Temple University Provost Lisa Staiano-Coico Appointed President of The City College of New York

April 26, 2010 | The University

Dr. Lisa Staiano-Coico

Dr. Lisa Staiano-Coico

The Board of Trustees of The City University of New York has appointed Dr. Lisa Staiano-Coico, Temple University provost and executive vice president of academic affairs, as the twelfth president of the University’s founding institution, The City College of New York.

A nationally prominent educator and researcher in microbiology and immunology, Dr. Staiano-Coico served as executive director of the Tri-Institutional Research Program, a $160 million research consortium of Cornell University, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Rockefeller University.  She has also held senior academic and administrative leadership positions at Cornell’s Joan and Sanford I. Weill Medical College in New York City, including vice provost for medical and external affairs, senior associate dean for research, division chief of surgical research, and professorships in microbiology in surgery, microbiology in dermatology, and public health.

As Temple’s provost, Dr. Staiano-Coico is responsible for 17 schools and colleges, including campuses in Tokyo and Rome; its undergraduate, graduate and professional programs, and a budget of more than $600 million. After an 18-month collaborative process, she launched an academic strategic plan for the university and initiated an innovative general education curriculum that was hailed by “The Chronicle of Higher Education.”

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A graduate of  Brooklyn College, Dr. Staiano-Coico becomes the first CUNY alumna to lead City College, founded in 1847 as New York City’s first public institution of higher education, The Free Academy.

Chancellor Matthew Goldstein recommended the appointment of Dr. Staiano-Coico to the Board of Trustees following a national search. The presidential search committee was chaired by Trustee Charles Shorter and included trustees, faculty, students, alumni and a college president. The Board unanimously appointed Dr. Staiano-Coico at its April 26th meeting.

In a joint statement, Board Chairperson Benno Schmidt and Chancellor Goldstein said: “Dr. Staiano-Coico brings extraordinary academic and administrative experience to her new leadership position at City College. Her achievements as a scholar and researcher, her experience as an administrator and her proven track record of collaboration with faculty and commitment to student success will bring  renewed vitality to City College’s dynamic undergraduate and graduate programs.”

Dr. Staiano-Coico said, “I am honored to be selected to serve as the next President of City College, one of the nation’s great urban schools with a mission of access to a world-class education for students from all economic backgrounds.  It will be a privilege to work with the faculty of City College who have a legacy of educating generations of students who go on to be leaders of the city, the nation, and the world.  I look forward to having stimulating dialogues with students, faculty, staff, community members, and fellow CUNY alums about the exciting future of CCNY.  I am truly coming home to my roots.”

A native of Brooklyn, Dr. Staiano-Coico earned a B.S. with honors in biology at Brooklyn College in 1976 and a Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from the Cornell University Graduate School of Medical Sciences in 1981. She conducted post-doctoral research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

As the Rebecca Q. and James C. Morgan Dean of Cornell’s College of Human Ecology, she oversaw a $70 million budget, more than 1,400 students, and a $23 million annual research program. She planned and raised $39 million for the design and construction of a state-of-the-art laboratory building, which is scheduled for completion in 2011. Dr. Staiano-Coico established interdisciplinary programs in areas such as psychology and law, and global health and nutrition. In addition to directorship at the research consortium of Cornell University, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Rockefeller University, and her academic and administrative service at Weill Medical College, Dr. Staiano-Coico served as president of the International Society for Analytical Cytology.

Her recent professional appointments have included service as a member of the National Institute of Health’s National Advisory General Medical Sciences Council, as well as a chair of the NIH’s National Institute of General Medical Sciences Special Emphasis Panel on trauma training.  Dr. Staiano-Coico was a member of the Association of American Medical Colleges’ Task Force on Research Institutes and Centers, and she is past president of the International Society for Analytical Cytology. She is currently a Health Research Advisory Committee Member for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, as appointed by the Governor of Pennsylvania. She is also a member of the Board of Managers of The Philadelphia Foundation. Her current research focuses on alcohol and drug abuse prevention among traditional college-aged students.

Dr. Staiano-Coico, whose term will begin on August 18, 2010, succeeds Dr. Robert Paaswell, who has served as Interim President of the College since 2009.

Throughout its history, City College has provided an unparalleled educational route to upward mobility to streams of students whose makeup has changed with fluctuating patterns of immigration.  The College is home to an outstanding College of Liberal Arts and Science and four nationally renowned professional schools: The Grove School of Engineering, The Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education, The Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture, and The School of Education.

The College offers wide-ranging undergraduate and master’s programs and on-site CUNY doctoral programs, all of which are designed to prepare students for successful careers, as well as for continuing graduate and post-graduate education. The College offers doctorate degrees in five engineering disciplines, as well as in four science disciplines jointly with the CUNY Graduate Center. The School of Biomedical Education’s unique seven-year B.S./M.D. program is a model for medical education, while the School of Education is a national leader in preparing teachers of mathematics.  The College will also host a new University-wide science and research campus that will include the CUNY Advanced Science Research Center as well as a new research center for the College. Construction of the first phase of the project is continuing with the opening scheduled for 2013.

Student enrollment has grown by 50 percent over the last eight years to 16,200 in the fall 2009. Current students and recent graduates are winning Truman, Goldwater and other prestigious scholarships and fellowships, and gaining acceptance to leading graduate and professional schools. Two recent City College graduates were awarded Rhodes Scholarships, widely considered the world’s most prestigious scholarship: David L.V. Bauer in 2009, and Lev Sviridov in 2005, becoming only the second and third CCNY students to win the prize since 1939. The faculty includes winners of Fulbright scholarships, Guggenheim fellowships, MacArthur “Genius” awards, Pulitzers, Emmys, Grammys and National Book Awards.

The college’s graduates include nine alumni who have won the Nobel Prize, placing it among the top ranks of public colleges and universities. CCNY is also among the nation’s leaders in alumni who have become members of the National Academies of Science and Engineering, and in producing America’s leading business executives. CCNY’s distinguished graduates include lyricist Ira Gershwin (1918); polio vaccine pioneer Dr. Jonas E. Salk (1934); playwright Paddy Chayefsky (1943); former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell (1958); Intel Corporation co-founder Dr. Andrew S. Grove (1960); astronaut Mario Runco, Jr. (1974), and Pulitzer Prize winning author Oscar Hijuelos (1975).

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 William E. 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 CUNY School of Public Health. The University serves 260,000 academic credit students and 269,808 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. More than 1 million visitors and 2 million page views are served each month at www.cuny.edu, the University’s website.