Messages to the Community

Welcoming Dr. Donna E. Shalala as The New School’s Interim President

A Message from Linda E. Rappaport, Chair, Board of Trustees

Dear New School Community,

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Donna E. Shalala as Interim President of The New School. Dr. Shalala will begin in this role on August 15th. 

A nationally recognized leader in higher education and government, Dr. Shalala is superbly qualified to preserve and promote The New School’s historic legacy and distinctive combination of academic excellence and social values. She will also be a leader and collaborator in laying important groundwork for our next permanent President.

Dr. Shalala brings decades of distinguished leadership in higher education to The New School. She served as President of the University of Miami, Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and President of Hunter College of the City University of New York (CUNY). A dedicated scholar and teacher, she has held tenured professorships at Columbia University, CUNY, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and most recently was a faculty member at the University of Miami. She continues to be devoted to scholarship and teaching.

Her leadership in U.S. government began as one of the country’s first Peace Corps Volunteers. For eight years she served in President Bill Clinton’s Cabinet as Secretary of Health and Human Services, following which a Washington Post article described her as “one of the most successful government managers of modern times.” Most recently, she was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for Florida’s 27th Congressional District.

As President of the University of Miami from 2001 to 2015, Dr. Shalala established the institution as one of the nation’s leading research universities. In her capacity as Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she strengthened undergraduate education programs. Dr. Shalala also brought national recognition to Hunter College, championing many initiatives, including academic support strategies to promote student success.

One of the most honored academic leaders of her generation, Dr. Shalala has been elected to seven national academies: the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Academy of Political and Social Science, the American Philosophical Society, the National Academy of Education, the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Public Administration, and the National Academy of Social Insurance. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a former Guggenheim Fellow. 

She is the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award; the Nelson Mandela Award for Health and Human Rights; and a National Public Service Award. She was elected to the National Women’s Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, New York, and has received numerous honorary degrees. She was named one of the “top five managers in higher education” by BusinessWeek, one of “America’s Best Leaders” by U.S. News & World Report, and “one of the greatest public servants of the past 25 years” by the Council on Excellence in Government. 

Dr. Shalala received her undergraduate degree from Western College for Women and a Ph.D. from The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.

“I am deeply honored by the opportunity to join this extraordinary institution,” said Dr. Shalala. “The New School has a unique and distinguished role in American higher education, developing students who will have an impact on the world and boldly address the most pressing social issues of our time. I am excited to join the university and look forward to what we will accomplish together.”

I want to thank the members of the Interim President search committee for the dedication and judgment they brought to this intensive and important process. I have named each member below to personally thank them for their work this summer.

I also want to recognize the leaders of the University Student Senate, Faculty Senate, and Staff Senate, as well as the President’s Leadership Team and Executive Deans, for their insights and input in the search process. Their thoughtful observations underscored the passion we all share as a community for the university’s distinctive mission and values.

I want to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to President McBride for leading the university, advancing our mission and position as an academic leader, and helping to further shape and strengthen The New School’s ongoing focus on equity, inclusion, and social justice. He guided the university through unprecedented times, and his contributions will continue to inform our future work. The New School is fortunate to have had him as our President.

We look forward to welcoming Dr. Shalala to campus. Her arrival is perfectly timed for the start of the academic year, and she is enthusiastic about beginning her work with us and getting to know our students, faculty, and staff. I hope you will join me in extending her a warm welcome. 

With admiration, respect, and best wishes for the start of the academic year,

Linda E. Rappaport, 
Chair, Board of Trustees

Search Committee 

Linda E. Rappaport, Chair, Board of Trustees
Craig A. Bernecker, Faculty Trustee
Franci J. Blassberg, Trustee
Dominique Bluhdorn, Trustee
Noor Lima Boudakian, Graduate Student and Former Student Trustee
Christopher J. Castano, Trustee
Susan L. Foote, Trustee
Maria-Elena Grant, Staff Senate Co-Chair
Joseph R. Gromek, Trustee
Timothy L. Porter, Trustee
Elliot Stein, Trustee

Take The Next Step

Submit your application


To apply to any of our Bachelor's programs (Except the Bachelor's Program for Adult Transfer Students) complete and submit the Common App online.

Graduates and Adult Learners

To apply to any of our Master's, Doctural, Professional Studies Diploma, Graduates Certificate, or Associate's programs, or to apply to the Bachelor's Program for Adult and Transfer Students, complete and submit the New School Online Application.