Sherry Ryan, PhD, Appointed Marxe Dean of Baruch College’s Marxe School of Public and International Affairs
June 24, 2022
Baruch College announced that Sherry Ryan, PhD, has been appointed Marxe Dean of the Austin W. Marxe School of Public and International Affairs, effective September 1, 2022.
Dr. Ryan is currently Director of the School of Public Affairs at San Diego State University (SDSU), where she is also a professor of city planning with a focus on transportation and land use. The announcement follows a year-long national search to name a permanent Dean of the Marxe School.
“President Wu and I, along with Baruch’s entire leadership team, look forward to welcoming Dr. Ryan to the Marxe School of Public and International Affairs,” said Linda Essig, MFA, PhD, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs of Baruch College.
Provost Essig continued, “I am especially impressed by the dual nature of Dr. Ryan’s expertise. She is both a well-published scholar and a respected practitioner with significant experience delivering real solutions to diverse challenges across the nation’s urban landscapes. Dr. Ryan’s joint academic and practice experience exemplify Baruch’s intensive focus on providing the highest-caliber education while advancing professional outcomes for all our students.”
“I am honored to be appointed Marxe Dean of the Marxe School of Public and International Affairs,” Dr. Sherry Ryan said. “This is an exciting moment for public affairs education, as communities across the country rise to meet the challenges of a post-Covid environment. Baruch College is an iconic New York institution embedded in the city’s economy, politics, and culture, and the Marxe School is well-positioned to train the leaders of tomorrow in both the public and private sector. I am looking forward to advancing our commitment to providing a high quality, accessible, and innovative education for students while expanding the Marxe School’s footprint in New York City and around the world.”
A 25-Year Commitment to Public Higher Education
Dr. Ryan brings a quarter century of teaching, administrative, and public higher education leadership experience to Baruch College. She began her career at the University of Iowa as a visiting assistant professor in the school’s urban and regional planning graduate program, before joining San Diego State University in 2002 as a faculty member in the city planning program.
After 15 years on the faculty, Dr. Ryan was appointed Director of SDSU’s School of Public Affairs in 2017. As Director, Dr. Ryan oversaw five academic degree programs covering public administration, criminal justice, and city planning.
While facilitating the work of more than 50 faculty members and 1,200 students, Dr. Ryan also focused heavily on expanding the School of Public Affairs’ core capacities. She played a key role in SDSU’s strategic planning process and has since chaired a committee responsible for implementing parts of the final plan.
During her tenure, Dr. Ryan set up a robust ecosystem of online, self-support degree programs, bringing in revenue that was used to support faculty research and other initiatives. She also focused on alumni and donor engagement, hosting an advisory board of prominent alumni in government, and she recently helped to attract a $1 million gift to the school.
She was instrumental in attracting donor funding to support an Internship and Career Services Coordinator to prepare students for work in government and nonprofit organizations and connect them to employment opportunities in the field.
Dr. Ryan also led the creation of the school’s first DEI plan, laying out key goals with supporting objectives and performance measures. Under her leadership, the school developed a new course for its undergraduate students which examined how race and ethnicity intertwine with the criminal justice system.
She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Romance Languages and Latin American Studies in 1987 from Princeton University and earned a Master of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of California, Irvine, where she later received her PhD in Transportation Science.
Accomplished Scholar, Experienced Practitioner
Dr. Ryan’s research focuses on transportation policy and urban planning and has received over 2,000 citations in peer reviewed journals. She also frequently translates this scholarship into real-world practice and serves as an expert advisor to government agencies, nonprofits, and advocates for public transportation and alternatives such as bike and pedestrian infrastructure. She has worked directly with local and regional governments across California, Arizona, and Mexico.
Dr. Ryan is a sought-after source for media outlets covering transportation issues in urban communities, especially in San Diego and its surrounding environs.
At Baruch, she will leverage this academic and professional experience to expand on the cross-curriculum and community-based collaborations that are the hallmark of a Marxe education.
“New York City is at an inflection point as it experiences economic and cultural change in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic,” Dr. Ryan said. “As Dean, I look forward to furthering faculty research at the Marxe School and bringing that scholarship to bear on the challenges and opportunities before us –– all in the spirit of advancing educational and career opportunities for Baruch students.”
Austin W. Marxe School of Public and International Affairs
The Austin W. Marxe School of Public and International Affairs offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs in public policy and administration and recently launched a Master of International Affairs degree program. Drawing upon one of the largest public affairs faculty in the nation, the school empowers the next generation of public and nonprofit leaders. In 2016, the school received a $30 million gift from Austin W. Marxe (Class of ’65), the largest single gift in the history of Baruch College. With this gift, the School is able to increase student and faculty support in several areas, and is expanding programming that convenes thought leaders for critical discussions on the today’s vital issues. baruch.cuny.edu/mspia