I am excited to begin my second academic year at Baruch. I look forward to meeting those of you who are joining the Baruch community for the first time this fall. I am confident that you will come to appreciate the enthusiasm and high level of competency and dedication of your Baruch colleagues.
The summer of 2014 was extremely active on the administrative level at Baruch. We have been lucky to welcome a new dean of the Zicklin School of Business, Fenwick Huss, and a new assistant vice president for student affairs and dean of students, Art King. We owe major thanks to Myung-Soo Lee and Sharon Ricks for serving in those roles, respectively, as interim appointees, with great skill and even more dedication.
On the academic program level, we welcome Heather Samples as the new director of the Bernard L. Schwartz Communication Institute. Heather was formerly assistant director of the Writing Center, and has an MFA in fiction writing from Columbia University. Luke Waltzer and the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) are now located in the Subotnick Center on Level 1 of the Information and Technology Building, while we consider where the longer-term home of CTL should be.
On the policy level, there have been two major changes where for which I will need the cooperation and support of the entire Baruch community. Baruch continues to implement the CUNYfirst system, and this year, for the first time, all faculty recruiting will be moved onto that system. A team of department chair and administrators has worked diligently all summer to work out glitches, but inevitably, with such a major change, there will be some unforeseen obstacles that arise. Please bear with us with good humor.
Likewise, the President and I, on the recommendation of the Student Affairs team, have decided to impose a moratorium on Greek social organization pledging activities during the Fall 2014 semester. I have written a letter to the officers of Baruch’s social Greek-letter fraternities and sororities announcing this. Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Art King will work with student affairs division staff to evaluate future alternatives for Greek life at Baruch. I will need assurance that students are not placed in a situation that compromises their physical safety or well-being during pledging.
Finally, as the fall semester commences, I ask you to join me in a conversation about academic integrity at Baruch. The Student Government has indicated their willingness to bring this important message to their peers, but we need the full commitment of the entire community for this initiative to succeed. I anticipate the Baruch community will embrace, with its usual zeal, this task of protecting the value of the Baruch degree.