Dr. F. Javier Cevallos began his tenure as President of Framingham State University on July 1st, 2014.
Dr. Cevallos was born in Cuenca, Ecuador and his family moved to Puerto Rico when he was 14. Dr. Cevallos earned his bachelor’s degree in 1976 at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez. From Puerto Rico, he moved to Illinois where he earned his master’s and doctoral degrees in 1978 and 1981, respectively, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His area of research is Latin American literature, with particular emphasis in the Colonial era.
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, 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 2002, when he became President of Kutztown University in Pennsylvania.
During his 12-year tenure at Kutztown, enrollment grew from 8,500 to 10,000 students while the diversity of the student body grew from 6 percent to 17 percent. The academic profile of the entering class also improved, going from close to an 80 percent acceptance rate in 2002 to 64 percent in 2012.
Dr. Cevallos also oversaw significant improvements to campus facilities at Kutztown. During his tenure, the campus 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. He also oversaw construction of a new $61 million residence hall, a $30 million Student Recreation Center, and a $13 million renovation of the Health Center, as well as many other projects.
Dr. Cevallos was an advocate for internationalizing Kutztown University. As a faculty member in Massachusetts, he directed the Summer Program in Salamanca, Spain, and has been involved with international programs since then. Under his leadership, Kutztown established programs in Ecuador, China, India, and Italy. As part of the effort, the university developed an English as a Second Language Program to help students with their language skills.
Dr. Cevallos and his wife, Josée Vachon-Cevallos, believe in community involvement and have volunteered to serve in numerous non-profit boards in the region, such as St Joseph’s Hospital, the Reading Museum, Berks Arts Council, the United Way, and the Boys and Girls Club of Reading.