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The Fashion Institute of Technology was the brainchild of the educator Mortimer C. Ritter and the menswear manufacturer Max Meyer. The school opened in 1944 on the top two floors of the High School of Needle Trades. By 1951, there was enough support for the institute as well as students enrolled to warrant a degree program at FIT. That year, the school was granted the right to award an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree. FIT received accreditation in 1957 and introduced a variety of courses, including Liberal Arts. During the 1960s, the curriculum grew to include interior design, advertising, and photography as subjects taught at the school. The following decade saw the school expanding to provide Bachelor's (in 1975) and Master's (1985) degree's, after years of lobbying State University Board of Education. FIT can boast about being the first to offer unique degrees in fields taught no where else in the U.S., such as Toy Design and Visual Presentation and Exhibition Design. There are 48 degree programs in total at FIT as of October 2020.
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Under the leadership of the President, the office supports all activities related to FIT's mission, while assisting in continual assessment of the efficacy and quality of its programs and administrative offices.
The President engages the college community in strategic and investment planning efforts to build faculty ranks, increase technology, expand the curriculum, and improve student services.
Reporting to the Board of Trustees, the President oversees a nine-member cabinet of senior administrators and manages divisional units of the college. The President also has an Extended Cabinet, comprised of the Cabinet plus all deans, associate and assistant deans, associate and assistant vice presidents, the director of the The Museum at FIT, and the internal auditor.
Dr. Joyce F. Brown is the current President of FIT; she has served since 1998. Her predecessors are, in reverse chronological order, Stuart Steiner (1997-1998), Alan F. Hershfield (1992-1997), Marvin Feldman (1971-1992), Shirley Goodman (1970-1971), Lawrence L. Jarvie (1966-1970), Samuel Dietsch (1965), Lawrence Bethel (1953-1965), again Samuel Dietsch (1953), Max Meyer (1952-1953), and Mortimer C. Ritter (1951-1952). Ritter also served as Director from 1944-1951.
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Access is open to researchers by appointment at the Fashion Institute of Technology Library, Department of Special Collections and College Archives. If you have any questions, or wish to schedule an appointment contact us at email@example.com or call (212) 217-4385.
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The Unit of Special Collections and College Archives does not own copyright for all material held in its physical custody. It is the researcher's obligation to abide by and satisfy copyright law (http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#108) when copying or using materials (including digital materials) found in or made available from the department. When possible, the department will inform a researcher about the copyright status of material, the researcher's obligations with regard to such material, and, wherever possible, the owner or owners of the copyrights. Any and all reproduction of originals is at the archivist's discretion.
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