The inauguration of Lehman College’s third president, Dr. José Luis Cruz, was filled with smiles and optimism for the future. It also doubled for the announcement of a new initiative by the college dubbed “90 by 30.”
Cruz’s 90 by 30 initiative hopes to produce 90,000 degrees and credentials by the year 2030, doubling the current number of degrees conferred. The plan includes hiring more professors and working on expanding virtual and physical infrastructure. This includes building a $53 million, 50,000-square-foot nursing teaching and research center, a $12.8 million addition to the Lehman Center for the Performing Arts, and the creation of a $2.7 million Lehman Amphitheater.
Cruz will also push to include funding for the completion of a 160,000-square-feet science hall project it the college’s five-year capital improvement plan. “When completed, these buildings will increase our college’s instructional capacity by 22 percent,” said Cruz.
He also hopes to use Lehman’s data to identify which classes are in high demand in order to provide more classes.
He plans to use a set of strategies to make the college more active. “We have a system called ‘Achieving Division,’” said Cruz. “[This] strategy will make sure our faculty can do more research, and our students can get internships.”
Lehman College was also given $25,000 to establish the Dr. Ricardo R. Fernández Scholarship endowment fund by the Intercultural Development Research Association. The scholarship, named after Cruz’s predecessor, would support undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need in pursuing a master’s degree and teaching certification.
Cruz has been president since August 2016. CUNY rules state presidential inaugurations for a new president happen within one year after they’ve taken office. Since that time, Cruz has made sure to be active around the campus’s many departments. Among his many accomplishments, Cruz has previously been provost of California State University, Fullerton, and is a professor of physics in Lehman’s School of Natural and Social Sciences.
During his inauguration speech, he shouted out the physics department with familiarity. “Just as the trajectory of an Aaron Judge homerun is determined at the point of contact by the baseball’s launch angle and exit velocity, so too will the trajectory of our students success be shaped by our initial approach to 90 by 30,” Cruz said.