Salins, Peter D. 1938-
SALINS, Peter D. 1938-
Born June 15, 1938, in Berlin, Germany; immigrated to the United States, 1939; son of Irwin and Ilse Daisy Salins; married Rochelle Chensky, April 4, 1971; children: Jessica Elizabeth, Jonathan Andrew. Education: Syracuse University, B.Arch., 1961, M.R.P., 1968, Ph.D., 1969. Hobbies and other interests: Golf, reading, hiking.
Writer, editor, architect, and college administrator. City University of New York (CUNY), Hunter College, Department of Urban Affairs and Planning, chairman, 1973-93, 1996-97, Department of Urban Affairs and Planning, professor, 1980-97, director of graduate program in urban planning, 1993-95, Urban Research Center, director, 1995-97; State University of New York (SUNY), provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, 1997-2006; SUNY, Stony Brook University, professor, 1997, 2006—; SUNY Research Foundation, director, 1997. Manhattan Institute of Policy Research, senior fellow. University of California, Berkeley, Catherine Bauer Wurster lecturer, 1993. Member of board of directors, State University Research Foundation, State University of New York, Lavanburg Foundation, and Citizens Housing and Planning Council of New York. Member of planning accreditation board, City of Chicago, 1990. Member of advisory panel, White House Domestic Policy Staff on Urban Policy, 1977. Guest on television programs, including The Charlie Rose Show, Currents, Midday Live, Cityscope, and Eye-on-New York.
American Institute of Certified Planners, Association of Specialized & Professional Accreditors (vice president, 1982-84), American Planning Association (vice president, 1986-88; member of policy board, New York metropolitan chapter, 1986), Lambda Alpha.
Luther Gulick Award for outstanding academics, Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors, 1994; Elected to College of Fellows of the American Institute of Certified Planners.
The Ecology of Housing Destruction: Economic Effects of Public Intervention in the Housing Market, New York University Press for the International Center for Economic Policy Studies (New York, NY), 1980.
(Editor) Housing America's Poor, University of North Carolina Press (Chapel Hill, NC), 1987.
(Editor) New York Unbound: The City and the Politics of the Future, Blackwell (New York, NY), 1988.
(With Gerard C.S. Mildner) Scarcity by Design: The Legacy of New York City's Housing Policies, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA), 1992.
Assimilation, American Style: An Impassioned Defense of Immigration As the Foundation of American Greatness and the American Dream, Basic Books (New York, NY), 1997.
Contributor to periodicals, including Journal of the American Institute of Planners, Public Interest, New Republic, City Journal, and the New York Times.
Journal of the American Planning Association, coeditor, 1988-93; City Journal, former editor.
Writer, architect, and college administrator Peter D. Salins is the author of numerous books on housing, planning, design, and associated topics. As former provost of the entire State University of New York (SUNY) system from 1997 to 2006, Salins endured a rocky tenure marked by conflict and compromises. Despite his troubles, Salins told New York Sun reporter Jacob Gershman that he felt progress had been made during his administration. "Looking back at his tenure, Mr. Salins said that he couldn't have met any objectives if he didn't work with the faculty—that some change is better than none at all." Among Salins's accomplishments in the SUNY system was the establishment of a common curriculum for all campuses that required students to take one class in twelve subjects.
In Scarcity by Design: The Legacy of New York City's Housing Policies, Salins and coauthor Gerard C.S. Mildner look closely at the perpetual controversy arising from the rent control and ceiling-price programs in place within the housing market in New York City. These price controls have created considerable distortion within the New York housing market, Salins notes. His book serves as an explanation for those who wonder why these price controls aren't eliminated if they have such a deleterious effect on city housing prices and availability. Notably, however, the authors assert that price controls aren't the only factors at work in the city. Keith R. Ihlanfeldt, writing in the Southern Economic Journal, noted that "while the focus of the book is rent regulation, the authors also attribute the New York City housing crisis to overly restrictive land use regulation, overinvestment in public housing, and exorbitant property tax rates on rental housing. As the title suggests," Ihlanfeldt continued, "the premise of the book is that the scarcity of affordable housing in New York City is the result of a long history of bad housing policies." Salins and Mildner discuss in depth the history of New York rent control, and multiple aspects that arise from it, including distributional effect, market effects, and conflicts between landlords and tenants. They also examine other factors that have had a significant effect on the availability of affordable housing in New York: zoning, property taxation, and public housing. "While these policies are common to all large cities, the authors maintain that their negative effects on the supply on private rental housing are particularly perverse in New York City," Ihlanfeldt remarked. Salins and Mildner consider policy changes that could help alleviate the problem, the largest of which is deregulating the rental market as quickly and as efficiently as possible.
Assimilation, American Style: An Impassioned Defense of Immigration As the Foundation of American Greatness and the American Dream contains Salins's assertion that assimilation of immigrants into American culture is not forced upon them, nor is it an issue of cultural conformity, wherein foreign visitors and new citizens are compelled to submit to the will of an oppressing American culture. "To assimilate into the idea and the actuality of being an American does not mean giving up or repudiating one's pride of national origin or race, as those opposing it endlessly shout," stated Woody West in Insight on the News. "To the contrary: This historic blending is a prime ingredient of the American ethos." Salins "forcefully and cogently argues a simple thesis—that assimilation is good, indeed essential, for the bonding of newcomers with Americans with shared civic values and a sense of collective national purpose," noted Dowell Myers in the Journal of the American Planning Association. Salins points out that such assimilation has long been an unspoken but generally accepted component of the "immigration contract" along with application of a rigorous work ethic, acceptance of English as the national language, adoption of American values and ideals, and other conditions. Salins finds much merit in intermarriage and other means of assimilating immigrants into American culture, but criticizes bilingual education and multicultural programs as being divisive and impediments to effective assimilation into general American culture. For Salins, "only a strict adherence to 'American-style' assimilation will prevent the United States from encountering the social strife that is bedeviling other racially and ethnically diverse nations," remarked Milton Vickerman in the International Migration Review.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Insight on the News, May 5, 1997, Woody West, review of Assimilation, American Style: An Impassioned Defense of Immigration As the Foundation of American Greatness and the American Dream, p. 48.
International Migration Review, fall, 1998, Milton Vickerman, review of Assimilation, American Style, p. 793.
Journal of American Ethnic History, spring, 1998, David M. Reimers, review of Assimilation, American Style, p. 87.
Journal of the American Planning Association, autumn, 1997, Dowell Myers, review of Assimilation, American Style, p. 517.
New York Sun, July 11, 2006, Jacob Gershman, "A Look at SUNY Provost Salins's Tenure As He Steps Down."
New York Times, April 27, 1997, Peter Skerry, "We the Peoples," review of Assimilation, American Style.
Publishers Weekly, October 28, 1996, review of Assimilation, American Style, p. 65.
Southern Economic Journal, January, 1994, Keith R. Ihlanfeldt, review of Scarcity by Design: The Legacy of New York City's Housing Policies, p. 776.
Wilson Quarterly, winter, 1997, Stephen J. Rockwell, review of Assimilation, American Style, p. 96.
Manhattan Institute for Policy Research Web site,http://www.manhattan-institute.org/ (November 12, 2006), biography of Peter D. Salins.
State University of New York Web site,http://www.suny.edu/ (November 12, 2006), biography of Peter D. Salins.
Stony Brook University Web site,http://www.sunysb.edu/ (November 12, 2006), biography of Peter D. Salins.*