CUNY Chancellor Cites Progress in New Report As University Responds in Wake of Sept. 11 Attack

The City University of New York is now “an institution in the mainstream of public higher education,” Chancellor Matthew Goldstein states in a report marking the beginning of his third year at CUNY’s helm.

Citing increases in enrollment, SAT scores, teacher education program students, and support for research, technology and scholarships, he said, “the achievements will help lay the foundation for the future of both the University and the City.”

Noting that “our perspective on life in this city was forever changed” by the attack on the World Trade Center, Chancellor Goldstein said, “The tragic events of September 11, 2001 have profoundly affected and altered the lives of countless New Yorkers in ways that we are struggling to grasp. I know that the entire University community joins with our fellow Americans throughout the city, state and the nation, and friends of America around the world, in mourning the lives of those who perished. Those who participated in heroic search and rescue efforts and who continue to provide steadfast leadership and support have earned our deepest gratitude and admiration for their boundless courage and determination.”

He added, “There is abundant reason to be proud of what has been achieved at CUNY, not only in the wake of this tragedy, but throughout the past two years.” He cited the work of the Board of Trustees, college presidents, faculty, staff, students and friends of the University as essential to the following achievements:

  • Implementing changes in the 2000-2004 Master Plan to bring the University in harmony with new, more rigorous standards in the New York City public schools.
  • A rise of 7.6 percent this Fall in enrollment of new freshmen at the senior colleges.
  • Total graduate and undergraduate enrollment at the highest point in three years.
  • An increase of more than 50 points from Fall 1999 in the average SAT scores at the top five senior colleges, ranging from 1085 to 1136.
  • Inauguration of a new CUNY Honors College to attract and retain high academic achievers.
  • Nearly 1500 new teacher education students including doctors, lawyers, business people and others.
  • Public and private agencies increasing financial support for CUNY initiatives and scholarships.
  • Establishment of a new CUNY Business Leadership Council of major industry leaders.
  • Plans to launch initiatives with other major universities and the business community, such as the new Structural Biology Center at City College.

Chancellor Goldstein added, “Clearly, nothing will be the same as it was before September 11. However New York has time and again demonstrated its status as one of the world’s greatest cities by continually changing and rising to meet new challenges and overcome new obstacles.”

CUNY is working with business and labor unions to provide employment training and counseling for affected and displaced workers and assisting government agencies with office space and access to faculty and staff experts, he noted.

Citing CUNY’s efforts, he said, “The CUNY community responded to the World Trade Center disaster with extraordinary generosity, speed, compassion and resolve. The Borough of Manhattan Community College has done exemplary service as a staging area for rescue and recovery operations in the financial district.”

John Jay College of Criminal Justice is working with the New York Times’ “9/11 Neediest Fund” as a clearing house for donations to police, fire, emergency and other services. The colleges provided opportunities to community members to voice their grief and concerns through many channels. A CUNY “Helpline” was established to offer counseling and support services.

Looking to the future, Chancellor Goldstein expressed hope and confidence that “CUNY will gain an increasingly sound financial footing; that our exciting and innovative new programs (like the CUNY Honors College) will expand with each entering class; that the number of top-ranked graduate and professional programs at the University will continue to increase; that we will continue to reap rewards from our efforts to strengthen CUNY’s administrative systems.”

To pursue the overarching idea of an integrated university as described in the Master Plan, as the University moves forward, Chancellor Goldstein said “We must first and foremost challenge the frontiers between distinct areas of enquiry and encourage disciplinary diversity in faculty teams whose scholarship stretches the boundaries of knowledge and methodology.”