The Board of Trustees of Framingham State University has unanimously recommended the appointment of Dr. F. Javier Cevallos as the 16th president of Framingham State University, according to a press release.
The board voted to recommend Cevallos during a special meeting Tuesday, concluding a six-month presidential search process. The recommendation will be voted on by the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education Jan. 21 in Boston. If approved, Cevallos will take over as president in July.
"The Board of Trustees was greatly impressed with the breadth of experience and depth of knowledge Dr. Cevallos demonstrated, as well as with his enthusiasm and vision for the future of Framingham State," said board chairman Joe Burchill. "We have full confidence in his ability to lead the university moving forward."
Cevallos is currently president of Kutztown University in Pennsylvania. He started at the university in 2002 and since then, enrollment has grown from 8,500 to 10,000 students and the diversity of the student body has grown from 6 percent to 17 percent. He has also overseen numerous multi-million dollar changes to campus facilities at Kutztown. In 1996 he was selected as a Fellow by the American Council on Education and spent his fellowship at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut.
"Throughout the interview process Dr. Cevallos stood out as an exceptional candidate," Richard C. Logan, chair of the search committee and vice chair of the Board of Trustees, said. "The search committee enthusiastically endorses his selection as president."
Cevallos earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez and his master's degree and PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He was one of three finalists chosen from an initial field of 84 applicants reviewed by a 13-member Presidential Search Committee made up of Framingham faculty, staff, students, and administrators. He spent two days on campus in December meeting with members of the FSU communitiy.
Cevallos was attracted to the history and reputation of FSU when applying for the position.
"Framingham State is the first public normal school in the nation, so that history and tradition is attractive to anyone in public higher education," Cevallos said. "I have admired the institution since the 1990s, when I had a chance to visit and learn about many of the programs."
This would not be Cevallos' first time working in education in Massachusetts. He moved to the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1984 after starting his career in 1981 as an assistant professor of Spanish at the University of Maine at Orono. He was promoted to associate professor at UMass-Amherst in 1988, full professor in 1992, and was asked to serve as faculty advisor to the provost in 1994. He went on to become chair of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.
"In many ways, this is like coming home for me," Cevallos said. "I have spent so many years of my life in Massachusetts and still have many connections to the area."
Maggie Quick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.