Appointment of Interim President

The Graduate Center - Office of the President

To: The Graduate Center Community

From: Chase F. Robinson, President

Date: October 29, 2018

Subject: Appointment of Interim President

The CUNY Board of Trustees has voted to approve the appointment of Provost Joy Connolly as interim president of The Graduate School and University Center effective December 8, 2018. I commend the board on its selection and look forward to working with Joy over the next several weeks to ensure an efficient and effective transition. Joy’s appointment will allow us to continue our progress toward achieving the goals of our strategic plan. 

Below, please find the press release issued by CUNY regarding Joy’s appointment. Please join me in congratulating Joy.



The Board of Trustees of The City University of New York today confirmed Chancellor Vita C. Rabinowitz’s appointment of Joy Connolly as interim president of The CUNY Graduate School and University Center, succeeding Chase F. Robinson who will be leaving in December. The appointment is effective Dec. 8, 2018.

Connolly has served as Provost and Senior Vice President of the Graduate Center since August 2016. A distinguished professor of classics, she is a scholar of Roman literature and political thought and their transformation in the modern era. As Provost, Connolly has emphasized the Graduate Center's commitment to innovative education and the pursuit and circulation of knowledge for the public good. 

“Joy Connolly is a passionate advocate for public higher education and for the Graduate Center’s students and faculty, and I am confident in her capacity to lead New York’s premier public institution of graduate education,” said Interim Chancellor Rabinowitz. “I have come to know her as an enormously talented and creative academic leader who has made transformative contributions to the Graduate Center and the entire University.”

Robinson is leaving the Graduate Center to become the Dame Jillian Sackler Director of the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and Freer Gallery of Art at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.

Connolly has brought the Graduate Center to the forefront of innovation in graduate education through a number of initiatives. Earlier this year, she secured $2.27 million from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to transform doctoral education. One of the projects the grant is funding is an ambitious PublicsLab, which will coordinate and amplify the public-facing scholarship of GC students and faculty. Her efforts to support student research include the new Quantitative Resources Consulting Center. She oversaw the administrative transition of the Advanced Science Research Center to the Graduate Center and has recruited highly accomplished and diverse faculty and administrators. Under her leadership, the provost’s office has expanded the GC’s master’s programs and is adding new nondegree programs that will diversify the GC’s reach and improve its financial resilience. 

“It is an honor to have the opportunity to lead this remarkable institution and to build on the momentum we’ve established in advancing the GC’s vital mission and ensuring its academic strengths,” said Connolly. “I am grateful to Chase for his leadership and friendship and wish him well in his new role. The GC is a stronger institution because of his tireless service.”

Connolly earned an A.B. (magna cum laude) from Princeton University and a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Classical Studies. After serving as an assistant professor of classics at the University of Washington in Seattle and at Stanford University, she joined the classics department at NYU, where she reached the rank of full professor. At NYU she served as director of the College Core Curriculum, a comprehensive arts and sciences program required for most NYU undergraduates, and then as dean for humanities, where she oversaw nearly 400 faculty in over 30 departments and research institutes and hired dozens of faculty, including a MacArthur “genius” and a Carnegie Fellow.

A holder of fellowships at the Center for Human Values at Princeton and the Netherlands Institute of Advanced Study, Connolly is the author or editor of three books, over 30 articles, and nearly 40 book reviews. She serves on a number of editorial boards, including the Journal for the History of Ideas, and her writing has appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The Village Voice, The Times Literary Supplement, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Bookforum and The Nation. Her CV can be found here.

The City University of New York is the nation’s leading urban public university. Founded in 1847, CUNY counts 13 Nobel Prize and 24 MacArthur (“Genius”) grant winners among its alumni. CUNY students, alumni and faculty have garnered scores of other prestigious honors over the years in recognition of historic contributions to the advancement of the sciences, business, the arts and myriad other fields. The University comprises 25 institutions: 11 senior colleges, seven community colleges, William E. Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, CUNY Graduate School and University Center, Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY, CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies, CUNY School of Law, CUNY School of Professional Studies and CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy. The University serves more than 275,000 degree-seeking students. CUNY offers online baccalaureate and master’s degrees through the School of Professional Studies.

Submitted on: OCT 29, 2018

Category: General GC News | President's Office - Archive