January 22, 2014
Dr. F. Javier Cevallos is set to become the 16th president of Framingham State University in July, after receiving confirmation from the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education.
“I am thrilled with the Board’s approval of the appointment of Javier Cevallos as the next President of Framingham State University,” said Higher Education Commissioner Richard M. Freeland. “Dr. Cevallos bring a distinguished scholarly and academic background, a record of achievement in administration, and a familiarity with Massachusetts’ work through the Vision Project to achieve national leadership among state systems of higher education. I look forward to working with him.”
The Framingham State Board of Trustees voted to recommend Dr. Cevallos during a special meeting on Tuesday, January 7, concluding a six-month presidential search process.
“The Board of Trustees was greatly impressed with the breadth of experience and depth of knowledge Dr. Cevallos demonstrated, as well as his enthusiasm and vision for the future of Framingham State,” said BOT Chairman Joe Burchill. “We have full confidence in his ability to lead the University moving forward.”
Dr. Cevallos, who is currently president at Kutztown University in Pennsylvania, said the history and reputation of FSU attracted him to 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,” Dr. Cevallos said. “I have admired the institution since the 1990s, when I had a chance to visit and learn about many of the programs.”
Dr. Cevallos has been president at Kutztown University since 2002. He began his career in education in 1981 as an assistant professor of Spanish at the University of Maine at Orono. In 1984, he moved to the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where he was promoted to associate professor in 1988 and to full professor in 1992. In 1994, he was asked to serve as faculty advisor to the provost. In 1996 he was selected as a Fellow by the American Council on Education (ACE) and spent his fellowship at Wesleyan University, in Middletown, Connecticut.
Upon his return to UMass, Dr. Cevallos became chair of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. Soon after, he was appointed Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, a post he held until he became President of Kutztown University.
“In many ways, this is like coming home for me,” Dr. Cevallos said. “I have spent so many years of my life in Massachusetts and still have many connections to the area.”
Since his arrival at Kutztown, enrollment has grown from 8,500 to 10,000 students, while the diversity of the student body has grown from 6 percent to 17 percent.
Dr. Cevallos has also overseen significant changes in campus facilities at Kutztown. The campus has completed a new $20 million Science Center, a $21 million classroom/dining facility, the renovation and expansion of Sharadin Visual Arts building ($19 million), and a $21 million renovation of Schaeffer Auditorium, the performing arts center. The campus has also seen the construction of a new $61 million residence hall, a $30 million Student Recreation Center, and a $13 million renovation of the Health Center. This fall the renovation of a traditional residence hall was completed as part of the comprehensive Housing Master Plan that will renovate all university-owned housing over the next ten years. Dr. Cevallos also worked with the Kutztown University Foundation to build a $40 million residential complex that houses over 1,400 students; and through the Foundation facilitated the acquisition and renovation of an Honors Hall, a $2 million project that combines housing and classroom space for honor students.
Dr. Cevallos was one of three finalists chosen from an initial field of 84 applicants reviewed by a 13-member Presidential Search Committee made up of faculty, staff, students and administrators. He spent two days on campus in December meeting with members of the FSU community.
“Throughout the interview process Dr. Cevallos stood out as an exceptional candidate,” said Richard C. Logan, chair of the search committee and vice chair of the Board of Trustees. “The search committee enthusiastically endorses his selection as president.”
Dr. 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.
About Framingham State University
Framingham State University was founded in 1839 as the nation’s first public university for the education of teachers. Since that time, it has evolved into a vibrant, comprehensive liberal arts institution offering small, personalized classes on a beautiful New England campus. Today, the University enrolls more than 6,400 students with 53 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in arts, humanities, sciences, social sciences and professional fields. As a public university, Framingham State prides itself on quality academic programs, affordability, and commitment to access for all qualified students.