Fall 2004 Open Line

Welcome back to campus.  I hope the summer break was relaxing and rejuvenating for all.  We can all share great pride in the recognition Hunter received in the just released Princeton Review’s The Best 357 Colleges and U.S News & World Report’s 2005 edition of America’s Best Colleges.  We are pleased to report that we’ve moved up in the U.S. News rankings from 66 to 50 with increases in our peer assessment, graduation and retention rates, and SAT scores.  In both surveys, we were recognized for our diversity, selectivity, and affordability and the overall quality of the education we provide.  Robert Franek, the lead author for The Princeton Review survey, spoke about Hunter on Fox Channel 5’s “Good Day New York.”  He said, “Hunter College has a very strong regional reputation.  From the perspective of The Princeton Review, this has been growing rapidly into national recognition.”  For more details on these survey results, go to: http://www.hunter.cuny.edu/news/rankings.shtml

As we embark on 2004-2005, I want to highlight some other important and exciting developments at Hunter.

New Faculty

Our national reputation will surely be further enhanced by the many new faculty members we welcome to campus this year. All of them have stellar backgrounds. They include historians and health professionals, biologists and psychologists, physicists and physical planners­and they have taught, studied, and conducted research all over the world: in Australia, England, Germany, India, Israel, Korea, Romania, South Africa, Spain, and Taiwan.  This distinguished group includes:

Nancy Foner, who joins us as a CUNY Distinguished Professor of Sociology and has already gained wide renown as a leading authority on immigration, race, and ethnicity. She comes to us from Baruch College’s School of Public Affairs, where she was the Lillie and Nathan Ackerman Visiting Professor of Equality and Justice in America, and from SUNY/Purchase, where she taught anthropology for 30 years and was appointed as distinguished professor of Anthropology in 2003/2004.

We are especially delighted to welcome back one of our own – Hunter alum Joseph P. Viteritti, an expert in education policy and state and local governance, who has been appointed a professor of urban affairs and the first recipient of the Blanche D. Blank Endowed Chair in Public Policy. Most recently he was a visiting professor in the Department of Politics at Princeton in 2003/2004, and he was previously at NYU, where he served as a research professor of public policy, director of the Program on Education and Civil Society, and an adjunct professor in the School of Law.

Ahmed Cassim Bawa joins Hunter as a distinguished lecturer in Physics and Astronomy.  Professor Bawa has spent many years in academic administration in South Africa.  After he served as deputy vice chancellor of academic affairs at the University of Natal for four years, the Ford Foundation appointed him in 2002 as program officer of higher education and scholarship in the Southern Africa Office.  Trained in theoretical physics, Professor Bawa will teach and conduct research in particle physics and on social and intellectual issues concerning the production of knowledge in society. 

Jack Salzman, another distinguished lecturer, comes to the history department from the New York Association for New Americans, where he directed the Office of Immigrant Education and Community Services.  He has held similar positions at the New York Council for the Humanities and the Jewish Museum.  Professor Salzman has also held teaching and research positions at NYU and Columbia University and has written extensively on African-American and Jewish-American culture and history.  He is widely known as well for his pioneering role in developing innovative ways to teach American history. 

Harold Wenglinsky joins the Hunter School of Education as an associate professor in the Department of Curriculum and Teaching.  Prior to Hunter, he served as research scientist and director of the Policy Information Center at the Educational Testing Service.  In that capacity he conducted numerous large-scale studies of effective teaching practices that received national media attention.  Prof. Wenglinsky will also serve as director of assessment and accreditation for the School of Education, where he will help complete the development and implementation of a comprehensive assessment system. 

Joyce Griffin-Sobel, appointed an associate professor of nursing, is a longtime leader in her profession. Recently named the editor of the prestigious Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, she has conducted research and published extensively on cancer, immunology, and related subjects and has taught nursing in such institutions as the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. 

We are also pleased to bring on board Siu-Ping Ma, who will serve as director of Mental Health Services in the Office of Student Services and on the faculty of the School of Social Work. Most recently a professor of social work at National Taiwan University, Dr. Ma brings a wealth of experience as a clinician, administrator and teacher.  Her research on trauma, authority relationships, sexual harassment and stress among college students will add dimension to her work in counseling and classroom settings at Hunter.

Space limitations prevent us from highlighting all the talented new faculty. A list of the entire new faculty will be available at www.hunter.cuny.edu/news.

Building Outside Support

You will be hearing more this fall about our efforts to raise funds for the College as we undertake a major capital campaign.  We will be meeting with the Hunter community to help identify needs and priorities and enlist everyone’s help.  Our efforts have received a boost this summer with the first major gift from our distinguished alumna and recent honorary degree recipient Evelyn Lauder (’58).  In a significant step for our campus efforts, we’ve added two outside directors to the Foundation Board of Trustees: Michael Gottschalk, a partner at Lazard Freres & Co., LLC; and Avinash “Avi” N. Mehrotra, currently a vice president at Goldman Sachs & Co.  Michael and Avi bring fresh perspectives that will help us broaden our reach, especially in the private sector.

On the public side, we are pleased that support continues to build from our local elected officials for key programs and projects on campus.  Our science programs will be enhanced by the substantial contributions of Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields and Councilmember Eva Moskowitz, who together will provide the $1 million necessary to renovate the outdated organic chemistry lab. Councilwoman Moskowitz has also helped us secure $300,000 from the City Council for the renovation of Thomas Hunter Hall, and has allocated $300,000 for computers and auditorium upgrades at the Campus Schools and $20,000 to improve facilities and programs at the Manhattan/Hunter Science High School.  Councilmember Gale Brewer has allocated $150,000 for lab upgrades at the science high school.  In addition, State Assemblyman Jonathan Bing has allocated $7,500 for improvements to the Student Lounge in Thomas Hunter Hall.

Campus Expansion and Upgrades

Improving and expanding our campus space is also at the top of our agenda. To move ahead on this front, we have received approval from the CUNY Board of Trustees to hire a team of top real estate advisors and land-use attorneys.  They will work with us to revise and implement the campus master plan and explore options for the construction of a new science building and a new arts building. Critical financial underpinnings for these projects are already in place: the CUNY capital budget includes funding for the first phase of a new Hunter science building, and CUNY has also allocated funding for the first stage of planning a new arts building downtown.

We are also moving forward at an exciting pace on the restoration and revitalization of Roosevelt House and its transformation into the Hunter College Public Policy Institute.  In addition to the $15 million allocated by the CUNY trustees, Hunter has received an additional $1 million from the City Council for the restoration and renovation.  I have also briefed Senator Hillary Clinton about the project, and she has committed to finding federal funds for the restoration.

Our architects, Polshek Partnership, have made great progress on the Roosevelt House restoration plans.  One important milestone has been reached:  the State Historic Preservation Office has signed off on the project.  The façade has been cleaned, repaired, and repointed and a beautiful Hunter College plaque now marks the unique double townhouse. The next phase includes obtaining city approvals for design and construction. Major construction is scheduled to begin in summer 2005.  The architects envision an auditorium that will seat 150 people and provide additional space for conferences and other public events; the dining and drawing rooms on the first and second floors converted into space for lectures, seminars, small conferences, and receptions; FDR’s library restored for use as a museum with display cabinets containing memorabilia; the third, fourth and fifth floor bedrooms converted into offices for researchers and scholars, and the sixth floor transformed into two small apartments for visiting faculty and special guests of the College.  We look forward to bringing the architects’ plans to a public session of the Hunter community in the next few months.

Many of you responded to our invitation to tour the house this summer.  For those of you who would like to see the house in its “pre-renovated condition,” tours will be available through mid-September.  If you would like to take a tour, please contact Deborah Gardner at deborah.gardner@hunter.cuny.edu.

Focus on Students


Students will benefit greatly from the launch of eAdvising – part of a totally redesigned and greatly enhanced Student Services Web site.  eAdvising is an electronic handbook that provides a wealth of advising information online. Students can easily find answers to general advising questions at their convenience and can track their academic progress by using the interactive GER checklist.  While eAdvising is not intended to replace face-to-face meetings with advisors from Student Services and academic departments, this new online resource will help students prepare for focused and fruitful advisement sessions and shorten waits for answers to basic questions.  Students and faculty are encouraged to visit the new Student Services Web site at http://www.hunter.cuny.edu/studentservices.

New Scholarship Tracking System

We are now able to provide better tuition assistance to qualified and deserving students with our new Web-based scholarship tracking and reporting system (STARS).  The system makes it easier for students to seek scholarship funds by providing one online application for all scholarships awarded through the College.  In addition, faculty will now have a better understanding of the scholarship resources available to their students. You will receive a separate memo with information about how to access and use this exciting new system.


Technology Update

Hunter has made tremendous strides on the technology front over the past four years, and I am pleased to announce the promotion of Anand Padmanabhan, who has ably led this effort, to Acting Assistant Vice President for Instructional Computing and Information Technology.  During Anand’s tenure we have dramatically increased the technological resources available to faculty and students, and we have employed technology in many new ways to streamline operations. Anand has a master’s in computer engineering from Louisiana State University and received his bachelor’s degree in electronics and communication engineering from Madras University in India. He is currently pursuing a PhD in computer science at the CUNY Graduate Center.  Please join me in congratulating Anand on his promotion and for all of his achievements.

We continue to upgrade technology throughout the campuses and provide more technological resources for faculty and staff.   Through ArtStor, a digital library available on the Web, students and faculty now have access to thousands of images, including the Hunter College Art Department’s slide library, directly from their computers.  The Social Work Auditorium and rooms 714 and 615 West on the 68th Street Campus are now “smart” classrooms with completely revamped audio systems and new lecterns, projectors, screens, VCRs and DVDs.  To support our faculty’s use of these new technologies, we’ve hired an instructional designer, Dr. Gina Cherry.  Dr. Cherry has extensive experience incorporating technology into teaching and learning.  She will be available as a resource to faculty who want guidance on how to better integrate technology into their teaching.  Dr. Cherry comes to Hunter from Marymount College, where she was an assistant professor.  She has a PhD in computer science from the University of Colorado.

We are also improving the Hunter College Web site so that it contains the most pertinent information about the College for faculty, staff, students, alumni and prospective students.  One area of great importance to us is ensuring the Hunter community’s safety in the event of an emergency.  To help the community prepare for emergencies and be better informed about them, we have launched an emergency preparedness Web site at http://www.hunter.cuny.edu/emergency. This Web site will serve as a central repository for information about emergencies.

Fall Events


We have an exciting lineup of events this fall.  The MFA Program in Creative Writing Distinguished Writers Series begins on September 21 with a reading by Salman Rushdie in the Kaye Playhouse and concludes in November with a tribute to Lucille Clifton, co-sponsored by the Poetry Society of America.  Beginning September 14, The Bertha and Karl Leubsdorf Gallery will present “Tracing Tony Smith’s Tau,” an exhibit to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the installation of Smith’s sculpture in the Hunter College plaza at 68th Street and Lexington Avenue.  Tony Smith taught in the Art Department from 1961 to 1980 and his sculpture was installed on the campus in 1984 and recently refurbished.   On September 29, Ann Crittenden, the award-winning journalist and author, will be on campus to discuss mothers and work and the publication of her new book.  We encourage faculty and students to attend these events.  Please check the Hunter College events Web site for more details at http://www.hunter.cuny.edu/events.

With the promise and excitement of the new academic year, I look forward to a successful 2004-2005, and thank all of you for your contributions to Hunter College.

Jennifer J. Raab

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