Outside forces, both economic and demographic, had created a Cinderella story in Baruch's second decade but in the hands of a less competent administration, high enrollments might not have resulted in other gains. The College, however, was fortunate; excellent leadership from the president's office down led to improved conditions for students and faculty. No miracles occurred; there were certain intractable problems, such as the need for a new campus, that did not approach solution until eight years after Joel Segall took office. In general, however, the Segall team improved the quality of life at 23rd Street, although this also had some unfortunate side effects. In spite of many more opportunities to participate in the governance of the College, on the whole both students and faculty, relatively content or divided by their immediate and personal concerns, were quite passive; indeed some were alienated. This was in sharp contrast to other years, when weak or temporary leadership bred both insecurity and dissatisfaction and forced everyone at 23rd Street to join forces and become activists.
On the eve of its twentieth anniversary as a separate college and its near sesquicentennial as an educational institution, the "University at the Corner of Lexington Avenue" was in better shape than it had ever been before but had not yet reached its full potential. Perhaps with the new permanent campus promised for the early nineties, it would achieve that goal.
Problems regarding student caliber, retention and learning remained significant to some at Baruch but in the face of all the good things happening at 23rd Street during the Segall years, they diminished in importance for most. As the cornucopia of increased funds, improved space and faculty benefits poured forth its fruits, Joel Segall rose higher and higher in the esteem of his faculty and staff. His appointees were generally well received, his influence at 80th Street highly valued and his successful efforts to improve the College's image won much applause.
Segall had come to Baruch College from Washington, D.C., where he had been deputy undersecretary for international affairs in the Department of Labor. Before that he had been professor of finance and editor of the Journal of Finance at the University of Chicago where he had earned his Ph.D.(1) Although it did not appear on his resume, he brought another asset--a dry sense of humor--to his new post. In an interview with journalism professor Roslyn Bernstein, he said that he had "enjoyed Washington very much and might even have stayed there if Mr. Carter had not been elected. But when he was elected, I was invited to leave my position . . . and I did. "(2)
His witty style surfaced early. At the start of his presidency, in a message delivered to faculty, staff and alumni via Baruch Today, he said,
At the date of this writing, I have worked for Baruch College for 47 days, counting weekends. And counting weekends is the correct way of calculating the working hours of my new job. During that period I have learned a little more than I ever wished to know about the students, faculty and alumni who give Baruch its particular character.(3)
Just before his first Christmas at 23rd Street, Baruch Today published the following:
Baruch Today, Baruch Today,
Provide me please with space to say:
Forget the budgetary bind
The adjunct funds I cannot find
Instruction lines that disappear
Examinations almost here
Forget as well the lack of heat
(Except what comes from 80th Street)
The broken windows, peeling paint
The campus atmosphere that ain't
Ignore the awful tenure fights
Forgive the elevator frights
The fifteen-hour teaching grind
The salaries that stay behind
Let's put aside the P&B
And toast each other merrily
We should be happy, you'll agree
That Santa has a CCE.(4)
Most of his audience thought that he had struck exactly the right note in both his verse and other remarks, and later developments gave them no reason to change their favorable view.
Among other useful qualities, he had his predecessor's ability to explain the complexities of City University finances in a fashion that even the most unbusinesslike members of the faculty could understand. His financial expertise was also much valued at 80th Street, where he was the chairman of the Council of Presidents' Finance Committee. Although he had been on the job for a short time when the Middle States examiners visited Baruch in 1978, their report was optimistic about the prospects for his administration, saying that it appeared to "be coalescing into a dedicated and committed team of administrators" and that the group being "assembled . . . was notable for their educational values and willingness to work with the staff of the College."(5)
The team that was in place when the Middle States Report appeared consisted of Philip Austin, who was vice-president for academic affairs and provost (because he was responsible for the administration of graduate affairs), and Vice-President for Administration David Green. Both men had known Segall before coming to New York and both were excellent additions to the Baruch hierarchy. Austin, who had earned his degree at the University of Michigan, had most recently been professor of economics and director of doctoral programs at George Washington University; he had earlier served as deputy assistant secretary of education in the Department of Health, Education and Welfare. Green had received his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago and had edited the prestigious Journal of Accountancy at that institution. They were both newcomers to the City University scene but were fast learners and worked very well with the president.
Although he had chosen out-of-towners for his top lieutenants, Segall harbored no prejudice against incumbent City University administrators; as we have seen, he brought Martin Stevens down from Lehman College, and after Austin left in 1984 to become the president of Colorado State University, he chose University Dean for Academic Affairs Paul Le Clerc to replace him. In contrast to his predecessor, Le Clerc's earlier work had been in the humanities. He held a Columbia Ph.D. in eighteenth-century French studies, had taught at Union College in Schenectady, New York, and had written extensively on Voltaire. Any concerns that members of the School of Business might have had about bringing such a dedicated scholar of the humanities to what was estimated to be the largest business school in the United States did not last; Le Clerc's integrity and evenhandedness soon won him support all over the Colleges.(6)
David Green had an unusual but, as it turned out, not very important, experience a few years after coming to 23rd Street. Following guidelines laid down by the University Faculty Senate, which had been stimulated by the City University Board of Trustees' plan to evaluate high-level college administrators at the end of five years of service, the Baruch Faculty Senate established an Administrative Review Steering Committee (ARSC) to be composed of tenured full professors (able to be fearless in their judgements), to evaluate the five Baruch administrators who had completed or would shortly complete five years at 23rd Street.
Vice-President Green was the first and only administrator to be judged, and he came through with flying colors. None of the other administrators underwent similar scrutiny because shortly after Green's evaluation was completed, the University Faculty Senate lost its appetite for the whole project. After the Board of Trustees, on whose behalf the entire process had been started, decided that the university's charter did "not protect faculty in their evaluative capacity against indemnity," the Baruch Faculty Senate disbanded ARSC and nothing further was heard on the subject.(7)
With the appointment of Francis (Bud) Connelly as dean of the School of Business in spring 1982, following Samuel Thomas's departure to become dean of the Hofstra University School of Business, Segall completed his team of top-level administrators, which remained in place (except for changes in the School of Education) for the remainder of his first decade as president. Connelly had been at Baruch since 1978 as associate professor of marketing, assistant to the president for continuing education, assistant dean for graduate studies and had been acting as dean of the School of Business when Thomas became ill, prior to leaving Baruch for Hofstra.
Unfortunately, Sam Thomas remained there for only a few months, succumbing to a heart attack in May 1982. He had lived through many lean and troubled years at 23rd Street and had done yeoman service as professor of public administration, deputy to Emanuel Saxe during the transition and as provost before Weaver arrived. His untimely death was much mourned by his colleagues and left Connelly with a large pair of shoes to fill. Fortunately, he was well prepared to do so. A Baruch graduate when it was still the School of Business of City College, he had earned his Ph.D. at Washington University in St. Louis and had been an administrator at Howard University and associate dean of the Graduate School of Business at the institution that awarded him his degree. This considerable experience, in and out of the City University, equipped him well for his position as head of the dominant unit at Baruch.(8)
What was Segall's agenda for the team of able administrators he had assembled? Although he recognized that the uneven strength of the schools was a real problem, his first concern was to repair what he saw as Baruch's damaged reputation, locally and nationally. Open Admissions had led many, especially alumni, to question the value of the BBA degree currently being awarded at 23rd Street, and the struggle to meet AASCB standards had not helped the College at all. The president's prescription was to get more public and private money in order to make the necessary changes. Hiring additional well-prepared, full-time business faculty was a major priority but in addition, Segall gave Presidential Excellence Awards to demonstrate the high caliber of the faculty, recruited more Baruch Scholars, built a strong public relations staff and established research centers, all of which upgraded the College's image. By spring 1985 he had accomplished much and was therefore ready to tackle his next big problem: to acquire a real campus.
Since even a cursory glance at the past made it clear that achieving this goal was going to be neither easy nor quick, Segall's early steps were designed to make meaningful improvements while waiting for nirvana. Starting modestly, the stairwells of 17 Lexington Avenue were painted, the outside of the building cleaned and redwood benches and tubs with young trees planted in them were arranged on the perimeter of the building. In spite of dire prophecies to the contrary, both of these adornments were well treated by students and neighborhood people.
With the aid of federal money, the auditorium was remodeled and the loose and battered old windows were replaced. The Middle States team, seeing some of this, was able to revise (slightly), the "academic slum" image described in their 1972 report and instead remarked that "those living within the environment seemed to find the current situation tolerable [and]. . . much better than past horrors."(9) Conditions continued to improve: the largest lecture room at 17 Lexington Avenue, 4 North, was renovated and emerged from its shell of neglect to reveal its original good looks. At the same time, science, language and computerized reading and writing laboratories were built and what turned out to be a three-year program to replace the antiquated manual elevators with shiny, speedy automatic ones was begun. A similar replacement operation, to modernize the ancient and ugly toilets, was going on concurrently but took much longer and was only half finished by the middle of 1988.
All of these projects, as well as considerably improved ongoing maintenance and planning for a new campus, was under the supervision of Campus Planning and Facilities Director Marylin Mikulsky. She had come to Baruch from the City University Graduate Center to replace "Gus" Fakas during the fiscal crisis. Her work of renovating a conventional office building on West 42nd Street into an unusual and in many ways beautiful Graduate Center for the City University had attracted much attention. Mikulsky's design talent, excellent taste and ability to manage what seemed to lay people to be massive projects was very useful to Baruch, although the equally massive disruptions those projects caused led to many complaints. The auditorium, for example, was closed for four months, forcing a desperate search for alternative space for large lecture sections. Everyone at 17 Lexington Avenue had been warned that life there would be difficult while renovations were going on and were urged to move to newly rented and renovated space at 18th Street and Park Avenue South. Those that remained, such as the Department of History and the Dean of Liberal Arts office, were moved around until their new and much better quarters were completed.(10)
All of this was concurrent with the start of the long-delayed renovation of the Family Court building on East 22nd Street, which nestled between the Student Center and the original site of the College at 17 Lexington Avenue. "Finally, finally," as Segall said, in late October 1981, work got underway; two years later, some offices moved into the newly named Administrative Center, disappointing students who had hoped to make it part of an enlarged Student Center. The Family Court had been housed in a magnificent Art Deco building, now made more beautiful by Marylin Mikulsky's talent. With great understatement, in view of her enormous responsibilities, she told the general faculty in October 1985, "It has been a very busy year" and buttressed her remark with a list of sixty-eight projects, large and small, coming to a total cost of $7,952,000.(11)
But all this improvement did not add up to a permanent, cohesive campus. After one more attempt to purchase a nearby building had failed, the Board of Trustees gave the College $500,000 to search for a new site adjacent to buildings it already owned. Segall and his team wasted no time. They first engaged Peat, Marwick, a firm that had done many space studies across the country, to do one for Baruch and then hired a "real estate company to search a six block radius of 23rd Street and Lexington Avenue" for suitable available space. The search was successful, a building was found and negotiations begun. Things moved quite fast; five months later, in April 1986, the president was able to tell the faculty that the College was going to acquire and rehabilitate the Lexington Building on 25th Street between Lexington and Third Avenues, mostly for the use of the library, which needed space the most.(12)
In addition, Segall said, he had discovered that Brooklyn political leaders had found many alternative tenants for the Atlantic Terminal site; therefore the Board of Trustees was going to ask the Regents to change the master plan and release Baruch from its inconclusive bondage to Brooklyn. There was every reason to believe that this would be done and, as a result, Segall expected that a great plan to build a campus that would include the Lexington Building (designated Site A) and a new facility on the block between 24th and 25th Streets off Lexington Avenue (Site B) would be completed during the next five years. Following the president's remarks, the architectural firm of Davis, Brody Associates presented a three-dimensional model of the proposed campus (later installed in the lobby of the Administrative Center, after it had been displayed in the newly established Art Gallery in that center), and it was truly a dream campus.
Was it to remain only that? At this writing, it is hard to be sure, but the signs are good. As Segall explained in April 1987, the State Dormitory Authority was proceeding (under the law of eminent domain) with the process of condemnation in order to acquire the Lexington Building. Although the sale had been opposed by the incumbent industrial tenants and by preservationists, the president believed that there was every reason to expect success. Clearing Site B was more difficult because the parcel included single-room occupancy hotels and garages that had once been stables, the former needed to prevent placing additional homeless people on the streets, and the latter valued by preservationists. Nonetheless, Segall was confident of the outcome, and he remained so six months later, saying that although the acquisition of the Lexington Building had not yet been completed, "things were moving along."(13)
While they waited for their dream campus, the faculty enjoyed increasing benefits in other spheres, some of which were the results of their increased strength. Making class schedules was always the major responsibility of department chairmen who in years past had normally planned for forty-two class meetings a semester, composed of three fifty-minute sessions per week. During the Segall years, however, the College adopted a standard grid that included fifty minute classes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday or seventy-five minute ones meeting on Tuesday and Thursday. By 1984, the schedule consisted of almost all of the latter, now meeting on either Monday and Wednesday or on Tuesday and Thursday.
The change engendered considerable controversy. Proponents argued that it would mean less travel time, which in turn would save carfare for faculty and students, permit the former to do more research and allow the latter to earn more money at outside jobs. There were also said to be educational benefits: seventy-five-minute classes allowed for more depth and discussion. Opponents agreed this might be a satisfactory arrangement for upper-level students but--a point difficult to prove--likely to be harmful to the less experienced and less prepared ones. Fewer classes required that more material be absorbed in less time, whereas learning in smaller doses, with more opportunities to meet the instructor and more time for review and homework, added up to a slower pace from which younger students could benefit.
There were other drawbacks as well. Everyone suffered from the vertical transportation tie-ups (elevators were the essential means of transportation in all Baruch buildings) that occurred four days a week while the buildings lay empty on Fridays. The worst effect, however, was on the already fragile cohesion of the college. Divided physically by a campus that ran from 18th Street to 26th Street along Park Avenue South (with a detour to Lexington Avenue at 23rd and 24th Streets), intellectually by academic discipline, politically by school and now by teaching schedules, it is little wonder that faculty (especially if they were moving on in age) could not remember the names of colleagues whom they had known for years and were reduced to thinking "the face is familiar but who is she/he?"
Once begun, however, two-day scheduling was impossible to reverse. Even if more faculty had scheduled their classes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, students would not enroll when, as was usually the case, they could take the same course with another instructor and come to 23rd Street only two times a week. Even the most dedicated faculty member, especially in the School of Liberal Arts, had to offer elective courses in seventy-five-minute classes or not give them at all. Gradually, sections meeting three days a week almost disappeared from the schedule.(14)
By 1987, due to another change, this time in the academic calendar, faculty and students would have to spend even less time at 23rd Street. The existing calendar had provided for fourteen weeks of classes, commencing after Labor Day and ending before Christmas, to be followed by two weeks of comprehensive final examinations in January. During 1982 and 1983, first the Faculty Senate and then the entire faculty considered a change proposed by the Council of Presidents, which would have compressed the entire semester, including final examinations, into 14 weeks. The Baruch faculty decided against it, but the idea remained alive. Other units of the City University adopted it, and in fall 1987, after a poll of students and a resolution of the Senate indicated that it was an idea whose time had come, Baruch joined most of its sister schools within and without the City University and adopted the short calendar. (15)
Two-day schedules, shorter semesters, full-pay sabbaticals, released time, what else could the faculty want? Smaller workloads, of course, and this too came to pass when an arbitrator, called in to settle an issue on which the trustees and the Professional Staff Congress (PSC) could not agree, established twenty-one hours a year (twelve hours per week for one semester, nine for the other) as the maximum workload for undergraduate teaching in professorial ranks throughout the City University. Lecturers would teach twelve hours one semester and fifteen the other for a maximum of twenty seven hours.
The PSC had become increasingly influential in these years. Its strength, coupled with the continuing importance of the Faculty Senate, allowed the Baruch community (of which the faculty was the most vocal part), to make the decisions on the shortened calendar rather than leave it to administrative fiat, as would have undoubtedly been the case in earlier decades. This was symbolic of the increasing democracy that prevailed at Baruch and the City University generally in the eighties. The enfranchisement of laboratory technicians and lecturers who held a Certificate of Continuous Employment is a case in point.
In late November 1980, the Faculty Senate agreed to amend the college governance charter and enfranchise both of these groups so that they could vote for the members of their department executive committee and for chairmen. Faced with considerable opposition from the science faculty, who were not eager to share power with their technicians, the two groups were considered separately at first and only the amendment concerning lecturers was submitted to the faculty and students in a required referendum. In spite of two tries, however, it proved impossible to get 30 percent of the students to vote. The matter was finally settled when the president asked for and received a waiver from the trustees. It proved no easier to get sufficient student votes on the amendment regarding laboratory technicians, and Segall finally had to get a waiver on this matter also. Baruch students in the eighties, it appeared, were simply not interested in the fate of faculty or staff.(16)
The difficulty experienced by the College when student participation in the referendum process was required, as well as other problems that had appeared since the governance charter had been adopted in 1973, led to a massive effort, to revise that document. In spring 1986, Professor Jean Boddewyn of the marketing department and a committee he chaired presented their recommendations to the general faculty. There were many changes, large and small, most of which were intended to give the younger faculty, as opposed to chairmen, administrators and senior faculty, increased voice in the governance of the College. No faculty member, for example, could sit on more than one important committee at the same time, nor could a committee member be re-elected to the same committee indefinitely. These provisions, if they had been the rule earlier in the College's history, would have emasculated the "old boy network" discussed earlier. As it was, by the time the new plan was adopted, most of the "old boys" had retired; indeed, there had been a noticeable changing of the guard in both the School of Business and the School of Liberal Arts shortly before the charter was revised.(17)
As he had said in his interview with Roslyn Bernstein, Joel Segall placed great importance on improving the standing of the College within the business community and especially in the eyes of the alumni. His reasons, like those of most college presidents, were quite pragmatic. The College needed funds and support beyond what could be achieved by the best tax-levy budget, and that support could only come from corporate and alumni donors. To make members of these groups want to give, however, the College would have to prove that it was worth giving to, and it is in this direction that Segall embarked soon after assuming the presidency. It was, of course, a case of one hand washing the other; as donations increased so did activities at the College, and as Baruch became more visible, donors became more generous.
This "chicken and egg" process began with Baruch Today, originally the "Faculty-Staff Newsletter," which had been expanded to include alumni during the Wingfield era and used very effectively thereafter. Under Robert Seaver and his successors as directors of the Office of College Relations, Robert Myers of the speech department (temporary) and Stephen Wertheimer (permanent), Phonathon, the annual telephone campaign aimed primarily at securing alumni pledges to the Baruch Fund, got enormous publicity. Before the week-long event, faculty, staff and alumni were urged to be "Phonies" and afterwards were awarded buttons, vacation trips, and praised for their "Phontastic" efforts.
The campaigns were very successful efforts, which snowballed from what was already a new and unexpected high of $80,570 in 1978 (the goal had been only $50,000) to $100,000 in 1979. In succeeding years, the totals increased. At the same time, the lists of donors published in Baruch Today grew longer and longer, at one point taking up as many as nine pages. Various categories were devised, from Quarter Century givers ($25 to $49) to Baruch Fellows ($1,000 or more), enabling both wealthy and middle-income alumni to give to their alma mater. The publicity and personal touch (President Segall himself called, as did his administrative staff) had a salutory effect; not only was the Baruch Fund enriched but, in addition, the Alumni Association grew by quantum leaps. Between 1977 and 1978, for example, membership increased by two thirds.(18)
Other giving also increased. Indeed, the president of the Baruch Fund happily reported that it had grown by a million dollars in 1978, only part of which was raised by Phonathon. Among other most notable gifts of the Segall era was the two-part fund established by Morton and Jane Globus and the grant that established the Feit Seminar program, already described. The Philip Morris Distinguished Lecturer in Business and Social Programs was a new and valuable addition to the continuing Wollman Lecture Series. A Speiser Chair in Economics was created, as well as one in marketing endowed by Albert Lippert. One of the most interesting donations was established by the Wood Foundation. A leading figure from the business world (Gertrude Alman Stern,' 51, executive vice-president of the Allied Marketing Corporation was the first) spent an evening and an entire day at the College during which he or she delivered a lecture and then returned to the corporate scene, hopefully to spread the word that all was flourishing at 23rd Street.(19)
One of the most significant chickens to be hatched from the growing egg known as the Baruch Fund was the increasing number of specialized research centers. These centers were intended to earn their keep by raising funds of their own but also by providing information to the government and business community, thus adding to Baruch's visibility and prestige. This particular strategy antedated the Segall administration; indeed the Middle States team listed six such centers at 23rd Street in their 1979 report. More were added in the eighties, among them the Graduate Business Study and Resource Center, the Center for Management and the Center for the Study of Women in Business. The Center for Business and Government, one of Segall's earliest efforts, began a most interesting project in late 1981 when they acquired the papers of Albert Gallatin, the first Secretary of the Treasury, and the services of the editor, Barbara Oberg. Considering Gallatin's role as a founder of New York University, this was quite a coup.(20)
Other triumphs were waiting in the wings, most the result of outside funding. A string of truly distinguished visitors spoke to gatherings large and small at Baruch in these years, among them the Reverend Jesse Jackson, Beverly Sills, New York City Schools Chancellor Frank Macchiarola, former Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, Isaac Bashevis Singer, James Baldwin and Elmer B. Staats, the Comptroller General of the United States. February, March and April 1983, when the School of Liberal Arts sponsored an Arts and Science Festival, was an extraordinary period: novelists Robert Penn Warren and Ralph Ellison, poet Seamus Heaney, historian Christopher Lasch, archeoastronomer Anthony Aveni and human-rights attorney Morris Abram all came to 23rd Street. Commencement speakers were also often notables: Secretary of the Treasury and future Secretary of State George Schultz, for example, spoke at his friend Joel Segall's second commencement.
If the deans of the forties and fifties, Herman Feldman and Thomas Norton, could have done the impossible and returned to 23rd Street in the eighties, they would have been astonished at the caliber of guests who accepted the College's invitations in those years. They, especially Feldman, would also have been agape at the improvements in appearance that enabled the College to play host without embarrassment. A small but impressive art gallery, for example, had been opened on the lobby floor of the new Administrative Center, enhancing the attractiveness of that already beautiful building.(21)
Baruch Today changed its style and frequency of publication over the years but never failed to include news of faculty and alumni successes. The Guggenheim fellowships (to historians Edward Pessen, Clara Lovett and David Rosner) awarded in 1977, 1978 and 1987, respectively, were announced with fanfare. Under the heading "Publishing No Peril," a long list of faculty publications received their due. "Alumni Today," another column, did the same for the notables among the approximately 30,000 graduates of the College. Using a different vehicle, Professor Jason Marks gave the details about the dozen alumni judged most outstanding in his book, Twelve Who Made It Big, which was authorized by the Baruch Development Fund and appeared in 1980.(22)
The net effect of all this was to put Baruch "on the map" literally and figuratively. The 1981 Lexicon had done so with an amusing sketch of the five boroughs in which the College dominated Manhattan. Two years later, the American Automobile Association included Baruch on its "New York City and Vicinity Map." At approximately the same time, responding to long-standing student suggestions designed to make sure that "all know that Baruch exists," long banners saying "Baruch College" emerged on both sides of the building at 17 Lexington Avenue. Further proof of Baruch's existence came in 1984, when long-awaited signs in the 23rd Street subway station identified that stop as being the closest to the College.(23)
By that point, there could be little doubt that the College's name evoked much greater recognition than it had before Segall's plans took hold. It was even a player on the international academic scene. Baruch had established exchange arrangements with the University of Paris, the London School of Economics and Fudan University in Shanghai, China, and the provost was looking for additional partners. The goal of increased visibility, therefore, had been attained, and with it came increased pride. Beginning in October 1983, the first sight to greet visitors to the office of the dean of the School of Business was the neatly framed photographs of all the men who had occupied that position, a sort of hall of fame for a College that now saw them as worthy of attention.(24)
Having said this, it must quickly be amended. Most of the Baruch community was totally unaware of this display and many, even if they had known, would not have paid it much attention. Indeed, some would have been hostile. Amidst all the brightness at Baruch in the late eighties there were dark spots. The college community lacked cohesion, and the bulk of the students and faculty were extremely passive. Furthermore, various groups, for different reasons, were quite alienated. Prominent among the latter were some minority faculty and a small number of black graduates. They charged the College with a failure to hire sufficient black or Hispanic faculty and for impeding the progress of those who were appointed. The problem was crystallized by a move to deny reappointment to a popular Black and Hispanic Studies instructor, Robert Martinez, and further compounded by the long battle for promotion law professor Joseph Torres fought with the leadership of his department.(25)
As a result of his protests and subsequent Senate actions, the Faculty Senate appointed a special committee on affirmative action. In response, President Segall prepared a report in which he agreed with the charge that in 1981, there were "proportionately fewer women and minorities on the faculty... than there were ten years" earlier, but then went on to say that it was "simplistic and misleading to point to the failure of affirmative action as the . . . cause. "(26) Instead, he saw it as the result of the fiscal crisis (last hired, first fired), compounded by the difficulty of finding qualified minority faculty who could teach business subjects. In the same view, he strongly denied what he saw as the committee's sweeping charge of discrimination against minorities, pointing out that in 1980 20 percent of the non-minority faculty who had asked for tenure were refused, but that every minority member who had done so, received it.(27)
Other issues, noted earlier, having to do with the position of the compensatory education department and College attempts to tighten requirements undoubtedly helped to increase alienation. The problem was recognized and steps were taken to alleviate its consequences. Black stars such as Sociology professor Juanita Howard, whose work on the successful film "I Remember Harlem" was much praised, and Addison Gayle, who became a Distinguished Professor of English, received full publicity. At the June 1986 commencement, Earl Graves, the editor and publisher of Black Enterprise, received an honorary degree and delivered an inspiring address, which was printed in full by Baruch Today. The invitation of Joseph Torres and his wife, law professor Mildred Stansky, to the Carter White House was duly noted. On Black Solidarity Day, faculty were asked to excuse student absences. New courses, such as "Black Women Writers," "Voices from Afar: Post-Colonial Literature" and "Latin America: An Institutional and Cultural Survey," were added to the curriculum.
Perhaps more to the point, more black administrators were hired. Henry Wilson became dean of students in October 1980. His background included a Ph.D. from the University of Southern Illinois in Higher Education Administration and teaching experience in Black Studies. Wilson remained as dean until 1987, when he was succeeded by another black, Samuel Johnson. An additional black administrator joined Baruch when Stanton Biddle took on the responsibilities of chief librarian from 1984 to 1988.(28)
Segall was aware of the lack of cohesion in the College. Partly for this reason, he resisted any attempts to fragment it further. Thus, he refused to charter a separate Black and Hispanic Alumni Association demanded by a small group of black alumni. The basic problem, however, was not as much a racial one as much as a matter of growth, geography and communications. When a senior professor asked the Committee on Committees for a brief biography of candidates for committee slots, she was expressing what was reality at the sprawling Baruch "campus," namely that the faculty did not know each other well enough to vote intelligently.
When published bi-weekly, Baruch Today had been a unifying influence; the decision to make it first a monthly and then a semiannual publication, although perhaps justified for other reasons, was a mistake in terms of the need for a more unified community. Two-day schedules, shortened semesters, even the reduced work load helped to "balkanize" Baruch, because together, they meant that faculty members would spend less time at 23rd Street which, in turn, made social arrangements more difficult. The common preliminary to making a lunch date was "When are you here?" and for many faculty the response was "seldom."(29)
Absence may make the heart grow fonder, but it can also lead to indifference. At Baruch in the late eighties, that is what happened. Attendance at faculty meetings, never large, grew smaller, and those who did attend gave rote approval to new courses, apathetically heard administrative reports and left early. Students were also quite uninterested. When College Relations test-marketed the idea of making Baruch Today available to and inclusive of students, they got no response. Student government leaders constantly complained of lack of participation by their peers. Even a rise in student activity fees, in the past a stimulus to revolt, did not create more than a mild protest. In general, the Ticker had trouble being interesting. Its pages contained mostly complaints and an abundance of news about quarrels within student government organizations. When a rally was called to protest a proposed new schedule, relatively few students appeared. This, of course, was not entirely new; in 1979 Lexicon had faulted students for "not lifting a finger to question the imposition of Open Admissions or tuition. "(30)
Segall tried to leave time for debate at general faculty meetings by asking for written, not oral reports from administrators, but to no avail. Not always, of course, but often, faculty meetings were dull indeed. Were there no issues to fight over, as there had been in the past? Had conditions at 23rd Street improved to the point that everyone was too satisfied to want more? Had the much-publicized selfishness of the Reagan years affected the Baruch faculty so that as long as their union brought them increasingly better salaries and working conditions and their administrators made fewer and fewer demands on them, they had little interest in the affairs of the College? Were enormously expanded opportunities to join with special interest groups substituting for larger meetings?
As is usually the case, there was a certain validity to all of the above, and perhaps this was as it had to be. Certainly when the times had demanded activism, it had been forthcoming. Perhaps the celebration of the College's twentieth anniversary, of which this book is a part, will provide the spark that will bring us together. Certainly the new campus will do so. In anticipation of this, Joel Segall's 1987 holiday card portrayed the architect's rendering of the College's future home. It drew a warm response from one and all, a good omen for the future.
In any case, as the eighties draw to a close, Baruch College stands at a threshold: more prepared than ever before to serve the city of which it has always been an important part, but, as in the past, tied to the uncertainties that cloud New York's future. Hopefully, the clouds will give way to sunshine and future anniversaries will note that at the turn of the twenty-first century Baruch College played an increasingly significant role in a flourishing metropolis.
(1) Baruch Today, June 28, 1977.
(2) President Segall's interview with Professor Roslyn Bernstein in Baruch Today, Spring 1985.
(3) Baruch Today, September 27, 1977.
(4) Baruch Today, December 20, 1977. P & B is the acronym for the powerful Personnel and Budget Committee; CCE stands for Certificate of Continuous Employment, the equivalent of tenure for non-Ph.D's.
(5) Baruch College, General Faculty, "Minutes," April 25, 1984; Commission on Education, Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges, "Report," 1979, p. 2.
(6) Baruch Today, February 1984; April 4, 1978; August, 1984.
(7) Baruch Faculty Senate, "Minutes," April 2, 1981; May 10, 1982; September 19, 1985.
(8) Baruch College, School of Business and Public Administration, "Minutes," March 25, 1982; October 22, 1981; Baruch Today, March 10, 1980; June-July, 1982.
(9) Baruch Today, May 9, 1978; September 20, 1978; Middle States, "Report," 1979, p. 7.
(10) Marylin Mikulsky, Director of Campus Planning and Facilities, "Report to the General Faculty," October 17, 1985; Ticker, April 12, 1978; General Faculty, "Minutes," April 20, 1982; Baruch Today, September 27, 1977.
(11) General Faculty, "Minutes," October 27, 1981; Mikulsky, "Report," October 17, 1985.
(12) General Faculty, "Minutes," April 28, 1983; April 23, 1985; October 31, 1985; April 15, 1986.
(13) General Faculty, "Minutes," April 15, 1986; October 31, 1986; April 7, 1987; Faculty Senate, "Minutes," November 5, 1987.
(14) Faculty Senate, "Minutes," March 4, 1982; General Faculty, "Minutes," October 24, 1984.
(15) General Faculty, "Minutes," April 7, 1987; School of Liberal Arts, "Minutes," February 26, 1987; Baruch College, "Academic Calendar," 19871988; Faculty Senate, "Minutes," February 6, 1986.
(16) Author's interview with Assistant Director of Personnel, Ronnie Widener, December 1987; Faculty Senate, "Minutes," November 6, 1980; April 1, 1982; October 7, 1982.
(17) General Faculty, "Minutes," April 15, 1986; School of Liberal Arts, "Minutes," April 10, 1986.
(18) Baruch Today, October 23, 1979; February 21, 1980; October, 1982; March 10, 1980; April 25, 1978; February-March 1983; February 9, 1977; November 21, 1978.
(19) Baruch Today, February 22, 1979; March 23, 1981, October 12, 1982; December 4, 1979; January 30, 1979; Winter, 1986.
(20) Middle States, "Report," 1979, p. 2; Baruch College, Provost Paul LeClerc, "Report to the General Faculty," Spring 1986; Baruch Today, November 1981; Theodore F. Jones, New York University, 1832-1932 (New York: New York University Press, 1933), 7.
(21) Baruch Today, March 7, 1979; October 5, 1980; November 1982; January 29, 1980; November 27, 1979; October 1981; September 1983; February-March 1983; May 5, 1977; May 24, 1979.
(22) Baruch Today, April 19, 1977; April 28, 1978; March 7, 1979; February 9, 1978; General Faculty, "Minutes," April 7, 1987; Jason Marks, Twelve Who Made It Big (New York: 1980).
(23) Lexicon, 1981; Baruch Today, January 1983; Ticker, November 17, 1977; February 21, 1980.
(24) Baruch Today, Spring 1985; Provost Paul LeClerc, "Report," 1985.
(25) Ticker, December 21, 1978; Senate, "Minutes," May 21, 1981.
(26) Joel Segall, "Letter to the Baruch College Black and Hispanic Caucus," October 6, 1981.
(28) Baruch Today, February 23, 1981; November 1982, October 15, 1980; August 1984, Winter 1986; School of Liberal Arts, "Minutes," February 24, 1983; February 27, 1986; General Faculty, "Minutes," April 7, 1986.
(29) General Faculty, "Minutes," April 7, 1987.
(30) Ticker, February 12, 1979; May 2, 1979; October 12, 1978; December 11, 1979; February 15, 1980; May 10, 1978; Baruch Today, March 7, 1979; Lexicon, 1979.