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Kenneth J. Knuckles, former Commissioner of the New York City Department of General Services, has been appointed Vice President for Support Services at Columbia University, it was announced by President George Rupp.
In his new position, Mr. Knuckles is responsible for the university-wide purchasing system, which procures $250 million in goods and services annually. He also oversees the University's printing, mail and transportation services.
The position of Vice President for Support Services, which reports to Emily Lloyd, Executive Vice President for Administration, expands on and replaces the job of Deputy Vice President for Administrative Services, formerly held by Maurice Feigenbaum.
As Commissioner of General Services, Knuckles was the chief executive officer of city government's principal procurement and support agency. He administered more than $1 billion annually in expense and capital budgets for the City of New York, including $650 in capital construction funds and $700 million in supplies and equipment. He brings to Columbia a broad familiarity with procurement, construction, fleet management, and economic development.
"Ken Knuckles comes to us well prepared to lead our new Support Services organization," said Columbia University President George Rupp. "In his capacity as the city's Commissioner of General Services, Ken managed for the entire City government many of the same vital functions that he and his staff will be performing here. His wide range of experience will be invaluable as we develop and implement new systems to provide improved services.
"I am particularly pleased that Ken joins us at a time when Columbia is working to find ways to buy more goods and services from New York City companies in general and neighborhood businesses in particular."
"Ken will also play a key role in our continuing efforts to provide better service to the University's students, faculty and staff," said Executive Vice President for Administration Emily Lloyd. "I am delighted to welcome a seasoned manager of Ken Knuckles' abilities to Columbia's senior administrative team. I am also pleased that I will have the benefit of Ken's advice and counsel as we work to increase our positive economic impact on the City, particularly in three key areas: purchasing, construction and employment."
Columbia University's Contribution to the New York City Economy, a recently published report prepared by Appleseed, identified purchasing, construction and employment as three key areas where Columbia could strenghten its economic ties to the City.
Knuckles' career in New York City municipal government has spanned nearly 20 years and included positions as Deputy Bronx Borough President, Assistant Commissioner of the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, counsel to the New York City Civil Service Commission, and as an attorney with the New York City Department of Personnel.
Immediately prior to his appointment as Vice President, Knuckles served as Advisor for Special Projects at Columbia, concentrating on a financial analysis of the construction and operation of Lerner Hall, Columbia's future student center that will replace the recently demolished Ferris Booth Hall.
"After two decades of service in the public sector," said Knuckles, "I am delighted to take on the new and rewarding challenge offered by Columbia University, which allows me the best of both worlds: to support the education of future scholars and leaders, as well as the important research conducted at a University of this caliber, and to contribute to civic life through my work at this vitally important New York City institution."
Knuckles attended the University of Michigan where he earned his B.A. in architecture and Howard University Law School where he received his J.D. Knuckles and his wife, Lorraine, live in the Bronx with their two daughters, Tracey and Lauren.