Last night, Streetsblog noticed that the City University of New York had just announced that Department of Transportation Commissioner Iris Weinshall was appointed Vice Chancellor for Facilities Planning, Construction and Management. A few hours later, there were press releases about Weinshall's resignation from the DOT and the Mayor. The Mayor said:
When I became Mayor, the people of New York were already very fortunate to have an innovative thinker like Iris Weinshall leading the Department of Transportation, and I was fortunate that she agreed to stay on and serve for what has now been an extraordinary seven year tenure. Iris tried new ways to solve problems that had plagued New York City for decades, and she worked with local communities to mitigate dangerous conditions, resulting in the lowest pedestrian fatality rate in recorded history and infrastructure changes and improvements in all five boroughs.
Iris is a tested leader and our loss is CUNY's gain. Whether through the challenges the City faced during and after September 11th, two blackouts or a transit strike that threatened to paralyze us, Iris Weinshall brought her leadership skills to bear and saw the Department through these difficult times. New York is a better place for her efforts.
Weinshall attended Brooklyn College, a CUNY school, and her appointment was recommended by CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein. (The Post reports Weinshall applied for the job (a CUNY source says "She really fits the bill"), which seems to signal that she realized her time was up at the DOT. Though Weinshall had started to help shift the DOT's direction, there are still some big problems at the DOT.
She was appointed to be DOT commissioner by Giuliani in 2000; her last day is April 13. In her new role, Weinshall will be overseeing projects like a new Renzo Piano-building for the College of Technology in Brooklyn and the Brooklyn College library restoration.