Paul Arcario, Ed.D. has been an academic leader and faculty member at LaGuardia Community College/CUNY (“LaGuardia”) for more than 30 years and was appointed as Interim President by CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez in August 2019. Dr. Arcario most recently served as provost and senior vice president, from 2012-2019. In that role, he managed the Academic Division’s $40 million annual budget; led faculty recruitment and development; oversaw day-to-day management of key academic initiatives; and supervised the Student Affairs Division, which serves the college’s nearly 20,000/yr. students pursuing associate degrees. Arcario joined LaGuardia in 1988 as an ESL faculty member in the Education and Language Acquisition Department, and became chairperson of the Academic ESL Program in 1994. He joined the college’s academic leadership team in 1998 as assistant dean. His commitment to student success, and his understanding of the vital role faculty members play in educating and inspiring students, mark Arcario’s tenure at LaGuardia. He has conducted on-the-ground, first-hand research in order to help faculty address challenges in the classroom—by signing up for and teaching courses that frequently act as roadblocks for students. Seeking to understand the barriers students confront in taking math, he took a developmental math course, bringing his insights to guide faculty in drawing greater engagement from students in the material. He also took and taught online courses, which shaped the introduction of online courses at the college. Read more on Dr. Arcario’s approach. Arcario has long advocated for professional development support for college faculty, as a means of improving student outcomes. Noting that the typical doctoral program includes minimal curricula on teaching methods, Arcario sought a means for faculty to assess and refine their teaching skills. He secured a major grant from the U.S. Department of Education to establish the college’s faculty development program, the Center for Teaching and Learning, which today is among the largest and most robust CTLs at New York metropolitan area colleges. Throughout his career, he has expanded learning opportunities for faculty and students through new technological platforms—including championing ePortfolios as a means for students to collect and reflect upon their academic work throughout their time at LaGuardia. Under Arcario’s leadership, LaGuardia’s academic division has secured multiple major grants totaling more than $34 million from the U.S. Department of Education, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Science Foundation. He also oversaw grants from Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Henry Luce Foundation, and other leading philanthropies that support higher education. These grants include $14 million that he secured as lead author and principal investigator—with several from two U.S. Department of Education programs: Title V Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions Grants and the College Cost Reduction and Access Act (CCRAA) for Hispanic-Serving Institutions. His academic achievements include his selection for the 2019 Distinguished College Administrator Award from the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society (PTK), and as “ Outstanding First-Year Student Advocate” (2007) from the National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience. He has authored or co-authored nearly two dozen articles and books on ePorfolios, pathways to student success, the first-year experience, online advising, integrated learning, and teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL). His professional activities include serving as a consultant for “Global Skills for College Completion,” a national project funded by The Gates Foundation to improve pedagogy and outcomes in developmental education. Arcario earned his Ed.D. and M.Ed. in TESOL from Columbia University Teachers College, and a B.A. (magna cum laude) and M.A. in English from New York University. Arcario began his career as an English language teacher at the China Institute of America. A summer course in Mandarin led to a job teaching English in Taiwan. After two years in Taiwan, he came back to New York City and took a position at Queensborough Community College/CUNY as coordinator of Asian Affairs, before being tapped to help lead its Port of Entry Program, which helped Asian scholars culturally adapt to the US. Arcario was born and raised in Ozone Park, Queens. He and his partner, Donald Walker, have been together for 44 years and married since 2010. They live in Manhattan, and have a house in Dutchess County, where they have cultivated an award-winning garden.
Read more about Interim President Arcario’s leadership.