CUNY candidates named to top posts
CUNY announced the appointment of several top administrators this summer, but not for a new chancellor. The appointments of a new Kingsborough Community College (KCC) president and interim presidents at the Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) and Queensborough Community College (QCC) are expected to be approved by the Board of Trustees this fall. All three presidents come from within CUNY.
The newly appointed KCC president, Claudia Schrader, held senior positions at Bronx Community College (BCC) and Medgar Evers College. In her most recent position at BCC, she was provost and senior vice president for academic and student success. She led an expansion of the nationally recognized Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) and contributed to an improved campus environment at BCC. “She comes from CUNY, so she knows CUNY,” said Kingsborough PSC Chapter Chair Rina Yarmish. “She was a provost, which means she has worked with faculty, so I think she will be familiar with faculty issues.”
Schrader comes to KCC as the PSC chapter there hopes to address the falling enrollment at the south Brooklyn campus that has occurred in recent years.
NEW CAMPUS PRESIDENTS
BCC Chapter Chair Sharon Utakis described Schrader as “ambitious,” with a desire to carry out CUNY Central’s initiatives, and said that many people considered Schrader as “generally fair.”
Karrin Wilks, named as interim president of BMCC, has worked at CUNY for eight years. She has been senior vice president and provost at BMCC since 2014 and held senior positions at Medgar Evers College. “As provost, Karrin Wilks has been willing to listen seriously to faculty concerns. We expect that she’ll do the same in her new role,” said BMCC Chapter Chair Geoffrey Kurtz. “There’s an unfortunate history of mistrust between the faculty and the administration at BMCC, but there’s reason to hope that Wilks understands the gravity of that problem.”
Addressing long-standing faculty and staff concerns, including workload creep and respect for faculty’s role in governance, Kurtz said, would be a way to ease tensions between the administration and faculty and staff. Kurtz also looks forward to working on issues such as increasing reassigned time for service and scholarship, granting workload credit for independent studies and paying adjunct faculty members for more of the work that they do outside the classroom.
The new QCC interim president, Timothy Lynch, was most recently the senior vice president for academic affairs at QCC.
“The Queensborough Chapter looks forward to working with Dr. Lynch, an accomplished scholar. We hope he will bring effective leadership to the challenges facing the College,” QCC Chapter Chair Edmund Clingan told Clarion.
Clingan said the college is dealing with a range of problems, including a rapid rise in labor grievances, plummeting job satisfaction, fallout from the State Inspector General’s report and other recent controversies on campus. “We are pleased that Dr. Lynch has started to implement the teaching workload reduction and that he has signaled his intention to give everyone the full teaching workload reduction next year,” said Clingan.
Also, at the end of this year, Graduate Center President Chase Robinson will become director of the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, the Smithsonian Institution’s museums of Asian art in Washington, DC. An interim president at the Graduate Center has yet to be announced.
“Congratulations to President Robinson on his new position at the Smithsonian Institute,” said Graduate Center Chapter Chair Luke Elliott-Negri. “I am optimistic that he will use his remaining months as the steward of our institution to bring a number of unresolved issues to rest, including the pay and workload inequities among science fellows.”
Meanwhile, Vita Rabinowitz continues to serve as interim chancellor as the CUNY Board of Trustees’ search for a new chancellor continues. Anthony Marx, rumored to have been a leading candidate and the current president of the New York Public Library, reportedly withdrew from the search, citing his desire to stay at the library. The New York Post, citing an unnamed source, reported this summer that other top contenders for the post are Gail Mellow, the current president of LaGuardia Community College, and Félix Matos Rodríguez, president of Queens College. CUNY has not released a list of contenders for the job, and a CUNY spokesperson told the New York Post that the search committee will “continue to interview candidates.”
Former CUNY Chancellor James Milliken will be assuming a new position as the head of the University of Texas System, which consists of 14 schools, including its flagship school at the University of Texas at Austin. The Texas Tribune reported that there are pressures to “downsize” the UT system, and one unnamed source said the UT system regents are “looking to the new chancellor to implement that.”