Although Dyson College Dean Nira Herrmann, PhD, stepped down at the conclusion of the 2019—20 academic year, she has left behind a remarkable breadth of accomplishments that will serve the University for years to come.
D ean Nira Herrmann, PhD, has accomplished a great many things for Dyson College of Arts and Sciences’s students, faculty, and staff during her three terms of service (2004–20) to the University. Herrmann began her career as a statistician, and in highlighting the numerous achievements and exciting growth under her leadership, the facts and figures speak volumes.
Expanding the Dyson Community
- The number of full-time faculty members grew by 29%. *
- Undergraduate enrollment increased 40% and graduate enrollment went up 206% *
- Recognizing the value in providing students with robust professional support, Dean Herrmann expanded the number of academic advisors from four to ten—an increase of 150%—providing the growing student population with the guidance necessary for their success.
- As dean of Dyson College, Herrmann administered the approval of Pace University’s first doctoral program, the PhD in Mental Health Counseling, launched in 2014.
- In total, Herrmann oversaw the development and launch of 27 new programs—15 new bachelor’s degrees, 7 new master’s degrees, 2 combined/accelerated degrees, and 3 new PhDs.
- An advocate of the arts, Herrmann was instrumental to the establishment of two new arts schools. The Actors Studio Drama School joined with Pace University in 2006, offering the only master of fine arts program created and sanctioned by the Actors Studio, and Dyson’s department of theater became the Pace School of Performing Arts (PPA) in 2014. PPA, which now offers eight bachelor’s degree programs, was Manhattan’s first new performing arts school in 50 years.
- In 2009, she nurtured the establishment of the Center for Undergraduate Research Experiences to create and expand research and service-learning opportunities.
Fundraising and Grants
- Herrmann played a key role in securing the financial contributions to support Dyson College students and expand programs. During her time as dean, Herrmann raised more than $21.4 million, including nearly $14 million in external funding, in collaboration with Pace’s Office of Development and Alumni Relations.
* Between FY 2005 and FY 2020
- Under Herrmann, 5 unique new institutes were created, helping to shape the minds of students. These include the Dyson College Institute for Sustainability and the Environment (established 2015), the International Disarmament Institute (established 2016), Dyson College Center for Global Psychology (established 2016), the Women’s Leadership Initiative (established 2016), and the Global Asia Institute (established 2020).
Leadership in the Arts and Sciences
- With support from Herrmann, Dyson Associate Professor of English Jane Collins, PhD, launched the Dyson Scholars in Residence (DSIR) program in 2017. DSIR participants live together in a residence hall, take special seminars, and collaborate to complete a hands-on community service project.
- As dean, Herrmann oversaw the establishment of a new art gallery, completed under Phase I of the University’s New York City Master Plan, and created a gallery director position to lead it. The new space, located at 41 Park Row, was officially opened in 2019.
- During Herrmann’s tenure, science laboratories on the Pleasantville and New York campuses received significant renovations, providing Dyson College students and faculty with state-of the-art centers of research. One of the most significant of the upgrades was a major transformation of the Dyson Hall of Science in Westchester, supported in part by a $5 million grant from the Dyson Foundation and completed in 2010.
there were many contributors instrumental to their fruition,
and Herrmann’s leadership made them a reality. In honor of
her invaluable contribution to Pace University, the Dyson
College Society of Fellows Class of 2020 was named for
Dean Nira Herrmann. As Dyson’s premier honors organization,
the society fosters undergraduate scholarship and provides
enriching experiences for students with outstanding academic
ability, and the tribute is a fitting recognition as we celebrate
Herrmann’s many accomplishments.