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August 11, 2020
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JP O'Hare

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Board of Regents Appoints Dr. Betty A. Rosa as Interim Commissioner of Education

Vice Chancellor Brown to Act as Presiding Officer with Duties and Powers of Chancellor

The Board of Regents today appointed Dr. Betty A. Rosa as Interim Commissioner of Education and President of the University of the State of New York, the State Education Department announced. The Interim Commissioner will lead the Department and assist the Board of Regents and Department in carrying out its mission to raise the knowledge, skill and opportunity of all the people in New York. Dr. Rosa, who will resign her position as Chancellor of the Board of Regents, will assume this position with the Department on August 14.

“This has been an incredibly difficult decision, as I love my work on the Board of Regents, but I’m confident that it is the right one to ensure the stability that we need for our students during this unprecedented time,” Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa said. “Districts and schools are about to begin an instructional year like no other in our history. It is imperative that the Department continues its important work without interruption, and I am dedicated to providing that constancy as Interim Commissioner. I want to thank Shannon Tahoe for her leadership and steady hand through one of our most challenging times. The Department is well positioned to move forward with the Board’s priorities and to ensure that our students and educators can resume teaching and learning safely and effectively.”

“Dr. Betty Rosa is uniquely positioned to step in as Interim Commissioner of Education and President of the University of the State of New York and to provide extraordinary continued leadership within the Department.” Vice Chancellor T. Andrew Brown said. “Throughout her remarkable and innovative career as an educator, she has been a champion for equity and valiant defender of students and educators. This made her a natural leader for the Board of Regents, and it is what makes my fellow Board members and me sure that she is the exact right person to lead the Education Department at this time. I look forward to working alongside Dr. Rosa in this new capacity, while continuing our important work for the students and adults of New York.”

Dr. Rosa has tendered her resignation as a member of and Chancellor of the New York State Board of Regents effective at the close of business August 13, 2020. Her appointment as Interim Commissioner of Education is effective August 14, 2020. Vice Chancellor Brown shall act as the presiding officer and shall perform all the duties and have all the powers of the chancellor by operation of Education Law §203 and Regents Rule 3.1(a).

Dr. Rosa was elected by her Board of Regents colleagues as Chancellor in March 2016 and re-elected for a second term in 2019. She was first elected to the Board of Regents for a five-year term in 2008, as the Regent for the Twelfth Judicial District (Bronx County), then re-elected for a second term in 2013 and a third term in 2018.

Dr. Rosa is a nationally recognized education leader and received an Ed. M. and Ed. D. in Administration, Planning and Social Policy from Harvard University. She also holds two other Master of Science in Education degrees, one in Administration and Supervision and the other in Bilingual Education from the City College of New York and Lehman College respectively and a B.A. in psychology from the City College of New York. She has more than 30 years of instructional and administrative experience with an expertise in inclusive education, cooperative teaching models, student achievement and policy implementation.

Dr. Rosa began her career in the NYC Department of Education as a bilingual paraprofessional, teacher and reading coordinator, served as an assistant principal and principal in special education, introduced an integrated linguistic model in developing a multilingual and multicultural school for general and special education populations, was principal of I.S. 218, a full-service community school in partnership with the Children’s Aid Society in District 6, and developed and implemented the Office of Conflict Resolution for the NYC Division of Special Education. In 1998, Dr. Rosa was appointed to the position of Superintendent of Community School District 8 in the Bronx and later appointed to serve as the Senior Superintendent of the Bronx. One of the schools Dr. Rosa founded as superintendent, M.S. 101 (Maritime Academy for Science and Technology) became the top ranked middle school in the City of New York based on New York State examination results. She has taught graduate level education courses including Education of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Exceptional Children, Due Process: Law and the Handicapped, and Applied and Action Research for Doctoral Students, has served on dissertation committees, and is an executive coach for doctoral students.

The Regents Item detailing today’s decision by the Board of Regents is available online.

Recognizing the amount of time the search has already taken, and the paramount tasks ahead for the Board, the search for the next permanent Commissioner of Education and President of the University of the State of New York has been extended. AGB Search has reposted the position and applications should be received by October 1, 2020.