Former vice chancellor for student affairs F. Javier Cevallos was unanimously nominated Jan. 7 by the Framingham State University board of trustees to be the school’s 16th president. The recommendation will be voted on by the state Board of Higher Education on Jan. 21 in Boston. If approved, Cevallos will take over as president in July.
Cevallos has been president at Kutztown University in Pennsylvania 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 UMass 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 Connecticut.
Upon his return to UMass, Cevallos became chair of the department of Spanish and Portuguese. In 1998, he was appointed interim vice chancellor for student affairs. He received the permanent appointment to the post in 2000 and served until 2002, when he accepted the prseidency at Kutztown.
Under Cevallos, Kutztown’s enrollment increased from 8,500 to 10,000 students, while the diversity of the student body grew from 6 percent to 17 percent.
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 its 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 10 years. 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.
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.
Cevallos earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez and his master’s degree and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Framingham State University enrolls more than 6,400 students with 53 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in arts, humanities, sciences, social sciences and professional fields.