Dr. Marcia V. Keizs
President of York College, CUNY

On Valentine’s Day (February 14) 2005, Dr. Keizs became the sixth president of York College in Jamaica, Queens. York, a senior college of the City University of New York (CUNY) established in 1966, enrolls more than 8,400 students in the liberal arts, career and professional programs on its 50-acre downtown Jamaica campus.

In addition to offering baccalaureate degrees in the liberal arts and sciences, business, health, human services, teacher education and other professional programs, York offers the BS/MS degree in occupational therapy and the BS & MS in Aviation Management. York is home of the CUNY Aviation Institute and the Northeastern Regional Laboratory of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

During President Keizs’ tenure, York College has strengthened its academic programs by gaining national accreditations and creating new undergraduate academic offerings in Aviation Management, Pharmaceutical Science, Journalism, Generic Nursing, Logistics and Supply Chain, and Health Sciences. Graduate programs at the Masters level also have been expanded to include: Pharmaceutical Science and Business, Physician Assistant Studies, and Social Work. By fall 2019, two additional Masters programs, one in Clinical Trials and the other in Aviation Business Management, are scheduled for launch. The president also bolstered the college’s partnership with the FDA outpost on its campus and has been credited with placing York firmly on the path of excellence.

In the past 14 years York College has also increased its full-time faculty by approximately 25% and established an Undergraduate Research Program and an Honors Program, while also structuring the College into three distinct schools: the School of Business & Information Systems; School of Health & Behavioral Sciences; and the School of Arts & Sciences. Student enrollment has grown by 25% with freshman enrollment experiencing a 61% growth over the past several years during which first-year student admissions standards were raised and a private fundraising campaign for Merit Scholarships was undertaken.

During her tenure, President Keizs has led the completion of multiple facilities renovation projects that have enhanced the campus environment including building an appropriate technology infrastructure. A new Master Plan has established York College’s need for an Academic Village and Conference Center (AVCC), a nine-story, 162,988 square foot space to be anchored by the School of Business and Information Systems and create new administrative and student affinity spaces. This structure promises to transform the College’s physical environment and meet the growing needs of both the college and the community.

A firm believer in community service and academic citizenship, Dr. Keizs has served as the CUNY Representative on the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) Council of State Representatives; serves on the boards of the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation; Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council and is a member of the JFK Redevelopment Community Advisory Council. She previously served on the boards of the NCAA Division III President’s Council, as well as having chaired the CUNY Women’s Leadership Conference Committee for nearly a decade. President Keizs has also served on the American Council on Education’s Commission on Executive Leadership. She is the founding editor (1981) of the New York Carib News, a newspaper catering to the Caribbean Diaspora and African-American communities.

A native of Kingston, Jamaica, Dr. Keizs is a graduate of the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada (B.A.), and Teachers College, Columbia University (M.A. and Ed.D). She holds a certificate in Educational Management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Dr. Keizs started her CUNY career as an English Professor in 1971 before transitioning to administration. Prior to her appointment as president of York College, she was the vice president of Academic Affairs at Bronx Community College/CUNY for seven years. Her scholarship includes published articles in her area of specialty, African American Literature.

Dr. Marcia V. Keizs, President of York College, CUNY