As CUNY Faculty Grows, Help (Still) Wanted

 
Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Louise Mirrer.
Full-time teaching positions available. Dedication, credentials, standing among peers essential. Commitment to sustaining and building the reputation of a world-class university required. Send CV to the City University.

And don’t delay. While 500 new faculty members have joined CUNY senior colleges for the current semester, another major wave of new faculty hires—more than 300 for the community colleges, under the Community College Investment Program—are anticipated for next year. The University also plans to fill about 150 new library, academic and student support positions in the community colleges.

The massive hiring effort is the first step toward restoring the ranks of full-time faculty to levels not seen in three decades. The long-term goal established by Chancellor Matthew Goldstein, with the support of the Board of Trustees, is to make 70 percent of the faculty in both senior and community colleges full-time.

Several financial factors made the senior-college hirings possible: steadily-rising enrollments, careful management, cost-cutting, and retirement incentives. Increased revenue from tuition at the community colleges will be plowed back into academic programs and new faculty, giving the two-year institutions an added lift next year.

Profiles of New Faculty. Click
“We want to attract, recruit and hire faculty with the highest qualifications,” Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Louise Mirrer says of the Community College Investment Program. “A major objective is that students who transfer into the senior colleges will have had a community college experience equivalent to the first two years of senior college. We can’t do that unless the University hires faculty with the proper credentials.”

Many of the new appointments have been made in the University’s “flagship environment” disciplines, which are bringing national prominence to targeted undergraduate liberal arts and science programs, as well as to professional and graduate programs. At this time, for example, 18 new scientists are working at CUNY in photonics; three new appointments have been made in biosciences; twelve new appointments were in foreign languages; and 24 new lines were added to a “new media” cluster.

Special attention in new hires has also been given to the University’s ties to the city it serves: 38 new teacher educators are on board, and
a second group of appointments was recently approved. Dozens more have been approved to address the shortage of well-trained nurses in metropolitan hospitals.

“Clusters were originally organized around research,” Mirrer says. “We have made some effort to include the community colleges, but the real focus was on research in the senior colleges.” That will change in the new round of hiring. “This is the first significant faculty and staff hiring initiative in the community colleges in over thirty years,” Mirrer notes.

She adds that “recent hiring efforts at the community colleges have yielded impressive results. I think of Dr. Vrunda Prabhu, who brought to Bronx Commu-nity College a $400,000 research grant from the National Science Foundation, or Dr. Michelle Rief, at BMCC, a scholar of African-American women’s international activism in the early 20th century, or Dr. Kimberly Hearn, in Health Education at Hostos, who was Phi Beta Kappa at Howard and was the recipient of a pre-doctoral fellowship from the National Academy of Sciences.”

The colorful life histories and record of outstanding scholarship boasted by the several hundred new colleagues who arrived this fall reveals an astonishing array of talent. Following are brief profiles of but a small sampling from this distinguished group of teachers. These profiles and more are also available at www.cuny.edu/news

 

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