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February update from SIPS Director Chris Smart

Dear SIPS community,

We have lots going on during the month of February!

Our three faculty searches:

  • Assistant/Associate Professor of Grape Disease Ecology & Epidemiology (Geneva Campus). Zoom interviews are complete and candidates will soon be invited to campus for interviews.
  • Assistant/Associate Professor of International Cropping Systems. The committee is excited about a strong pool of candidates and zoom interviews are underway.
  • Assistant/Associate Professor of Plant-Microbe Biology. The committee is excited about a strong pool of candidates and zoom interviews are underway.

Update on Plant Science renovation

Earlier this week the Provost approved the final scope of work and budget (finally). Folks from Cornell Infrastructure Properties and Planning are working with Payette (our planning and design firm) to develop schedules for meetings and visioning workshops on campus. I’ve been told that Payette will begin on-site activities with SIPS in late February or early March.

Updates from Peter Paradise on Bradfield

I personally am most excited about Peter’s 4th bullet point!!

  • Renovations for classrooms 105 and 110 are advancing in design. AV planning is also under way. We will be reaching out for input soon.
  • We have been working with a lighting designer to look at options for upgrades.  This is progressing well and we should have some things to show you soon.
  • We have been working on plans to upgrade the lounge pits. Sedgewick is drawing plans and we are looking at lighting and evaluating a window treatment to manage the excess heat.
  • We had an architect evaluate the bathroom distribution between men and women.  Looks like there is a good option to make some changes.

Gender and diversity audit update

  • Three groups of volunteers have been interviewed by phone (faculty, postdoc, grad student)
  • Gender at Work is here this week to discuss with groups in person
  • We are creating a SIPS-wide on-line survey that should go out in February

Visit our SIPS diversity webpage ( which has a link to the SIPS diversity data that was collected Fall 2017 (See SIPS diversity data – Fall 2017) to get an idea of our current level of diversity.

Feel free to contact me with questions, concerns, or good news,


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