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Board of trustees names new CUNY chancellor

On Jan. 15, the CUNY board of trustees appointed James B. Milliken as permanent chancellor for the university after six months with interim chancellor, William P. Kelly, following the resignation of Matthew Goldstein.

Milliken’s selection came from the recommendation of a 16-member search committee comprised of trustees, CUNY college presidents, facility, students and alumni.

President of the University of Nebraska since 2004, Milliken succeeds Goldstein, CUNY’s sixth chancellor of 14 years and relieves Kelly, who served as interim since July 2013.

“I am honored and excited by this appointment to lead America’s premier urban public university. CUNY has played a historic and vital role for New York and the nation,” Milliken said.

Under Milliken’s presidency at his alma mater, a statewide public university comprised of four main campuses, the college achieved record levels of enrollment and donations. Milliken also expanded financial aid and scholarships.

He also pioneered distance education though the Universities Online Worldwide program, where students who can’t make it to campus are able to complete their education through online courses. The Virtual Scholars program, created in 2011, offers free online courses to Nebraska high school students. It is aimed at students living in rural parts of Nebraska and gives them the opportunity to take courses not taught at their school.

“President Milliken is a highly regarded national leader in higher education,” CUNY board of trustees chairman, Benno Schmidt said. “He brings to CUNY an impressive record of extensive academic and administrative experience and a demonstrated record of success.”

With success at the University of Nebraska, Milliken’s resume is full of academic accomplishments in other regions as well. Milliken was a Root-Tilden Scholar at New York University, where he earned his law degree.

In 2009, President Obama’s administration nominated Milliken as a delegate and invited him to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s decennial World Conference on Higher Education in Paris.

At the UNESCO, he represented the U.S. higher education innovation agenda and served as an advisor.

In June 2013, Milliken represented the U.S. research universities in the fourth annual US-India Strategic Dialogues in New Delhi with Secretary of State John Kerry.

The US-India Strategic Dialogues is a forum between the two countries where they discussed global issues, such as economics and trade, regional security and defense, science, technology, education and climate change.

Milliken serves on the board of directors of the American Council on Education, and is a former member of the ACE Blue Ribbon Panel on Global Engagement.

He also served on the board of directors of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. Milliken also is the former chairperson of the APLU Commission on Innovation, Competitiveness and Economic Prosperity.

Milliken has yet to reveal any policies he plans to implement into CUNY. He is set to assume his position before June 1.

“CUNY today has world class faculty, talented students and outstanding reputation, rising enrollments, increased academic standards and the most diverse student body in the nation. It enjoys significant momentum and unlimited potential,” Milliken said.

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