The Board of Trustees of The City University of New York today appointed Vincent Boudreau as the 13th president of The City College of New York. He had served as interim president since Nov. 2, 2016.
A professor of political science, member of the CUNY graduate faculty and former department chair, he was the founding dean of the college’s Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership in 2013 and, from 2002 though 2013, directed the earlier Colin L. Powell Center for Leadership and Service.
“The Board of Trustees is thrilled to have found a homegrown candidate who so ably meets the central charge stated in our search for a new president of The City College of New York: ‘a leader who will chart the college’s course – and steward its core commitments to access and excellence – into the future,’” said Board Chairperson William C. Thompson Jr. “Vincent Boudreau, who already has done so much to shape today’s City College, is well equipped for the challenge. I want to thank Vice Chairperson Barry F. Schwartz, who led the national search, and the other Board members who gave so much of their time and energy.”
“It has become evident to me that Dr. Boudreau not only has the experience, academic capabilities and leadership skills to be a highly successful president, he also has demonstrated this to many of the stakeholders of the college, including the college’s proud and committed alumni, donors and community leaders,” said Chancellor James B. Milliken. “In the process, he has won their trust and confidence. I am delighted and encouraged that our search has brought us back home to a candidate who has established over decades his commitment to CCNY.”
“In some ways, the idea of a truly inclusive public education system as an engine of our democracy began on this campus 170 years ago,” said Boudreau. “Shepherding that legacy into the future brings significant challenges that will require the mobilization of the talents and affections of people on our campus and in our communities. I’m confident that the founding mission of CCNY is alive on campus today, and I am both honored and awed at the prospect of stewarding that mission.”
Boudreau received a B.A. in English and philosophy, summa cum laude, from LeMoyne College (1984), and an M.A. and Ph.D. in government (comparative politics and international relations) from Cornell University (1987 and 1991, respectively). He joined City College’s political science department as an assistant professor in September 1991 and soon assumed administrative assignments in addition to teaching. As he rose to full professor (2007), he directed the master’s program in international relations (1992-1997) and the international studies program (1999-2000) before becoming deputy dean of the Division of Social Science (2000-2001) and chair of the political science department (2008).
From its inception, Boudreau led the Colin L. Powell Center for Leadership and Service, which was named for former Secretary of State and retired Army Gen. Colin L. Powell, a 1958 City College graduate. In part with a gift from Gen. Powell, the center evolved into the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership. Its program seeks to build a culture of service and to inspire young people with a sense of public purpose, vision and responsibility, and to strengthen connections between campus and communities. Its areas of focus include international development and global security, education, the environment, community and economic development, and health.
The Colin Powell School, which encompasses the former Division of Social Science, includes anthropology, economics, political science, psychology and sociology, and interdisciplinary programs including international relations, international studies, Latin American and Latino Studies, mental health counseling, legal studies, public service management, women’s studies and the Skadden Arps Honors Program for Legal Studies. The school offers a wide variety of traditional and interdisciplinary undergraduate and graduate degrees and houses the Dominican Studies Institute and the Ph.D. program in clinical psychology offered by the CUNY Graduate Center.
Boudreau’s scholarship has focused on repression, government transitions to democracy and collective violence. In particular, he has investigated the connections between state repression and social resistance in dictatorships in Burma, Indonesia and the Philippines. In addition to his academic work, he has undertaken projects with ActionAid Asia, Jubilee South Asia and The Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement, and has consulted for Oxfam Asia, Action of Economic Reform (Philippines) and Freedom House.
He has written numerous papers and solicited technical reports, as well as two books, Resisting Dictatorship: Repression and Protest in Southeast Asia (Cambridge University Press, 2004, paperback 2008) and Grassroots and Cadre in the Protest Movement (Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2001).
Reviewing Resisting Dictatorship for the Journal of Third World Studies, the late Wichita State University professor Robert Lawless called it “a brilliant study of dictatorship, resistance and democratization. … Quite often, it seems, a great idea is obvious – but only after it is introduced by an innovative thinker. That the outcome of repression and resistance is conditioned by the case-specific context of the struggle and that therefore it is the interaction that we must investigate should be obvious to everyone after reading Boudreau’s work.”
The City University of New York is the nation’s leading urban public university. Founded 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 Center, the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, the CUNY School of Law, the CUNY School of Professional Studies and the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy. The University serves more than 272,000 degree-seeking students. College Now, the University’s academic enrichment program, is offered at CUNY campuses and more than 400 high schools throughout the five boroughs. The University offers online baccalaureate and master’s degrees through the CUNY School of Professional Studies.