Graduate Center, CUNY
|Motto||The Life of the Mind in the Heart of the City|
|Type||Public post-graduate university|
|Budget||$134.7 million (2018)|
|President||Robin L. Garrell|
|Provost||Julia Wrigley (interim)|
570,000 sq ft
|Colors||CUNY Blue and Black|
|Affiliations||City University of New York|
The Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York (The Graduate Center) is a public research institution and post-graduate university in New York City. It is the principal doctoral-granting institution of the City University of New York (CUNY) system. The school is situated in the landmark B. Altman and Company Building at 365 Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, opposite the Empire State Building. The Graduate Center has 4,600 students, 31 doctoral programs, 14 master's programs, and 30 research centers and institutes. A core faculty of approximately 140 is supplemented by over 1,800 additional faculty members drawn from throughout CUNY's eleven senior colleges and New York City's cultural and scientific institutions.
The Graduate Center is classified among "R1: Doctoral Universities – Very High Research Activity". The Graduate Center faculty include recipients of the Nobel Prize, Pulitzer Prize, the National Humanities Medal, the National Medal of Science, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Rockefeller Fellowship, the Schock Prize, the Bancroft Prize, the Wolf Prize, Grammy Awards, the George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism, Guggenheim Fellowships, the New York City Mayor's Award for Excellence in Science and Technology, the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers, and memberships in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences.
In addition to academics, the Graduate Center extends its intellectual and cultural resources to the general public, offering access to a wide range of events, including lectures, symposia, performances, and workshops.
CUNY began offering doctoral education through its Division of Graduate Studies in 1961, and awarded its first two Ph.D.s to Daniel Robinson and Barbara Stern in 1965. Robinson, currently a professor of philosophy at the University of Oxford, received his Ph.D. in psychology, while Stern, late of Rutgers University, received her Ph.D. in English literature.
In 1969, the Division of Graduate Studies formally became the Graduate School and University Center. Mathematician Mina S. Rees served as the institution's first president from 1969 until her retirement in 1972. Rees was succeeded as president of the Graduate Center by environmental psychologist Harold M. Proshansky, who served until his death in 1990. Psychologist Frances Degen Horowitz was appointed president in September, 1991. In 2005, Horowitz was succeeded by the school's provost, Professor of English Literature William P. Kelly.
During Kelly's tenure at the Graduate Center the University saw significant growth in revenue, funding opportunities for students, increased Distinguished Faculty and a general resurgence. This is in accordance with three primary goals articulated in the Graduate Center's strategic plan. The first of these involves enhancing student support. In 2013, 83 dissertation-year fellowships were awarded at a total cost of $1.65 million. The Graduate Center is also developing new programs to advance research prior to the dissertation phase, including archival work. The fiscal stability of the university has enabled the chancellery to increase, on an incremental basis, the value of these fellowships. The packages extended for 2013-14 year increase stipends and reduce teaching requirements. In 2001, the Graduate Center provided 14 million dollars in student support, and, in Fall 2013, 51 million in student support.
On April 23, 2013, the CUNY Board of Trustees announced that President Kelly would serve as interim chancellor for the City University of New York beginning July 1 with the retirement of Chancellor Matthew Goldstein. GC Provost Chase F. Robinson, a historian, was appointed to serve as interim president of the Graduate Center in 2013, and then served as president from July 2014 to December 2018.
Joy Connolly became provost in August 2016 and interim president in December 2018. Julia Wrigley was appointed as interim provost in December 2018. In July 2019, James Muyskens became interim president, as Connolly had been appointed president of the American Council of Learned Societies. On March 30, 2020, Robin L. Garrell, Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Dean of Graduate Division at University of California, Los Angeles, was announced as the next president of The Graduate Center. She assumed office on August 1, 2020.
The Graduate Center's main campus is located in the B. Altman and Company Building at 34th Street and Fifth Avenue in the Midtown Manhattan neighborhood of New York City. The Graduate Center shares the B. Altman Building with the New York Public Library's Science, Industry and Business Library and Oxford University Press. The Graduate Center has occupied its current location since 2000, before which it was housed in Aeolian Hall on West 42nd Street across from the New York Public Library Main Branch.
Mina Rees Library
The Mina Rees Library, named after former Graduate Center president Mina Rees, supports the research, teaching, and learning activities of the Graduate Center by connecting its community with print materials, electronic resources, research assistance and instruction, and expertise about the complexities of scholarly communication. Situated on three floors of the Graduate Center, the library is a hub for discovery, delivery, and digitization, as well as a place for solitary study. The library offers many services, including research consultations, a 24/7 online chat service with reference librarians, and workshops and webinars on using research tools.
The library also serves as a gateway to the collections of other CUNY libraries, the New York Public Library (NYPL), and libraries worldwide. It participates in a CUNY-wide book delivery system and offers an interlibrary loan service to bring materials from outside CUNY to Graduate Center scholars. The main branch of NYPL is just a few blocks up Fifth Avenue, and NYPL's Science, Industry and Business Library is just around the corner inside the B. Altman Building. Graduate Center students and faculty are NYPL's primary academic constituents, with borrowing privileges from NYPL research collections. NYPL's participation in the Manhattan Research Library Initiative (MaRLI) extends borrowing privileges for CUNY Graduate Center students to NYU and Columbia libraries as well.
The Mina Rees Library is a key participant in the Graduate Center's digital initiatives. It supports the digital scholarship of students and faculty, and promotes the understanding, creation, and use of open access literature. Among its special collections is the Activist Women's Voices collection, an oral history project focused on unheralded New York City community-based women activists.
The Graduate Center houses three performance spaces and two art galleries. The Harold M. Proshansky Auditorium, named for the institution's second president, is located on the concourse level and contains 389 seats. The Baisley Powell Elebash Recital Hall, located on the first floor, seats 180. The Martin E. Segal Theatre, also located on the first floor, seats 70.
The ground floor of the Graduate Center houses the Amie and Tony James Gallery, also known as the James Gallery, which is overseen by the Graduate Center's Center for the Humanities. The intention of the James Gallery is to bring scholars and artists into dialog with one another, as well as serve as a site for interdisciplinary research. The James Gallery hosts numerous exhibitions annually, and has hosted solo exhibitions by notable American and international artists such as Alison Knowles and Dor Guez.
|National Program Rankings|
Across the institution's PhD programs, 18% of applicants were offered admission to The Graduate Center in Fall 2016. The latest edition of U.S. News & World Report Best Graduate School Ranking ranked The Graduate Center PhD program in Criminal Justice 15th, its English program 20th, its Sociology PhD program 28th, and its History doctoral program 34th best in the nation. The Graduate Center PhD program in Mathematics was ranked 39th. In the 2016 edition of QS World University Rankings, the Graduate Center's doctoral program in Philosophy was ranked 44th globally. The most recent edition of the Philosophical Gourmet Report ranked The Graduate Center's philosophy program 14th best in the United States and 16th best in English-speaking countries.
Faculty members regularly receive prestigious honors and awards. Some recent examples include the Nobel Prize, Pulitzer Prize, the National Humanities Medal, the National Medal of Science, the Schock Prize, the Bancroft Prize, Grammy Awards, the George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism, Guggenheim Fellowships, the New York City Mayor's Award for Excellence in Science and Technology, the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers, and memberships in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences. Many departments are recognized internationally for their level of scholarship.
Courses in the social sciences, humanities, and mathematics, and courses in the sciences requiring no laboratory work convene at the Graduate Center. Due to the consortial nature of doctoral study at the Graduate Center, courses requiring laboratory work, courses for the clinical doctorates, and courses in business, criminal justice, engineering, and social welfare convene on CUNY college campuses.
The CUNY Graduate Center pioneered the CUNY Academic Commons in 2009 to much praise. The CUNY Academic Commons is an online, academic social network for faculty, staff, and graduate students of the City University of New York (CUNY) system. Designed to foster conversation, collaboration, and connections among the 24 individual colleges that make up the university system, the site, founded in 2009, has quickly grown as a hub for the CUNY community, serving in the process to strengthen a growing group of digital scholars, teachers, and open-source projects at the university. The project has received awards and grants from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Sloan Consortium  and was the winner of the 2013 Digital Humanities Award. It continues to be in the forefront of scholarly social media.
Also affiliated with the institution are four University Center programs: CUNY Baccalaureate for Unique and Interdisciplinary Studies through which undergraduates can earn individualized bachelor's degrees by completing courses at any of the CUNY colleges; the CUNY School of Professional Studies and the associated Joseph S. Murphy Institute for Worker Education and Labor Studies; the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, which offers a master's degree in journalism; and Macaulay Honors College.
The Graduate Center describes itself as "research-intensive," and is classified by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education to be an R1 or have "highest research activity." The Graduate Center's primary library, named after Mina Rees, is located on campus; however, Graduate Center students also have borrowing privileges at the remaining 31 City University of New York libraries, which collectively house 6.2 million printed works and over 300,000 e-books. Beginning in 1968, the Graduate Center maintains a formal collaboration with the New York Public Library that allows faculty and students access to NYPL's extensive research collections, regular library resources, as well as three research study rooms located in the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. Further, as of 2011[update] Graduate Center students have access to the libraries of Columbia University and New York University through the NYPL's Manhattan Research Library Initiative. The Graduate Center library also maintains an online repository called CUNY Academic Works, which hosts open-access faculty and student research.
Advanced Research Collaborative (ARC)
The CUNY Graduate Center's Advanced Research Collaborative (ARC) program conducts research in seven core areas of study:
- Inequality - Research on the structural foundations of increasing inequality across our society and ways to mobilize communities around various alternatives.
- Immigration - Interdisciplinary research on the social, cultural, and political impacts of international migration, with special attention on the role of immigration in New York City and comparative studies on how immigration and ethnic diversity are experienced in different nations.
- Multilingualism - Interdisciplinary research on complex social, cultural, and policy issues raised by multilingualism.
- Digital Initiatives: Research in a broad range of digital projects and digital resources, including data mining and the digital humanities.
- Urban Studies: Critical issues facing large cities around the world and the role played therein by public, nonprofit, and business organizations.
Initiatives and committees
The CUNY Graduate Center does additional work through its initiatives and committees:
- Futures Initiative
- Graduate Center Digital Initiatives
- Initiative for the Theoretical Sciences (ITS)
- Revolutionizing American Studies Initiative
- The Committee for the Study of Religion
- The Committee on Globalization and Social Change
- The Committee for Interdisciplinary Science Studies
- Endangered Language Initiative
- Intellectual Publics
Centers and institutes
With over 30 research institutes and centers the CUNY Graduate Center produces work on a range of social, cultural, scientific and civic issues.
- Advanced Science Research Center
- American Social History Project/Center for Media and Learning
- Barry S. Brook Center for Music Research and Documentation
- Bildner Center for Western Hemisphere Studies
- Center for Jewish Studies
- Center for Advanced Study in Education (CASE)
- Center for Human Environments
- Center for Latin American, Iberian, and Latino Cultures
- Center for Place, Culture and Politics
- Center for the Humanities
- Center for the Study of Culture, Technology and Work
- Center for the Study of Women and Society
- Center for Urban Education Policy
- Center for Urban Research
- Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society
- CLAGS: The Center for LGBTQ Studies
- CIDR: CUNY Institute for Demographic Research
- CUNY Institute for Software Design and Development (CISDD)
- European Union Studies Center
- Gotham Center for New York City History
- Henri Peyre French Institute
- Howard Samuels Center
- Human Ecodynamics Research Center
- Institute for Language Education in Transcultural Context
- Institute for Research on the African Diaspora in the Americas & the Caribbean (IRADAC)
- Latin/Greek Institute
- Leon Levy Center for Biography
- Middle East and Middle Eastern American Center (MEMEAC)
- Martin E. Segal Theatre Center
- Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies
- Research Center for Music Iconography
- Research Institute for the Study of Language in Urban Society (RISLUS)
- Saul Kripke Center
- Stone Center on Socio-Economic Inequality
- Teaching and Learning Center
- The Writers' Institute at The Graduate Center
Stone Center on Socio-Economic Inequality
The James M. and Cathleen D. Stone Center on Socio-Economic Inequality was launched on September 1, 2016. The Stone Center expanded and replaced the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) Center, which opened its doors at the Graduate Center in 2009. The mission of the Stone Center is to build and disseminate knowledge related to the causes, nature, and consequences of multiple forms of socio-economic inequality. The center's associated faculty and students share a commitment to scholarship that is quantitative, data-driven, interdisciplinary, and policy-oriented, and that addresses questions that are cross-nationally comparative and/or global in scope.
Advanced Science Research Center
In the Spring 2017 semester, the Advanced Science Research Center, CUNY's premier scientific research institute, formally joined the Graduate Center. The partnership works to catalyze the sciences across CUNY and New York City alike, enhancing graduate education and the potential for scientific discovery. The ASRC houses five initiatives: Nanoscience, Structural Biology, Neuroscience, Environmental Sciences, and Photonics. The ASRC facility is a 200,000-square-foot, state-of-the art building on the southern edge of City College's campus in Upper Manhattan, which promotes a collaborative, interdisciplinary research culture.
The Graduate Center has graduated 15,000 alumni worldwide, including numerous academics, politicians, artists, and entrepreneurs. As of 2016, the Graduate Center counted five MacArthur Foundation Fellows among its alumni, including writer Maggie Nelson as the most recent recipient. Among alumni graduated between 2003 and 2018, more than two-thirds are employed at educational institutions and over half have remained within New York City or its metro area.
Among the Graduate Center's alumni are leading scholars across numerous disciplines, including art historian and ACT-UP activist Douglas Crimp, political scientist Douglas Hale, anthropologist Faye Ginsburg, sociologist Michael P. Jacobson, historian Maurice Berger, and philosopher Nancy Fraser. The City University of New York has been acknowledged for its exceptional number of faculty and students who have been awarded nationally recognized prizes in poetry. Among this group include student Gregory Pardlo, winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry
The Graduate Center holds a reputation for attracting established scholars to its faculty. In 2001, the Graduate Center initiated a five-year faculty recruitment campaign to hire additional renowned academics and public intellectuals in order to bolster the institution's faculty roster. Those recruited during the drive include André Aciman, Jean Anyon, Mitchell Duneier, Victor Kolyvagin, Robert Reid-Pharr and Saul Kripke.
The Graduate Center utilizes a unique consortium model, which hosts 140 faculty with sole appointments at the Graduate Center, most of whom are senior scholars in their respective disciplines, as well as draws upon 1,800 faculty from across the other CUNY schools to both teach classes and advise graduate students.
Notable faculty members include:
- Writer André Aciman
- Poet Ammiel Alcalay
- Sociologist Stanley Aronowitz
- Political scientist Frances Fox Piven
- Anthropologist Talal Asad
- Biophysicist William Bialek
- Art historian Claire Bishop
- Musicologist Barry S. Brook
- Literary historian Mary Ann Caws
- Composer John Corigliano
- English professor Cathy Davidson
- Spanish professor Paul Julian Smith
- Geographer Ruth Wilson Gilmore
- Economist Michael Grossman (economist)
- Geographer David Harvey
- Historian Ervand Abrahamian
- Historian Dagmar Herzog
- Historian James Oakes
- Historian David Nasaw
- Art historian David Joselit
- Physicist Michio Kaku
- Poet Wayne Koestenbaum
- Mathematician Victor Kolyvagin
- Economist Paul Krugman
- Literary critic Eric Lott
- Economist Branko Milanović
- Social psychologist Stanley Milgram
- Feminist theorist and memoirist Nancy K. Miller
- Literary critic Robert Reid-Pharr
- Literary historian and biographer David S. Reynolds
- Mathematician Dennis Sullivan
- Computer Scientist Robert Haralick
Students at the CUNY Graduate Center have the option of living in Graduate housing, located in East Harlem. The eight story building includes a gym, laundry facilities, lounge and rooftop terrace with views of the Midtown skyline. The Graduate housing was opened in the Fall of 2011 in conjunction with the construction of the Hunter College School of Social Work.
The Doctoral Students' Council is the sole policy-making body representing students in doctoral and master's programs at the Graduate Center.
There are over forty doctoral student organizations ranging from the Middle Eastern Studies Organization and Africana Studies Group to the Prison Studies Group and the Immigration Working Group. These chartered organizations host conferences, publish online magazines, and create social events aimed at fostering a community for CUNY Graduate Center students.
Doctoral students at the Graduate Center also produce a newspaper funded by the DSC and run by a committee of editors from the various doctoral programs. The paper, entitled The GC Advocate, comes out six times per academic year and is free of charge for students, faculty, staff, and visitors.
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