Ithaca, N.Y. — Cornell’s long-serving vice president for Student & Academic Services announced her retirement on Wednesday.


Susan Murphy, who graduated from Cornell in 1973 and then got her Ph.D. in 1994, served in the role for more than 20 years.

“Drawing on her own experiences as a Cornell undergraduate and in a variety of increasingly demanding administrative roles at Cornell, Susan Murphy, perhaps more than any other single individual, has shaped the contemporary undergraduate experience at Cornell,” said Robert S. Harrison, chairman of the Cornell University Board of Trustees, in a news release.

Murphy will remain at Cornell in the Division of Alumni Affairs and Development.

Here’s the rest of a press release from Cornell:

In announcing her retirement on Sept. 17, Murphy noted, “Cornell has been a defining influence in my life for more than 40 years. The opportunity, as vice president, to work so closely with our students has been a privilege and huge reward. It has been especially satisfying to create opportunities for students to act upon their strong desire to make a difference in the world. I also am so honored to have been able to partner with extraordinary colleagues in Student and Academic Services who work every day to encourage, support and challenge our students to be the best they can be, while on campus and beyond. I look forward to maintaining all of these special connections in the years to come.”

“I have been so fortunate to have Susan on my senior leadership team,” said President Skorton. “Her talent, perceptiveness, innovation and judgment are simply unparalleled. Time and again, I have drawn upon her wisdom and insights, not only on topics that directly affect the student experience, but also on issues related to higher education on a national and even global scale. While Cornell will miss her leadership, the university will be fortunate to have the continuing benefit of her broad experience when she transitions to her Alumni Affairs and Development role next July.”

“Under Susan’s leadership over the last two decades, Cornell has created innovative partnerships that bridge the living and learning environments and provide a foundation for students’ academic and life success,” noted Provost Kent Fuchs. “Her vision and commitment to students have advanced Cornell’s educational excellence.”

A graduate of the Cornell College of Arts and Sciences, Murphy returned to Cornell in 1978 after earning masters’ degrees from Montclair State College and Stanford University. She worked for 16 years in admissions and financial aid, including nine years as dean of admissions and financial aid. While serving as dean, she completed her Ph.D. in educational administration at Cornell and subsequently was appointed to her current position as vice president. In 2005, the lobby in the university’s Court Hall, a first-year student residence, was named in her honor. A Cornell Tradition Scholarship was given in her honor in 2008. Among her many connections with students, she serves as a house fellow at the Alice Cook House and a mentor to Meinig Family Cornell National Scholars.

The Division of Student and Academic Services oversees most aspects of student life outside the classroom including Athletics and Physical Education, Public Service Center, Dean of Students, Gannett: University Health Services, Cornell Commitment, Registrar, Cornell Auxiliary Services, and Career Services. The division has more than 1,200 staff and 2,500 student employees.

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Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.