James B. Milliken

The City University of New York has a new chancellor. The Board of Trustees voted unanimously on Wednesday to appoint James B. Milliken, currently president of the University of Nebraska, to serve as CUNY's seventh chancellor.

Milliken has headed the University of Nebraska system since 2004, but he is no stranger to New York City. He earned his law degree from NYU in 1983 and spent several years in the city, serving with the Legal Aid Society's Civil Division and then working as an attorney for international law firm Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft.


"I am honored and excited by this appointment to lead America’s premier urban public university," Milliken said in a statement. "CUNY today has a world class faculty, talented students, an outstanding reputation, rising enrollments, increased academic standards and the most diverse student body in the nation. It enjoys significant momentum and unlimited potential."

The University of Nebraska system is comprised of four main campuses and enrolls more than 50,000 students. Milliken will face some challenges as he takes on the substantially larger CUNY system. It serves 270,000 degree-credit students and 218,083 adult, continuing education students across 24 institutions.

CUNY Board of Trustees Chairperson Benno Schmidt, said, “President Milliken is a highly regarded national leader in higher education. He brings to CUNY an impressive record of extensive academic and administrative experience and a demonstrated record of success in working with students, faculty, alumni and community leaders to offer quality, affordable higher education.”

Milliken will assume the position no later than June 1, according to CUNY. He succeeds Matthew Goldstein, who served from 1999 to 2013. William Kelly is currently serving as interim chancellor.

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