The City University of New York today named Peter M. Cohen as interim president of Kingsborough Community College following the recent announcement that Farley Herzek, the president since 2014, is retiring. Cohen will serve while the Board of Trustees conducts a search for a permanent replacement.
Cohen has been Kingsborough’s Vice President of Student Affairs since 2014 and has served in a variety of student-service capacities since 1987.
“We’re lucky to have someone from Kingsborough’s own family who can step seamlessly into the top leadership post,” said Chancellor James B. Milliken. “Vice President Cohen’s deep experience with the needs and aspirations of Kingsborough’s students and faculty will provide an essential bridge to the next administration.”
“Peter Cohen brings a keen, student-centered orientation to the post of interim president, which will serve the students and faculty well during this transitional period,” said William C. Thompson Jr., chairperson of CUNY’s Board of Trustees.
As vice president for student affairs, Cohen has implemented science, technology, engineering and math initiatives and managed innovative enrollment programs. He has overseen a broad range of services, including disability services, counseling, career development, athletics and veteran affairs.
Earlier, Cohen developed the Freshman Year Experience Program and managed freshman services. These efforts provided new and continuing students, in both day and evening divisions, timely and useful advice about courses, programs, careers and the adjustment to college life. He began his professional life as a psychiatric social worker at Coney Island Hospital, providing individual, family and group psychotherapy as well as educational and preventive outreach to the community. He has a bachelor’s degree in English from New York University and a master’s degree from NYU’s School of Social Work.
Under the leadership of retiring President Herzek, Kingsborough launched the innovative AssistMe app, designed to help first-year students keep on track with information about financial aid, academic support, food and housing assistance, residency, child care and, if needed, provide an easy way to contact people who could address problems and help them succeed. An educator with wide experience in K-12 schools and higher education, President Herzek exemplifies the CUNY success story. He is a Brooklyn native and the son of a Holocaust survivor – the first in his family to graduate from college – and a graduate of New York City public schools, who earned his B.S. degree from The City College of New York.
Kingsborough prides itself on promoting student learning and development as well as strengthening and serving a highly diverse borough. It offers a high-quality education through associate degree programs that prepare students for transfer to senior colleges or entry into the workforce. Serving approximately 16,000 full- and part-time students annually in credit- and non-credit bearing courses in liberal arts and career education, Kingsborough also serves an additional 20,000 students in its expanding continuing education and workforce development programs on- and off-campus.
The City University of New York is the nation’s leading urban public university. Founded in 1847, the University comprises 24 institutions: 11 senior colleges, seven community colleges, the William E. Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, the CUNY Graduate School and University Center, the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, the CUNY School of Law, the CUNY School of Professional Studies and the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy. The University serves more than 272,000 degree-seeking students. College Now, the University’s academic enrichment program, is offered at CUNY campuses and more than 400 high schools throughout the five boroughs. The University offers online baccalaureate and master’s degrees through the School of Professional Studies.