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City Council Approves Plan for Lincoln Center

The New York City Council voted on June 30 to approve Fordham University’s plan to develop its Lincoln Center campus.

The vote, upon review by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, clears the way for Fordham to add six new buildings and 1.5 million square feet of academic and dormitory space within the current boundaries of the Lincoln Center campus. The Council’s Land Use Committee approved the plan on June 10.

“This vote is a testament to the leadership of City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Councilwoman Gale Brewer,” said Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham. “They ably balanced the needs of the community, the needs of the University and the needs of the City of New York. The result, therefore, will be a dynamic 21st century campus that is of the community and in the service of Jesuit higher education.”

Father McShane also thanked Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer, whose compromise plan was crucial to the process, and City Planning Commission Chairperson Amanda Burden, who, with her fellow commissioners and staff, fine-tuned Fordham’s plan.

“We are pleased, naturally, that the City Council recognizes the importance of Fordham’s Lincoln Center campus to the local community and to the city,” Father McShane said. “New Yorkers can be proud of their leaders and confident that city government will serve the greater good.”

The economic impact of the plan includes an estimated millions of dollars a year in tax revenue for the city generated from the residential buildings to be built by private developers. Additionally, the plan will mean $1.6 billion in construction spending over the life of the project, and 4,500 to 5,000 construction jobs over its term, with about 520 permanent and 200 contract jobs.

Fordham University YouTube Channel Debuts

Fordham has enhanced its growing list of media distribution tools with the addition of a YouTube channel dedicated specifically to the University.

The site— —features 51 videos, grouped into six categories: lectures; University events; alumni; School of Law; President’s Library; and guest speakers. It will be updated with new material on a weekly basis.

Fordham’s YouTube channel

The final address by the late Avery Cardinal Dulles, S.J., which was delivered on April 1, 2008, can be found among the lectures. Other selections include:

• “Catholicism and Academic Freedom: Authorities in Conflict?” a Loyola Chair lecture given this past April by Stephen Fields, S.J., associate professor of theology at Georgetown.

• “Is There Still a Mystery to Mysticism after Modernity?” which was presented last October by Rabbi Alan Brill, Ph.D. (GSAS ’94), the Cooperman/Ross Endowed Professor in Honor of Sister Rose Thering at Seton Hall University.

Commencement is well represented in the events category, which includes remarks by the Hon. Michael Bloomberg, mayor of the City of New York, as well as an address given in 2004 by the late Tim Russert.

Fans of the late Walter Cronkite can watch him be interviewed on Oct. 12, 2006 by Everette Dennis, Ph.D., of the Center for Communications and Media Management at Fordham.

—Patrick Verel

Fordham’s Jesuits Go Green—Again

For the past 11 years, Fordham’s Jesuit community has been at the forefront of the urban gardening movement.

The community has a sizable and flourishing garden on the rooftop of its Rose Hill residence. Each year, under the supervision of Nicholas Lombardi, S.J., Ph.D., the community enjoys an array of fresh produce—tomatoes, Sicilian eggplant, peppers, romanesca, cucumbers, strawberries, melon and some petunias and colius.

Father Lombardi began gardening as a child in Queens, and today grows all of the fruits and vegetables from seed. He starts the plants in pots in early spring, and transfers the seedlings after the last frost.

Despite the Northeast’s blight on tomatoes and potatoes, Father Lombardi said the Jesuits’ community garden is doing well. By the end of growing season, he expects to have harvested close to 150 pounds of tomatoes.

“We ought to move to rooftop farming in all our cities,” said Father Lombardi. “Otherwise it’s wasted space.”

—Janet Sassi

Nicholas Lombardi, S.J., Ph.D., tends the garden atop his Jesuit residence.

GSE School Leadership Program Receives Three-Year Grant Funding

The Graduate School of Education will receive $299,313 annually for three years from the New York State Department of Education to help train tomorrow’s school leaders.

The grant, distributed in partnership with the Wallace Foundation, is part of a plan to develop a cohesive school leadership system in New York State. GSE is one of six institutions of higher education in the state to receive the award.

The grant will be used to prepare the next generation of city principals, said James Hennessy, Ph.D., dean of GSE. The funding will enable GSE to create a rigorous, 12-month program that will provide authentic clinical experience for future leaders.

Substantial tuition support will be provided to obtain a master’s in administration and supervision.

Recruiting will begin this month, and the first cohort of 15 students will commence next January, said Anita Batisti, Ph.D., associate dean of GSE. John Lee, Ed.D., clinical associate professor, will coordinate the administration of the grant, with support from the Center for Educational Partnerships.

Candidates for the program will be selected from teachers already working full-time who are ready to be leaders, Batisti said. In addition to taking 30 class credits at Fordham, the students will do a clinical internship of 420 hours.

“It’s a jam-packed year,” she said.

An integral aspect of the program is the “teacher recovery time” that is provided. Batisti explained that the grant will fund a substitute teacher one day per week so that working teachers may participate.

“Because we are very cognizant about children learning, it will be a long-term sub,” Batisti said. “So this way the continuity of the classroom will be enhanced, not diminished.”

As part of the program, GSE has joined with two high-need school districts, Community School District 4 in Manhattan and Community School District 10 in the Bronx, one of the largest in the city with 50,000 students. Both districts have very large populations of English language learners.

GSE also has partnered with the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators (CSA), which will provide mentoring and conduct workshops in addition to the classes taught by Fordham faculty.

A partnership with Fordham College at Lincoln Center will give potential school leaders extra support in literacy and math.

While helping to develop future leaders and enhance New York schools, the grant will also bring in more students to GSE, Hennessy said.

Each year of the grant, the program will accept another cohort of 15. “At the end of three years, 45 people will become certified school building leaders,” Batisti said.

—Nina Romeo

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