Provost’s Review of the Social Sciences at Cornell


University-wide Listening Sessions

Faculty, staff and students are invited to open listening sessions with the Social Sciences Implementation Committee co-chairs, with opportunities to provide feedback and ask questions about the social sciences review:

Comments and feedback to the committee may also be submitted by writing to



November 2019 Update

The Social Sciences Implementation Committee has issued its interim report, Considering School and College Structures for Public Policy at Cornell (PDF). The document examines possibilities for two options for structuring a new policy entity at Cornell, as outlined in the committee’s September 2019 update: 1) Further strengthening and focusing the College of Human Ecology as a college focused on public policy with affiliations to policy faculty across campus; or 2) Creating a cross-college policy school situated between the College of Human Ecology and the College of Arts and Sciences.


September 2019 Update

The co-chairs of the implementation committee sent this update on Sept. 23, 3019 regarding next steps, including the draft vision of a public policy entity at Cornell.


July 2019 Update

The co-chairs of the implementation committee Professors Ferguson and Wildeman and Deputy Provost John Siliciano sent out the following updates:

  • A July 12, 2019 email to faculty providing a committee update and sharing the charge that was given to the implementation committee by President Pollack and Provost Kotlikoff.
    Charge to the implementation committee
  • A May 21, 2019 email to the staff in the CAS, CALS, CHE, ILR and AAP postponing the spring listening sessions until the fall.
  • An April 15, 2019 email to faculty announcing the members of the implementation committee and next steps.

The implementation committee will meet biweekly throughout the summer and fall beginning on May 29, 2019.

The implementation committee members are:

  • Anthony Burrow: Human Development (CHE)
  • Sahara Byrne: Communication (CALS)
  • Ben Cornwell: Sociology (CAS)
  • Melissa Ferguson (Co-Chair): Psychology (CAS)
  • Maria Fitzpatrick: Policy Analysis and Management (CHE)
  • Shannon Gleeson: Labor Relations, Law, & History (ILR)
  • David Easley: Economics and Information Science (CAS)
  • Tom Pepinsky: Government (CAS)
  • John Siliciano (Co-Chair): Deputy Provost
  • Laura Tach: Policy Analysis and Management (CHE)
  • Christopher Wildeman (Co-Chair): Policy Analysis and Management (CHE)


March 2019 Update

On March 28, 2019, President Pollack and Provost Kotlikoff announced the completion of a multi-year, faculty-led effort to develop a vision for excellence in the social sciences at Cornell.

This effort has identified three core aspirations: one (the Cornell Center for Social Sciences) was announced today. The other two (creating an integrating university entity for public policy, and creating social sciences super-departments) will be the focus of a faculty-led implementation committee that will submit recommendations to the president and provost by the end of the 2019 calendar year.

Summary of Faculty Feedback (PDF)

Cornell creates Center for Social Sciences

Letter to the Faculty



In January 2016, Provost Michael Kotlikoff launched the Committee on Organizational Structures in the Social Sciences to explore opportunities to position the social sciences at Cornell for excellence in 10 to 15 years. The work of that committee is the basis for the work currently underway by the Implementation Committee, outlined above.


For more information, see the Social Sciences Review Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) updated Oct. 25, 2019. Questions or feedback may also be submitted to