Hunter College welcomed its new interim president, Ann Kirschner, a longtime educator who served for a decade as dean of CUNY’s Macaulay Honors College, one of the nation’s most successful public honors programs.
Kirschner succeeds Hunter President Jennifer J. Raab, who stepped down June 30.
Kirschner said her goal is to build on Hunter’s tradition of academic excellence and social mobility, while preparing for new leadership.
“I’m delighted to be joining Hunter, an outstanding academic institution that has always been an engine for talent, scholarship, and service to New York City,” said Kirschner, who led Macaulay from 2006–16. “Together with faculty, staff, and students, we will use this time to identify existing challenges and highlight areas of excellence so that we can build capacity for the future and prepare together for long-term success.”
Kirschner’s interim appointment was announced last month by CUNY.
“Ann Kirschner is a highly respected administrator and educator who has a rich understanding of CUNY’s mission and has already helped to solidify the university’s reputation in public higher education. We are fortunate to be able to draw on her breadth of experience during this period of transition for Hunter College,” said Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez. “My first exposure to CUNY’s mission was as a member of Hunter’s faculty, where I saw firsthand how important the college is to the university’s history and its continued success. We thank Dr. Kirschner for taking on this important responsibility.”
Kirschner’s career has spanned the classroom and the boardroom. As an entrepreneur and digital strategist, she was a senior executive of five technology start-ups, including NFL.COM and NFL SUNDAY TICKET, and FATHOM, one of the first online learning companies, which she developed at Columbia University in partnership with the London School of Economics, University of Chicago, the British Library, and other leading institutions.
As dean (now dean emerita) of Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, Kirschner helped create one of the nation’s best public honors colleges. She then served on the CUNY Chancellor’s cabinet as a strategic adviser, expanding public-private partnerships across CUNY, launching CUNY’s partnership with Cornell Tech, Verizon, and other companies in the creation of Women in Technology in New York (WITNY, now known as Break Through Tech). As a university professor with the CUNY Graduate Center, she developed and taught interdisciplinary graduate courses on the future of higher education and the future of work.
Hunter Acting Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Manoj Pardasani said that the college would be well-served by Kirschner’s extensive experience as a leader and innovator at CUNY as well as other academic institutions and her diverse career in media and technology.
Kirschner thanked President Raab for 22 years of stewardship, noting that “President Raab’s service and dedication have created a strong foundation and forward momentum for Hunter College.”
A national search is under way to name a permanent leader for the college.