Dr. Carole Berotte Joseph Named President of Bronx Community College; Distinguished Educator Returns Home to CUNY

January 24, 2011 | The University

The Board of Trustees of The City University of New York today appointed Dr. Carole M. Berotte Joseph as President of Bronx Community College, which was established in 1957 and serves more than 11,000 degree and more than 14,000 adult and continuing education students at its historic University Heights campus.

Chancellor Matthew Goldstein recommended the appointment of Dr. Berotte Joseph to the Board of Trustees after a national search.

Dr. Berotte Joseph, whose career in higher education spans more than 35 years, has been president of Massachusetts Bay Community College, located in Wellesley Hills, Mass., since 2005. Her appointment as the President of Bronx Community College marks her return to CUNY, where she served as Vice President of Academic Affairs at Hostos Community College in the Bronx after having been a faculty member at City College for over 20 years. Prior to becoming president of MassBay, she was Chief Academic Officer and Dean of Academic Affairs at Dutchess Community College of The State University of New York. A prominent authority in the field of sociolinguistics, she is the co-editor, with professor Arthur Spears of City College, of the groundbreaking book, “The Haitian Creole Language: History, Structure, Use and Education,” which was published last year.

In a joint statement, Board Chairperson Benno Schmidt and Chancellor Goldstein stated: “Dr. Berotte Joseph is returning to CUNY with extensive experience as a community college president, faculty member, administrator, and higher education advocate. She has a deep commitment to student success and to the University’s mission of access to a high quality education. We are delighted to welcome her back to CUNY and to the Bronx.”

Dr. Berotte Joseph said: “This is a wonderful and very special homecoming for me as I return to my roots in the CUNY system, where I earned my bachelor’s degree and where I served as a faculty member and administrator for many years. It is a great honor to be chosen to lead Bronx Community College, with its outstanding faculty, staff, students, alumni and many community supporters. I look forward to building on the College’s five-decade record of service to the Bronx and New York.”

Dr. Berotte Joseph, whose term will begin in the summer, succeeds Dr. Carolyn G. Williams, who served with great distinction as President of Bronx Community College since Augusts 1996.

As the president of MassBay Community College since 2005, Dr. Berotte Joseph restructured and reactivated the Foundation Board of Directors, established several Fund Guidelines and prepared the college to launch its first capital campaign. She also created the MassBay Alumni Council, and worked collaboratively with the college’s Student Government Association to establish a Textbook Fund. By revitalizing the college’s planning processes, she facilitated the college’s focus on outcomes. Faculty and staff have expressed pride about the emphasis on excellence, which has led to a steady increase in MassBay’s graduation rates and its recent successful accreditation. Prior to that she was Dean of Academic Affairs at Dutchess Community College/SUNY from 2000 to 2005, where she provided leadership for all academic programs. Her responsibilities included coordinating and evaluating all credit academic programs and developing new academic programs, encouraging the incorporation of technology in the classroom, and facilitating communication among faculty and other campus constituencies.

As Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at Hostos Community College/CUNY from 1996 to 1998 she played a major role coordinating and overseeing all academic departments and the library; assisting in the design, development, implementation and evaluation of new and revised curriculum and program activities; and providing leadership and direction in implementing Basic Skills and Freshman program initiatives.

Dr. Berotte Joseph was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and grew up in New York. She has taught at the Bank Street College, Graduate School of Education; New York University’s School of Education, Health, Nursing, and Arts Professions; Indiana University’s Creole Institute at Bloomington; and in Haiti as a visiting professor. In 1997, she was selected as a Kellogg Fellow for the prestigious program, “Expanding Leadership Diversity in Community Colleges.” Her community service includes leadership positions with numerous national and regional organizations. She sits on the Board of the American Association of Community Colleges; is a commissioner with the American Council on Education’s Commission on International Initiatives; and is past president of the National Association of Community College Teacher Education Programs. She is also a member of the board of the New England College Council; and sits on the boards of the Technical Education Research Center; the Wellesley Chamber of Commerce; the Boston Foundation’s Haiti Advisory Council; the Secondary Postsecondary Career/Vocational Technical Education Linkage Consortium; and One Family, Inc. She is also an Overseer at the Newton-Wellesley Hospital.

Dr. Berotte Joseph has served on the editorial boards of several scholarly journals including the Journal of the International Reading Association, Journal of the New York State Association for Bilingual Education, and the Wadabagei Journal of the Caribbean and its Diaspora. She is a past president of the Haitian Studies Association, an international, scholarly and professional organization that promotes research and scholarship on Haiti and Haitians, and is fluent in four languages: Haitian Creole, French, Spanish and English. Dr. Berotte Joseph has lectured extensively and has authored, translated and edited numerous articles on educational policy issues facing Haitian communities in the U.S. as well as in Haiti. She has served as the Principal Investigator and first director of the statewide Haitian Bilingual/ESL Technical Assistance Center in New York, currently housed at Brooklyn College, and has received several major grants. Most recently, she co-chaired the Higher Education Task Force, which is working to establish a consortium of colleges and universities that will foster partnerships with higher education institutions in Haiti to rebuild the higher education system there.

Dr. Berotte Joseph earned a bachelor’s degree in Spanish, with minors in French and education from York College/CUNY; a master’s in education, with specializations in curriculum and teaching, from Fordham University; advanced graduate coursework in administration and supervision at New York University; and a doctorate in sociolinguistics and bilingual education from the Department of Teaching and Learning at New York University. She was the recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award from NYU last year. And her two daughters, Marjorie and Claudine, were featured in the book, “Nurturing Success,” published in 2000.

Bronx Community College was established in 1957 after a decade of effort by civic-minded groups to meet the growing need for increased higher education facilities in the borough. The college, which began with 125 students in 1959 at the former site of the Bronx High School of Science, is now a comprehensive community college with a broad range of academic programs. In 1973, the New York State Dormitory Authority acquired the New York University Heights Campus for Bronx Community College, a picturesque 50-acre location overlooking the Harlem River.

Bronx Community College is experiencing a major transformation including expansion of its campus facilities, curricula and services for students. The college has emphasized outreach to New York City’s economic and educational institutions through partnerships with business and industry to better ensure the success of its graduates and to spur economic growth and jobs in the Bronx and beyond. New programs have been developed in the high growth professions of health, the technologies and human services. In addition, national and international outreach programs have been expanded, and there are ongoing outreach activities in Salzburg, Austria, and in South Africa.

A new and impressive North Instructional Building and Library is scheduled for occupancy in 2012. A new Childcare Center is being completed, together with renovation of the cafeteria and bookstore in the Brown Student Center. In addition, facilities have been renovated to expand classroom and laboratory space for the liberal arts in the college’s Colston Hall, and for the sciences and technologies in Meister Hall. The Academic Computing Center and Learning Center have also been enhanced with the acquisition of state-of-the-art equipment.

Bronx Community College is the site of The Hall of Fame for Great Americans, a New York landmark established in 1900 to honor Americans who have had a significant impact on the nation’s history. Built in a sweeping semicircular neoclassical arc with wings at either end, it provides a stunning panorama across the Harlem River to the Cloisters in Fort Tryon Park and beyond to the Palisades. Designed by the celebrated architect Stanford White, its 630-foot open-air Colonnade houses the busts and commemorative plaques of 98 of the 102 honorees elected since 1900. The complex of three buildings adjoining the Colonnade – Gould Memorial Library, the Hall of Languages, and Cornelius Baker Hall of Philosophy – bears a close conceptual relationship to the Colonnade, with the library as the central focus. The bronze busts are original works by distinguished American sculptors, including Daniel Chester French, sculptor of the Lincoln Memorial; James Earl Fraser, whose work includes the figures of “Justice” and “Law” at the U.S. Supreme Court, and Frederick MacMonnies, whose reliefs grace Fifth Avenue’s Washington Arch. It is considered the largest and finest collection of bronze busts in America.