Last week, the City University of New York (CUNY)’s Board of Trustees unanimously appointed Frank H. Wu as the 11th president of Queens College. His term begins on July 1.
He will succeed Interim President William Tramontano, who took over last June after Felix V. Matos Rodriguez, was appointed the chancellor of CUNY.
“Queens College is indeed fortunate that Professor Wu has accepted the position of president and will lead the way forward in these very difficult times,” Tramontano said in a statement. “I am happy to extend him a warm virtual welcome to campus, and pledge my full support and cooperation during this transition period as he prepares to assume his new responsibilities at this wonderful institution.”
Wu is currently the William F. Prosser Distinguished Professor at University of California Hastings College of the Law. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in writing from John Hopkins University and a law degree from University of Michigan Law School.
He also completed two seminars at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.
Wu will be the first Asian-American to serve as president of Queens College. He was also the first Asian-American to serve on the faculty of the law school at Howard University, a historically black institution.
Prior to joining UC Hastings as chancellor and dean, Wu spent a decade at Gallaudet University, which offers higher education to deaf and hearing-impared students, and Wayne Street University Law School in Detroit, where he was the dean.
He has authored several books, including “Yellow: Race in America beyond Black and White,” and “Race, Rights, & Reparations: Law and the Japanese American Internment.”
Born to Chinese immigrants who settled in Detroit, Wu received the Asian Pacific Fund Chang-Lin Tien Award for leadership in higher education in 2008. He is also the recipient of the John Hope Franklin Award for commitment to diversity.
“Frank Wu is a trailblazer in legal education who has broken barriers for Asian-Americans,” Matos Rodriguez said at a CUNY board meeting.
In a statement, Wu said Queens College is a campus that represents education as the engine of the American dream.
“I am here because my parents were immigrants who came as students,” he said. “That opportunity must continue to be offered and expanded.
“I look forward to working with the entire Queens College community at a time when it will be vital to be resilient,” Wu added, “to come together and work together to meet the challenges ahead.”
Congresswoman Grace Meng said in a statement that she has known Wu for several years. She wished him the best in his new role.
“Queens College does extraordinary work in preparing students for their futures,” she said. “It continues to be a beacon of higher education, and I am confident that under Frank Wu’s leadership, the institution’s success will soar even higher.”
State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, who chairs the Higher Education Committee, said Wu’s resume speaks for itself.
“I look forward to meeting with Professor Wu in the coming days to discuss ways the state can help ensure Queens College continues to provide accessibility and a top quality education for its student body,” she said.