Andrew J. Polsky is the Ruth and Harold Newman Dean of the School of Arts & Sciences at Hunter College of the City University of New York (CUNY), and professor of political science at Hunter College and the Graduate Center, CUNY. He received his PhD in Politics from Princeton University. He joined the Hunter College faculty in 1984, twice serving as chair of the Political Science Department, before becoming dean in 2013.
Dr. Polsky is a scholar of American political development and American politics, with a focus on the presidency and party coalitions. He is the author of The Rise of the Therapeutic State (Princeton University Press, 1991) and Elusive Victories: The American Presidency at War (Oxford University Press, 2012), which was a main selection of both the History Book Club and the Military Book Club. He also edited The Eisenhower Presidency: Lessons for the Twenty-First Century (2015). His articles have appeared in such journals as Perspectives on Politics, Studies in American Political Development, American Politics Research, Journal of Theoretical Politics, Polity, and Political Science Quarterly. Among his publications are several co-authored with students, both undergraduate and graduate. His article, “Partisan Regimes in American Politics,” received the 2013 Polity Prize for the best article published in the journal in 2012. From 2005 to 2010 Dr. Polsky served as editor of Polity.
As a faculty member, Dr. Polsky taught at every level from introductory courses to doctoral seminars. Each fall he offered a large lecture course on American government to 250 students. He has received awards for teaching, mentorship, and service. An active participant in faculty governance, he was the lead author of the current Hunter College strategic plan.
As dean, Dr. Polsky oversees Hunter College’s largest school, with approximately 17,000 students (including more than 1000 graduate students) and 480 fulltime and some 1000 contingent faculty members spread across 26 departments and several programs. His responsibilities include overseeing all faculty affairs (hiring, reappointment, tenure, and promotion), encouraging faculty development, coordinating and improving faculty advising of students, making sure students can get seats in the courses they need, guiding and evaluating new curriculum initiatives, developing institutional and program learning outcomes, and participating in space planning and allocation processes. Among his accomplishments, he has helped eliminate the backlog of students waiting to take core science courses, fostered a new emphasis on pedagogy in foundational science courses, supported the redesign of math courses to better meet the needs of science and social science students, established a policy to assure that faculty received consistent workload credit for overseeing independent student work, incorporated mentorship and student engagement in faculty evaluations for reappointment and tenure, led interdisciplinary faculty writing seminars, and started an initiative to encourage research efforts by long-time associate professors and improve their promotion prospects.