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College of Arts and Sciences

Panel on democracy, inequality will cap inauguration

September 10, 2015

Growing inequality and its effect on democracy is one of the most pressing issues facing the world today. A faculty discussion, part of the inauguration celebration for President Elizabeth Garrett, will bring new perspectives to the challenge of inequality for democratic governance. The “Democracy & Inequality” panel will be held Friday, Sept. 18, at 3 p.m. in Bailey Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

Gretchen Ritter, the Harold Tanner Dean of Arts and Sciences, will introduce the panel, which will be moderated by Garrett.

Read Dean Ritter's op-ed on democracy and inequality that ran in the Cornell Sun.

“This will be an important conversation,” Ritter said. “Cornell has many pre-eminent scholars who study inequality and social mobility, and the Cornell community is fortunate to have the opportunity to hear them discuss these issues.”

The panel will explore how inequality interacts with immigration, access to education and health care, job creation and economic opportunity. Panelists are:

  • Robert H. Frank, the Henrietta Johnson Louis Professor of Management and professor of economics, whose books include “The Darwin Economy: Liberty, Competition, and the Common Good”;
  • Suzanne Mettler, the Clinton Rossiter Professor of American Institutions, whose books include “Degrees of Inequality: How Higher Education Politics Sabotaged the American Dream”;
  • Nick Salvatore, the Maurice and Hinda Neufield Founders Professor in Industrial and Labor Relations, whose books include “Eugene V. Debs: Citizen and Socialist”;
  • Gerald Torres, the Jane M.G. Foster Professor of Law, whose works include “The Miner’s Canary: Enlisting Race, Resisting Power, Transforming Democracy” co-authored with Lani Guinier;
  • Eswar Prasad, the Tolani Senior Professor of Trade Policy, whose books include “Emerging Markets: Resilience and Growth Amid Global Turmoil.

A question-and-answer period will follow the panel. Learn more at


Inauguration events
The Cornell and local communities are invited to be a part of university history, as Elizabeth Garrett is inaugurated the 13th president Friday, Sept. 18.

The installation ceremony will take place on the Arts Quad from 10 a.m. to noon, followed by a community picnic on the Ag Quad from noon to 2 p.m. The academic panel begins at 3 p.m. in Bailey Hall. The installation ceremony and panel discussion will be live-streamed on CornellCast.

A reception for New York-based faculty, staff and students will be held Monday, Sept. 21, 5-7 p.m. at the Belfer Research Building.