Spring 2021 University Faculty Committee Candidate Profiles

University Faculty Committee (UFC)


Chris Barrett, Stephen B. & Janice G. Ashley Professor of Applied Economics and Management (Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics)

Spring 2021 University Faculty Committee candidate Chris Barrett
Chris Barrett is the Stephen B. & Janice G. Ashley Professor of Applied Economics and Management, and International Professor of Agriculture at the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, as well as a Professor in the Department of Economics, a Professor in the Department of Global Development, and a Fellow of the Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability. He is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, and the African Association of Agricultural Economists, and has won numerous college, university, national and international awards for teaching, research and policy outreach and public service. He served on the Faculty Senate and held leadership roles at Cornell, including as the Deputy Dean and Dean of Academic Affairs of the SC Johnson College of Business, and as the David J. Nolan Director of the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management. He previously served on faculty at Utah State and as visiting faculty at Harvard, Melbourne, Monash, Notre Dame, and Stanford. 
Candidate Statement:
During my 23 years at Cornell I have served both on Faculty Senate and as a School and College administrator. Those experiences feed my strong belief that our shared governance model is central to the university's strength. Faculty are key partners with senior University administrators as we together strive to safeguard and enhance Cornell's excellence in its many functions serving diverse stakeholder groups. Faculty do and must have substantive, high-level input into strategic policy and investment decisions. I have productively engaged with both Faculty Senate and University administration in multiple roles over the years and would be honored to serve on the University Faculty Committee.
Website of interest:

David Levitsky, Professor, Nutritional Science (College of Agriculture and Life Sciences) 

Spring 2021 University Faculty Committee candidate David Levitsky
I have been associated with Cornell ever since 1968 when I entered as a Post-Doctoral Fellow. Because my interests and training span two disciplines, Psychology and Nutrition, I’ve been a member of the Division of Nutritional Sciences in the School of Human Ecology and the Department of Psychology in the School of Arts and Sciences, ever since 1970. In the tradition of administrative complexity at Cornell, my appointment is through the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. I am currently a Full Professor in both departments.
I love teaching at Cornell and have won several awards such as the New York State Chancellor Award for outstanding teacher and was bestowed a Steven H Weiss Presidential Fellow by the University as well as the recipient of Edgerton Teaching Award from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
I have served on and off the Faculty Senate throughout my years at Cornell. I just finished serving on the board of the Cornell Chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP).  I am currently serving as a member of university Committee on Academic Programs and Policies (CAPP).
Candidate statement:
I am quite concerned about the lack of influence of the University Faculty over university initiatives such as the decision to create the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management or the Cornell and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and now, the decision to continue negotiations with China over the creation of a joint degree program with Food Science despite the Faculty warnings that it includes an Chinese indoctrination program that abhorrent to academia.

Mariana Wolfner, Professor, Molecular Biology and Genetics (College of Arts and Sciences)

Spring 2021 University Faculty Committee candidate Mariana Wolfner
Mariana Federica Wolfner is Distinguished Professor of Arts and Sciences in Molecular Biology and Genetics, and a Stephen H. Weiss Fellow. She was an undergraduate at Cornell majoring in Biology and Chemistry, obtained a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Stanford University, and did postdoctoral work at UCSD before joining the Cornell faculty in 1983. Mariana’s lab studies the function, regulation, and evolution of proteins that are essential for reproduction, primarily in insects. Their results are relevant to controlling insect-borne diseases and to understanding human infertility. Her work is collaborative and interdisciplinary, a feature that she enjoys. Mariana has mentored in research over 40 graduate students, 30 postdoctoral fellows, 90 undergraduates and several high school students. Her teaching includes evolutionary developmental biology and advanced genetics. Mariana has served in many capacities at Cornell, including Associate Department Chair, Director of Graduate Studies, Faculty-elected Trustee, member of FACTA, and on the Provost’s Life Science Advisory and Research Advisory Councils, and her department’s Diversity Council and DEI Committee. She actively mentors junior faculty in her department and beyond. Her interest in undergraduate and graduate education/mentoring and the student experience led to service on the General Committee of the Graduate School and on curriculum committees in the College of Arts and Sciences, the Office of Undergraduate Biology and the Provost’s office, and to participation as attendee or presenter in workshops such as the Faculty Institute for Diversity and Early-Career Faculty Grants Mentoring Program. Mariana was a Rawlings House Fellow at Alice Cook House for 12 years. Outside of Cornell, Mariana is very active in her discipline. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, she has been an officer of many professional-society boards, held editorial positions at multiple journals, organized numerous conferences and served there as mentor to early-career attendees, and reviewed grants for federal and international agencies.
Candidate statement:
I am a biologist who is fascinated by genetics, evolution, and developmental biology.  While these are my scholarly and teaching passions, they are so in the context of the much broader intellectual landscape that is represented at Cornell. The collegiality and caring, and the collaborative and interdisciplinary thought that pervade the top-level scholarship and academics here at Cornell are very important. I would like to continue working with colleagues across disciplines to keep these unique features strong in the face of pressures that affect our university, colleges, departments, scholarship, colleagues, and students. I am eager to continue bringing my perspectives as a faculty member and current UFC member, community member, and former faculty-elected trustee to help Cornell be an inclusive, safe, supportive, and intellectually-vibrant community for its faculty, students and staff.
Websites of interest:


Laurent Dubreuil, Professor, Comparative Literature and Romance Studies (College of Arts and Sciences)

Spring 2021 University Faculty Committee candidate Laurent Dubreuil
I came to Cornell in 2005 as a Visiting Assistant Professor, before being appointed as a Full Professor in the Departments of Comparative Literature and Romance Studies in 2008. For a decade, I’ve also been affiliated with Cognitive Science. I am currently serving as the Director of the French Studies Program, a position that, on and off, I held for close to 10 years in total. In 2020, I founded the Humanities Lab, a platform for sustained dialogues between the sciences and the humanities. At Cornell, I taught for my departments, but also co-taught for English, Psychology, or Neurobiology and Behavior.
Back in the 1990s in France, I read most disciplines of the humanities (especially Classics, Literature, and Philosophy). I later earned two doctoral degrees, one in Literature, the other in Women’s studies and Philosophy. In the 2010s, a Mellon ‘New Directions” fellowship allowed me to complete postdoctoral training in Cognitive Science, with a focus on language, logic, and animal cognition.
My research reflects the diversity of my interests. I am the author of ten scholarly books, all of them available in French and/or English. My first inquiries belonged to literary theory (on the experience of reading, and on the literary response to discourses of knowledge). I published four books pertaining to ethics (on friendship), and politics (on language and colonial power; on refusal; on globalized identity politics). My last books in English sketch a transdisciplinary exploration of the manifold of the mind, with one monograph on regimes of thought, another on poetry and the limits of the (un)thinkable, plus dialogues on the “human ape” (co-authored with a primatologist). 
I’m also a published writer in French; I’ve directed dozens of testimony videos, and I wrote op-eds and essays for Harper’s, or the WSJ, among others.
Candidate Statement:
In a world increasingly shaped by bureaucratic processes, conformism, ignorance, greed, censorship, autocratic tendencies, and purely “reactionary” behaviors, universities are becoming, de facto, a site of resistance—but only if the faculty uphold the values of free inquiry, independent research, and intellectual pluralism. 
By contrast, American universities now tend to be run like (bureaucratic) corporations. At the same time, independently of top-down interferences, both groupthinking and “defeatism” among professors erode the “noble dream” of scholarship.
“Shared governance” does not mean that the faculty should be optionally consulted; it also implies that we assert our rights. In this context, the function of the UFC is not to convey to the faculty what the higher échelons of the administration require. Quite the opposite, by becoming more transparent and showcasing more diversity of opinions, the UFC should play a key role in the re-affirmation of our collective leadership as faculty at Cornell.
Websites of interest:

Mark Lewis, Professor, Operations Research and Engineering; Senior Associate Dean, Diversity and Faculty Development (College of Engineering)

Spring 2021 University Faculty Committee candidate Mark Lewis
Professor Lewis joined Cornell's School of Operations Research and Information Engineering (ORIE) as an Associate Professor after spending six years on the faculty at the University of Michigan. His research focuses on dynamic decision-making most often modeled as a Markov decision process. Dynamic control of queues is his most prominent area of focus, but he has also considered transportation, wireless communications, and inventory control in his research. In 2011, Professor Lewis was promoted to full professor and in 2015 he was appointed Associate Dean for Diversity and Faculty Development in the College of Engineering. He was promoted to Senior Associate Dean in 2017. In 2019, Mark began his current role as the Director of the School of ORIE and ended his term as associate dean in January of 2020. He is the recipient of several awards including an honorable mention for the Dantzig Dissertation Award, the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (from the National Science Foundation), the Sloan Foundation mentor of the year and the Zellman Warhaft Commitment to Diversity Faculty Award. In 2019, he was the Black History Month Honoree of Mathematically Gifted & Black. In 2018, at the request of the Provost, Professor Lewis chaired a university-wide committee on Faculty Diversity. The recommendations provided in the report serve as the model for some of the offerings of the Office for Faculty Development and Diversity.
Candidate Statement:
In my time as the (Senior) Associate Dean for Diversity and Faculty Development, I have reviewed more than 85 tenure and promotion cases. In addition, I have served the university on a wide range of committees including chairing the Committee on Faculty Diversity and being a member of the Working Group F (to consider diversity training for faculty) and the Public Safety Advisory Committee (to review campus security policies). Each of these have been broadening experiences that I believe provide me a perspective that will be invaluable in serving on this committee. 
Websites of interest: