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Social Sciences

Cross-College Economics Department Leads the Way for Future Strategic Consolidations

Last June, Cornell formed a universitywide economics department with faculty from the College of Arts and Sciences and the ILR School, as well as with other distinguished senior faculty across the university. This merger is a crucial step in the future of the social science disciplines at Cornell.

The new “super” department combines the more empirical approach and policy focus of ILR with the theoretical perspectives of the arts college. By gathering diverse economics expertise under one unit, Cornell magnifies the strength of this vital department and provides a fuller spectrum of economic perspectives. As part of Cornell’s social sciences initiative, we envision similar universitywide consolidations and connections that will expand and deepen the fields of psychology, sociology, and government.

 

Message from Senior Vice Provost Ron Seeber

As we strive to understand the causes of poverty, find ways to eliminate strife between groups of people, or discover means to live sustainably on the planet, we must remember that the answers to complex problems such as these rest in our ability to bring the techniques, insights, and discoveries of the social sciences together. The disciplines of economics, psychology, sociology, and government each provide focused perspectives that, when combined, create a greater vantage that will help us perceive the full scope and intricacy of the issues that affect us.
 

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Our Vision

Cornell shapes the minds of individuals who, in turn, shape their communities. As such, the social sciences form a critical foundation for understanding and addressing the issues that affect our world.  To fulfill our land-grant mission, expand the impactful work of our faculty, and aid in the development of students as aware and engaged citizens, Cornell sustains its preeminence and depth of knowledge in these four core social science disciplines:

  • Economics
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Government

While strengthening each discipline, we also aim to create strategic synergies among them. We envision the social sciences as intertwined disciplines that will be equal to the challenge of strengthening and enriching the complex social fabric that binds us all.

Our Plan

 As New York’s land-grant university to the world, Cornell has a broad social purpose: serving communities in New York State while fostering innovative thought and technology to advance our region, the nation, and the rest of the globe. Our social scientists are committed to alleviating the suffering caused by our most vexing problems, including persistent poverty, illiteracy, gender inequality, obesity, and conflicts across cultures and geographies.

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Our Priorities

The important and impactful work of Cornell’s social scientists, scholars, researchers, and students is  sustained by support from alumni and friends.  We seek private support for these target areas:

Faculty renewal and recruitment: Faculty renewal funds allow us to hire and retain the next generation of thought leaders who will change the landscape of the social sciences for the 21st century. To secure critical faculty positions, we also have a goal of raising $3 million for senior professorships. A named senior professorship is a mark of great professional distinction that may encourage a star faculty member to remain at Cornell or enable the university to hire a renowned scholar whose presence will solidify the university’s leadership in a specific area of study.

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Contacts

Ron Seeber
Senior Vice Provost
Cornell University
449 Day Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
rs60@cornell.edu
607-255-9970