Advisory Council Charter

Purpose and Objectives 

Founded in 2008, the purpose of the Advisory Council for Cornell University’s Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences is to give advice and assistance in support of the Department’s priorities and strategic goals. 

The objectives of the Advisory Council are to: 

  • Provide input on Departmental strategy and competitive standing from alumni and other interested parties representing the private and public sectors, non-government organizations, and other types of relevant organizations; 
  • Review the Department’s undergraduate and graduate curricula and suggest means to insure that they fulfill the Department’s educational goals, align with the strategic plan, and prepare graduates for success in the current and evolving workplace; 
  • Serve as a sounding board of opinion on any other items proposed by the Department; 
  • Advocate for the Department both within the University and in the larger external Cornell community; 
  • Serve as a synergistic network among faculty, staff, students and alumni, including student internship and career connections; 
  • Support the Department’s financial health through Advisory Council-driven activities and contributions. 

The Advisory Council coordinates directly with the Department Chair. All Council recommendations are advisory to the Department Chair for implementation at his/her discretion. 


The Advisory Council shall consist of up to 30 members appointed by the Department Chair. Suggestions for new members will come from the Council as well as the Department. The majority of members shall be alumni of the Department. Non-alumni members shall consist of professionals engaged in, or related to, the earth or atmospheric science fields. Active Cornell faculty, students or staff are not eligible for membership. 

Membership shall be representative of the academic and research concentrations of the Department and reflect diversity in terms of gender, expertise, career experience, and years since graduation. Qualified members shall be strong supporters of the Department’s undergraduate and graduate education and research programs, have good standing in their profession and a deep understanding of the role of earth and atmospheric sciences in society, and are willing to devote time to the Advisory Council. 2 


Members are expected to attend the majority of meetings and participate as much as possible in Council activities. Additionally, they are expected to support the Department through several of the following ways: providing career guidance and internship/employment opportunities for students; guest speaking; contributing directly to fund-raising initiatives; and sharing positive news about the University and Department with others. 

The term of membership is 4 years and can be renewed without limit. Terms begin or expire on January 1 each year. 


The Advisory Council shall meet at least twice per year. The primary annual meeting shall be held on-campus, preferably during the fall semester. A mid-year progress meeting shall be held virtually via video conference, preferably during the spring semester. The meeting venue, format and/or timing may be changed at the discretion of the Department Chair in consultation with the Advisory Council Chair. If necessary, additional meetings may be called jointly by both Chairs. 


The Advisory Council Chair shall be appointed by the Department Chair in consultation with the outgoing Advisory Council Chair. The Advisory Council Chair must be a regular member of the Advisory Council. The term for this position shall be nominally 4 years, adjustable by a year to avoid rotations at the same time as for EAS Chair, and can be renewed once for a total of 8 years. Terms will begin or expire on January 1 of each year. 

The Advisory Council Chair shall preside over meetings of the Advisory Council, co-develop meeting agendas with the Department Chair, record the minutes of the meetings, collaborate with members on matters before the Advisory Council, and provide the Department Chair with written feedback following the annual meeting. This written feedback is to be shared with the Deans of the College of Engineering and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. 


Committees may be formed at the discretion of the Department Chair or Advisory Council Chair in consultation with one other.