Jay Hershenson, senior vice chancellor of the City University of New York, will be leaving the system offices at the end of the year to return to Queens College, a CUNY division that is his alma mater. There he will become vice president for communications and marketing and senior adviser to the president. He is leaving at a time when Governor Andrew Cuomo is pushing for major changes in the CUNY system.
Hershenson has been a vice chancellor of the CUNY system for the last 32 years, serving under eight different CUNY chancellors. During that time, he has won numerous awards, many of them for his efforts on behalf of minority and disadvantaged students. Many of his counterparts nationally have said that it is unheard-of for someone to remain so long in such a highly visible senior position at a university system that faces its share of controversies and political challenges. In 2009, he received a joint award for his service to CUNY and state government relations from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, the American Association for State Colleges and Universities, and the American Association of Community Colleges. A tribute video released by CUNY at the time is below.