Metro New York today published an op-ed by Chancellor Vita C. Rabinowitz. The text of the op-ed is available below.  Chancellor Rabinowitz also recorded a message welcoming students, faculty and staff back to CUNY campuses across the City.  The message can be viewed here.

By Chancellor Vita C. Rabinowitz

Throughout the city this week, more than a quarter of a million students are beginning classes on the 25 campuses of The City University of New York, an annual ritual that reaffirms CUNY’s long-standing and inseparable connection with the city.

This is an exciting time in the University’s history, one marked by prestigious awards for our students and faculty and national acclaim for our senior and community colleges.

In the past two weeks, CUNY colleges have figured prominently in the rankings of the Chronicle of Higher Education and Money magazine, among other publications. The rankings take a variety of factors into account, including tuition charges, alumni earnings and social mobility, a measure of a school’s success in lifting low-income students into the middle class.

The rankings affirm research by leading economists showing that CUNY’s singular quality, affordability and diversity set it apart as perhaps the most potent engine of economic advancement in the United States.

Not surprisingly, that quality, affordability and diversity have fueled a surge in enrollment over the past 10 years of 40,000 students – an increase roughly equivalent in size to the student body of the University of Michigan!

As we grow, we do more and more to ensure that our students are graduating on time and pursuing successful careers. CUNY is on the cutting edge of implementing academic strategies and programs that help students to navigate intractable challenges and achieve their goals.

Throughout my 40-year career at CUNY, I’ve always embraced what makes our community dynamic and special. CUNY is arguably the most diverse university in the nation, if not the world, in all the ways that matter: race, ethnicity, country of origin and languages spoken at home, gender identity, sexual orientation, and religious affiliation and observance.

That diversity is not happenstance. We are built for the students we have, and out of this grows our sense of purpose.