Martha Pollack Stepping Down From Presidency of Cornell University on June 30

Martha E. Pollack, president of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, will retire on June 30, after serving for more than seven years as the university’s fourteenth president. With the announcement coming only seven weeks before she leaves the presidency, some observers speculated that she is leaving under pressure as a result of how she dealt with protests over Israel’s conduct in Gaza. But in a statement to the university community, President Pollack said: “I understand that there will be lots of speculation about my decision, so let me be as clear as I can: This decision is mine and mine alone.”

Dr. Pollack also stated that “serving as the president of Cornell has been an amazing privilege; there are few roles that afford so much opportunity to make a positive difference in the world. After seven fruitful and gratifying years as Cornell’s president – capping a career in research and academia spanning five decades – I’m ready for a new chapter in my life.”

Dr. Pollack became president of Cornell on April 17, 2017. She is also a professor of computer science, information science and linguistics and an expert in artificial intelligence. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Association for Computing Machinery, and the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence.

Before being named president of Cornell, Dr. Pollack served as provost at the University of Michigan. She joined the faculty at the University of Michigan in 2000 and held several posts including dean of the School of Information and vice provost for academic and budgetary affairs before being named provost in 2013. Earlier in her career, Dr. Pollack taught at the University of Pittsburgh.

Professor Pollack is a graduate of Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, where she majored in linguistics. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in computer and information science from the University of Pennsylvania.

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