Looking Forward to Joining You Soon
June 9, 2020
I was inspired yesterday as I watched the Virtual Commencement Experience for the Class of 2020. While I congratulate all the graduates, I also want to commend you for persevering through this unprecedented spring semester. As our community responds to the triple challenge of COVID-19, the resulting economic damage, and the national protests to end systemic racism, it is not an overstatement to say that the spring of 2020 has been unlike any other in the history of higher education. I hope you drew on the resources Baruch offers to keep your education on track while remaining safe and connected.
As your incoming president, I am ecstatic to join the Baruch community in July. Having worked in both public and private institutions of higher education for more than 30 years, I recognize how incredible Baruch is. Ranked number one on Washington Monthly’s “Best Affordable Elite Colleges” list, Baruch is not only among the most selective colleges in the U.S., it occupies the top spot because it accepts and graduates most of its students from diverse backgrounds. It charges the lowest net tuition and prepares students for career success and future earnings comparable to top elite institutions. Baruch students are challenged and inspired by faculty who are outstanding scholars in their fields, and they are buoyed by dedicated staff who run innovative and comprehensive student services. I am confident that you have a strong foundation for success—even during a global pandemic.
Baruch’s amazing accomplishments to date echo a central theme in my thinking for the College’s future: in epitomizing academic excellence and social mobility, Baruch is poised to lead in the shifting landscape of higher learning.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced all of us to reassess the way we deliver education and provide student services. I recently charged the Task Force for the Future to reimagine Baruch in the post-COVID environment. We will use this crisis to put Baruch on a path to lead, to envision a transformation that allows us to deliver our mission with more fluidity and enhanced quality, while helping hard hit communities in New York City in the recovery effort from COVID-19. The task force process will be transparent and will solicit campus input broadly. I invite you, and the entire Baruch community, to contribute your best ideas at the task force website.
As distance learning gets underway for the summer, we are working to finalize all aspects of College operations for the upcoming academic year in coordination with the CUNY system. Please be assured that my colleagues and I will work hard to make it as smooth and successful for you as possible. But we will need to count on your continued patience and understanding as we refine and reinvent the way we deliver education and support services. Maintaining the health and safety of the campus community—as well as the momentum of your education—is our top priority.
With summer upon us, I hope you, your families, and friends are managing as well as possible. I look forward to seeing you very soon—virtually or in person—and to hearing your ideas as we create a common vision for Baruch.
S. David Wu