José Luis Cruz began his tenure as Executive Vice Chancellor (EVC) and University Provost (UP) on July 1, 2019.
Widely regarded as one of the nation’s leading advocates for policies to expand opportunities and improve educational outcomes for all students – especially those who have historically been underserved – Dr. Cruz is a frequent keynote speaker and writer on higher education issues. He has testified before the U.S. Congress, and many media news outlets, including The Chronicle of Higher Education, The New York Times and Univision have reported his work.
Previously, EVC Cruz served as president of Herbert H. Lehman College of the City University of New York (2016-2019), where he enhanced Lehman’s national reputation as an engine of opportunity and made great strides toward becoming the top contributor to educational attainment in the Bronx. His former service also includes provost of California State University, Fullerton, vice president of Higher Education Policy and Practice at the Education Trust in Washington, D.C. and vice president of Student Affairs for the University of Puerto Rico system. Dr. Cruz began his career as a faculty member in engineering at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez, rising through the ranks and serving as chair of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and dean of Academic Affairs.
Executive Vice Chancellor Cruz is on leave from his tenured position as professor of physics in Lehman’s School of Natural and Social Sciences and serves as chair of the board of directors of the Education Trust. In addition, he serves on the boards of the Data Quality Campaign and the Institute for Higher Education Policy, is a member of the advisory board of the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), serves on the steering committee of the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration and is a commissioner on the Postsecondary Value Commission. He is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, a patented inventor and a National Science Foundation Career Award recipient. His early work on modeling optical interconnections for massively parallel processing systems has been published in scientific journals and presented at international conferences.
EVC Cruz earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering (magna cum laude) from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez and his doctorate from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Born in Puerto Rico, EVC Cruz spent his formative years on the island and in various cities in California, Florida, and Honduras. He and his wife, Dr. Rima Brusi, live in the Bronx and have five children and two grandchildren.