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Baruch College President Mitchel B. Wallerstein to Step Down in 2019

Nine-Year Tenure Yielded Major Accomplishments for the College

NEW YORK, NY - October 1, 2018 – Baruch College announced today that its president, Dr. Mitchel B. Wallerstein, has decided to step down at the end of the current academic year, in June 2019, after nine successful years of leadership.  

Baruch College of the City University of New York (CUNY) has an enrollment of more than 18,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The College has one of the most diverse student bodies in the nation and the highest performing students in the CUNY system (as measured by average SAT score and GPA). During his nine-year tenure, President Wallerstein has achieved notable and nationally recognized successes in areas ranging from advancing the social and economic mobility for thousands of graduates, to launching a global education program, to setting new records for fundraising, to changing the physical face of Baruch College with new facilities and a new public plaza.

“Mitchel Wallerstein has been one of CUNY's most innovative and effective leaders of the past decade,” said Interim Chancellor Vita C. Rabinowitz. “He firmly established Baruch as a renowned driver of social and economic mobility. He raised graduation rates and strengthened the faculty. His ambitious fund-raising enabled Baruch to increase student scholarship support and add needed spaces to its campus. Dr. Wallerstein exemplifies CUNY’s mission through his high standards of excellence and leadership.”  

“It has been my honor and privilege to serve as president of Baruch for the past eight and a half years,” said Dr. Wallerstein. “I am extremely proud of what we have been able to accomplish to advance the financial and academic strength of the College, building in the process a national reputation and providing an enhanced educational experience for our hard-working and striving students.”

The CUNY Board of Trustees will launch a national search for Baruch College’s next president during the current academic year in order to achieve a seamless transition during the summer of 2019.

Under President Wallerstein’s leadership, the College has become a recognized national leader in public education.

Social and Economic Mobility Advancement:

  • Baruch is considered a national model for social mobility, propelling undergraduates from the bottom 40 percent of household incomes to the top 40 percent. The College was recently ranked #1 for social mobility among four-year public universities, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education.
  • Baruch has achieved a 70 percent six-year graduation rate for full-time undergraduate students, which is a substantially higher rate than the national rate of 56 percent for public and private colleges combined, and by far the best in the CUNY system.

Expanded Academic Program and Global Partnerships:

  • Baruch has established a comprehensive global education program, with more than a half dozen new, dual Master’s degree programs with universities in China, Italy, and Israel, and additional new relationships under development in Vietnam, India, South Korea, and Argentina. As part of this effort, the College also has pioneered an innovative undergraduate program with the South Western University of Finance and Economics in Chengdu, China. Students begin their studies in China and complete their degree requirements in the United States at Baruch, fulfilling all CUNY degree requirements, after which they receive Bachelor’s degrees from both institutions.

Record-breaking Fundraising and Planning for the Future:

  • Under President Wallerstein’s leadership, Baruch has raised a total of $165 million, which includes a record gift of $30 million to name and endow the Austin W. Marxe School of Public and International Affairs. This was the single largest donation in the history of Baruch College and the second largest gift ever donated to CUNY. In addition, Baruch recently completed the first dedicated scholarship campaign in CUNY history, raising $21 million—$6 million over the goal. 
  • Baruch has just completed a new, five-year strategic plan for the period from 2018-2023. This is the second five-year strategic roadmap for the College’s future prepared during his presidency, and the College successfully achieved the majority of the goals set forth in the previous plan.

After he steps down at the end of the current academic year, President Wallerstein plans to serve as a University Professor at CUNY, and will be writing and returning to the classroom to teach in the areas of his expertise on international security and public policy in the College’s Austin W. Marxe School of Public and International Affairs. There, he will bring to students his background in government service.

In 1993, President Wallerstein was appointed deputy assistant secretary of defense for counter-proliferation policy and senior defense representative for trade security policy, and he served in this capacity until 1998. During his five-year tenure in the Department of Defense, he dealt with nuclear, biological and chemical weapons proliferation issues, and he helped found and subsequently co-chaired the Senior Defense Group on Proliferation at NATO.  

Mitchel Wallerstein was vice president of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation from 1998-2003, where he directed its international grantmaking program; the foundation is one of the world’s largest philanthropic organizations.

From 2003 to 2010, President Wallerstein was dean of the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs of Syracuse University and a tenured professor of political science and public administration. The Maxwell School was ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the nation's leading graduate school of public affairs. 

Dr. Wallerstein began his tenure as the eighth president of Baruch College in August 2010.

For a complete bio, go to President Mitchel B. Wallerstein leadership profile.

About Baruch College:

Baruch College provides students with the skills, knowledge, and perspectives to pursue their aspirations in today's global environment. Part of The City University of New York (CUNY), Baruch is also listed among the nation’s top public colleges for academic excellence, affordability, student success, and value. Its three schools educate more than 18,000 students who represent one of the most diverse college campuses in the country. Strong career and support services drive Baruch’s national recognition as an engine for social and economic mobility. Through executive education, continuing studies, international partnerships, public events, and arts programming, Baruch stands out as an intellectual and cultural resource for New York City and the world. 

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