The New York State Board of Regents has approved amendments to the Master Plan of The City College of New York (CCNY) to enable the College to offer Ph.D. and M.Phil. degrees in five engineering disciplines through The Grove School of Engineering. In addition, the College will now award these degrees in four science disciplines jointly with the CUNY Graduate Center. The changes, which were adopted by the CUNY Board of Trustees in February, are effective September 1.
“The significance of these changes, which will allow us to become a Ph.D.-granting institution, cannot be underestimated,” said CCNY President Dr. Gregory H. Williams in making the announcement. “They will positively impact everything from recruiting and retaining outstanding students and first-class faculty to obtaining external support for our growing research activities.
“We commend CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein and the CUNY Board of Trustees for their vision in recognizing the benefits these changes represent for both The City College and CUNY.”
The changes coincide with the beginning of construction of two new science research buildings on CCNY’s South Campus. “These developments present an exciting opportunity to transform The City College of New York from a master’s institution to a doctoral institution,” said Dr. Zeev Dagan, CCNY Senior Vice President and Provost. “Being classified as a PhD-granting institution will bring us greater visibility and more recognition.”
CCNY has offered doctoral education in engineering since 1963 under the auspices of the CUNY Graduate Center. This was in keeping with The Graduate Center’s consortia model, which enables faculty from across CUNY campuses to participate in doctoral education programs.
Because City College is the only CUNY college that offers engineering, all doctoral education in engineering has been conducted here. CCNY has provided all faculty and facilities for the program, including office space, computing equipment, scientific equipment and research laboratories. But CCNY was not recognized as a Ph.D.-granting institution, and most college guides do not list the CUNY Graduate Center since it does not offer undergraduate programs, Provost Dagan noted.
The Grove School of Engineering at CCNY will grant Ph.D.’s in biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, civil engineering, electrical engineering and mechanical engineering. New students in the doctoral programs will now register for their classes at The City College instead of the CUNY Graduate Center. There are currently 202 candidates for Ph.D.’s in engineering at CCNY.
In addition, the Division of Science of CCNY’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences will now grant Ph.D.’s jointly with the CUNY Graduate Center in biology, biochemistry, chemistry and physics. The 136 Ph.D. candidates studying at CCNY will continue to register for their courses at the Graduate Center.
The organizational restructuring of the doctoral programs in the sciences was recommended by an external advisory committee of distinguished scientists appointed in 2004 by Chancellor Goldstein. The committee’s report emphasized that greater support for programs at CCNY and Hunter College, which provide most of the doctoral education at CUNY in these fields, was essential to CUNY’s continued excellence in the sciences. Hunter will jointly grant Ph.D.s with the CUNY Graduate Center, as well.
The doctoral programs in the natural sciences will continue to have common faculty from all eight colleges that participate in the Graduate Center consortia. The curricula will continue to be administered through the existing program structure with each program’s executive committee and the Graduate Center’s Graduate Council reviewing changes in curricula and other aspects of the programs.
The restructuring of the science programs is at the forefront of the “Decade of Science” initiative announced by Chancellor Goldstein in 2005. The initiative includes over $1 billion in new laboratory construction and modernization and hiring of new faculty in the sciences.
Among the construction projects are two new science research buildings being developed on CCNY’s South Campus. One will house the CUNY Science Research Center, which will provide facilities for and promote collaboration among CUNY’s top scientists; the other will be a research center for The City College. The combined value of these structures exceeds $500 million. The College is developing a strategic plan for becoming a research-oriented institution when the buildings are completed.
Over the past five years, CCNY has added several dozen new faculty members in the sciences and engineering. The new hires include six new distinguished professors or named chair professors in The Grove School of Engineering hired over the past year, many of whom were recruited from leading research universities. In addition, CCNY’s junior faculty hold 10 National Science Foundation CAREER Awards, the most prestigious grants given by NSF to early career professors.