Fall 2008 Open Line

Welcome to another exciting year at Hunter.  The months ahead promise to be some of the most significant in the history of the College, as we embark on a number of projects that will expand both the size and the reputation of our campus.


New Buildings, New Programs, New People, New Opportunities

New Building for the School of Social Work

Thanks to a $40 million gift from the Community Trust – the largest single gift in CUNY history – construction of a building in East Harlem for the School of Social Work and related programs will soon be underway.  A new state-of-the-art facility will allow Hunter to grow our faculty and student body and meet the 21st-century needs of the premiere public school of social work.  The significance of the project was recognized by Governor Paterson and the New York State legislature, which provided an additional $80 million for construction -- Hunter's largest infusion of public funding since the addition of the main campus's East and West Buildings in the mid-1980s.  We are indebted to Chancellor Goldstein for his supportive leadership and his role in helping secure the funds.

The CUNY Board of Trustees approved the public/private partnership at its June meeting, noting the School of Social Work's space limitations and the infeasibility of renovating its current structure.  Moving to East Harlem also offers a unique opportunity to partner with agencies in a vibrant multi-cultural environment.  We want to express our appreciation to Dean Jacqueline Mondros and the Social Work faculty for their ongoing support for this transformative project.


Science and Health Professions Building

As many of you know, we are selling our Brookdale campus 1) to consolidate all of Hunter's science and health programs and bring them in close proximity to the main campus, 2) to provide space for the relocation of the schools at the Julia Richman Education Complex (JREC), and 3) to raise funds for the relocation of our health science and nursing programs to our planned new science facility.  Once new modern facilities for the JREC schools are constructed on the Brookdale site, we can begin construction of our own state-of-the-art Science and Health Professions Building on the former JREC site at 67th Street and Second Avenue.

The new building will provide the modern labs and cutting-edge equipment we need to keep pushing the frontiers of science and health research and training.   It will also free up at least 150,000 square feet of space for Hunter's other academic programs.

We are glad to announce that we have received a number of bids in response to the RFP for the disposition of the Brookdale campus.  These proposals are presently being reviewed by a CUNY committee, which includes representatives from Hunter.  Interviews with the various bidders will take place in the next two months.


Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute

As the re-opening of Roosevelt House nears, we continue to make great strides in developing the three main components of the Public Policy Institute to be housed there – faculty seminars, academic programs, and public programs.

New York State recently approved the Roosevelt House Institute's curriculum, enabling Hunter to offer a concentration and grant a certificate in public policy.  The interdisciplinary program is open to students in all majors and aims to prepare them to evaluate and conduct policy-relevant research as well as effectively participate in the democratic process. With approval from their major department, students can pursue an 18-credit core curriculum as a minor and can take an additional 9 credits in a substantive policy area to receive a Certificate in Public Policy.  The core curriculum contains two new Hunter courses, an Introduction to Public Policy and the Capstone Seminar on Public Policy, as well as courses in political science, economics, and quantitative and normative analysis. 

We want to thank Dr. Joseph Viteritti -- Blanche D. Blank Professor of Public Policy, Chair of the Department of Urban Affairs and Planning, and Director of Curriculum at Roosevelt House -- for his leadership of the committee that developed the curriculum. The committee included Professors Nancy Foner (Sociology), Timothy Goodspeed (Economics), Kenneth Sherrill (Political Science), and Pam Stone (Sociology).      

This year, we will continue to offer many public programs about policy and current affairs, including those we initiated in conjunction with the Aspen Institute.  In April, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer and retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor spoke before a standing-room only audience as part of our Roosevelt House-Aspen Institute presidential leadership discussion series; Tom Brokaw, Brian Williams, Doris Kearns Goodwin, and other scholars and media figures also brought packed crowds to our auditorium.  Please hold the date for our next "Conversation on Presidential Leadership" on November 17th -- less than two weeks after we learn who our next president will be.

Prior to that, on October 15th at 6:30 pm, we invite you to the Faculty Dining Room to hear JFK adviser Ted Sorenson discuss his new book, Counselor: A Life at the Edge of History.  And on December 3rd, we will commemorate the 60th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with a program in conjunction with the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute (FERI).  Also be on the lookout for our public policy film series, in coordination with The Creative Coalition, a nonpartisan social and political advocacy organization of the entertainment industry.

We look forward to moving our public programs to Roosevelt House itself, when the doors open in 2009.  To learn more about the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute and how to RSVP for events, you can visit our newly launched website at http://www.roosevelthouse.hunter.cuny.edu.

We want to acknowledge the acting leadership team for Roosevelt House under the direction of the President and the Provost.  Judith Friedlander, Professor of Anthropology, will assume the role of Acting Director of Academic Programs.  Her responsibilities include overseeing the creation and implementation of individual policy centers and faculty seminars, the recruitment of research fellows and visiting faculty, and the planning of special academic conferences.  A long-standing member of the Hunter community, Professor Friedlander served as Dean of Social Sciences in the early 1990s and Acting Dean of Arts and Sciences from 2002-2006. In the intervening years, she was Dean of the Graduate Faculty of Political and Social Science at the New School for Social Research, where she oversaw the creation of the Center for Economic Policy Analysis, the Transregional Center for the Study of Democracy, and the International Center for Migration, Ethnicity and Citizenship.  Professor Friedlander’s extensive experience makes her the ideal person to lead this effort, in conjunction with the Provost, during this interim period.

Fay Rosenfeld, former Senior Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and Executive Director of International Programs at Hofstra Law School, will be the Acting Director of Programs, Operations and Development for Roosevelt House.  A former practicing attorney, she was also on the faculties of the New York University School of Law and Brooklyn Law School.  Ms. Rosenfeld will work with the Vice Presidents of Administration and Student Services, the Provost, and the Executive Director of Development to coordinate the opening of Roosevelt House.

Distinguished Lecturer Ellen Chesler continues to serve as Director of the Eleanor Roosevelt Initiative on Women and Public Policy.  A search for the director of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Initiative is ongoing.

We would also like to thank Professor of History Jonathan Rosenberg, chair of the Senate Committee on Roosevelt House, and committee members Professor Ellen Trief (Education), Professor Mimi Abramowitz (Social Work), Professor Ahahi Viladrich (Schools of Health Professions), Professor Jill Gross (Urban Affairs and Planning), Professor Lina Newton (Political Science), Professor Purvi Sevak (Economics), Professor Omar Dahbour (Philosophy), Professor Nancy Foner (Sociology), Professor Joseph Viteritti (at large member, Urban Affairs), Professor William Solecki (at large member, Geography), and Provost Vita Rabinowitz for their guidance and counsel. 


School of Nursing

In anticipation of the formal establishment of the School of Public Health, we are pleased to announce that the School of Nursing will once again have the status of an independent school within Hunter College. 

A $1 million giftfrom Joan Hansen Grabe '60 to endow the deanship has allowed us to recruit an outstanding leader to guide the School of Nursing into a new era.  We are pleased to welcome Dr. Kristine Gebbie as the first Joan Grabe Dean of Nursing (Acting). 

Dr. Gebbie served as the AIDS czar during the Clinton Administration and as the Public Health Commissioner in the states of Washington and Oregon.  She comes to us from the Columbia University School of Nursing, where she served as the Elizabeth Standish Gill Professor of Nursing and the Director of the Center for Health Policy.  Dr. Gebbie is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine; a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and of the New York Academy of Medicine; a member of the Board of Trustees, Lutheran MedicalCenter, Brooklyn; and a career-long member of the American Nurses Association.

We also want to acknowledge the service and contributions of the School of Nursing's long-time dean, Dr. Diane Rendón, who is retiring after many years.


School of Public Health

We are privileged to welcome Dr. Ken Olden as the new acting dean of the School of Health Professions and founding dean of the School of Public Health.  Dr. Olden is a highly regarded cancer researcher whose career spans almost four decades.  For 14 years, he served as director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the National Toxicology Program.  He was the first African-American to become Director of one of the 18 Institutes of the National Institutes of Health in the history of the agency.  Most recently, he served as chief of the metastasis section at the NIEHS. 

Prior to the NIH, Dr. Olden was director of the Howard University Cancer Center and Professor and Chairman of the Department of Oncology at Howard University Medical School.  In 1991, he was appointed to the National Cancer Advisory Board.  He has had appointments at several leading universities and medical institutions, including the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, Harvard University Medical School, and, most recently, the Harvard School of Public Health. 

We are fortunate to have Dr. Olden and Dr. Gebbie, two extraordinary leaders, working together with our faculty and students to make a broad and long-lasting impact on the health of our city.




We are excited to welcome Dr. Edwin Meléndez as the new Director of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies (Centro). 

Dr. Meléndez, who will also serve as Professor of Urban Affairs and Planning, will bring to Centro over twenty years of vast experience in public policy, academic research and publishing, and Puerto Rican studies. He previously served as the Director of the Community Development Research Center and Professor of Management and Urban Policy at the Milano Graduate School.  Prior to that, he was the director of the Mauricio Gastón Institute for Latino Community Development and Public Policy at the University of Massachusetts Boston, as well as a faculty member in the Economics Department and the Ph.D. Program in Public Policy.  He was also an associate professor of political economy and urban studies in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT from 1986 to 1992.  Dr. Meléndez looks forward to collaborating with faculty from a range of schools and departments, and he welcomes your calls.

Helping Dr. Meléndez usher Centro into an exciting new chapter of its storied legacy will be Dr. Alberto H. Hernández Banuchi, Associate Director and Chief Librarian & Archivist.  Dr. Hernández comes to Hunter from the University of West Florida, where he served as University Librarian.  He is also an accomplished author and translator.  Please join me in welcoming both Dr. Meléndez and Dr. Hernández to the Hunter community.


Center for Gifted Studies and Education

The revitalization of the Center for Gifted Studies and Education at Hunter College is now in the capable hands of its new director, Dr. Razel Solow. Dr. Solow will cultivate Hunter's role in gifted education throughout the city, oversee the School of Education’s advanced certification program for gifted and talented educators, and work with the Hunter College Campus Schools to conduct research and consult on matters of gifted education. 

Dr. Solow holds a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology (Gifted) from the University of Virginia and has taught at public and private elementary and secondary schools.  She most recently served as the Director of Research for the Program for the Exceptionally Gifted at Mary Baldwin College, and also is the founder of School-Wise, which provides gifted education consulting services for families and schools.

To continue the longstanding collaboration between the Center and the Hunter College Campus Schools, Dr. Solow will work closely with Dr. Eileen Coppola, whohas been named the new Principal of Hunter College High School. 

A former New York City history teacher, Dr. Coppola earned her B.A. from Wesleyan University, her M.A. from Columbia University Teachers College, and her Ed.D. and Ed.M. degrees from the Urban Superintendents Program at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.  She received a postdoctoral fellowship from the National Academy of Education and the Spencer Foundation to study how accountability systems affect the way teachers, administrators, and students think about the purpose of schooling.  Most recently, Dr. Coppola has been serving as Associate Director for Research at the Center for Education and as a Lecturer in Education at Rice University. 


Autism Center

The Hunter College Autism Center continues to gain attention across New York City and State as an important research and training facility responding directly to the needs of families and children affected by autism.  This fall, we are launching a new curriculum to train teachers in Applied Behavioral Analysis techniques, and welcoming Dr. John Brown, who will lead this effort as Distinguished Lecturer and Director of Training and Programs in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). 

One of Dr. Brown’s principal goals is to work with the Department of Education to develop model programs and schools and to train special education instructors specialized in ABA techniques within the New York public school system. Utilizing a school space allocated to Hunter by the New York City Department of Education, Dr. Brown will develop teacher training programs to expand the use of these behavioral teaching techniques, with a long-term vision of equipping the school system with more qualified teachers to work with the burgeoning population of school-age children with autism.  He also will work closely with Hunter faculty from all four schools to create opportunities for research and policy, as well as to provide programming for families and professionals in the autism community.

Joining Dr. Brown are three new faculty members specializing in the study of autism and other developmental disorders.  Professor Donia Fahim is an expert in speech and language development, and Professors Angela Mouzakitis and Jamie Bleiweiss are behavior specialists. 


New Faculty

In addition to our autism experts, we are pleased to welcome some 50 new faculty members to Hunter this semester.  Among them is Professor Robert Greenberg, who has been appointed School of Arts and Sciences Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education and Academic Excellence, with tenure as a Full Professor in the Department of Anthropology. Professor Greenberg earned his PhD at Yale in Slavic Languages and Linguistics and has become an eminent scholar in the field of Social Linguistics, with most of his work and field work in Balkan languages. His most recent book, Language as Identity in the Balkans, published by Oxford University Press, won the 2005 Best Book in Slavic Languages from the American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages.  He has served as an expert witness on the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Professor Greenberg comes to Hunter from faculty and administrative positions at the University of New Haven and before that the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  He has considerable experience guiding students to prestigious scholarships, such as the Truman, Marshall, and Rhodes, and has led a number of initiatives to enrich students' education.

Our other new faculty members boast expertise in fields across the spectrum, from applied mathematics and statistics to the politics of India, from literacy education to animal physiology, from Renaissance drama to the psychology of drug use. To read about their many accomplishments, please go to http://www.hunter.cuny.edu/news/facultynews.shtml.


A New Year, a New Class

We are celebrating another banner year, as applications to Hunter once again reached an all-time high.  Over 10,600 applicants named Hunter their first choice among CUNY colleges – a 12% increase from last year.  The entering Class of 2012 is 1800 strong and boasts an average SAT score 90 points above the most recent national average.   We are also welcoming 121 freshmen into the Honors College, which continues to draw top students from the best high schools; this year, seven students from Bronx Science, seven from Stuyvesant, and four from Hunter College High School are entering the program.


Hunter Scores High Again

Once again, Hunter has won outstanding marks in U.S. News & World Report's "America's Best Colleges." In its 2009 issue, the newsweekly rated Hunter an impressive 12th among "Top Public Universities" in the North and placed the College 52nd on its list of "Best Universities in the North" that grant Master's degrees. Hunter also got a top grade for the diversity of its student body, ranking fourth among masters-granting universities in the North.

In a category of special importance to the student body, Hunter repeated its first-place finish among Master's granting universities in the North whose undergraduates leave school with the lowest personal debt.


The Campus as Art

Night Light

All eyes will turn to Hunter as our pedestrian bridges become the centerpiece of an extraordinary new public art project.  The lighting of acclaimed French artist Laurent Grasso's Infinite Light will take place at a grand opening block party on Thursday, September 25th.  Everyone is invited to join the festivities as the famous Hunter bridges light up Lexington Avenue and the Upper East Side for miles around.  They will remain lit through the end of the year.

Infinite Light is part of to: Night, a new exhibit that promises to draw record crowds to Hunter's Leubsdorf and Times Square Galleries.  A collection of contemporary representations of the nighttime, to: Night is curated by Bershad Professor of Art History and Director of the Hunter College Galleries Joachim Pissarro, along with Julia Moreno and art history graduate student Mara Hoberman.  It will be presented in tandem with Professor Pissarro’s exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, Van Gogh and the Colors of the Night. We hope everyone visits our galleries to see this one-of-a-kind exhibition.


Campus News

Middle States Accreditation

Thanks to the efforts of our steering committee and working groups, we have made excellent progress on our self-study.  At the end of last semester, the working groups submitted their findings, which were then posted for community feedback.  The co-chairs of the steering committee, Professors Philip Alcabes and Sandra Clarkson and Provost Vita Rabinowitz, are now synthesizing these into the first draft of our report, which will be presented to the entire Hunter community after the chair of our evaluation team, Dr. Earl Richardson, President of Morgan State University, visits Hunter on November 20th.  Feedback will be incorporated into the final draft, which will be sent to the Middle States evaluation team at least 6 weeks before their April 26-29, 2009 visit to Hunter.

We encourage you to keep abreast of our progress and get involved via the Middle States website ( http://ww4.hunter.cuny.edu/middle-states) or e-mail middlestates@hunter.cuny.edu.


Student Engagement Initiative

To provide students with more access to Hunter's greatest asset – its faculty - the Office of the President distributed some $50,000 to Hunter faculty and students during the 2007-08 academic year as part of the Presidential Initiative to Increase Student Engagement.  Students participated in dozens of enriching programs that brought them out of the classroom and increased their interaction with professors.  These included a trip to Staten Island's Chinese Scholar's Garden; an historical tour of Central Park; an LGBTQ film screening and panel discussion; conferences on media and feminism, mathematics, Nietzsche, animal welfare, and other topics; Model U.N. at Harvard; and a number of recitals, dinners, lectures, and other events. If you are interested in participating this year, please contact Linda L. Carlson, Acting Special Assistant to the President for Enrollment Management, at linda.carlson@hunter.cuny.edu


Director of Assessment

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Mosen Auryan as Hunter College's first Director of Assessment.  Dr. Auryan will work closely with the faculty and the Senate to create a model of assessment for all the College's degree programs.  He comes to Hunter from the Baruch College School of Public Affairs, where he taught graduate classes in quantitative research skills and methodology and conducted leadership training in performance measurement to government agencies and non-profit organizations.


Hunter and China

Even though the Beijing Olympics are behind us, the international spirit continues as we seek new and exciting ways to develop relations with our neighbor across the world. In considering ways to prepare Hunter students as global citizens in the 21st century, and to support faculty interest in new opportunities with China, we have retained China Strategies, a consulting firm which helps U.S. institutions build successful partnerships in China.  Since December, we have held extensive conversations with Hunter faculty and staff and have begun to initiate partnerships with Chinese universities.  These partnerships will facilitate research and exchange and will bolster Hunter's China-related portfolio of offerings for our faculty and students.  All interested faculty members should contact Nicole Vartanian in the Office of the Provost at nicole.vartanian@hunter.cuny.edu.

To satisfy the ever-increasing demand for certified teachers who are capable of offering quality language instruction in New York City public schools, Hunter now offers an MA in Teaching Chinese. The purpose of the program is to provide training and guidance for qualified students who are interested in teaching Chinese as a foreign language in the public school system in the greater New York area.  Congratulations to Professor Der-lin Chao, head of Chinese Studies, and Professor Tamara M. Green, chair of the Department of Classical and Oriental Studies, on the launch of this great program.


Technology News and Upgrades

Summer Technology Initiative

Our Summer Technology Initiative, launched earlier this year and designed to help faculty members learn how to better incorporate technology in their classrooms, was a huge success.  Twenty-two faculty members participated and are now ready to apply new technology to the teaching of their courses.  Thanks to the enthusiastic response, we are beginning plans for a January program as well.  Information about how to apply will be forthcoming.


New Acting Associate Provost for Instructional Technology

We are delighted to announce Professor Manfred Kuechler of the Department of Sociology as Acting Associate Provost for Instructional Technology.  Professor Kuechler will work closely with Provost Vita Rabinowitz, Chief Information Officer Frank Steen, faculty, and staff to enhance the administration's efforts to move Hunter to the forefront of teaching and learning with technology. He will maintain his status as an active faculty member and continue to teach while serving in this administrative capacity. We are fortunate that he is willing to take on this critical position at this key moment in Hunter's history.


New Web Design

By September 15th, nearly 40 academic and administrative departments will have newly designed, easy-to-manage websites, thanks to the adoption of a new web content management system. In addition to providing a more attractive and uniform look, the new system will enable individuals from every department to simply and efficiently update and maintain their own sites.  ICIT staff will continue to train and support department representatives from across the Hunter campuses throughout the year.


Computer Replacements

We are happy to announce that we have begun distributing a high volume of computers to faculty members as part of our 4-year computer replacement program.  The laptop subsidies and loan programs also continue to rise in popularity.  Please contact the Help Desk with requests at helpdesk@hunter.cuny.edu.

Students too are benefitting, as every computer in the library is being replaced with bigger and better versions.  Seventy percent of the project is already complete.


Video Screens

You may have noticed several new flat-screen monitors on campus.  You can now turn to them to keep up-to-date on important Hunter news and information.  You can find them on the 3rd and 7th floors of the West Building  and the 1st and 2nd floors of the North Building. 


Telephone System

With minimal disruption, every telephone on campus was replaced over the summer.  Please call the ICIT Help Desk if you have any questions regarding the use of the new phone system.


Mark Your Calendars

Literary lights

This fall, we will celebrate the recent achievements of two of Hunter's finest creative writing professors: poetry professor Tom Sleigh, who won the 2008 Kingsley Tufts Award and the $100,000 that goes with it (the largest prize for a mid-career poet), and MFA director and two-time Booker Prize winner Peter Carey, whose tenthnovel, His Illegal Self, was released earlier this year to great acclaim.  Dates for these events will be forthcoming.

We are also excited to bring you another incredible semester of the MFA program's Distinguished Writers Series:

Tuesday, September 23: Edmund White (Faculty Dining Room)

Tuesday, October 7: Michael Thomas and Yusef Komunyakaa (Lang Recital Hall)

Monday, October 20: Darin Strauss and Jeff Talarigo (Faculty Dining Room)

Thursday, November 13: Edward Hirsch (Faculty Dining Room)

All readings will begin at 7:30 pm.


Zabar Lecture Series

All art students and faculty, as well as any other interested members of the Hunter community, are invited to attend this fall's Zabar Visiting Artist Lecture Series. Visual and sound artist Christian Marclay will present and discuss his work on September 12th; Professor Joachim Pissarro will serve as moderator. Painter and installation artist Kerry James Marshall will visit on October 28th at an event moderated by Professor Katy Siegel.  Both lectures will take place at 7:00 pm in the Lang Recital Hall.


Conversation on Diversity

Please join us on September 24th and 25th when former Hunter faculty member Dr. Johnnetta Cole and Harvard Law Professor Lani Guinier will come to Hunter to discuss "Diversity in Undergraduate Curricula in Higher Education," an event sponsored by the Mellon Committee, under the leadership of Professor of Philosophy Frank Kirkland.  The discussion on September 24 will be held in the Kaye Playhouse and will be open to the public.  The conversation will continue the following day in the Faculty Dining Room and will be limited to members of the Hunter faculty.  RSVP with Special Events at spevents@hunter.cuny.edu. Contact Professor Kirkland at fkirklan@hunter.cuny.edu for more information about this and related events.

We hope that everyone had a wonderful summer and that you feel refreshed and ready for an eventful, enriching semester.


Best wishes for the coming school year.

Jennifer J. Raab

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