HAVE YOU HEARD? What community college was named one of the nation’s top four, earning it a $100,000 prize? And which University college is the latest to add doctorate degrees? Or what you’ll find at the new administrative offices CUNY has relocated to on 42nd Street?
CUNY moves to midtown. After 55 years in a former New York City Health Department building at 535 E. 80th St., the University’s administrative offices have been relocated from the Upper East Side near the East River to a centrally located, 170,000-square-foot headquarters at 205 E. 42nd St. in midtown Manhattan. The University occupies seven renovated floors of the pre-war building under a 30-year purchase-lease arrangement with the Durst Organization. CUNY purchased the space, formerly used by the Pfizer pharmaceutical company, for a 30-year term, after which it will revert back to Durst Organization ownership. Proceeds from the sale of the 80th St. building will offset costs at 42nd Street for the first five years. The proceeds will also purchase state-of-the-art scientific equipment for the CUNY Advanced Science Research Center, a University-wide research hub that will open next year on the City College campus. Among the main administration functions relocating to the new midtown offices is the University’s Welcome Center, above, which provides services and information to thousands of prospective students. The Welcome Center features a new reception venue and state-of-the-art technology for academic counseling and financial aid advisement. Also relocated are the Office of the Chancellor and senior staff, The Board of Trustees, the Office of Financial Aid and the Office of Admissions Services.
CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein, already a member of the national Business-Higher Education Forum (BHEF), has accepted an invitation to join its Executive Committee. The Forum — America’s oldest organization of senior business and higher education executives dedicated to advancing innovative solutions to education and workforce challenges — focuses on improving college and work readiness, access and success as well as on promoting the country’s leadership in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
The College of Staten Island was officially registered as a doctoral-degree granting institution in New York State on Feb. 5, when Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo approved the amendment to CUNY’s long-range master plan. The completion of the three-year process from proposal-to-signature allows CSI to join the ranks of Hunter and City Colleges as the only CUNY campuses other than the CUNY Graduate Center to confer doctoral degrees to its students. “The College of Staten Island being awarded doctoral granting status speaks volumes to the academic rigor of our curriculum and the expertise of our faculty,” said Fred Naider, interim provost and senior vice president for academic affairs.
More than 300 students, local business leaders and families crowded into LaGuardia Community College on March 2 to attend the first CUNY Information Fair — organized for the city’s Colombian community. Prospective college and graduate students visited booths and gathered brochures from the University’s leading institutions, including Hunter, Baruch, Queens and Brooklyn Colleges. At a reception to kick off the fair, Senior Vice Chancellor for University Relations Jay Hershenson said CUNY had a “great interest in expanding education in the Colombian community.” Indeed at the University, outreach to immigrant communities has led to 51 percent growth in Hispanic student enrollment. Also at the reception, Colombian Consul General Elsa Gladys Cifuentes Aranzazu spoke about the importance of education for Colombians. “The American dream should be to educate yourselves and your children. … Education is what makes us equal,” she said. A memo of understanding was also signed this year by CUNY officials and the Colombian consul in New York to establish more collaboration between the University and the Colombian community.
Kudos to Kingsborough, recently named one of America’s top four community colleges by the 2013 Aspen Institute College Excellence Program — earning it a $100,000 prize. “Kingsborough Community College has achieved strong results in graduation, transfer and employment outcomes while working with an extremely diverse group of students, many who face challenging life circumstances,” said the Aspen Institute program’s executive director, Josh Wyner. “Its staff and faculty are deeply committed to removing the roadblocks that keep so many community college students from finishing what they start.” CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein noted that “an impressive 60 percent of its students transfer to four-year colleges, compared to the national average of 26 percent.” KCC president Regina Peruggi said of its students, who come from 142 countries: “They are the future of our city. When they succeed, we all succeed,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. “Kingsborough Community College has demonstrated the leadership and innovation that has helped New York City become a national leader in education reform.”
Study: ASAP Brings $46 Million in Benefits to Taxpayers. A City University
of New York initiative designed to help students earn community college degrees within three years delivers $46 million in benefits to taxpayers per 1,000 participants, according to an independent study by Columbia University’s Teachers College. Some 2,200 students now enroll in CUNY’s Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP). A previous study by the same team found that although ASAP has higher institutional costs per student, it is so much more effective in graduating community college students within three years that it delivers each graduate for $6,500 less than for a comparison group in traditional settings.
New Public Health Dean Named. Dr. Ayman A.E. El-Mohandes, an internationally recognized leader in the field of public health, has been named dean of the CUNY School of Public Health, effective Sept. 2.
Dr. El-Mohandes is a pediatrician, epidemiologist, and academician with a deep commitment to public service. He served as dean of the College of Public Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center since 2009. He has also been professor of epidemiology at the College of Public Health, and professor of pediatrics and of obstetrics/gynecology at the College of Medicine, University of Nebraska Medical Center.
His work in public health includes efforts to reduce infant mortality and increase maternal and child health in the U.S. and abroad. “He has also demonstrated a long-term commitment to work with the public health practice community and to provide access to nontraditional learners and students from underrepresented communities,” said Chancellor Matthew Goldstein, who recommended Dr. El-Mohandes’ appointment after a national search and his unanimous approval by the Executive Committee of The Board of Trustees on May 22.
An honors graduate in medicine and surgery from Cairo University in 1974, Dr. El-Mohandes also earned his MSc in pediatrics and his MD in pediatrics, with honors, from Cairo University in 1978 and 1981, respectively. He received his MPH in epidemiology/biostatistics from George Washington University, summa cum laude, in 1991.
During Dr. El-Mohandes’ tenure at UNMC, the College of Public Health received its first accreditation, the faculty doubled, the student body grew tenfold, and the research portfolio increased from $5 million to exceed $15 million in annual expenditures. Under his leadership, several new concentrations in the master of public health program were developed, including Community-Oriented Primary Care; Health Policy; Maternal and Child Health; Public Health Practice; and Social Marketing and Health Communication.