Community Meeting 12-3-07

The President reported that things are running smoothly, and the Graduate Center has seen little in the way of crisis in recent months.  “The budget has been solid,” he said, “and we continue to look forward to investments in our faculty and our students.”

He reminded attendees that the Commission on Higher Education would be holding a public meeting at the Graduate Center that Wednesday, December 5, and that’s this body’s official report would be issued on December 17.  The Commission, he explained, was appointed by Governor Elliot Spitzer to identify ways to improve higher education in New York State, and it includes representatives from CUNY, SUNY, and the private sector.  The President said that the Commission’s report will greatly influence the conversation about higher education, and that an area of major concern to the Graduate Center is, of course, investment in research.

The President said, “On a more local level, we proceed with optimistic planning for next year.  Faculty recruitment continues apace, and the news there is very positive.  On the student front, our fellowship packages are holding firm.”  In regard to those packages, the President said that the Graduate Center is attempting to lighten the teaching load and make progress on the health insurance front, though, he added, this will be a long process involving a great deal of hard work.  The re-configuration of the doctoral science programs also continues.  The President said that “the most palpable consequence of this re-forming is that the fellowships associated with these programs will now be competitive nationally.”  On infrastructure, he pointed out that there has been a substantial new allocation to Information Technology.

The Graduate Center’s public programs, he said, continue to be extraordinary, and he discussed a new strategy that will organize events around a common theme.  Next year’s theme will be “Power” in its many forms and ramifications, and substantial funding has been obtained from a private foundation for this purpose.  This, he said, is part of an effort to “make the kinds of conversations we have in our research and seminars public and useful in important ways.”

The President reminded attendees that Julia Wrigley will assume the role of Interim Provost in the spring.  At that time, a broad-based national search will be launched to find a permanent successor to Linda Edwards, who is now completing her last semester as Provost.

He concluded with a reminder about the Graduate Center’s upcoming holiday party, which will take place from 3:00 to 5:00 pm on Tuesday, December 18 in the Dining Commons.

Submitted on: DEC 3, 2007

Category: President's Office - Community Meeting