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The Skanner News
Published: 24 June 2013

From left to right: CUNY Board of Trustees Vice Chairperson Philip Alfonso Berry, Dr. Rudolph Crew and Medgar Evers College Presidential Search Committee Chairperson and Trustee Valerie Lancaster Beal

Farewell Rudy Crew. The New York educator who came to Oregon a year ago to transform the state's education system is leaving, to head one of the colleges in City University of New York's system.

Crew will head the historically Black Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn. Hired by Gov. Kitzhaber as Oregon's chief education officer, Crew came on a three-year contract, with a salary of $280,000 a year. His mission included connecting up the education system from pre-school through college.

City of New York University system's Chancellor Matthew Goldstein recommended Dr. Crew after a national search. In a joint press release, CUNY Board of Trustees Chairperson Benno Schmidt and Chancellor Goldstein say:

"Dr. Crew has made it his life work to strengthen America's public education system during a 30-year career that has spanned classroom teaching and leadership of the nation's largest school districts. Since 2009 he has been a professor in the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California. He is also president of the K-12 division of Revolution Prep, which seeks to use technology to improve math instruction and graduation rates in urban school districts. As Oregon's first chief education officer he was charged by Gov. John Kitzhaber with revamping public education, improving Oregon's high school graduation rate and refashioning public education from kindergarten through college into an integrated system.

 "Dr. Rudy Crew brings to Medgar Evers College an exemplary record of academic, administrative and governmental accomplishment, combined with classroom experience and a strong commitment to students. We are confident that, with his leadership, Medgar Evers College will achieve new levels of excellence for its dedicated students and faculty and strengthen its role with the community. The college was established in 1970 to honor the memory and ideals of the slain civil rights martyr and it is highly appropriate that it will be uplifted by a leader who is deeply committed to academic quality, equal access, and student success."

"Dr. Crew has stated that his mission is to "improve student achievement, especially for poor and minority students." To that end he worked closely with all stakeholders, first as New York City schools chancellor and later as superintendent of the Miami-Dade County Public Schools, to place those cities' lowest-performing schools in virtual districts whose boundaries were defined by student need, not geography, and used research-based practices to accelerate the pace of student learning.

"Soon after being named Oregon's chief education officer in 2012, Dr. Crew ordered a third of the state's 197 school districts to rewrite their academic goals because they had failed to seek improvement of at least one percentage point in high school graduation rates and third-grade reading and math scores. He also called for boosting educational achievement for the bottom 40 percent of students through greater use of technology and learning outside of class time, after school and during the summer, along with teacher-developed skill-building classes pegged to individual student needs and delivered online.

"CUNY has invested more than $300 million in new and newly renovated campus facilities at Medgar Evers College in recent years, including a new $235 million, state-of-the-art academic building and a $22 million School of Business and student support services building. Meanwhile, the college has expanded its faculty, particularly in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), nursing, business, social work and library science.

"The newest faculty hires bring impressive academic and professional credentials to Medgar Evers College, along with research backgrounds in venues as varied as NASA, South Africa and Vietnam, and in disciplines as cutting-edge as stem cells, remote sensing of greenhouse gases and renewable and sustainable energy."

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