New Jersey City University has named Executive Vice President and University Counsel Andres Acebo as their new interim vice president, school officials said this morning.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“I am profoundly humbled and honored to accept the call to serve the community that raised me and shaped me. NJCU’s mission is inextricably linked to my life. NJCU graduates educated me, nursed me, protected me, and championed me,” Acebo said in a statement.
“This institution delivered for my friends and my family the promise of a better life — a promise that every day, staff and faculty, students, and community leaders and stakeholders, breathe life into. I am confident that that promise will not be deferred, that we will meet this moment, and not just survive challenges, but thrive well into our second century serving my community — our community.”
The Union City native continued by describing himself as the “first-generation son of Cuban exiles” who wants to give back to a community that has given him so much.
He will be only the second Hispanic to serve as the leader of a four-year public institution in New Jersey, following in the legacy of another NJCU leader, Dr. Carlos Hernandez, who led the institution as its 11th president from 1993-2012.
Acebo, who turns 37 this month, will be the youngest known president to ever lead a public university in the Garden State and his appointment will be for 24 months.
“After several months of conducting an extensive search for an interim leader of the university to help guide us through the next phase of our fiscal emergency, Andy emerged as the primary candidate for the interim position. We are grateful for his willingness to serve. Andy is uniquely qualified for this moment,” added NJCU Board of Trustees Chair Joseph Scott.
“His history of accomplishments in our time of crisis are impressive. He has been appointed with unanimous support of the executive committee of the Board. He has the support and full confidence of both the Board and our organized labor units on campus, and an excellent rapport with our legislative stakeholders. He lives the mission of our institution every day, and we thank him for answering the call to serve.”
Scott also thanked interim president Jason Kroll, who has been serving as interim president since June after the retirement of Dr. Sue Henderson.
In light of Henderson’s retirement, serious financial woes for the university came to light, revealing tens of millions of dollars in debt.
They have asked the state for $10 million in additional aid, on top of the $30 million they’re already receiving, to help keep their doors open.
As a result, they revealed a reorganization plan that cuts three senior management positions in November.