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Jennifer J. Raab, President's Address to HEOs

 

HEO Forum First Spring Meeting

 

Monday, March 2, 2015 12:30 to 1:30 PM

The first meeting of spring 2015 was held in the Faculty Delegate Lounger on the 8th floor of the West Building.

Sarah Jeninsky, HEO Forum Chairperson, welcomed everyone in attendance and distributed a list of spring 2015 HEO Forum Speakers Series meetings. Then she introduced the day's special guest, President Jennifer Raab.

Pres. Raab thanked everyone and said that it was an exciting time at Hunter for students, faculty and staff. Her talk was wide ranging and hit on the following topics:

The PSC CUNY contract and the new Chancellor's stated focus on a resolution in conjunction with the union. With the focus of the mayor and the governor on K-12 education CUNY needs to raise the priority of higher education. Private colleges and universities are pricing themselves out of the market and CUNY colleges are offering students an excellent education at much lower prices

The CUNY Strategic Plan. The Middle States Interim Report on Hunter was favorable.

The move to the Belfer Research Building. With our collaboration with Weill Cornell Medical College, Pres. Raab announced that this is the first public school affiliation with a private school. She encouraged everyone to try to visit Belfer very soon. Our affiliation with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and the new science and health professions building is next.

Brookdale Campus. Brookdale has been sold to New York City. Nursing and Physical Therapy will move to LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City. There are no plans to move the dormitories and their residents until at least August 2016. Unfortunately, the building of a new dormitory building(s) is too expensive for our students.

The Cooperman Library renovation continues apace. A new School of Education library will be created on the 6th floor. The 7th floor will house the new Skirball Science Learning Center, the new Rockowtiz Writing Center (the former Reading and Writing Center), the Dolciani Mathematics Learning Center under the Klara and Larry Silverstein Student Success Center umbrella. Laboratories and classrooms continue to be modernized and renovated.

Space issues. Pres. Raab said that space is a very emotional issue but that space reallocation will come in the next few years. Space will be reimagined and one consideration is a move to a more Bloomberg idea of shared space.

Roosevelt House continues to thrive as an interdisciplinary dream that really works. There is a current search in progress for a new Director of Roosevelt House. Arts Across the Curriculum is in full swing with the creation of the Office of the Arts.

Graduation rates at Hunter continue to improve with Hunter's six-year graduation rate at an all-time high. This is credited to increased retention. And Pres. Raab spoke very briefly on "early alert," a plan where instructors in 100-level Hunter Common Core courses identify at-risk students as early as possible in the semester.

Informed Registration. A topic much discussed at Hunter before the advent of Pathways but still on the mind of Pres. Raab. Students need to know as much about a course before they enroll as possible.

Sources of new revenue. How does the college bring in more revenue? After our state funding where can additional funds be found? Space rental? Continuing Education? Things to be thought about.

What is the value of a liberal arts education? What should students know when they graduate from Hunter College? Pres. Raab talked about the possibility of outside assessment of not only Hunter's programs but college-level programs in general. Is this one future for higher education? The commodification of a liberal arts degree?

Search for new Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences. In answer to a question from the floor, Pres. Raab said that the Search Committee had made three recommendations, one of whom she has already met with. The other two are yet to be interviewed.

The meeting adjourned at 2:35 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Dana G. Reimer

Secretary, HEO Forum

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