President Gould's Biography

Dr. Karen L. Gould, the ninth president of Brooklyn College and first woman to hold the post, assumed office on Aug. 15, 2009. Before coming to Brooklyn, she served as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at California State University, Long Beach. As the chief academic officer of one of the most diverse public institutions in California, Gould was responsible for ensuring a high-quality educational experience for 36,000 students. Previously, she served as dean of arts and sciences at the University of Cincinnati, dean of arts and letters at Old Dominion University, and held administrative and tenured faculty appointments at Bowling Green State University, Virginia Tech and Bucknell University.

Under President Gould's leadership, the college has significantly increased student retention, graduation rates and fundraising; expanded international education and internship opportunities for students; increased business and community partnerships; raised more than $30 million to launch the Barry R. Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema at Steiner Studios in the Brooklyn Navy Yard; completed construction of a new athletic field; overseen construction of the Leonard & Claire Tow Center for the Performing Arts; and purchased an adjacent lot for future academic program development. President Gould has supported the formation of a new academic structure for the college with five recognized schools: Business, Education, Humanities and Social Sciences, Natural and Behavioral Sciences, and Visual, Media and Performing Arts. Since her arrival, the college has hired 164 new full-time faculty, developed a new strategic plan, revised the college Facilities Master Plan, reviewed and implemented a Retention and Graduation Success plan, and proceeded with technology infrastructure assessment and enhancement.

An internationally known scholar in the field of French-Canadian literature, Gould is the author or co-editor of six books, including the internationally recognized Writing in the Feminine: Feminism and Experimental Writing in Quebec (1990), and more than 50 articles and essays on contemporary Quebec literature, francophone women writers and the modern French novel. She has been honored with both the Canadian Governor General's International Award for Canadian Studies and the Donner Medal in Canadian Studies for research and professional contributions to her field. She is the former editor of the interdisciplinary journal Québec Studies and has received numerous grants, fellowships and awards, including a Fulbright Senior Fellowship and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, American Association of University Women and the Woodrow Wilson Foundation. She has served as president of the International Council for Canadian Studies, president of the American Association for Canadian Studies in the United States, and as a member of the executive board of the national Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences.

President Gould serves on the board of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and served two terms on the CUNY Research Foundation board. She also is a member of the Presidents Circle of the National Council for Research on Women, the Women's Forum of New York City, the Brooklyn Tech Triangle Task Force and the Higher Education Working Group on Global Issues, sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations and the Forum for the Future of Higher Education. An active member of the City University of New York Council of Presidents, she chairs the council's Committee on International Education and serves on the Committee on Academic Affairs, the Long-range Planning Committee, the Chancellor's Executive Committee, the Ad Hoc Committee on Women's Leadership and the Ad Hoc Committee on President Obama's Higher Education Plan. She has been honored by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce for her leadership in developing a new graduate school of cinema at Steiner Studios, received commendation from the New York State Senate and the United Way for her philanthropic activities, and was honored by her alma mater, Occidental College, as a distinguished alumna in 2013. She received a diploma from the Sorbonne in 1969; a B.A., cum laude, from Occidental College in 1970; and a Ph.D. in romance languages from the University of Oregon in 1975.