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Radical Collaboration Drives Discovery

To keep world-class academic departments at the top of their fields and advance the university’s reputation as a premier research institution, while also addressing our challenge to hire a new generation of teachers and researchers, Cornell is pursuing an ambitious series of initiatives to enhance faculty hiring and pave the way to new discovery.

These initiatives target and elevate strategic, radically collaborative discipline areas that point the way toward the discoveries and solutions of tomorrow: nanoscale science and molecular engineering; genome biology; data science; sustainability; the social sciences; infection biology; and the humanities and arts. Faculty-led task forces are driving efforts to build strength, bolster recruitment and organize infrastructure around each initiative.

Paul McEuen, professor of physics (PHYS) and the Laboratory of Atomic and Solid State Physics (LASSP), who researches the science and technology of nanostructures.

Part of Cornell’s advantage in this recruitment effort is our collaborative environment. Each initiative involves a research focus of at least eight separate academic departments from a minimum of four colleges, creating more faculty interactions across our campuses in Ithaca and New York City.

As this work grows, Cornell will align its strategic fundraising initiatives to support this investment in academics, both on the multidisciplinary side and in the university’s traditional areas of strength. This will help us recruit faculty who will ensure Cornell’s future excellence, inspire our students and create new knowledge that will influence the world.

Cornell students, parents and alumni should expect us to be constantly challenging ourselves about what we’re doing, re-examining our efforts and thinking about what every student needs in the 21st century. That ongoing re-evaluation – along with a spirit of community and collaboration and across-the-board support for hiring faculty who will shape this world-class university’s reputation and the student experience in the coming decades – is the essence of its success.

Thank you,

Provost Michael I. Kotlikoff, V.M.D., Ph.D.


Cornell Chronicle coverage


Celebrating radical collaboration in faculty research