ITHACA, N.Y.—After calls began to bubble up over the weekend urging Cornell University to announce a stance on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, school president Martha Pollack has offered a public condemnation.
The announcement comes four days after Ukrainian members of the Cornell community organized a rally on Ho Plaza to call for peace amidst mounting international economic punishments directed at Russia.
“Over the last week, the world has watched Russia’s deplorable and unprovoked invasion of the sovereign nation of Ukraine, an attack that is both devastating for the people of Ukraine and has deeply impacted countless others, including members of our own community,” Pollack wrote. “My heart goes out to each of them.”
Pollack wrote the school has now confirmed that “no Cornell students, faculty, or staff are registered to be in Ukraine or Russia at this time.” The school also doesn’t have any academic programs currently active in either country.
Pollack also wrote that the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, of which she is a member, has “taken the lead in pushing for protections and work permits for Ukrainian students.”
Cornell will be providing safe harbor for students disrupted by unrest in Ukraine and Russia, similar to what the university has done in the past following other international unrest.
“Cornell’s rich diversity of lived experience, knowledge, and understanding positions us to convene thoughtful conversations about an extraordinarily difficult moment in history,” Pollack said.
Cornell Professor Emeritus and Nobel Laureate Roald Hoffmann has also written a letter signed by 163 Nobel Laureates on the current crisis and its implications in related to both national and global media.
Cornell will be hosting a faculty panel that is open to the public at 4:30 p.m. Friday, March 4, to discuss a range of topics including Russian domestic and foreign policy, Ukrainian nationhood and security responses, human rights and migration and economic sanctions impacts, among others.
“As is always true during times of crisis, our community must, and I know will, rise to support one another. I hope fervently for a rapid, peaceful, and just resolution to this terrible situation,” Pollack said.