York Reorganizes For Academic Excellence

In its 43-year history York College had never organized its academic departments into the Schools model as is de rigueur in many other institutions of higher learning. But Dr. Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith, provost and senior vice president of Academic Affairs, recently announced to the college community that the CUNY Board of trustees has approved York’s restructuring.
York Reorganizes For Academic Excellence

President Marcia V. Keizs

"This organization has several main aspects, said Provost Griffith. “[It creates] two new departments of the existing Department of Accounting and Business, the establishment of three Schools and the academic identification of the academic leaders for the Schools."

    The School of Business and Information Systems, which includes the newly-named “Department of Accounting and Finance,” the “Department of Business and Economics,” the [existing] CUNY Aviation Institute and the Information Systems Program, will be under the direction of Dr. Harry Rosen, until recently, a professor of Management in the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College, where he served as department chair for 13 years.

    Dr. Rosen who earned his succession of degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University and Cornell University, respectively, has played leadership roles in several national professional societies and in the accreditation of schools of business. His scholarship has examined important issues such as the impact of payment incentives on professional behavior, the effect of regulation on institutional management, and the application of operations management techniques in healthcare organization.

    Rosen has also examined the effects of patient scheduling options and, along with colleagues, has won “Best Paper in Service Management from the Decision Sciences Institute.

    A nationally recognized scholar in the management of healthcare organizations, Professor Rosen has published numerous articles in scholarly and professional journals and is author of the book, The Consumer and the Health Care System.

    For many years Business has been the most popular major for York students but when Dr. Griffith arrived at York two years ago, he dedicated much of his efforts to boosting its value and prestige. Recruiting from Baruch, which has the premiere business school within CUNY and one of the most popular business schools in public higher education, was essential.

"It’s a wonderful opportunity to benefit from the human capital within CUNY, said Provost Griffith. “Harry has certainly proven himself as utilizing innovative education in business at Baruch and [he] will rally the skills and talent to help pursue excellence in business education at York."

Not one to encourage resting on laurels, Dr. Griffith added that he also looks forward to his team’s continued efforts in York’s growth.

"On balance, I also look forward to the existing leadership in Academic Affairs to continuing to provide able stewardship of our teaching, research and service,” he said. “This (reorganizing) is setting the stage for excellence. It also sets the stage for vital fundraising and for the enhancement of York’s overall image."

    The School of Health and Behavioral Sciences covers the Department of Health and Physical Education, Department of Health Professions, Department of Occupational Therapy, Department of Social Sciences includes the Department of Behavioral Sciences, and the Department of Teacher Education. It will be headed by Dr. Dana Fusco, currently Acting Associate Dean for Professional Programs at York.

Over the [two-year]tenure of her role as dean, Dr. Fusco has supported several new and developing programs, including the Generic Nursing degree, degree in Health Science and a Masters in Business.

A scholar in youth studies, she has directed and produced a documentary (When School Is Not Enough -- a video-documentary of the role of after school programs in New York City), she has published articles on the subject and her current research focuses on developmental opportunities during summertime from the perspective of parents.

Dean Fusco also serves as an advisor to the Department of Youth and Community Development in the development of Core Competencies for Out of School Time (OST). She has been invited to serve on a panel of national researchers in OST to discuss policy implications and set [the] research agenda for the next five years.

The School of Arts and Sciences, coming under the leadership of Dr. Panayiotis Meleties, currently Dean for the Mathematics and Sciences Division, includes the Departments of Biology; Chemistry; Earth and Physical Sciences; English, Foreign Languages; Humanities and ESL; History and Philosophy; Mathematics and Computer Science and Performing and Fine Arts.

    Dr. Meleties also holds the rank of Professor of Chemistry at York and the CUNY Graduate School. A scholar in aromatic and carbohydrate chemistry and the synthesis and study of novel molecular entities with potential biological activity, Dr. Meleties in the three years since he has been at York has brought in more than $3 million in research funding to the College.

In elucidating other reasons for the restructuring, Dr. Griffith, an expert in Caribbean and Inter-American Security; Drugs, Crime and Terrorism issues, who has published extensively in his field, explained that the restructuring also opens the door to opportunities other than the obvious.

"This is architecture for naming opportunities for the Schools, for scholarships and for endowments,” he said. "There will also be a leveraging of alums, business…part of the trajectory."

He further noted that the reorganization is "not an end in itself, but a way of leveraging curricular innovation, "student research and more inter-disciplinary research by faculty."

"What is it that the biologist does and the chemist does, that "art” needs to be part of," he said. "And what is it that we do great that we could do [even] better? We will recognize where we’ve got strengths, but could do better by being stronger."

According to Dr. Griffith, the adoption of the School model, “does not alter the core functions” of the College faculty nor does it change the ways in which departments organize to facilitate the execution of their functions. The “fundamentals of faculty governance and administrative management,” are also likely to remain the same.

"This is a transformative moment for York," said Dr. Marcia V. Keizs, president. "The re-organization of the College into Schools will distinguish us as a competitive institution of higher learning, positioning us for an accelerated march toward excellence in academic outcomes for our students and graduates."

President Keizs added that this latest development at York is an idea whose time has definitely come.

"I am pleased that the Office of Academic Affairs has brought this vision to fruition," said the president. "And it comes even as faculty and student scholarship is on the rise and York’s enrollment is at capacity. I look forward to the success stories born of this endeavor."