Teachers College President Susan Fuhrman Delivers 2011 State of the College Address, Earns Second Term as President
On the day that TC’s Board of Trustees announced that Susan Fuhrman has signed on for another stint as President, she devoted her annual State of the College address to reviewing the college’s key accomplishments during the past five years and to announcing its major goals for the next five.
“Five years ago, I called on my TC colleagues to leverage our founding mission and inherent strengths into a more innovative, dynamic, and consequential version of Teachers College — a TC equipped to play an ever more influential and beneficial role in our neighborhood and city, nation and world — while also leading the way in ‘educating the future’ in this exciting yet turbulent century,” Fuhrman said.
Moments earlier, in announcing that Fuhrman would continue leading TC’s effort to meet those challenges, board co-chair William Rueckert called her “a proven winner” and cited reviews by outside evaluators that praised her inspired leadership style and singled out TC as one of the nation’s preeminent educational institutions.
Much of what TC has accomplished on her watch relates to “programmatic innovation,” Fuhrman said — “the intellectual ferment that comes from getting our major thinkers and trailblazers to share ideas and work together.”
A new academic department was founded under Fuhrman’s watch, Education Policy and Social Analysis, and several new faculty-driven projects and programs, including the nation’s first master’s degree program in Diabetes Education and Management, and a social studies curriculum focused on the national debt, which will be deployed to high schools across the nation. These and other efforts were initially backed by the TC Provost’s Investment Fund, which seeds cross-disciplinary faculty collaborations.
In addition TC has launched a new public Teachers College Community School. In line with Fuhrman’s promise five years ago to make TC more responsible for improving local schools, TCCS, which opened in September, serves children in Harlem’s school district and anchors a larger consortium of Teachers College Partnership Schools where the College is working with school-based educators to improve student outcomes. The school offers an array of “wrap-around services” to the community, modeling a cost-effective approach that Fuhrman believes universities are best positioned to deliver.
The college has increased its financial aid offering by 76 percent since 2005 and created an environment that students find more welcoming, enjoyable and conducive to learning.
So what’s next? In outlining ways that TC can build on these impressive accomplishments during the next five years, Fuhrman said the college “has reached a pivotal moment where research in the learning sciences, our unmatched interdisciplinary depth in education, health, psychology and human development, our experience in the field, and our heightened sense of mission position us more than ever before to be the nation’s premier academic resource and catalyst for educational transformation.” #