June 3, 2013 | News
“The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been.”
––Henry A. Kissinger
I have heard many descriptions about how CUNY has evolved over the last 15 years. Some talk about the “resurgence” CUNY is undergoing. Others call it a “resurrection.” I have even heard some say CUNY is experiencing “a second renaissance.” Whichever the description, virtually everyone who has a familiarity with CUNY’s history believes the quality of education and the overall collegiate experience is vastly superior to what it was a decade and a half ago. While I believe there are many reasons for this systemic and fundamental turnaround, it is clear CUNY’s leadership through Chancellor Goldstein has been the primary catalyst for these advancements. Due to my own observations, interactions and experiences with Chancellor Goldstein, I would like to make the following brief comments about his leadership and its transformative qualities for students at CUNY.
I believe the above quote by Henry Kissinger captures the essence of Chancellor Goldstein’s leadership. He has been able “to get his people,” whether the members of the Chancellery, campus presidents or the Board of Trustees, to envision something bigger than what we once knew. Speaking as a relatively new Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, I can say that the Chancellor has provided consistent, stable and certain leadership while at the same time creating an encouraging environment––one where new ideas, innovation and responsible action are welcomed. I am also struck by the frequency in which the Chancellor and other executives speak about support for and the success of students. I am certain this culture of leadership is the direct result of Chancellor Goldstein’s expectations and standards for ensuring the mission of CUNY and its service to New York City.
Chancellor Goldstein cares deeply about the students and their success. Without an unwavering commitment to students at his core, the Chancellor would not have been able to advance the University to its current position of leadership within the national higher education arena. Whether influenced by his upbringing in New York City, years as a CCNY student, or time as a faculty member and college administrator, it is clear that Chancellor Goldstein has kept students’ interests as a centerpiece of his work. A mentor once told me, “Whenever you have a tough decision to make, think ‘students first’ and then decide.” Time and again, Chancellor Goldstein has put students first by establishing a vision which encapsulates the highest expectations and core principles aimed at supporting student success and the learning enterprise.
The Chancellor has always desired a stronger and more relevant education for CUNY students. Whether this is due to his vision, an authentic commitment to students or a desire to ensure the integrity of the University, Chancellor Goldstein has been a catalytic champion for CUNY, its students and its future. In my observations, I have witnessed a deeply-driven purpose and steadfast spirit to improve educational opportunity for students at CUNY. I am thankful to have been a part of this new era, and I look forward to the generations of students who will benefit from Chancellor Goldstein’s work.
All my best,
Frank D. Sanchez, Ph.D.
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs