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The End of An Era

With the exciting announcement that Robert Harrison '76 has been elected Chairman of the University's Board of Trustees, it's important to note that the Board is coming to the end of an era. You see, Harrison was not on the Executive Committee at the time Lehman was asked to resign by Meinig and company in the spring of 2005:

Harrison chairs the board's Executive Committee, having served as a committee member since 2005. He has been a member of Cornell's board since 2002 and served as vice chair 2006-09. Harrison served as a student trustee on the board from 1975 to 1976, and becomes the first chair to have served in this capacity. He was college scholar at Cornell, creating a multidisciplinary academic program in government. He received a B.A./M.A. in politics, philosophy and economics in 1978 from the University of Oxford, where he was a Rhodes scholar, and a J.D. in 1981 from Yale Law School.

So the Board will no longer be directed by a man associated with perhaps Cornell's most 'scandalous' incident in the recent history of the University's administration. And for those younger readers who are unfamiliar with the Lehman incident, the alumni magazine offers an excellent re-cap of the schism between Lehman and Meinig's Board.

It's also worth pointing out that with Harrison, the University now has an unabashed Democrat at the helm of the Trustees. Harrison has been an advisor to Wesley Clark and John Kerry, and currently serves as the President of the Clinton Global Initiative. The only thing that raises eyebrows there is Wesley Clark, who gave a horrendous convocation address to my graduating class of 2005. Meinig, meanwhile, was an unabashed Republican inexplicably supporting an incompetent McCain campaign in 2008. That money would have been better spent at Cornell, Peter.

Matthew Nagowski | Posted on March 11, 2011 (#)

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