New interim president named

I am pleased to announce that John F. M. Flynn, Ph.D. has been selected as our Interim President. He will serve in this role until a permanent successor to Dr. Hankin is hired.  

A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Fordham University, Dr. Flynn holds a Masters and a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in British History from Columbia University in the City of New York. He began as a fulltime faculty member at Westchester Community College in September 1972, teaching Modern History. Dr. Flynn was the college’s Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs from 1983 to 2005. He then returned to the ranks of fulltime faculty here in Valhalla. 

We are fortunate to have been able to hire an excellent college administrator to help us during this transitional period. He is universally respected and well liked. Dr. Flynn’s awareness of the college, his knowledge of the community and its needs, his overall expertise, and his considerable experience will serve us well. Together with the college’s Board of Trustees and SUNY, I am proud to be able to announce this appointment, which begins on January 1, 2014.

“I had the privilege of working hand-in-hand with Dr. Hankin for almost a quarter of a century, helping him and the team of faculty, staff and administrators he assembled to create the college as we now know it,” said Dr. Flynn on accepting this appointment. “I am pleased to have been given this opportunity to serve again as we search for a worthy successor to build on the legacy left us,” he added.  

This will be the second time that Dr. Flynn has served as an Interim President of a SUNY institution. In 1992-1993, he was Interim President of Rockland Community College. 

Among other achievements while serving as our Vice President of Academic Affairs, he worked with Dr. Hankin, fellow administrators and faculty to initiate, create and provide resources for the Honors Program, the Cambridge University Summer Study Program, the Academic Support Center, the Writing Center, the Endowed Chairs Program, and the Online Education Department. He and his team also led the academic portion of three successful Middle States Reaccreditations.

He was awarded the Westchester Community College Foundation Medallion Award in the Field of Education in 1991 and was selected for the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2011. In 2012, he was named to the Barbara A. Abeles Endowed Chair in European Studies.

Dr. Flynn also had a 29-year career in the United States Army Reserves during which he rose to the rank of Colonel. In 1991, he commanded the 353rd Civil Affairs (Detachment 1) in Desert Storm and Operation Provide Comfort. He was awarded the Legion of Merit upon his retirement from the Army Reserves in 1994.

He lives in Eastchester with his wife of 43 years, Cathryn. Both his children, now grown, took classes at Westchester Community College.

Betsy Stern, Vice Chair, Westchester Community College Board of Trustees