An Inside View into a Dean’s Advisory Council
(l-r) Dean Alfred S. Posamentier & Nobel Laureates Hauptman and Lederman
When Dr. Alfred S. Posamentier
took over the deanship of the School of Education at City College
of New York, he had the daunting task of trying to improve
a school that had nearly the worst percentage of graduates
passing the New York State teacher certification test (39 percent).
Today the School’s passing rate on this test is 97 percent!
How did this transformation happen in this relatively short
time? In a look back at what was done to bring about this marvelous
change, one would find faculty changes, renewed matriculation
requirements, improved student support services, a refreshed
program of study in most fields, and the creation of a Dean’s
Advisory Council all contributing to this effort. It is the
Dean’s Advisory Council that would appear to this correspondent
(a member of the Council) to have had the greatest initial
effect on bringing about change.
In the fall of 1999, with
a somewhat demoralized faculty, having been humiliated by their
graduates’ poor performance on the New York State teacher certification test, the establishment of a Dean’s Advisory Council proved to be a breath of fresh air: namely, there were still some folks around who believed in CCNY. Dr. Posamentier established the Dean’s
Advisory Council almost immediately after taking over the deanship.
He realized from his first 30 years on the faculty that something
immediate and dramatic had to happen to get the faculty motivated.
This seemed to be it. To establish a support group, consisting
of industry leaders, community leaders, active practitioners
at various levels, Nobel laureates, the presidents of the UFT
and CSA, and the Schools chancellor, was a statement that had
an enormous effect. Immediately, the spirit of the faculty
improved and the rest is history. The City College School of
Education is among the best in the State today.
The Dean’s Advisory Council has provided some very useful advice to the dean. for example, when the president of a publishing company was a member, she suggested establishing an international education journal. This idea plus three years of intensive work enabled the establishment of “The New Educator” journal, published by Taylor and Francis, Publishers. This refereed journal had its first issue in January 2005. The Dean’s Advisory Council provided guidance on organizational matters, on priorities for the school, on outreach to the schools and on general policy matters. So what was originally though to be a pump-priming vehicle to jumpstart the school of Education after a few “down years” turned
out to be a most useful body that meets once per semester
and provides a wealth of valuable advice to the school.
The current membership of the council is: Joseph Browdy,
President (Ret.), Loral International Corp.; Dr. Doris
Cintron-Nabi, Associate Dean, City College, School of Education;
Dr. Joyce R. Coppin, Distinguished Lecturer, City College,
School of Education; Linda Curtis-Bey, Director of Mathematics,
New York City Department of Education; Dr. Charlotte K.
Frank, Vice President, The McGraw-Hill Companies; Carmen
Fariña, Deputy Chancellor for Teaching & Learning, New York City Department of Education; Joseph Frey, Assistant Commissioner, NYS Education Department; Dr. Nathan Glazer, Professor of Education & Sociology, Emeritus, Harvard University; Dr. Herbert A. Hauptman, President, CEO, Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute, and Nobel Laureate 1985 (Chemistry); Daniel Jaye, Assistant Principal, Mathematics, Stuyvesant H.S.; Stanley H. Kaplan, Founder, Kaplan Test Preparation; Joel I. Klein, Chancellor, New York City Department of Education; Dr. Leon M. Lederman, Resident Scholar – Illinois Math. and Science Academy, and Nobel Laureate 1988 (Physics); Jill Levy, President, Council of Supervisors & Administrators; Guillermo Linares, NYC Commissioner for Immigrant Affairs; Dr. Maritza B. MacDonald, Director of Professional Development, American Museum of Natural History; Dr. Nicholas Michelli, Professor of Education, Graduate Center – CUNY; Rev. Dr. Glen Missick Executive Director, African-American Council; Dr. James L. Neujahr, Professor, City College, School of Education; Joseph B. Porter, Exec. Director, Office of Teaching Initiatives, New York State Education Department; Winifred M. Radigan, Local Instructional Superintendent – Region 3 NYC; Dr. Julia A. Rankin, Director of Science, New York City Department of Education; Laura Rodriguez Superintendent Region 2 – New
York City; Dr. Pola Rosen, Publisher, Education Update,
Inc.; Hon. Steven Sanders, Member of NYS Assembly, Chairman,
Committee on Education; Merryl H. Tisch, Regent, State
of New York; Anthony Viscusi, President, CEO (Ret.), Vasomedical,
Inc.; Randi Weingarten, President, United Federation of