Matthew Sapienza

Vice Chancellor for Budget and Finance

Matthew Sapienza was appointed Vice Chancellor for Budget and Finance in January 2014. He is responsible for overseeing and managing the finances of CUNY's 24 colleges and professional schools and of the University's Central administration, including its investment portfolio.

Mr. Sapienza became University Budget Director in October 2004 and served more recently as Associate Vice Chancellor for Budget and Finance. He has provided more than 21 years of distinguished public service in senior-level budget and finance administration, including five years as CUNY’s University Budget Director, 11 years at the New York City Department of Education, including as Deputy Budget Director for the public school system, and five years as a Senior Budget Analyst for The New York City Fire Department.

Mr. Sapienza has responsibility for the overall management of $2.6 billion in city and state tax-levy operating funds, including more than $1.0 billion in tuition revenues.

He played a critical role in the development and implementation of the CUNY Compact, an innovative financing strategy that has earned national recognition. The CUNY Compact calls for a financial partnership among philanthropists, students, alumni, the state, the city and the University. Through its first four years, the Compact successfully secured more than $130 million in funding for new, programmatic initiatives at CUNY campuses.

Mr. Sapienza also played a key role in implementing the University’s Student Financial Assistance Initiative, which combines assistance and information on financial aid, scholarships and career counseling to assist students who are at risk of interrupting their matriculation due to financial pressures.

Before becoming University Budget Director, Mr. Sapienza worked for 11 years at the New York City Department of Education, the last four as Deputy Budget Director. At the DOE he provided leadership to line managers and was responsible for maintenance, oversight and reporting of the school system’s $12 billion budget and for being the organization’s main liaison with financial oversight agencies.

Mr. Sapienza also served as a policy-level resource to the DOE’s executive management on key financial issues and represented the agency in high-level dealings with all fiscal oversights at the city, state and federal levels. This included ensuring data integrity in public reporting of the agency’s budget, the technical administration of the overall operating budget, and the issuance of public documents such as the Financial Status Report, Chancellor’s Budget Request, and School-Based Expenditure Reports.

In the wake of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 Mr. Sapienza was named DOE’s chief fiscal liaison with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). In that capacity he helped secure more than $100 million in federal funds for clean-up, repair and air testing of damaged schools, lost instructional time for all students citywide, and mental health and counseling initiatives.

Prior to working at the DOE, Mr. Sapienza was a Senior Budget Analyst in the New York City Fire Department, where he was responsible for all reporting and accounting functions related to Expense and Revenue funds. He also developed the Fire Department’s financial plan, variance reports, and expenditure projections; produced comprehensive manpower planning models for overtime control, staffing deployment, and operational efficiency, and prepared management reports.

Mr. Sapienza holds a BBA in Finance from Pace University’s Lubin School of Business, and an MBA in Finance from St. John’s University.