Chancellor announces 5 high-level appointments

CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez appointed five top-level positions on the first day of his term. Matos Rodríguez, who was confirmed as CUNY’s eighth chancellor and first Latino chancellor on February 13, had an eventful first day on the job, as he used the day to announce five appointments to various positions throughout CUNY.

These positions include executive vice chancellor and university provost, senior vice chancellor, vice chancellor and interim presidents for Queens College and the CUNY Graduate Center. The appointees are currently waiting to be approved by the CUNY Board of Trustees, which will happen during the board’s May and June meetings, before they are officially confirmed for the positions.

All of the appointees have extensive backgrounds in education and have already worked in high-ranking positions within CUNY.

“Just as we ultimately chose our new Chancellor from within the ranks of the University, it comes as no surprise to see that his first appointments involve individuals who also bring a distinguished record of service to CUNY,” said BOT member William C. Thompson Jr. in a CUNY Communications email. 

“Three of these driven, highly qualified individuals will serve in the administration of Chancellor Matos Rodríguez, helping to ensure his success out of the gate, and two will help to maintain strong leadership at Queens College and the Graduate Center.”

One of the positions Matos Rodríguez filled was the interim president for Queens College, the role that he held prior to becoming the university’s chancellor. William Tramontano will take over this position on June 1. 

Tramontano is currently the senior advisor to Hunter College’s president for student success and strategic initiatives. 

Before that, he was the Brooklyn College provost and senior vice president for academic affairs.Another position is executive vice chancellor and university provost, which will go to José Luis Cruz. 

The role is currently being occupied by interim Vita Rabinowitz, who will serve until June 30. Cruz is the current president of Lehman College and will continue to fill the role until July 1. He is an “electrical engineer and education policy expert,” according to the email.

James Muyskens, a philosophy professor and former president of Queens College, was appointed to become the interim president of the Graduate Center. 

If confirmed by the BOT, his new position will become effective July 1. On the subject of his new appointees, Matos Rodríguez implied that he has high hopes for their terms in their new roles within CUNY and what they will be able to accomplish.

“I am pleased to be able to welcome five highly accomplished professionals to fill key roles in the University, though none of them will need much of an introduction within the CUNY community,” Matos Rodríguez said. 

“Their resumes show the breadth, depth and overall quality of their contributions to their fields, and much of that work has already been to the benefit of CUNY and its students,” he said.