Interim President William Tramontano
William Tramontano became interim president of Queens College of The City University of New York on June 1, 2019, after holding top administrative and faculty leadership positions at several CUNY and private higher education institutions.
Prior to his current appointment, he served at Hunter College as senior advisor to the president for student success and strategic initiatives. In this capacity, Tramontano helped raise retention and graduation rates by overseeing student success initiatives, including efforts to improve course availability, strengthen student engagement, and bolster postgraduate outcomes.
Before coming to Hunter in 2018, he served for a decade as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Brooklyn College, and five years as acting provost and dean of Natural and Social Sciences at Lehman College, creating facilities master plans and working with architects and program planners at both campuses.
At Brooklyn College, Tramontano led a successful effort to improve graduation rates. He played a leading role in establishing a new five-school structure, expanding the faculty, creating the Feinstein Graduate School of Cinema, and winning AACSB accreditation for the business school. He also helped found the Science and Resilience Institute of Jamaica Bay in partnership with Columbia, Cornell, Rutgers, Stony Brook, the Wildlife Conservation Society, the National Park Service, and the City of New York.
At Lehman College, he played a major role in the planning and design of a new science building and the establishment of new master's programs in social work, public health, and nursing.
Tramontano has served on CUNY's Conflicts of Interest Committee and chaired the CUNY Council of Provosts' Academic Policy Committee. He was intimately involved in the design of the CUNY I, a research vessel, working closely with Derecktor, the Mamaroneck, New York-based shipbuilder responsible for its construction. The eponymous vessel was built with CUNY 2020 funding provided by the State of New York and is docked at Kingsborough Community College.
A cellular biologist, Tramontano graduated from Manhattan College and earned his master's and doctoral degrees from New York University. He returned to Manhattan College to teach and taught for 22 years on its biology faculty, including 14 years as department chair. He was elected seven times as chair of the College Wide Promotion and Tenure Committee. He served for eight years as the principal investigator and author of two large grants from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and received funding from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the United States Department of Education. As chair of the Faculty Athletics Committee, he assisted with the hiring of coaches and compliance with NCAA regulations at Manhattan, a Division I school. He was designated a Distinguished La Sallian Educator, the college’s highest academic honor, in recognition of his exemplary contributions.
Tramontano has taught as an adjunct at Iona College, SUNY Purchase, and The College of Mount Saint Vincent. He has had a working relationship with the Wildlife Conservation Society since the late 1980s including publishing several manuscripts with it. He serves on the society’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee and its Institutional Review Board.