Sue Henderson, second in command at Queens College, is moving to Jersey City to become president of New Jersey City University.
Henderson is the third high-ranking official at Queens College to leave the Flushing campus since May. Joe Bertolino, vice president of student affairs, left in May to become president of Lyndon State College in Vermont and Kathy Cobb, vice president of finances and administration, left earlier this month to take a similar position at Baruch College.
Henderson, who has been at the CUNY school for 10 years, began as executive assistant to the president and ended up as chief operating officer and vice president for institutional advancement. She also served as executive director of the Queens College Foundation.
She will start her new position on Aug. 6 at a 9,000-student college that she says in many ways is like Queens College. “There are similar demographics with mostly commuter students and one residence hall,” she said.
Although Queens College has a larger enrollment of 20,500, it also has a multiethnic student body that primarily commutes and a dormitory.
Henderson said she is most proud of her achievements at Flushing, including adding the residence hall, coming up with a strategic plan and increasing the college’s funding sources.
“It’s been an honor and a privilege to work at Queens College,” she said. “It serves the borough well. It’s an incredible institution.”
Born in Tennessee, Henderson was raised in Georgia and is a graduate of Georgia State University and the University of Georgia, where she earned her Ph.D. She previously worked at Georgia Perimeter College as provost and COO.
James Muyskens, president of Queens College, pointed to Henderson’s energy, as well as the wide scope of her responsibilities, which he said are legendary on the campus. “Her enthusiasm and professionalism touched everyone,” Muyskens said. “Faculty were impressed by her passion for education and her willingness to help them in their teaching and research; staff were inspired by her energy and openness to new ideas; alumni and donors were infected with her love for the college; and our students appreciated her friendliness and generosity.
“We are deeply grateful to Sue for her extraordinary commitment to the college and wish her all the best as she takes over the presidency of New Jersey City University,” he added.
Regarding the three vice presidential openings, Henderson said the seconds in command are very capable to carry on the work and the college will begin a six-month search for replacements.
She said that Bertolino, who had been at Queens College for eight years, was actively seeking the presidency of a college and that Cobb, a five-year veteran, wanted to work closer to her home in Manhattan.
The Queens College student newspaper, The Knight News, quoted Muyskens as being philosophical about Cobb’s departure. “My job is to hire the best people I can and to help them grow professionally, but there’s a downside to that,” he said. “The downside is if they are really good, other places find them and steal them and so Kathy was stolen away by Baruch.”