Former Schools Chancellor Rudy Crew, who served under Mayor Rudy Giuliani, is back in New York City this time as President of Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn. In his first television interview since returning to the city, the noted educator says he has a strategy to save the embattled school. NY1's Cheryl Wills filed the following report.
From 1995 to 1999, Dr. Rudy Crew served as Schools Chancellor where his very public battles with former Mayor Rudy Giuliani made headlines. But Crew made dramatic reforms within the politically charged environment from ending the promotion of failing students and stripping power away from school boards. Today, at 63, Crew is back, this time as head of Medgar Evers College.
"For me it's going to be as a college president not a heck of a lot different than it would have been if I were still chancellor here in that you’re gonna have to be very aggressive about building a new platform," Crew said.
The liberal arts college in Brooklyn is plagued with problems. Its accreditation is in jeopardy for failure to meet standards and both students and faculty have protested the school's downturn. In his first television interview, Crew tells NY1 he is confident that he can turn the 43-year-old CUNY school around.
"You’re gonna have to rebuild, refresh, reset this agenda," Crew said.
After he resigned as schools chancellor, Crew went on to criss-cross the country holding high level posts at the University of Washington and school districts in Miami-Dade County and Oregon. Crew says returning to the city for the first time in some 14 years is a real eye opener.
"I come back to Brooklyn and look around here I see the Barclays Center, I see all of these things, these little boutique shops in places that I never saw shops like that," Crew said.
Crew, who now lives in Fort Greene, says since Brooklyn is now global he has a plan in place to turn Medgar Evers into a world class institution. On September 26, the school was awarded a $750,000 grant to support math and science programs and Crew says it's just the beginning of a $25 million fundraising initiative.
But there is no quick fix for the embattled college which is named for the civil rights leader who was murdered in Mississippi 50 years ago.
"This is a long haul for me. There’s nothing else in my life that I would want to do. This is exactly how I would like to finish out my career," Crew said.