School of Public Policy and Multi-College Departments

Building on the Provost’s Review of the Social Sciences, Cornell faculty members have launched the Cornell Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy as well as new cross-college multi-college departments in psychology and sociology. The existing multi-college department in economics has also been expanded. Implementation of these initiatives will elevate Cornell’s excellence and prominence in public policy and foster collaboration among faculty in core social science disciplines who are based in multiple colleges. The Cornell Brooks School was opened in September 2021.

Provost’s Memo Cornell Chronicle coverage

Founding Dean Search

In February 2021, the university launched a search for the founding dean of the Cornell Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy, seeking a distinguished academic with extensive experience working in policy and with policymakers. The search concluded in June, with Colleen Barry, a nationally recognized policy scholar and leader in the areas of mental health, addiction and gun violence, named to the position, effective Sept. 15.

Cornell Chronicle Coverage


In June 2020, the provost charged four faculty committees with undertaking the detailed design of a new school, as well as with the establishment of these new and expanded multi-college departments.

Cornell Chronicle coverage

Review process

Prior to this work, a faculty-led Provost’s Review of the Social Sciences launched in January 2016 to assess the state of these disciplines at Cornell and to explore opportunities to position the social sciences, including the public policy field, for greater prominence and excellence. To learn more about these efforts, which established the groundwork for the current faculty committees, review the project archives.