Current Structure of the Employee Assembly
The current structure of the Employee Assembly and its membership of 35 voting members is the result of a recent review by the Membership Task Force, which was convened in the spring of 2020 to review and revise its charter. Recognizing that Cornell has expanded, adapted, combined, and created new colleges, units and affinity groups, and in order to, “actively involve all segments of Cornell’s diverse employee population in the Assembly’s decision-making activities”, this task force met weekly for several months, heard from the staff community, and met with key stakeholders.
At the August 3, 2020 Employee Assembly meeting, this task force introduced EA R2: Updating the EA Charter to Expand its Membership, which aligned the assembly’s membership with current University structure to reflect a more comprehensive representation of the staff community. Among other proposed changes, EA R2 expanded the membership to 35 members; renamed the seat for the School of Hotel Administration to the “Cornell SC Johnson College of Business (which will encompass all units within the College of Business); added a seat for the School of Public Policy; added affinity seats for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) and “More Than 20 Years of Service”; and created three “At-Large” seats for those candidates without clear Assembly representation. This resolution was introduced, debated and tabled, with the anticipation that it would be brought to a vote of the assembly at a future meeting. In addition to the assembly’s internal processes, charter changes require the approval of the university president. This resolution was acknowledged by President Pollack on August 25, 2020 and was implemented for the spring 2021 elections.
Previously, the Employee Assembly, due to a multi-year review and restructuring plan, expanded to 29 voting members per EA R5.2015, which went into effect in the spring of 2015. The new representative structure allocated 29 voting seats based on the colleges, units, and affinity groups which existed at the time. This was a significant departure from the original model, which was a much smaller assembly, (19 members: 6 representing Exempt Employees, 6 representing Non-Exempt employees, one representing NYS Agricultural Experiment Station at Geneva (now Cornell Agritech), and 6 representing “all employees, regardless of job classification or location.”)