Queens College president resigns after 12 years on job

Queens College President James Muyskens says he will leave his post at the end of the year. Photo by Christina Santucci
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Queens College President James Muyskens will be stepping down from his position at the end of this year.

Muyskens spent nearly 12 years as president of the four-year college, which is part of the City University of New York system.

During his tenure, the 20,000-student school was ranked second out of 378 schools in the “Lots of Race/Class Interaction” category of Princeton Review’s “Best 378 Colleges” book. The category is described as reflecting the amount of class and cultural diversity at the school.

“President Muyskens has led Queens College with grace and skill throughout his 12-year tenure. He has been a leader of the first rank, an inspirational guide for the college and its students. Queens College and the City University of New York are much in his debt,” interim CUNY Chancellor William Kelly said in a statement.

Muyskens announced his resignation Sept. 30.

State Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Whitestone) said the long-time president “provided steady leadership and a vision for the future.”

“He was a visible presence in Queens College and the Queens community,” she continued, saying that Muyskens sent a positive message to students, faculty and the community.

State Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (D-Fresh Meadows) also offered her best wishes to the outgoing president and vowed to work closely with his successor.

“It has been a privilege working with President Muyskens,” she said. “He has been a great leader for Queens College and our community. I want to thank him for his open-door policy, constant dialogue and partnership. I wish him the best and look forward to welcoming and working with the next president of Queens College.”

Muyskens oversaw $107 million in renovations to Powdermaker and Remsen halls, according to a statement from CUNY. He hired more than 300 professors and had a hand in updating the school’s undergraduate general education curriculum.

“President Muyskens has left an indelible mark on Queens College,” said Queens Borough President Helen Marshall in a statement. “When he took over, just around the time I became borough president, he immediately began to put the college on a firm footing for a new century of growth and progress .... On behalf of the people of Queens County, I extend best wishes and gratitude to Dr. Muyskens for his invaluable service.”

After he steps down, Muyskens plans to continue teaching in the 2014-15 school year.

A nationwide search will begin for a new president in fall 2014, according to the CUNY statement. Dr. Evangelos Gizis, former Queens College provost, will serve as interim president.

A graduate of Central College in Iowa, Muyskens began his CUNY career at Hunter College as an assistant professor of philosophy and went on to become chairman of the school’s Philosophy Department.

Updated 11:14 pm, October 10, 2013
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Reader feedback

James P. Robinson from Glen Oaks says:
Good Riddance to bad rubbish. He is a blatant homophobe, who allowed Hateful and homophobic blood drives that exclude all gay men on the Queens College Campus, thus violating any safe feeling that the LGBTQ community had. I also believe this to be a direct violation of Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendment
Oct. 12, 2013, 1:14 pm

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