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Lehman College: City University of New York
September 20, 2016

A Message from Lehman College President José Luis Cruz
Much has transpired since I last communicated with you. The abundant energy and quiet confidence on the Lehman College campus is inspiring; it is present in the scores of faculty, students, administrators, and staff I have been meeting with as part of my “hitting the ground learning” effort, and I see it at work everyday as I walk the campus and engage you in informal conversation.

Meetings and Events

That Lehman Lightning was present on September 6, when I met with Dr. Gautam Sen, Dean of the Lehman School of Natural and Social Sciences, and a group of alumni who came to campus to discuss new mentoring programs for our students and express their commitment to their alma mater.

It was also on display on September 8, in the Music Building when Chancellor James B. Milliken of The City University of New York graciously hosted a reception to welcome me and my wife, Dr. Rima Brusi, to Lehman and introduce us to the College's many friends. Members of our faculty and staff, CUNY Trustees, several of my fellow CUNY Presidents, and the Bronx Borough President Rubén Díaz, Jr.—a proud Lehman alumnus—were among those in attendance. View Remarks

The energy was again in the air the next morning, when I attended our first annual Prestigious Awards Day where over 150 Lehman students learned how to compete for national awards, including Fulbright and Ford Fellowships, among many others. View Remarks

And it was evident, on Monday, September 12, when I had the distinct honor of leading the College's annual memorial to the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. It was a solemn, yet uplifting occasion. View Remarks

Other highlights of the last few weeks included: my first Council of Presidents meeting, where I met many of my new colleagues and learned about the major issues facing our University; my first visit to Hostos Community College, where I discussed future collaborations with President David Gomez; my first meeting of the Lehman College Foundation Board of Trustees, where I was greeted warmly by our distinguished board members and committed to working with them to increase our fundraising resources for the College; and my first College Senate meeting, where I was honored to meet those that represent our students, faculty, and staff in this most important vehicle of shared governance.

Finally, two notable highlights pertaining to my family’s transition into the Bronx: Rima and I successfully navigated the DMV and are now the proud owners of New York state driver’s licenses; and our son attended his first day of fifth grade in our neighborhood’s public school.

Personnel Updates

Last week I announced that Special Counsel Mary Rogan had informed me of her decision to return to the faculty in January 2017, and Interim Provost Fayne shared the appointment of Dr. Deborah Shanley as our new Interim Dean of the Lehman School of Education.

Today, I take this opportunity to introduce my Deputy for Strategic Initiatives and Special Projects, Gladys Santos Maldoon. Gladys and I worked closely together in advancing many important initiatives at California State University, Fullerton. Her knowledge of higher education, a field she has worked in for the last 15 years, and her understanding of my leadership style, will be invaluable as the College works to advance its mission.


Lastly, please join me on Wednesday, September 21, for the College’s annual Convocation. I look forward to sharing what I have learned to date about where we are, where we should aspire to be, and how we should work to get there. Thanks to everyone who in the last several weeks have provided their thoughtful and candid comments to inform my convocation address, through the online survey and formal and informal conversations.


José Luis Cruz, Ph.D.
President, Lehman College
The City University of New York