The Joseph S. Murphy Institute focuses on education for workers and union members and serves as a research and resource center for publications and public programming. The Institute traces its roots to 1984 and in 2005 was named in honor of former CUNY Chancellor Joseph S. Murphy, a tireless advocate for labor and worker education. The Institute continues as an entity within the School of Labor and Urban Studies, with two specific goals: 1) offer public forums, publish material, and offer programs that will encourage public discourse and greater civic participation, and 2) partner with unions, employers, and other CUNY units to expand educational opportunities for union members and other adult learners seeking to attain the knowledge, skills, and credentials they need to achieve their career goals and improve their economic wellbeing.


Sarah Watson
Director of the Murphy Institute

Dr. Maryam (Sara) Esfarayeni
Director of Worker Education

The Murphy Institute at CUNY SLU

The Murphy Institute at CUNY SLU offers educational opportunities and academic support services for adult learners across CUNY and serves as an academic resource on issues of concern related to workers and working-class communities.

Worker Education

The Murphy Institute partners with unions, CBOs, employers, and other CUNY units to provide adult learners with a variety of academic courses and support services, including free college prep; SLU/CUNY pre-admissions advisement; LEAP to Teacher, a special set of support services for paraprofessionals in the UFT; and Worker Education at Queens College, a hub for union members and working students in Queens.

Public Engagement

The Murphy Institute sponsors public forums and national conferences; conducts research; publishes New Labor Forum, a nationally acclaimed journal; offers leadership development programs to encourage greater civic participation; and organizes a number of specialized local, national, and international initiatives.