Office of the President
Mitchel B. Wallerstein, PhD, was appointed president of Baruch College in August 2010. He joined the institution with extensive experience in higher education, public policy, international affairs, and global philanthropy. Since arriving at Baruch, Dr. Wallerstein has worked to ensure the College's financial health and future, prioritized the recruitment of top faculty, and improved the academic quality and caliber of students who enroll at Baruch. In 2018, he launched his second ambitious five-year Strategic Plan: 2018-23 that calls for curricular innovations, an expanded portfolio of international programs, improved coordination and collaboration across the College, and a strengthened financial foundation and infrastructure.
A native New Yorker, President Wallerstein holds PhD and MS degrees from MIT, an MPA from Syracuse University, and an AB from Dartmouth College
Record Enrollment and Improved Social Mobility for Students
Baruch has long been a gateway to economic opportunity for historically underserved students. Building on that legacy, the College has increasingly been praised for supporting the social mobility of low-income and minority students under Dr. Wallerstein's leadership. Since 2010, undergraduate enrollment has grown 13.2 percent, to a record 14,800 students. Baruch also educates more than 3,200 graduate students in a range of master's and doctoral programs. Nearly 40 percent of Baruch's students come from households with an annual income of $40,000 or less, and the vast majority of all Baruch students—83.9 percent—graduate with no federal student loan debt. Moreover, the median early career salary for graduates is $50,700.
During President Wallerstein's tenure, Baruch's reputation for providing a competitive education at a highly affordable price has drawn more competitive students to the College: the average SAT score for incoming freshmen has steadily climbed more than 40 points to 1247, and the average high school GPA has risen from 86.7 to 89.7.
Academic Programs and Tenure-Track Professorships
The President and his leadership team have launched a number of academic initiatives in all three of the College's schools. These include new Master's programs in international affairs, arts administration, and mental health counseling, as well as graduate-level specializations in urban development, sustainability, and in institutional research and assessment for higher education administrators. At the undergraduate level, the College now has a major in international business and, building on Baruch's internationally renowned Master of Financial Engineering program, it has a competitive major in financial mathematics. With President Wallerstein's vision, Baruch has also launched and expanded numerous partnership programs with Chinese institutions, including Peking University Shenzen Graduate School, the Southwestern University of Finance and Engineering in Chengdu, and the Confucius Institute, which is establishing its only Institute for Global Finance at Baruch.
Appreciating that many of Baruch's students balance work and family responsibilities, in addition to their studies, Dr. Wallerstein also established the Center for Teaching and Learning, which is currently focused on how to use technology to enhance pedagogy and support faculty in the development of hybrid online courses.
To ensure the academic quality of all programs, President Wallerstein successfully lobbied CUNY to add $7.8 million to the College's base budget, beginning in Fall 2013, to support the single-largest faculty increase at Baruch since 1986. It included the hiring of 27 new tenure-track faculty members in the Zicklin School of Business and additional faculty in the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences and the Marxe School of Public and International Affairs.
Enhanced Campus Facilities
Expanding and improving the College's campus and buildings has been another top priority during President Wallerstein's tenure. Since taking office, he has successfully lobbied New York State for $30 million for capital investments for the renovation of the historic Lawrence and Eric Field Building at 17 Lexington Avenue and approximately $40 million for critical maintenance. He has also secured more than $6.5 million in supplemental capital funding from New York City. These funds have enabled technology and facilities upgrades across campus, including renovated lobbies, entrances, wireless hubs, computer labs, data warehousing, and security systems.
Early in his tenure, Dr. Wallerstein negotiated successfully with the city to gain the permanent closure of 25th Street between Lexington and Third Avenues to create a new outdoor public space—complete with tables, umbrellas, chairs, and other outdoor amenities—where Baruch faculty, staff and students and neighbors in the local community can gather and relax. Now officially named the Clivner=Field Plaza in honor of two generous benefactors, the space is currently in the process of being transformed into a permanent public plaza.
President Wallerstein also authorized the development of a new Master Plan for the award-winning William and Anita Newman Library, which recently marked its 20th year, and a comprehensive renovation plan for the historic Lawrence and Eris Field Building at 17 Lexington Avenue. The latter will be the largest renovation project in the history of Baruch College and will produce a new, state-of-the-art building that will benefit Baruch students for generations to come. Finally, the President has pursued the development of a separate space for a long-sought student center, and this project is now under development.
Building relationships with alumni, business leaders, and the philanthropic community at large is one of President Wallerstein's key strengths. In Fall 2016, he secured a $30 million gift to endow and name the Austin W. Marxe School of Public and International Affairs. It was the largest single gift ever to Baruch College and it tied for the second-largest donation in CUNY's history. In total, Dr. Wallerstein has increased the College's private endowment by 60 percent, to more than $210 million. He reignited the Baruch Means Business fundraising campaign and ultimately closed it out in 2013 with a total of $157 million in new gifts, pledges, and bequests—$7 million over the stated goal.
Owing to this success, Baruch has greatly increased the number of endowed spaces, programs, and departments, including, among others, the Narendra Paul Loomba Department of Management, the Allen G. Aaronson Department of Marketing and International Business, the Sandra Kahn Wasserman Jewish Studies Center (JSC), the William Newman Chair in Jewish Studies, the Ruth Printz O'Hara Professorship in Holocaust Studies, the Allen and Mary Aaronson Student Center, the Marvin Schwartz Student Excellence Fund, the Amy Hagedorn Scholarship Fund in the School of Public Affairs, and the Shelly and Donald Rubin Museum of Art Fund.
Scholarly Research Interests and Past Career Accomplishments
In addition to leading Baruch through an era of historic growth and improvement, Dr. Wallerstein has advanced his own research on national security and public policy. He is the author of numerous books, articles, monographs, and research studies on counterterrorism, the control of sensitive high technology trade, and nuclear, biological and chemical weapons proliferation. Most recently, in December 2015, he published the influential article "The Price of Inattention: A Survivable North Korean Nuclear Threat?" in the Washington Quarterly and a related OpEd, "Ignoring North Korea's Nuclear Threat Could Prove to Be a Dangerous Mistake," in the Washington Post.
In June 2016, President Wallerstein was named to the Advisory Council of CDRF Global, an independent nonprofit organization authorized by Congress in 1992 to promote international scientific and technical collaboration. He also serves as Chair of the Board of Directors of the New York-based not-for-profit organization, Public Agenda. He is an elected Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Additional professional highlights for Dr. Wallerstein include:
- Dean of the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University (2003-2010)
- Vice President, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation (1998-2003)
- Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Counterproliferation Policy and Senior Representative for Trade Security Policy, U.S. Department of Defense; appointed by President William Clinton (1993-1998)
- Deputy Executive Officer, National Research Council, National Academies of Sciences and Engineering (1990-1993)
- Academic positions at the National Defense University, Johns Hopkins University, Georgetown University, George Washington University, the College of the Holy Cross, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Past President, Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs
- Elected member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the International Institute for Strategic Studies