The Office of the Provost’s Annual Report for 2014-15 sets out the year’s accomplishment for each of Fordham’s graduate and professional schools in relation to the academic goals of the University, progress on the strategic initiatives, and challenges the schools face. The report also lays the foundation for achieving the academic priorities of the provost for the 2015-16 academic year.
The Law School
Despite the challenging environment for law schools nationwide, Fordham Law has maintained the quality of its student body and has seen clear improvements in graduates’ initial employment placement experience. The Law School is ranked No. 34 in US News & World Report, up two points from the previous year and four points from 2013. The evening program was ranked No. 3 out of 85 such programs across the country.
The Law School—which moved into its new home in fall 2014—saw several curricular changes in 2014-15. First-year curriculum expanded to include an additional doctrinal course and an additional writing intensive course. The faculty worked collaboratively to craft and implement five upper-level concentrations and approved a new two-year advanced-standing JD offering for international students who have obtained a Master of Laws (LLM) from a US law school.
The Law School welcomed its new dean, Matthew Diller, former dean of Cardozo Law, who began serving in the 2015-16 academic year.
Goals for 2015-16:
- Continue work on curricular reform
- Expand non-JD programs, including executive education and distance learning
- Develop programs to complement traditional strengths pedagogically and programmatically
Graduate School of Social Service
At 1,522 students, GSS maintains the highest traditional Master of Social Work (MSW) student enrollment in the nation—approximately three times higher than the average size of other social work schools.
Enrollment in the online MSW program both increased and diversified in 2014-15. The program now includes an option for non-matriculated students and welcomed its first advanced-standing students in January 2015. The faculty approved a full-time option for the online MSW program (previously there had only been a part-time option).
The Master of Science in Nonprofit Leadership degree, a partnership between GSS and the Gabelli School of Business, launched in August 2014. It is the first joint graduate-level program at Fordham and the first in the nation to merge a social service and business curriculum with a social justice emphasis. Also in fall 2014, GSS enrolled its first students in the new MSW/Master’s in Public Health with Mount Sinai.
GSS has successfully increased funding from external research grants and contracts. Fiscal year 2015 saw 25 awards totaling $3.2 million and multi-year funding totaling $9 million.
NASA astronaut and visiting GSS professor Yvonne Cagle, MD has been working with faculty from multiple Fordham departments and schools as part of the ongoing Interdisciplinary Collaborative in Health, Environment, and Human Performance to research long-duration space exploration.
Goals for 2015-16:
- Develop plans for expansion of the MS in Nonprofit Leadership program with a possible hybrid option
- Expand online course and program options with particular emphasis on inter-professional programs
- Anchor curriculum and program changes within a comprehensive strategic planning process and in relation to current market forces and student learning outcomes
- Develop a comprehensive plan in coordination with Development and University Relations for the school’s centennial celebration, with a priority on involving and engaging GSS alumni
Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
After many years of serving GSAS with distinction, Dean Nancy Busch, PhD, stepped down and Eva Badowska, PhD, associate professor of English and interim dean, was appointed to the position in July 2015.
GSAS has been working to “de-couple” its various doctoral programs from master’s programs in the same or related disciplines in order to 1) re-envision these programs as serving distinct goals and diverse students populations and 2) develop a different mix of programs at the master’s level.
The school is also initiating innovative and marketable master’s programs, among them an MS in clinical research methods (Department of Psychology) and an MA in public media (Department of Communication and Media Studies). The school also submitted for approval from the New York State Education Department a new MS program in data analytics (Department of Computer and Information Sciences).
The launch of GSAS Futures an initiative co-sponsored by GSAS and the Graduate Student Association, was just one of GSAS’s efforts to meet the professional needs of its students. GSAS Futures readies students for careers both within and outside of academia by offering: development seminars; leadership programs and training in new technologies; academic and collaborative careers and skill-building workshops; and networking, career planning, and mentoring.
Highlights of 2015-16 goals:
- Begin GSAS portion of Continuous University Strategic Planning (CUSP) process
- Undertake thorough review of GSAS functions and processes as part of the reorganization of the Arts and Sciences area
- Partner with PCS to move the MS in cybersecurity into GSAS
- In collaboration with the Graduate School of Social Service and the Gabelli School of Business, develop and submit the new program in healthcare administration for NYSED approval
- Work to develop additional new program ideas, including an MA in global history (Department of History), an MA in international security and advanced certificate in polling (Department of Political Science), and master’s degrees in sustainable development and in behavioral economics (Department of Economics)
Graduate School of Education
GSE successfully completed its search for a new dean, appointing Virginia Roach, EdD, formerly dean of the Graduate School of Education at Bank Street College of Education in New York City, in July 2015.
For the first time in GSE’s history, all of its professional preparation programs are accredited or have recognized status by their professional associations. In addition, GSE submitted evaluation reports to 22 specialty professional associations (SPA), which periodically evaluate professional programs that lead to state certification. GSE submitted evaluation reports to these SPAs for its teacher education, leadership preparation, and advanced certificate school psychology programs, all of which yielded positive results. These evaluations were important prerequisites in advance of GSE’s NCATE/CAEP review in April 2016.
Continuing its stellar record of scholarship, GSE faculty produced 28 books and book chapters, 17 scholarly articles, 29 international presentations, 23 national presentations, and 11 regional, state, and local presentations.
GSE enters its 100th anniversary year having made significant contributions to Fordham and to the wider world, and is poised to rise to the challenges and opportunities that awaits in its second century of service.
Goals for 2015-16:
- Make a successful transition in leadership that allows for development of a set of GSE-wide goals and specific goals put forward by the divisions and programs
- Increase enrollment through strategies and tactics determined by the new dean and leadership team
Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education
After three years of work, GRE had the highest revenues in its history, reflecting a growth of 1.4 percent in 2014-15 and 16.8 percent over the last three years, and has improved the overall quality of its students and programs. In 2015, GRE had one of its three largest graduating classes in its history.
A new Doctor of Ministry (DMin) program was approved and is growing rapidly. Two new online programs that were launched in the previous year have generated 7 percent growth in online enrollments. GRE has applied for accreditation from the Master’s in Psychology and Counseling Accreditation Council (MPCAC) for its master’s in pastoral counseling, which has important implications for enrollment. The application process is ongoing.
Over the next five to seven years, the school is on track to grow a stable population of students ranging from 275 to 300 without having to increase fixed costs. Overall, GRE is positioned for growth and becoming a focal point for new, collaborative programs within both Fordham and the broader Jesuit and Catholic world.
Goals for 2015-16
- Complete the implementation of the new admissions plan
- Achieve MPCAC accreditation
- Continue momentum generated toward forming a clear and cohesive identity as a school
- Review the PhD program in religious education
- Pursue program development that requires cooperation with the other Fordham schools and new external relationships