Dr. Vinton Thompson helped expand higher education for diverse adult students in Manhattan and the Bronx
New York, June 20, 2019 — Dr. Vinton Thompson will retire as president of Metropolitan College of New York (MCNY) at the end of June, following ten years of leadership during which he greatly advanced the college’s mission of making higher education accessible to nontraditional students.
MCNY, a non-profit accredited institution with campuses in Manhattan and the Bronx, is known for its undergraduate and graduate degree programs designed for working adults. With a student body inclusive of diverse ages, genders and races, it offers nontraditional students the flexibility and support they need to achieve their academic and career goals.
Dr. Thompson’s presidency was notable for achievements that significantly expanded MCNY’s scope and impact. During his tenure, MCNY re-established its presence in the Bronx with a branch campus and created five new degree programs. The college also gained specialized accreditation in the Business and Education programs and reaffirmed its primary accreditation with the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
In 2013-2016, under Dr. Thompson’s leadership, MCNY carried out the largest projects in the history of the College, building, equipping and occupying new facilities in Manhattan and the Bronx. In 2016, MCNY had its most successful fundraising year ever, bringing in a total of $3.2 million in grants and gifts to support the new campuses and direct services to students.
“Dr. Thompson’s leadership has been an inspiration, guiding us through some of the college’s most challenging times and creating the solid foundation that we enjoy today,” said Charles Armstrong, MCNY’s Chair, Board of Trustees. “He helped MCNY increase enrollment and achieve financial stability, which enabled us to purchase and build our new campus homes, where we can more effectively serve students and the New York City community.”
With a background as a scientist, Dr. Vinton Thompson holds an A.B. in Biology from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in Evolutionary Biology from the University of Chicago. Previously he served as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Kean University in Union, N.J. and Roosevelt University in Chicago.
His lifelong commitment to social justice and change stems back to his involvement in the anti-war movement of the Vietnam era. This dedication to social justice has been a cornerstone of his career in higher education, culminating in his leadership of MCNY, an institution which embodies these ideals.
Dr. Thompson reflected, “I believe most people, most of the time, want to serve their communities well. The job of leaders is to help them find the ways and the means. I’ve tried hard to listen to the dreams and concerns of students, faculty, and staff and to channel those ideas in productive ways. My contribution has been to think about the big picture while maintaining a hand in many details—in essence, to combine idealism with practical solutions.”
Upon his retirement, Dr. Thompson looks forward to continuing his volunteer work as a scientific researcher at the Museum of Natural History, as well as staying engaged in higher education policy.
On July 1, his successor, Dr. Joanne Passaro will assume office as MCNY’s sixth President. The college’s new leader shares her predecessor’s commitment to advancing social justice by empowering nontraditional students.