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City University of New York

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Covid-19
Type  Public system
Budget  $3.0 billion
Students  516,000
Established  1847
Chancellor  James B. Milliken
Phone  +1 212-997-2869
City University of New York
Academic staff  6,700 full-time teaching faculty members
Address  217 E 42nd St, New York, NY 10017, USA
Hours  Closed today SundayClosedMonday9AM–5PMTuesday10AM–6PMWednesday10AM–6PMThursday9AM–5PMFridayClosedSaturdayClosed
Subsidiaries  Baruch College, Hunter College
Colleges  Hunter College, City College of New York
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The City University of New York (CUNY; pron.: /ˈkjuːni/) is the public university system of New York City, and the largest urban university in the United States. CUNY and the State University of New York (SUNY) are separate and independent university systems, although both are public institutions that receive funding from New York State. CUNY, however, is additionally funded by the City of New York.

Contents

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 270,000-degree-credit students and 273,000 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. 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.

Component institutions

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

Notable faculty

  • Morton Bard, psychologist
  • William Bialek, biophysicist
  • John Corigliano, composer
  • Allen Ginsberg, poet
  • David Harvey, geographer
  • Michio Kaku, physicist
  • Alfred Kazin, writer and critic
  • Saul Kripke, philosopher
  • Irving Kristol, journalist
  • Paul Krugman, economist
  • Ben Lerner, poet
  • Stanley Milgram, social psychologist
  • Itzhak Perlman, violinist
  • David M. Rosenthal, philosopher
  • Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., historian, social critic
  • Dennis Sullivan, mathematician
  • Elie Wiesel, novelist, political activist, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize (1986)
  • Founding

    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".

    The institutions that were merged in order to create CUNY were:

  • The Free Academy – Founded in 1847 by Townsend Harris, it was fashioned as "a Free Academy for the purpose of extending the benefits of education gratuitously to persons who have been pupils in the common schools of the city and county of New York." The Free Academy later became the City College of New York.
  • The Female Normal and High School – Founded in 1870, and later renamed the Normal College. It would be renamed again in 1914 to Hunter College. During the early 20th century, Hunter College expanded into the Bronx, with what became Herbert Lehman College.
  • Brooklyn College – Founded in 1930.
  • Queens College – Founded in 1937.
  • 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. The City College of New York developed a reputation of being "the Harvard of the proletariat."

    As the 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.

    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."

    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.

    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. 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.

    Three community colleges had been established by early 1961, when the 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 the 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.

    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.

    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. 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. Students at Hunter College also demanded a Black studies program. 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. 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. 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. 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.

    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." Some colleges, including John Jay College of Criminal Justice, historically the "college for cops," held teach-ins in addition to student and faculty protests.

    Open admissions

    In 1969, the Board of Trustees implemented a new admissions policy. 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. Remedial education, to supplement the training of under-prepared students, became a significant part of CUNY's offerings.

    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. Tuition, which had been in place in the State University of New York system since 1963, was instituted at all CUNY colleges.

    Meanwhile, CUNY students were added to the state's need-based Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), which had been created to help private colleges. 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. 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. CUNY's enrollment dipped after tuition was re-established, and there were further enrollment declines through the 1980s and into the 1990s.

    Financial crisis of 1995

    In 1995, CUNY suffered another fiscal crisis when Governor George Pataki proposed a drastic cut in state financing. Faculty cancelled classes and students staged protests. By May, CUNY adopted deep cuts to college budgets and class offerings. 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. 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 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 colleges.

    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. 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. Fundraising increased from $35 million in 2000 to more than $200 million in 2012.

    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. 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.

    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.

    Management structure

    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 mid-town Manhattan.

    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.

    City University Television (CUNY TV)

    CUNY also has a broadcast TV service, CUNY TV (channel 75 on Time Warner cable, 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 (CUFF)

    CUFF 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.

    References

    City University of New York Wikipedia


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