Carnegie Corporation Of New York Announces 2007 Academic Leadership Award


Today, Vartan Gregorian, president of Carnegie Corporation of New York, announced that Matthew Goldstein, Chancellor of The City University of New York, is the latest recipient of the Corporation's Academic Leadership Award. The award recognizes leaders of institutions of higher education who have an abiding commitment to liberal arts and who have initiated and supported curricular innovations, including development of interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary programs that aim to bridge the gulf between the theoretical and the practical. In addition, the award honors leadership that actively supports K-12 school reform, strengthens teacher education and emphasizes community outreach. Goldstein will receive $500,000 to be used for his academic priorities.

“By raising standards, strengthening student preparation, revolutionizing financing and adding new schools to the system, Matthew Goldstein has truly reinvigorated the City University,” said Gregorian. “The Academic Leadership Award celebrates excellence,” he added. “It builds on the foundation's long tradition of developing and recognizing the importance of leadership in American institutions of higher education. Clearly, Matthew Goldstein’s accomplishments prove that excellence in leadership is much more than effective management.”

A number of initiatives underway in the CUNY system demonstrate Goldstein’s effectiveness and reflect the criteria for the award:

  • Commitment to liberal arts is the hallmark of CUNY’s William E. Macaulay Honors College, which offers free tuition and other benefits to the city’s highest achieving students (an enrollment of 1,200) who might otherwise not be able to afford higher education. Established in 2001, it draws on the unique resources of CUNY and New York's cultural, scientific, government, and business communities to provide a broad-based and challenging liberal arts education to gifted students. The college’s freshman class boasts an average SAT score of over 1370 and a high school average of approximately 94 percent. The Honors College has served as an important source of alumni and foundation support, attracting funding of over $59 million. The presence of more high academic achievers has garnered several prestigious awards for the university, both from the Macaulay Honors College and other programs, with students winning Barry Goldwater, Thurgood Marshall and Harry Truman scholarships in 2007, in addition to recent Fulbright and Rhodes scholarships.
  • Curricular innovation characterizes CUNY’s Decade of Science (2005 – 2015). Over $1 billion has been dedicated to new and expanded science facilities throughout the CUNY system as part of this commitment to bridging theoretical research and practical outcomes, ensuring a healthy pipeline to the science, math, technology and engineering fields critical to the evolving global economy. The Teacher Academy was launched in 2006 as part of the New York City Partnership for Teacher Excellence within the New York City Department of Education in support of this highly innovative effort, and incorporates interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary programs to train math and science teachers for high-need New York City schools. Postgraduate education in the sciences is also being upgraded with a university guarantee of five years of full support for qualified doctoral students.
  • Emphasis on school reform and community outreach is evidenced in the strengthening of student preparation and raising of standards throughout the system. Recognizing education as a K-16 continuum, CUNY has formed partnerships with the New York City Department of Education to enhance students’ readiness for, and participation in, higher education. The university has developed a network of 15 high schools housed on its campuses and opened ten early college schools, with four additional schools in the pipeline. The successful College Now program helps 32,000 students annually in over 280 New York City high schools meet high school graduation requirements while preparing for college success. In addition, free adult literacy/GED programs are in place on 14 CUNY campuses. The CUNY system has been tiered, with five of the eleven senior colleges assigned the strictest entry requirements, while six community colleges retain open enrollment for high school graduates and remediation programs. This reorganization effectively provides the full spectrum of educational opportunity for poor, immigrant and middle-class New Yorkers.

“The opening of CUNY’s new Graduate School of Journalism clearly demonstrates Matthew Goldstein’s sense of the university as a cultural and economic force in New York City as well as his understanding of the changing role of media throughout the world,” said Vartan Gregorian. “This new journalism curriculum offers a world-class opportunity to students regardless of financial status, fostering the diverse voices that are the essence of our democracy.” The only graduate school of journalism at a major urban public university in the Northeast, it is led byBusiness Week’s former editor-in-chief, Stephen B. Shepard, also a CUNY alumnus, and is housed in the former midtown Manhattan headquarters of the New York Herald Tribune.

Goldstein is the first alumnus of the university to be appointed chancellor, the highest position within the nation’s largest urban public university. The CUNY system is made up of eleven senior colleges, six community colleges, The Graduate School and University Center, The City University School of Law, The School of Professional Studies, The Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education, The William E. Macaulay Honors College, The Graduate School of Journalism (opened in 2006) and a graduate school of public health in the planning stages. With colleges in all five boroughs of New York City, the university’s mission is to offer students of all backgrounds an opportunity for the highest quality education possible.

Shortly before Goldstein was named chancellor in 1999, an advisory task force issued a report calling the CUNY system “an institution adrift.” But his reform plan, which included converting the loose federation of colleges into a unified system of flagship programs and adding over 1,000 full-time faculty throughout the CUNY system, has turned the university around. As a result, enrollment is at its highest level in 31 years: more than 470,000 students, from 167 countries and speaking 119 languages, now attend CUNY’s degree-credit and continuing education programs.

Goldstein has served on a number of state and national advisory organizations, such as the American Association of State Colleges and the New York State Education Commissioner's Advisory Council on Higher Education. He was a member of the Teaching Commission, a national taskforce established in 2003 to improve the quality of teaching in America’s public schools. The Commission’s final report called for more effective compensation for teachers along with improvements in teacher preparation and certification and greater authority for principals.

The establishment of the Academic Leadership Award in 2005 renews and continues a Carnegie Corporation higher education tradition. In the Carnegie Quarterly of April 1959, published during the presidency of John Gardner, the strength of the Corporation's grants program was described as seeking to be "as responsive as possible to the expressed concerns of college and university leaders" and to "lend itself to the kinds of giving which will strengthen the institution in terms which the president considers necessary." Past recipients are Jared L. Cohon, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Henry S. Bienen, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois; and Don M. Randel, University of Chicago, Illinois. The award will be given annually; the selection process is initiated by the Corporation and does not depend on external nominators or recommendations.

Carnegie Corporation of New York was created by Andrew Carnegie in 1911 to promote "the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding. For over 95 years the Corporation has sought to bring form and substance to Carnegie’s vision of philanthropy. Our efforts build on the two major concerns that Andrew Carnegie devoted himself to: international peace and advancing education and knowledge, which remain great challenges to our nation and the world. As a grantmaking foundation, the Corporation seeks to carry out Carnegie's vision of philanthropy, which he said should aim “to do real and permanent good in this world.” The Corporation's capital fund, originally donated at a value of about $135 million, had a market value of $2.5 billion on September 30, 2006.