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The Deanship of the University Faculty

[NOTE: All the information below has been extracted from Faculty legislation and records, Memorial Statements of the Faculty, and newspaper articles, and can be found in the Office of the Dean of Faculty.]

The Deanship of the University Faculty is provided for in Article XIII of the University Bylaws. Specific duties of the position are defined in the University Faculty's Bylaws, known as the Organization and Procedures of the University Faculty (OPUF), under section V. The Dean of the University Faculty.

The office is one of outstanding importance for the proper conduct of University affairs, formulation of policy, maintenance of flexible communication, and mutual understanding between the Faculty and the rest of the University community. The Dean is the chief administrative officer and liaison on all matters of concern to the Faculty as they relate to the President, the Trustees, and other segments of the University community. He/she is not a member or agent of the University administration. As the primary representative of and spokesman for the University Faculty, the Dean retains the right to express his or her own personal views, when described as such.


Briefly, the Dean's duties include:

  • Representing and advocating the interests of the faculty to the President, the Trustees, and the University community.
  • Assisting the Faculty and the Senate in formulating judgments on questions of concern to the Faculty.
  • Being available for consultation and advice to members of the Faculty, to students, and to members of the University community and helping to resolve problems that may arise
  • Calling all meetings of the University Faculty and the Senate and distributing the agenda; overseeing and expediting the work of all Faculty committees, and bringing all decisions to the attention of persons concerned; maintaining records of actions, reports of committees, and other records as necessary
  • Advising the administration on matters of University policy; seeking Presidential advice on matters of concern to the faculty; sitting with the Board of Trustees and its Executive Committee in discussions of educational policy.

Selection Process

The Dean is selected from among the tenured voting members of the University Faculty following a canvass of the Faculty. Election is by the Hare System (where voters are asked to rank order their preference) and eligible voters include all voting members of the University Faculty. The election is then subject to confirmation by the Board of Trustees and the candidate receiving a majority of the votes cast is then appointed Dean for a period of three years, with the possibility of a term extension of not more than two years by the Faculty Senate.

Contact Us

The University Faculty
315 Day Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853