Tanner, our new provost, Mike Kotlikoff.
And also joining me this morning is my daughter, Justine, class of 2017. And I'm thrilled that she's here today despite having very carefully rearranged her schedule to be able to sleep in on Friday mornings. And a very special welcome to all of you.
It has been an incredible year of celebration for Cornellians everywhere beginning last September with the sesquicentennial kick-off and culminating this September with the inauguration of Cornell's 13th President Elizabeth Garrett. Beth's official inauguration on a perfect, sunny day, at a beautiful ceremony on the Arts quad, was not the only event in September that left Cornellians with a big, red glow. A week later, our Astronomy department arranged for a rare lunar eclipse that lit up the nighttime sky with a spectacular big, red moon proving that we are not just the land grant university to the world, but as one Cornellian posted on Facebook that night, "we are really a conspiracy to paint the universe Cornell red."
Now, it is my honor to introduce the five newly elected members of the Board of Trustees, who are joining us here today as trustees for the first time. These are exceptional, engaged, and loyal Cornellians. And it is my privilege to welcome them to the governing body of the University.
First is Yamini Bhandari, class of '17, our undergraduate student trustee. Yamini was born in India, but moved to Princeton when she was two years old. And at Cornell, she has served on the student assembly for two terms, the Pan-Hellenic Council, and the President's Council for Sexual Violence Prevention. And I'm sure that Yamini is the only trustee who is both an archer and a harpist in her spare time. Welcome to the board Yamini. And please note that bows and arrows are not permitted in either Trustee meetings or University Council meetings, except when absolutely necessary.
David Einhorn, class of 1991 in the College of Arts and Sciences, is the founder of Greenlight Capital, a long short hedge fund, and the author of "Fooling Some of the People All of the Time, A Long Short Story." David is married to his classmate Cheryl Strauss Einhorn. And they have both been incredible supporters of and advocates for Engage Cornell, a major initiative launched last year to establish real-world learning experience as a hallmark of the Cornell undergraduate education. David and Cheryl have three children, Rachel, Cornell class of 2019, Naomi and Mitchell. Welcome to the board, David.
Next, is alumni elected trustee Stephanie Keene Fox, class of '89, from the School of Hotel Administration. Stephanie is the immediate past president of the Cornell Alumni Association and the Chair of Alumnae Engagement for the President's Council of Cornell Women. She lives in Winnetka, Illinois with her husband and four future Cornellians. Welcome to the board, Stephanie.
Tom Groos, class of 1978 from the Arts College, is a partner in City Light Capital, which is an impact venture capital firm that invests in companies that have the potential both to make money and to benefit society and the environment. At Cornell, Tom has been actively engaged in the University Council, the President's Circle, and the class of '78 reunion events. Tom and his wife, Lisa, have two children, Julie and Nicholas, class of 2009. Welcome to the board, Tom.
Mary Miller, class of 1977 from the Arts College. Mary only recently became available to serve on the board because she had been the US Treasury Department Undersecretary for Domestic Finance helping revive the American economy in the aftermath of the great recession. While Mary has been an active Cornellian over the years with the University Council and with PCCW, her roots in Ithaca actually go back 50 years when her father, Professor James John, joined the history department here. Mary and her husband James live in Baltimore and have two sons, James, class of 2012, and Thomas. Mary on a personal note, I think you've done a remarkable job of keeping all the James' in your life straight. And from a Cornell perspective, I wish you had been available for service to the University in addition to the country during the financial crisis. Welcome back.
And finally, let me introduce Jonathan Poe, class of 1982 from the Engineering College. Jonathan has served in senior executive roles at Cisco, General Electric, and Lockheed Martin, and has published over 200 papers on the value of technology. At Cornell, he has been active for more than 35 years in various capacities, including the University Council, the Alumni Association, and the Ambassador Network. Jonathan lives in Menlo Park with his wife, also a Cornellian, and Vitulo, class of 1977. Jonathan, we are thrilled to have another West Coast trustee, particularly someone who can help us build Cornell Tech on Roosevelt Island to put Silicon Valley in its place.
Welcome to all the new trustees. The theme of this year's Trustee Council weekend is Global Cornell, which is particularly inspiring as a topic for me personally. In my day job, I work for President Clinton at the Clinton Global Initiative, known as CGI, where we bring together organizations that can make a meaningful difference in solving some of the world's biggest challenges, like extreme poverty, illiteracy, disease, and climate change. For 10 years, President Clinton has convened leaders from the public sector, the private sector, and the nonprofit sector, including educational institutions like Cornell, to address seemingly intractable problems. And contrary to what many believe, collectively, we are making a huge difference.
In a recent New York Times column, Nick Kristof pointed out that when Americans are asked about global challenges like extreme poverty, surveys indicate that an incredible 95% believe that extreme poverty has either substantially worsened or at least not improved in the past 20 years. In fact, 95% of the country is dead wrong. According to World Bank data, the proportion of the world's population living in extreme poverty has plummeted from 35% in 1993 to 9.6% in 2015. Eliminating extreme poverty is completely doable in the next 20 years if we just continue on the trend line.
And we should all be very, very proud of Cornell because Cornell is in the vanguard of these efforts. Examples I hear about every day at CGI include Cornell students and faculty making a difference on a global scale. One involves the rice intensification technology that Cornell is bringing to farmers in Bhutan, Madagascar, Thailand, and Cambodia to enable them to double and triple rice yields using less water, less land, and fewer chemicals. Cornell is the global leader in this rice production method bringing it to over 10 million smallholder farmers and poor farmers across the world. This is a big deal given that rice is the staple food for more than half of the world's population.
Another involves a team of 80 Cornell students from various colleges who are designing and building the first primary school in earthquake ravaged Haiti that will focus on kids with mental and physical disabilities. They are working on sustainable architecture design, curriculum development, and fundraising, and hope to open the school for the 2016-2017 academic year.
Then there's the Tata-Cornell Agriculture and Nutrition Initiative, which addresses malnutrition and rural development in India. Its priorities include improving access to safe drinking water and sanitation, without which there can be serious illness and permanent barriers to physical and cognitive development.
A final example is the Weill Bugando program in Tanzania, which provides both an immersive educational experience for Cornell undergraduates, but also quality medical care and health services for the local population. Weill Cornell physicians partner with Tanzanian physicians and medical students and deal with the daily health care challenges in the region, including HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, and tetanus.
These are just a few examples of the great work that Cornell is doing to reduce extreme poverty. I have seen some of this through CGI, where 74 Cornell students have attended meetings of CGI University since 2008 and made measurable commitments to take action. But there are countless other Cornell projects that are improving health care, nutrition, education, sanitation, and the environment. And we should all be very, very proud to be part of Global Cornell Land Grant University to the world. Thank you.
Now, I'd like to introduce a role model of an engaged Cornellian, Jay Carter, class of 1971, and chair of the University Council. Jay also heads the Varsity Club and the Alumni Association for sprint football, which he still plays 47 years after starting as a freshman. He has been an active member of the Ambassador Network for many years and an emeritus member of the Engineering College Council. Jay's wife, Julie, is also a Cornell classmate. And they have two daughters, Jess and Jackie, Cornell class of 2007. Please join me in welcoming Jay Carter.
JAY CARTER: Bob, thank you so much. And good morning, Council. And I think it's appropriate, though, also to say good afternoon to our colleagues in Europe and good evening to our colleagues in Asia, who are watching this via live stream today. And so, Bob, I think your remarks about global-- I just want to make sure everybody realizes we Council are a global organization as well.
I just want to do three things today, a few brief introductions, comment a little bit about last year's results, and then a thought for the future. So first of all, I'd like to introduce our immediate past chair who needs no introduction and who so capably filled in for me last year, Katrina James. Katrina.
Next, I'd like to do something that perhaps is a little bit on the ambitious side. But I would like to ask every elected member of Council and every life member of Council to please stand. President Garrett, I present to you University Council. We are at your service.
OK, now I just would like to move into one of what I think was the highlights of the Council's accomplishments last year. And to do that, I want to just set a little context. And I know everyone by now understands the mission statement of Council. And remember, it's summarized by those three words, inform, engage, and inspire. We put that mission statement into action via our role model behavior and our outreach. And to me, the heart of that outreach is our Ambassador program. And while Bob mentioned in the introduction about being an Ambassador as if we've been doing this for a long time, it was four years ago, I'll say today, at this meeting, that we just launched the Ambassador program.
And in that first year, only four years ago, we had 64 of us participate as Ambassadors and represented the University 87 times giving updates. This past year, we had 190 participants, so effectively half of the elected members of Council, delivering 630 updates, a sevenfold increase in four years. So that is just, to me, absolutely amazing.
And I especially want to thank Mary Granger for all of the work that she did, and especially bringing us into the 21st century by including social media presence as a way of performing updates on behalf of the University. And we just need to keep doing more and more of that in addition to our formal and informal methods. So absolutely great and what a highlight.
Now, I'd like to segue from that and our outreach mission, but I think very much in line with it, and move to some thoughts on the future. And for this, I really need everybody in this room to help me with and invite you to try to imagine a situation. And that situation is what would Cornell look like in the near future if two thirds of our alumni were engaged with the University? So you can start thinking about that. And I just want to throw in a few definitions.
So when I say engaged I first think of the traditional time, talent, treasure. But I would also include a word presence. And presence could be attending a regional Cornell club meeting. It could be going on vacation with Cornell Adult University. Or it could be what some of our colleagues are doing today, viewing a live stream or a video recording of this event. All that, to me, is getting people started engaging with the University.
And when we think of some of the numbers, we have approximately 250,000 living alumni. So if about a third are engaged today, around 80,000 roughly. So what I'm proposing is what would it look like if Cornell had 160,000 of our alumni engaged with Cornell?
So I see some looks saying well, that doesn't sound possible. How could we possibly do something like that when we appear to be almost stalled out over the last couple of years with a level of engagement?
Well, first, I would say that I live in New Jersey at the moment about 15 miles from Princeton University. And their alumni affairs people tell me they have two thirds or more of their alumni engaged with Princeton. So to me, that's an existence proof that it can be done.
And yet, I can see some-- and I know I've had conversations with some before that said, well, they're different. They're different. So what they do doesn't apply to us.
Well, I see Andy Noel sitting out here. And when we play Princeton in sports, he doesn't say they're different. They put their uniforms on the same way. And we go and play Princeton and we expect to win. We don't necessarily win all the time, but we expect that, right?
And also, and I'm told somewhere towards the back of the room I guess so he can maybe get out early today, the Dean of our Engineering College happens to be a Princeton alum. And if you were to ask him what are the top three engineering colleges in this country guess who would not be on the list? And just for the record, the top three are Cornell, MIT, and Stanford.
And so, different maybe, but there's an existence proof that we can do this. We can do this. But so you say, OK, maybe we can. So what's next?
I think everybody's heard of crowdsourcing. I want to go one step better. Let's Council source, Council source. So that is harnessing the imagination, the thoughts, the ideas of every person in this room to help paint an image of what impact, what could we do for Cornell if we had that level of engagement.
I've seen Randy Rosenberg here today and over the weekend, who, to me, is Mr. CAAAN, so Cornell Alumni Admissions Ambassador network. And how many more-- we have about 10,000 CAAAN ambassadors right now. How many more might we have with a greater number of engagement? How many more student applicants could we interface with if we had that level of engagement?
Yesterday, a tremendous panel on career services, as always with four students, which was really the highlight of it. But ask ourselves, what more could we do for our students in terms of mentoring, externships, internships, and jobs if we doubled the level of alumni that were engaged with the university?
And then finally, just as the last example, our faculty. How much easier would it be to attract, retain, and potentially partner with our faculty if we had a twofold level of engagement?
But again, I'm not the most imaginative guy in the world. And that's where I could really use your help. So I invite you, whether it's today, tomorrow, or in the future, via email, firstname.lastname@example.org, send me your thoughts. I would really, really appreciate that. And I absolutely believe-- and there's one last line at the bottom of our mission statement for Council that says, help propel broad recognition of Cornell to one of the top 10 universities in the world. And if we could engage twice the number of our alumni, I think we would help put ourselves well on the way to accomplishing that. With that, thank you. And go big red.
ROBERT HARRISON: Thank you, Jay. That was great. And now, it is my pleasure to welcome President Elizabeth Garrett to her first Trustee Council Annual Meeting and her first State of the University Address. At her inauguration in September, it was frequently noted that Beth hit the ground running when she took office on July 1.
Well, she's accelerated her pace in this fall semester. She's continued to meet with alumni around the globe. She has spoken and listened at each of our student faculty and employee assemblies on campus. She's addressed a Greek leadership conference. She's visited students and faculty at the New York State agricultural experiment station in Geneva, at Weill Cornell Medical College, and at Cornell Tech in New York City. She's turned her home into a gathering place for faculty. She's met with community leaders on local issues ranging from health care and economic development to challenges specific to Ithaca's low-income and disenfranchised populations. And she's done a spectacular job as Cornell's leading spokesperson.
A couple of weeks ago, a media stop in New York City generated national coverage in the New York Post, Bloomberg News, Fox and CNN on hard hitting topics, like why politically correct trigger warnings are indefensible as a matter of academic freedom, why the cost of an undergraduate education at a top residential research university like Cornell is a great investment, and why Congress should not regulate the way universities spend their endowments. From Ithaca to New York City and beyond, media are paying attention.
I honestly cannot wait to see what happens in the second 100 days of your administration President Garrett. It is now my honor to introduce the 13th president of Cornell University, Elizabeth Garrett.
ELIZABETH GARRETT: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thanks very much. Thank you. Thank you, all. Thank you, Bob. I am so pleased to welcome Trustees and Council members and to thank all of you for your extraordinary work and unparalleled philanthropic participation during the past year. I am so impressed by the dedication and commitment of our Trustees and Council volunteers, who span the generations of support from 1937 to 2009.
The late Morris Bishop once observed, "there can be no great creation without a dream. Giant towers rest on a foundation of visionary purpose." My inaugural address, a few weeks ago, was intended to place the visionary purpose of Ezra Cornell and Andrew Dickson White in the context of the present and future Cornell.
Let's begin with faculty because the faculty has been, and continues to be, the foundation of Cornell's excellence. We have raised, during this campaign, $638 million for faculty support, including $575 million in endowment gifts for faculty and $59 million for faculty renewal. We must maintain our momentum and stay on track to hire 80 to 100 new faculty this academic year, and perhaps more in each of the coming years.
Therefore, one of our continuing priorities for the remainder of the campaign, and afterwards, is to secure additional philanthropic support to support the work that our professors do. Funds to enable them to produce the best creative and research work and to continue to inspire our students and our classrooms, work and funds to support graduate students and post-doctoral fellows, funds for their research and institutes and start up packages, and funds for additional endowed chairs. This will be crucial to attracting top faculty and retaining the terrific faculty we have, who are being targeted by the top universities around the world.
Assistant professors are the future of our research, scholarship, creative work, public mission and teaching. And we have had impressive success in hiring top tier junior faculty. This year, 10 of those junior faculty members received career awards from the National Science Foundation, with another award awarded pending funding in the next fiscal year. This is an unusually high number of career awards in the country. And it augers well for Cornell's future.
Consider, for example, Associate Professor William Dichtel, an organic chemist who joined Cornell's faculty as an Assistant Professor in 2008, and himself was an NSF Career Award recipient in 2011. Will has pioneered the use of porous polymers that are useful for a wide range of applications from storing electric charge to purifying water to sensing trace amounts of explosives. Will just last month was selected for a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship.
Two other mid-career faculty members, Hening Lin, Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, and Olga Boudker, Associate Professor of Physiology and Biophysics at Weill Cornell Medicine, were selected as Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigators. Only 26 awards were made in the last funding cycle, so it is very impressive to have two Cornell faculty receive this honor. And they join Michelle Wang, a professor of physics and cell and developmental biology, who is in her second five-year term as an HHMI investigator. All three of these began their careers at Cornell as assistant professors.
Although we have a long track record of success with respect to junior hires, it is also important for Cornell to hire more faculty at senior levels who can inject additional energy and new perspectives into our academic community. Here on the Ithaca campus, we are fortunate to have attracted a number of rising stars, including Lisa Kaltenegger, Associate Professor of Astronomy and Director of the Carl Sagan Institute, who joined us from one of the Max Planck Institutes in Germany. Lisa's research and teaching focus on potentially habitable planets beyond our solar system and may help answer the age old question that Cornellian's have long asked, are we alone in the universe? She joins a very strong department, one I am so proud of, in astronomy because they're all helping us understand the world we live in.
Just about a year ago, Jonathan Lunine, David C. Duncan Professor in the Physical Sciences, became the first American to win the Cassini Medal for his research in planetary science.
Steve Squires, the James A. Week's Professor of Physical Science, who many of you know for his leadership on the Mars Rover expedition, is currently developing a major proposal to send a spacecraft to a comet and return a sample to earth. Cornell provided early developmental funding for Steve's proposal. And he just received a $1 million award from NASA for maturing some specific technologies needed to acquire the sample and bring it back to Earth. And through this support and some other, Steve will be able to submit a major proposal for this comet mission in 2017.
Our commitment to great faculty spans the disciplines. In the humanities, Klarman Hall, set to open January of next year, will provide state-of-the-art facilities for the humanities, a strong selling point when we recruit new faculty and when we work to retain our excellent humanities faculty already here. We are so grateful to Seth and Beth Klarman, and to so many others who helped to make this building a reality, for their commitment to the humanities as a central and essential part of a Cornell education.
Among the outstanding humanities professors we've hired recently is Penny von Eschen, the L. Sanford and Joe Mills Reese Professor of Humanities, who joined us from Michigan. Penny's scholarship explores the history of the United States and global and transnational dimensions, and includes the role of literature, popular culture, and mass media representations in the making of foreign policy. Her next book, to which I am looking forward, will be called Cold War Nostalgia and probe the narratives and stories that circulated in the aftermath of the fall of the East bloc.
With social sciences faculty leadership we recently competed successfully to be the new home of the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research, a leading archive of data from public opinion surveys. Peter Enns, Associate Professor of Government and the first Executive Director of Roper Center at Cornell, notes that faculty and students here now have the opportunity to work with Roper Center staff to incorporate public opinion survey data into their work.
As the Roper Center at Cornell demonstrates, all of us in the disciplines are increasingly using big data as we work to solve some of the world's most intractable problems. So it's not surprising that faculty, staff, and students from over 80 Cornell departments and institutes rely on the Cornell University Center for Advanced Computing for services that range from high performance computing systems and storage to programming database development and web portal design. The Center for Advanced Computing, in partnership with two other universities, has just been awarded a five year nearly $5 million grant from the NSF to establish a federated cloud computing system for researchers working in seven different areas from Earth and atmospheric science to finance to food science. This new award will let us develop and demonstrate better tools for seamlessly and efficiently sharing cloud computing resources in the research space.
Now I've mentioned a few of the research awards we've received recently. And there are many others. But I think it's important to recognize that even in this world of very tight federal funding, we are competing well against other universities. For awards from the NIH, for example, Weill Cornell's success rate is 28%. Our Ithaca campus's success rate is 24%. The national success rate, 18%.
We do spectacularly well in NSF competitions, as you know. And that's been a long characteristic of Cornell. This year, we received 135 proposals-- well, that's fiscal year 2014, the last one for which we've reported-- which is a 35% success rate.
Going forward, we must be even more aggressive in competing for limited governmental service funding. But we also must be very creative in seeking support for the research in all of our disciplines from industry, from foundations, and philanthropic support. We must broaden our strengths in obtaining large center grants and submit even more proposals to the NSF and NIH across all the disciplines. We must continue to target other federal agencies. And we must seek philanthropic support for innovative and creative research, which perhaps may serve as the basis for a proposal later on, or which will support our researchers in those areas for which external funding is more difficult to find.
With regard to government funding, both in Ithaca and at Weill Cornell, we are working to provide enhanced and more consistent help with proposal preparation and internal review prior to submission. The Office of Research in Ithaca has just created a staff position to provide enhanced support for proposal advancement. And we will focus primarily on competitions for large, extramural, multiinvestigator grants and contracts, including center and facility proposals, training grant proposals, and major awards in areas of strategic importance to Cornell. Weill Cornell Medicine already has such a team. And we will coordinate to submit more cross campus proposals.
It's important to note that even in today's climate, we believe that when the books close on fiscal year '15, it will show that our research expenditures have actually increased by 8%. That's really quite noteworthy. And in fairness, it is led by Weill Cornell, which has expanded the support through strategic partnerships with corporations and industry. Weill Cornell is demonstrating that with appropriate safeguards such funding can spur biomedical discoveries without compromising academic freedom or integrity. And we plan to take that approach across all of our campuses.
Now, as many of you know, we are going to be beginning a strategic planning process that will take the next 18 to 24 months. And we'll be led by Provost Kotlikof on this campus working with Weill Cornell. We will have opportunities for all of our constituencies, faculty, students, staff, and alumni, to provide input into our strategic vision for the next 10 years.
But even before that, I think we can identify some areas of strength at Cornell that we will continue to emphasize. Let me suggest just a few. First, sustainability and energy are longstanding strengths and may offer opportunities for creative development, including by exploring ways to more fully use our campuses as a living laboratories for faculty and students to pioneer new technology and operations that are more sustainable in Ithaca, New York City, and elsewhere. Our work here is very interdisciplinary and typified by the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, which also works deeply to integrate our research into our teaching and other public missions.
A second area to consider for increased emphasis is the visual and performing arts at Cornell. Like the humanities, the arts are fundamental to the education of every Cornell student. They help us understand what it is to be truly human. Our resources for the visual arts are notable, a range of courses, programs and of course, the spectacular collection in our Johnson Museum of Art.
We will be focusing on a more comprehensive and coordinated approach called Arts at Cornell, led by Dean Kent Kleinman. And we'll include all the disciplines. Some of the most interesting arts collaborations have been across the arts and the sciences, as those two disciplines learn new things about themselves by seeing themselves through the eyes of the other.
A third area of emphasis, and long area of excellence, is material sciences and engineering. The Cornell Nanoscale Science and Technology facility and advanced support facility that enables work across a broad range of fields recently received an $8 million grant from NSF to be part of the national nanotechnology coordinated infrastructure. New York state's economic development arm then agreed to provide $3 million in matching funds.
Also, building on our leadership in material sciences and nanotechnology, Cornell is now partnering with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and opening a $10 million Center of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence bringing together physicians, engineers, biologists, and scientists to develop and translate cancer care and new techniques through nanotechnology. The Center will have a location in Duffield Hall and one in New York City. And we're going to focus first on what we call C dots, or Cornell dots, that allow us to deliver therapies for melanoma and malignant brain cancer.
A final and fourth area of emphasis will of course be entrepreneurship, a multifaceted strength at Cornell. Forbes magazine recently rated us number four in terms of the most entrepreneurial research university for producing students with startup talent. We are announcing today that we are formally beginning a partnership with Blackstone Launchpad designed to lower barriers for students to develop their entrepreneurial ideas and to stay within the region in order to develop those ideas or to join the workforce with an entrepreneurial mindset.
And of course, our faculty are very entrepreneurial. And we had a record breaking year last year where we brought out a record number of startups, nine from Weill Cornell, seven from Ithaca. And we had 34 licenses with royalty terms. We intend to surpass those records this year.
Entrepreneurship is at the heart of Cornell Tech, both in graduate degree programs and the runway post-doctoral program, an exceptional program for post Ph.D. Researchers looking to create viable businesses. After all, Cornell was founded by an entrepreneur and the entrepreneurial spirit has always characterized what we do. Cornell Tech is just helping us make that more salient to the rest of the world.
The second major theme of my inaugural address was our students, undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Our students are simply amazing. And we are dedicated to making sure that the rest of the world knows or their talents, their ambitions, their courage, and their grace.
Many of us have been watching a great group of our students on Nat Geo Wild. As you know, their videographer spent the last year filming behind the scenes at Cornell's Veterinary Medicine School, the very best school of veterinary medicine, not just in the nation, but in the world. This show captures the reality of vet student life. And it's a terrific way for more people to know about this jewel of Cornell.
Graduate and professional students have a deep and enduring academic relationship with our faculty. And it is important to provide ample support, so they both contribute to and gain from the academic experience at Cornell. In my first address to Cornell's graduate and professional student assembly at the end of August, I announced several major initiatives to improve the graduate and professional student experience. We continue to work with our graduate and professional student leaders to enhance their time at Cornell and to ensure their professional success after they leave us.
We are also implementing new graduate and professional degrees at Ithaca, Weill Cornell, and Cornell Tech. Weill Cornell Medicine recently added two Master's degrees taught through their Department of Health Care Policy and Research, one in health informatics and one in health economics and policy.
In addition, Weill Cornell is embarking on a new venture in collaboration with the Samuel Kurdish Johnson Graduate School of Management to establish a novel MBA/MS program for health professionals. And a new Master's of Public Health degree is being created on the Ithaca campus pulling together experts in infectious diseases, epidemiology, and policy.
As you know, at Cornell Tech, we offer several new innovative Master's degrees, including one Master's in Information Science with a specialty in connected media, and another that focuses on healthy living. Both of these are through our Jacobs Center with the Technion in Israel. And the students graduate with two degrees, one from Technion, one from Cornell.
There's also a one year Johnson Cornell Tech MBA. And the Law School will soon be embarking on a new LLM program in law, technology, and entrepreneurship.
A few weeks ago, I welcomed to Cornell the first students in a new MBA program offered by Johnson and Tsinghua University in Shanghai. students in the 21-month program are taught in both English and Mandarin and earn degrees from both universities.
The Hotel School has just launched its first dual degree in collaboration with China Europe International Business School. And has two similar programs in Korea and Spain in the works.
As we plan for our future, we will explore how to encourage additional collaborations of this sort leading to degrees from more than one global university with impact, Cornell and another university. These sorts of programs will keep Cornell at the forefront of higher education, and at the Master's level, will also generate revenue for our schools as well. Although our objective will always be academic excellence and consequence.
I also anticipate significantly more for-profit, online or hybrid programs, like ILR's new Executive Master's in Human Resource Management, where students work largely online, but do come and assemble in person periodically throughout the course.
Now, at the undergraduate level, we're going to use our strategic vision process to think about what should every Cornell student experience as the Cornell undergraduate experience. But again, I think we already know where we're going to end up in some cases.
Engaged Cornell, a 10-year, $150 million initiative seeded with a $50 million commitment from the Einhorn Family Trust, aims to establish community engagement and real world learning as a hallmark of the Cornell undergraduate experience. This year, we made our first curriculum grants. And the funded projects are so exciting. You'll all want to come back to school when you hear it.
They range from primate conservation in partnership with the Jane Goodall Institute to a college and prison program in partnership with the New York Departments of Corrections. We'll be opening the Engaged Cornell hub in Kennedy Hall in 2016. And we'll co-locate the nine entities at Cornell who work in this field in a very open, collaborative space. We're also going to be involving Engage Cornell with Global Cornell, so that our students are engaged not just in our local and national community, but around the world.
Think about some of the global opportunities that we offer our students. Take for example the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, who has a goal along with the rest of us of increasing the number of students who participate in international experiences. Andy Paul has provided support for a new CALS Global Fellows program that is providing support to 25 to 30 undergraduate students each year in their pursuit of challenging professionally focused internships to enhance and compliment their career goals through cultural immersion internationally.
These and many other experiences are enhancing our undergraduate experience. And I know we will continue to focus on that in the strategic planning. And we have to continue to improve our student experience outside the classroom.
As part of the strategic planning process, Vice President Ryan Lombardi will lead an analysis of housing for undergraduates and graduate students and consider whether we should begin to discuss additional residence halls on the Ithaca campus, as well as working to solve challenges in College Town. Ryan is analyzing his organizational structure to ensure that our primary goal is always supporting the safety and well-being of our students. He's already seen the need to augment and examine the support we provide students from traditionally under-represented populations through our advocacy centers and elsewhere on campus. And he'll be working with our leaders in Career Services to ensure that we are the very best university with respect to the support we provide students on their career planning from the time they enter to the time that they graduate, so they are on a trajectory for a career that they want.
Now, I spoke about the global opportunities for our students. And I know, as you do, that we are a global institution. For several years, Cornell has discussed opening offices or bureaus or missions in key areas of the world to facilitate all of our global connections. And I have found various faculty reports, including one just this summer, that supports such an approach.
So today, I am pleased to announce that we will be opening our first international office this academic year in Shanghai, China. We currently have 75 separate memorandums of agreement with Chinese institutions with new ones being negotiated. Our East Asia studies program is world renowned. More than 125 Cornell undergraduates studied in China last year. And more than 1,600 Chinese students, including 500 undergraduates studied at Cornell. More than 1,200 Cornell alumni live in China, and 300 in Shanghai alone.
So our new office in Shanghai, which we are busy planning even now, will serve the entire Cornell community, faculty, students, staff, alumni, and promote Cornell's visibility in the region. The office will also convene conferences every one or two years in Shanghai with the first one on sustainability planned for the 2016-17 academic year.
In the office, we will include admissions staff to help us bring even more students and excellent students in undergraduate and graduate levels. And we will focus on our connections to our alumni. I am grateful to presidential councillors Jim and Becky Morgan, who have provided the seed funds to establish the new Shanghai office and who challenged me and my team to set out objective goals and metrics, so that we can assess our success. We hope Shanghai will be only the first of many such offices. And with your help, we are ready to move forward aggressively in the world.
The third and final theme of my inaugural address was a need for cross campus connections. The 20th century writer Ralph Ellison once said, "education is a matter of building bridges." And in our 21st century world, his observation applies to all facets of our mission, education, research, and outreach. We already have many cross campus collaborations, but we must have more. We must do better in this area.
But let me give you a few examples that are either existing or are going to come in the near future. Students in Human Ecology's Urban Semester program in New York City participate in a wide array of internship experiences and engage with Weill Cornell Medicine and other New York City health care providers, so they can explore fundamental issues of health disparities and income inequality.
The college is also working to establish a new Master's program in Fashion Studies in New York City that will coordinate with our Ithaca based Cornell Institute of Fashion and Fiber Innovation and with Cornell Tech with regard to entrepreneurship.
Precision medicine is another area with great potential for cross campus synergy. As you know, precision medicine exploits our growing ability to tailor treatments to the genetic profile of individual patients. Having already performed comprehensive genomic testing on about 300 patients over two years who have cancer, the Carol and Israel Englander Institute for Precision Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine is poised to lead the national charge in making personalized medicine the standard of care for all Americans.
The Institute received a generous gift from the Englander family to widen its mission and include additional diseases, like metabolic diseases, cardiovascular diseases, genetic disorders, and respiratory diseases, and to allow us to offer precision medicine to as many as 6,000 cancer patients a year. When President Obama announced a major national initiative in this area, Dr. Mark Rubin, the Englander Institute's Founding Director, was among those few invited to the White House for the announcement.
But to fully realize our potential in precision medicine, we must have the insights of people who are knowledgeable about health policy, people who can examine how our new capabilities relate to health benefits and other issues in the workplace, people who can help elucidate the legal issues involved, people such as those in the Healthier Life hub at Cornell Tech who can combine big data with small data to ensure that we all live healthier lives. We need researchers and students from the new Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering to help us translate what we discover in the lab to therapies that make a difference in lives.
And finally, we must have humanists involved who help us confront ethical issues and use the wide range of expression to convey what we know and how it effects us as individuals and a community. That is why the best work in this field, indeed in any field of research, is done at a comprehensive research university like Cornell, where the insights of all of the disciplines can be brought to bear on the most important issues of our day.
A couple of other interesting connections across the campuses. The College of Engineering is interested in designing programming to maximize the synergy between the campuses. And they've set aside funds to allow faculty to visit four campuses and interact, our campus in Ithaca, Weill Cornell, Cornell Tech, and the Technion in Haifa. In addition, the college is now working on a five-year entrepreneurship program, freshman year through M. Eng, which would allow a Cornell freshman admitted into the program to know that she would have a seat at Cornell Tech before she graduates.
The College of Arts and Sciences has several courses planned or in the works to take students to New York City for engaged learning experiences. Dean's Ritter and Huttnelocher are discussing the creation of internships and educational programs for undergraduate arts and sciences students from the social sciences and the humanities who are interested in pursuing graduate and career opportunities in digital and social media realms. Now, these are discussions at the early stages, but they show some of the promise that we have now that we have these dual footprints, one in Ithaca and one in New York City.
And so, in order to encourage these cross campus collaborations I have decided to use funds that several trustees recently made available, to be used at my discretion, to begin a new program providing feasibility and planning grants to create new academic programs that span Cornell Tech and Ithaca. Provost Kotlikoff, whose office will oversee this process, will first set out a vision for such programs and then provide seed funding for a few of the most promising that are unlike any of the programs we currently have underway at Cornell Tech and that can be sustainable in the long run through revenue that the programs generate.
I thank Andrew Tisch, Lowell McAdam, and Paul Gould for their support that has made this fund possible. And I hope it will prompt others who support these kinds of collaborations to consider how they can be involved.
Now, if all of this sounds like an ambitious agenda-- and trust me this was just what I could fit into 30 minutes. We have other things. It is also one in keeping with Cornell's tradition of pushing boundaries and expanding horizons through innovation. I find the words of Cornell's third President Jacob Gould Sherman to be heartening as we enter this new era for Cornell. "Cornell is dedicated to truth and to utility. And between these, there is no incompatibility," Sherman assured us. "For as Plato has well said, the divinest things are the most serviceable. We are at once realistic and idealistic. And while we cherish the old, we are always in quest of something better."
So as both idealists and realists, let us build on the visionary purpose of Ezra Cornell and Andrew Dickson White. And let us embrace the quest for something better that is also part of our heritage. I am so pleased that you are our partners on this journey. And together, we will take Cornell to an even higher level of excellence and global influence. Thank you very much.
ROBERT HARRISON: That was not bad for the first time. All of us on the Council and the Board are very much looking forward to working with you for many, many years to come.
Now, I invite all of you to remain here for the next session of Trustee Council weekend, which is a conversation with a very special guest Chris Exley, President and CEO of the Atlantic Philanthropies. And for those of you unfamiliar with this amazing organization, Atlantic Philanthropies was founded by Chuck Feeney, Hotel class of 1956.
It sounds like most of you know that Chuck was the single most generous donor in the history of this university. For decades, Chuck remained an anonymous donor, but more recently, he has allowed his philanthropy to be made public, including an early pledge of $350 million for Cornell Tech before we won the competition, which I believe encouraged Mayor Bloomberg and his team to take our proposal particularly seriously.
Chuck Feeney and Atlantic Philanthropies are making a profound impact on Cornell and other institutions around the world. And I know that you will enjoy the next session. With that, the 65th Joint Meeting of the University Council and the Board of Trustees is now adjourned.
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President Elizabeth Garrett delivered her first State of the University Address to an Ithaca campus audience during Cornell's Trustee-Council Annual Meeting, Oct. 23, 2015.