José Luis Cruz began his tenure as the third president of the Herbert H. Lehman College of The City University of New York on August 15, 2016.
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 – President Cruz is a frequent keynote speaker and writer on higher education issues. He has testified before the U.S. Congress, and his work has been covered by many media outlets.
Previously, President Cruz served as provost of California State University, Fullerton. He is a former vice president of Higher Education Policy and Practice at The Education Trust in Washington, D.C. and a former vice president of Student Affairs for the University of Puerto Rico system. He 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.
President Cruz is a professor of physics in Lehman’s School of Natural and Social Sciences and serves on the board of directors of The Education Trust. He is a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers as well as a National Science Foundation Career Award recipient. His work on optical interconnections for massively parallel processing systems has been published in scientific journals and presented at international conferences.
He 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, President Cruz spent his formative years on the island and in various cities in California, Florida, and Honduras. He and his wife, Dr. Rima Brusi, have five children—José Luis III, Harold Esteban, Marco Andrés, Aura Angélica Libertad, and Álvaro Juan—and two grandchildren, Kiara Said and Ares Damian.