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Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Saul B. Cohen, Who Helped Increase CUNY Requirements, Dies at 95

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Saul B. Cohen, who helped restore greater tutorial requirements on the Metropolis College of New York as president of Queens Faculty and as a member of the state Board of Regents and revitalized his personal discipline of political geography, died on June 9 at his house in Larchmont, N.Y. He was 95.

His demise was confirmed by his spouse, Miriam F. Cohen.

After a contentious choice course of ended along with his appointment to guide Queens Faculty in 1978, Dr. Cohen started upgrading the faculty’s departments of training and music to full-fledged colleges. He started building of a science constructing and a library on the campus, within the Flushing part of Queens; created a regulation faculty; prolonged grasp’s diploma packages into 25 fields; and, in collaboration with the Board of Schooling, re-established Townsend Harris Excessive Faculty, which had been affiliated with Metropolis Faculty when Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia closed it in 1942 after complaints that it was too elite.

Dr. Cohen additionally imposed extra rigorous tutorial objectives and remedial packages. In 1999, as a member of the Board of Regents, he brokered a compromise that every one however ended the largely discredited so-called open admissions coverage, which had assured all highschool graduates entry into the freshman class at one of many Metropolis College’s senior schools with out having to meet such conventional necessities as grades or exams.

Those that had championed this system pointed to beneficial properties in enrollment and variety. However critics, together with Gov. George E. Pataki, Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani and Herman Badillo, the chairman of CUNY’s board of trustees, countered that as many as two-thirds of the freshmen who enrolled within the senior schools within the early Seventies had left inside 4 years with out graduating, and that the coverage, nonetheless properly meant, had cheapened the worth of a Metropolis College diploma.

As chairman of the Regents’ greater training committee, Dr. Cohen struck an settlement after practically three a long time that empowered the Metropolis College to start excluding incoming freshmen from its bachelor’s diploma packages in the event that they had been unable to exhibit their readiness to start college-level work in arithmetic and English.

As an alternative, college students who had been accepted into bachelor’s packages on the four-year senior schools however failed proficiency assessments in math or English can be diverted to the Metropolis College’s two-year neighborhood schools, or to immersion packages that may put together them for senior-college-level lessons.

The general public college, particularly, “should develop amongst its college students a thirst for the mental quest and a respect for tutorial rigor,” Dr. Cohen stated on the Queens Faculty graduation in 1984, a yr earlier than he stepped down as president. “It should not patronize these college students whom it has given the chance to be taught, by letting them slide by means of.”

Dr. Cohen himself bought a C in his first formal course in geography, throughout a summer season program at Harvard after he graduated from highschool. However he went on to earn three levels and change into the chief director of the Affiliation of American Geographers and a number one skilled in political and human geography — a specialty discipline that explores the affect of pure and arbitrary borders, territory, sources and populations on a nation’s cultural, social and financial growth, in addition to its relations with different nations.

Credit score…Rowman & Littlefield Publishers

Earlier than being appointed president of Queens Faculty, Dr. Cohen was a professor and dean of the Graduate Faculty of Geography at Clark College in Worcester, Mass. He earned a repute for upgrading the college’s tutorial requirements and rising minority enrollment.

He wrote or edited 16 books, amongst them “Geography and Politics in a World Divided” (1963) and up to date editions of “Geopolitics: The Geography of Worldwide Relations.”

Saul Bernard Cohen was born on July 28, 1925, in Malden, Mass., north of Boston, to Barnett and Annie (Kaplinsky) Cohen, Hebrew lecturers who of their teenagers had immigrated individually from the Vilna area of what’s now Lithuania.

The household moved to Dorchester in order that he might attend the celebrated Boston Latin Faculty. After attending Hebrew Faculty in Newton, Mass., and three months into his freshman yr at Harvard, he enlisted within the Military. He served from 1943 to 1946 with a demolition unit in Europe throughout World Conflict II.

Credit score…by way of Cohen household

Dr. Cohen graduated from Harvard with a bachelor’s diploma in geography in 1947 and went on to earn a grasp’s in 1950 and his doctorate in 1955.

He married Miriam Friederman in 1950. Along with his spouse, he’s survived by their two daughters, Deborah Shmueli and Louise Cohen; seven grandchildren; and 4 great-grandchildren.

Dr. Cohen taught at Boston College earlier than becoming a member of the Clark college in 1965. After leaving Queens Faculty in 1985, he served as director of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, a world aid group, and was a professor of geography at Hunter Faculty in Manhattan, additionally a part of the Metropolis College. He was a member of the Board of Regents for 17 years.

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