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After leading Westchester Community College in New York for 42 years, president Joseph Hankin announces his retirement

Westchester Community College

President Joseph Hankin retiring from post at Westchester Community College

The nation’s longest serving community college president, Westchester Community College President Dr. Joseph Hankin, who has led the State University of New York institution since 1971, has announced his retirement.

It can truly be said that Dr. Hankin is Westchester Community College. His work ethic and visionary leadership have resulted in one of the nation’s finest community colleges and the largest and most successful educational institution in the county of Westchester. But his influence goes beyond programmatic changes and brick and mortar improvements. It also has to do with his positive influence over the people of Westchester Community College. Through example and leadership, he has inspired others to do their best on behalf of the college.

“For the past 42 years, it has been my honor to serve the Board of Trustees, administration, faculty, staff, student body, and residents of

Westchester County in the position of President of Westchester Community College. The accomplishments achieved over the past four decades have been realized because of the joint effort of a team of individuals,” he said at today’s annual State of the College address to faculty, staff and administrators. “I am now announcing my retirement. The Board of Trustees has granted me a leave of absence from January 1, 2014 through December 31, 2014.” During the leave, Dr. Hankin will assist the trustees in the college’s search for a new president, and will assist in the college’s visibility and outreach efforts in addition to other projects related to the development and refinement of programs and services to meet the needs of the college.

A Search Committee will be formed and a national search for a permanent successor will take place. A national search firm will be hired to assist in the search. The search may last a full year. An Interim President will be named after the Board of Trustees confers with the Board of Trustees of the State University of New York.

In accepting Dr. Hankin’s retirement, Westchester Community College Board of Trustees Chair Timothy Carey discussed the significance of this news. “Dr. Hankin has been the ‘soul’ of the institution and his achievements have spanned decades. We are pleased that he will be assisting in the transition to a new President,” he said.

“For more than 40 years, President Hankin has led Westchester Community College with the highest level of distinction, fostering productive and impactful connections with students, faculty, and staff on campus and elevating the college’s presence and partnership with the local community,”

said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “The college will be forever defined by President Hankin’s tenure, and his many contributions to SUNY and to New York State throughout his leadership will benefit generations to come,” she said.

“Dr. Hankin has compiled an amazing record of leadership at the county’s largest educational institution,” said Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino. “It has been an honor to work with him to ensure that the residents of the county have all the educational resources needed to improve their lives, whether it is to take classes to earn a degree, train for new careers, or take a non-credit course for self-improvement. I am proud of our community college and I want to acknowledge Dr. Hankin’s role in expanding and improving the institution over more than forty years,” he said.

“Dr. Hankin has built the college into one of the nation’s leading educational institutions,” said Ken Jenkins, Chairman of the Westchester County Board of Legislators. “His efforts over the decades have affected thousands of lives, as students of all ages have sought out new beginnings, challenges and dreams with the help of Westchester Community College. For those many students who have relied on their local community
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