President’s Spring 2010 Message

As we start a new year, I have taken the opportunity to reflect on a successful fall semester in which we organized into three schools: Arts and Sciences, Business and Information Systems, and Health and Behavioral Sciences.

To mark this milestone, we were pleased to have national education leader, Dr. Muriel Howard, president of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) as keynote speaker for the official opening ceremony on the theme of “Reorganization, Innovation, Excellence.”

Enrollment of academically well-prepared students is at an all-time high; and an increased number of full-time faculty, has led to ever growing graduation numbers with students prepared for the rigors of graduate school and careers. 

Faculty Scholarship at York continues to be a source of pride.  Several directors and faculty members such as Drs. Emmanuel Chang, Mande Holford, Lawrence Johnson, Beth Rosenthal, Louis Levinger, Andrea Krauss, Ruel Desamero and Gerard McNeil as well as Ms. Dawn Hewitt, director of Research and Sponsored programs and Dr. Panayiotis Meleties, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, have raised the bar on grants to over $5 million received to date.

Collaborative scholarship is also on the rise. For instance, Professor James Popp has accepted a year-long engagement at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (FNAL) in Batavia, IL, to advance the Muon-to-Electron Conversion Experiment (MU2E). According to Dr. Popp, no one else in CUNY is doing this type of research. There are numerous other faculty members pursuing groundbreaking research and bringing in impressive grants to fund their continuation. We will keep you posted as they come to fruition.

Students and faculty have also continued joint research/presentation projects, as was the case at the 2009 American Association of Health Education Case Study Competition, in which three York students (Marie Benjamin, Desmay Holland and Mary Lawhorn) majoring in Community Health Education, presented and placed fourth for their proposal, “Achieving Success through Building Collaboration: Reducing Falls in Wisconsin.” The event was held in Tampa, Florida and the students were accompanied by their York advisor, Dr. Linda Rose Barley. Dr. Timothy Paglione’s student, Nicholas Hunt-Walker, Physics and Mathematics major, received honorable mention in the Chambliss Astronomy Achievement Student Award Competition at the recent national meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Washington, D.C. The recognition is for a poster presentation on his X-ray studies of dwarf galaxies.  The competition, according to Dr. Paglione, includes both graduate and undergraduate students, making the York achievement all the more impressive.

Students of the Aviation Institute continue to soar as well. A trip to Orlando to the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) and Jet Blue’s training center proved fruitful as did their participation in “LeaderShape Institute,” an intensive workshop in White Haven, Pennsylvania, which focused on how to create career visions and lead with integrity. York is the first CUNY College to have participated in the program. And we anticipate another first achievement: this May we will graduate our first full cohort of Aviation Management majors!

On the executive leadership level, York’s expertise is also in demand across state and national borders.

In December, Provost Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith testified before the Congressional Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere on the topic, “New Direction or Old Path: Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI).” Among the experts testifying along with Dr. Griffith was Deputy Secretary Julissa Reynoso, Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs for the U.S. Department of State. Dr. Griffith, who was invited by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, which is based in Washington DC, was well-received for his scholarship by Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), chairman of the committee and other members,  represented York in the outstanding manner for which we are becoming known. And in January, I participated in the NCAA national conference in Atlanta where I joined fellow presidents Mark F. Adams, University of Georgia and Thomas J. Haas, Grand Valley State University, in a discussion on “Perspectives on Inclusion and Diversity in the hiring of Athletic Directors.”

The fifth anniversary of my arrival at York is up-coming in February. This milestone will be marked by the Chancellery’s evaluation of my presidency. The three-part process will include: a self assessment, the utilization of data from four consecutive Performance Management Processes (PMP), and an electronic survey randomly administered. With the contribution of the entire college and the CUNY community, York has grown on many fronts in keeping with our initial strategic planning goals.  In our current economic climate, our fundraising mandate becomes even more critical to our success.  Thus we are building a team to lead the way in this vital arena while we execute plans for our Third Annual Foundation Scholarship Gala, to be held in the Performing Arts Center, on April 19th featuring Grammy Award- winning saxophonist Branford Marsalis.

Finally, Strategic Planning is in full swing at York and I extend appreciation to the many stake holders who participated in the October and December workshops.  This spring we will be ready to launch our new mission, our vision, and our value statements for broader consideration.  For more information on the work of the Strategic Planning Committee, I invite you to visit the website at

Let me close by wishing you a productive, happy, and healthy 2010!