Vice Chancellor for Facilities Planning, Construction, and Management
Iris Weinshall was appointed Vice Chancellor for Facilities Planning, Construction, and Management at The City University of New York in April 2007, after having served the City of New York City for more than 25 years, most recently as Commissioner of Transportation.
An alumna of Brooklyn College, Ms. Weinshall returns to CUNY where she has responsibility for the University's award-winning design and planning initiatives and a five-year capital construction budget of more than $3 billion for 23 colleges and University professional schools. Ms. Weinshall joins CUNY during a system-wide renaissance on its campuses fueled by state, city, and - increasingly - private philanthropic resources, characterized by bold new interpretations of the "urban campus" ideal by some of the world's best architects.
As CUNY Vice Chancellor, Ms. Weinshall is responsible for physical plant maintenance and operations, facilities planning, and capital programs; planning, negotiating, and implementing capital construction and rehabilitation programs in consultation with a broad range of constituencies including the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York and the City University Construction Fund; and monitoring and providing technical assistance and support to the campuses for the operation and utilization of the 26-million-square-foot, 300-building CUNY plant.
Appointed Commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) in September 2000, Ms. Weinshall supervised a $5 billion capital program that included the construction of the widely-praised Whitehall Ferry Terminal in lower Manhattan and the St. George Ferry Terminal on Staten Island. Under her leadership, the DOT consolidated its offices at 55 Water Street in lower Manhattan and launched a major program to rehabilitate and maintain the city's huge network of bridges and roadways, including the nearly $3 billion rehabilitation of the city's East River Bridges. Ms. Weinshall implemented programs to improve traffic flow and upgrade the city's infrastructure, while making the city's streets and sidewalks safer for millions of pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists.
Ms. Weinshall was appointed Special Transportation Advisor to Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2003, with responsibility for shaping the city's transportation strategy. Mayor Bloomberg also named her to the Taxi and Limousine Commission. During Commissioner Weinshall's tenure, pedestrian fatalities in New York fell to their lowest level since 1910. The THRU Streets Program, implemented in 2003 by Commissioner Weinshall and Mayor Bloomberg to enhance traffic flow in Midtown Manhattan, has reduced cross-town travel times by 25% and increased vehicle speeds by 33%. In addition, DOT filled a record 260,000 potholes in 2005 and was able to respond to pothole complaints reported to the city's 311 line in four days, on average.
Ms. Weinshall graduated cum laude from Brooklyn College, and earned her Master's Degree in Public Administration from New York University's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. In 2000, she was named Alumna of the Year by the Brooklyn College Alumni Association, the group's highest honor, in recognition of her commitment to the betterment of the community through her many professional and civic achievements.
A lifelong resident of Brooklyn, she has two daughters and is married to U.S. Senator Charles Schumer.