Cornell University President Resigns

Cornell University President Martha Pollack resigned, becoming the third Ivy League president to do so in recent months.

“Serving as the president of Cornell has been an amazing privilege; there are few roles that afford so much opportunity to make a positive difference in the world,” Pollack said. “After seven fruitful and gratifying years as Cornell’s president – capping a career in research and academia spanning five decades – I’m ready for a new chapter in my life. I greatly appreciate the continued support of our Board of Trustees and the many faculty, students, staff and alumni who have shared words of encouragement through my time as president, especially over the past academic year.”

Provost Michael I. Kotlikoff will serve as interim president for two years.

Cornell Law School professor William A. Jacobson told Fox News that he believes Pollack’s decision to leave is “related to what has happened since October 7th.”

Other Ivy League university presidents have left their positions.

University of Pennsylvania President Liz Magill resigned after widespread outrage over her testimony to Congress on antisemitism.

Similarly, Harvard President Claudine Gay resigned following allegations of plagiarism and failure to condemn antisemitic actions occurring at the university.

Yale President Peter Salovey also announced that he will step down after the 2023-2024 academic year.

Cornell, like many other universities, has seen a rise in antisemitic actions following the October 7 attack.

Cornell associate professor of history Russell Rickford said in October that the attack on Israel by Hamas was “exhilarating” and “energizing.”

“Hamas has challenged the monopoly of violence,” Rickford said. “[Palestinians] were able to breathe for the first time in years. It was exhilarating. It was energizing. And if they weren’t exhilarated by this challenge to the monopoly of violence, by this shifting of the balance of power, then they would not be human. I was exhilarated.”

He later apologized for the comments.

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