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City University of New York

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The City University of New York
Seal of the City University of New York (CUNY).png
MottoLatin: Eruditio populi liberi spes gentium
Motto in English
The education of free people is the hope of humanity[1]
TypePublic university system
Budget$3.0 billion[3]
ChancellorVita C. Rabinowitz (interim)
Academic staff
New York City
New York
Campus24 campuses[6]
CUNY New Logo 2017.jpg

The City University of New York (CUNY /ˈkjuːni/) is the public university system of New York City, and the largest urban university system in the United States. CUNY and the State University of New York (SUNY) are separate and independent university systems, despite the fact that both public institutions receive funding from New York State. CUNY, however, is located in only New York City, while SUNY is located in the entire state, including New York City.

The CUNY was founded in 1847 and comprises 25 institutions: eleven senior colleges, seven community colleges, one undergraduate honors college, and seven post-graduate institutions. The University enrolls more than 275,000 students, and counts thirteen Nobel Prize winners and twenty-four MacArthur Fellows among its alumni.[7]

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • CUNY TV Special: "Landmarks50 at The City University of New York"
  • Grove School of Engineering, City College of New York - Access to Excellence
  • City University of New York: Vita Rabinowitz
  • Study With The Best: The City and CUNY
  • All About Baruch College


>> Architecture is a living, breathing entity that represents a culture and identity of a civilization or people. >> Architecture is a much larger idea, and they're usually buildings that represent us as a society, represent us as a culture. They embody all of the attitudes, values of our society. >> Architecture is part of a thoughtful process, in which decisions are made and explorations occur, both aesthetically and mentally, if you will. >> Architecture is important, because it lifts ordinary buildings and therefore the experiences of everybody to a higher plane. >> TINABETH PINA: 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the New York City Landmarks Law. I'm Tinabeth Piña, and welcome to the celebration "Landmarks50" at the City University of New York. >> OTIS PEARLSALL: Let me tell you a little bit about historic preservation. Once upon a time, 50 years ago there wasn't any in New York City. It did exist throughout the country, in many other places. It was not invented here. It's amazing that we arrived in 1965, before anyone was worried, before anybody achieved a rule, or set of rules, that would preserve future generations, the important, historic and architectural treasures that we then had. >> TINABETH PINA: For the past 50 years the Landmarks Preservation Commission has been protecting New York City's architecturally, historically and culturally significant buildings and sites by granting them landmark or historic district status. >> OTIS PEARLSALL: It was not an idea that we created. It was an idea others had created. Beacon Hill in Boston, Georgetown in DC, Vieux Carré, a famous one, in New Orleans. These were all attempts to preserve future generations a cultural experience of architectural history and history itself. >> HUGH HARDY: I think it's essential for us to know where we came from. It's a measurement in time and it helps reinforce our contemporary values. It helps kids to understand, that the world changes and their challenged, that they look at this place that think, "Well now why don't we do that?" And there are many reasons. I'm not promoting that people live the way people did in the 19th century or some other century, but it helps to see how far removed we are from that time in the same physical place. >> TINABETH PINA: The Landmarks Commission was created in April 1965 by Mayor Robert F. Wagner. Although the desire for such a commission had been present for many years, the destruction of Pennsylvania Station gave the movement the political clout it needed. >> GEORGE RANALLI: Destruction of Pennsylvania Station is a wound that the city has never really recovered from. It was a period in American architectural history, when we were taking everything down that was old. The belief was that new was better. There was a belief that modern meant the destruction of old and this I think as time has gone by proven to be a probably not a very good idea. There are buildings that are substantial. There are buildings that are consequential in our history and our society and it became the function of the Landmarks Preservation Commission to be able to try to evaluate which buildings could be demolished and which buildings needed to be saved. >> TINABETH PINA: The City University of New York owns about 300 buildings. Those buildings combined equal 26 million square feet of space across all five boroughs, all dedicated to the social and intellectual betterment of every New Yorker. Within those millions of square feet are 25 architectural landmarks and sites. As guardians of this rich collection of architecturally distinctive and important buildings we believe they reflect and symbolize New York City's magnificent history, and CUNY is devoted to their preservation. The CUNY Graduate Center is located in the stately, landmarked B. Altman & Company building at 34th Street and Fifth Avenue since 1999. Benjamin Altman bought his first lot on 34th and Fifth in 1896, and the flagship department store designed by Trowbridge & Livingston opened in 1906, catering to the upper crust of New York society. The Fifth Avenue facade is nine bays wide and eight stories tall, faced in limestone, which has been repaired with cast-stone patches. >> HUGH HARDY: It's interesting, isn't it? Because it was not built as a public monument. It was built to make money but it also was an idea about civic virtue - well virtue is too strong a word perhaps, but the civic importance of a major masonry structure on Fifth Avenue at that time had a certain social and historic cache, even though it was brand new. It had something to do with the place and the time and the idea of including in a single structure all the opportunities that a department store represented. And they were invented in America as an idea. >> TINABETH PINA: Upgraded into a state-of-the-art academic facility, the Italian Renaissance palazzo-style classic today provides a distinguished and centrally located campus for the Graduate Center in the heart of midtown Manhattan, while preserving a legendary multifaceted gem of New York City history. Interestingly Benjamin Altman, the store's founder, shared many values espoused by CUNY today. Altman was the first major employer to install restrooms and a subsidized cafeteria for his employees, the first to inaugurate a shorter business day and Saturday closings in the summer, and the first to provide funding for employee education. And the building he commissioned is now a monument to those ideas. >> HUGH HARDY: Those blocks of stone, have you ever looked at the base of this building? The size of those granite blocks is absolutely incredible and the way the columns meet the bases, the profiles, that all classical columns have profiles on their bases. I think the ones here are some of the sexiest I've ever seen. They're really glorious. And of course the canopied entrances which have now been restored are delicious. It holds this corner in ways that nothing else could. If it vanished and some contemporary building were put up you would feel a loss. >> TINABETH PINA: But does architecture matter in education? >> HUGH HARDY: It empowers students, that they feel that they're important if the place they're in is important. They're not second-rate. I mean sitting around in a slum you don't feel empowered, you feel debilitated. And so the character of these buildings can be very affirming. >> TINABETH PINA: The building was, and remains, a powerful presence on the avenue, an eloquent testimony to B. Altman's position as a pioneer in the development of Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. The iconic North Campus at City College, built more than a century ago, is considered one of the finest examples of neo-gothic architecture at any institution in the United States. The site features five landmark structures designed by distinguished American architect, George B. Post, on a scenic campus between Saint Nicholas Terrace and Convent Avenue, stretching from 138th Street to 140th Street in upper Manhattan. Completed in 1907 the campus became the new home for City College, which had outgrown its original facility at 23rd Street and Lexington Avenue. The buildings, as well as four great arches, were constructed as one complete project resulting in a unique harmony and architectural cohesiveness. >> GEORGE RANALLI: All universities were built on the model of Oxford and Cambridge. The medieval concept of a university was something that's been upheld in almost all major American universities. And when the City of New York and Townsend Harris decided to embark on moving the college uptown from 23rd Street, they were part of a trio of universities that were building campuses uptown. Columbia University had already embarked on the Morningside campus, NYU had already built the campus in the Bronx on the Hall of Fame Terrace--both by McKim, Mead & White--and the City of New York held a competition, which McKim, Mead & White were one of five or six firms entered, and George B. Post. They picked I think the best scheme. The Post buildings are exceptional and extraordinary. And it's important because they were looking for buildings that would symbolize the very profound event that was taking place, which is the first public university in an urban center in the United States. The symbolism was terribly important and the buildings in their rugged roughness certainly correspond to the rugged roughness of the New Yorkers who came to go to school here, and the profound education that was provided by the City University of New York. Buildings eventually carry the history. They carry it in their facades, they're carried in the excellence, and they embody the greatness of the institution, the authority of the institution, and certainly the philosophy of the institution in the architectural character of the buildings. >> TINABETH PINA: By using Manhattan schist, dark stones pulled from the excavation of the expanding subway line, Post forever connected the City College of New York to the city it serves. >> GEORGE RANALLI: And of course one of the secrets were all the gargoyles that adorn all the buildings. There are dozens and dozens of different gargoyles on all--each of the buildings, each one different, each one slightly different to the next. >> TINABETH PINA: City College's newest architectural marvel, the CUNY Advanced Science Research Center, also hopes to one day become a future landmark through it's innovative architectural design bridging CCNY's architectural past to it's future. The University Heights campus of Bronx Community College, a nineteenth-century gem, is the first community college campus to be named a national historic landmark. Announcing the designation on October 17th, 2012, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar called the original buildings a nationally significant example of beaux-arts architecture in the United States and among the most important works by Stanford White. The Hall is one of three buildings that provides a panoramic view of the Harlem River and the college is hugely important to the community. >> MICHAEL J. MILLER: We're in an urban area that has a population that has various challenges, if you will. So a lot of people talk about BCC campus as a sanctuary, if you will, a place where people can find space and time to think where they might not be able to, especially as nontraditional students. They have children or a dense family situation at home so they really can come here separately and do study and academic pursuits like they wouldn't be able to otherwise. >> TINABETH PINA: The buildings that would eventually become Bronx Community College were originally built as NYU's suburban campus. >> SAM WHITE: This is not just one building. This is the kind of skeletal backbone and ribs of an entire college campus and MacCracken, who was the Chancellor of NYU at the time that this building was commissioned, had multiple agendas. The Gould Memorial Library is the foreground element in a campus. It is the, both physically and visually as well as symbolically, the element that holds the entire campus plan together. And that is why inside the building, even though I think it was designed only for 110 seats which is a relatively small capacity for a reading room in the library, the level of finish is so extraordinarily high because it had to kind of carry that symbolic weight for the entire university. This was the center of the University. In terms of the architecture, the building is based on the Pantheon in Rome, a domed spherical plan, but what White was interested in was very much not what McKim was interested in. Charles McKim, when he was doing Columbia University at the same time, was quite interested in this Pantheon form as sort of bulk and mass and volume, and what White is interested in in this building is the Pantheon as a kind of an opportunity to deal with the surface, to use this wonderfully multi-colored iron-spot brick--this Roman brick, long thin bricks--to create this sort of incredible texture on the cornices and the roof line from the copper shapes, and then to have this combination of the Greek and Roman and Renaissance elements that are sort of assembled into this collage of representing the achievements and two thousand years of Western civilization. So this is--White was really swinging for the fences on this building and I'd say he cleared them pretty well. >> LISA EASTON: I just think it's a must-see by every architecture student in the United States. It's a fantastic structure that is unique in the way that it unfolds and it represents on the outside the very classical, rigid, more rigid formal structure but the inside is a jewel box. It's a jewel box designed by great artisans and artists the day, and what I love about it and appreciate and would love to share with everyone is the fact that the entire interior, planned by Stanford White, was executed by Tiffany & Company and most people associate glass and jewelry with Tiffany and they're unaware that all of it--mosaics, book stacks, gilding--was all done by the Tiffany studio. And the fact that it's still there today is, it's amazing and we are so very fortunate that no one has come along and modified or renovated that interior. >> SAM WHITE: You come in the front door and you're immediately compressed into this narrow, actually relatively steep, staircase and you get to the top and what's pulling you to the top is that door that's at the very top. And when you go through the door you experience this incredible release of compression, which is the sort of symbol, or signifies that you've arrived. And this is really related to Stanford White's interest in processional architecture and this sort of sequence of compression and release that make movement an essential part of really reading and understanding his buildings. >> TINABETH PINA: The Gould Memorial Library currently lacks the minimum number of exits necessary to operate as it was intended. And so CUNY continues the tradition of inspiring architecture by hiring Robert A.M. Stern to create a functioning library for the students of Bronx Community College. >> MICHAEL J. MILLER: What I hear the other faculty on this campus saying about this new building is that the students seem to be walking taller. They are happy to be, especially, in this facility. If you come here during club hours every week it's crazy busy. >> ROBERT A.M. STERN: Well I'm happy to hear that students walk a little taller in the library because it is a noble space. It is based on human proportions and the celebration of human proportions. It has light streaming in from above. You have prices of privacy but you also can work in a kind of collective environment, which the great libraries of the past have always been, from the Laurentian library of Michelangelo forward probably back to the library in Alexandria, I have no idea. And it's a wonderful place to learn. >> TINABETH PINA: Sometimes a simple building is important for what's happened there. Louis Armstrong lived for nearly three decades in the modest, brick-faced Corona, Queens home that today is the Louis Armstrong House Museum. >> DAVID REESE: He grows up in great poverty. The idea of owning a house and being stable is new to Louis. He's used to life on the road. >> TINABETH PINA: But Armstrong's wife Lucille, a Queens native, wanted a home and she bought one in the Corona neighborhood where she grew up. >> DAVID REESE: Louis is still on the road. He hasn't even seen the place. He comes back from the road, lands in Manhattan, takes a cab out here to Corona. It stops at the bottom of the steps and Louis says to the cab driver-- >> WYCLIFFE GORDON: "Park in front of the house," because if he didn't like it he was going to go back and stay in the hotel. >> DAVID REESE: "You got the wrong place. This is too fancy for me. Quit kidding around." And the driver said, "No, I have a telegram from your wife. This is the right address." Louis said, "Nah, take me to the real place." They have an argument, Lucille hears it, it's late at night, she comes down the stairs, opens the front door and sees her new husband arguing with a cabbie and she calls out, "Louis, come inside. You're home." >> TINABETH PINA: The house was designed by Corona native, architect R.W. Johnson, and built by Thomas Daly in 1910. This three-story home was originally a two-family, two-story frame structure. The house retains its original bracketed cornice and frieze. The original projecting bay at the front of the house is concealed by a first-story addition pierced at the front and sides by double-hung windows, which are topped by faux keystone treatments. The appearance of the house today is essentially the same as when the Armstrong's lived there. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1977, six years after Armstrong's death. The Landmarks Preservation Commission designated the house as a New York City landmark in 1988, due to its connection to the "foremost genius of American Jazz." The Museum holds troves of Armstrong memorabilia, from photographs and letters, to his trumpet and recordings. >> WYCLIFFE GORDON: And when you go into the house you feel the warmth and love in that house. All of the things are still there and just to be in that room where he sat, where he talked, where he wrote, you know, where he would listen, and sometimes practice. It's just amazing and I think that everyone should go there and visit that house. It's just, you know, it's beautiful. The essence of the house is there. The essence of Louis Armstrong is still there. >> TINABETH PINA: The Landmarks Preservation Commission finds that the Louis Armstrong House has a special historical interest and value as part of the development, heritage, and cultural characteristics of New York City. Partnered with Queens College, Armstrong House is open to the public for events, school tours, research, and simple homage to Satchmo's life. The museum is an incomparable contribution to American culture. The dignified, landmarked, Georgian-style double townhouse, now the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College, was the Manhattan home of FDR and his wife Eleanor from its completion in 1908. >> BLANCHE WIESEN COOKE: It's two houses, 47-49 East 65th Street, that Sara Delano Roosevelt had built for her son, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and his new wife, Eleanor Roosevelt. And they lived in it together. Sara Delano Roosevelt at 49, FDR and ER at 47. The bad part of it, from Eleanor Roosevelt's point of view, is that there were sliding doors and Sara Delano Roosevelt could walk into their rooms at any time, day or night, whenever she wanted to. Eleanor Roosevelt did not love Roosevelt House and did not choose really to live there very much. >> TINABETH PINA: Architecturally, the five-story double residence is well conceived. It's built of brick laid up in Flemish bond with limestone used at the basement and first floor and as trim at the upper stories. A handsome stone cartouche is set in the center of the brick wall between the third and fourth floors. >> BLANCHE WIESEN COOKE: FDR and Eleanor Roosevelt decided to sell it and it was on sale during the war. It was really not going to be an easy sell and the President of Hunter College, George Shuster, had the great idea to make Roosevelt House an interfaith center for Hunter College. And it became the great community center for interfaith activities, plus political activities, for Hunter College. >> TINABETH PINA: In 1942 a group of citizens raised funds to purchase the brick townhouse and gave it to Hunter College for use as a social and interfaith center, an act that so pleased President Roosevelt that he furnished its library and donated books for it. >> BLANCHE WIESEN COOKE: Roosevelt House, for me, was a great meeting place. Eleanor Roosevelt would come and inspire generations of students. When I was president of the student government in 1961 she came in and she inspired us when she said, "Go South for freedom," and we took two buses and went to North Carolina to sit in. So one of the things that really excites me about Roosevelt House today is the way the past and the present and the future merge. So we have Sara Delano Roosevelt creating this beautiful, splendid environment. And then we have the legacy of Roosevelt House in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Eleanor Roosevelt's work for the dignity of all, and Julius C.C. Edelstein, who worked with the Roosevelt's, who was part of the Roosevelt administration, and his motto, "It's better for everybody when it's better for everybody," and so we have open enrollment, and the SEEK program, the commitment to educate the future, the commitment for excellence, and it's all--there it all is in Roosevelt House, in one incredible building with this great legacy. >> TINABETH PINA: The double townhouse was designated a city landmark within the Upper East Side Historic District in 1973 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. Today, after an extensive renovation by the University, the landmark has been restored and modernized to serve as an educational center and public policy hub for the 21st Century. As CUNY builds its legacy, architectural sites such as the Graduate Center, the iconic Neo-Gothic North Campus of City College, the Gould Memorial Library at Bronx Community College, the Louis Armstrong House, and the Roosevelt House join a growing portfolio of inspirational new structures by prominent architects that support the educational needs of the City of New York. Thanks for watching. I'm Tinabeth Piña. ♪ [theme music] ♪


Enrollment and demographics

CUNY is the third-largest university system in the United States, in terms of enrollment, behind the State University of New York (SUNY), and the California State University system. More than 274,000-degree-credit students, continuing, and professional education students are enrolled at campuses located in all five New York City boroughs.

The university has one of the most diverse student bodies in the United States, with students hailing from 208 countries, but mostly from New York City. The black, white and Hispanic undergraduate populations each comprise more than a quarter of the student body, and Asian undergraduates make up 18 percent. Fifty-eight percent are female, and 28 percent are 25 or older.[8]

Component institutions

The following table is 'sortable'; click on a column heading to re-sort the table by values of that column.

CUNY Component Institutions
Est. Type Name
1847 Senior College City College
1870 Senior College Hunter College
1919 Senior College Baruch College
1930 Senior College Brooklyn College
1937 Senior College Queens College
1946 Senior College New York City College of Technology
1964 Senior College John Jay College of Criminal Justice
1966 Senior College York College
1968 Senior College Lehman College
1970 Senior College Medgar Evers College
1976 Senior College College of Staten Island
2005 Honors College William E. Macaulay Honors College
1957 Community College Bronx Community College
1958 Community College Queensborough Community College
1963 Community College Borough of Manhattan Community College
1963 Community College Kingsborough Community College
1968 Community College LaGuardia Community College
1970 Community College Hostos Community College
2011 Community College Guttman Community College
1961 Graduate / professional CUNY Graduate Center
1973 Graduate / professional CUNY School of Medicine
1983 Graduate / professional CUNY School of Law
2006 Graduate / professional CUNY Graduate School of Journalism
2006 Graduate / professional CUNY School of Professional Studies
2008 Graduate / professional CUNY School of Public Health


CUNY employs 6,700 full-time faculty members and over 10,000 adjunct faculty members.[9][10] Faculty and staff are represented by the Professional Staff Congress (PSC), a labor union and chapter of the American Federation of Teachers.[11]

Notable faculty



CUNY was created in 1961, by New York State legislation, signed into law by Governor Nelson Rockefeller. The legislation integrated existing institutions and a new graduate school into a coordinated system of higher education for the city, under the control of the "Board of Higher Education of the City of New York", which had been created by New York State legislation in 1926. By 1979, the Board of Higher Education had become the "Board of Trustees of the CUNY".[16]

The institutions that were merged in order to create CUNY were:[16]

Accessible education

CUNY has served a diverse student body, especially those excluded from or unable to afford private universities. Its four-year colleges offered a high quality, tuition-free education to the poor, the working class and the immigrants of New York City who met the grade requirements for matriculated status. During the post-World War I era, when some Ivy League universities, such as Yale University, discriminated against Jews, many Jewish academics and intellectuals studied and taught at CUNY.[17] The City College of New York developed a reputation of being "the Harvard of the proletariat."[18]

As New York City's population—and public college enrollment—grew during the early 20th century and the city struggled for resources, the municipal colleges slowly began adopting selective tuition, also known as instructional fees, for a handful of courses and programs. During the Great Depression, with funding for the public colleges severely constrained, limits were imposed on the size of the colleges' free Day Session, and tuition was imposed upon students deemed "competent" but not academically qualified for the day program. Most of these "limited matriculation" students enrolled in the Evening Session, and paid tuition.[19] Additionally, as the population of New York grew, CUNY was not able to accommodate the demand for higher education. Higher and higher requirements for admission were imposed; in 1965, a student seeking admission to CCNY needed an average of 92, or A-.[20] This helped to ensure that the student population of CUNY remained largely white and middle-class.[20]

Demand in the United States for higher education rapidly grew after World War II, and during the mid-1940s a movement began to create community colleges to provide accessible education and training. In New York City, however, the community-college movement was constrained by many factors including "financial problems, narrow perceptions of responsibility, organizational weaknesses, adverse political factors, and another competing priorities."[21]

Community colleges would have drawn from the same city coffers that were funding the senior colleges, and city higher education officials were of the view that the state should finance them. It wasn't until 1955, under a shared-funding arrangement with New York State, that New York City established its first community college, on Staten Island. Unlike the day college students attending the city's public baccalaureate colleges for free, the community college students had to pay tuition fees under the state-city funding formula. Community college students paid tuition fees for approximately 10 years.[21]

Over time, tuition fees for limited-matriculated students became an important source of system revenues. In fall 1957, for example, nearly 36,000 attended Hunter, Brooklyn, Queens and City Colleges for free, but another 24,000 paid tuition fees of up to $300 a year – the equivalent of $2,413 in 2011.[22] Undergraduate tuition and other student fees in 1957 comprised 17 percent of the colleges' $46.8 million in revenues, about $7.74 million — a figure equivalent to $62.4 million in 2011 buying power.[23]

Three community colleges had been established by early 1961, when New York City's public colleges were codified by the state as a single university with a chancellor at the helm and an infusion of state funds. But the city's slowness in creating the community colleges as demand for college seats was intensifying, had resulted in mounting frustration, particularly on the part of minorities, that college opportunities were not available to them.

In 1964, as New York City's Board of Higher Education moved to take full responsibility for the community colleges, city officials extended the senior colleges' free tuition policy to them, a change that was included by Mayor Robert Wagner in his budget plans and took effect with the 1964–65 academic year.[24]

Calls for greater access to public higher education from the Black and Puerto Rican communities in New York, especially in Brooklyn, led to the founding of "Community College Number 7," later Medgar Evers College, in 1966-1967.[20] In 1969, a group of Black and Puerto Rican students occupied City College demanding the racial integration of CUNY, which at the time had an overwhelmingly white student body.[21]

Student protests

Students at some campuses became increasingly frustrated with the university's and Board of Higher Education's handling of university administration. At Baruch College in 1967, over a thousand students protested the plan to make the college an upper-division school limited to junior, senior, and graduate students.[25] At Brooklyn College in 1968, students attempted a sit-in to demand the admission of more black and Puerto Rican students and additional black studies curriculum.[26] Students at Hunter College also demanded a Black studies program.[27] Members of the SEEK program, which provided academic support for underprepared and underprivileged students, staged a building takeover at Queens College in 1969 to protest the decisions of the program's director, who would later be replaced by a black professor.[28][29] Puerto Rican students at Bronx Community College filed a report with the New York State Division of Human Rights in 1970, contending that the intellectual level of the college was inferior and discriminatory.[30] Hunter College was crippled for several days by a protest of 2,000 students who had a list of demands focusing on more student representation in college administration.[31] Across CUNY, students boycotted their campuses in 1970 to protest a rise in student fees and other issues, including the proposed (and later implemented) open admissions plan.[32]

Like many college campuses in 1970, CUNY faced a number of protests and demonstrations after the Kent State shootings and Cambodian Campaign. The Administrative Council of the City University of New York sent U.S. President Richard Nixon a telegram in 1970 stating, "No nation can long endure the alienation of the best of its young people."[33] Some colleges, including John Jay College of Criminal Justice, historically the "college for cops," held teach-ins in addition to student and faculty protests.[34]

Open admissions

Under pressure from community activists and CUNY Chancellor Albert Bowker, the Board of Higher Education (BHE) approved an Open Admissions plan in 1966, but it was not scheduled to be fully implemented until 1975.[20] However, in 1969, students and faculty across CUNY participated in rallies, student strikes, and class boycotts demanding an end to CUNY's restrictive admissions policies. CUNY administrators and Mayor John Lindsay expressed support for these demands, and the BHE voted to implement the plan immediately in the fall of 1970.[20]

The doors to CUNY were opened wide to all those demanding entrance, assuring all high school graduates entrance to the university without having to fulfill traditional requirements such as exams or grades. This policy was known as open admissions and nearly doubled the number of students enrolling in the CUNY system to 35,000 (compared to 20,000 the year before). With greater numbers came more diversity: Black and Hispanic student enrollment increased threefold.[35] Remedial education, to supplement the training of under-prepared students, became a significant part of CUNY's offerings.[36]

Additionally, ethnic and Black Studies programs and centers were instituted on many CUNY campuses, contributing to the growth of similar programs nationwide.[20]

However, retention of students in CUNY during this period was low, with two-thirds of students enrolled in the early 1970s leaving within four years without graduating.[20]

Financial crisis of 1976

In fall 1976, during New York City's fiscal crisis, the free tuition policy was discontinued under pressure from the federal government, the financial community that had a role in rescuing the city from bankruptcy, and New York State, which would take over the funding of CUNY's senior colleges.[37] Tuition, which had been in place in the State University of New York system since 1963, was instituted at all CUNY colleges.[38][39]

Meanwhile, CUNY students were added to the state's need-based Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), which had been created to help private colleges.[40] Full-time students who met the income eligibility criteria were permitted to receive TAP, ensuring for the first time that financial hardship would deprive no CUNY student of a college education.[40] Within a few years, the federal government would create its own need-based program, known as Pell Grants, providing the neediest students with a tuition-free college education. By 2011, nearly six of ten full- time undergraduates qualified for a tuition-free education at CUNY due in large measure to state, federal and CUNY financial aid programs.[41] CUNY's enrollment dipped after tuition was re-established, and there were further enrollment declines through the 1980s and into the 1990s.[citation needed]

Financial crisis of 1995

In 1995, CUNY suffered another fiscal crisis when Governor George Pataki proposed a drastic cut in state financing.[42] Faculty cancelled classes and students staged protests. By May, CUNY adopted deep cuts to college budgets and class offerings.[43] By June, in order to save money spent on remedial programs, CUNY adopted a stricter admissions policy for its senior colleges: students deemed unprepared for college would not be admitted, this a departure from the 1970 Open Admissions program.[44] That year's final state budget cut funding by $102 million, which CUNY absorbed by increasing tuition by $750 and offering a retirement incentive plan for faculty.

In 1999, a task force appointed by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani issued a report that described CUNY as "an institution adrift" and called for an improved, more cohesive university structure and management, as well as more consistent academic standards. Following the report, Matthew Goldstein, a mathematician and City College graduate who had led CUNY's Baruch College and briefly, Adelphi University, was appointed chancellor. CUNY ended its policy of open admissions to its four-year colleges, raised its admissions standards at its most selective four-year colleges (Baruch, Brooklyn, City, Hunter and Queens), and required new-enrollees who needed remediation, to begin their studies at a CUNY open-admissions community college.[45]

2010 onwards

CUNY's enrollment of degree-credit students reached 220,727 in 2005 and 262,321 in 2010 as the university broadened its academic offerings.[46] The university added more than 2,000 full-time faculty positions, opened new schools and programs, and expanded the university's fundraising efforts to help pay for them.[45] Fundraising increased from $35 million in 2000 to more than $200 million in 2012.[47]

As of Autumn 2013, all CUNY undergraduates are required to take an administration-dictated common core of courses which have been claimed to meet specific "learning outcomes" or standards. Since the courses are accepted University wide, the administration claims it will be easier for students to transfer course credits between CUNY colleges. It also reduced the number of core courses some CUNY colleges had required, to a level below national norms, particularly in the sciences.[48][49] The program is the target of several lawsuits by students and faculty, and was the subject of a "no confidence" vote by the faculty, who rejected it by an overwhelming 92% margin.[50]

Chancellor Goldstein retired on July 1, 2013, and was replaced on June 1, 2014 by James Milliken, president of the University of Nebraska, and a graduate of University of Nebraska and New York University Law School.[51] Milliken is retiring at the end of the 2017-18 academic year and a search for a replacement was underway as of February 2018.[52]

Management structure

Seal of the CUNY Board of Trustees
Seal of the CUNY Board of Trustees

The forerunner of today's City University of New York was governed by the Board of Education of New York City. Members of the Board of Education, chaired by the President of the board, served as ex officio trustees. For the next four decades, the board members continued to serve as ex officio trustees of the College of the City of New York and the city's other municipal college, the Normal College of the City of New York.

In 1900, the New York State Legislature created separate boards of trustees for the College of the City of New York and the Normal College, which became Hunter College in 1914. In 1926, the Legislature established the Board of Higher Education of the City of New York, which assumed supervision of both municipal colleges.

In 1961, the New York State Legislature established the City University of New York, uniting what had become seven municipal colleges at the time: the City College of New York, Hunter College, Brooklyn College, Queens College, Staten Island Community College, Bronx Community College and Queensborough Community College. In 1979, the CUNY Financing and Governance Act was adopted by the State and the Board of Higher Education became the City University of New York Board of Trustees.

Today, the City University is governed by the Board of Trustees composed of 17 members, ten of whom are appointed by the Governor of New York "with the advice and consent of the senate," and five by the Mayor of New York City "with the advice and consent of the senate." The final two trustees are ex officio members. One is the chair of the university's student senate, and the other is non-voting and is the chair of the university's faculty senate. Both the mayoral and gubernatorial appointments to the CUNY Board are required to include at least one resident of each of New York City's five boroughs. Trustees serve seven-year terms, which are renewable for another seven years. The Chancellor is elected by the Board of Trustees, and is the "chief educational and administrative officer" of the City University.

The administrative offices are in Midtown Manhattan.[53]

Chairs of the board

  • 1847 Townsend Harris
  • 1848 Robert Kelly
  • 1850 Erastus C. Benedict
  • 1855 William H. Neilson
  • 1856 Andrew H. Green
  • 1858 William H. Neilson
  • 1859 Richard Warren
  • 1860 William E. Curtis
  • 1864 James M. McLean
  • 1868 Richard L. Larremore
  • 1870 Bernard Smyth
  • 1873 Josiah Gilbert Holland
  • 1874 William H. Neilson
  • 1876 William Wood
  • 1880 Stephen A. Walker
  • 1886 J. Edward Simmons
  • 1890 John L.N. Hunt
  • 1893 Adolph Sanger
  • 1894 Charles H. Knox
  • 1895 Robert Maclay (merchant)
  • 1897 Charles Bulkley Hubbell
  • 1899 J. Edward Swanstrom / Joseph J. Little
  • 1901 Miles M. O'Brien
  • 1902 Edward Lauterback / Charles C. Burlingham
  • 1903 Henry A. Rogers
  • 1904 Edward M. Shepard
  • 1905 Henry N. Tifft
  • 1906 Egerton L. Winthrop, Jr.
  • 1911 Theodore F. Miller
  • 1913 Frederick P. Bellamy / Thomas Winston Churchill
  • 1914 Charles Edward Lydecker
  • 1915 Paul Fuller
  • 1916 George McAneny / Edward J. McGuire
  • 1919 William G. Willcox
  • 1921 Thomas Winston Churchill
  • 1923 Edward Swann / Edward C. McParlan
  • 1924 Harry P. Swift
  • 1926 Moses J. Strook
  • 1931 Charles H. Tuttle
  • 1932 Mark Eisner
  • 1938 Ordway Tead
  • 1953 Joseph Cavallaro
  • 1957 Gustave G. Rosenberg
  • 1966 Porter R. Chandler
  • 1971 Luis Quero-Chiesa
  • 1974 Alfred A. Giardino
  • 1976 Harold M. Jacobs
  • 1980 James Murphy
  • 1997 Ann Paolucci
  • 1999 Herman Badillo
  • 2001 Benno C. Schmidt Jr.
  • 2016 Bill Thompson

Public Safety Department

CUNY has its own public safety force whose duties are to protect and serve all students and faculty members, and enforce all state and city laws at all of CUNY's universities. The force has more than 1000 officers, making it one of the largest public safety forces in New York City.

The Public Safety Department came under heavy criticism, from student groups, after several students protesting tuition increases tried to occupy the lobby of the Baruch College. The occupiers were forcibly removed from the area and several were arrested on November 21, 2011.[54]

City University Television (CUNY TV)

CUNY also has a broadcast TV service, CUNY TV (channel 75 on Spectrum, digital HD broadcast channel 25.3), which airs telecourses, classic and foreign films, magazine shows and panel discussions in foreign languages.

City University Film Festival (CUNYFF)

The City University Film Festival is CUNY's official film festival. The festival was founded in 2009 by Hunter College student Daniel Cowen.

Notable alumni

CUNY graduates include 13 Nobel laureates, a Fields Medalist, a U.S. Secretary of State, a Supreme Court Justice, several New York City mayors, members of Congress, state legislators, scientists and artists.[8][55]

CUNY Notable Alumni
The following table is 'sortable'; click on a column heading to re-sort the table by values of that column.
Name Grad. College Notable for
Kenneth Arrow 1940 City American economist and joint winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics
Robert Aumann 1950 City mathematician and winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics
Herman Badillo 1951 City civil rights activist and the first Puerto Rican elected to the U.S. Congress
Arlene Davila 1996 City author and Anthropology and American Studies professor at New York University
Jesse Douglas 1916 City mathematician and winner of one of the first two Fields Medals
Abraham Foxman City national director, Anti-Defamation League
Felix Frankfurter 1902 City U.S. Supreme Court Justice
Andy Grove 1960 City former chairman and CEO, Intel Corporation
Herbert A. Hauptman 1937 City mathematician and winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry
Leonard Kleinrock 1957 City computer scientist, Internet pioneer
Guillermo Linares 1975 City New York City Council member, first Dominican-American City Council member and Commissioner of the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs
Lisa Nakamura 1993 1996 City Director and Professor of the Asian American Studies Program at the Institute of Communication Research at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign
Barnett Newman 1927 City abstract expressionist artist
John O'Keefe City 2014 Nobel laureate in Medicine
Colin Powell 1958 City former Chairman or the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of State
Mario Puzo City novelist, Oscar-winning screenwriter for Best Adapted Screenplay (1972, 1974).
Faith Ringgold 1955 City feminist, writer and artist
A. M. Rosenthal 1949 City former executive editor of The New York Times who championed the publication of the Pentagon Papers; Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist expelled from Poland in 1959 for his reporting on the nation's government and society
Jonas Salk 1934 City developed the first polio vaccine
Daniel Schorr 1939 City Emmy award winning broadcast journalist for CBS-TV and National Public Radio
Elliott Fitch Shepard 1855 City lawyer, banker, and a founder of the New York State Bar Association
Bernard Weinraub City American journalist and playwright
Egemen Bağış Baruch Turkish politician, government minister
Abraham Beame 1928 Baruch Mayor of New York City
Robin Byrd Baruch host of public access program The Robin Byrd Show (dropped out)[56]
Fernando Ferrer Baruch New York City mayoral candidate in 2001 and 2005
Sidney Harman 1939 Baruch founder and executive chairman of Harman Kardon
Marcia A. Karrow Baruch member of New Jersey General Assembly
James Lam 1983 Baruch author, risk management consultant
Ralph Lauren Baruch Chairman and CEO of Polo Ralph Lauren (dropped out)
Dolly Lenz Baruch New York City real estate agent
Dennis Levine Baruch prominent player in the Wall Street insider trading scandals of the mid-1980s
Jennifer Lopez Baruch actress, singer, dancer (dropped out)
Craig A. Stanley Baruch member of New Jersey General Assembly since 1996.[57]
Tarkan Baruch Turkish language singer
Bella Abzug 1942 Hunter feminist; political activist; U.S. Representative, 1971–1977
Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick 1963 Hunter first Hispanic woman named to the New York State Court of Appeals
Robert R. Davila 1965 Hunter President of Gallaudet University and advocate for the rights of the hearing impaired
Ruby Dee 1945 Hunter Emmy-nominated actress and civil rights activist
Martin Garbus 1955 Hunter First amendment attorney
Florence Howe 1950 Hunter founder of women's studies and founder/publisher of the Feminist Press/CUNY
Audre Lorde 1959 Hunter African-American lesbian poet, essayist, educator and activist
Mohamed Mahmoud Ould Mohamedou 1991 Hunter former Foreign Minister of Mauritania and professor of international history at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva.
Soia Mentschikoff 1934 Hunter first woman partner of a major law firm; first woman elected president of the Association of American Law Schools
Thomas J. Murphy, Jr. 1973 Hunter three-term mayor of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1994–2006
Pauli Murray 1933 Hunter first African-American woman named an Episcopal priest; human rights activist; lawyer and co-founder of N.O.W
Edward Thomas Brady John Jay (MA), trial attorney and former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of North Carolina
Jennings Michael Burch John Jay author of the 1984 best-selling memoir They Cage the Animals at Night
Marcos Crespo John Jay (BA), New York State Assemblyman representing district 85[58]
Edward A. Flynn John Jay Chief of the Milwaukee Police Department
Petri Hawkins-Byrd 1989 John Jay Judge Judy bailiff
Henry Lee 1972 John Jay forensic scientist and founder of the Henry C. Lee Institute of Forensic Science
Miguel Martinez John Jay (BS), former member of the New York City Council representing the 10th District in upper Manhattan's Washington Heights, Inwood, and Marble Hill areas until his resignation on July 14, 2009
Eva Norvind John Jay (MA), actor and director
Pauley Perrette John Jay actor best known for her role as Abby Scuito on NCIS
Ronald Rice John Jay New Jersey State Senator
Ariel Rios John Jay undercover special agent for the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), killed in the line of duty
Imette St. Guillen John Jay criminal justice graduate student murdered in February 2006. A scholarship was created in her name
Scott Stringer John Jay Comptroller, former Borough president of Manhattan, and former member of the New York State Assembly
Dorothy Uhnak John Jay (BA), novelist and detective for the New York City Transit Police Department
Bill Baird 1955 Brooklyn reproductive rights activist and co-director of the Pro Choice League
Barbara Levy Boxer 1962 Brooklyn anti-war activist, environmentalist, U.S. Representative, 1982–1993, and U.S. Senator
Shirley Chisholm 1946 Brooklyn first African- American U.S. Congresswoman, 1968–1982. Candidate for U.S. President, 1972
Bruce Chizen 1978 Brooklyn President & CEO, Adobe Systems
Stanley Cohen 1943 Brooklyn biochemist and Nobel laureate (Physiology or Medicine, 1986
Alan M. Dershowitz 1959 Brooklyn Harvard Law School professor and author
Jerry Della Femina 1957 Brooklyn Chairman & CEO, Della Femina, Jeary and Partners
Dan DiDio 1983 Brooklyn American comic book editor and executive for DC Comics
Benjamin Eisenstadt 1954 Brooklyn creator of Sweet'N Low and the founder of Cumberland Packing Corporation
Sandra Feldman 1960 Brooklyn President, American Federation of Teachers
Gata Kamsky 1999 Brooklyn chess grandmaster and former US chess champion
Don Lemon 1996 Brooklyn reporter, CNN
Leonard Lopate 1967 Brooklyn host of the public radio talk show The Leonard Lopate Show, broadcast on WNYC
Frank McCourt 1967 Brooklyn Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Angela's Ashes and 'Tis
Marty Markowitz 1970 Brooklyn former New York State Senator; former Brooklyn Borough President
Paul Mazursky 1951 Brooklyn film director, writer, producer; actor
Jerry Moss 1957 Brooklyn co-founder of A&M Records
Gloria Naylor 1981 Brooklyn novelist; Winner National Book Award
Harvey Pitt 1965 Brooklyn former Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission
Steve Riggio 1974 Brooklyn CEO of Barnes & Noble, Inc.
Steve Schirripa 1980 Brooklyn American actor known for his role as Bobby Baccalieri on the HBO TV series The Sopranos
Timothy Shortell 1992 Brooklyn anti-Christian activist
Jimmy Smits 1980 Brooklyn Emmy Award-winning actor; NYPD Blue and L.A. Law
Benjamin Ward 1960 Brooklyn first black New York City Police Commissioner, 1983–1989
Iris Weinshall 1975 Brooklyn vice chancellor at the City University of New York and a former commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation
Jack B. Weinstein 1943 Brooklyn Senior Judge, United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York
Joy Behar Queens comedian, television personality
Jerry Colonna Queens well-known venture capitalist and entrepreneur coach
Joseph Crowley Queens member of the US House of Representatives
Alan Hevesi Queens former New York State Comptroller, former New York State Assemblyman, former Queens College professor
Cheryl Lehman 1975 Queens Professor of Accounting, Hofstra University
Ruth Madoff Queens wife of Bernard L. Madoff
Helen Marshall Queens Queens Borough President
Donna Orender Queens WNBA president
Jerry Seinfeld Queens actor and comedian
Charles Wang Queens founder of Computer Associates, owner of the New York Islanders
Carl Andrews Medgar Evers New York State Senator
Yvette Clarke Medgar Evers Congresswoman, member of the United States House of Representatives from New York's 11th and 9th congressional districts

See also


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External links

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