University Faculty Committee Candidate Profiles-Spring 2019

University Faculty Committee (UFC) - 2 open seats

David R. Lee, Professor


David R. Lee is Professor in the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, in the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business. He joined the faculty in 1982, after receiving his PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Lee’s research focuses on economic development and natural resource management, including sustainable agriculture, technology adoption, climate adaptation, and participatory development. He has worked widely in countries in Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia; has served as visiting professor at universities in the Netherlands, Italy, Slovakia, and Venezuela; and has been a technical advisor to many governments and international organizations, including the World Bank, USAID, UNDP, and FAO. Dr. Lee has mentored the research of more than 100 MS and PhD students, and teaches a popular undergraduate course on “International Trade and Finance” that since 2001 has enrolled more than 4,000 students from all of Cornell’s undergraduate colleges.

Candidate statement

At Cornell, I’ve served on many committees and task forces at the department, college (both CALS and College of Business) and university levels, including the CALS Faculty Senate, SUNY Faculty Senate, FACTA, University Hearing Board, Plant Sciences Task Force, Language Education Council, Global on Campus Committee (Co-Chair), and most recently, as Provost’s Fellow in the Office of the Vice Provost for International Affairs, and member of the Provost’s Working Group on Public and Global Affairs (both 2014-2018). Off campus, I’ve been elected to, and served as President of, the Ithaca City School District Board of Education.

I believe strongly in shared governance. The faculty are the heart of the university. It is important that we have a seat at the table in important decisions that govern academic policy. Indeed, Cornell’s Bylaws delineate the faculty’s key role in individual college academic matters and cross-college educational policy. My belief in this core principle was reinforced during my service on the Faculty Senate Committee to Review Faculty Governance in 2006-2007, whose report recommended a strengthened role of the faculty in university governance. I also believe in transparency, public engagement, and in enhancing the internationalization of the university. We live in a rapidly globalizing world. The university must continue to support and invest in initiatives that reflect those changes and that sustain excellence in research, instruction, and in our broader educational and outreach mission.

Durba Ghosh, Professor


I have been at Cornell since 2005, when I arrived in the history department as an assistant professor. I am currently a professor of history and currently serve as director of the Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Program. I have also been involved with the South Asia Program, the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, the Society for the Humanities, the Institute for Social Sciences, and the CIVIC initiative that emerged out of the Radical Collaborations projects.

I am the author of Sex and the Family in Colonial India: the making of empire (Cambridge University Press, 2006), and Gentlemanly Terrorists: Political Violence and the Colonial State in India, 1919-1947 (Cambridge University Press, 2017); and with Dane Kennedy, the co-editor of Decentring Empire: Britain, India and the Transcolonial World (Orient Longman, 2006). I am a recipient of the Robert and Helen Appel Fellowships for Humanists and Social Scientists (2008) and the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly prize for mentoring and advising (2015), as well as a number of extramural fellowships.

Candidate Statement

I have previously served on the University Faculty Committee and feel strongly about supporting inclusion, diversity, and accessibility at all levels of the university.

Eric Cheyfitz, Professor 


Eric Cheyfitz is the Ernest I. White Professor of American Studies and Humane Letters at Cornell University, where he has served as director of the American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program, the faculty coordinator of the Mellon-Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program, and the director of the Mellon Post-doctoral Diversity Seminar. He teaches American literatures, American Indian literatures, and U.S. federal Indian law and has published four books: The Transparent: Sexual Politics in the Language of Emerson (1981); The Poetics of Imperialism: Translation and Colonization from The Tempest to Tarzan (1991, 1997), which was named by Choice as one of the outstanding academic books of 1991; The (Post)Colonial Construction of Indian Country: U.S. American Indian Literatures and Federal Indian Law, which appears as Part I of his edited volume, The Columbia Guide to American Indian Literatures of the United States since 1945 (2006); and The Disinformation Age: The Collapse of Liberal Democracy in the United States (Routledge, 2017). He is the co-editor of Sovereignty, Indigeneity, and the Law, a special issue of South Atlantic Quarterly which won the award for the best special issue of an academic journal in 2011 given by the Council of Editors of Learned Journals and was acknowledged for "Outstanding Indigenous Scholarship" in the same year by the American Indian and Alaska Native Professors Association. He has appeared in documentary film, radio, and television and published over forty articles in journals, books, and national and international print media, including such titles as “The Force of Exceptionalist Narratives in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict ; “Native American Literature and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples”; and “Reading Global Indigenous Resistance in Simon Ortiz’s Fight Back.”

Candidate Statement

I have extensive experience in dealing with issues that are central to both diversity and governance at Cornell. My experience in supporting diversity includes serving as director of the American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program from 208-2011, the faculty coordinator of the Mellon-Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program from 2004-2011, and the director of the Mellon Post-doctoral Diversity Seminar (2013-14). All my scholarship and teaching are focused on diversity issues. Representative of my teaching are two of my recent courses: “The Race and Gender of Poverty in Literature and Film” and “Thinking From A Different Place: Indigenous Philosophies.” A significant number of my courses are listed in the Inequality Studies curriculum. If I am elected to the UFC, then, I will be a strong voice supporting programs of inclusion at Cornell, including, importantly, the ethnic studies programs and FGSS, which are central to the university’s curricular commitment to “diversity” but not sufficiently supported at present and too often marginalized or not represented when questions of inclusion are addressed.

In terms of governance, I served on the Special Committee on Governance created by the University Senate from 2005-07; on the Faculty Senate from 2006-2018; and on the UFC from 2009-2012. I was a strong and visible advocate in this service for faculty governance in matters of educational policy mandated in the bylaws of Cornell but increasingly ignored by the administration in such cases as the institutionalization of Cornell Tech and the Business College.

If elected to the UFC I will continues my advocacy for the issues of diversity and governance elaborated herein.