Matthew Sapienza Named Vice Chancellor For Budget and Finance

The City University of New York Board of Trustees today named Matthew Sapienza as Vice Chancellor for Budget and Finance. He assumes responsibility for overseeing and managing the finances of CUNY’s 24 colleges and professional schools and of the University’s central administration, including its investment portfolio.

Currently the Associate Vice Chancellor, Sapienza succeeds Marc V. Shaw, who had held the post since January 2010 after a varied career in the public and private sectors, including seven years as a CUNY Trustee.  Shaw will serve as a senior advisor for fiscal policy to the Chancellor, co-director of the CUNY Institute for State and Local Governance and chair of its advisory committee.

“The University is fortunate to have such an experienced leader as Matthew Sapienza to serve as  CUNY’s chief fiscal officer,” said Interim Chancellor William P. Kelly. “His contributions to the University’s robust financial health in this challenging climate, as well as his depth of knowledge of the city’s educational system and higher educational system, make him the ideal choice to succeed Marc Shaw. I’m pleased that Mr. Shaw will both help the University as a senior advisor and lead a new, nonpartisan institute that will train current and future leaders in government, nonprofit organizations and public authorities.”

Sapienza, who holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in finance, became CUNY’s Budget Director in October 2004, taking responsibility for the overall management of $2.6 billion in city and state tax-levy operating funds.  He helped develop and implement the CUNY Compact, an innovative financing strategy that has earned national recognition after being enacted in state law. The CUNY Compact created a financial partnership among philanthropists, students, alumni, the state, the city and the University. Through its first four years, the Compact successfully secured more than $130 million in funding for new, programmatic initiatives at CUNY campuses.

He also played a key role in implementing the University’s Student Financial Assistance Initiative, which combines assistance and information on financial aid, scholarships and career counseling to assist students who are at risk of interrupting their matriculation due to financial pressures.

Before joining the University, Sapienza spent 11 years at the New York City Department of Education, the last four as Deputy Budget Director. There, he provided leadership to line managers and was responsible for maintenance, oversight and reporting of the school system’s $12 billion budget and for being the organization’s main liaison with financial oversight agencies.

Sapienza served as a policy-level resource to the DOE’s executive management on key financial issues and represented the agency in high-level dealings with all fiscal oversights at the city, state and federal levels. This included ensuring data integrity in public reporting of the agency’s budget, the technical administration of the overall operating budget, and the issuance of public documents such as the Financial Status Report, Chancellor’s Budget Request and School-Based Expenditure Reports.

In the wake of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Mr. Sapienza was named DOE’s chief fiscal liaison with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). In that capacity he helped secure more than $100 million in federal funds for cleanup, repair and air testing of damaged schools, lost instructional time for all students citywide and mental health and counseling initiatives.

Sapienza started his career in public service at the New York City Fire Department. In his five years as a Senior Budget Analyst, he was responsible for all reporting and accounting functions related to Expense and Revenue funds. He also developed the Fire Department’s financial plan, variance reports, and expenditure projections; produced comprehensive manpower planning models for overtime control, staffing deployment, and operational efficiency, and prepared management reports.

Sapienza holds a B.B.A. in Finance from Pace University’s Lubin School of Business, and an M.B.A. in Finance from St. John’s University.

Before joining CUNY, Shaw served as a senior advisor to Gov. David Paterson; Executive Vice President for Strategic Planning at Extell Development; from 2002 to 2006 as First Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayor to Mayor Michael Bloomberg; from 1996 to 2002 as Chief Operating Officer of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, appointed by Gov. George Pataki; and before that as Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s Commissioner of the New York City Department of Finance. He began his career in New York City government as the City Council’s Director of Finance, after working with the New York State Senate Finance Committee.

The CUNY Institute for State and Local Governance’s mission is to assist current and future leaders in government, non-profit organizations, and public authorities by offering non-partisan research, technical assistance, and executive development opportunities to help achieve measurable improvements in the delivery of critical public services.  The institute’s vision is to become the pre-eminent institute for improving performance, effectiveness and efficiency in the financing, functioning and delivery of critical public services.

About The City University of New York:
The City University of New York is the nation’s leading urban public university. Founded in New York City in 1847, the University comprises 24 institutions: 11 senior colleges, seven community colleges, the William E. Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, the CUNY Graduate School and University Center, the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, the CUNY School of Law, the CUNY School of Professional Studies and the CUNY School of Public Health. The University serves more than 270,000 degree-credit students and 218,083 adult, continuing and professional education students. College Now, the University’s academic enrichment program, is offered at CUNY campuses and more than 300 high schools throughout the five boroughs of New York City. The University offers online baccalaureate degrees through the School of Professional Studies and an individualized baccalaureate through the CUNY Baccalaureate Degree. Nearly 3 million unique visitors and 10 million page views are served each month via, the University’s website.