Baruch’s Higher Education Administration Program
Baruch’s Higher Education Administration (HEA) Program, housed in the School of Public Affairs, has been preparing students for leadership roles in colleges and universities for many years. Graduates with the master’s degree in higher education administration typically serve in student affairs, budget offices, and institutional research, among other areas—“the backbone of institutional management,” explains SPA Dean David Birdsell. Baruch is the only public institution with such a program in downstate New York.
Most HEA programs are managed through schools of education, but Baruch’s is rare in its public affairs affiliation, where the emphasis is on “best practices of public management and nonprofit management in the service of the very best public policy,” notes Birdsell.
Given the current economic climate, this is especially useful. “We’re teaching courses in fundraising, in board management,” says Birdsell. “All of the courses in the Master of Public Affairs Program are open to students in the higher ed curriculum and vice versa. There’s a circulation of ideas.”
Joining Public Affairs Professor John McGarraghy, longtime HEA Program coordinator, and Angelina Delgado, director of operations, is new assistant professor Rachel Smith. “She brings a terrific suite of new knowledge to the practice of HEA with an emphasis on research,” says Birdsell. Also bolstering the program is the generosity of donor Stephen Jerome (MSEd ’01), president of Monroe College, who has supported a series of lectures and events that have enriched the curriculum.
Recently, there have been enormous shifts in higher education, including enhanced public interest in public institutions because of tuition increases at many private schools. Dean Birdsell also cites President Obama’s recommendation that all Americans have at least one year of postsecondary education. “This is a sea change in how we understand the role of these institutions and signals a vast new set of demands and responsibilities . . . We’re very pleased to be able to offer a program in direct response to some of these concerns.”