Community Meeting 4-25-07
“The budget is in solid shape,” said Kelly. He explained that while no major new funding had been made available by the state, there have also been no cuts. “This is the best budget news I’ve ever been able to convey in the spring,” he added. He went on to discuss the Graduate Center’s increasingly strong student recruitment position with such offerings as 1500 fellowships that include both tuition and competitive stipends. The Graduate Center is also continuing to work on establishing dorms and faculty apartments to enhance recruitment, he said.
He further reported that four science programs—biochemistry, chemistry, biology and physics—will be offering joint degrees between the Graduate Center and the CUNY colleges.
Kelly also praised fundraising efforts, including naming opportunities offered to patrons and the record-breaking contributions raised by the most recent Graduate Center Foundation Dinner. Attendance by faculty at the Foundation Dinner was up, and as a result “it felt more like a Graduate Center event,” said Kelly. He also noted the recent hiring of Ray Soldavin, vice president for institutional advancement and executive director of the Graduate Center Foundation. Soldavin fit the dual criteria of the position: an understanding of doctoral education and the ability to reach beyond immediate university contacts to find support for the Graduate Center, Kelly said.
The Graduate Center has achieved high-ranking status in a new system of evaluation in which faculty productivity is a primary measure, Kelly also announced. According to the new index, ten of the Graduate Center’s 30 Ph.D. programs rank in the top ten in the country. In the broader category of humanities, the Graduate Center is placed fourth, after Harvard, Princeton, and Yale.
Kelly then reported the honorary degree recipients of the 2007 Commencement on May 24: Agnes Gund, president emerita of the Museum of Modern Art and arts education advocate; Jean Kennedy Smith, former ambassador to Ireland and advocate for the arts and people with disabilities; and Joseph Lelyveld, former executive editor of The New York Times. Lelyveld will make the commencement address.
Kelly’s remarks came to a finale with an overview of security in light of the on-campus violence at Virginia Tech. “We are constantly reviewing our own security measures,” he affirmed. He pointed out the emergency procedures outlined on the Graduate Center’s web site as well the Graduate Center’s counseling services. He also emphasized that additional ways of creating a secure environment are being explored.
Submitted on: APR 25, 2007