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Maxwell School Dean Mitchel Wallerstein named president of Baruch College

February 22, 2010

Jill Leonhardt
(315) 443-5492

The Board of Trustees of The City University of New York (CUNY) today named Mitchel B. Wallerstein, dean of the Maxwell School of Syracuse University, as the new president of Baruch College. He will leave SU at the end of July to assume his new post. One of the most competitive schools of the CUNY system, Baruch College has 16,000 students—12,500 undergraduates and 3,500 graduate students—and offers undergraduate, master’s and doctoral degrees in three schools: Arts & Sciences, Business and Public Affairs.  

“I am honored and excited to be offered the opportunity to lead Baruch College, which has a storied tradition in the City of New York as one of the leading schools of the CUNY system,” Wallerstein says. ”At the same time, my departure this summer from the Maxwell School and Syracuse University will be bittersweet. I have had the privilege of working with many outstanding faculty and staff colleagues and talented students during my seven-year tenure, and together we can take pride in many accomplishments. The Maxwell School of Syracuse University is a special place; it is also one of my own graduate alma maters. Thus, I am—and always will be—deeply committed to its welfare and advancement.”  

Baruch College traces its origins to the founding of the City University in 1847 as the Free Academy, which was located on the current site of the College in lower Manhattan. Established in 1919 as City College’s School of Business and Civic Administration, the school was renamed in 1953 in honor of the well-known statesman and financier Bernard M. Baruch. Baruch College takes pride in being the most ethnically diverse school of higher education in the United States, with students representing more than 160 different nationalities.

“Mitch has been a strong leader and superb fundraiser, and cares deeply about supporting a high-quality faculty,” says Syracuse University Chancellor and President Nancy Cantor. ”He has increased Maxwell’s and SU’s visibility through key global initiatives and has played a crucial role in advancing our sustainability efforts and developing our comprehensive Climate Action Plan. Overall, Mitch’s seven years at the helm of Maxwell have been marked by continued advancement of the school and contribution to the University. Baruch College has selected a first-rate academic leader.”

“From a personal and institutional perspective I am very happy for and proud of Mitch, as I know it has been a long-term goal of his to become a president of a top-notch institution,” says SU Vice Chancellor and Provost Eric F. Spina. ”We absolutely wish him the very best. His will be big shoes to fill, as he will leave Maxwell well-positioned through his leadership in development of new interdisciplinary programs, recruitment of extraordinary faculty, strong fundraising that has yielded new levels of support for faculty and students, excellent fiscal stewardship, and continued national preeminence in graduate education and research.”

Spina indicates that he will meet with the Maxwell faculty soon to discuss the dean transition, with the expectation that an interim dean-designate will be identified and that a process to mount a national dean search will be initiated.

About Dr. Mitchel Wallerstein

In addition to serving as dean of the Maxwell School, Wallerstein is a professor of political science and public administration.

Prior to joining the Maxwell School, he was vice president of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, one of the world’s largest philanthropic organizations, with assets in excess of $6 billion. He directed the foundation’s international grant-making program, known as the Program on Global Security and Sustainability, from 1998-2003.

From 1993-97, Wallerstein was deputy assistant secretary of defense for counterproliferation policy and senior defense representative for trade security policy in the U.S. Defense Department. He was nominated as the first presidential appointee in this position and was responsible for the development and implementation of U.S. defense policy to counter the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and their means of delivery. In this capacity, he helped to found and subsequently co-chaired the Senior Defense Group on Proliferation at NATO. He also had direct management oversight of the Defense Technology Security Administration and represented the United States on export control matters as the senior defense representative for trade security policy. In 1995, he received a personal Letter of Commendation from President Bill Clinton for his “outstanding leadership in achieving the indefinite, unconditional extension of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.” In 1997, Wallerstein was awarded the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service; in 1998, he received the Bronze Palm to that award.

Prior to his government service, Wallerstein was the deputy executive officer of the National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academies of Sciences and Engineering, a private, nonprofit organization in Washington, D.C., that is the research and operating arm of the National Academies of Sciences and Engineering and the Institute of Medicine. The NRC advises the U.S. Government on policy matters involving science and technology. While at the NRC, Wallerstein directed a series of highly acclaimed studies on issues pertaining to science, technology and national security.

Wallerstein is the immediate past president of the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs, and he continues to serve on its board. He is an elected member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the International Institute for Strategic Studies. In 2006, he was elected a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration.

Wallerstein holds an A.B. from Dartmouth College, an M.P.A. from the Maxwell School, and M.S. and doctoral degrees in political science from M.I.T.

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