In the fall of 1986, a small group of Higher Education Officer (HEO’s) from Hostos Community College met and decided to form an organization within the College to advance HEO causes. The group was keenly aware of the political ramifications of such an organization both on and off campus, inasmuch as the College’s PSC chapter served primarily as an advocacy group for teaching faculty while HEO’s are represented University-wide by the Cross Campus Chapter of the Professional Staff Congress of the City University of New York.
The first co-chairpersons of the organization were Ms. Nelida Crespo and Ms. Anne Jackson who served a two-year term. During their tenure, they helped the organization establish its identity and reinforced the important role that HEO’ s played in administering the institutional needs of the College.
The next chairperson of the organization was Carlos L. Hargraves who served a one-year term and who with the assistance of other HEO’s inthe college developed the by-laws of the Organization. Mr. Hargraves was then elected another two terms as chair. During this period, through his efforts and those of the newly formed Executive Committee as well as a new management team at the College (which believed in the empowerment of groups), HEO’s realized greater acceptance within the various governance structures of the College. Consequently, HEO’s received membership into many important committees such as the Administrative Review Committee, Pluralism Committee, Graduation Committee, Executive Committee of Senate, etc.
The next Chairperson was Ms. Yvette Hernandez Luyando who carried on with the important mission of the organization and the College by promoting collegiality, diversity and professional development. Under her leadership, Ms. Luyando was successful in holding an annual retreat, which is devoted to the professional development of Higher Education Officers. In addition, she organized many social events, which provided an opportunity for networking with other CUNY colleagues as well as an opportunity to develop and cultivate friendships. Ms. Luyando was elected as chairperson for three consecutive terms and served as an ARC member for over eight years.
The next Chairperson was Mr. Joseph Alicea who took over after Ms. Luyando resigned from the Chair position during the Fall 99 semester. Major accomplishments under his leadership include: the development of a mission statement for the organization; the reclassification of several HEO’s; and the development and implementation of amendments to the HEO constitution. On June 1,2001, Mr. Alicea concluded ten years of service on the HEO executive committee.
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