Cornell Public Relations Dept in Damage-Control Mode

Cornell Public Relations Dept in Damage-Control Mode

The e-mail below was written on May 6, 2013 by Tommy Bruce, VP for University Communications at Cornell, at the request of Cornell Provost W. Kent Fuchs and at the behest of Cornell President David Skorton’s office. Bruce’s e-mail was written in partial response to the plethora of complaints about the Cornell-Technion Partnership that Cornell has been receiving via its “ethical concerns” hotline and website, and is addressed to Professor Randa Farah of Western University in Ontario, Canada in direct response to her e-mail of complaint. Bruce’s e-mail is typically evasive, as it completely ignores Palestinian rights and humanity which are jeopardized by the Partnership and by Technion’s complicity in the violent and illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine. Please e-mail Tommy BruceDavid Skorton, and Kent Fuchs — and tell them that this kind of evasiveness is simply not acceptable: Cornell must divest from Technion!

From: Tommy W. Bruce
To: Randa Farah
Cc: Office of the President; Kent Fuchs, Office of the Provost
Sent: Monday, May 6, 2013 4:34:25 PM
Subject: Fwd: questionable ethics -hotline and website

Dear Professor Farah,

Thank you for sharing your concerns about shutting down the EthicsPoint hotline and web site. As of this writing, the site and number are both online and operating normally.

Regarding Cornell’s partnership with the Technion to build the new tech campus in New York City, our two institutions have a long history of faculty collaboration. This is not at all unusual. Cornell and its faculty have had agreements and working relationships with academic institutions from around the world since the university was founded nearly 150 years ago. These collaborations are important to our mission of teaching, discovery and engagement, and we encourage them even in countries with which some of our faculty, students, and alumni may have significant disagreements with the governments. Time and again, the knowledge-sharing and real-world solutions that spring from these relationships – in everything from computer science and liberal arts to crop science and food security – benefit the peoples of many countries, including our own, and in the long run contribute to the betterment of our global community.

Best regards,

Thomas W. Bruce
Vice President for University Communications
308 Day Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853
Cell: +1.607.280.8029