Academic Year End


As we come to the close of the academic year, I want to introduce two new colleagues who will help the Graduate Center broaden its reach. 

One of our key goals as a school, expressed in our Strategic Plan, is broadening our impact by teaching new subjects and attracting new, diverse kinds of students in master’s degree programs and new non-degree programs. We’ve already made strong progress on the master’s front in 2017-18, with six new degrees approved by New York State. Now over five hundred strong, our master’s students have dedicated staff and space (the lounge in 7405). GC doctoral students now work as advisers for students in the Master’s of Arts in Liberal Studies program.  We established several scholarships for MALS students this year and next year will also offer a similar number to students in programs outside of MALS.  We created an annual fund to support master’s students travel and research.   

Now I am very happy to announce the arrival of Professor Julie Chi-hye Suk, currently Professor of Law at the Cardozo School of Law – Yeshiva University, as Dean for Master’s Programs and Professor of Sociology, with affiliations with Liberal Studies and Political Science.  She will work with program directors to meet master’s students’ needs in a systematic way and to advocate for their distinctive interests.  With a law degree from Yale and master’s and doctoral degrees in Politics from Oxford, she will bring an interdisciplinary background to her work with faculty at the Graduate Center encouraging curricular creativity and experimentation. Her years of experience in law schools will help her relate to students who seek a master’s degree to enrich their professional paths. Her commitment to the liberal arts, expressed in her wide-ranging, cross-disciplinary record of publications, makes her an ideal advocate for students in all disciplines across the arts and sciences. As a scholar of gender, race, and class inequality, Professor Suk possesses intellectual passions that match her commitment to diversity and to the public mission of CUNY.

Master’s students are one important growing group we are welcoming into the GC.  Our vision embraces other audiences as well. We have skills and knowledge to offer that transcend traditional courses or degrees and that draw new people through our doors.

I am very happy to announce that Brian Peterson joins us on June 1 as Dean for Academic Initiatives and Strategic Innovation.  A seasoned administrator who played a key role in building the CUNY School of Professional Studies, he will lead new academic programming, including an enlarged CUNY BA, certificates, hybrid courses, and non-degree offerings.  Working closely with faculty and staff, he will develop innovative educational experiences that will serve diverse partners including city agencies and NGOs — with whom the Graduate Center already has a range of ties and he has deep experience. Second, he will support the Graduate Center’s Executive Officers, program directors, and other academic and administrative leaders to improve our strategic planning and implementation.  Third, he will establish relations between the Graduate Center and international institutions, allowing for greater numbers of international students to join us and smoothing the way for our doctoral students to study and do research abroad.
I want to express gratitude for the diligence and commitment of the current master’s programs’ administrators, both faculty and staff, as well as the designers and directors of our new programs.  I also want to thank those faculty who have worked above and beyond to create and support internships, summer institutes, and other unconventional experiences for all our graduate students. Finally, I want to express my sincere gratitude to Interim Dean for Master’s Programs and Professor of Sociology Julia Wrigley, who has brought her wisdom and deep knowledge of CUNY to the assistance of students and faculty for the past year. 

With a growing master’s population and a range of new programs, the Graduate Center is moving into new terrain while at the same time we work harder to improve doctoral education. With the goal firmly in my mind of better serving all students and faculty, I am excited by the prospect of these additions to our strengths.  I am delighted to welcome new Deans Julie Suk and Brian Peterson to the Graduate Center.

Best wishes for a restful and recuperative summer.


Submitted on: JUN 6, 2018

Category: Provost's Office