Effective Feb. 7, Distinguished Professor and Chair of the English Department, John Brenkman, began his temporary stint as Interim Provost of Baruch College.
President Mitchel Wallerstein announced this in an email to the Baruch community on the eve of Dr. Jim McCarthy's departure.
"As we bid Jim McCarthy farewell as he takes up his new position at Suffolk University next week, I am delighted to welcome John Brenkman, who is a long-serving and highly dedicated member of the Baruch faculty, as he assumes Jim's former roles and responsibilities," said Wallerstein.
In order to make his stint a success, Brenkman will work with Associate Provosts Barbara Lawrence and Denis Slavin, as well as Wallerstein "to maintain the quality and the momentum of the Office of Provost and Academic Affairs."
Dr. Shelly Eversley, associate professor of the English department added, "John Brenkman has the rare ability to balance the very specific rigors of the intellectual work we do and the challenges of administrative responsibility—as Interim Provost he'll serve the College well."
Another colleague of Brenkman's who recently started at Baruch echoed these sentiments.
"We lose a tremendously dedicated and extraordinary chairperson. But we do gain his expertise as Provost," said Frank Cioffi.
Claudye James, College Assistant to the English Department, reveals that since his move to Provost, Brenkman has had a hectic schedule.
However, most of his colleagues believe Brenkman can handle the challenge.
Cioffi also went on to add that Brenkman is a "visionary" leader.
Since, Baruch's policy only allows someone to be Chairman for a term of three years, this was supposed to be Brenkman's last semester.
He began his Chairman duties in 2009. Upon receiving his new title he had to leave his English Chair title behind.
On Feb. 9, the new temporary English chairman was elected, and will assume Brenkman's role until another election in May.
Paula Berggren, a professor in the English department and coordinator of the Great Works Courses noted that Brenkman is the ideal candidate for the Provost duties at the moment.
As a provost some of his duties will include providing direction and administrative oversight for academic programs and services to the college including the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences, the Zicklin School of Business, the School of Public Affairs, the Newman Library, and the Baruch College Technology Center.
"The Provost and Senior Vice President oversees all academic activities including instructional research and analysis, student academic counseling, academic personnel and budget, faculty development, and cultural and enrichment programs," stated the Provost's website.
Berggren added that Brenkman has put a great deal of thought into considering how Baruch can best deal with the constraints this initiative [CUNY Pathways] puts on our curriculum and that he is the ideal person to oversee the College's response.
"I feel it is a wonderful development for the college to have him in the interim role while the important discussions concerning the new CUNY Pathways initiative are taking place, as he is very much in favor of maintaining high standards for our students and ensuring that they receive a broad-based and challenging education," said Mary McGlynn, associate professor and associate chair of the English department.
McGlynn also went on to add that, "Prof. Brenkman is a strong, open-minded leader who is very good at identifying what is most important in complicated issues. I like the way he is able in meetings to keep a group focused on a topic and to explain his point of view clearly. He is great at listening to others and getting people to see what views they share even when divided on some point."
Staff and faculty at Baruch have nothing but praises for Brenkman.
"I am highly confident of John's success based upon his deep familiarity with the Baruch faculty; his understanding of CUNY and its procedures and processes; and, perhaps most importantly, his high standing as an educator and scholar," stated Wallerstein.
Although several attempts were made to contact Brenkman, he did not respond to these inquiries.