I say this past week was a great week for education in New York City and the nation with the announcement that Félix “Felo” V. Matos Rodríguez had been appointed the new Chancellor of The City University of New York. Holy Moly!
The first Hispanic to lead the system. His fan base, which includes me, basically exploded FB with congratulations. My contribution, letting him know he’s now officially a national treasure - a Puerto Rican one I mean...ja! a bit of a joke but not.
But, I’m bringing it back to Hostos Community College because he was the College’s President from 2009 to 2014. And, I am indebted to him for taking a chance on me and giving me the opportunity to work in the field of education. A track I couldn’t have ever foreseen for me when I started out in life. But a track I have come to love and respect deeply in these past 8-years. Throughout the many weeks of these NFAND Sundays, I’ve been on-and-off sharing about my job a bit, presenting voices from the institution that prove how education transforms lives - the beauty of learning in its most sincere and powerful sense.
The time is apropos to share as re-post Chancellor-designate Matos Rodríguez’s talk on Hostos and education. I had the privilege of interviewing him along with the rest of the past Hostos’ presidents for the 50th Anniversary Oral Collective, and it was an amazing experience. One that leaves me with few words, really. Hostos Community College is a very special place with a still under-told story, that shouldn’t be.
You can catch one little bit of that history from the CUNY Chancellor-designate himself right here on Soundcloud.
But, beyond Felo’s Hostos story, his trajectory as an educator and administrator is graced. He delivers with poise, humor, vision, underplayed tenacity, and I can tell you that he does that and more but with humanity. And that is the word.
His appointment is simply an important moment for the field of education.