A Message from Dean Jessica Lang

Dear Colleagues,

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you back to campus this Fall. I especially want to welcome the 34 new faculty members who have joined us for their first year at Baruch and in their home departments in the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences.

This Fall we welcome the largest freshman class Baruch has ever seen. And while we are certainly still living with COVID-19, for the first time since March 2020 our campus feels full—bustling with activity, energy, and excitement. In the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences, 75% of our classes are in person, the highest since the pandemic started. It is wonderful to be back.

In addition to welcoming new faculty and new students, the Dean’s office also welcomes new Interim Associate Dean Cheryl Smith, who formally assumes her position on September 1. I want to again thank Associate Dean Gary Hentzi for his many years of dedicated service to our students, faculty, and staff. Dr. Hentzi and Dr. Smith will be working together to ensure a smooth transition for the first six weeks of the semester, before Dr. Hentzi formally steps down to enjoy a much deserved sabbatical.

This upcoming year has much in store for the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences. Our two new majors, in Black and Latinx Studies and Computer Science, have officially been approved by New York State. I want to congratulate both departments and recognize the visionary leadership of Professors Shelly Eversley and Warren Gordon in advancing these new learning opportunities for our students. Equally exciting, this fall we have successfully launched Weissman’s first Executive Education Master’s Degree program in Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Program director Professor Charles Scherbaum, department chair Professor Jennifer Mangels, and WSAS Director of Graduate Studies, Leslie Ann Hunt, were integral to this extraordinary effort.

Our great hiring boom continues: the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences has been awarded 35 new full-time faculty lines, with searches taking place this academic year for Fall 2023 appointments. Between last year and this year, we will see nearly a 30% growth in our full-time faculty numbers. This is truly unprecedented at Weissman and at Baruch—and brings with it a sense of possibility and depth to the development of new knowledge through research, creative work, and teaching.

This semester will certainly bring with it challenges; we continue to learn to live and work in an era of public health and safety challenges that loom large. CUNY has designed guidelines to help us navigate these challenges (download here). Please know that many resources are in place at Baruch to support faculty, staff, and students, including counseling services for all students (Counseling Services – Student Affairs | Baruch College (cuny.edu)) and health and wellness benefits for faculty and staff (Benefits – Office of Human Resources (cuny.edu).

I wish you all a successful and joyful semester and look forward to seeing you at any number of on-campus gatherings that will take place this Fall.

All good wishes,


Jessica Lang
Weissman School of Arts and Sciences
Baruch College, CUNY

Black and Latino Studies Launches New Major

It’s official! Students can now major in Black and Latino Studies (BLS) at Baruch College.

The innovative degree track, housed at Weissman and chaired by Professor Shelly Eversley, adds five full-time, dedicated faculty members and breaks new ground by answering the call for a 21st century approach to race and ethnic studies — combining an explicitly anti-racist, interdisciplinary pedagogy with an emphasis on skills that will serve students no matter where they go from here.

According to Dr. Eversley, Baruch’s BLS degree will build upon ethnic studies’ perennial commitment to community engagement by making explicit connections between classroom learning and practical applications.

“All careers need problem solvers and critical thinkers” says Dr. Eversley, “BLS students will be able to think through challenges using multiple lenses for analysis. They’ll get experience working with the discourses of poetry, politics, history, and communication, just to name a few.”

While traditionally professional skills have been seen as separate from the kind of critical thinking engendered by a liberal arts education, Baruch’s BLS major is founded on the idea that interdisciplinary learning is the very bedrock of students’ future career ambitions. This more dialectical approach to course goals will prepare students for post-college life in both the public and private sectors, including education, human resources, public policy, journalism, the law, and economic development.

A unique component of the 30-credit degree program is a substantial fieldwork requirement. Students will receive course credit for their work with New York City-based and national organizations dedicated to advancing racial and social justice, gaining the operational and leadership skills they’ll build upon for the rest of their lives

At Baruch since 1970, the BLS program was originally born out of student activism calling for open education and more diverse representation in the student body, as colleges and universities across the country launched Black Studies departments for the first time. At that time, Baruch had one of the only combined Black and Latino Studies departments in the country, as other institutions established programs that treated these as separate fields. 

Building on this tradition of inclusion, the department centers the study of race, racism, and power while continuing to question categories of gender, sexuality, and class. This explicitly intersectional approach together with its cross-disciplinary scope, has always been a hallmark of Black and Latino Studies. Its introduction as a proper major at last, promises to offer new life to Baruch’s course offerings and make BLS’ commitment to the liberatory potential of critical race studies more central to CUNY’s mission.

Thirty-Four Full-Time Faculty Members Join Weissman in Fall ’22

With the largest group of new hires ever in Weissman’s history, Baruch’s School of Arts and Sciences ushers in a new era. As more in-person classes return to the roster, and Baruch College begins to imagine what pandemic normalcy might look like, the college has seen many of its long-time faculty retire and new directions in learning multiply. The dramatic shift that the COVID-19 pandemic has generated at all levels of society, not to mention in the world of college education, has now opened the way for a new generation of thinkers, researchers, and teachers to join our community. This new cohort of thirty-four will shape the intellectual trajectory of Weissman for years to come.

This group of faculty represents the most diverse pool the college has ever seen—in ethnicity, background, and discipline—and speaks to Weissman’s commitment to offer students the broadest range of educational opportunities and points of view. We welcome Assistant Professors, Lecturers, and a new Chief College Laboratory Technician. Almost every department adds new recruits to its ranks including Black and Latino Studies, Mathematics, English, Communication Studies, Psychology, Modern Languages and Comparative Literature, Natural Sciences, Journalism, and Political Science.

To properly celebrate and welcome each of these unique, incoming intellectuals among a staff still scattered across a variety of modalities, we’ve decided to let each of them introduce themselves in their own words.

In the coming weeks, look for installments of a new online video series, “Syllabus and Introductions.” Each participating new faculty member will be invited to tell their story, highlight the expertise they bring to Weissman, and name few courses they’ll be offering in the coming year.

These short videos of introduction will be made available in each forthcoming issue of the newsletter, and will permanently live on Weissman’s YouTube channel and across our social media platforms.

Join us in welcoming this remarkable group of instructors and thinkers to Weissman.