Dean of the College / Chief Academic Officer Jon Snyder
People questioned my wisdom when I moved to Bank Street College from the University of California, Santa Barbara eleven years ago. I left a tenured faculty position for an annual contract and the life of a Dean. I left a home that was a downhill bike ride to the beach and a slightly longer uphill bike ride into the Santa Ynez Mountains, for the subways of New York. I left a place where I could find a free parking space steps from my office, for a place where one has to stop at the bank to get a loan to retrieve the car from the parking lot.
Because Bank Street stands for something in the world. It stood for something 100 years ago; it stands for something now; and it will stand for something 100 years from now.
In a world where the rate of change is increasing exponentially, Bank Street has maintained a laser-sharp focus on the growth and development of the human being as the entry point for educational systems and policies.
We stand for the incontrovertible fact that human beings grow and develop within mutually interdependent cognitive, social, emotional, physical, linguistic, psychological, and ethical domains.
Since I arrived at Bank Street, the World Trade Towers tumbled, our young adults fought in two foreign wars, the economy collapsed, and educational policy veered radically into being driven by high stakes standardized tests. Through it all, we still stand for something in the world. As best said by W.E.B. Dubois: “Education is the development of power and ideal. We want our children [educated] as intelligent human beings should be and we will fight for all time against any proposal to educate… boys and girls simply as servants and underlings, or simply for the use of other people. They have a right to know, to think, to aspire.”
I welcome and encourage each of you to stand with us.
Jon Snyder, Dean of the College
Dean Jon Snyder is the chief academic administrator of the College after the president. The dean oversees and enriches academic policies and quality throughout the College. This includes offerings both for children (Children's Programs, Liberty Leads, and the Bank Street Head Start Centers), and for adults (in the Graduate School and in Bank Street Online).
All deans report jointly to him and to the president. He serves on the College Budget Committee, bringing an academic voice to all discussions about resource allocation. In addition, the dean is charged with identifying and developing cross-institutional educational partnerships and collaborations, strengthening Bank Street's research output, and working collaboratively with other colleagues to increase Bank Street's visibility in the educational policy community. Other offices reporting to the dean include: the Library, Institutional Research, and Innovation, Policy and Research (IPR).
In the 2013-14 Academic Year, IPR is enthused about its involvement in the MDRC “Making PreK Count” initiative. Funded by the Robin Hood Foundation, Making PreK Count is a major research initiative testing the hypothesis that high quality early childhood care can make a difference in the life trajectories of children traditionally underserved in our current system. We will also be working with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to pilot a principal performance assessment that, when complete, will be used as part of the State’s decision to grant a principal’s license.