I am deeply honored that the Board of Trustees has asked me to serve as Interim Chancellor of The City University of New York during its search for a permanent Chancellor. I will bring the same commitment to this position that I’ve brought to all the roles I’ve had at CUNY: advancing our institution’s values of excellence, integrity and transparency, and always trying to do right by our students.
During my tenure as Interim Chancellor, I will ensure that the key strategic priorities of the University move forward while laying the groundwork for our next Chancellor. I will foster our commitment to an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect so that people can do their best work. I will be attentive to the concerns of all our constituents — faculty and staff, our city and state partners and supporters. And I will maintain clear and regular communications with our college presidents and deans, the Board of Trustees and the entire University community.
As a member of the CUNY community for almost 40 years, I’m fiercely proud to lead a University that exemplifies the best of what public education can mean for the lives of its students, their families and communities, and our city and state. CUNY students are inspired and inspiring. They are curious, ambitious and determined. Many are immigrants and first-generation college students. Their dreams are nurtured by a talented, committed faculty. CUNY students often tell us they wouldn’t have achieved as much at CUNY if not for the idealism and inspiration of their professors. Our faculty care deeply about their students and routinely go far beyond what’s required. Their scholarship and professional accomplishments are outstanding.
If you’d like external validation, look no further than The Chronicle of Higher Education. Last fall it named seven CUNY senior colleges to its top 10 list of baccalaureate institutions with the greatest success in moving low-income students into the middle class. Five CUNY schools made the companion top 10 list of community colleges.
I don’t minimize the significant challenges that CUNY faces, or that all public institutions of higher education now face. But we start from a position of enormous strength and a rising national profile. With our exceptional faculty and highly motivated student body, there is no question that this University will continue as an unparalleled generator of social and economic mobility, and innovative scholarship and practice.