Professor of History and Paulsen Chair Clifton Hood recently served as an external reviewer for the history department of Manhattan College in Bronx, N.Y. Hood’s primary research focuses on urban history and New York City – its elites and its vast transit system. The depth of his knowledge on the area brought a unique prospective to the review process.
Hood visited the campus, and met with history department faculty and students as well as the provost and deans.
“I met with many people individually so as to gain the most accurate perception of the situation as possible,” explains Hood. “The goal is to make a contribution to the school and be able to provide a different way of seeing the department devoid of the internal politics.”
At the end of the process, Hood will write a report assessing the department and making recommendations. Departments can suggest things that they want the reviewer to endorse, for example Manhattan College’s history department was looking to hire an urban historian and was hoping for Hood’s endorsement.
For Hood, the process is not entirely one sided. “You get to sit in on classes being taught about your own field of expertise as well as meet many other professionals working in the same field,” explains Hood. “It can be a really great personal learning experience.”
Hood has been a member of the HWS faculty since 1992. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Washington University, as well as a master’s degree and doctorate from Columbia University. His main fields of study include elites, New York City, historical memory, and mass transit. Hood is the author of “722 Miles: The Building of the Subways and How They Transformed New York” and is currently completing his second book, “In Pursuit of Privilege: New York City’s Upper Class and the Making of the City, since 1754.” Courses taught regularly by Hood focus on American urban history, elites in America, U.S. environmental history and U.S. ethnicity and immigration. In spring 2001, Hood served as a senior Fulbright Lecturer in Seoul National University in Korea.