On November 20, 2004, PRI and Cornell University signed an agreement of formal affiliation. Under this agreement, PRI remains a free-standing organization, but connections to the University are officially acknowledged and can be built upon.
In 2008, Cornell University appointed the PRI Director as a half-time, endowed professor in the university’s Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. Beginning in March of that year, PRI's current Director Warren Allmon became the first Hunter R. Rawlings III Professor of Paleontology.
Today, PRI's connections to Cornell are many, varied, and growing. The Museum of the Earth is a regular resource for Cornell undergraduate courses in biology, geology, anthropology, and art. PRI collections and staff are also a resource for Cornell undergraduates engaged in independent research. PRI staff regularly teaches undergraduate classes in EAS and advise PhD students in geology and zoology. PRI's staff includes scientists who conduct original research in evolutionary biology, paleontology, global climate change, paleoceanography, and sedimentary geology, enhancing academic areas at Cornell.