Cornell officials say they hope to have a search committee formed by the end of March to find President David Skorton’s replacement.
On Monday, Skorton was named the next secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, and will leave the school in June of 2015.
“As a successful president of two universities, David has led complex organizations,” said John McCarter, chair of the Smithsonian’s Board of Regents. “He is an accomplished research scientist and a strong advocate for the arts and humanities, which make him an extraordinary fit for the Smithsonian.”
“I am honored to be chosen to lead the Smithsonian Institution, one of our true national treasures,” said Skorton. “The mission of the Smithsonian – ‘The Increase and Diffusion of Knowledge’ – resonates deeply with me and mirrors the collective mission of the remarkably talented community of scholars, students and staff with whom I have had the privilege to collaborate at Cornell these past eight years.
Skorton held off on leaving Ithaca until the middle of next year, when Cornell will celebrate its sesquicentennial.
“We’ve had an amazing experience together for the past eight years, and I’m very sorry that he won’t be finishing out the remaining full part of his term,” said Robert Harrison, chairman of Cornell’s Board of Trustees. “But, I’m thrilled that he decided to defer the appointment until the middle of 2015.”
Harrison called Skorton one of the best presidents in Cornell’s history.
Skorton has served as Cornell’s President since 2006. Before coming to Ithaca, Skorton held a similar position leading the University of Iowa.