Gratz Prepares for Expansion | Gratz College

Gratz Prepares for Expansion

Dr. Paul Finkelman named chancellor; college seeks new president

MELROSE PARK, Pa.— Recent program growth and increased enrollment have prompted the Board of Governors at Gratz College to announce an expansion and reorientation of the college’s senior staff. At the conclusion of the 2020-21 academic year, President Paul Finkelman will become Chancellor of the College and the Haym Solomon Distinguished Professor of History. This new position will facilitate continued growth of Gratz by allowing Dr. Finkelman to focus on strategic planning, development, new partnerships with other institutions, and expansion of Gratz’s academic footprint. Dr. Finkelman will continue serving as president until a successor is in place.

Appointed president in 2017, Dr. Finkelman has led a period of growth for Gratz. The college has emerged as a premier institution for online learning. While many colleges have experienced steep enrollment declines in recent years, Gratz has increased its student body by more than 35 percent  and is poised for continued growth in the 2020-21 academic year. Students from across the nation are enrolling in Gratz’s graduate programs in education, earning M.Ed. and Ed.D. degrees. Gratz’s graduate program in Holocaust and Genocide Studies , offering the world’s only doctorate in this field , has attracted international attention and enrolls students from across the US, Canada, and more than a dozen countries in Europe, the Middle East, East Asia, and Latin America. The college also offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in Jewish studies, non-profit management, and Hebrew and Yiddish language. 

Gratz has added new master’s degree programs in Interfaith Leadership, Camp Management, and Human Rights studies. The Ph.D. program in Holocaust and Genocide Studies has more than tripled in size since its launch in 2017. The college is expanding online access to the more than 900 recorded interviews and artifacts collected over 40 years as part of the Gratz Holocaust Oral History Archive. 

Gratz’s community programs also have experienced growth in recent years. The college took leadership of the One Book, One Jewish Community program in 2019, and this past March launched [email protected] to provide online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. Continuing education, public lectures, and the Jewish Community High School also were swiftly transitioned to an online format. 

Michelle Portnoff, Esq., recent past chair of the Gratz College Board of Governors, will lead the search for Dr. Finkelman’s successor. The search will commence in fall 2020.