Courtesy of Smithsonian Institute
March 11, 2014
Earlier this week the Smithsonian named Cornell University President David Skorton to lead the 168-year-old institute. Skorton will leave Cornell for his new post in July of 2015. Skorton is committed to continue his work at Cornell until that time.
Skorton may be leaving Cornell, but his work is far from over at the university. Skorton says his job for the next 15 months will be to continue to open the doors of Cornell to students based on ability and aspiration, and not on financial means.
“And I think the most important thing we’ve accomplished is to somewhat lower those barriers based on means. We have not brought them all the way down but we have gone a long distance,” says Skorton.
For example, families with an income of less then $60,000 will be able to attend without student loans.
Skorton says he is also concerned about sexual abuse at the university.
“There continue to be people on the campus who don’t feel safe and welcome. They are sometimes from groups that are not as represented in higher education as others,” adds Skorton.
Skorton says he enjoys the wide range of academics at Cornell, everything from neurosurgery to poetry.
“I learned something on this campus almost everyday. And I believe that will be the case there, maybe every hour, at the Smithsonian,” says Skorton.
Skorton will also be working with the Cornell Board of Trustee to find his replacement.