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Cornell University President Martha Pollack stepping down

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  • Staff Report 

Cornell University President Martha E. Pollack has announced her retirement effective June 30, after seven years at the helm of the prestigious institution. In a heartfelt message to the Cornell community, Pollack shared that her decision came after extensive deliberation, initially beginning last fall. She expressed her intent to ensure a smooth transition that aligns with the academic calendar and avoids overshadowing upcoming commencement celebrations.


Under Pollack’s leadership, Cornell has seen significant growth, including a nearly 50% increase in research funding, expansions in student financial aid, and the establishment of high-profile programs such as the Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy. Kraig H. Kayser, chair of Cornell’s Board of Trustees, lauded Pollack as a “transformational leader” whose impact will resonate for decades.

Following Pollack’s departure, Provost Michael I. Kotlikoff will step in as interim president for two years starting July 1, 2024. Kotlikoff’s appointment continues his long-standing commitment to Cornell, where he has served in various capacities, including provost and dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine. A search committee will be formed during his interim presidency to find Cornell’s next permanent leader.