September 22, 2015
Provost’s Welcome to New Academic Year
Dear Faculty and Staff:
We begin another academic year optimistic that we are supporting discovery and learning among our students, in our research, and within our communities of scholars.
Last spring, many of our full-time faculty completed the COACHE survey of job satisfaction. I have asked the leadership of our Senate to form a committee of faculty with skills in data analysis to be the first group to study the results, which ultimately will include data from Baruch, several comparison institutions, and comparative data from all CUNY units. I believe that this faculty committee will find meaning in these data, and provide a solid basis from which we can work together to develop an action plan to improve job satisfaction. We are also working with the Survey Research Center within our School of Public Affairs to develop a “climate survey” that we will invite all full- and part-time faculty to complete this fall. We want to understand the climate on our campus regarding issues of diversity, inclusion, equity, and academic support. I hope you will participate; we are testing the instrument and hope to edit the questions so you can complete it in fifteen minutes. Your responses will inform the kinds of programs we launch in the future.
This fall, six members of our faculty will retire. Please join me in thanking Robert Foskey, Hy Gorenberg, Randy Hensley, Parmatma Saran, Sy Schulman, and Edward Tucker for their many years of service to Baruch students. Bert Hansen and Veena Oldenburg have chosen to begin the phased retirement program. Congratulations.
This summer, we welcomed the return of Dominic Esposito to Baruch, this time as Director of Sponsored Programs and Research. Dominic will invite faculty to consider applying for sponsored research grants, and his office will support pre- and post-award administration. He most recently led sponsored research at Manhattan College, and regularly presents at the National Council for University Research Administrators (NCURA) and the Society for Research Administrators (SRA), where he currently serves as the President of the Northeast Section.
We are lucky to have the services of CIS Professor Kannan Mohan as Interim Director of our Center for Teaching and Learning. Kannan is part of a team developing a hybrid delivery of CIS 2200 and has been active in CTL activities and seminars. He will serve as interim director through the middle of next summer. In January we will form a search committee and recruit a permanent CTL Director. Kannan is energized by the opportunity to work with our faculty. We are committed to using technology to improve student learning. The first performance bar is to ensure that it is “as good as” our traditional delivery, but ultimately we want to use technology to do things we cannot currently do to tailor instruction to individual students. One promising example is our exploration of a partnership with Knewton LLC, developers of adaptive learning software. Several members of our faculty are working with Knewton to explore approaches to instruction in math and accounting. CTL continues to be located within the Subotnick Financial Services Center on the ground floor of the Library Building.
Professor Myung-Soo Lee is developing a framework to assist us in our shared goal of developing a global mindset, identity, and reputation for Baruch College. Baruch was very well represented in the WC2 forum in London this summer, and we continue to focus on expanding partnerships in our target countries of Brazil, China, and Turkey. I also will be asking departments to look at their undergraduate curricula for ways that will enable us to meet our goal of 15 percent of Baruch students engaged in a study abroad experience. In some cases this may involve taking a fresh look at the January term, with faculty-led international experiences.
The search committee for the next dean of the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences is already hard at work. This committee hopes to conduct first-round interviews principally in October, and invite finalists to Baruch immediately after Thanksgiving. The quality of our arts and sciences faculty and programs is why this position is attracting interest, but we will need the campus community to convey to finalists that there is a wonderful opportunity at Baruch for an academic leader. Arthur Downing is chairing the search committee.
Mae West is quoted as saying “You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” We all know that higher education continues to face challenges, and we will face them together. So, let’s “do it right,” and support one another in our work.
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs