Jamaican Born Educator Appointed President of York College


Jamaican born educator, Dr. Marcia V. Keizs, has been appointed President of York College of the City University of New York (CUNY). She will take up her new position at the Jamaica, Queen’s campus, moving from the Bronx Community College, another CUNY facility, where she was Vice President of Academic Affairs since l997.
York College is a degree-granting University with an approximate enrollment of 6,000 students. This will be the second stint at York College for Dr. Keizs, who served the institution as Acting President in 1996.
At the commissioning service held at the St. Andrew’s Anglican Church in Hartsdale on Sunday (Feb.13), Consul General to New York, Dr. Basil Bryan, praised the appointment as a symbol of the Jamaican spirit of excellence.
He said that Dr. Keizs’ achievement, “was characteristic of the Jamaican spirit, one that is able to rise to the challenge, thereby taking advantage of various opportunities, no matter where our people find themselves.”
“In assuming the leadership of York College, I commit to working towards the twin goals of institutional stability and academic achievement,” Dr. Keizs told CUNY’s Board of Trustees shortly after her appointment was confirmed.
Born in Kingston, Dr. Keizs, attended Ardenne and St. Andrew High schools in Jamaica, before migrating to Canada with her family.
After graduating from the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada she went to the United States, where she earned a Masters degree and a Doctorate in Education from the Teachers College at Columbia University in New York.
She also holds a Certificate in Educational Management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Living and working in New York since 1968, the veteran educator and administrator, now 60 years old, has held senior administrative posts at five CUNY colleges during a career that spans more than three decades.
She is also the founding editor of the New York Carib News and has published articles in her area of specialty, Afro-American Literature.
Active in local civic organizations, she is currently the chair of the Board of the Morris Heights Health Centre in the Bronx and a member of the Greenburgh Library Foundation, in Upstate, NY.
CUNY Chancellor, Dr. Matthew Goldstein, who made the recommendation for Dr. Keizs’ appointment, said that her “extensive and distinguished record of academic and administrative leadership at CUNY, including two terms as acting president, make her well prepared to assume the Presidency of York College.”
“Dr. Keizs knows the city of New York very well. She understands its character and is in tune with its existence as a vibrant and world famous metropolitan centre that serves as a magnet for the best, the brightest and the most highly motivated people from around the country and the world. Her academic credentials are impeccable, giving her the credibility and confidence needed to get the job done at York College,” he stated.
The Union of Jamaican Alumni Associations (UJAA), USA, Inc., has also hailed the appointment of Dr. Keizs, as a tribute to her heritage and a source of pride to all Jamaicans.
“Dr. Keizs’ many years of service to the underserved community in the Bronx, the City University of New York and to the office of college president within that system, is a tribute to her heritage and her belief in the empowering instrument of education,” noted UJAA president Barbara Richards.
Hugh Lawrence, Head of the Mico College Old Students’ Association (MOSA) in New York and a lecturer at York College, said that he was very proud to know that, “one of my own was finally being given an opportunity to lead the institution. I am sure she will have many resources to tap into and have no doubt she will maximize her efforts.”
The chief celebrant at Sunday’s commissioning service was the Rev. Father Carlton Clarke, who is from the parish of Westmoreland, while the homily was delivered by Rev. Dr. Benjamin Patterson, a native son of Hanover.

JIS Social