Dear Commons Community,
The Chronicle of Higher Education has an article today on Jennifer Raab, President of Hunter College, that describes her as a “lightning rod” and a “polarizing figure”. It reviews several controversies including her appointment as a political ally of former Mayor Rudy Guiliani, the high turnover of several senior administrators, and as someone who “never adopted a tolerance, much less a respect, for the tedium of academic governance”. On the other hand, there is no denying that she has been highly successful as a fund-raiser and in raising the public profile of the College. A long-time colleague of mine and professor of social work, Michael Fabricant, is quoted as saying that the turnover of deans is part of a pattern of souring relationships between the president and her administration.
“Raab is not without talent,” he said. “That’s not really the point. When you’re churning your administrators in this way, you are incinerating continuity and opportunity.”
In her defense, President Raab said:
“I’ve been here 12 years…And I do believe the majority of people, even people who tell me they don’t like me, will tell me it’s a better place.”