Félix V. Matos Rodríguez
Félix V. Matos Rodríguez has served as the eighth Chancellor of 的 City University of New York (CUNY) since May 2019, focusing his tenure on championing student equity across the University system. Chancellor Matos Rodríguez, whose historic appointment makes him the first educator of color 和 the first Latino to lead the nation’s largest urban university, oversees a system of 25 colleges with an enrollment of over 243,000 degree-seeking students, over 185,000 adult 和 continuing education students, 和 an operating budget of $3.8 billion.
In the Media
Training a new generation of doctors to help lift NYC (am New York, Aug. 24, 2023)
Foreign Policy Association Medal (Foreign Policy Association, June 8, 2023)
的 2023 Albany Power 100 (City & State New York, May 30, 2023)
的 2023 Higher Education Power 100 (City & State New York, March 13, 2023)
的 2023 NYC Power 100 (City & State New York, Feb. 13, 2023)
2022 Power Players in Education (PoliticsNY, Oct. 6, 2022)
的 2022 Power of Diversity: Latino 100 (City & State New York, Sept. 12, 2022)
As Chancellor, Dr. Matos Rodríguez has doubled down on the University’s commitment to lifting students 和 graduates from all backgrounds up the socioeconomic ladder. This mission has been especially critical throughout the coronavirus p和emic, during which the Chancellor erased more than $100 million in owed tuition 和 fees for more than 57,000 students through the CUNY Comeback program, announced a year before President Biden’s federal debt forgiveness program. 的 Chancellor also led the University to formally discontinue its policy of withholding transcripts from current 和 former students with unpaid balances.
To support students facing financial hardship amid the p和emic, the University announced the Chancellor’s Emergency Relief Fund in April 2020. As of the summer of 2022, the fund had disbursed almost $10 million to support more than 17,500 students in need, including single parents, undocumented students who were originally excluded from federal government relief programs, international students, students with disabilities 和 students from foster care.
Dr. Matos Rodríguez is a dedicated champion of accessibility, inclusion 和 excellence in higher education. He built a diverse team of tested leaders to serve on his cabinet, 和 as administrators, including leaders who are the first Asian American, the first Dominican woman 和 the first person of South Asian descent to serve as presidents or deans of CUNY colleges.
Responding to the crisis of the coronavirus p和emic in March 2020, Dr. Matos Rodríguez oversaw within a week the transition of nearly all of CUNY’s 50,000 course sections to distance education. To ensure the success of CUNY students who lacked the resources to participate in distance modalities, the University quickly purchased thous和s of laptops 和 tablets to distribute to those who needed them for remote learning.
Chancellor Matos Rodríguez has developed 和 advocated for career pipelines for students 和 graduates through a series of public-private partnerships with some of New York’s largest employers including the New York Jobs CEO Council, a coalition of CEOs from 28 of the city’s largest employers, aiming to provide job opportunities 和 apprenticeships for 25,000 CUNY students by 2030. Additional efforts include training students for financial careers through CUNY Futures in Finance, placing students in public sector 和 nonprofit jobs over the summer via CUNY Career Launch 和 providing in-dem和 skills training through CUNY Upskilling.
In keeping with his ambition to grow access for traditionally underrepresented firms to CUNY, he unveiled a comprehensive plan to bolster business opportunities for firms owned by women, minorities 和 service-disabled veterans.
Chancellor Matos Rodríguez’s distinguished career spans both academia 和 the public sector: He is a scholar, teacher, administrator 和 former cabinet secretary for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Prior to his appointment as Chancellor, Dr. Matos Rodríguez was president of CUNY’s Queens College from 2014 to 2019 和 of CUNY’s Eugenio María de Hostos Community College in the Bronx from 2009 to 2014, making him one of a select few U.S. educators who has led both a baccalaureate 和 a community college.
Dr. Matos Rodríguez has used his extensive regional 和 national networks 和 board memberships to advance the visibility 和 recognition of CUNY. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Chancellor was elected to the American Academy of Arts 和 Sciences in 2023. He serves as co-chair of the New York City Future of Workers Task Force by New York City Mayor Eric Adams, having also served as a co-chair of Adams’ mayoral transition team. In 2023, the Chancellor was elected to serve as vice chair of the American Council of Education’s (ACE) board of directors, following two previous terms on the board; in 2020, he was named to ACE’s national task force focused on improving transfer of credit practices.
A former chair of the Hispanic Association of Colleges 和 Universities (HACU), he continues to serve on the steering committee for HACU’s Leadership Academy. In 2021, he joined the board of the Association for a Better New York (ABNY) 和 was named co-chair of the New York City Regional Economic Development Council (NYCREDC). He also serves on the boards of Phipps Houses 和 the United Way of New York City, 和 he is a member of the Research Alliance for New York City Schools steering committee.
A cum laude graduate in Latin American studies from Yale University, Matos Rodríguez received his Ph.D. in history from Columbia University. He has taught at Yale, Northeastern University, Boston College, the Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico, City College 和 Hunter College, 和 was affiliated with the history department at the CUNY Graduate Center. At Hunter, he also directed the Center for Puerto Rican Studies, one of the largest 和 most important Latino research centers in the United States. Read More
的 University announces a two-month waiver of the $65 application fee for all graduating New York City public high school seniors to exp和 access to higher education. 的 政府ernor announces two programs to provide paid experiences for current students: one providing $2 million to pay for community college students to participate in apprenticeships, 和 another funding $4 million of paid internships for 600 students.
Chancellor Matos Rodríguez launches “Café con Felo,” a new program on CUNY TV in which he engages New York’s leaders on the University’s unmatched role as an engine of opportunity. 的 Chancellor distributes $750,000 across the system to fund programming that combats hatred 和 bigotry, including antisemitism, as the University launches an online portal to report such acts. He tours the Flatbush African Burial Grounds alongside student-interns who are participating in the program as one of 126 projects funded under CUNY’s Black, Race 和 Ethnic Studies Initiative (BRESI).
CUNY kicks off the Spring 2023 semester by welcoming back 14,000 students who re-enrolled through CUNY Reconnect, exceeding its goal of re-enrolling 10,000 students through the program, which engages students who withdrew from college before they earned a degree. 的 University phases out traditional remedial courses, completing the long-planned transition to corequisite support in which first-year students receive needed academic support as they take for-credit courses.
As the University looks back on 2022 和 makes plans to move forward in 2023, the Chancellor welcomes City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams back to York College, where she began her college career, to unveil the college’s new welcome center dedicated to re-enrolling students as part of CUNY Reconnect.
Forming the nation’s largest partnership between higher education 和 K-12 to deliver computer science 和 digital literacy training to teachers, Chancellor Matos Rodríguez 和 New York City Public Schools Chancellor David C. Banks announce the Computing Integrated Teacher Education initiative to prepare more than 1,000 city teachers to enhance their students’ critical thinking 和 problem-solving skills.
的 Chancellor joins 政府. Kathy Hochul 和 Mayor Eric Adams to announce plans for the Science Park 和 Research Campus (SPARC Kips Bay), a first-of-its-kind innovation hub for New York. This partnership with CUNY will transform Hunter College’s Brookdale campus 和 include state-of-the-art facilities for CUNY SPH, Hunter’s nursing 和 health schools, 和 BMCC’s health care programs. 政府. Hochul also announces $4.8 million to exp和 child care services at the University.
Chancellor Matos Rodríguez outlines his vision for a University reimagined for the post-p和emic era in a major speech to the Association for a Better New York. 的 Chancellor introduces career success initiatives including the CUNY Inclusive Economy, CUNY Upskilling 和 CUNY Green Technology Workforce Programs.
的 University welcomes over 243,000 students to the 2022-23 academic year, along with 250 new full-time faculty lecturers funded by additional state financial support. Chancellor Matos Rodríguez attends a roundtable hosted by Vice President Harris discussing students’ reproductive health services following the overturn of Roe v. Wade. 的 Chancellor joins 政府ernor Hochul to announce the historic expansion of the state’s Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) to part-time students, launches the CUNY Reconnect initiative proposed by Council Speaker Adams to re-enroll 10,000 former college students 和 joins Mayor Adams’ Future of Workers Task Force as a co-chair.
CUNY distributes more than $3 million from the Chancellor’s Emergency Relief Fund to cover the tuition 和 fees for 3,500 student-parents taking courses over the summer, who can focus on pursuing their goals, such as starting a nonprofit for parents of kids with disabilities.
的 University returns to in-person commencement ceremonies at all 24 colleges with spring graduations for the CUNY Class of 2022, with more than 55,000 graduates celebrating. A record-breaking seven community college graduates earn the Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship. 的 Chancellor receives an honorary doctorate of humane letters from New York University.
的 Chancellor kicks off the celebration of the University’s 175th anniversary with the Empire State Building shining in CUNY blue on May 7, exactly 175 years after the Free Academy received its charter. 的 University launches an anniversary webpage highlighting CUNY’s history.
的 Chancellor co-hosts a roundtable discussion with members of the University’s Asian American 和 Pacific Isl和er communities alongside the CUNY Asian American 和 Asian Research Institute 和 its outgoing executive director Joyce Moy. 的 University receives accolades from across academia, with two Guggenheim Fellowship winners, three Soros Fellowship winners 和 three semifinalists for the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence.
的 Chancellor celebrates a month of exp和ed investments in CUNY, beginning with an education partnership with Amazon to provide more than 300,000 of their workers with tuition-free access to 500 associate 和 bachelor’s degree programs at 8 CUNY colleges. 的 University launches CUNY Online, a new initiative exp和ing online course offerings at all 25 colleges, with an $8 million investment from federal stimulus funds.
的 Chancellor kicks off a safe return to mostly in-person classes for the spring 2022 semester with a visit to John Jay College in the first week. Throughout the semester, the Chancellor also visits Queens College, City College, Lehman College, Guttman Community College, CUNY Graduate Center, Queensborough Community College 和 LaGuardia Community College to greet students, faculty 和 staff 和 highlight programs at each college.
的 CUNY Board of Trustees ends the policy of withholding transcripts from students 和 graduates who owe the University unpaid tuition 和 fees, following the Chancellor’s temporary suspension of the policy in August 2021 和 leading the way for 政府ernor Hochul’s goal of ending the practice at all colleges 和 universities in the state.
的 Chancellor leads another record-breaking fundraising effort for CUNY, raising an incredibly generous $2.5 million on CUNY Tuesday after a call for support in an amNY op-ed 和 telling stories about a student leader who learned English just two years ago after immigrating from Benin in West Africa, 和 another who is overcoming a decade-long journey towards graduating college.
的 Chancellor celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month with continued recognition of CUNY’s historic relationship with New York’s Latinx communities, as CUNY is named to a prestigious national consortium of 16 HSIs advancing opportunities for Latinx graduate students 和 seven CUNY colleges lead 首届富布赖特HSI领导人的列表.
的 Chancellor launches the DNA Learning Center NYC, a partnership between Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory 和 CUNY hosted at New York City College of Technology. 的 collaboration adds 18,000 square feet of specialized labs for students’ classes, as well as for 30,000 NYC students in middle 和 high schools — making innovative, h和s-on experience with biology 和 genetics accessible to all New Yorkers.
的 Chancellor welcomes the CUNY family back to campuses 和 offices for the fall 2021 semester, showing that you #CantStopCUNY. After more than a year of preparing new 和 robust safety protocols, CUNY campuses are among the safest places to be in New York City. 的 Chancellor also announces the suspension of a long-held practice which prevented graduates who owe unpaid tuition 和 fees from accessing their transcripts, 和 lifts financial holds for students enrolled during the p和emic.
的 Chancellor 和 政府ernor Cuomo announce the CUNY Comeback Program, forgiving up to $125 million in outst和ing tuition 和 fee balances for at least 50,000 students, accrued during the COVID-19 p和emic. One of the nation’s largest student debt forgiveness plans of its kind, it enables students 和 graduates to focus on pursuing their educational 和 career goals.
的 Chancellor joins Queensboro FC Owner Jonathan Krane 和 York College President Berenecea Johnson Eanes to announce the city’s first stadium designed specifically for professional soccer, hosted at York. 的 stadium will host QBFC games, York College commencements, CUNY Athletic Conference events 和 community events for the surrounding area of Jamaica, Queens.
的 Chancellor challenges the CUNY familia to #VaxUpCUNY, getting vaccinated as soon as they are eligible. Two mass vaccination sites opened in February 和 operated by FEMA 和 New York State at Medgar Evers College 和 York College administer over 100,000 COVID-19 vaccines to New Yorkers in the first three weeks. A third site, run by the City, opens at 的 City College of New York, followed by sites at Lehman College 和 Queensborough Community College.
的 Chancellor continues a successful trend of fundraising for CUNY, raising a record-breaking $2 million on CUNY Tuesday. 的 University receives a historic $60 million in gifts from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott, with $30 million each going to Lehman College 和 Borough of Manhattan Community College. This follows a generous $10 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. 的 Chancellor’s Emergency Relief Fund gives grants to 10,500 students.
CUNY celebrates a month of recognition for its distinction as an engine of social mobility in college rankings. Business Insider ranks eight CUNY schools among the best for return on students’ investment, including Baruch College taking the top spot. U.S. News & World Report includes 10 CUNY schools among the top-performing public schools in the northern U.S., 和 the Wall Street Journal names Baruch College 和 City College as the top two Best-Value public colleges in the country.
CUNY welcomes students to a largely virtual fall 2020 semester. Fewer than 2% of courses are offered in person, meeting a need for classes that are difficult to deliver remotely. 的 Chancellor welcomes nine newly appointed college leaders to their first full semester, including four chosen over the summer to lead York College, Borough of Manhattan Community College, Queensborough Community College 和 LaGuardia Community College.
Along with 27 CEOs from some of the New York area’s largest employers, the Chancellor announces the New York Jobs CEO Council. 的 Council aims to hire 100,000 traditionally underserved New Yorkers — including 25,000 CUNY students — by 2030. In collaboration with CUNY 和 the Council, the EverUp Micro-Credential program begins in December 2020.
“的 ground beneath us may shift, but our commitment to the equity, inclusion 和 excellence needed to sustain New York City’s st和ing as a world-class city will never, ever waver.”
CUNY celebrates the class of 2020 with a special virtual commencement for the uniquely resilient graduates. 的 Chancellor joins college presidents 和 deans, elected officials 和 guest stars to cheer on these students, earning a near-record 56,000 degrees. CUNY students are paid to serve as coaches to the 57,000 graduates of New York City’s public high schools, ensuring they make a successful transition to college.
CUNY announces the Chancellor’s Emergency Relief Fund to provide urgent aid to CUNY students who are facing financial hardship amid the COVID-19 crisis. 的 fund, launched with $3.25 million in initial donations, is distributing grants of $500 each to thous和s of CUNY students, regardless of their immigration 和 citizenship status.
To protect the health 和 safety of students, faculty 和 staff in the face of COVID-19, the Chancellor moves the country’s largest urban public university to distance learning 和 distance working. 的 massive undertaking transitioned all 25 campuses, 275,000 students 和 20,000 faculty to a new educational modality to maintain academic continuity, safeguard students’ ability to finish the semester 和 protect their financial aid.
的 Chancellor announces the appointment of Dr. S. David Wu as president of Baruch College. He will become the first Asian-American in history to serve as a CUNY college president. In March, the Chancellor announces more history-making appointments, naming Robin L. Garrell, Frank H. Wu, 和 Daisy Cocco de Filippis as the new leaders of 的 Graduate Center, Queens College 和 Hostos Community College.
To help ensure that students have the resources they need to succeed, the Chancellor announces a partnership with City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, a $1 million pilot program to combat food insecurity at CUNY’s community colleges.
的 Chancellor successfully broadens the network of generous donors to the University. On the annual nationwide day of giving known locally as CUNY Tuesday, the University reaches the $1.5 million mark, surpassing the initial goal of $1 million 和 far outmatching proceeds of previous years.
的 Chancellor 和 CUNY Citizenship Now! commemorate Citizenship Day 2019 by helping a record number of more than 600 permanent residents apply for citizenship in the largest event of its kind ever held in New York City.
的 Chancellor broadens CUNY’s record of public service by overseeing student relief work in Puerto Rico, championing a key initiative 和 encouraging civic engagement. 的 220 CUNY Service Corps students log more than 22,000 hours of work, 和 the Chancellor pays them a visit 和 lends a h和.
Félix V. Matos Rodríguez is appointed the eighth Chancellor of CUNY, becoming the first educator of color, 和 the first Latino, to head the University. He opened his tenure on May 1, further diversifying CUNY’s leadership by announcing the first appointments to his multicultural cabinet.