Laura Auricchio, Ph.D., Discusses New Position as Dean of FCLC


Laura Auricchio, Ph.D., officially began her position as dean of FCLC on Aug. 1. (Courtesy of Laura Auricchio)

Nick Tasolides, Contributing Writer

On Thursday, Aug. 1, Laura Auricchio, Ph.D., became the first female dean of Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC). Auricchio served as vice provost for curriculum and learning, and dean within the Schools of Public Engagement at The New School. A native New Yorker, Auricchio is excited to take on her new job as dean of FCLC. This week, she sat down with the Fordham Ram.

The Fordham Ram: What was your job like at The New School?

Auricchio: I was at The New School for 17 years, I started there as a professor for art history. I worked in a wide range of areas at the New School including chair of humanities, then I became a dean, overseeing a wide range of programs including: adult bachelors program, the foreign languages program, urban studies, global studies and environmental studies. I also oversaw the ESL program and the AM program and teaching English to speakers of other languages. Then I became the vice provost for curriculum and learning. Which meant I was responsible for generating new programs for the entire university. I was generating new programs, evaluating new programs, supporting teaching assistants as well as overseeing school-wide lecturing courses. I did a lot.

The Fordham Ram: How do you think you can carry your skills from The New School to Fordham?

Auricchio: I have found that there are a lot of things I learned at The New School in 17 years that are really helpful here. A lot of the same issues that are struggles that Fordham College at Lincoln Center is facing were issues that we dealt with at The New School as well. It’s also an urban campus. We went to great lengths to foster a community, which can be challenging when you have large commuter populations. We had the challenges of space that we have here at Fordham College Lincoln Center. At The New School we had an engagement with the city that I am hoping I can bring here. My hope is that I can actually do more here than we did there in terms of really engaging. I love the tag line “New York is my campus Fordham is my school.” I want to really bring that to fruition.

The Fordham Ram: What about Fordham, more specifically Lincoln Center, appealed to you?

Auricchio: The similarity to The New School in part but, also, I have a lot of family connections to Fordham. My mother’s Ph.D. is from Fordham, her partner got his undergrad degree from Lincoln Center. My cousin who is a nun got her bachelors from Rose Hill. Also, among Fordham’s strengths are its strong liberal arts focus, which is my personal and academic focus, as well as the creativity that I see at Lincoln Center. I’ve seen a great deal of creativity, a great deal of enthusiasm for the city. The core values of a Jesuit education are really things that speak to me.

The Fordham Ram: How has the transition process been so far?

Auricchio: Wonderful. I have felt so warmly welcomed. Far more warmly welcomed then I could ever have dreamed of.

The Fordham Ram: And how does it feel to be the first female dean of Lincoln Center?

Auricchio: Several people have asked me that and I actually don’t know how to answer that. I don’t know, to me I am just me. I understand that it is a significant step and several female faculty members have expressed to me how grateful they are that I’m here. I think it’s wonderful that women here do have a role model in this office and I’m proud and honored to hold that position.

The Fordham Ram: Do you have any goals for this first year?

Auricchio: I am trying to connect with students. That’s probably one of my top goals. In my first month here I posted on Instagram everyday something I saw at Fordham. I think the students are responding well to that. So that’s one. Two, I want to enhance student and faculty research. And three I really want to ensure that all of our classes are making the most of the city.

The Fordham Ram: Have there been any challenges so far?

Auricchio: I have to say that I feel like I’m living a charmed life. Everybody here has been so wonderful. I’m sure I will encounter challenges at some point, but in the first six weeks it’s been really wonderful.

The Fordham Ram: Lastly, what are a few things students should know about you?

Auricchio: I am a native New Yorker, third generation. I am a huge Yankees fan, I love art, I love the city and I think Fordham is a great place.