In CUNY TV Interview, President Robin L. Garrell Shares Her Priorities

In a recent interview on the broadcast “One to One” on CUNY TV, President Robin L. Garrell discussed the role of public graduate education, The Graduate Center’s strengths, and her priorities. 

Asked by host Sheryl McCarthy for her bucket list, Garrell included ensuring that The Graduate Center is contributing to the value that CUNY brings to New York City; transforming students’ lives, not only at the undergraduate level, but also into graduate education; advancing the workforce; doing research that can change the city; and making sure that people know and understand that CUNY is for them. 

Garrell lauded public graduate education as transformational, an engine of socio-economic opportunity that advances equity. She said that The Graduate Center “resonates with the city” not only for workforce preparation, but also for the kinds of research pursued on issues such as health disparities, major public policy challenges like incarceration, and the public and the arts. The Graduate Center’s commitment to its mission as a public graduate school stands out, along with its consortium model, which she called a model for public graduate education nationally and worldwide.

She said that the purpose of public graduate education has been to prepare students for the academy and that, historically, more than 60% of Graduate Center students have found jobs teaching and researching in academia, one of our continuing strengths. She pointed out that The Graduate Center awards the second highest number of doctoral degrees in the humanities and arts in the country and noted, with the addition of the Advanced Science Research Center, the bench sciences are emerging as another area of strength. 

The Graduate Center, Garrell said, is very much on board with CUNY Chancellor Félix Matos Rodríguez’s workforce initiative, connecting with employers to prepare 25,000 CUNY graduates to work in all fields in the New York metropolitan region. She highlighted The Graduate Center’s broad preparation in many doctoral fields, new master’s programs, and planned certificate programs as components of this. She called these initiatives “part of the ecosystem of graduate education that could really transform the New York City region in terms of economic recovery and attract employers to the city.” 

Speaking about efforts toward greater diversity and inclusion, Garrell said that The Graduate Center is working hard to reach students early on in their studies, recruiting them at CUNY’s community and senior colleges to interest them in doctoral education. Acknowledging that there is more work to do, she suggested creating more fellowships to make CUNY more competitive for diverse students interested in graduate education and working with them to identify this institution as the destination to transform their lives.

Submitted on: FEB 19, 2021

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