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Cornell to establish an integrated College of Business


Cornell University announced today that it will establish an integrated College of Business with the transformative excellence, scope and scale to cement the University’s position as a world-class center of teaching and research for business management and entrepreneurship.

Upon launch, anticipated during the 2016-17 academic year, the College of Business will comprise Cornell’s three accredited business programs: the School of Hotel Administration, the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, and the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management. Each school will maintain its unique identity and mission, while their collective capabilities will be strengthened by bringing together faculty, curricular offerings, and programs within a cohesive College.

The establishment of the College, through a change in the University’s bylaws, was unanimously approved by the Cornell Board of Trustees at its meeting on Jan. 30. The academic processes, governance and other necessary elements of the new College will be determined over the next several months by faculty and leadership of the three schools, with input from alumni, student, and staff advisory committees.

The Cornell College of Business will be one of the most comprehensive business schools in the nation with 145 research faculty and nearly 2,900 undergraduate, professional, and graduate students. Soumitra Dutta, the current Anne and Elmer Lindseth Dean of Johnson, will become Dean of the College of Business.

“At the heart of Cornell is a mission to apply knowledge for public purpose and educate the next generation of professionals and entrepreneurs to solve some of the world’s major challenges,” said President Elizabeth Garrett. “A unified College of Business will allow Cornell to achieve the full potential of its excellent and varied business programs by integrating business faculty and students at all levels and coordinating programmatic collaborations that span our campuses. At the same time, a successful business program must distinguish itself from others, and enhancing the unique brand of each of the outstanding schools in the College will help determine that success.”

The College of Business will create more diverse and rigorous learning and research opportunities for both students and faculty to help strengthen entrepreneurship, business and finance, technology, globalization, and management education. The College will enable the expansion of Cornell’s domestic and global programmatic initiatives, including further development and diversification of programs at Cornell Tech and educational collaborations with institutions across the globe. The combined College will bring together faculty in departments that can offer a critical mass of colleagues, as well as combine resources for key recruitments, to attract and retain excellent faculty at all levels. It also will create a stronger and unified center from which to manage recruiting and corporate relationships, executive education, continuing education, and faculty research.

“Today, every leading university must have a great business school to maximize its global impact. Bringing together the faculty, curricular offerings and programs of Cornell’s three excellent business schools will enhance the reach and recognition of our business studies in an increasingly competitive environment. This follows Cornell’s long history of successfully sharing academic units in a way that preserves each program’s identity and focus, while creating lasting benefits for our students, our faculty, and the rest of our global University community,” said board Chairman Robert S. Harrison.

Enhancing Opportunities for Undergraduate, Graduate and Post-Doctoral Students
By unifying all three accredited business schools, Cornell is creating a more comprehensive and collaborative business management program that will benefit students at all academic stages.

Students will have greater opportunity to learn across disciplines and collaborate with a broader network of faculty and fellow students at the undergraduate, graduate, and professional levels. This new environment will create even more learning opportunities that have yielded popular, progressive programs, such as Cornell’s undergraduate Business minor and the new Johnson Cornell Tech MBA, and will enable students from any school to pursue a specialty focus in unique programs such as hospitality, real estate, or resource and developmental economics.

“The College of Business will bring together the excellence and breadth of Cornell’s leading undergraduate, graduate, and specialized professional programs to address society’s most pressing issues,” said Provost Michael Kotlikoff. “Through this integration, Cornell will bring together unique strengths in three of the world’s largest industries: food, hospitality, and technology, to create even greater opportunities for students to learn from and work with the full range of Cornell’s outstanding leaders in the fields of business, management, and applied economics. Students will have enhanced access to the international opportunities, mentorship, and alumni expertise that are critical to their long-term success.”

Fostering a More Collaborative Research Environment for Faculty
The cohesive College of Business will enable Cornell’s business and management faculty to collaborate more easily and effectively in cross-disciplinary research and significantly increase the national and international influence of faculty scholarship and achievements.

Sharing resources and expertise across schools will strengthen the University’s capabilities and its reputation among leading business and management programs, which will help to continue to attract and retain outstanding faculty. At the same time, a unified College of Business will allow Cornell to diversify the scholarly focus of its faculty members and enhance the breadth and depth of its course offerings in all the key areas of business education, while preserving the core focus of the individual schools.

“Being able to leverage Dyson’s strength in international development and agricultural economics, SHA’s expertise in hospitality, entrepreneurship, and real estate (through the Baker Program in Real Estate), and Johnson’s depth in economics, finance, and executive training will naturally lead to a College of Business that stands out for its unparalleled breadth of instructional excellence,” said Dutta. “A more prominent and collaborative platform will elevate opportunities for faculty to conduct innovative research and be at the forefront of their fields.”

Establishing a More Effective Administrative Structure
“Bringing together Cornell’s three business schools will also establish an effective administrative structure that will be immensely beneficial to the University’s ability to continue to attract the best and brightest faculty and students,” Dutta continued.

Each school will be presided over by a Dean of the School who will have responsibility for that school’s admissions and academic program. Each school’s faculty will maintain oversight over its academic program. Integration of the schools will occur with the goal of linking faculty of equivalent disciplines in departments that span the individual schools so as to enhance collaborations in teaching and research and coordinate faculty recruitment.

Dyson will remain within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) and also join the College of Business, with Dyson students admitted to both colleges and those who are New York State residents continuing to enroll at the New York State contract college tuition rate. Faculty in Dyson will be appointed in both CALS and the new College of Business. SHA and Johnson faculty will be appointed in the new College of Business.

Launching the College of Business
Today’s announcement will begin an ongoing, inclusive process leading up to the launch of the College of Business during the next academic year. Continuing over the next several months, the leaders of the three accredited business schools and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences will work with faculty, staff, students, and alumni to develop the academic processes that will be critical to achieving Cornell’s aims of faculty integration and individual school identity, and to ensuring that the decisions reached on academic organization, governance, and other important elements are broadly informed and address the concerns of the entire community of Cornell’s three superb schools. Informational sessions will also be held this semester for students to ask questions and learn how their current school will be integrated into the new College of Business and how this will further their educational opportunities. Forums will also be held for faculty, staff, and alumni.

“Establishing Cornell’s new College of Business is a major undertaking that I am confident will benefit the University for years to come, as the Trustees have affirmed with their vote,” said Garrett. “I deeply appreciate the feedback we have received to date from so many of our faculty, staff, students, and alumni as well as from New York State officials. With continued input and dedication, the College of Business will undoubtedly be primed for success upon its opening during the next academic year.”


Cornell Chronicle