Fostering and integrating communities

PRIORITY 1: Fostering and integrating communities of learning and research

Fostering and integrating communities

The Graduate Center will facilitate interdisciplinary and innovative research by building, supporting, and integrating networks of diverse faculty and students within the Graduate Center, across the City University of New York (CUNY), in New York City, and around the world.

As the hub of an integrated multicampus network, the Graduate Center advances university-wide initiatives, which range from teaching collaborations with community colleges to research programs in the experimental sciences. At the same time, the Graduate Center is home to an academic community of its own—a 21st-century collegium, which aims to inspire students and faculty alike to carry out the most creative and innovative scholarship.

1.1 We will deepen and broaden our culture of interdisciplinary scholarship and research by transforming institutional practices and habits of thought, and by hiring outstanding and diverse faculty, especially those who promise to deliver institution-wide impact.


Jesse Merandy
Ph.D. candidate Jesse Merandy (English) completed the Graduate Center’s first entirely digital dissertation—a mobile game based on the poetry of Walt Whitman. Merandy is director of the Digital Media Lab at Bard Graduate Center.

We must sustain and nourish our traditional strengths in the humanities and social sciences, address the desire on the part of faculty and students to work more collaboratively and creatively, and reinforce our commitment to emerging fields and to our public mission. We will advance this priority by:

  • Advancing cross-disciplinary collaboration through faculty hiring that benefits multiple programs.

  • Hiring to address program needs and fortify relations between the Graduate Center and the cultural, artistic, and scientific resources of New York City.

  • Providing incentives to faculty and programs to design flexible and innovative curricula that feature interdisciplinary research seminars, team-taught courses, and workshops for independent student research, extending work by the Center for the Humanities; the Committees on Religion, Science Studies, and Globalization; the Early Research Initiative; and the Futures Initiative.

  • Strengthening sites designated for interdisciplinary work, such as the Advanced Research Collaborative and the Center for Humanities, by expanding their themes and increasing the number of CUNY student and faculty fellows.

  • Integrating the centers, institutes, committees, and initiatives, which bring intellectual strength and distinctiveness, and many of which advance our public mission, into the Graduate Center community through better communications and collective planning.

  • Expanding the scope of digital projects under the auspices of the Center for Digital Scholarship and Data Visualization, the Digital Research Initiative, the New Media Lab, and other digital initiatives.

  • Providing focused services to faculty and students seeking external support, and reviewing policies governing the distribution of overhead funds.

1.2 We will foster diversity and inclusion in our academic pursuits and the composition of our faculty, student, and staff communities.

Because a culture of diversity and inclusion promotes respect, engenders creativity, and encourages intellectual risk-taking, it is intrinsic to learning and research of the highest quality. Ensuring that our faculty and student body more clearly reflects the diversity of New York City is also key to our commitment to changing the shape of the professoriate. Although significant progress has been made in institutionalizing the values and outcomes of diversity and inclusion over the last few years, much remains to be done. To advance this priority we will:

  • Assess current approaches to improving student, faculty, and staff diversity; develop a diversity and inclusion strategy; and require Executive Officers to create five-year recruitment plans with an emphasis on diversity.

  • Support the work of outstanding scholars from underrepresented groups in the campuses through the Advanced Research Collaborative, the Initiative for the Theoretical Sciences, the Futures Initiative, and through workshops and public events.

  • Promote awareness of and increase resources allocated to the CUNY Pipeline program, and expand the fields that the Pipeline program fosters.

  • Build upon the Mellon-funded Humanities Alliance with LaGuardia Community College to enrich the pedagogical training of our teaching fellows at CUNY’s four-year and community colleges.

  • Review and, as appropriate, increase allocation of resources for accessibility and disability services.