Cruz Selected as Next MATC President by District Board

Previous president of the Kendall Campus of Miami Dade College will take over for retiring president Vicki J. Martin, Ph.D.

Darryll Fortune,

May 02, 2024

Dr. Anthony Cruz, who has nearly 30 years of higher education experience, has been selected as the 11th president of Milwaukee Area  Technical College.

Dr. Anthony CruzThe MATC District Board unanimously voted to hire Dr. Cruz, who was one of four finalists for the position, during a special meeting on Thursday, May 2 following an expert-led national search.

The process included a rigorous review of applications, two rounds of interviews, on-campus presentations, and consideration of supporting materials. 

District board members were particularly impressed by Dr. Cruz’s students first educational philosophy, his in-depth knowledge of MATC, and the high regard in which he is held by the students, faculty, and administrators with whom he has worked in the past, said MATC District Board Chairperson Mark F. Foley. 

"We look forward to working with Dr. Cruz to bring MATC to new heights of student achievement and contributions to everyone in the Milwaukee area," Foley said. 

Dr. Cruz will replace current President Vicki J. Martin, Ph.D., who is retiring after 10 years in the position and nearly four decades at MATC at the end of June. Dr. Martin served as the 10th president at the college, founded in 1912.

Dr. Cruz previously served as president of the Kendall Campus of Miami Dade College. During his 28 years of higher education experience, Dr. Cruz has used his expertise to increase educational opportunities, enhance the student experience and bolster student success. He has held leadership roles such as campus president, vice chancellor, vice president and dean at several community colleges and universities. 

These valuable experiences have given him a profound understanding of the complexity of the higher education landscape and the opportunity to celebrate the rich diversity of the unique backgrounds and perspectives of the students, faculty and staff that he has served.

He works collaboratively with community partners to build pathways and initiatives to remove barriers to student success. He is committed to creating innovative approaches to reduce the skills gap and increase the number of college graduates. Moreover, he is a firm believer in a students first educational philosophy. 

Dr. Cruz has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Florida International University, a Master in Public Administration from Florida State University and a doctorate in higher education from Florida International University. 

MATC’s president serves as the CEO of the college, reporting to the MATC District Board. The president is responsible for day-to-day administration, management and oversight of all college operations. The president leads strategically and works with a wide range of internal and external constituents to execute the college’s mission and vision.

The president develops business and community partnerships to provide employment pathways for students and works to increase philanthropy through the MATC Foundation Inc., the college’s philanthropic partner. The president must advocate locally, regionally and nationally for the distinctive technical college mission and must manage the college to align the needs of students, employers and taxpayers with the economic realities of southeast Wisconsin. 

Dr. Cruz was one of four finalists selected after a rigorous review of applications and initial interviews with district board members. Each one visited the college in April, and heard from MATC faculty, students and staff. More than 150 students, faculty, staff, administrators, and community partners participated in person and virtually in sessions with each candidate.

The college’s presidential search partner, Greenwood Asher & Associates, received more than 50 applications for the role. The firm also helped gather input from 50 students, faculty, staff, administrators and community members who attended input sessions and 90 people who completed online surveys. 

“That input and GA&A’s expertise helped us build a strong profile and promote the position strategically across the country, with an emphasis on diverse communities,” Foley said.


  • Robert L. Cooley 1912 - 1940
  • William F. Rasche 1940 - 1958
  • George A. Parkinson 1958 - 1968
  • William L. Ramsey 1968 - 1981
  • Rus F. Slicker 1981 - 1990
  • Barbara Holmes 1990 - 1992
  • John R. Birkholz 1992 - 2001
  • Darnell E. Cole 2001 - 2009
  • Michael L. Burke 2010 - 2014
  • Vicki J. Martin 2014 - 2024 
About MATC: Wisconsin’s largest technical college and one of the most diverse two-year institutions in the Midwest, Milwaukee Area Technical College is a key driver of southeastern Wisconsin’s economy and has provided innovative education in the region since 1912. More than 30,000 students per year attend the college’s four campuses and community-based sites or learn online. MATC offers affordable and accessible education and training opportunities that empower and transform lives in the community. The college offers more than 180 academic programs — many that prepare students for jobs immediately upon completion and others that provide transfer options leading to bachelor’s degrees with more than 40 four-year colleges and universities. Overwhelmingly, MATC graduates build careers and businesses in southeastern Wisconsin. The college is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.