University Faculty Committee (Senator)

Laurent Dubreuil, Professor, Romance Studies (College of Arts and Sciences)
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 more than 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). With Morten Christiansen (Psychology) and graduate students, I am currently working on poetry and artificial intelligence (using GPT-3).
   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, I believe the UFC should play a key role in the re-affirmation of our collective leadership as faculty at Cornell. This is what I’d like to bring to the committee, building on my years of experience at the Faculty Senate and in diverse administrative roles at Cornell and beyond.
Websites of Interest:

Debbie Cherney, Professor, Animal Science (College of Agriculture and Life Sciences)
Debbie Cherney is a Professor in the Department of Animal Science, CALS. She received her B.S. in Animal Science at the University of Florida, her M.S. in Agronomy at Louisiana State University, and Ph.D. in Animal Nutrition at the University of Florida. After a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at Purdue University Debbie and her husband, Jerry (Professor, SIPS, CALS), moved to Cornell.  Debbie received an M.A. in Bioethics from the Medical College of Wisconsin in 2009.  Debbie has served or is serving on the University Hearing and Appeals Board, CALS SUNY Faculty Senate, University Faculty Senate, Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, Health Careers Evaluation Committee, and the University Library Committee.  In CALS, Debbie has served or is serving on the Academic Achievement and Petitions Committee, the Academic Human Diversity and Resources Committee, the Committee for Support of Teaching and Learning, CALS Academic Integrity Hearing Board, CALS Library Committee, Committee on Support for Teaching and Leaning, CALS Humanities Distribution Requirement Task Force, and the CALS Faculty Senate sub-committee on Ethics .
Candidate Statement:
Shared governance is the process by which Cornell University’s faculty share in the important decisions affecting us, our students, and the future direction of Cornell University. The philosopher David Hume said that “It is seldom that liberty of any kind is lost all at once.” We need a UFC that is able to work closely with administration to inform the Administration of Faculty concerns and to equally effectively translate needs of Administration to Faculty Senators. It is incumbent of UFC to help develop policies that are amenable to all parties involved. I would be feel most honored to be a part of UFC to honor the fine tradition of faculty governance we have at Cornell.