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 modern 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 is the only CUNY senior college offering majors in gerontology, biotechnology, information systems management, and a BS/MS degree in occupational therapy. York is home of the CUNY Aviation Institute and the Northeastern Regional Laboratory of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Under President Keizs’ tenure, York College has strengthened its academic programs by gaining national accreditations and creating new academic offerings in Aviation Management, Pharmaceutical Science, Journalism, Generic Nursing, Logistics and Supply Chain, and Health Sciences; introduced two additional master’s programs: the MS in Pharmaceutical Science and Business; as well as MS in Physician Assistant Studies. Additionally, the Master’s in Social Work (MSW) and Master in Clinical Trials will launch in the fall of 2018. The president also bolstered the college’s partnership with the FDA outpost on its campus. Dr. Keizs has been credited with placing York firmly on the path of excellence.

In the past 12 years York College has also increased its full-time faculty by approximately 40% and established an Undergraduate Research Program and a collaborative Honors Program with the FDA while 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 an unprecedented 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. Dr. Keizs has also introduced a number of niche Master’s-level programs, in Occupational Therapy, Pharmaceutical Science, and Physician Assistant Studies; with several others, including an MSW, going through the approval process.

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; the Jamaica YMCA; the Regional Planning Association; and 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; the American Council on Education’s Commission on Executive Leadership, the Morris Heights Health Center; and the founding editor of the New York Carib News, a popular 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 more than 35 years ago 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