CUNY didn’t have to look far to find a new president for Queens College. Felix Matos-Rodriguez, president of Hostos Community College, a CUNY school in the Bronx, was named late Monday to take the reins at the Flushing school.
Matos-Rodriguez, 52, succeeds James Muyskens, who resigned in December to return to teaching. He was president for 11 years, and an interim leader, Evangelos Gizis, has been in pace since he left.
The new president will begin his duties in the fall. He served as head of Hostos College, a two-year school, for five years. Hostos is primarily geared to Hispanic students and has an enrollment of 6,500. Queens College has a wide-ranging student body and an enrollment of nearly 20,000.
“He brings to Queens College an impressive blend of scholarly accomplishment, public service, a strong commitment to student success and a deep belief in the university’s educational mission,” CUNY Chancellor James Milliken said in an announcement.
A native of Puerto Rico, Matos-Rodriguez is a graduate of Yale University and received his Ph.D. at Columbia University. He has taught at Yale and Northeastern universities, Boston College and the Universidad Interamericana-Recinto Metro in Puerto Rico.
“I look forward to joining the vibrant community of students, faculty, staff and alumni that have made Queens College a beacon of excellence, opportunity and innovation through the years,” the new president said in a prepared statement.
“I pledge to put all the experience and learning of my scholarly, administrative and pubic service career at the service of an institution that has and will continue to serve Queens, New York City and the nation with the highest standards of excellence and dedication,” he added.
While serving as president of Hostos, Matos-Rodriguez was on leave as a professor at Hunter College. From 2005-08 he was head adviser on health and social welfare to the governor of Puerto Rico.
The president is considered an authority on the status of women in Puerto Rico and is the author of several books and papers on the subject.
Matos-Rodriguez served as a program officer at the Social Science Research Council in New York City. He is a board member of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, the Bronx Chamber of Commerce, the New York Association of Community College Presidents and Phipps Houses.