After serving as provost of Queens College years ago, Dr. Evangelos Gizis is proud to come out of retirement and service his beloved school once again.
Gizis will serve QC as interim president until a permanent replacement is found for the fall 2014 semester. He replaces longest serving QC president, James Muyskens as he retired December 2013 after serving as president for almost 12 years.
“I feel honored to be appointed interim president of QC and I accept this responsibility knowing the challenges the college will face this spring,” Gizis said. “And I applaud Pres. Muyskens for enhancing the academic experience of our students, with the result that the college is now nationally recognized as a leader in quality education.”
Gizis has a longstanding affection and history with CUNY having served as QC vice president in 1986 before going to Hunter for five years in 1996 to serve as interim president. He came back to QC in 2003 as provost, a position he held until his retirement in 2009.
“What I like about CUNY and QC are the students,” Gizis said. “We have the most motivated students and wonderful faculty. It is a very friendly place.”
This marks his fourth time holding an interim position at a CUNY university.
However, with only a semester’s worth of time available for Pres. Gizis to work with, his goals are both long-term and short-term. He will focus on many administrative areas but the most important are student-recruitment efforts, implementing the financial aid segment of CUNYfirst that processes student administration and developing new academic programs, specifically at the master’s level.
Being a biochemist himself and specializing in food science and vitamin B-12 research, Gizis understands the importance of graduate level courses and degrees offered in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math programs.
STEM programs in the graduate and doctorate field are not readily available at the CUNY Graduate Center, something that Gizis finds problematic. Instead, he would like to make such programs available at QC. Offering these degrees will “create prestige” for the college, according to Gizis.
Karen Juarez, a senior and geology major, thinks that QC can greatly benefit from expanding its higher education degrees. Having recently applied to grad school for various science programs, she was forced to look at schools that were very far away.
“Having a master’s program in any science field would be really beneficial to so many undergrads that are looking to apply for grad school,” Juarez said. “It not only would be convenient but familiar as well. I would apply in a heartbeat!”
Gizis has also established an honor’s program for transfer students called Transfer Honors. It is only available to QC students who have transferred from community colleges. Twenty-five students have signed up for the program from this semester.
“QC is CUNY, for me,” Gizis said. “We have a well-prepared student body and a beautiful campus. It really is the best.”
The Board of Trustees is expected to appoint a new president before the fall 2014 semester.