Home Home Home About Us Home About Us About Us About Us /links/index.html /links/index.html /links/index.html /advertising/index.html /links/index.html /advertising/index.html /advertising/index.html /advertising/index.html About Us About Us /archives/index.html About Us /archives/index.html About Us /archives/index.html /archives/index.html /subscribe/index.html /archives/index.html /subscribe/index.html /archives/index.html /subscribe/index.html /subscribe/index.html /survey/index.html /subscribe/index.html /survey/index.html /subscribe/index.html /survey/index.html /survey/index.html /survey/index.html /links/index.html /survey/index.html /links/index.html /links/index.html /links/index.html
Home About Us About Us /links/index.html /advertising/index.html /advertising/index.html
About Us /archives/index.html /archives/index.html /subscribe/index.html /subscribe/index.html /survey/index.html /survey/index.html /survey/index.html /links/index.html










Camps & Sports


Children’s Corner

Collected Features


Cover Stories

Distance Learning


Famous Interviews


Medical Update

Metro Beat

Movies & Theater


Music, Art & Dance

Special Education

Spotlight On Schools

Teachers of the Month


















New York City
September 2003

President Ned Regan, Baruch College, New York
by Joan Baum, Ph.D.

There are talkers and there are doers, and some, like Ned Regan, the former Comptroller of the State of New York (1979-1993) excel at both—articulating a vision and acting on it. The irony is that this modest and thoughtful straight shooter, who has been president of Baruch College for the last three years, hardly mentions the obvious—how his long and distinguished career—which includes being elected Erie Country executive, chairing the Municipal Assistance Corporation, serving as trustee of the Financial Accounting Foundation (which oversees national accounting and financial reporting standards), and serving on numerous corporate and non-profit boards recently being appointed to an advisory panel looking into the restructuring of Arthur Andersen—makes him one of the most experienced and informed academic administrators in the country, at the helm of the largest business school (156,000 students), at a time of critical importance to the nation. Troubled, but also challenged, by the cataclysmic events of the last two years—September 11, the dot.com bubble burst, corporate scandal—Regan sees his role as ensuring the value, integrity and promise of a Baruch College degree, undergraduate and graduate. “Ten years from now, it should be even more respected.” To that end he has established a Center for Financial Integrity at the college, and he himself talks to students about corporate governance and responsibility. He uses his extensive contacts in the business community to bring CEOs on campus to discuss the major issues of the day and to get those same CEOs to have their Human Resources departments recruit Baruch students. He also personally speaks with HR directors at major corporations and invites them on campus to debate the issues of the day and to recruit.

The conversation constantly returns to the theme of government service and ethics, and to the great pleasure he has working in an academic institution once again (he was president and a distinguished fellow at the Jerome Levy Economics Institute at Bard College, where, unlike President Botstein, he restricted himself to conducting seminars. A tall, lanky man, with patrician good looks, his craggy face bursts into wide smile when he talks about what he thinks is more important than professional background, namely his “feeling for public service.” He seems delighted, almost surprised, at being where he is and wears the position with refreshing ease, his presidential office being anything but ostentatious. At his own request, it is located on a lower floor of Baruch’s state-of-the-art 17-story “vertical campus,” two blocks away from the official Administration Building. He wants to be “where the students are.” The touchstone of his presidency is that students come first—they are, he likes to remind administrators and faculty—the reason why Baruch exists. His door is unlocked, and he e-mails his calendar and staff meeting minutes to campus members on the website. All glass, so that he and what he does are readily transparent, and with only a small sign to indicate there’s a president within, the office gives evidence of what he wants to signal: community, both within the college and between the college and its business neighbors. No town/gown conflict here.

“Diversity,” a word that comes easily to many an administrative lip, for Ned Regan has wide and deep significance. Although 85 percent of Baruch degrees are in business, only 50 percent of credit hours are given over to business subjects. “Business people today won’t hire graduates unless they are broadly educated.” That means, courses in arts and sciences, familiarity with other cultures, history, and urban affairs, Regan’s particular passion since law school days. New cutting-edge seminars in Baruch’s School of Public Affairs are meant to enhance the curriculum in ways that instill a sense of “civic engagement.” He wants Baruch graduates to be not only well educated but productive citizens.

A conversation with Ned Regan is also a trip down memory lane, celebrating what’s different now in higher education from when he was an undergraduate at Hobart College and a law student at SUNY Buffalo—the increased presence of women, minorities, immigrants, older, and working-class adults. Baruch, with “the most diversified campus in the world,” carries on the great tradition of making higher education available and affordable—after all, he proudly points out, the college is on the site of the original Free Academy of 1847. Though only one school in the CUNY system, Baruch is—dare he say it?—“the best” (broad grin). Neither patronizing nor pro-forma politically correct, Ned Regan feels confident that even in a poor economy, Baruch students will do well since they are particularly enterprising, capable of finding opportunities in adversity and tend to go into standard middle-management positions that are not adversely affected by downturns. With improved tracking of alums, he hopes soon to have the solid backup data. Meanwhile, he takes pleasure in noting that many families of graduating seniors wear tuxedos to graduation. This is the promise of America and for Ned Regan, a promise that must be kept.#

City: State:

Education Update, Inc., P.O. Box 1588, New York, NY 10159.
Tel: (212) 477-5600. Fax: (212) 477-5893. Email: ednews1@aol.com.
All material is copyrighted and may not be printed without express consent of the publisher. © 2003.