Dr. Karen L. Gould Named Brooklyn College President

June 22, 2009 | News from the Chancellor

The Board of Trustees of The City University of New York today announced the appointment of Dr. Karen L. Gould, the provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at California State University, Long Beach, and an internationally known scholar in the field of French-Canadian literature, as the president of Brooklyn College. The appointment was made at the recommendation of Chancellor Matthew Goldstein following a nationwide search for a successor to President Christoph M. Kimmich, who recently announced his retirement after 10 years of distinguished service.

In a joint statement, Chairperson Benno Schmidt and Chancellor Matthew Goldstein stated: “Dr. Gould’s appointment is a marvelous stroke of good fortune for both Brooklyn College and The City University. She brings to this important leadership post extensive academic and administrative experience from five major public higher education institutions, along with an impressive record as a scholar and fund-raiser. Dr. Gould will take an outstanding institution to higher levels in the years ahead.”


Dr. Karen L. Gould

California State University, Long Beach, is a major urban comprehensive university that is nationally recognized for its academic excellence. It is one of the largest and most diverse of 23 public institutions in the California State University system. As the chief academic officer, Dr. Gould has been responsible for ensuring a high-quality educational experience for 31,000 undergraduates and 7,000 graduate students, including 1,400 international students, in eight academic colleges. As provost, she provided academic leadership and promoted excellence in all aspects of the university’s academic mission.

The committee that selected Dr. Gould after a national search was chaired by Trustee Joseph J. Lhota and was comprised of trustees, faculty, students, alumni and a CUNY college president. Dr. Gould was selected from a candidate pool that Chancellor Goldstein described as among the highest-quality in CUNY’s history. She is the first woman president of Brooklyn College.

Brooklyn College is especially known for its distinguished alumni, including Senator Barbara Boxer, the late former Congresswoman Shirley A. Chisholm, international film and television star Jimmy Smits, lawyer Alan M. Dershowitz, advertising executive and restaurateur Jerry Della Femina, former chief executive officer of New Line Cinema Michael Lynne and novelist Frank McCourt.

A senior level administrator for more than 16 years, she succeeds Dr. Christoph M. Kimmich, who served as president of Brooklyn College since 2000. Prior to that Dr. Kimmich was CUNY’s interim chancellor from 1997 to 1999. At today’s meeting, the Board of Trustees unanimously adopted a resolution expressing its “heartfelt appreciation to Dr. Christoph M. Kimmich for his exemplary dedication and distinguished service to both Brooklyn College and The City University of New York.”

Dr. Gould received her B.A., cum laude, from Occidental College in 1970, a diploma from the Sorbonne, and her Ph.D. in Romance Languages from the University of Oregon in 1975.

Dr. Gould is the author or co-editor of six books and more than 50 articles and essays on contemporary Quebec literature, francophone women writers, and the modern French novel. She has been honored with the Canadian Governor General’s International Award for Canadian Studies in 2003, and the Donner Medal in Canadian Studies in 2005 for her research and professional contributions to the field of Canadian Studies. Dr. Gould is the former editor of the interdisciplinary journal, Québec Studies, and has received numerous grants, fellowships, and awards for her research. Active in the profession, she has served as president of the International Council for Canadian Studies, president of the American Association for Canadian Studies in the United States, and as a member of the executive board of the national Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences.

As provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at California State University, Long Beach, Dr. Gould worked closely with the university’s senior leadership, academic and staff councils, student leaders and alumni. She was very successful in promoting and enhancing academic quality, student learning and student achievement, supporting faculty teaching, research and service activities, and ensuring support for academic staff across eight colleges in the Arts, Liberal Arts, Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Business, Education, Engineering, Health and Human Services, and Extended Education. Dr. Gould was responsible for a number of initiatives aimed at enhancing student success, including mandatory freshman advising, student mentor programs, expanded First Year Experience programs, and retention initiatives for at-risk students. She has demonstrated a deep commitment to the promotion of diversity and collaborative governance around common goals, and also made significant progress in modernizing the university’s academic technology infrastructure, faculty and staff technology support, and learning management delivery. Dr. Gould was responsible for an annual budget of $172.6 million.

Prior to joining CSULB in 2007, Dr. Gould was dean of McMicken College of Arts and Sciences, the largest college at the University of Cincinnati (2001 – 2007), and dean of the College of Arts and Letters at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia (1996 – 2001). She has also held tenured faculty positions and administrative appointments at Bowling Green State University, Virginia Polytechnic University, and Bucknell University. Dr. Gould’s close working relationships with presidents, vice presidents and deans at CSULB and at prior universities, along with a wide range of administrative, professional and faculty responsibilities have given her broad exposure to institutional practices that foster academic excellence, student success, faculty research and creativity, campus diversity, community partnerships, and global engagement.

Established in 1930, Brooklyn College has an enrollment of some 13,000 undergraduate and 3,700 graduate students, and is a participating campus in CUNY’s prestigious William E. Macaulay Honors College. Brooklyn’s graduates are admitted to leading graduate and professional schools and have recently won Rhodes, Beinecke, and Truman Scholarships. High-achieving students apply in large numbers to the Macaulay Honors College, the BA-MD Program, and other honors programs at the college. Brooklyn offers more than 60 graduate programs, many of which are nationally renowned.

Brooklyn College’s faculty, which has a strong record in scholarship and research, has won numerous Pulitzer, Guggenheim and Fulbright awards. The college’s nationally acclaimed core curriculum and strong internship and pre-professional services endow students with the knowledge, training and credentials required for success. A major capital construction and renovation program is underway, including a library, student services building, performing arts center, and science complex, financed by more than $500 million in public and private funds. A student residence is also under construction. With an outstanding faculty, distinguished alumni, a beautiful campus, and a student-centered reputation, Brooklyn College has been ranked among “America’s Best Value Colleges” for more than five years by the Princeton Review, and in 2009 was cited as one of the top 50 Best-Value Public Colleges in the nation.