Associate Dean of the Faculty Candidate Profiles - Spring 2019

Shirley Samuels, Professor


I am a Professor of English and American Studies, with affiliate membership in History of Art and FGSS.  My Ph.D. is from the University of California at Berkeley.  My research areas include American literature and visual culture, eighteenth- and nineteenth-century American fiction, feminist criticism, and American studies. I have published several books in these areas and am now editing a book on race and visuality in the nineteenth century United States and writing a monograph, currently titled “Democratic Witness.”

Candidate Statement

I am honored to run for election as Associate Dean of the Faculty. After more than thirty years at Cornell, I draw on a deep sense of dedication to both students and colleagues. I have been able to collaborate and serve as a mentor for both faculty and students through my participation as the Dean and House Professor at Flora Rose House on west campus and my involvement with chairing the History of Art Department, serving as Director for FGSS, and currently working as the Director of Undergraduate Studies for American Studies. I feel fortunate to have been able to work with interdisciplinary programs across the university. During my time at Cornell, many changes in the intellectual programs as well as the physical campus have taken place. I have observed the questions of faculty governance emerge as I served for two terms in the Faculty Senate and two terms on the board of the Society of the Humanities. Among the commitments that I bring to the table are an activist investment in diversity -- of students, faculty, and programs -- and a commitment to social and environmental justice. 

Neema Kudva, Associate Professor

House Professor and Dean, Becker House


Neema Kudva is Associate Professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning (AAP) and House Professor and Dean at Becker House, a living-learning residential community on West Campus. She is Faculty Lead of the Nilgiris Field Learning Center (NFLC), and serves on the Steering Committee of the South Asia Program, as faculty fellow of the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, and as affiliate of the Cornell Institute for Public Affairs. Prior to joining Cornell in 2001, Neema was a lecturer at Stanford and worked as a consultant to public planning agencies in the San Francisco Bay area, and as an architect in India and Europe. She received her Dip.Arch. from the School of Architecture, CEPT, in Ahmedabad, India; and her M.Arch./M.C.P. and Ph.D. from the University of California–Berkeley.

Candidate Statement

As Associate Dean of Faculty, I would help build a supportive environment for faculty in their roles as researchers, educators, public intellectuals, and employees—recognizing the multiple ways in which we are embedded in our disciplines, workplace, communities, and families. I believe engaging in shared governance and bringing fresh perspectives to bear on the duties of supporting the Cornell University faculty is critically important, and look forward to listening to all of you and bringing your perspectives to bear in my conversations with the Dean of Faculty, the Committees for which this position is responsible, and the administration. I bring a wide range of relevant experience from my collaborative research and teaching with faculty colleagues at the NFLC and community-based organizations to my work with staff from both the residential and operations sides of the university in my role as House Professor and Dean at Becker. This unique combination gives me a broad perspective on many issues. I am committed to working collaboratively, and fostering transparent and effective communication between faculty and the administration towards the collective goal of shared governance.


Nilgiris Field Learning Center

Becker House