Dean Rasinariu on the New School of Graduate Studies

Dean of Graduate Studies Constantin Rasinariu. Photo: Phil Dembinski '08

Since becoming Dean of Graduate Studies last fall, I have dedicated much of my time and energy toward devising, in concert with faculty and staff, a more comprehensive, cohesive and fulfilling approach to graduate education at Columbia.
After many conversations, a thorough look at graduate practices nationwide and a consideration of Columbia’s creative and educational ambitions, with the support and encouragement of Provost Stan Wearden, I have proposed a structure for Columbia’s own School of Graduate Studies.
By centralizing our operations, we intend to encourage more cross-disciplinary collaboration while providing students with better academic and professional support throughout their degree pursuits. I strongly believe that this new school is the best way for us as a college and graduate community to improve the quality of education we provide.
As we work together as a community toward implementing Columbia’s strategic plan, we are all rethinking our curricula and structures, asking ourselves what it takes to maintain Columbia’s place as a national leader for arts education and cultural hub for the city. I believe that the answer to these questions lie, in part, with our graduate students and increasing their presence and number on campus.
I hope that by giving an overarching structure to graduate studies, our school will become an incubator not only for the creative work being done by our students but also for creative approaches in how to attract new students to Columbia. We want to allow them to pursue their creative passions here on their own time, either through establishing stackable micro-degree certificate programs or exploring online educational opportunities.
With the formation of any new school, there will be some growing pains, but I have been so encouraged and impressed by the incredible work already being done by our graduate faculty and students. Building a school is a significant amount of work, and I look forward to continuing our productive conversations about how to improve graduate education at Columbia. I am excited about the lasting impact I know we can have on the college by bringing the same creativity, energy and talent to the project of building this school as we do to our individual graduate work.
Establishing this school is a recognition of the essential role graduate studies plays in Columbia’s future, and as we continue to shape the school, I know that role will only grow larger.