Community Meeting 10-2-07

On the budget, the President said “There’s still a good deal of cautious optimism about this year’s budget process.” Discussing recent developments that might influence that process, he noted shifts in the political landscape, as well as recent tremors in the financial markets that affect tax revenues. The Graduate Center is “in good shape,” said Kelly, and, consequently, is offering much better financial aid packages than it has in the past. “This,” he said, “has made a world of difference in our capacity to recruit, retain, and support excellent doctoral students.” He added that the Graduate Center is working to enhance and sustain this capacity.

Kelly reported that after an initial surge in faculty recruitment over three to four years, the Graduate Center is now adding faculty selectively in certain disciplines.  He described “steady progress” in realizing the institution’s longstanding goal of providing housing for students. In fundraising, he reported that a record $22 million has been raised over the last two years, and said that a capital campaign will be launched in the near future.  Of the Graduate Center’s public programs, Kelly said, “We have tried to narrow the focus and present programs that are embedded in our doctoral programs and in our centers and institutes… programs that speak more immediately to who we are and embody our aspirations.”

On the subject of curriculum, Kelly discussed the reorganization of the science doctoral programs, which will include, among other initiatives, Ph.D. degrees that will be jointly granted with City College and Hunter College, and a comprehensive package of financial support for science students. Kelly stated that this would be a complicated process, but stressed that it would ultimately result in stronger science education. He added that negotiations are in progress to make it possible for City College to grant the Ph.D. in Engineering. He called this “an appropriate measure” since City College is home to CUNY’s entire engineering faculty.

Lastly, Kelly announced that Acting Provost and Senior Vice President Linda Edwards has decided to step down as Provost (effective February 1).  Edwards, in turn, told attendees that CUNY is currently developing a Master Plan for 2008 – 2012, and that the Provost’s Office is seeking suggestions for that Plan from the Graduate Center community.

Brief remarks were also made by Julia Wrigley, Acting Associate Provost and Dean for Academic Affairs; Robert Campbell, Assistant Vice President for Information Technologies; Yosette Jones-Johnson, Assistant Vice President for Faculty and Staff Relations; John Flaherty, Director of Security and Public Safety; and Brian Schwartz, Vice President for Research and Sponsored Programs.

Submitted on: OCT 2, 2007

Category: President's Office - Community Meeting