City University of New York  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The City University of New York (CUNY), acronym, is the public university system of New York City, with its administrative offices in Yorkville in Manhattan. It is the largest urban university in the United States, consisting of 23 institutions: 11 senior colleges, six community colleges, the William E. Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, the doctorate-granting Graduate School and University Center, the City University of New York School of Law, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, and the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education. More than 260,000 degree-credit students and 273,000 continuing and professional education students are enrolled at campuses located in all five New York City boroughs.

CUNY students hail from 205 countries. The black, white and Hispanic undergraduate populations each comprise more than a quarter of the student body, and Asian undergraduates make up more than 15 percent. Nearly 60 percent are female, and 29 percent are 25 or older. CUNY graduates include 12 Nobel laureates, a U.S. Secretary of State, a Supreme Court Justice, several mayors, members of Congress, state legislators, scientists and artists.

Millions of dollars in federal stimulus funds have been awarded to CUNY’s projects and programs, providing more opportunities for research, training and expansion. Chancellor Matthew Goldstein, who recently championed higher education as critical to the nation's economic recovery efforts, said enrollment at City University of New York is at its highest level in more than three decades.

CUNY is the third-largest university system, in terms of enrollment, in the United States, behind the State University of New York (SUNY) and California State University systems. CUNY and SUNY are separate and independent university systems, although both are public institutions that receive funding from New York State. CUNY, however, is additionally funded by the City of New York.

History

CUNY's history dates back to the formation of the Free Academy in 1847 by Townsend Harris. The school was fashioned as "a Free Academy for the purpose of extending the benefits of education gratuitously to persons who have been pupils in the common schools of the city and county of New York." The Free Academy later became the City College of New York, the oldest institution among the CUNY colleges. Hunter College – so-named in 1914, originally Female Normal and High School and later the Normal College – had existed since 1870, and later expanded into the Bronx in the early 20th century with what became Hebert Lehman College, but CCNY and Hunter resisted merging.

In 1926, in response to the growth in population of the city, the New York State legislature created the Board of Higher Education of the City of New York to integrate, coordinate and expand the institutions of higher education in the city. Through this agency, the state legislature asserted considerable control over the city's higher education. During the period the Board existed, John Jay College (1925), Brooklyn College (1930) and Queens College (1937) were created, along with a number of 2-year community colleges.

In 1961, Governor Nelson Rockefeller signed the bill that formally created the City University of New York to integrate these institutions, and a new graduate school, together into a coordinate system of higher education for the city, and by 1979, the Board of Higher Education had become the Board of Trustees of the CUNY. Eventually, the system grew to include seven senior colleges, four hybrid schools, six community colleges, as well as graduate schools and professional programs.

CUNY has historically served a diverse student body, especially those excluded from or unable to afford private universities. CUNY offered a high quality, tuition-free education to the poor, the working class and the immigrants of New York City until 1975, when the City's fiscal crisis forced the imposition of tuition. Many Jewish academics and intellectuals studied and taught at CUNY in the post-World War I era when Ivy League universities, such as Yale University, discriminated against Jews. The City College of New York has had a reputation of being "the Harvard of the proletariat."

Over its history, CUNY and its colleges, especially CCNY, have been involved in various political movements. It was known as a hotbed of socialistic support in the earlier 20th century. CUNY also lent some support to various conferences, such as the Socialist Scholars Conference.

CUNY's tradition of diversity continues today, with much of its student body new immigrants to New York City, representing 172 countries.


See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "City University of New York" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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