Thanks to a prestigious leadership award to Chancellor Matthew Goldstein from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Graduate Center has launched the Great Issues Forum, which explores critical world issues through a dialogue between the public and prominent guests.
In 2007, the Carnegie Corporation awarded Chancellor Goldstein its recently established Academic Leadership Award in recognition of his accomplishments at CUNY. The award is given annually to leaders of institutions of higher education. In praising the chancellor’s commitment to the liberal arts, curricular innovation and school reform and community outreach, the Foundation cited the creation of the Honors College and Graduate School of Journalism, the Decade of Science and the development of a K-16 continuum through partnerships with the City’s Department of Education. The Foundation gave the Chancellor $500,000 to further his academic priorities.
With funds from the award, The Center for the Humanities at the Graduate Center created the Great Issues Forum to explore issues through a single thematic lens. The centerpiece of the forum is a series of free public conversations featuring artists, intellectuals and policy makers. There will also be online seminars with prominent guest bloggers, distinguished faculty and graduate students.
The issue chosen for the inaugural year is Power â€“ political, economic, cultural, military and educationalâ€”within the context of an increasingly globalized world. Among the prominent guests this fall were Jane Kramer, staff writer for New Yorker, and Walter Veltroni, leader of Italy’s Democratic Party, who spoke on Power and Progressive Politics; Zbigniew Brzezinski, former U.S. national security advisor, Nicholas Kristof, New York Times op-ed columnist, and Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland, on the topic of Political Power; and Tom Stoppard, Tony winning playwright, and Derek Walcott, Nobel Prize winning poet, on Cultural Power. Spring topics will include Military Power, the Power of Education and the Power of Fashion. Subsequent themes in coming years include Place and Faith.