About Dr. William J. Fritz

Dr. William J. Fritz was appointed by the Board of Trustees of The City University of New York to serve as Interim President of the College of Staten Island on August 15, 2012 and as President on May 6, 2014. He received his BS and MS in Biology from Walla Walla College and a PhD in Geology from the University of Montana. Dr. Fritz serves as the seventh president of the College of Staten Island and its predecessor institutions Staten Island Community College and Richmond College.

Dr. Fritz is an internationally known field geologist and has published more than 50 articles and guidebooks on sedimentation around modern and ancient explosive volcanoes, as well as on sedimentology, stratigraphy, paleobotany, and storm surges. His research interests are on the volcanoclastic sedimentation and tectonics of southwestern Montana in response to the Yellowstone hotspot, and volcanic controls on sedimentation in Ordovician rock in Wales and Ireland. He has authored two textbooks and a popular book on the Roadside Geology of the Yellowstone Country, convened a prestigious Penrose Conference, published in Nature and Science, and participated in international initiatives. His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy. Recently, he has been an outspoken advocate in New York for sustainable management of coastlines in the face of rising sea levels. He has published on storm surges and disaster planning following Superstorm Sandy and served on Governor Cuomo’s taskforce on NY Rising Communities.

After graduate school, Dr. Fritz worked for two years as an exploration geologist for Amoco Production Company and then joined the faculty at Georgia State University, an urban doctoral/research-extensive university of 28,000 students. At Georgia State, he enjoyed two careers over 27 years – one as a faculty member and the other as an administrator. As a faculty member, he was promoted from Assistant to Associate to Full Professor. As an administrator, starting in 1998, Dr. Fritz rose through the ranks from Director of Freshmen Studies at the College of Arts and Sciences to Senior Associate Provost for Academic Programs and Enrollment Services.

In 2008, Dr. Fritz became the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at the College of Staten Island, where he functioned as Chief Operating Officer. He is also a tenured Professor of Geology and a member of the Earth and Environmental Sciences Doctoral faculty at the CUNY Graduate Center and remains active in his field. Dr. Fritz continues to give invited lectures, accept speaking engagements, participate in research, and publish.

Dr. Fritz’s presidency is highlighted by a celebration of the legacy of CSI as well as making the College a part of Staten Island. His vision and leadership have helped to create the Island’s 30,000 Degrees initiative, and earned the College national recognition from Forbes, Washington Monthly, TIME magazine, Money magazine, and U.S. News & World Report, for providing access to the highest quality education, for taking students from the lower two quintiles of wealth and moving them to the upper levels, and for CSI graduates earning salaries in the top 15%. For two years in a row, G.I. Jobs magazine ranked CSI as the Number One “Military Friendly” institution in the nation. CSI is also the only Purple Heart Institution in New York City.

Dr. Fritz led a campus initiative to develop a New Strategic Plan, Opportunity to Ascend, with a dual meaning. CSI’s Mission, since its founding in 1956, has been to provide an opportunity for students to ascend to greater prosperity, and as an institution, it is on an ascending path to greater recognition as a Destination Campus. As the only public institution in one of the five Boroughs of New York City, CSI has a priority of Borough Stewardship by serving as an Anchor Institution for Staten Island.

Dr. Fritz provides national leadership to higher education by serving as a member of the NCAA Division III Presidents Council as well as the Infractions Appeals Committee. He is also a member of the Executive Board of the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities.

Dr. Fritz serves on the Staten Island Regional Executive Council of Staten Island University Hospital/Northwell Health, the Board of the Staten Island Economic Development Corp., the Fresh Kills Alliance, Snug Harbor Cultural Center, and the CUNY Research Foundation. He is very involved in the Staten Island community and is working to present CSI as a place to host serious conversations about civic prosperity and the future of Staten Island.