Prominent Law School Dean Gregory H. Williams Named City College President

The Board of Trustees of The City University of New York today appointed Dr. Gregory H. Williams, the Carter C. Kissell Professor of Law and Political Science and Dean of the School of Law at Ohio State University, to become the 11th president of the City College, the oldest of the City University’s twenty institutions of higher learning.

Dr. Williams, who holds a doctorate in political science and a law degree, has held senior administrative and academic positions for almost twenty-five years at Ohio, University of Iowa and George Washington University. In 1993, Dr. Williams was appointed Dean of the Law School at Ohio State.

Two years later, Dr. Williams authored Life on the Color Line: The True Story of a White Boy Who Discovered He Was Black (Dutton), a widely acclaimed autobiography that was honored with the 1995 Los Angeles Times Book Prize. The book is used at college campuses across the country in discussions of racism, poverty, alcoholism and many other social and coming of age issues.

His work as Dean of the Ohio State University College of Law has been widely recognized. He hired approximately 40% of the faculty of the College of Law during his term as Dean and increased the number of named chairs and professorships by 50%. In the most recent billion dollar capital campaign achieved by the Ohio State University, Dr. Williams has raised approximately $25 million from an alumni base of approximately 7,000 graduates of the College of Law. He has increased the College endowment by approximately 50%.

“I am very pleased that Dr. Williams will be bringing to City College his longstanding record of promoting academic standards and commitment to student opportunity,” said Board of Trustee Chairman Herman Badillo.

“Dr. Williams will provide first rate and first class leadership to an institution that has served as the launching pad to success for tens of thousands of New Yorkers,” said University Chancellor Matthew Goldstein. The selection of Dr. Williams culminated a national search committee chaired by Trustee Randy Mastro that included trustees, faculty, administrators, students and alumni.

Founded in 1847 as The Free Academy, the City College today enrolls more than 10,400 students in graduate and undergraduate programs. City College is comprised of a liberal arts and science college as well as professional schools in engineering, architecture and education, and the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education/CUNY Medical School. City College has many distinguished alumni, including eight who have won the Nobel Prize. Located in West Harlem, the College is ranked among the top 12 nationally in graduates who have gone on to earn their Ph.D.’s.

Dr. Williams was graduated from Ball State University in 1966. He earned a Masters Degree in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland and a law degree and a doctorate in Political Science from George Washington University.

Dr. Williams began his career in higher education over twenty years ago at George Washington University. He served as Coordinator of the GW-Washington Project, an all university office designed to serve as the liaison between the university and District of Columbia communities with special needs. His work in developing university-sponsored programs in Anacostia, an area of significant poverty, and the Adams Morgan community, the District of Columbia’s largest concentration of Latinos, was recognized as one of the most outstanding outreach projects in the nation.

Later, Dr. Williams served as Assistant Director of the Division of Experimental Programs of George Washington University which encouraged and supported curriculum development throughout the university. While at George Washington University, Dr. Williams taught Service-Learning Courses for undergraduate students both in the Experimental Humanities and Political Science Department.

Dr. Williams spent sixteen years at the University of Iowa. He began his work as Assistant Dean for Admissions and Financial Aid in the College of Law. He had full responsibility for all admissions and financial aid decisions as well as coordinating all recruitment efforts. During his term as Dean of Admissions, Dr. Williams increased minority enrollment in entering law school classes from 2% to over 20%. Dr. Williams later was selected to serve as Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs of the university. In that capacity he had university-wide responsibility for international programs, student retention, academic disciplinary programs and diversity efforts, as well as a host of other responsibilities.