Updates from President Pollack

Opportunities for feedback on campus reactivation

(May 28, 2020)

Dear Cornellians,

The extraordinary spring 2020 term is now behind us. The COVID-19 pandemic that turned our world upside down three months and a lifetime ago is now a fact of our lives: one that affects every decision in our day, and every plan for our future. We find ourselves making calculations and compromises that were once unimaginable, as we seek new ways to move forward, and even thrive, in this new reality...

Congratulatory Message Honoring the Class of 2020

(May 23, 2020)

Dear Cornellians,

The Class of 2020 will always hold a unique place in our history. Throughout this unprecedented disruption and dispersion of our Cornell community, they have been in the final stretch of their Cornell degrees: finishing their last papers, their last projects and their last exams in a way that no Cornellians have done before...

Update on COVID-19 Planning and Summer Programs

(April 22, 2020)

Dear Cornellians,

Six weeks have now passed since we made the extraordinary decision to move instruction online and begin to deactivate our physical campus operations. Life, for all of us, is now radically different. As a community, we have adapted, transformed and sacrificed our routines and our expectations, finding new daily rhythms in response to this new reality. It is clear to all of us that, as much as we would like things to return to the way they were before, this pandemic will be with us for many months; and although we cannot go back, we can, and will, go forward. In fact, we are moving forward into the second phase of our COVID-19 response with the planning and decisions that will enable us to reactivate our campus and stabilize our budget, while establishing a “new normal” that will guide our operations and our community for at least some period of time...

Pollack Outlines Guiding Principles for COVID-19 Response

(April 7, 2020)

Wherever you may be as you are reading this, I want to start by asking you to picture Cornell in your mind. Many of you will picture the Ithaca campus: perhaps Libe Slope, or the Arts Quad, or West Campus, or perhaps Schoellkopf Field, or the Botanic Gardens. Others of you may conjure a picture of the terrace outside the Bloomberg Center on Roosevelt Island, and still others may imagine a city you spent time in on a Cornell abroad program. Cornell is all those places – but Cornell is not just places. Cornell is, at its core, people: it’s all of us. And although we’re currently dispersed throughout the world, we’re still hard at work learning, teaching and interacting with the world as Cornellians – and in so doing, moving the mission of our university forward. Even in this time of change and disruption, Cornell remains strong...

Building community during times of struggle

(March 26, 2020)

Like all of you, I have been adjusting in the last weeks to our shared new reality, in which the mandate of social distancing drives new patterns of daily life. It feels like a very long time since I last attended an event, shook a hand or worked in my office at Day Hall. Phone calls, email and Zoom have replaced in-person interactions. And, like everyone in our community, I am finding new ways to forge and sustain the human connections that are so essential to us all, even while the current global health crisis has forced us physically apart...

COVID-19 update: Confirmed cases within Ithaca campus community

(March 20, 2020)

As you know, Cornell has been working with public health officials to monitor the ongoing spread of the virus. Earlier today, we were notified that the Tompkins County Health Department (TCHD) confirmed the first two cases of COVID-19 within the Ithaca campus community of faculty, staff and students.

Cornell is working with TCHD to support the health and safety of the individuals (who have been in isolation and receiving ongoing care) and of the broader community. TCHD, upon confirmation of the positive cases, conducted immediate contact tracing and identified and communicated with close contacts of the positive cases...

May 2020 Commencement changes

(March 20, 2020)

This year, while degrees will be granted on time, we will not be able to have the ceremony on Memorial Day weekend. But we will celebrate: we will have a commencement – and it will be a joyous one!

- President Martha Pollack

To the Cornell Community

(March 17, 2020)

Like many of you, I have been charmed and inspired by acts of kindness and demonstrations of the human spirit that I’ve seen over this past week.

- President Martha Pollack

Cornell suspends classes; virtual instruction begins April 6

(March 13, 2020)

Classes have been suspended as of 5pm to help accelerate social distancing. Virtual instruction at the Vet College is scheduled to begin on March 30th (one week later than originally planned). The spring term will be extended by one week and end on May 22.

Message from President Pollack about the importance of social distancing

(March 11, 2020)

Dear Members of the Cornell Community,

I appreciate all of the input that my leadership team and I have received since yesterday’s announcement of the measures we are enacting to contain the spread of COVID-19. One thing that has been particularly gratifying in the conversations that I have had is the clear extent to which our students love Cornell, as evidenced by the emotions that have surfaced as they process the need to leave campus earlier than anticipated. It is also clear to me that not everyone understands the rationale behind our move to virtual education, so I wanted to reach out again today to provide a more detailed explanation...

Cornell announces proactive measures to prevent spread of coronavirus

(March 10, 2020)

Dear Members of the Cornell Community,

As the novel coronavirus disease, COVID-19, has spread around the world, it has challenged all of us in different ways. Some of us may have relatives in countries that were impacted early, others may have elderly relatives about whom we are worried, still others may be immunocompromised and at high risk themselves. All of us, I’m sure, are concerned about how the virus will affect our day-to-day lives over the next few weeks and possibly months. This is a moment that is different from what any of us has experienced before and, as such, it can be frightening. But it is also a moment for us to remember that we are a strong community that will do what it takes to protect ourselves and to support one another...

Coronavirus update: Enhanced policies for international travel, campus events

(March 5, 2020)

Dear Cornell Community,

University leadership has been meeting regularly to coordinate our response to the coronavirus (COVID-19), as state and local health officials continue to stress that the risk to the Cornell community—both in New York City and in Ithaca—remains low. We remain focused on the health and well-being of our campus communities, and in that spirit we are today announcing enhanced international travel and event policies, approved by President Pollack, including guidance for the upcoming spring break...

Cornell expands travel protocols due to coronavirus

(March 2, 2020)

Dear Cornell Community,

As you are aware, guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) related to the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) is evolving rapidly.

Recently, the U.S. government issued new warnings against travel to Italy and Iran, as well as new screening protocols for travelers returning to the United States from affected areas (CDC Level 3 – Avoid Nonessential Travel, currently mainland China, South Korea, Italy and Iran). In an abundance of caution for the health and safety of our faculty, staff and students, the university has suspended Architecture, Art and Planning’s Cornell in Rome program and is working with the remaining students abroad in Italy and South Korea...

Provost’s Message to Students and Staff

(February 27, 2020)

Dear Cornellians,

For the past several years, faculty with expertise in the social sciences have guided extensive discussions to consider how to further elevate these critical areas of inquiry at Cornell as we position the university for sustained, long-term excellence and prominence in these fields. Following these comprehensive reviews, which have been informed by thoughtful input from faculty, students, staff, alumni and other stakeholders, I am pleased to announce a vision for Cornell’s future that includes important structural changes and new investments in the social sciences...

Coronavirus Update: Guidelines, travel restrictions and accommodations, summer programs

(February 27, 2020)

Dear Cornell Community,

As you are aware, Cornell University has been closely monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19). While there are still no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New York state, the World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed cases in more than 30 countries.

We realize there is uncertainty about the situation, and we would like to share updates and guidelines. Cornell is following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for decisions about travel and programming abroad. Our principles, therefore, are as follows...