August 2, 2010
To the Baruch College Community,
At last my long wait is over since the announcement of my appointment, and I am excited finally to be “reporting for duty” today! I have spent the last five months learning about the College and its history, establishing relationships with the senior academic and administrative leadership, and becoming immersed in the multiple challenges facing our institution. One fact is already clear to me: Baruch has a highly capable and creative leadership team, which has effectively managed the College and enabled it to cope with an extremely difficult fiscal situation. I want to acknowledge, in this regard, the outstanding cooperation, support and warm reception that I have received from all of the members of the President’s cabinet—and, in particular, I want to thank Stan Altman for an absolutely seamless transition. Stan went out of his way, over many months, to keep me “in the loop” on critical budgetary and academic issues, and I am very much indebted to him for this. He performed in an outstanding fashion as Interim President under difficult circumstances, and I know that the entire College community joins me in thanking him for his service.
It is clear to all of us that Baruch and CUNY are facing significant financial challenges in the current fiscal year—and, in all likelihood, in the next fiscal year as well. But the College’s great strength is the intelligence, creativity and entrepreneurial spirit of its people, and I am fully confident that, together, we will find a way through this period to the brighter days that surely lie ahead. It also has been observed—most recently, by Rahm Emanuel, President Obama’s Chief of Staff—that every crisis also represents an opportunity. Thus, it is my intention not just to enable the College to “weather the storm” but also to position it to emerge from this period ready to build on its many existing strengths and to selectively and strategically add new programmatic initiatives. I will speak at greater length about these twin objectives in the coming weeks and months; but suffice to say for now, that I am thrilled to be back home in New York and I am eager to meet and get to know every member of the Baruch College community. You will see me in the halls, and my office will be making arrangements to enable me to meet with you in your work areas during the next month or so.
I plan to set to work immediately, in close collaboration with Provost McCarthy, the academic deans, and the vice presidents, to chart a forward course for the College. Baruch is once again on the move!