June 28, 2016
New Name—The School of Public and International Affairs
I am pleased to announce that yesterday the CUNY Board of Trustees approved strategic changes to both the name and mission of our nationally recognized School of Public Affairs. Beginning today, the school will henceforth be known as the School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA), reflecting Baruch College’s expansion into the global arena.
This development is fully congruent with the College’s Strategic Plan 2013-2018, particularly Goal III: Deepen Engagement with the World Outside the Campus, and it is reinforced in both the College’s Global and SPIA’s strategic plans. Baruch is well positioned to take this step, as it builds on our diverse student population and takes advantage of our geographic location. New York City is home to more international non-governmental organizations than any other city in the world, and we have the United Nations and numerous global headquarters for businesses and foundations right in our own backyard.
Indeed, in the years leading up to this change, we have expanded our study abroad opportunities through partnerships with universities around the world; broadened our effort to recruit more well-qualified international students; initiated events to engage alumni who are living abroad; and expanded the number and size of global programs that take place here on campus.
Most recently, under the leadership of Dean David Birdsell, SPIA has also launched a new Master of International Affairs (MIA) degree that, while housed in SPIA, will include faculty from the Zicklin School of Business and the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences. This cross-school collaboration underscores Goal II of the Strategic Plan: Enhance the Academic and Co-Curricular Experience at Baruch. Recruitment is underway for the first cohort of MIA students, who will matriculate in Fall 2017.
Developments such as the expanded mission of SPIA could not happen without the intelligence, vision, and energy of numerous faculty, staff, and administrators. In particular, the creation and launch of the MIA curriculum was spearheaded by Dean Birdsell; Clinical Professor Carla Anne Robbins, who is also taking on the role of Faculty Director of the new master’s program; and Senior Director of Operations & Finance Angelina Delgado. A collaborative faculty committee from all three Schools also played a critical role in the design of the curriculum.
This is an exciting time for the Baruch community, and I am proud to have so many talented and dedicated colleagues working to execute our five-year strategic plan. I am truly grateful for all your efforts.
Mitchel B. Wallerstein
President, Baruch College