Ex-Briarcliffe College prez gets technical at TCI

George Santiago Jr.: Hail to the chief.

The Manhattan-based TCI College of Technology has tapped a longtime Long Island college administrator to be its new president.

Bethpage resident George Santiago Jr. is TCI’s new president and CEO, according to an announcement Thursday by the college’s Board of Directors. Santiago, who also fills a seat on the board, assumed the office in late May.

The new president joins TCI after a decade as president and CEO of Briarcliffe College, a business- and healthcare-focused college with campuses in Patchogue and Bethpage. Illinois-based Career Education Corp., a for-profit college-management chain that owns Briarcliffe College, plans to close both campuses and lay off Briarcliffe’s nearly 300 employees after completion of the 2018 school year.

Santiago announced in early May that he was stepping down from his Briarcliffe College post to pursue other educational opportunities, then quickly made the jump to TCI College of Technology.

“Dr. Santiago brings to TCI a wealth of experience in higher education,” Philip Getter, chairman of the TCI Board of Directors, said in a statement. “The board is thrilled to welcome him as we embark on the next chapter in the history of our 107-year-old institution.”

Prior to his 10-year run at Briarcliffe College – which included stints as provost and chief academic officer, before he became president – Santiago served six years as executive associate director of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, a non-governmental, regional membership association serving higher education institutions in five Mid-Atlantic states (including New York), the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

At the commission, Santiago was a peer-review and quality-assurance accreditation liaison to a portfolio of 145 colleges and universities.

He’s also served as the assistant dean of the College of Science and Mathematics at New Jersey’s Montclair State University, the associate director of the Educational Opportunity Fund Program at the Garden State’s Rider University and the assistant dean of students at Rutgers College, one of four colleges comprising the State University of New Jersey.

TCI College of Technology, which is accredited by the MSCHE and the New York State Board of Regents, offers two-year associate’s degrees and certificates in 14 academic programs, including business, engineering and health sciences.

The NYC college, which boasts an enrollment of 2,500-plus students, was founded in 1909 by Nobel Prize recipient Guglielmo Marconi. Originally known as the Marconi Institute in New York City, the school trained operators in “wireless telegraphy” – a.k.a. radio – and was later renamed the Radio Institute of America.

It became RCA Institutes after a General Electric investment turned Marconi’s private company into the Radio Corporation of America. In 1974, the school became the Technical Career Institute, creating the TCI moniker it still carries today.

The institution’s long technological history was too strong a lure to pass up, according to the new TCI College of Technology president, who earned a doctorate and a master’s of education degree from Penn State University, following bachelor’s degrees in geography and Spanish from Rutgers University.

“TCI has a long and honorable tradition preparing students in technology-based careers,” Santiago said. “Under the guidance of TCI’s board, I am excited to begin planning new programs that will provide students with the capacity to master industry-specific technologies.”