September 6, 2016
Welcome back! I hope summer offered respite and rejuvenation.
To those new to the Graduate Center, including nearly 600 incoming students hailing from at least 27 states and 110 countries, we could not be more pleased to call you our colleagues. Within your ranks are scholars, researchers, curators, scientists, directors, philosophers, and musicians, including 18-year-old Ph.D. student Marie-Ange Nguchi (Music), whose performance dazzled us at Convocation. As I mentioned in my remarks that day, never in our 55-year history has admissions been more competitive, or you, our entering students, more accomplished. And on behalf of our faculty and staff, we wish you the best as you embark on this new academic chapter.
Among those dedicated to your success is Dr. Joy Connolly, herself a new arrival as Provost and Senior Vice President. Provost Connolly brings to her post a wealth of experience in research and graduate education, rooted in public and private institutions alike. It was the Graduate Center’s “commitment to ensuring the most intellectually ambitious and inclusive community of scholars possible” that drew her here, she says, a decision advancing our good fortune.
Regarding the budget, you have heard from me on many occasions in the past year concerning the Graduate Center’s financial challenges. Our focus remains on addressing the FY2017 budget cuts that I outlined in detail last spring. Even so, we are all pleased that recent negotiations for new contracts have been successfully brought to a close, recognizing the hard of work of faculty, students, and staff, whose shared tenacity defines the Graduate Center. As I have mentioned, the more we partner and collaborate, the more we will benefit from the talents and energies of our community.
In the coming days I will send a series of announcements about new faculty, diversity initiatives, and more. Until then, in addition to the academic and research-related activities already underway, we look forward to an impressive array of public events featuring Hermione Lee, Barney Frank, Joy-Ann Reid, and the GC’s Paul Krugman and Peter Beinart, among many others. Do visit our GC website for specific details in the days ahead.
Best wishes for a successful and rewarding semester.
Chase F. Robinson