CUNY Trustees Appoint Chase F. Robinson President of the CUNY Graduate School and University Center

June 30, 2014 | The University

The Board of Trustees of The City University of New York has appointed Chase F. Robinson, a prominent historian of the pre-modern Middle East, as president of The City University of New York Graduate School and University Center.

Chancellor James B. Milliken recommended President Robinson after a national search. The Search Committee was chaired by the Hon. Peter Pantaleo, a member of the CUNY Board of Trustees, and included trustees, the dean of the CUNY Law School, and faculty, student, and CUNY Graduate Center Foundation representatives. President Robinson, who is also Distinguished Professor of History, has served as Interim President since 2013.

Chancellor Milliken stated: “President Robinson has played a leading role in raising the CUNY Graduate Center’s prominence as a national and international center of learning and in charting its course for the future. With his leadership, the Graduate Center will continue to build CUNY’s graduate programs with its world-class faculty, attract and educate the very best doctoral students and provide research of the highest quality.”

President Robinson said, “It is a great privilege to lead the extraordinary community of scholars, students and staff that is the CUNY Graduate Center. Devoted to advanced research and Ph.D. training, the Graduate Center is a genuinely unique institution with a distinct mission: to create and disseminate knowledge for the public good. Deeply rooted in CUNY and its colleges, we reflect the rich diversity and dynamism of our global city.”

President Chase Robinson

President Chase F. Robinson

From 2008 through June 2013, President Robinson served as provost and senior vice president of the CUNY Graduate Center. In that capacity, he led a comprehensive planning process culminating in the Graduate Center’s Strategic Plan for 2012-16, outlining the institution’s major goals. He also worked with the University’s Office of Institutional Advancement to secure major funding to enhance faculty and student support, helped establish the CUNY Graduate Center at the forefront of the digital revolution within higher education and expanded the Master’s of Liberal Studies program. In addition, he recruited two dozen senior faculty to the Graduate Center, and launched several major initiatives, including the Initiative for the Theoretical Sciences, the CUNY Institute for Language Education in Transcultural Context, and the Advanced Research Collaborative. President Robinson’s major funded research at the Graduate Center includes a three-year, $2.4 million award from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in 2010.

President Robinson received an A.B. (Honors) from Brown University, having also studied at the American University in Cairo, the University of Cairo, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In 1992, he earned a Ph.D. from Harvard University’s Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, where he was awarded a Charlotte W. Newcombe Fellowship from the Woodrow Wilson Foundation. In 1993 he joined the Faculty of Oriental Studies and Wolfson College, the University of Oxford, where he taught until 2008. From 1999 to 2000 he was a member of the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and in 2005 he received a two-year British Academy Research Readership. As chairman of the Faculty Board of Oriental Studies at Oxford, Dr. Robinson put in place the department’s first academic plan, broadened its scope in terms of development and external relations and forged new relationships with international donors as well as academic institutions in the Middle East.

A specialist in early Islamic history, President Robinson is the author or editor of seven books and more than 40 articles. He also serves on a number of editorial and review boards, and his commentaries have appeared in Inside Higher Education, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Huffington Post and The (London) Times Higher Education Supplement. He is a member of the International Advisory Board, Library of Arabic Literature; the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Middle East Studies; and chairs the Editorial Board of Cambridge Studies in Islamic Civilization, Cambridge University Press. He has also served on several review boards. During 2012-13 he chaired the Visiting Review Committee for Harvard University’s Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. His research has been funded by the British Academy, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The CUNY Graduate Center, which was established in 1961, is the principal doctorate-granting institution of the City University. It offers more than 30 doctoral programs and provides rigorous academic training in the sciences, social sciences and humanities, in addition to seven disciplinary and interdisciplinary master’s programs. The Graduate Center fosters advanced applied and theoretical research and houses more than 30 research centers and institutes in its Ph.D.-focused environment. It is home to a core faculty of approximately 150 teachers and mentors, primarily full professors, virtually all senior scholars and leaders in their disciplines, with more than a third holding the rank of Distinguished Professor, the University’s highest academic honor. The core faculty is enhanced by more than 1,600 faculty scholars and mentors from across the CUNY colleges as well as from cultural, academic and scientific institutions throughout New York City and beyond.

The Graduate Center enrolls approximately 4,300 graduate students, 90 percent of whom are doctoral students from across the U.S. and 78 foreign countries. According to the most recent Survey of Earned Doctorates (2011), the Graduate Center awarded the second-highest number of degrees in the social sciences and the sixth-highest number of degrees in the humanities nationally. The Graduate Center is committed to increasing the enrollment of students from underrepresented groups and has embarked on a variety of programs designed to recruit minority students. Through its extensive public programs — lectures, conferences, performances, exhibitions and conversations — the Graduate Center also contributes to the intellectual and cultural life of New York City and affirms its commitment to the premise that knowledge is a public good.

The Graduate Center also serves as the administrative home for five City University programs: The CUNY Baccalaureate for Unique and Interdisciplinary Studies; the CUNY School of Professional Studies, including the Joseph S. Murphy Institute for Worker Education and Labor Studies; the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism; the Macaulay Honors College; and the CUNY School of Public Health.

About The City University of New York:
The City University of New York is the nation’s leading urban public university. Founded in New York City in 1847, the University comprises 24 institutions: 11 senior colleges, seven community colleges, the William E. Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, the CUNY 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 more than 270,000 degree-credit students and 218,083 adult, continuing and professional education students. College Now, the University’s academic enrichment program, 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. Nearly 3 million unique visitors and 10 million page views are served each month via www.cuny.edu, the University’s website.