President Chase F. Robinson


Interim President Chase F. Robinson

Chase F. Robinson is the president of the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, the principal doctorate-granting institution of the nation's leading public, urban university. Dr. Robinson, a historian of the premodern Middle East, is also Distinguished Professor of History.

From 2008 through June 2013, he served as Provost and Senior Vice President of the Graduate Center. In this capacity, Dr. Robinson led a comprehensive planning process culminating in the GC’s Strategic Plan for 2012-2016, outlining the institution’s major goals. Dr. Robinson also worked with the Office of Institutional Advancement to secure major funding to enhance faculty support, helped establish the Graduate Center at the forefront of the digital evolution within higher education, expanded the Master’s of Liberal Studies program, and launched major initiatives, such as the Initiative for the Theoretical Sciences, the CUNY Institute for Language Education in Transcultural Context, and the Advanced Research Collaborative.

Dr. Robinson received an A.B. (Honors) from Brown University, having also studied at the American University in Cairo, the University of Cairo, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In 1992, he earned a Ph.D. from Harvard University’s Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, where he was awarded a Charlotte W. Newcombe Fellowship from the Woodrow Wilson Foundation. In 1993 he joined the Faculty of Oriental Studies and Wolfson College, Oxford, where he taught until 2008. From 1999 to 2000 he was a member of the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and in 2005 he received a two-year British Academy Research Readership.

As Chairman of the Faculty Board of Oriental Studies at Oxford, Robinson put in place the department’s first academic plan, broadened its scope in terms of development and external relations, and forged new relationships with international donors as well as academic institutions in the Middle East.

A specialist in early Islamic history, Robinson is the author or editor of seven books and more than forty articles. He also serves on a number of editorial and review boards, and his commentaries have appeared in Chronicle of Higher Education, the Huffington Post, the (London) Times Higher Education Supplement, and the New York Times.