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CUNY Leaders Discuss their Immigrant Past

  • Marcia V. Keizs

President of York College/CUNY

Videos Featured Marcia V. Keizs
videos on her immigrant past.

Dr. Marcia V. Keizs, a native of Kingston, Jamaica, attended the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada (B.A. 1967), and Teachers College, Columbia University (M.A. 1971 and Ed.D. 1984). She holds a certificate in Educational Management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education (1995). Dr. Keizs has over 30 years of experience in the CUNY system as both an administrator and a professor. Before her appointment as president of York College, she was the vice president of academic affairs at Bronx Community College/CUNY for seven years.

Effective February 14, 2005, Dr. Keizs became the sixth president of York College in Jamaica, Queens. York College, a senior college of the City University of New York (CUNY) established in 1966, enrolls nearly 6000 students in liberal arts, career and professional programs on its modern 50-acre downtown Jamaica campus. In addition to offering baccalaureate degrees in the liberal arts and sciences, business, health, human services and teacher education professional programs, York is the only CUNY senior college offering majors in gerontology, biotechnology, information systems management, and a BS/MS degree in occupational therapy. It is the home of the CUNY Aviation Institute and the Northeastern Regional Laboratory of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Under Dr. Keizs’ leadership, York College has strengthened its academic programs, raised its admissions standards, boosted its student recruitment and retention and raised its faculty grants by 80 percent. It recently earned national accreditation for its teacher education program, re-accreditation of its nursing program, added a BS in Aviation Management, established a collaborative honors program with the FDA and launched a private fundraising campaign for a merit scholarship program. The Performing Arts Center, with two theaters seating 1500 and 200 seats respectively, produces an annual performing arts series that has garnered broad praise for its innovative programming with noted local, national and international performers.

Dr. Keizs was recently nominated to a new State Commission on Higher Education by State Senate Democratic Leader Malcolm A. Smith and was appointed by former Gov. Eliot Spitzer. She has served on the boards of the National Council on Black American Affairs (Northeast), Teachers College Alumni Council, Morris Heights Health Center in the Bronx and the Association of Black Women in Higher Education. Dr. Keizs is the founding editor of the New York Carib News and has published articles in her area of specialty, Afro American literature.
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