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University Goals: Cornell 2015

With the upcoming capital campaign and seemingly mammoth amount of building taking place on Cornellís campus these days, itís interesting to place Cornellís activities within the context of its long-run objectives. As the capital campaign escalates into high-gear, I imagine that we will be hearing a lot more about these goals in the near-future.

Specifically, the administration and the Board of Trustees are targeting the following goals:

- To rank in the top ten in faculty and program quality in 30 fields and every professional school.
- To be the best research university for undergraduate education.
- To make transformative contributions in interdisciplinary areas of critical social importance.
- To be the land grant institution for the world.
All are noble and important goals, and capture the mission of Ezraís founding principles. Of the above, the University is probably closest to reaching the first and the last, and it still needs to work to achieve the middle two goals.

Mandating a research project of every student before she graduates, decreasing class sizes, and strengthening the increasingly inter-disciplinary social sciences could go a long way to achieving the middle two goals.

How will Cornell achieve these goals? Well, it needs more money of course. So in the upcoming capital campaign expect to hear the following coming from Cornellís fundraisers:

- Cornellís founding vision as a university where ďany person can find instruction in any studyĒ. (Especially important for financial aid dollars.)
- Cornellís unique identity as a private university with a public mission. (Stressed for expanding the Universityís outreach and research.)
- Cornellís core academic values, strengths, and history of openness and innovation.
I also expect that we will be hearing more about Lehmanís three transformative goals for the University: Wisdom in the age of digital information. Life in the age of the genome. Sustainability in the age of development.

The only thing remaining is to ask what the upcoming campaign will be called. Brown chose to be Boldly Brown, and UVa echoes Thomas Jefferson in theirs, claiming: Knowledge is power. Any guesses for Cornellís?

Matthew Nagowski | Posted on October 10, 2006 (#)

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