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Milliken announces he will step down as CUNY chancellor at end of the academic year

11/23/2017, midnight
James B. Milliken, chancellor of the City University of New York, announced today in a letter to the University community ...
James B. Milliken CUNY photo

James B. Milliken, chancellor of the City University of New York, announced today in a letter to the University community that he plans to step down as chancellor at the end of the academic year. Milliken, 60, was named chancellor of CUNY, the largest urban university in the country, in January 2014. 

“I will have been at the helm of this most remarkable institution for four years, and it has been among the most rewarding experiences of my life, but I have decided that it is the right time for a change,” Milliken said.

Milliken added, “CUNY is an extraordinary institution, and my time here has been fulfilling beyond measure. The world now knows, from groundbreaking research on an unprecedented scale, that CUNY is the greatest engine of social and economic mobility in the country. I was enormously fortunate to be part of the effort to expand opportunity and success to students on a scale no university can match, and I will always be grateful for that.”  

William C. Thompson Jr., chairperson of the board of trustees, said, “Chancellor Milliken recently informed me of his plans to step down at the end of this academic year. On behalf of the entire board, I want to thank Chancellor Milliken for his tireless dedication to public education and for propelling CUNY to become the greatest urban university in the world. He has been a true advocate, and we deeply appreciate everything he has done for our university system. We wish him good health and continued success in his next endeavor.”  

During Milliken's tenure at CUNY, the university has opened and expanded important academic programs, become the nationally recognized leader in improving community college graduation rates, been recognized for propelling low-income students into the middle class and beyond on an unmatched scale, launched successful new programs for a number of student groups, including CUNY’s groundbreaking foster youth initiative, and obtained private scholarships for the largest number of DACA students in the country through TheDream.US program.

Milliken led the development of the university’s new strategic plan, Connected CUNY, which provides a detailed set of strategies for expanding accessibility, dramatically raising graduation rates and significantly improving career success for students through private-public partnership with employers. He has led the scaling up of the Accelerated Study in Associate Programs initiative to dramatically boost graduation rates, the launching of a new school of medicine, among the most diverse in the country, and an independent school of public health, new initiatives to diversify the arts institutions in New York and programs to increase the number of women in technology industries.

“James B. Milliken is an extraordinary leader who has served CUNY—one of our nation’s pre-eminent engines of social mobility, academic excellence and community enrichment—and the entire higher education community with energy, grace and vision,” Ted Mitchell, president of the American Council on Education, said. “JB has poured his heart and soul into promoting student success and expanding access to high-quality, postsecondary education. We will all miss him every day in his role guiding CUNY, but I am excited to see where his passion and commitment will take him next.”