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Cornell deans Alan Mathios, Kathryn Boor, Soumitra Dutta and Harry Katz composite image

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Q&A with Cornell's deans: On money, misconceptions, hopes, strengths and where they see Cornell in 20 years

Beginning in this issue and continuing over the course of the next three issues, Ezra will share conversations with Cornell's academic leaders – the deans of the 15 university colleges

and schools. What are their hopes and dreams for the units they lead? What does it take to be dean? Where is Cornell headed?

With Cornell University's sesquicentennial anniversary in 2015 now visible on the horizon, this series will showcase the wisdom, aspirations and insight of the leaders of Cornell's schools in their own voices.

Appointed to five-year terms that can be renewed (most deans serve one or two terms), today's deans not only are academic superstars, teachers and researchers, but also must be chief financial officers, fundraisers and salespeople, mentors and referees. There may be no "typical" day or week in the life of a Cornell dean, but the men and women in these roles aren't typical, either – like Cornell, they are diverse and unique, and every single one of them is extremely accomplished. And, as you'll see in these pages, their personalities influence how they approach their jobs as much as the job requirements themselves.

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