He didn’t waste any time.
On his first day as CUNY chancellor, May 1, Félix Matos Rodríguez, the former Queens College president, made five top-level appointments, many of them internal CUNY promotions.
Lehman College President José Luis Cruz will become executive vice chancellor and university provost. An electrical engineer, Cruz began his career as a faculty member at the University of Puerto Rico and served as provost at California State University, Fullerton. PSC Lehman Chapter Chair Robert Farrell said that Cruz has been supportive of union issues and has called on increasing adjunct pay significantly.
“He’s a believer that you have to have a seat at the table to make positive change,” Farrell said. “Now that he’s at the table, we hope he can work with the new chancellor and the government to realize some of his ideals.”
Glenda Grace, who worked closely with Matos Rodríguez at Queens College as general counsel and chief of staff, and had worked with him when he was president of Hostos Community College, will become senior vice chancellor for institutional affairs, strategic advancement and special counsel. PSC Queens College Chapter Chair David Gerwin, currently on leave, said Grace was “cordial and constructive,” but added that making progress on campus labor-management issues was “slow” and “intractable” because of CUNY’s bureaucracy.
The other appointments include:
- Maite Junco, appointed vice chancellor for communications and marketing, has been a journalist for more than 20 years and taught for a year at the CUNY’s journalism school.
- William Tramontano, appointed interim president of Queens College, is a cellular biologist who served as an academic administrator at Hunter, Brooklyn and Lehman Colleges.
- James Muyskens, appointed interim president of the Graduate Center, is a philosopher who was president of Queens College for 12 years and has taught at Hunter College and the Graduate Center.
All appointments will need to be approved by the CUNY Board of Trustees at their May and June meetings.