What was it like to teach at Baruch College in the late seventies and eighties? What was it like to study there? Or to be an administrator? In general, it was a good place to be and in many ways getting better and better. This overall high rating should not obscure the existence of several serious and long-term problems, but when compared to conditions in the past, it was the best decade in the history of the institution.
External developments were largely responsible for the good news coming to 23rd Street, just as they had been the cause of earlier bad news. Baruch's attractiveness to New York City high-school graduates, for example, the root cause of its success, was a reflection of the boom in the city's corporate sector, especially in the fields of computers and finance. As Lexicon, 1981, put it, there was a "concurrent resurgence in the fortunes of New York City and Baruch College."(1)
The same boom made for better funding for the City University as a whole, and particularly for Baruch because of the excellent FTE credits it generated. Larger budgets and high enrollments were the cornerstone of the good years, but prosperity did not cure all of the college's long-term ailments; indeed it probably exacerbated at least one. The same economic boom that fattened the budget made it harder for the struggling schools of liberal arts and education to survive, as fewer and fewer upwardly mobile young persons chose to pursue careers outside of the business world.
Abundance also did not alleviate a basic problem that had emerged with the adoption of Open Admissions in the mid-seventies and had refused to go away. Great differences in preparation and ability characterized the student body of the eighties. In spite of moves to accommodate students at either end of the spectrum, at this writing a definitive solution had not been found.
The half year that elapsed between Wingfield's departure for sunnier climes in November 1976 and the arrival of his successor, Joel Segall, in August 1977 brought a halt to the modernizing trend that had begun in the early seventies. The acting president, Benjamin Mintz, was an experienced administrator, but his expertise lay in the financial area of academic life, not with its educational or intellectual aspects. His chief deputy, Sidney Lirtzman, the acting academic vice-president, was also from the business side of 23rd Street, having been a professor of management for some years before joining the administration. The founding dean of the School of Education, Gerald Leinwand, left for Oregon during the interregnum, to be temporarily replaced by municipal personnel expert Theodore Lang. Arthur Brown had followed Wingfield to Coral Gables, Florida, even earlier, leaving the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences temporarily in the hands of Louis Levy. Even if this assortment of acting appointees had been interested in continuing the initiatives begun under Wingfield or in inspiring some of their own, the transient nature of their appointments (although all would almost certainly have been glad to remain permanently), precluded such possibilities. Once again, therefore, everything was "on hold" until a new president could be found.(2)
One startling change, however, did mark the interregnum. There were almost 2,000 fewer undergraduates at Baruch in fall 1976 than there had been a year earlier. While an uninformed observer might be pardoned for assuming that Wingfield's impending departure was the cause, he would be wrong. In truth, the drop in enrollment had nothing whatever to do with the change in administration; it was rather tuition, the new policy born of the financial crisis, that caused fewer students to come to 23rd Street. The reduction was glaring and across the board, but was most apparent in the part-time undergraduate category, because those students received no financial aid. Not until the City University was able to pressure the state legislature into a change of policy, which occurred in April 1984, did part-time students begin to enroll in larger numbers.(3)
Baruch, by the accident of starting its registration earlier than its sister schools, was the first senior college to collect tuition. The impact on the FTE credits generated during the fall 1976 semester was considerable. Enrollment was down by 8 percent, although in the City University as a whole it was down by twice as much. Furthermore, the other senior colleges took longer to recover, but by fall 1979, Baruch had a larger undergraduate full-time enrollment than it had in the peak pre-tuition year of 1975; the numbers remained at or near that level (8,500) all through the rest of the eighties.(4)
Baruch had been crowding the older senior colleges with regard to student first choices for some time and assumed first place in fall 1979. This was truly a moment worth noting. In ten years it had moved from being the first choice of the fewest students (relative to the other senior colleges in the City University) to attracting the most. Being "Number One in CUNY" meant more than beating out the four older senior colleges, whose high reputation and consequent leverage at 80th Street had been much resented by the newer schools. There was also, at least theoretically, a practical advantage.
The larger the pool of students seeking admission to a particular college, the more selective that college could be. In 1969, for example, when Baruch was only a year old and leaderless, it was the first choice of very few high-school graduates applying to the City University. In order to fill its allocation and meet its budget, it had to admit students who were not able to enter the more prestigious colleges. By 1983, however, it was able to raise its entry average to 81, the highest in the City University. Practicality aside, revenge was sweet. During the difficult decade 1969-1979, Baruch had become attractive enough to outplace its mother school, City College, in the plans of New York City high-school graduates.(5)
Another positive result of popularity, of course, was better funding. From 1979 to 1985, Baruch generated more FTE credits than its budget request had assumed it would; thus it was considered "over-enrolled" and entitled to an increase in funds in the next budget year. President Segall reported on this in October 1985, saying, with great satisfaction, that enrollment for the semester then in progress represented a "modern high" (i.e., since 1975) for Baruch. This was quite an achievement; in spite of a 2,000 student-decrease in New York City high-school graduates, a 9 percent drop in admissions in the City University as a whole and the highest entry average in the university, Baruch had increased its enrollment by 3 percent over the previous year.
Every year, indeed every semester, seemed to require its own superlatives. Since most high-school seniors graduate in June, few colleges expect to gain many students in the spring but Baruch got more of those available than any other City University unit. In spring 1987, Registrar Tom McCarthy told the faculty that 15,981 students were enrolled at 23rd Street (actually at 18th, 26th and 24th Streets as well as at 23rd), the largest total since tuition was imposed.(6)
Graduate students accounted for something less than a fifth of the grand total, roughly the same proportion that they had been in the previous peak semester of fall 1975. There had been a sharp drop in fall 1976 when a 67 percent rise in graduate tuition created a 20 percent loss of enrollment, followed thereafter by relatively small increases and decreases. The MBA, broadened in 1979 to prepare graduates for managerial roles rather than specialized positions (a trend being followed by most business schools nationwide), was the degree of choice and the most popular specialization see-sawed between marketing of one kind or another, finance and management. Accounting, the favorite undergraduate major, was somewhat less attractive to graduate students; computer methodology, however, became more interesting as the decade 1977-1987 progressed.(7)
The graduate program, even though dwarfed by the huge undergraduate enrollment, was of great importance to the college. As a result, much of the energy of administrators and senior faculty of the School of Business was taken up by the need to go beyond the changes of the Wingfield years and achieve unqualified accreditation by the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business. To accomplish this, in late 1975 and early 1976 the graduate faculty raised the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score needed for admission beyond the requirements of the accrediting group. Apparently this was a case where less was more; fewer but better-prepared graduate students would please the AASCB.
Even this sacrifice, however, was not enough. In spring 1977, the School of Business, alerted by rumors that it would not be accredited, withdrew its petition until other deficiencies that had placed it on probation could be remedied. Progress was slow. Normally even-tempered Dean Samuel Thomas exploded at a graduate faculty meeting in January 1978 and blamed "department parochialism" for delaying the "revitalization" of the graduate program. What made matters worse was the knowledge that if that program was not accredited by 1981, undergraduate accreditation would also be withdrawn. Under this pressure, agreement was reached on the broadened MBA noted earlier (tailoring it to meet exactly what the AASCB had wanted) and staffing patterns were altered to meet other criticisms.(8)
Large lecture sections took the place of recitation classes, enabling the school to meet the AACSB's demands to reduce the number of the adjuncts on the staff. A determined search combined with higher-than-normal salary offers brought qualified (i.e., with the Ph.D) faculty to 23rd Street. With much trepidation, grading standards were raised. As a result of these varied efforts, in spring 1980, the AACSB accredited all the programs, graduate and undergraduate, of the School of Business and Public Administration. (9)
Grading standards remained an issue. The faculty and administration wanted Baruch to be seen as a high-quality school but also wanted to attract students from the growing pool of college graduates who saw (correctly) that the MBA was the most lucrative degree of the eighties. As New York City recovered from the financial disaster of the mid-seventies, an economic boom began, reflected in enormously increased activity in banking, investment and real estate development. Wall Street firms and corporate giants needed trained managers and were ready to pay high salaries to get them. Baruch, with its long history of graduate business education, wanted to be part of a trend that was elevating a graduate degree in business to heights heretofore reserved for the medical and legal professions.
The same forces that were generating interest in the MBA degree were responsible for the tremendous growth of the undergraduate student body. Baruch was "Number One in CUNY" not because of any favoritism on the part of 80th Street, but rather as a result of constantly increasing interest in business careers on the part of New York City high-school graduates. Various reasons accounted for this; first among them was the virtual certainty that because New York's improved business climate had created greater demand for accountants, managers, marketers and retailers, a BBA degree could be converted quickly into a well-paying job. In every year that the question was asked, more than 86 percent of the respondents to the annual freshman survey said that getting a better job was the most important reason for going to college; about the same percentage said they had chosen Baruch because its programs offered the best possible route to their goal.
Baruch Admissions Director Augustas "Gus" Quinones thought that Baruch's attractiveness also resulted from the fact that it had shed its "downtown City College" image and had emerged as a "tough, academically demanding college" with an identity of its own. He was right about Baruch's separate identity. As the eighties went on, only the few observant students who saw "The College of the City of New York" engraved on a panel outside the 8th floor (the original top of the building when it was erected in 1930), were aware that Baruch had once been a part of City College. In dramatic contrast to the period before 1968, this was much to Baruch's advantage. The reputation of the former flagship school of the municipal colleges had suffered grievous injury in 1968 and in spite of valiant efforts thereafter, had not recouped its lost eminence.
Was Quinones also correct about Baruch's demanding image? Certainly the college wanted to be seen in that light; in certain respects, such as a steadfast refusal to give college credit for remedial courses, it was more rigorous than most of its sister institutions. Furthermore, if high attrition is seen as the result of demanding standards, Baruch's number-one position in this regard would seem to prove Quinones's point. Failure to retain more than 50 percent of an entering class, the figure for most of the eighties, was both a cause and an effect of Baruch's attractiveness. Only an institution that knew that its drop-outs would be easily replaced could afford to enforce tough standards and, as news of student mortality was spread (and was undoubtedly exaggerated) by high-school guidance counsellors and peers already at 23rd Street, being able to enter and stay at Baruch greatly enhanced the status of its students. Every year between 1977 and 1986, better than 80 percent of the entering freshmen said they had chosen Baruch because of its "good academic reputation."
Apparently, although their previous schools had asked relatively little of them, the idea of a "tough" school was attractive to college-bound New York City high school graduates. Unfortunately, acceptance gave them a false security. Because they had not been rigorously tested in high school, entering freshmen were very confident about their ability to do well in college. Sixty-nine percent of the class that entered in fall 1986 believed they had "a very good chance" of graduating in four years, and 48 percent believed that they would graduate with a B average.(10)
Sad to relate, their optimism was misplaced. In most years, approximately 25 percent of the full-time freshmen who thought themselves equal to Baruch's valued reputation did not make it through their first year. Even fewer part-time students, taking less than twelve credits and probably holding a full-time job, remained to start a second year. Fifty percent of the cohort that entered in 1984, for example, had failed to achieve a 2.0 average at the end of their first year and were debarred. Although they had the right of appeal and were often reinstated on probation, 39 percent of them did not return.(11)
An expanded admissions staff at Baruch, including recruiters like Quinones, played a positive role in keeping up enrollments. In addition to entertaining high-school guidance counsellors and attending secondary school "College Nights," they coordinated a campaign to increase the "show rate" of students who had been accepted but who might change their minds before it was time to register for their first classes. Borrowing the methods used to raise money for the Baruch Fund, groups of faculty, staff and students made personal calls to prospective freshmen, assuring them of their welcome and answering their questions.
A new educational policy instituted by the Board of Education in the seventies aided the work of recruitment. In an attempt to break down geographic and racial separation, a number of high schools became specialized "magnet" schools. Several of these emphasized business, and it was from schools such as Murray Bergtraum High School in lower Manhattan and Norman Thomas on East 33rd Street that many new Baruchians came. Even if they had not attended a specialized high school, however, they were likely to have been introduced to computers. At least until 1983, this was another reason they were attracted to Baruch.
College publicity emphasized the growth of its Computer Information Systems program, and students seemed eager to participate in the "computer revolution." Twenty percent of the class that entered in 1983, for example, said they planned to make computer systems their major, but somewhat surprisingly, this turned out to be a high point. The percentage went down in each of the next three years, so that in 1986 only 6.4 percent of the entrants indicated that computers would be their specialization choice.(12)
The ups and downs of the students' troubled love affair with computers is one example of changing student goals in the eighties. Another is the striking decline of interest in office management and secretarial studies (from 10.2 percent in 1977 to 3.4 percent in 1986), which reflected growing opportunities for women in higher status professional fields. For both men and women, the most popular majors were those that most directly prepared for the most popular careers. Although the proportion had fallen somewhat from its high of 41.6 percent in 1977, over 31 percent of the class that entered in 1986 planned to be accountants, 25 percent expected to become business executives and almost 9 percent hoped to own their own business. For such goals, an accounting, management or finance specialization at Baruch was eminently the right path to take.
At least that was how the students saw it, and there is considerable evidence, drawn from the past and the present, to prove that they were right. Every survey conducted between 1979 and 1987 showed that 90 percent or more of the alumni were employed and that 75 to 80 percent were working at positions for which they trained at Baruch. Many were hired before they graduated; as the Placement Office director proudly said, even in 1980, a year of recession, more recruiters came to Baruch than ever before. The alumni were also earning good salaries, justifying the headline of a New York Times article on Baruch entitled "A Gateway to the Middle Class."(13)
Perhaps the best evidence of all is negative. When the Times published a report on student loan defaults in November 1987, the article said that the largest number of defaulters came from ten City University colleges (five senior colleges and five community colleges). Baruch did not appear on the list because, as James Murphy, the financial aid director at Baruch said, Baruch graduates got jobs faster and earned higher incomes than did the graduates of other City University colleges.(14)
In so doing they were also demonstrating that the American dream of upward mobility was alive and well, at least at 23rd Street. From 40 to 54 percent of the fathers of freshmen who entered Baruch between 1980 and 1986 were in a blue-collar or service occupation, and from 41 to 50 percent had not completed high school. If their sons and daughters made it through to graduation, however, they would hold a baccalaureate degree that could be a ticket to a middle class occupation for the remainder of their working lives. Furthermore, this was true for all of the ethnic and racial groups represented in the mosaic of the Baruch population. A survey of the class that graduated in 1984 showed that two-thirds of the respondents, regardless of race or ethnicity, were employed in the occupations for which they were trained. From the start they earned markedly more than the very low parental median income indicated by the figures they gave when they were freshmen.(15)
All of this data makes it clear that Baruch was continuing to be, as Lexicon in 1977 had said, "a stepping stone for all," but now on a much larger scale and for a much more varied population. In 1977, for example, 42 percent of the entering class was white, 28 percent was black, 20 percent Hispanic and 9 percent Oriental. Ten years later, there were fewer whites, more blacks, about the same number of Hispanics and many more Orientals. The change in ethnicity was reflected in the pages of the Ticker and Lexicon as well as in statistics. In 1981, a Hillel chapter, serving the small number of Jewish students, was alive and well but had been joined by a Haitian Society, an Indian Cultural Club, a Middle East Club, B.L.A.C.K., PRIDE (for Hispanics), the Italian Society, Hellenic Association, African Student Association and a growing Chinese Student Association. This smorgasboard of student organizations was the result of growing ethnic pride and the passage of a new United States immigration law in 1965.(16)
At commencement in June 1986, the salutatorian "concluded his remarks in Chinese for the benefit of his parents who were in the audience" but knew no English. It is likely that his proud mother and father were among the thousands of immigrants from Hong Kong and Taiwan who arrived in the United States after the passage of what was technically an amendment to the restrictive National Origins Act of 1924 but was in reality an entirely new departure. The basis for admission to the United States was no longer to be ethnicity or race but rather geography (each hemisphere had a quota) and the criterion for a visa was family reunion or the possession of skills needed in the American economy. At first it was Europeans who took advantage of the reunion provisions, giving rise to criticism that this law was as racist as the old one, but by the seventies, Asians, having attained citizenship, were increasingly able to sponsor family members. The impact of this change showed up in the population of the municipal colleges in the eighties. At Baruch, in spring 1986 38 percent (up from 33 percent two years earlier) said that a language other than English was their primary tongue.(17)
That immigrants or the children of immigrants should appear in huge numbers at the municipal colleges was hardly news. What was new was the attitude of faculty and administrators toward them. In contrast to the decades preceding World War II, when the faculty undertook to change the speech patterns and social behavior of the Eastern European students who came before them, the newest immigrants were allowed to go their own way. In the seventies and eighties, the very idea that it was the obligation of the College to turn young aliens into American citizens was anathema. Thus, although there were special classes in speech, writing and reading for the most needy, there were no attempts to foster the social graces or influence the speech patterns of most.
Times had changed in more than one way. Not only had events of the turbulent sixties limited the out-of-the-classroom role of college instructors, but the outside reality was also different. In an era when jobs were plentiful, standards of speech and behavior were much looser, and anti-descrimination laws (to say nothing of affirmative action requirements) provided greater opportunities, there was less reason for the faculty to try to influence students and much less reason for the students to pay attention if they had tried to do so.
Not all of the successful graduates had spent their entire college careers at Baruch, but even if they had begun elsewhere and then moved to 23rd Street, they shared in the "pot of gold" that came with the BBA. The road they had traveled had been a rocky one; as we have seen, transfer students had been viewed as a problem at 23rd Street for some time, although they were also valued for the credits they generated. In fall 1983, for example, when raising the entry average for freshmen from 80 percent to 82 percent led to 500 fewer entrants, the deficit was filled by 500 additional transfers, keeping the all-important total headcount high.
There was never any difficulty attracting transfer students to 23rd Street. As with freshmen, if they were planning to attend a City University senior college, Baruch was their first choice. A survey done of the group that entered in fall 1984 indicated that "they were a complex and diverse group." About 40 percent were at least 25 years old, and another 10 percent were 35 or older. A quarter were not United States citizens. Half came to Baruch from local community colleges affiliated with the City University, 15 percent from the university's senior colleges and 35 percent from colleges outside the New York City system. The vast majority (88 percent) enrolled in the School of Business and Public Administration. Perhaps because so many of them had off-campus responsibilities, such as jobs or child care, they did not do well at Baruch. In spite of high attrition, however, they continued to come to 23rd Street. Indeed, new transfers outnumbered new freshmen each September.(18)
Baruch's success in attracting new students did not go unnoticed in the City University. As Vice-President Sidney Lirtzman told the faculty in spring 1977, the attitude of the other senior colleges toward Baruch had changed "from normal avarice to extreme envy." Other faculty who were in touch with the world outside spoke of "CUNY cannibalism" and a passionate desire on the part of FOSC (four older senior colleges) to get some of what Baruch had, namely its business programs. Because such a move was strongly opposed by President Segall and his administrators and because the college, by virtue of its success, carried considerable weight at 80th Street, this step was postponed until 1986.
At that time, Brooklyn College, which had been suffering a decline in enrollment, was authorized to give a Bachelor of Science in Administration degree with specializations in management and finance. At the same time, however, the trustees stated that no further business programs would be permitted anywhere in the City University for at least three years. The view at 23rd Street was that some sharing was probably inevitable. If the New York economy and the consequent strong job market for business trained graduates held up, more of the wealth of students would have to be shared. They faced this prospect with relative equanimity, however, as long as they could keep a monopoly on the BBA and MBA degrees and, for the time being, that seemed secure.(19)
In the meantime, the enrollment boom led to happy times at 23rd Street. During Segall's first year at Baruch, 1977-1978, the College received 21 new positions (more than any other senior college), and Dean Thomas told the School of Business faculty in spring 1980 that the College had no real financial worries. He anticipated even better budget news during the following year when full state funding would begin.(20)
The faculty of the School of Liberal Arts also grew. Dean Martin Stevens reported ten additional tenure-track lines filled in 1981, nine in 1983 and thirteen in 1985. The latter year was a banner year. Across the college, forty-four new lines were filled, an astonishing 15 percent increase in one year.(21) Furthermore, as President Segall proudly pointed out, the new faculty all held the Ph.D. and came from geographically diverse backgrounds. The results of the bonanza of 1985, when added to the 108 newcomers who had arrived between 1977 and 1982, was irrefutable evidence of the turnaround in Baruch's fortunes that resulted from the attractiveness of studying business. By the fall of 1987, the faculty of Baruch College numbered 517 men and women, 174 more than were employed in 1977.(22)
There had been increases in every rank and every school. The newly instituted School of Education and Educational Services (SEES), successor to the School of Education, had been greatly enlarged by the placement of several nonteaching departments under its umbrella, but was still the smallest. Liberal Arts and Business were neck and neck with 216 and 217 apiece. A large portion of the faculty was tenured: in Education, 77 percent; Liberal Arts, 76 percent; and Business, reflecting its more recent growth to meet accreditation requirements and new programs, only 63 percent. Although the number of full professors had grown since 1977, lucrative early retirement offers in 1985 had encouraged many senior faculty to leave and thus prevented the college from being unduly top-heavy. The largest single category of faculty was associate professors, some of whom were eligible for promotion but had not been approved for higher rank because they failed to meet the tightened scholarship requirements demanded by the Segall/Stevens administration.(23)
Women represented 30 percent of the full-time faculty in 1987, an increase of almost 6 percent during the ten Segall years. The School of Education and Educational Services had the largest proportion of women, 53 percent, a logical outcome of the long-standing tradition that teaching was women's work. In the School of Liberal Arts, the figure was 41 percent, smaller than Education but still substantial; it reflected the fact that it was easier to find women with the Ph.D. in the traditional liberal arts disciplines than in business. In the latter school they constituted only 11 percent of the faculty.(24)
Promotion continued to be somewhat slower for women. One reason for this was that they were far more involved in college life than were male members of the faculty. Certainly they were kept busy. Committee rosters collegewide and within the three Schools reflected their increased importance in the College's academic and cultural life. There are, however, two ways of looking at this. On the positive side it meant that women were no longer relegated, as in years past, to a minor position. On the other hand, as was suggested during a discussion at the Faculty Senate, their collegial labors may have precluded scholarship and thus impeded promotion. There is no doubt that the college increasingly valued women as administrators. In 1987, with both assistant provost positions held by women (Carol Berkin and Louanne Kennedy), Joan Japha as associate dean of the School of Liberal Arts, Leona Beame as chair of the Faculty Senate and Myrna Chase heading the Liberal Arts Curriculum Committee, it is clear that women had an important place at the college.(25)
The benefits of an enlarged budget accrued to all faculty, women and men, new and old. Among these was an increase in the number of much-coveted one-semester, full-pay sabbaticals. In 1987-1988, eleven such fellowship leaves were approved, in addition to eighteen half-pay, full-year leaves. These, when added to the increased availability of released time from teaching, made it much easier for faculty to pursue scholarly research. Students also benefited because increased funding made "oversized" sections less important and permitted a return, in most departments, to a normal recitation class size. Finally, larger enrollment also created larger graduating classes. In 1977 the college was forced to move its commencement exercises from elegant but aging Carnegie Hall to the larger spaces of the Felt Forum in Madison Square Garden.(26)
The high spot of the commencement ceremonies for the students and much of the faculty came when the president conferred degrees. It was, however, a low moment for faculty from the School of Liberal Arts and the School of Education. In the class of 1987, 91 percent of the graduates were awarded the BBA degree, a proportion that had not changed very much since Baruch's first commencement in 1969. Clearly, neither of the nonbusiness schools had been able to challenge Baruch's image as a college for the study of business. True, the number of freshmen who were admitted to the School of Liberal Arts reached a high of 432 in fall 1982, but only 231 actually registered; of these, only 135 were sure that they wanted to sign up for a liberal-arts major. Furthermore, as if to prove the supremacy of business in mid-eighties New York City, most of those who remained on the BA track went into a business field when they graduated.(27)
Everyone at 23rd Street was aware of the problem, and a great deal of time and effort was spent on trying to find a solution. The Admissions Office was most cooperative, sponsoring an open house for prospective liberal-arts students in June of 1981 and holding briefing sessions for faculty who wanted to go out to the high schools and recruit for their departments. Liberal Arts was always included in the advertisements placed in the New York Times Education Supplement, which stressed that the small size of the school assured each student close faculty attention. In 1985 a special effort was made. A half-page ad said that the liberal-arts faculty was "caring, experienced and distinguished [and] loved to teach all students but [were] in rapture when they teach liberal arts majors."(28)
There is no evidence that this hyperbole had any effect on applications to the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, nor did the many and varied projects undertaken by the energetic and able dean who came to Baruch in the spring of 1979. Martin Stevens was extremely well qualified for the post. In addition to being an outstanding scholar (his expertise was in medieval drama), Stevens was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Western Reserve with a Ph.D. from Michigan State. He had taught at Ohio State, the University of Louisville, the State University of New York at Stony Brook and just prior to coming to Baruch had been the dean of liberal arts at Lehman College of the City University. According to President Segall, he was also an expert on seven-card stud poker. Truly a dean for all exigencies, Martin Stevens left few stones unturned during his eight years at Baruch, as he searched for ways to increase the prestige and attractiveness of the school.(29)
Spurred by the report of the Middle States team that had visited the college in 1978 and found that the School of Liberal Arts was at an "intriguing crossroads but had not come very far" since a previous visit six years earlier, by the evident discouragement of the faculty, mostly teaching introductory courses while the expertise that enabled them to teach advanced work went unused, and by a rumor emanating from 80th Street (which never materialized) that at least some liberal-arts majors were to be discontinued, Stevens moved ahead on three fronts. The most successful might be called sublimation. Beginning in October 1980, the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences hosted an annual Globus "Lecture/Performance Event," which featured an outstanding figure from the world of the arts or literature. The first to appear was Beverly Sills; James Baldwin, Isaac Bashevis Singer and Ralph Ellison, among others, came later.
The generosity of the Globus family also made a notable small lecture series possible. Every department in the School of Liberal Arts was encouraged to nominate distinguished scholars from outside the College who would illuminate Baruch's intellectual landscape, and a faculty committee would arrange funding for those they deemed best. Another donor, Aaron Silberman, made live chamber music performances possible. All this was in addition to Quality of Life projects funded by the flourishing Baruch Fund. In truth, by the end of Stevens's tenure, the cultural cup at 23rd Street was running over.(30)
These events unquestionably raised the stature of the School of Liberal Arts and offered stimulation to its faculty, their colleagues throughout the college and the students. They did not, however boost enrollments in advanced courses, so the dean turned to other, more direct devices. The most successful of the bridge programs, Business Journalism, enlarged and now called Business Communication, was supported with space of its own and publicized via the Philip Morris Journalism lectures. Much praise was showered on its award-winning student-generated magazine, Dollars and $ense. Other bridge programs, partly because they had not received much support from the Middle States team, were waiting in the wings. In the meantime, there were moves toward a BA/MBA and an MA in Liberal Studies. Since it seemed likely that the certainty of finding a good job soon after graduation attracted students to the School of Business, the School of Liberal Arts established a separate placement office. Because computers had done so much for the business school (at least up to 1983), its sister school planned for a more theoretical computer science major of its own.(31)
Hoping to challenge both faculty and students and perhaps increase interaction with the other schools, a most interesting program known as the Feit Seminars was launched in spring 1984. A small group of carefully selected students met twice weekly with two or three faculty members from different disciplines in a seminar whose subject matter was outside of the regular curriculum and conducted at a much more advanced level than most upper-level courses. The generosity of the donor, Charles Feit, provided funds for a well-equipped lounge as well as for special speakers. Under the able supervision of history professor Myrna Chase, the Feit seminars, although hard work for students and faculty, were most rewarding.(32)
Fully enrolled, however, Feit seminars could touch, at best, eighty students and six faculty members a year. Clearly, other steps were needed if the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences was to realize its potential. One such device had been tried before Stevens came to Baruch, was strongly supported by the Middle States team and was thoroughly endorsed by the new dean early in his tenure. A twelve-credit minor, to be composed exclusively of courses above the introductory level, was to be required of all students beginning with the fall 1979 semester. The intent behind this step was clear. Since every BBA candidate had to complete sixty-four credits in the liberal arts, which for most students meant taking up to eleven credits in liberal arts electives, the minor requirement should assure a larger constituency for advanced courses in the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences.
Every department in the college was encouraged to establish one or more minors. When it became clear that, at least until the new requirement was well established, lack of sufficient enrollment might limit the number of upper-level courses offered in any one discipline, an alternative minor of twelve advanced credits in different departments was also approved. Because of the dean's special interest in the humanities and general agreement that this was a neglected area of study for many Baruch students, the School of Liberal Arts also approved a version of the alternative minor consisting of twelve credits in a combination of literature, philosophy, art, music, history, religion and rhetoric, all at the junior level or higher. The humanities minor, if taken with a Feit seminar and completed with high grades, could result in graduation with honors.(33)
The School of Education approved the minor with no difficulties, but it was School of Business approval, of course, that was crucial. This proved difficult to accomplish. After a two-month battle and a promise to reevaluate its impact after four years, it was approved. The objections heard were not to the minor per se but were rather a renewal of the fear of some School of Business faculty that greater exposure to the liberal arts, especially in advanced and presumably more interesting classes, might lead to a loss of enrollment in professional courses.(34)
In the long run, the adoption of the minor requirement did not have as much positive effect on the School of Liberal Arts as had been expected. This was partly because, as previously noted, students could use economics and statistics courses in place of the more traditional liberal-arts subjects, and also because the need to make up for high school or junior college deficiencies often used up all of a student's free credits. The whole matter was part of a much larger issue: what was the best way to educate for careers in business--broadly or narrowly?
Nationwide, the weight of informed opinion came down heavily on the side of a broad education, and so did the Middle States team whose report had suggested that the School of Business minor be restricted to liberal-arts subjects. This view was shared by some within the School of Business, notably David Rachman, professor of marketing, and the members of a long-range study committee he chaired. Citing articles in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times that discussed the trend away from overspecialization on the nation's undergraduate campuses, Rachman urged that Baruch follow suit.(35)
George Weissman, the chief executive officer and chairman of Philip Morris and a most respected alumnus, delivered a strong endorsement of broad education for business careers in a speech he made at the June 1982 commencement where he received an honorary degree. Starting with the statement that he had gained more from the humanities than from the technical courses he had taken at the School of Business, he went on to say, "Business management today needs people who are steeped as much in philosophy and history as in technology and finance."(36)
President Segall echoed this opinion in an interview he gave to journalism Professor Roslyn Bernstein, when he said, "We really should not be educating students to be able to get a good first job," but rather for the rest of their lives. Because of this, "very substantial broad study in the arts and sciences [should be] required."(37) One of the most frequent speakers on this subject was accounting professor Abraham Briloff. In spring 1981, he criticized Rachman's relatively liberal report, saying that proper business education "required an immersion in that which makes up a civilized society and community."(38)
Such statements were music to Martin Stevens's ears as well as grist to his mill. A little more than a year after he arrived at Baruch, he had delivered a powerful address on the "conflicts between its need for career specialization and the role of liberal arts in an undergraduate curricula." Though he admitted that liberal-arts education nationwide was less attractive than it had been for earlier generations and that at Baruch this was particularly true, Stevens argued for additional breadth and depth in a common liberal-arts base curriculum for all three schools.(39)
The address, delivered to a large audience at a special colloquium, began a chain of curricular activity that eventually led to a changed base curriculum. First efforts did not produce much. A committee composed of representatives of the three schools and chaired by Donald Vredenburg of the management department labored mightily to come up with an acceptable common core but failed to achieve its goal. A separate task force, chaired by Lea Bleyman of Natural Sciences, concentrated on developing a better core program that would win the approval of the other two schools.
One suggestion was to substitute a course entitled "Entering the Word of Knowledge" for the current freshman orientation program. In addition to providing practical information about Baruch, the course would whet the students' appetite for learning by using experienced faculty members to give dynamic presentations in their areas of expertise. Credit and staffing problems, unfortunately, proved to be insurmountable in 1981, but another version, modified but with similar goals, emerged from the assistant provost's office in September 1986 and appears to be quite successful.(40)
To assist in the task of curriculum reform, the School of Liberal Arts applied for and received a National Endowment for the Humanities grant, which enabled the various committees involved to use the expertise of a consultant. A skilled mediator may have been more useful because considerable interdepartmental friction emerged to block the path of curricular change, and a common base curriculum was not completed until the end of 1983. The School of Business did not accept it until a year later, and the School of Education and Educational Services waited until late 1987 to do so.(41)
Prodigious effort had been required to achieve this heretofore unheard-of degree of integration. Did the results justify the effort? An increase in the number of required humanities credits was one notable gain, and a more balanced distribution of courses was another. All students would now have to take twelve credits in this area, consisting of one course each in literature, philosophy, history and art or music. The addition of a mathematics or statistics requirement for liberal-arts students brought the two schools closer but overall, no unbiased observer could call the finished product a common core.
The differences were many: in philosophy, history, speech and political science, the usable courses differed. In science and foreign languages, the School of Business required fewer credits. Statistics and economics were possible choices in liberal arts but mandated by the School of Business. Black and Hispanic courses were totally excluded from the BBA liberal-arts base but were in competition with economics, political science, psychology, sociology or art in the liberal-arts curriculum. An innovative category, which included library courses, computer and media courses, was not part of the BBA liberal-arts base, nor was physical education or health education, both of which, in addition to library courses, were relegated to the liberal-arts elective category and limited to four credits.(42)
Clearly, the dead hand of the past weighed heavily on the new curriculum, and so did demands for the protection of turf. The result was better than what had preceded it but not as good as it could have been. A truly common core for a broad liberal education required an improved version of the Columbia University Contemporary Civilization course that had been so popular before the sixties, not bits and pieces of unrelated courses valued mostly by the faculty that had taught them for years.
The literature requirement brought the curriculum closer to the goal of better humanities education, but to be effective, it had to be a year-long course. The history faculty, due to the traditionalism of the School of Business Curriculum Committee, missed a great opportunity by continuing to list their antiquated survey courses (often a repeat of the high-school social studies classes recently completed by most students), instead of trying for a year-long composite that would enlarge student horizons. In spite of endless committee meetings, expert advice and the support of the administration, one could not say that the much-needed giant step towards an appropriate general education for prospective businesspersons had been taken. One could only say that there had been movement toward this goal.
Stevens's efforts in another direction suffered a similar fate. When the new dean was appointed, President Segall had noted his expertise in the techniques of teaching English. A few years later, Stevens and his wife, Professor Rose Zimbardo of the Department of English at SUNY-Stony Brook, completed a textbook on writing across the curriculum, a new way of saying that writing should take place in all classrooms not just those labeled "composition." It was in this direction that the dean tried to move the faculty at Baruch. The idea that writing improvement could not be left to English instructors alone was far from new, but given a chaotic public school system and heavy immigration, in New York City it was more urgent in the eighties than it had been at any time since the thirties.
Under Stevens's leadership, the English department grew larger. Newly hired specialists, such as Harry Brent, Gerald Dalgish and George Otte, helped the department to deal more effectively with those students to whom English was a foreign language or whose lack of preparation caused them to fail the Writing Assessment Test. As long as students were not required to write in their subject matter classes, however, the efforts of the English faculty had limited impact. As with curricular change, a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) was applied for and received. Seminars were held, publicity was widespread, and although an ad hoc committee of the School of Business was beginning to explore the matter, at the point that Martin Stevens resigned to head the doctoral program in English at the City University Graduate Center, the extent to which writing would be included in regular classes was left to individual departments to decide.(43)
In spite of all that was done in the Stevens years, the position of the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences in regard to majors and ability to give advanced courses was not materially changed by the time he left office. His parting words to the faculty could have been spoken when he first arrived: the incoming dean, he said, would have to find additional ways to publicize the high quality of the school and find a way to offer more advanced courses. Shortly thereafter, in an address to the University Faculty Senate, President Segall also made it clear that he saw the task of finding an appropriate place for the distinguished School of Liberal Arts and Science that he had helped to create in a college dominated by the School of Business, as a daunting problem indeed.(44)
Everything, however, is relative; next to the problems of the newly created School of Education and Educational Services, Liberal Arts and Sciences was flourishing. As we have seen, a separate School of Education had been established in 1973 and had been in trouble from its start. It was resented at its inception, and it is not surprising that the Middle States team found that five years later its faculty and administration saw themselves as less than equal members of the Baruch Community. By that date, it had lost its strong leader, Gerald Leinwand, and was in need of students and faculty reorganization.
Too many of its instructors were underutilized but lacked the expertise to develop new programs. The caliber of its students was poor; a large percentage of its undergraduates failed to pass the National Teachers' Examination, and a fair number of its graduate students failed to attain the Master of Science degree because of writing deficiencies. In sum, the predicament of the School of Education could be characterized by the old saw, "The students are not very good and there aren't enough of them!" The continuing shortage of teaching jobs unquestionably led to poor enrollments; a reception to attract transfer and freshmen students to study for teaching careers drew one guest.
There was, however, no shortage of advice, some of which was taken. The Middle States team had suggested better integration of the Education program with that of the School of Business; shortly thereafter, the Secretarial Studies specialization was changed to include management courses. A few years later, a course in the methods of teaching word processing was added. Deans Bruce Tuckman (1978-1982), Lester Golub (1983-1986) and substitute Dean Martin Stevens (1982-1983) all had extensive agendas, none of which, however, was able to turn the school around.(45)
Tuckman was a research psychologist who came to Baruch from Rutgers University. His priorities included aggressive recruiting, such as wide distribution of a fact sheet prepared by a departmental committee, entitled "Teaching Job Prospects in the Eighties." He also planned a Master of Science program in Higher Education Administration and a Sports Management Program. The latter program may have been rooted in the fact that he was a marathon runner who ran twelve miles to his office from his home on the upper West Side of Manhattan every day and sent news of his race victories to be published among evidence of scholarship in the columns of Baruch Today. He also suggested a "cram" course for substitute teachers seeking a permanent license. These were all worthy efforts, but Dean Tuckman was not able to enlist sufficient faculty support to make them effective. In an attempt to improve his standing with his peers, he issued invitations to "Brown Bag Lunches with the Dean" and held two all-day planning conferences in the spring 1980 semester, but it is fair to say that when he left Baruch, little in the School of Education had changed.(46)
His immediate successor, Martin Stevens, although only a caretaker, also had plans that would keep the School of Education from going under, among them the expansion of the Continuing Education program, which had recently been made the responsibility of the school. Continuing Education, the current name for what, in less sophisticated times, had been known as adult education for people who did not have the time or desire to pursue a baccalaureate degree, was a useful sideline for the College. An inter-school committee had helped to plan it, and it began operating in fall 1978 under the aegis of Francis "Bud" Connelly, the president's assistant for continuing education; Arline Julius of the School of Education was associate director. Two years later, it changed names, leaders (Connelly was now in charge of graduate affairs) and headquarters, becoming an Adult Education Program in the School of Education but it did not remain with the School for very long. In fall 1984, a new director, Dr. Carol Phillips, who reported to the provost, not the dean of the School of Education, was placed in charge of the program and a year later it was renamed the Center for Continuing Studies to distinguish it from burgeoning competitive programs. By 1988, the program was back in the new School of Education and Educational Services, where it operated with considerable autonomy.(47)
Stevens returned to the School of Liberal Arts in spring 1983, when Lester Golub arrived to take up his duties as the third dean of the School of Education. Golub was a well known teacher of reading and writing with considerable administrative experience gained at Pennsylvania State University. His approach was to promote the preparation of secondary-school teachers, an idea that struck few sparks when he suggested it; later in the eighties, it became more attractive because the teacher glut had abated and the United Federation of Teachers had won important salary increases for the staff of the New York City school system.
In reality, Golub's idea should have come from Stevens, because tranining secondary-school teachers was an excellent way to attract majors to the School of Liberal Arts. At its very start in 1968, for example, the Department of History at Baruch had enrolled a substantial number of majors, almost all of them planning to become high-school social-studies teachers and therefore taking their required education courses in the (then) Department of Education. This fruitful partnership came to an end during the fiscal crisis when, as previously noted, Hunter College gave up its business education program in return for Baruch's tacit agreement not to train secondary-school teachers in other fields. Resuscitation of the earlier arrangement might have run into obstacles at 80th Street, but given the problems of both liberal arts and education, it was worth trying.(48)
Most of the programs begun under Leinwand remained alive, but they did not grow. Grantsmanship, however, a success of the earlier years, continued to be very rewarding. In 1985, for example, Professor Patricia Kay received a three-year federal grant to develop a new program that would train potential teachers who had a baccalaureate degree but no education credits by using mentors to instruct and supervise them. Though it was supported-- at least on paper--by the United Federation of Teachers and the Board of Education, the program, as of 1988, had not lived up to its promise. One reason for this was Professor Kay's appointment as acting dean of the reorganized School of Education and Educational Services in 1986, appointment that took her away from the supervision of her project.
The reorganization was the end product of a plan suggested by Martin Stevens when he was the acting dean. It was not implemented at that time, partly because any reorganization creates problems and President Segall and Provost LeClerc had a wait-and-see attitude regarding the new Golub administration. After three years, however, it seemed clear that no gains had been made, and the president decided that a larger School of Education and Educational Services, headed by a new dean, was the way to go. The new unit would now be home to Student Personnel Services, Compensatory Programs, Continuing Studies and the library as well as its long-time components, the Departments of Education and Physical and Health Education. After a year-long search, Sidney Bergquist was appointed dean, and the sorely tried school embarked on a new chapter in its history.(49)
Lack of majors was a problem to the faculty of the Schools of Liberal Arts and Education, but the uneven quality of the students in their classes was a problem to everyone who taught at Baruch in the eighties. Unless it was a remedial class, the instructor was likely to find well-equipped students sitting side by side with those whose lack of preparation made it quite unlikely that they could finish the course. The contrasts were especially vivid in introductory courses but also appeared in upper-level ones because prerequisites were poorly enforced. It was a two-sided problem. Some students wasted their time by taking courses that repeated what they had studied in high school; others, desperate for any class that would fill their program, enrolled in courses for which they were totally unprepared.
How can the polarity be explained? First, high-school averages, as noted earlier, were unreliable guideposts to student preparation. Second, because many students were admitted on the basis of class standing in high school, a portion of each freshman class may not have earned the required 80 or above. Also, SEEK students (by definition educationally disadvantaged), although they were never a large proportion of the student population, helped to create the problem that faced instructors at every class meeting. At bottom, the variation in student preparation reflected conditions in the high schools from which they had graduated. Until the secondary schools established more uniform and reliable standards for graduation, the disparities could not be reconciled.
Most instructors resolved the dilemma by teaching a diluted course targeted to middle-range students, but this was hardly a desirable solution since it cheated the best students and did not help the weakest very much. The problem was serious. Teaching a truly college-level course made for an exciting class, but the first examination was often a rude awakening for students and teachers alike. On the other hand, if the emphasis was reversed and a simplified course was taught, more of the less prepared would pass and the stronger students would get easy A's, but their respect for the college would certainly be diminished.
Surprising data in a massive retention study completed in 1987 demonstrated that those students who passed the skills assessment tests when they entered were more likely to leave the college than their less successful peers, indicating at least the possibility that during their first years at 23rd Street, the college had not provided the stimulation they wanted. Other evidence that the course of study was not sufficiently demanding was shown by the inordinately high number of students who earned their degree summa cum laude. A report by Mark Berenson of the statistics department showed that during the period 1921 to 1976, only 59 out of 36,000 graduates received the degree summa cum laude, but from 1977 to 1979, 67 out of 4,000 did so. The conclusion seems inescapable. In an era when students were more evenly matched, it was much more difficult to earn such honors, but at a time of glaring differences, the contrast between the well-prepared and those who were poorly prepared led to an overvaluation of the former.(50)
Some Baruch graduates were truly excellent and would have been outstanding at any time. In 1983, Danielle Follett received the only Truman scholarship awarded in the City University; at the same time, Mary Lou Reichel won the coveted Belle Zeller award. The valedictorian of the class of 1984, computer science major Jack Barsky, was wooed by many employers and accepted an excellent offer from the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. Two members of the next class, Chouteau Merrill and Natalie Scharf, were accepted, with financial aid, by Harvard and New York University Law Schools, respectively, and Student Government President John Richards was named a Presidential Scholar in 1987.(51)
Exceptional students, however, were always in short supply. During the Segall years, it became college policy to recruit more of them. At the very start of Segall's administration, the Baruch Scholars program (originally called Merit Scholars, but the National Merit Association objected) was announced; in fall 1978 the first thirty students were admitted. There were no financial criteria, but prospective scholars needed combined SAT scores of 1100 (not genius level but better than the national norm), high rank in their high school graduating class, a strong grade-point average and good character references to be considered. At the start of the program, a mixed committee of faculty and administrators interviewed candidates; if the candidates passed muster, they were awarded a $1,500 a year scholarship (from donated, not tax levy funds) to study at Baruch.
Less able but still highly rated freshmen could receive Presidential Incentive Scholarships of $1,000 a year for four years. Beginning in 1982, able transfer students could receive awards of $1,500. By 1987, Rosenberg Scholarships were available for those who could earn a 1300 SAT score or better. Such students were rare, but the four or five a year who successfully applied received an award of $3,000 a year for four years. All awardees had to maintain a B average, which most had no difficulty doing. Baruch Today did not mince words as to the reason behind the scholarship programs. It was to attract the best students possible and was a response to the "Age of Tuition and the competition for qualified students it had created."(52)
The scholarship program grew from 27 in 1978 to 154 in 1980 and continued, albeit at a slower rate, because it was a popular object of alumni giving. As Segall recalled eight years later, there had been objections from 80th Street because awarding the money was not based on financial need, but Segall had convinced the trustees that the program was meant to improve the unfavorable perception of Baruch. It had done so and had also "confirmed his judgement that Baruch had enough drawing power to attract students who would be getting scholarships from any college in the country." This bit of presidential hyperbole could be excused because Joel Segall had to spend much of his time denying accusations that the College was graduating illiterates.(53)
Such statements appeared in several newspapers in early March 1978, and Segall used the pages of Baruch Today to refute the charges. In an open letter to all graduates of Baruch College or its predecessors, headed "Illiterates? Hell No!" he listed the College's high admission standards, testing program, absence of credit for remedial courses, validation of transfer credits and (at that point) 60 percent attrition rate and concluded,
We try to help those who were not well prepared in high school. But if they cannot make the grade academically we do not delude them and keep them with us. Those who perform according to our standards we keep, advance, graduate--and subsequently solicit for financial support so that the value of a Baruch degree may be maintained at its traditionally high level.(54)
Not all of the 40 percent who graduated were high-caliber students. Indeed, most made it through by taking longer than the customary four years, by profiting from remediation and by plain hard work. This was also the case for those transfer students who earned the baccalaureate. Their rate of attrition varied with the college they had previously attended, but overall it was high. As was true for the entering freshmen, there were important divergences in their academic preparation. The 50 percent that came from the City University community colleges were the least prepared, although here too there were considerable differences. Because half of the entering transfer students were not able to cope with the demands of the professional courses, an uneasy truce prevailed between the College and its feeder schools. An articulation policy adopted by the Board of Trustees in June 1985 had been strongly opposed by Baruch's administration and the School of Business faculty but to no avail. The proposal had come from Leon Goldstein, the president of Kingsboro Community College, and was strongly supported by Chancellor Murphy.(55)
It was the culmination of a long-term effort to make the senior colleges accept all the credits earned at the community colleges, an issue that had occupied the School of Business for almost two decades. When the die was finally cast, Baruch used various devices to protect the quality of its degree without violating the terms of the articulation resolution. The stress was on preparation before the student came to 23rd Street: an articulation guide listing the Baruch business courses and the community-college equivalent was periodically updated, elective credit was given for most of the professional work done at the community college, and course credit was allowed if a student could pass a qualifying examination or the department that offered the course evaluated it favorably. In no case was credit completely denied.(56)
Completion of the entire Baruch course of study, however, remained too difficult for many of the transfer students. The dropouts could be easily replaced, but while they were at 23rd Street the needs of 2,700 students (the transfer population in 1984-1985, for example) could not be ignored. Perhaps because he came to Baruch after service at 80th Street, where he had seen the problems of all the units that made up the university, Provost Paul LeClerc was more interested in the transfer students than were people who had always worked at Baruch, and he therefore sought ways to help them.(57)
LeClerc was responsible for a real shift of emphasis at Baruch. Given the College's ability to replace dropouts and add more students if it wished, the stress had not been on retention, and remediation was considered a necessary evil. The Middle States Report had said that the remedial programs in place in 1978 (and they grew in number afterward) were "debilitating" because they used too much of the College's resources, a view that was shared by some within Baruch. Others, however, ignored costs but questioned their effectiveness. There was continuing doubt, for example, about the work done by the instructors and counsellors in the compensatory education department, which, as we had seen, had long been a troubled area.
Its difficulties were compounded by the absence of permanent leadership between 1982 and 1987. Elena Rose, the chair and SEEK director who arrived in fall 1982, left almost immediately when it was found that she had falsified her vita. After a brief hiatus, Oscar Alers, a professor of Spanish, took over for a little more than two years, followed by Dean of Students Henry Wilson as acting chairman for eight months until Dr. Lula Lockett was appointed in May 1986. Unfortunately, she did not remain very long either. In 1987, Le Clerc hoped that new leadership and a move to the new School Education and Educational Services would make the department more effective.(58)
The provost's concern with retention was demonstrated by his support for an excellent new handbook, "Student Life," and for significant new studies by another part of his bailiwick, the Office of Institutional Research. Dr. Susan Morgulas began the arduous process of collecting student data on which a longitudinal study of attrition could be based. The results that emerged would be used to make changes that would improve retention, up to the national norm of 50 percent by 1987, but in view of Baruch's mission, still too low.(59)
Faculty members who had been most concerned with attrition applauded the provost's efforts, although a leading critic, Joseph Torres, had left the College for the bench by the time they took hold. While still a member of the law department, Torres had bitterly attacked what he saw as the College's neglect of black and Hispanic students, whose attrition rate appeared to be higher than that of whites or Orientals. He said that most of them (SEEK students excepted) had met the College entry requirements, or they would not be there at all, and asked "Why do they fail?"
As noted previously, his question could be answered in many different ways, but his conclusion could not be denied. "You cannot have a City University of New York without Black and Hispanic students because we draw from the public high schools and their student body is almost three fourths Black and Hispanic. "(60) This was the source of the dilemma that faced all the colleges of the City University in the eighties, including Baruch: how to maintain a high-quality degree (the only kind that would be of use to every graduate) and yet continue to fulfill their promise to provide upward mobility, when so many of those who needed it most were not able to meet the requirements for that degree.
(1) Lexicon, 1981.
(2) Baruch College, General Faculty, "Minutes," April 19, 1977; Baruch Today, April 19, 1977; May 25, 1977; June 28, 1977.
(3) Baruch College, Office of the Registrar, "Official Enrollment Statistics," 1975-1987, Table 1; General Faculty, "Minutes," April 25, 1984.
(4) "Enrollment Statistics," Table 1.
(5) Baruch Today, November 5, 1979; November 27, 1979; General Faculty, "Minutes," November 15, 1979; Baruch College, School of Business and Public Administration, "Minutes," May 22, 1980; Baruch College, School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, "Minutes," May 16, 1985.
(6) General Faculty, "Minutes," October 31, 1985; School of Liberal Arts, "Minutes," May 16, 1985; February 23, 1977; February 26, 1987.
(7) Baruch College, Graduate Faculty, "Minutes," October 28, 1975; "Enrollment Statistics," Table 1; Baruch College, Office of the Registrar, "Master's Degrees Awarded," 1952-1986; Baruch Today, June 30, 1976.
(8) Graduate Faculty, "Minutes," October 28, 1975; March 11, 1976; May 9, 1977; January 2, 1978; April 12, 1978.
(9) Graduate Faculty, "Minutes," December 18, 1979; February 21, 1980; School of Business, "Minutes," May 22, 1980; December 16, 1982.
(10) General Faculty, "Minutes," October 27, 1981; Baruch College, Department of Student Personnel Services, "Annual Freshman Survey," fall 1986, Table 3, p. 22; Table 8, p. 27; "Annual Freshman Survey," fall 1985, pp. 2, 3.
(11) Baruch College, "Retention Study," 1987. Retention and persistence data were presented in an oral report to the Faculty Senate on October 1, 1987.
(12) School of Liberal Arts, "Minutes," February 27, 1986; Baruch Today, June 28, 1979; "Annual Freshman Survey," fall 1986, Table 5, p. 24.
(13) "Freshman Survey," Fall 1986, Table 1, p. 20; Table 5, p. 24; Table 6, p, 25; Baruch Today, June 28, 1979; June 4, 1981; December, 1983; July 3, 1980; "Baruch Back Bencher," September 1987; Sandra Salmans, "New Yorkers and Company," New York Times (April 24, 1985), sec. D, p. 1.
(14) New York Times , December 1, 1987, sec. B, 9:2; December 2, 1987, sec. B, 12:1.
(15) "Freshman Survey," fall 1986, Table 33, p. 52; Table 34, p. 34; Table 32, p. 51; Author interview with Shehbal Teilmann, director of the "Surveys," December 14, 1987; "Retention Study," 1987.
(16) Lexicon, 1977; Ticker, passim, 1977-1986; "Freshman Survey," fall 1984, p. 1; 1986, p. 18; Table 39, p. 58; Results of 1987 "Freshman Survey" as reprinted in the Ticker, March 15, 1988; Lexicon, 1981.
(17) David Reimers, Still the Golden Door (New York: Columbia University Press, 1985), p. 82; Baruch Today, Fall 1986.
(18) General Faculty, "Minutes," October 25, 1983; Baruch Today, Fall 1984.
(19) General Faculty, "Minutes," April 19, 1977; Baruch College, Faculty Senate, "Minutes," September 19, 1985.
(20) School of Business, "Minutes," May 22, 1980.
(21) Baruch Today, March 14, 1978; School of Liberal Arts, "Minutes, May 11, 1983; May 14, 1981; October 24, 1985; December 12, 1985; General Faculty, "Minutes," October 31, 1985; October 26, 1982.
(22) Baruch College, "Self-Study Report to the Middle States Association,'1978, Table 13; General Faculty, "Faculty List," Fall 1987.
(23) Faculty Senate, "Minutes," Spring 1987; "Chart of Faculty"; School of Liberal Arts, "Minutes," May 11, 1983; Baruch Today, April 23, 1980, July 3, 1980.
(24) Faculty Senate, "Minutes," Spring 1987, "Chart of Faculty."
(25) General Faculty, "Minutes," April 7, 1987; Baruch Today, July 3, 1980; April 26, 1979; School of Liberal Arts, "Minutes," May 11, 1983; May 16, 1979.
(26) School of Liberal Arts, "Minutes," February 27, 1986; October 4, 1979; December 12, 1985; Baruch Today, March 28, 1979.
(27) Baruch College, "Commencement Program," 1969, 1987; School of Liberal Arts, "Minutes," December 8, 1982.
(28) School of Liberal Arts, "Minutes," February 27, 1986, May 8, 1986; New York Times , November 10, 1985, Section 12, p. 24.
(29) Baruch Today, November 21, 1978.
(30) School of Liberal Arts, "Minutes," May 16, 1979; October 30, 1980; School of Liberal Arts, "Newsletter," Spring 1987; Baruch Today, January 29, 1980; October 15, 1980; October 1981; January-February 1983; September 1983; December 1986; Commission on Education, Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges, "Report," 1979, pp. 8-9.
(31) School of Liberal Arts, "Newsletter," Spring 1987; School of Liberal Arts, "Minutes," April 9, 1987; May 5, 1987; February 23, 1984; February 27, 1985; Commission on Education, Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges, "Report," 1979, pp. 8-9; Baruch Today, December 1986.
(32) School of Liberal Arts, "Newsletter," Spring 1987; School of Liberal Arts, "Minutes," May 5, 1987; April 15, 1986.
(33) School of Liberal Arts, "Minutes," February 21, 1978; October 30, 1980; December 2, 1985; October 24, 1985; April 15, 1986; Baruch College, Bulletin, 1979.
(34) Baruch Today, March 28, 1979; School of Business, "Minutes," March 22, 1979; April 23, 1979; May 17, 1979; May 31, 1979.
(35) School of Business, "Minutes," January 30, 1980; Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges, "Report," 1979, p. 11; Baruch College, School of Business and Public Administration, "A Five Year Program for the School of Business and Public Administration of Baruch College," March 30, 1981, pp. 4-5. The articles cited appeared in the Wall Street Journal, March 9, 1981, 1:8 and in the New York Times , March 12, 1981 sec. D, 18:1.
(36) Baruch Today, June 1982.
(37) Baruch Today, Spring 1985.
(38 School of Business and Public Administration, "Discussion of the Five Year Program," March 1981, p. 3.
(39) Baruch Today, April 23, 1980.
(40) School of Business, "Minutes," May 22, 1980; School of Liberal Arts, May 1, 1980; April 4, 1981; May 14, 1981; Provost Paul LeClerc, "Report to the General Faculty," April, 1986.
(41) School of Liberal Arts, "Minutes," November 21, 1984, February 27, 1985; School of Business, "Minutes," December 6, 1984; author's interview with professor Howard Siegal, Chairman of the Department of Education, December 11, 1987; School of Education, "Minutes," May 19, 1987.
(42) School of Liberal Arts, "New Base Curriculum," November 21, 1984; School of Liberal Arts, "Minutes," December 15, 1983, May 17, 1984.
(43) School of Liberal Arts, "Minutes," December 11, 1986; February 27, 1985; December 12, 1985; Baruch Today, February 1984.
(44) School of Liberal Arts, "Newsletter," Spring 1987; Joel Segall, "Speech to University Faculty Senate," March 24, 1987.
(45) Middle States, "Report," 1979, p. 7; School of Education, "Minutes," January 8, 1979; December 19, 1985; October 23, 1986; December 11, 1986; April 15, 1986; October 31, 1985.
(46) School of Education, "Minutes," October 19, 1978; March 6, 1980; December 23, 1980; Baruch Today, May 24, 1978.
(47) School of Education, "Minutes," March 19, 1980; May 15, 1986; General Faculty, "Minutes," April 23, 1985; School of Liberal Arts, "Minutes," October 25, 1984; February 27, 1985; Baruch Today, March 14, 1978; March 29, 1979.
(48) School of Education, "Minutes," October 2, 1982; March 3, 1983; May 12, 1983; Baruch Today, February 21, 1980.
(49) Baruch Today, February 21, 1980; School of Education, "Minutes," October 23, 1986; May 15, 1986; General Faculty, "Minutes," Fall 1987.
(50) "Self-Study Report to the Middle States Association," 1978, p. 38; Baruch College, "Retention Study," October 1, 1987; General Faculty, "Minutes," November 15, 1979. Retention and persistence data were presented in an oral report to the Faculty Senate in fall 1987.
(51) These students were the "best and the brightest" known to the author and have been singled out only as examples of a much larger group.
(52) Author's interview with Laurie Austin, Admissions Director, December, 1987; Baruch Today, December 20, 1977; General Faculty, "Minutes," May 3, 1979; October 18, 1978; May 9, 1978.
(53) Baruch Today, Spring 1986; March 14, 1978.
(54) Baruch Today, March 14, 1978.
(55) "Retention Study," 1987; City University of New York, Board of Trustees, "Minutes," June 24, 1985.
(56) Author's interview with Barbara Lambert, Director, Office of Curricular Guidance, School of Business, December 1987.
(57) Paul LeClerc, "Report," Fall 1985.
(58) Middle States Association, "Report," 1979, p. 4; School of Liberal Arts, "Minutes," May 8, 1986; Baruch Today, October 1982; February 3, 1983; Senate, "Minutes," November 7, 1985; April 5, 1979.
(59) LeClerc, "Report," Fall 1987.
(60) School of Business, "Discussion of the Five Year Program," March 1981, pp. 7-8.