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Cream Rises: TC is Number One

In March, Teachers College was named the nation's top graduate school of education in the annual ranking by the editors of U.S.News and World Report, besting Stanford, Harvard and Vanderbilt.

"I'm tremendously proud of all the hard work and wonderful accomplishments that have brought us a stellar reputation, and we are absolutely committed to continuing and enhancing it," said TC President Susan Fuhrman of the ranking, which is based in part on the opinions of experts in the field.

Other factors that contributed to TC's first-place finish: The College topped the list for funded research and awarded nearly 40 percent more doctorates than the next largest program ranked by U.S. News.

A (Mostly) New Look for TC's Senior Staff

TC has made a number of significant changes in its senior staff, the group that works most closely with the College's President, Susan Fuhrman.

In July, Thomas James took up duties as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. James, a noted education historian who is the author of Exile Within: The Schooling of Japanese Americans, 1942--45, was most recently Dean of the School of Education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he increased research funding, helped promote more faculty research based in community and school settings and forged new ties with policymakers at the state and federal levels. He succeeds William Baldwin, who has served as Interim Dean since last fall's departure of Darlyne Bailey.

In June, Harvey Spector became Vice President for Finance and Administration, succeeding Interim VPFA Mort Grusky and permanently replacing Fred Schnur, who left TC last fall. Spector most recently held the top finance job at Fashion Institute of Technology, where he oversaw the restructuring of nearly every administrative service area in the college to improve operating effectiveness, meet changing regulatory requirements and improve service to students and employees. He also managed a construction program that produced three new campus buildings, among them a conference center and 1,200-bed student residence that doubled the school's residential population. A former Director of Management and Budget for the New York City Transit Authority, Spector has made establishing a long-term financial plan and addressing ongoing maintenance issues his immediate priorities.

In July, Judy Chadourne, an experienced development officer who retired in 2003 as Vice President of University Advancement at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), was named TC's Interim Vice President for Development and External Affairs. Chadourne led a $182 million capital campaign at NJIT, a public doctoral granting university with a student body of 8,500, where she also staffed the Board of Overseers. She guided the effort-'"the largest in the institution's history-'"from its initial case statement and selection of leaders to completion at a level well beyond the initial target. TC currently is conducting a national search for a long-term replacement for Joe Brosnan, who left TC this summer to become President of Delaware Valley College in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. Brosnan, who built the current external affairs and development functions at TC, led the College's $150 million capital campaign in 2000 and played key leadership roles in the development of its Financial Priorities, Technology and Intellectual Property Policies and in the planning for the Gottesman Libraries.

And in August, Nancy Streim, an expert on university--public school partnerships, joined TC in the newly created position of Associate Vice President at TC and Special Advisor to the Columbia University Provost. Streim, who played a key role in recent collaborations between the University of Pennsylvania and public schools in Philadelphia, will coordinate TC's activities in the New York City public schools. She is tasked with developing new and more intensive partnerships for the College with the District, local communities and local schools. She'll also coordinate TC's relationship with Columbia involving these public schools and seek external funding for school partnership opportunities.

Scott Fahey continues to serve as Secretary to the College and Assistant to the President, while Janice Robinson remains TC's General Counsel.

The Hidden Value of a High School Diploma

U.S. taxpayers could save as much as $45 billion per year if the federal government were to implement several proven methods for increasing high school graduation rates, according to a study led by Henry Levin, TC's William Heard Kilpatrick Professor of Economics and Education.

If the graduation rate were to increase by even 20 percent, the authors calculate, there would be a significant reduction in costs such as health care and police work, combined with increases in revenue from the likely-to-be-better-employed graduates.

Levin presented the study in April to members of Congress at an event on Capitol Hill hosted by Congressman Charles Rangel, Chairman of the House's Ways and Means Committee.

Identifying five cost-effective strategies already shown to boost high school graduation rates, the authors estimate that the country could save as much as $127,000 per each new graduate added through "successful implementation of the median" of the five interventions.

The study, entitled "The Costs and Benefits of an Excellent Education for America's Children" is the work of Levin; Clive Belfield, Assistant Professor of Economics and Education at Queens College, City University of New York; Peter Muennig, M.D., Assistant Professor at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health; and Cecilia Rouse, Theodore A. Wells '29 Professor of Economics and Public Affairs at Princeton University. Levin recently was elected a member of the National Academy of Education.

"Educational investments to raise the high school graduation rate appear to be doubly beneficial," the authors write. "The quest for greater equity for all young adults would also produce greater efficiency in the use of public resources."

Support for the study was provided to Teachers College by Lilo and Gerry Leeds. To view the full text of the current study, visit

Dawn Duques Joins TC's Board

Dawn Duques has joined TC's Board of Trustees. A former elementary school teacher, Duques has served as the director of a continuing education school and a network of school-age childcare programs. She is currently overseeing the renovation of a family-owned hotel.

Duques is a former member of the TC Advisory Board Council. Currently, she is a Trustee of Mitchell College and a member of the National Council on Education and Human Development at George Washington University.

Duques has an Associate in Arts degree from Mitchell College, a B.A. from George Washington, an M.A. from TC and an Ed.D. from Nova Southeastern University. Her Nova Southeastern dissertation was on the courting and orientation of trustees.

Danielle Mailer Inaugurates Kasser Exhibitions

The Kasser Family Exhibitions space launched its opening reception and exhibit at TC's Gottesman Libraries in February. Made possible by a $250,000 gift from alumna Beth Chadwick Kasser (Ed.M., 1979) and her husband, Michael Kasser, the new gallery space at the College featured "Dreaming in Color," a lively display of dancing female figures by artist Danielle Mailer. The event included the unveiling of a plaque and remarks by Mailer, the Kassers, Gottesman Libraries Director Gary Natriello and TC Board of Trustees Co-Chair Jack Hyland. "Mailer's exuberant work, which fits in so well in our library foyer, has been shown extensively throughout the East Coast and is collected by the Rockefeller Foundation and also by the renowned movie director Milos Forman," noted Hyland.

Equity Symposium to Focus on Courts

TC's Campaign for Educational Equity will hold its third annual symposium on November 12th and 13th at the Cowin Conference Center.

The topic: "Equal Educational Opportunity and the Courts: Reassessing the Impact of Law on School Policy.

Presenters will include Lani Guinier of Harvard Law School, Ted Shaw of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, former Governor Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire and TC's own Professor Jay Heubert. They will reassess the role of law and litigation in promoting equal educational opportunity in light of developments in recent years-'"including the recent Supreme Court decision striking down efforts to promote racial balance in the public schools.

2007 Graduates Urged to Seek "Passionate Engagement"

The 1,902 master's degree candidates and 232 doctoral degree candidates honored at the College's convocation ceremonies in May received a clear message: their degrees are not to be taken lightly.

"It is customary at these times to exhort graduates to pursue their dreams," said TC President Susan Fuhrman in her opening remarks. "At Teachers College, though, I think it's accurate to say that our students leave here as the potential fulfillment of all of our dreams. TC's mission is to help achieve excellence and equity in education, a challenge that has never been more present or relevant than it is right now. And you, our graduates, are the people who, on behalf of all of us, are taking up that challenge for the future."

To underline the point, Fuhrman shared the stories of graduates such as Ziyong Chen, who received his master's from the Department of Curriculum and Teaching, and Alicia Murphy, who received her Ed.M. from the Department of Counseling and Clinical Psychology. Chen had suffered a kidney ailment so severe prior to coming to TC from China that at one point he was bedridden for a period of five years; yet he not only made it to TC, but received top grades and missed only one class during his entire time at the College. Murphy came to TC to work with people "many other people don't really know exist"; she succeeded in connecting with a "quintessentially bad kid" named James at a school in Brooklyn, because she saw past his protective "tough thug rapper" front.

The student speakers at the ceremonies-'"Michael Feyen and Yasmin Helou-'"also focused on the future. "Our degrees will provide us with valuable opportunities, but the value of our education is going to determine what we create with those opportunities," said Feyen, who was receiving his degree in Arts and Humanities. Helou, a candidate for a Master of Education in Supervision in Special Education, invoked writer George Eliot's belief that "it is never too late to be what you might have been."

And the TC Medalists for Distinguished Service-'"Thomas Sobol, TC Professor Emeritus and former New York State Commissioner of Education; physicist Shirley Ann Jackson, President of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and former head of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; and Lee Shulman, President of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching-'"reminded the graduates of their obligation to give back to society, through their academic work and other means.

"The two gravest sins a scholar can perform are plagiarism and fraud," said Shulman. "Plagiarism, when you take someone else's ideas and don't acknowledge or thank them, and fraud, where you pretend you know something you really don't and forget that scholars of the future are going to stand on your shoulders."

Jackson urged students to "think about and to appreciate the personal resources you have, your roots and heritage, your unique experiences and perspectives," because "they make you exceptional, inimitable and, above all, uniquely valuable."

And in an emotionally charged speech that brought graduates to their feet, Sobol spoke of defining moments in his career that were not necessarily characterized by neat resolutions. "Becoming moral, in my view, is the opposite of restraint and detachment," he said. "It requires passionate engagement with other humans, stepping in to all of life's confusion and heartbreak and messiness, and losing one's self in something larger than one's self before the self can be defined.

"You are all on the way to becoming moral in this sense," Sobol continued. "I urge you not to hold back from commitment."

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