May 9, 2018 | News

The Board of Trustees of The City University of New York appointed Executive Vice Chancellor and University Provost Vita C. Rabinowitz to serve as Interim Chancellor, effective June 1, succeeding Chancellor James B. Milliken, who is stepping down at the end of the month.

For nearly a decade prior to her current appointment at CUNY in 2015, Dr. Rabinowitz served as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Hunter College, where she has been a dedicated faculty member her entire academic career.

“The enormous respect that Dr. Rabinowitz’s work has engendered over the course of four decades of service to CUNY’s mission inspires confidence throughout the University in her latest appointment as Interim Chancellor,” Board of Trustees Chairperson William C. Thompson Jr. said. “Her distinguished scholarly accomplishments, commitment to student success and tireless devotion to the University make her ideally suited to provide the direction and stability the system needs until a new chancellor assumes office.”

The vote to appoint Dr. Rabinowitz came during today’s Board of Trustees meeting, the last one during the tenure of Chancellor Milliken, who joined CUNY in 2014 from the University of Nebraska. A graduate of New York University School of Law who practiced in the city early in his career, Chancellor Milliken considered the CUNY position a homecoming. During his tenure at CUNY, the University has opened and expanded important academic programs, become the nationally recognized leader in improving community college graduation rates and been recognized for propelling low-income students into the middle class at unprecedented rates.

“The Board of Trustees thanks you for your tireless dedication to public education and for helping The City University of New York retain its place among the world’s great universities,” Board Chairperson Thompson said to Chancellor Milliken during today’s public meeting of the Board. “You have been a true advocate, and we deeply appreciate everything you have done for our University system. We wish you good health and great success in your next endeavors.”

Incoming Interim Chancellor Rabinowitz has taught and mentored thousands of students over the course of her 37 years at Hunter. Before serving as Hunter’s provost, she held a variety of administrative positions at the school, including chairperson of the Department of Psychology, acting associate provost, and acting provost.

While at Hunter, Dr. Rabinowitz was the recipient of major National Science Foundation (NSF) grants, including one that established Hunter’s Gender Equity Project (GEP), which sought to advance women faculty in the natural and social sciences and became an incubator for faculty development at Hunter. She served as co-director of the GEP for eight years. As provost, she received an NSF award to strengthen the many STEM enrichment programs at Hunter College and launch Hunter’s Undergraduate Research Initiative.

In addition to her extensive service at Hunter, since 1978 Dr. Rabinowitz has been a member of the doctoral program in Psychology at CUNY Graduate Center, where she served as acting program head of the Social/Personality doctoral subprogram.

Dr. Rabinowitz received her master’s and doctoral degrees in social psychology at Northwestern University.

The City University of New York is the nation’s leading urban public university. Founded in 1847, CUNY counts 13 Nobel Prize and 23 MacArthur (“Genius”) grant winners among its alumni. CUNY students, alumni and faculty have garnered scores of other prestigious honors over the years in recognition of historic contributions to the advancement of the sciences, business, the arts and myriad other fields. The University comprises 24 institutions: 11 senior colleges, seven community colleges, William E. Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, CUNY Graduate Center, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, CUNY School of Law, CUNY School of Professional Studies and CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy. The University serves more than 275,000 degree-seeking students. CUNY offers online baccalaureate and master’s degrees through the School of Professional Studies. For more information, visit