Annual Report 2018

President's Message
Manifesting “A World Not Yet Known”

Thomas Bailey

Open quotesBy building a stronger and more effective Teachers College, we will strengthen our ability to build a stronger and more just world . . . and by truly marshaling our resources to achieve our broader social goals, we will become a stronger and more effective and sustainable institution.Close quotes

Thomas Bailey, 11th President of Teachers College, Columbia University

In December, it was my great honor to be inaugurated as the 11th President of Teachers College. As I said at the ceremony in Riverside Church, which capped a week of festivities, an inauguration isn’t merely the investiture of a new president; it is also an affirmation of higher education’s ideals, and a celebration of the College itself and where we’re headed next.

So, while annual reports typically look back on the year just concluded, this edition reflects the fact that 2018 also ended with a beginning — a wonderful, weeklong outpouring of hope and ideas for how we can better deliver on our mission to help create a more just and equitable society. Nothing could have better exemplified our theme — “The Power of We: Creating Pathways for All to Flourish” — than the way the TC community marshaled its collective talents. From the fantastic performances of our talented Music & Music Education students to the stirring and deeply moving words of our staff representatives, to the spirited exchanges at our faculty symposium, to the heartfelt testimonials from our alumni, Inauguration Week not only showcased TC’s diverse strengths but also demonstrated what’s possible when we work together as a community. 

Then again, abundant talent and enthusiasm, along with an extraordinary commitment to social justice, were on display throughout 2018 at Teachers College. We saw it in the research of faculty members who introduced new paradigms in realms as diverse as psychological resilience, the use of data mining to help school leaders, and the treatment of celiac disease. We saw it in the faces of new graduates who headed off to launch technology start-ups, bring music education to the deaf and hard of hearing, deploy as teachers in public schools across the country, and advise developing nations on crop development. And we saw it in the conclusion of an historic Campaign that raised $345 million, transforming our programs and campus while dramatically increasing scholarship support for our talented students.

Still, as I watched my colleagues during Inauguration Week, I recognized TC’s powerful effect on the hopes, dreams and imaginations of all whose lives it touches. That is why it has grown more imperative that we make the College an ever more powerful and effective force for the future. Or, as my friend and colleague Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz said of TC in the remarkable poem she composed and read aloud in Riverside Church:

You implore us to examine, interrupt, and promote liberation,
watching and waiting for it to manifest in a world not yet known,
a world we long to experience

As we begin a new year, filled with hope for growth and change, we hope this Annual Report conveys the experience of being at the College during Inauguration Week.

If you were on hand with us, please take this opportunity to savor the richness of it again and reflect on the many words and moments that flew by in a rush.

If you missed it, then we hope you’ll feel that you were present nonetheless in our hearts and minds and that as we celebrated our own hopes and dreams, we celebrated yours as well.

That’s the Teachers College we want to be — and that’s “the power of we.”

Tom Bailey Signature

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