We publish the objective news, period. If you want the facts, then sign up below and join our movement for objective news:


Latest News

Martha Pollack to Depart as Cornell University President Amid Campus Unrest

 May 10, 2024

In a significant move amidst a tumultuous academic year, Cornell University President Martha Pollack has declared her resignation, set to take effect on June 30.

Pollack's resignation comes after a seven-year term overshadowed by recent campus disturbances and threats, as the New York Post reports.

Appointed seven years ago, Pollack has helmed Cornell University through various challenges. Her tenure will conclude at the end of June, marking the end of an era for the Ivy League institution.

The university has been the center of extensive turmoil, including several protests and significant threats directed at Jewish students. Despite these challenges, Pollack maintains that her decision to step down is personal and was made independently of these incidents.

Throughout her presidency, Pollack faced critical issues, including the COVID-19 pandemic, social justice protests following George Floyd's murder, and increased tensions stemming from global conflicts affecting campus dynamics.

Controversial Comments and Campus Safety

Last fall, a Cornell engineering student was arrested and later pleaded guilty to making online threats against Jewish students. This incident is part of a broader context of rising antisemitism on campus, fueled by intense anti-Israel activism.

Amid these challenges, Cornell's administration, under Pollack, has been criticized for its handling of safety and inclusivity on campus. Notably, professor Russell Rickford's remarks referring to a terrorist attack as “exhilarating” sparked widespread condemnation and added to the strained campus atmosphere.

In response to the criticisms, Pollack emphasized her administration's commitment to free expression and creating a welcoming community for all students, irrespective of their backgrounds.

Transition of Leadership and Institutional Reactions

With Pollack's impending departure, Cornell has announced that provost Michael Kotlikoff will serve as the interim president starting July 1. The university aims for a smooth transition to maintain stability and continue addressing the ongoing issues.

The situation at Cornell is not isolated. Similar challenges have led to leadership changes at other prestigious universities such as the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard, where presidents were removed following mishandlings of antisemitism claims.

Additionally, the broader academic community is watching closely as Columbia University's President Minouche Shafik faces scrutiny amid similar tumultuous conditions.

Faculty and Legal Perspectives on University Policies

Cornell Law School Professor William Jacobson has voiced concerns about the lack of diverse viewpoints among the faculty, describing it as a "monoculture" dominated by left-leaning ideologies. Jacobson advocates for a more balanced discourse to reflect a wider range of perspectives.

Pollack has defended her leadership and the decisions made under her tenure, stressing the complex nature of the issues faced and the efforts made to address them effectively. She has also highlighted the importance of addressing not just antisemitism but also Islamophobia, ensuring academic freedom and free speech.

Despite the controversies and challenges, Pollack's efforts to secure the campus and foster a sense of community have been significant aspects of her presidency. She remains a pivotal figure in navigating Cornell through these turbulent times.

Looking Ahead: Cornell's Future and Educational Impact

As Martha Pollack prepares to leave her position, the academic community and Cornell's stakeholders are reflecting on her impact and the future direction of the university.

The forthcoming months will be crucial as the university addresses these internal challenges and redefines its strategies to ensure safety, inclusivity, and intellectual diversity.

The transition in leadership is seen as a critical juncture for Cornell, with the potential to influence not only its own campus but also broader educational policies in the face of global and domestic challenges.

Conclusion: Summarizing a Period of Challenge and Change

Martha Pollack's tenure as Cornell University's president has been marked by significant challenges, including handling campus safety, enhancing community belonging, and navigating the complex landscape of higher education during pivotal moments.

Her decision to resign reflects a personal choice made amidst these ongoing issues, with a commitment to the university's values and mission persisting as Cornell moves forward.