An independent organization advocating for free expression, viewpoint diversity, and academic freedom at Cornell University

Read this Overview of the threat to academic freedom now facing Cornell.

CFSA Statement On Termination Of Martha Pollack Presidency

CFSA Official Statement on Termination Of Martha Pollack Presidency At Cornell / May 15, 2024 :

“Events of the past few months have aptly demonstrated the wisdom of the immortal Kalven Report when it admonishes that the ‘university is the home and sponsor of critics; it is not itself the critic.’ Under the leadership of President Pollack, Cornell lost sight of this critical role and instead became the critic—choosing sides in political debates and adopting the position of political activist. The University’s ability to operate in a neutral fashion was further complicated by the misapplication of its DEI policies across every facet of the academic environment.  This loss of institutional neutrality made President Pollack’s efforts to cultivate free expression, educational integrity, and open inquiry nearly impossible to attain while straining the University’s ability to faithfully enforce policies intended to serve the whole community. Much of the pain of the past few months could have been avoided had Cornell taken a principled approach, like that taken by the University of Chicago, to accommodate speech while maintaining its own institutional integrity. The CFSA wishes President Pollack well in her future endeavors and entreats the Board of Trustees and interim President to adopt the policies proposed by the CFSA in its 2023 report and proposal Lifting the Fog, by eschewing practices that pit the University and communities within it against each other. In difficult times Cornell needs a strong president willing to take the steps necessary to return Cornell to the elite university it has been in the past where scholars, and leaders of industry, technology, and government are nurtured at an ‘institution where any person can find instruction in any study.’ The history and future of Cornell demand no less and the burden of identifying such a leader falls squarely on the shoulders of the Board of Trustees. We wish Cornell success in finding and recruiting such a leader.”


CFSA Board Statement On Ms. Pollack & The Announced Presidential Successor / May 20, 2024 :

“CFSA wishes to thank Martha Pollack for her retirement decision. This decision should allow Cornell University to now address the growing challenges to educational quality that have greatly impeded Cornell in recent years. By resigning, Ms. Pollack has done what is best for the university.  Runaway DEI policies implemented under the current administration have degraded the educational environment and spurred the shameful antisemitic uprisings now dominating campus life. Major policy reform can now begin at Cornell. Such reforms are sorely needed. CFSA and thousands of Cornell alumni thank Ms. Pollack for her past service. The next step for Cornell is to appoint a new president who will point a path for educational restoration and reform at Cornell. The interim replacement President appointed by Cornell Trustees is former Provost Michael Kotlikoff. Unfortunately, Mr. Kotlikoff has been closely aligned with Ms. Pollack in creating and implementing an array of very harmful DEI policies at Cornell ifor the past several years. Therefore, Mr. Kotlikoff is not the right person to bring sorely needed DEI reforms to Cornell. A bold and courageous leader who has the fortitude to revoke Cornell's disastrous DEI policies is what Cornell now needs. Mr. Kotlikoff is not such a leader. CFSA urges the Cornell Board of Trustees to begin the search for a true reformer to become the new Cornell President as soon as possible."