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Cornell picks new president

Courtesy of Cornell University

Cornell University has picked Martha E. Pollack to be the school’s next president. Pollack is the provost of the University of Michigan and a computer science professor.

The search for the new president began after the death of the university’s previous president, Elizabeth Garrett. Garrett died of colon cancer in March after less than a year in office.

Pollack is already affiliated with Cornell. She heads the advisory board the university’s partnership with The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and plans to try to improve the public's view of academia.

“Yes, academia is being attacked. We have, to some extent, lost the goodwill and the faith of much of the population who no longer necessarily recognizes how very valuable you are, we are," said Pollack.

Pollack is the university’s second female president, after Garrett, and said she's used to being one of few women in charge.

“When I first started at the University of Michigan, there were more computer science professors whose first name was Igor than there were female computer science professors," said Pollack. "That said, I think the job of the president is to serve everyone. Not to be the female president, but to be the president. I am extremely committed to diversity, but not just in gender diversity, but diversity of all forms.”

Pollack takes office in April 2017.