Norman Fainstein is President Emeritus and Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Urban Studies at Connecticut College, where he led that institution from 2001-2006. Prior to assuming the Connecticut College presidency, he was Dean of the Faculty (the chief academic officer) at Vassar College. Earlier, he was Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Baruch College in the City University of New York. He has also held administrative and teaching posts at the New School and at Columbia University, and he has been a member of various boards and commissions devoted to information technology, libraries, and international education.
While on sabbatical leave in 2006-07, he spent the fall semester as President in Residence at the Harvard Graduate School of Education program in higher education administration. In the spring of 2007 he was awarded a Rockefeller Foundation fellowship for a month’s residence at the Bellagio Study Center in Italy. He returned to the professoriate in 2007-08 and chaired the Connecticut College Department of Sociology until retiring in June, 2010. During 2011-17 he served part of each year as a visiting professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in the National University of Singapore. In fall 2019 Professor Fainstein will be a lecturer in the Harvard Graduate School of Design.
Dr. Fainstein studied physics and political science as an undergraduate and received a Ph.D. in political science with highest distinction at MIT. He was a Samuel Stouffer Fellow at the Harvard-MIT Joint Center for Urban Studies, a National Science Foundation Fellow, and a Woodrow Wilson Fellow. He has published several books and numerous scholarly articles on urban history and politics; planning, economic development and public policy; and urban sociology. Most recently, he has been writing about the political-economy of public housing in Singapore and Hong Kong.