As Founding Dean of the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies (SLU), I’m delighted to welcome you to our new School. We open our doors in the fall 2018 semester in a celebratory mood and with a great sense of excitement about the future.
SLU may be CUNY’s newest School, but it is the culmination of a vision that began more than three decades ago with a university-union partnership to provide higher education opportunities to workers. Starting at Queens College and later at the School of Professional Studies, we built the Murphy Institute (SLU’s predecessor) into a nationally acclaimed labor program. Our undergraduate and graduate programs have attracted both adult learners and traditional-aged students, across the nation and globally. Thousands of our graduates have embarked on successful careers in unions, community organizations, city agencies and government.
Research produced by the Institute’s faculty, a national journal, international work, and extensive public programming have established the Institute as an intellectual hub for the discussion of global issues concerning work, workers, and working-class communities.
Now we are the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies. In addition to offering programs in our principal fields—Labor Studies and Urban Studies—we are the first School in the nation to give students an opportunity to focus on the intersections between work and urban life. This is an area that has been understudied until now. We have high expectations, not only for expanding the body of knowledge in our fields, but also for informing public policy related to urban workers and their institutions. With a faculty of renowned scholars and distinguished practitioners, a dedicated professional staff, and new resources, we are poised to expand programs on all fronts.
I’m proud to say that the mission of our School derives from three core values: access to education, diversity at every level, and equality for all. Our fundamental goal is to expand higher education opportunities for workers and aspiring scholars; promote civic engagement; prepare students for public service; and educate the next generation of labor and community leaders.
To accomplish our goals, the School rests on four foundational pillars: Labor Studies, Urban Studies, Workforce Education, and Community Service. These pillars support a range of personal aspirations and practical needs while also serving the cause of social justice.
As we have for decades, we will collaborate with units of CUNY in the five boroughs to design workforce development programs that help workers excel in their jobs and achieve greater economic security. Through these CUNY partnerships, we have the capacity to match the needs of workers to the workforce needs of government and industry.
SLU comes into being at a critical moment for those who are working to preserve our democratic institutions and advance the ideals of social justice. We can make a difference. Our School is a place for hard questions and debate; it’s a place to test experience, learn new skills, and work toward a more equitable society. I invite you to click through this website to learn about SLU programs and services. I hope you will join us, and I look forward to meeting you.
Gregory Mantsios, Ph.D.