Case Statement


CUNY is New York.

Inclusive. Diverse. Filled with energy and promise. The City University of New York, like the City of New York, brings together faculty and students with different interests and aspirations and creates a destination united by a sense of purpose and potential. CUNY comprises 23 colleges and professional schools in the five boroughs, 244,000 degree-credit students and more than 6,700 fulltime faculty. It has awarded over 1 million degrees to more than 650,000 alumni, many of whom live in the metro area.

CUNY is New York

Every New Yorker connects with CUNY — whether through the community-college graduate providing health care in one of the city’s hospitals, the senior-college graduate teaching in the city’s public schools or the professional-school alum serving as a public-interest lawyer. Nearly half of the city’s college students attend CUNY. By next fall, the number of degree-seeking students is projected to exceed 250,000. Moreover, with its operating budget of $2.5 billion (including $300 million in grants that flow through the CUNY Research Foundation) and capital programs of about $3 billion, CUNY is a major player in the city’s economy. The nation’s largest urban public university, CUNY occupies 296 buildings and over 26 million square feet of space across the five boroughs. It employs more than 36,000 faculty and staff. It operates dozens of performing-arts spaces, from intimate black-box theaters to large auditoriums, as well as art galleries, day-care centers and high schools on its campuses and has more than 100 centers and research institutes. CUNY’s contributions to the city’s preeminence as a cultural and commercial center are unparalleled.

CUNY is New York

CUNY’s much-praised renaissance of the last decade has been fueled by an unwavering focus on raising academic standards, recruiting and retaining the best faculty and transforming campus infrastructures while retaining a deep commitment to its historic mission of providing excellence and opportunity to students across the city. CUNY’s progress has been built on a renewed public-private partnership that has infused its campuses with increased capital and operational funds. The core of the private support has come from major gifts from generous alumni, committed faculty and staff and visionary foundations and corporations. Their expression of confidence in the university and their desire to secure CUNY’s integral role in the future of New York City has enabled the university to extend the reach of its mission of teaching, research and service.

“CUNY has never been stronger — and our need for investment has never been greater. As more and more students look to a CUNY education for the professional opportunities and advanced skills our modern world demands, the university’s philanthropic partnerships become increasingly important. The generous support of our alumni and friends is vital to enabling the CUNY colleges to remain a primary engine of workforce and economic development and the producer of a highly educated citizenry for New York.”

— Chancellor Matthew Goldstein

The university’s expanding relationship with its alumni, as well as with the business, civic, creative and service institutions of New York, has been central to its revitalization and growth over the past decade — and to the vitality and well-being of New York City. The return on the investment in CUNY is unequaled.

Investing in CUNY is Investing in New York.


The success of the first phase of the Invest in CUNY Campaign (FY2000 through FY2008) has inspired the university’s leadership to embark on a bold and ambitious second phase. Chancellor Matthew Goldstein, Chairman Benno C. Schmidt Jr. and the presidents of the colleges have announced the launch of Invest in CUNY: Expanding the Vision, which has set a new total goal of $3 billion by 2015. Invest in CUNY: Expanding the Vision builds upon the culture of philanthropy developed during the first phase of the campaign and focuses on carefully selected priorities of the colleges as represented through these strategic themes:

  • Investing in Faculty $300 million
  • Advancing the Decade of Science $400 million
  • Supporting Student Excellence and Opportunity $500 million
  • Creating a Culture of Philanthropy $200 million
  • Engaging the Community $200 million


CUNY’s world-class faculty always has been the university’s intellectual foundation. Recipients of Pulitzer Prizes, Guggenheim and MacArthur Fellowships, Carnegie Teacher of the Year awards and many other national and international honors, CUNY faculty are essential to the university’s efforts to build a public institution of high academic distinction. “The quality of a university is defined by the quality of its faculty,” said Chancellor Matthew Goldstein. “CUNY has a proud tradition of outstanding faculty — scholar-teachers whose research generates new discoveries and whose teaching inspires generations of leaders. Expanding the ranks of our full-time faculty is essential to meeting CUNY’s fundamental mission of higher learning.”

“Students are the heart of a college and faculty its soul. Extraordinary men and women taught and mentored us during our years at Baruch and Brooklyn Colleges. Our professors were great scholars, amazing teachers, real-world practitioners and visionary leaders who helped to transform our lives and careers. We believe in returning a portion of what CUNY gave us through supporting faculty endowments at our alma maters, especially as the colleges compete in a fierce marketplace for the next generation of scholars.”

— Larry and Carol Zicklin (Baruch 1957 and Brooklyn 1960)

Consider John Matteson, an English professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice who won a 2008 Pulitzer Prize for his book Eden’s Outcasts, about Louisa May Alcott and her father. Matteson, a graduate of Princeton and Harvard Law School, was a litigator before he decided to return to graduate school for a Ph.D. in English. He joined John Jay’s faculty in 1997, which he said “allowed me to combine my background in law and my interest in literature into my teaching and to connect with an open-minded, eager group of students. Signing on with John Jay was like buying Intel at a dollar a share. The stock in John Jay is just going to go through the roof.”

As part of the university’s revitalization, CUNY has committed to substantially increasing the number of full-time faculty. It has made great strides, increasing its full-time faculty by 1,200 since 1999. At the same time, the university is anticipating an unprecedented wave of faculty retirements while experiencing its highest student enrollment since 1975. Therefore, the university projects that it will need to continue to aggressively hire faculty, especially given the growing number of students who want to study at CUNY. The university projects that it will need to hire up to 800 full-time faculty per year over the next five to seven years, or more than double the current rate. Full-time faculty at CUNY will grow from 6,700 to approximately 9,000 by 2015.

Nationwide, as the large numbers of faculty hired in the 1960s and 1970s conclude their academic careers, the environment for recruitment and retention will become more competitive, particularly in fields such as science, engineering, business, nursing and public health. To meet its ambitious recruitment goals, CUNY will need to compete with public and private institutions with deep endowments. The faculty development initiative is a key component of CUNY’s continued growth. The university seeks to endow junior-, mid- and senior-level faculty chairs, which are critical to its efforts to attract high-caliber faculty and maintain CUNY’s legacy of excellence. Endowments provide essential — and permanent — support to faculty for research, equipment, scholarship-related travel, reassigned time and graduate assistants.

“I came to this country as an immigrant from England, and I didn’t have much money. CUNY gave me the opportunity to go to school, and I owe my entire career to CUNY,” said medical historian Nancy Siraisi, one of 25 recipients of the prestigious MacArthur Foundation fellowship in 2008. Siraisi, who earned her Ph.D. from The Graduate Center, is Distinguished Professor Emerita of Hunter College and The Graduate Center.

Invest in CUNY: Expanding the Vision has set a target of raising $300 million across the colleges of CUNY to endow 225 chairs by 2015, more than doubling the current number. These will be distributed on three levels:

  • University Distinguished Chairs: Recruit 50 senior scholars
  • University Chairs: Recruit 75 midcareer scholars
  • Career Development Chairs: Recruit 100 junior scholars

Additionally, the campaign will develop a $20-million CUNY Faculty Challenge Fund to encourage donors to partner with the colleges. Gifts will be matched or leveraged by contributions from this central fund.


In 2005, in recognition of the critical role of science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines in modern society, Chancellor Matthew Goldstein launched the Decade of Science. This declaration signaled CUNY’s renewed commitment to build upon its rich history in the sciences — including 10 alumni who are Nobel laureates in science or medicine — by creating a first-class research environment for faculty and students. The university has made it a priority to attract and retain research faculty of national prominence and to increase research opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral students interested in careers in these and related fields.

Over the next decade, CUNY will expend over $1 billion across the university on the construction and modernization of science facilities, including new science buildings at City, Hunter, Lehman and Brooklyn Colleges, as well as refurbishment of science facilities at many other campuses. The CUNY-wide Advanced Science Research Center, a 200,000-square-foot building at City College, will support high-end research in five key areas: photonics, nanotechnology, water and environmental sensing, structural biology and neuroscience. New faculty are being recruited nationally to lead each of these areas. New initiatives are being developed in response to pressing societal needs, including the CUNY Energy Institute at the Grove School of Engineering and the National Science Foundation-funded Center for Exploitation of Nanostructures in Sensors and Energy Systems, which will focus on sustainable energy, environmental monitoring and emerging technologies.

Across CUNY, outstanding science faculty are conducting cutting-edge research and receiving national recognition. Daniel Akins, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at City College, has patented an inexpensive way of producing nanotubes; Marie Filbin, a Distinguished Professor of Biology at Hunter College, is researching a molecule that can allow growth and repair in the axons of damaged neurons; and Brooklyn College Chemistry Prof. Lesley Davenport is working with a team to control the growth of cancers by manipulating DNA strands. Myriam Sarachik, a Distinguished Professor of Physics at City College, was just elected to the governing council of the National Academy of Sciences. She is one of 12 at City College who are members of the National Academy.

In creating the endowment for the Andrew Grove School of Engineering at The City College, the Intel Corp. founder underscored the importance of private investment in the sciences at CUNY.

“The City College of New York represents the bookends to my professional life — from the cold January day in 1957 when I found my way to the admissions office to the chance encounter with the winner of the Intel Science Talent Search on the day he was starting at City. … This institution is a veritable American-dream machine. I hope to help keep it that way.”

— Andrew Grove (City College 1960)

Along with fostering advances in scientific research, expanding opportunities for graduate and undergraduate research is a vital component of the Decade of Science. Undergraduate research opportunities across the university offer students the hands-on experience essential for advanced study or professional work in the sciences. For example, at Queensborough Community College’s highly regarded chemistry department, students participating in research with professors have made presentations at local and national conferences and published original articles in peer-reviewed journals. Through Queens College’s Summer Program for Undergraduate Research, a 10-week biomedical research program funded by a grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, students assist with advanced research under the guidance of faculty mentors.

In an important new development for advanced science education, New York Gov. David A. Paterson and the New York State Board of Regents have approved a historic restructuring of CUNY’s Ph.D. science programs, providing support to create 90 new doctoral fellowships and empowering two senior colleges, City College and Hunter College, to grant doctoral degrees in the sciences jointly with the university. The capacity to grant Ph.D.s in the sciences “will greatly enhance our ability to recruit and retain outstanding students and first-class faculty and increase access to external funds from research agencies,” said City College President Gregory H. Williams. Added Hunter President Jennifer J. Raab, “As a Ph.D.-granting institution, Hunter will extend its influence as a national leader in the sciences and public health.”

CUNY’s science-education pipeline, which it continues to build, is unparalleled in New York City. It begins in middle school and continues to high school through College Now, the flagship program of CUNY’s K-12 collaborations with the New York City Department of Education. College Now reaches over 30,000 students in almost 300 public high schools. In addition to school-year programs, College Now offers summer science programs for high school students and, in a recent expansion of its collaboration with the city’s Department of Education, presents the New York City Science and Engineering Fair, the city’s largest high school research competition, involving more than 1,000 students. The number of CUNY faculty members working with high school students in their laboratories also is expanding.

A key goal of Invest in CUNY: Expanding the Vision will be to raise $400 million in private support to leverage the public funds committed to capital construction. The following areas will be targeted:

  • Establish an endowment to attract, retain and promote world-class faculty in the sciences.
  • Build the pipeline for students from diverse backgrounds to enter and succeed in the STEM disciplines and prepare students for teaching careers in these areas.
  • Develop a new School of Public Health at Hunter College with an urban, environmental emphasis.
  • Equip laboratories with state-of-the-art instrumentation and systems to fully utilize the more than 200,000 square feet of newly constructed research space at the Advanced Science Research Center at The City College of New York.
  • Double the level of sponsored research in the STEM disciplines to $200 million annually by 2015.


CUNY has an unmatched history of providing access to an affordable, high-quality education for a student body that is among the largest and most diverse in the nation. As the university enters the next phase of the Invest in CUNY: Expanding the Vision campaign, student support is a priority at every campus.

In an information age that demands advanced learning, those without a college degree are increasingly disadvantaged. Yet the United States’ postsecondary completion rate ties for 10th place among the world’s industrialized nations. Encouraging student participation and success in higher education never has been more important, and today the federal government and influential philanthropic leaders like the Gates Foundation, which has supported the creation of CUNY’s 10 early college secondary schools, are spotlighting this critical need.

Like the venerated earlier generations of CUNY students who burnished the university’s reputation, today’s undergraduates — many of whom are the first in their families to attend college — are achieving remarkable academic success. CUNY students regularly win nationally competitive prestigious scholarships and fellowships, including the Truman, Goldwater, Marshall, Fulbright, Javits and Jack Kent Cooke. David Bauer (Hunter College High School, City College, Macaulay Honors College) recently became the third CUNY student in five years to win a Rhodes Scholarship. Kojo Wallace, a native of Ghana and the 2008 valedictorian at Bronx Community College, was the fourth CUNY student to win a Jack Kent Cooke Foundation transfer scholarship since 2004. He is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry at Cornell University and aspires to become a neurosurgeon. Yeshey Pelzom, a political refugee from Bhutan who attended LaGuardia Community College, is also a Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship winner and is working toward her doctorate. “I’m the first woman in my community to go to college,” she said.

CUNY students receive scholarships from a variety of public and private sources. At least 37,600 students receive over $40.6 million in scholarships in FY2008, excluding need-based financial aid. In addition to helping students pay for college, some scholarships provide extra support to assure that students complete their education and prepare for successful futures. For example, in 2008, the Kaplan Educational Foundation awarded 10 scholarships to CUNY community-college students through its recently established Leadership Program, which provides tuition assistance, leadership development training, tutorial help and other support.

Through an unusual public-private partnership, the university is able to offer a small number of exceptional high school graduates an outstanding academic opportunity at the Macaulay Honors College. Founded in 2001 with an inaugural class of 189, the college has over 1,200 talented students, nearly two-thirds of whom are immigrants or children of immigrants. Private support from foundations and individuals has enabled the university to offer Macaulay students an array of academic enrichment opportunities, including grants to support unpaid internships and study abroad. An extraordinary gift from philanthropist William E. Macaulay provided the school with a remarkable new home in Manhattan and helped to endow its future operations.

The colleges of CUNY provide an unparalleled combination of access, quality and value in today’s higher-education market. Enrollment at CUNY has grown for nine consecutive years, bringing the number of degree-seeking students to its highest level since the mid-1970s.

However, CUNY students increasingly need financial assistance to complete their studies. Nearly 70 percent of CUNY students rely upon financial aid, and most work full- or part-time while attending college. Maintaining and expanding the sources of financial support for CUNY students is essential, especially in these challenging economic times.

Bolstering student support also is critical to New York City’s social and economic well-being. CUNY students represent nearly half the city’s college students, and its graduates make up a sizable portion of the city’s workforce, including nurses, teachers, lawyers, accountants and law enforcement officers. In 2007-08, CUNY awarded 1,600 nursing degrees, 4,600 degrees from programs leading to teacher certification, including bachelor’s and master’s degrees and advanced certificates, and over 5,800 degrees in accounting.

“One of the most important things we can do, as parents and as a society, is to give our youth the best possible education. I want to help ensure that young people today can get a high-quality education, just as I received at CUNY some four decades ago. The turnaround at CUNY over the past several years under Matt Goldstein has given me the confidence and inspiration to help support the University through this gift.”

— William E. Macaulay (City College 1966)

Scholarship support is only one of myriad ways CUNY is striving to ensure student retention and success. At Baruch College, for example, the Starr Career Development Center provides students with advanced professional development preparation from their freshman through senior years. “The objective of the Starr Career Development Center is to successfully prime students for job placement, post-graduate education and career advancement upon their graduation from Baruch,” said Baruch President Kathleen M. Waldron.

The innovative learning communities program at Kingsborough Community College has earned national attention for its success in helping students transition to college. Groups of 25 freshmen take three classes together during their first semester and receive additional counseling and tutoring and a textbook voucher. “The Opening Doors Learning Communities for freshmen have been very rewarding for both students and faculty at Kingsborough,” said Kingsborough President Regina S. Peruggi.

The colleges of CUNY are committed to building student support by increasing scholarships as well as resources for study-abroad programs, financial literacy initiatives, emergency aid, mentoring and other special opportunities. Invest in CUNY: Expanding the Vision seeks to raise $500 million for these programs.


Invest in CUNY: Expanding the Vision is a comprehensive campaign that will count all private gifts to all campuses through fiscal year 2015. Through this historic endeavor, the university seeks to create a culture of philanthropic ownership throughout the CUNY community, including alumni, faculty, staff, corporate and foundation partners and friends. The university will challenge donors to provide increasing and renewable annual support as well as targeted programmatic funding for college priorities totaling more than $200 million over the next seven years. The campaign will seek to strengthen emerging areas of philanthropy, including alumni relations, annual giving and planned giving, across CUNY colleges.

Building on the success of the CUNY Compact — the campaign will seek to leverage private support for public funding. CUNY’s vision for quality and distinction is built upon an expanding partnership of private and public support.

Alumni Relations and Annual Giving:

With more than 650,000 living alumni — as many as 80 percent of them in the New York metro area — the university looks to significantly increase the number of alumni supporting their colleges with unrestricted gifts on an annual basis. Furthermore, CUNY seeks to create an army of engaged alumni volunteers to support their alma maters through student recruitment, career guidance and placement efforts, student mentoring and overall advocacy work.

Thousands of donors have joined the effort, supporting CUNY’s renaissance by making extraordinary gifts. Annual unrestricted gifts are critical to the future of CUNY’s colleges, providing the resources to achieve the university’s vision of academic distinction and opportunity. Annual gifts support scholarships, library and technology acquisitions, faculty development, new and existing academic programs, advancement activities and supplemental staffing. Every CUNY student directly benefits from the annual support of alumni.

The CUNY colleges seek to:

  • Double the number of alumni, faculty and staff, and corporate partners supporting the campuses
  • Triple the level of financial investment from these critical constituent partners

Planned Giving:

Planned gifts (bequests, charitable trusts, life insurance policies and charitable gift annuities) to CUNY colleges are becoming an increasingly important part of each college’s advancement efforts. The colleges will continue to encourage alumni, faculty and friends to take advantage of this flexible and important giving structure. The CUNY bequest marketing program encourages alumni, donors, trustees, faculty and friends to remember their college in their estate plans. In the last three years, as part of Invest in CUNY, over $100 million has been contributed to CUNY colleges through more than 200 new bequests. Over 2,100 new donors are considering legacy gifts to CUNY colleges. The campaign goal is to raise 10 percent of the total from planned gifts.


The CUNY colleges are the anchors of their communities, and each has a unique and distinctive vision for its future. Each college has set ambitious fundraising goals and has a specific case statement. In addition to the principal university-wide objectives, CUNY’s colleges are positioned for prominence in campus specific ways through their innovative schools, institutes, centers and programs. Campus-specific initiatives serve the city’s communities and, in some cases, much broader constituencies, educationally, socially and culturally. Each college is advancing these endeavors through individual capital campaigns and intensive fund-raising efforts. The goal for college-wide community engagement projects is $200 million.

Notable projects include a new Film School at Brooklyn College, a Holocaust Resource Center at Queensborough Community College, the first student residences at The Graduate Center and Queens College and a new School of Public Health at Hunter College. The university also serves the greater New York community through an array of programs, including the School of Professional Studies, as well as through a variety of college centers and access programs. The colleges are seeking to broaden the support for these critical community partnerships through conferences, seminars, lectures, College Now, performing-arts centers, public school outreach, child care centers and art galleries.

In a true sense, CUNY touches every citizen of New York City every day. CUNY is New York.


The City University of New York has enjoyed a widely acclaimed renaissance over the past decade, driven by strong leadership, an unwavering commitment to academic distinction and extraordinary philanthropy. More than $1.4 billion in private contributions has been provided to CUNY’s colleges as a vital supplement to public funding and student tuition. The next chapter of CUNY’s renewal will build upon this foundation and grow through intensive focus on faculty recruitment, science and research, student support, expanded emphasis on overall philanthropy and engagement of the community.

The university and its 23 colleges and professional schools are committed to raising an additional $1.6 billion by 2015. Invest in CUNY: Expanding the Vision will result in a total of $3 billion in private investment in CUNY.

The support of alumni, faculty, staff, friends, corporations and foundations will ensure access to high-quality educational opportunity for CUNY students for decades.

“By raising standards, strengthening student preparation, revolutionizing financing and adding new schools to the system, Matthew Goldstein has truly reinvigorated the City University.”

— Vartan Gregorian, president, The Carnegie Corp. of New York

Investing in CUNY is Investing in New York.