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Faculty profile: Alan McAdams
Alan Mcadams
Alan Mcadams

In a school renowned for teaching excellence, Alan McAdams was twice honored with the Russell Distinguished Teaching Award. "MBAs want to learn things they can apply in their careers," he says. "So it's very rewarding to hear from alumni who say that every day they use in their professional practice what they learned here." McAdams is proud to have introduced our first set of consulting courses and our first course on sustainable development and enterprise—both now areas of strategic focus for us.

During his 50 years on our faculty, McAdams made significant contributions—to us, the university, his profession, and public policy, as well as to teaching. He championed faculty governance, chairing and serving on numerous university-wide committees, including three terms as chair of the Faculty Financial Policies Committee. He was a founder of the Cornell Faculty Senate and served as our representative until his retirement in June.

McAdams influenced national and international technology policy in several ways. He served as a senior staff economist for the President's Council of Economic Advisors and provided testimony and briefings for multiple congressional committees and individual representatives. He served as the chief economist, expert witness, and consultant for the U.S. antitrust case versus IBM, the largest antitrust case in history.

He also had a significant impact on public policy over three decades through his role as a senior member of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) where his contributions included chairing the Committee on Communication and Information Policy and its Subcommittee on U.S. Technology Leadership, as well as creating and serving on multiple research workshops.

While McAdams was actively engaged in his professional career, he and his wife were engaged in the equally challenging activity of raising their four boys. The couple celebrated their 54th wedding anniversary on September 8.

Now McAdams works from the Sage Hall emeritus office. "In retirement I follow my longtime strategy," he says. "I sit in my office and wait for the world and its challenges to walk in the door. And they still do."