2018-06-13 / Features

Queensborough Community College President Retiring

Dr. Diane B. Call was honored with a standing ovation, flowers, speeches and a New York State Assembly Proclamation from Assembly Member David I. Weprin, in recognition of her outstanding contribution to higher education. Dr. Diane B. Call was honored with a standing ovation, flowers, speeches and a New York State Assembly Proclamation from Assembly Member David I. Weprin, in recognition of her outstanding contribution to higher education. Dr. Diane B. Call announced she will retire in August, capping a distinguished 47- year career at Queensborough Community College where she served the last eight years as its first woman president.

Board of Trustees Chair William C. Thompson, Jr. said: “The Board of Trustees congratulates President Call on her remarkable tenure at Queensborough Community College, where she has been a trailblazer— serving as its first woman president and provost—and an innovator, by establishing educational programs that increase student success. She has dedicated her career to building Queensborough Community College into an exemplary part of the City University of New York, for which we owe her our enduring gratitude.”

Dr. Call, whose vast experience demonstrates a strong commitment to the lifelong benefits of public higher education and diversity, has served in virtually all major arenas of administration and academics at Queensborough.

As provost, Dr. Call led the Academic Affairs Division in creating a student-centered learning environment that emphasizes the value of collaboration. She worked with faculty and Student Affairs on curriculum and pedagogical innovations and enrichment activities—including undergraduate research, instructional support and student services programs. Today, Queensborough is nationally recognized for this student-centered learning environment, as well as for its rigorous academic programs, strong and engaged faculty, and community partnerships that lead to internships and jobs for students.

Dr. Call is renowned for developing the Queensborough Academies, which serve all full-time degree students, from admission to graduation. This innovative program is a model for student success and has received national recognition for raising graduation and retention rates, including college-wide initiatives that integrate curriculum, pedagogy, advisement and co-curricular activities. This provides a cohesive undergraduate learning experience. Queensborough is one of the few community colleges in the country offering such a program on this scale.

Vita C. Rabinowitz, Interim Chancellor of the City University of New York said: “For nearly a half-century, President Call has been devoted to Queensborough Community College and its surrounding community— a remarkable achievement by any standard. Time and again, she has exhibited her commitment to academic excellence, innovative practices and finding student-centered solutions. She has successfully built a strong foundation at Queensborough and established a legacy of which we can all be proud.”

During her tenure High Impact Practices were also implemented, and these active learning practices made it possible to effectively assess students’ cumulative learning. Under Dr. Call’s leadership, the College has also received numerous grants, including a historic $11.5 million grant from Governor Cuomo’s NY CUNY 2020 geared toward connecting academic excellence with entrepreneurship and local economic development.

“The accomplishments achieved over the decades have been realized because of the collaborative efforts made by the extraordinarily talented and dedicated individuals who make up our campus community,” Dr. Call said. “To support their potential and success has been my greatest point of pride.”

Dr. Call’s more recent accomplishments include a concerted effort to increase the number of full-time faculty. There are now more than 400 full-time faculty and currently, 83 percent of the college’s faculty hold terminal degrees, three times the national average for community colleges.

Enrollment, in recent years, has been at a record high approaching 16,000 students each year.

Her community partnerships extend to Long Island where Dr. Call has cultivated relationships with over 200 schools, organizations and businesses. More than 100,000 people annually from the community, including schoolchildren from area elementary schools, come to events at the college’s Performing Arts Center, its Art Gallery and its Kupferberg Holocaust Center.

Recently, Dr. Call was honored with a 2018 Women of Distinction award, presented to her by New York State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky. The award recognizes outstanding women living and working in New York State, whose contributions have greatly enriched the quality of life in their communities and throughout the state.

Dr. Call holds a Doctor of Education degree in College and University Administration, a master’s degree in Community College Administration and a second master’s degree in Student Personnel Administration, all earned from Teachers College, Columbia University. Additionally, she holds a certificate in Curriculum Development from Harvard Graduate School of Education.

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