May 28, 2008

Biddy Martin leaves a multifaceted legacy at Cornell

Carolyn (Biddy) Martin has served as Cornell's chief academic officer since 2000. She began her Cornell career in 1983 as an instructor of German studies and women's studies, making her way up the academic ranks to full professor, chair, associate dean and, finally, provost.

During her tenure as provost, Martin has left a multifaceted legacy that includes overseeing the nearly completed $150 million Joan and Sanford Weill Life Sciences Building, as well as increasing the stature of humanities research and education at Cornell. She has served on countless committees and boards and has led many strategic initiatives both for the university and for individual departments and colleges.

In January this year, she announced a sweeping new financial aid initiative, starting next year, to eliminate need-based loans for all undergraduate students from families with incomes under $75,000, making it possible for new students to graduate debt-free.

In 2007 Martin gave her first Academic State of the University address, outlining Cornell's accomplishments, priorities and challenges as a world-class research and land-grant institution. Also during her leadership, she established the Provost's Excellence in Research Awards, targeted at recently tenured faculty likely to receive outside offers of employment.

Other highlights of Martin's career at Cornell include:

Provost, 2000-08

Professor, German Studies and Women's Studies, 1997-2008

Senior Associate Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, 1996-2000

Chair, German Studies, 1994-97

Associate Director, Women's Studies Program, 1993-94

Associate Professor, German Studies and Women's Studies, 1991-97

Assistant Professor, German Studies and Women's Studies, 1985-91

Cornell Instructor, German Studies and Women's Studies, 1983-85

University of Wisconsin, Lecturer, 1980-83