Queens College President James Muyskens will retire in December after a dozen years leading the institution, he announced last week.
Dr. Evangelos Gizis will take over as interim president until the board completes its national search for Muyskens’ successor, The City University of New York (CUNY) said in a statement.
Gizis is a biochemist with a specialty in food science, officials said. He has served as interim president of Hunter College, Hostos Community College and Borough of Manhattan Community College.
Muyskens, a philosopher, plans to continue teaching at the 20,000-student senior college during the 2014-2015 academic year.
“The University is profoundly grateful to President Muyskens, who has reshaped the college by hiring more than 300 full-time professors, who have brought both breadth and depth to instruction and research,” said CUNY Board Chair Benno Schmidt.
Officials said Queens College’s stature rose under Muyskens leadership.
The college was ranked second in the nation as the “Best Bang for the Buck” in the Washington Monthly and second in the “Lots of Race/Class Interaction” category in the Princeton Review’s Best 378 Colleges book.
Queens College was also recognized as one of five colleges that excel in serving low-income students, according to a 2011 analysis of 1,200 four-year colleges by Education Trust, a research and advocacy group.
Muyskens is also hailed for introducing new programs and expanding the Education Abroad Program.
Under his administration, officials said The Summit student residence was built and the Powdermaker Hall, Remsen Hall and Kupferberg Center for the Arts were renovated.