Chancellor Matthew Goldstein Unveils New Initiative In Keynote Speech

January 30, 2003 | The University

Chancellor Matthew Goldstein set forth an ambitious five-point program for CUNY to enhance both academic offerings and financial support while meeting new fiscal challenges and building on past successes. In a keynote speech at the Center for Educational Innovation–Public Education Association luncheon held at the Harvard Club, Goldstein proposed:

– Indexing tuition to economic indicators while protecting financial aid to help the University and its students plan intelligently to meet the costs of higher education.

– Strengthening CUNY’s rich academic environment by renewing and rebuilding full time faculty.

– Integrating University-wide resources to create new schools of journalism and professional studies, a new scientific research facility and a computer simulation center on Governors Island.

– Centralizing administrative functions such as purchasing, contracting and human resources, while generating revenue through entrepreneurial activities and fund-raising.

– Leveraging capital funds by working, where appropriate, with private developers to create mixed academic-commercial facilities.

“Our challenge now is to maintain momentum–and it’s a very big challenge,” said Goldstein “The City and State of New York are facing the most serious financial crisis in recent memory.”

Underscoring the strides made in the last three years, when freshmen enrollment increased 16.5% as higher admissions standards were implemented, Goldstein noted that the University now systematically reaches into high school, with competitive high schools on several campuses and the “College Now” program, to give students a “running jump” to clear its higher academic bar. “College Now,” which permits high school seniors to take college courses, has almost quadrupled its enrollment, from 11,000 students in 1999 to 40,000 in 2002, an increase of more than 300%.

“Prospective CUNY students are well aware that we now expect more from them,” Goldstein said. “They also know we have more to give.” He cited the Honors College, now entering its third year, as an example: This year 2,500 applied for admission to its 340 spots, compared to 1,400 last year. “The average SAT score for Honors College is 1340,” Goldstein said. “I’m delighted to say the program has attracted over $10 million in private funding.”

Goldstein harkened to both the past and future in speaking of the University’s relationships with the private sector. “The businessmen and women of CUNY’s Business Leadership Council identify workforce trends and opportunities for the University,” he said, “while a close relationship with the New York City Central Labor Council helps tailor CUNY programs for working students.”

CUNY is adopting new business practices to “work smarter and use shared strategies to reduce administrative costs,” Goldstein said, adding that such measures are already “achieving millions of dollars in savings” on several campuses. Further, “CUNY should be working – where appropriate – with private developers to more effectively use our existing physical assets, and seek to build new mixed-use facilities, as we leverage up the capital budget the state provides.” This could turn the $1.3 billion allocated by the state for building in the next five years into $1.6 billion, the chancellor said.

Noting that the State University of New York’s trustees recently proposed a 41% increase in undergraduate tuition, Goldstein said state leaders should strive for a rational policy, perhaps by linking tuition increases to changes in economic indicators. Michigan State University, he said, resolved some years ago to limit tuition hikes to changes in the Consumer Price Index, if the state agreed to keep its aid in line with the same index. The state university systems of Florida, California and North Carolina have similar indexing policies. Indexing would allow parents, students and the University to plan ahead, and would assure the University a modest but dependable revenue stream.

The City University of New York is the nation’s leading urban public university. Founded in New York City in 1847 as the Free Academy, the University’s 23 institutions include 11 senior colleges, six community colleges, the Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, the Graduate School and University Center, the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, the CUNY School of Law, the CUNY School of Professional Studies and the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education. The University serves 243,000 degree-credit students and more than 240,000 adult, continuing and professional education students. College Now, the University’s academic enrichment program for 32,500 high school students, is offered at CUNY campuses and more than 300 high schools throughout the five boroughs of New York City. The University offers online baccalaureate degrees through the School of Professional Studies and an individualized baccalaureate through the CUNY Baccalaureate Degree.

Goldstein said CUNY is developing plans for a New York Simulation Center on Governors Island, where mathematicians and computer scientists from CUNY and other leading local universities would create a cutting-edge research facility.

“Computer simulation is a powerful analytical tool,” Goldstein said. “It enables us to investigate and experiment with potential scenarios in fields ranging from changing traffic patterns to preventing bioterrorism, from the longevity of pension plans to stresses on the city’s buildings and bridges.”

Since New York is a media capital, CUNY is planning to design a new School of Journalism “with a special focus on urban studies,” Goldstein said, that will “utilize the extraordinary resource of CUNY-TV and Internet-based technologies.”

The City University of New York is the nation’s leading urban public university. Founded in New York City in 1847 as the Free Academy, the University’s 23 institutions include 11 senior colleges, six community colleges, the Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, the Graduate School and University Center, the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, the CUNY School of Law, the CUNY School of Professional Studies and the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education. The University serves 243,000 degree-credit students and more than 240,000 adult, continuing and professional education students. College Now, the University’s academic enrichment program for 32,500 high school students, is offered at CUNY campuses and more than 300 high schools throughout the five boroughs of New York City. The University offers online baccalaureate degrees through the School of Professional Studies and an individualized baccalaureate through the CUNY Baccalaureate Degree.