Lewis next Vice President

 It is my pleasure to introduce Gerald Lewis Jr. as the next Vice President for Public Safety, a role he will step into on September 26th. Gerald joins Columbia with a long and distinguished career within both higher education and law enforcement, spanning over 30 years. 

Gerald has led public safety departments at major university systems, most recently at the University of Connecticut, where he built meaningful relationships and developed an ongoing dialogue with the campus community. He previously served as the Associate Vice President and Chief of Police at the University of Texas at San Antonio, a part of the second-largest university public safety team in the nation. During his time at UT-San Antonio, Gerald was recognized as Campus Safety Director of the Year by Campus Safety Magazine. 

Prior to UT-San Antonio, Gerald spent several years at East Carolina University after having been commanding officer and chief spokesperson for the New Jersey State Police. 

Gerald brings to Columbia a relentless focus on safety and an unwavering commitment to diversity, inclusion, and community partnerships. His ability to bring these lenses to Columbia’s presence in New York City will be invaluable given the importance of inclusivity in all facets of public safety’s work. He will be a critical partner in the ongoing work of the Inclusive Public Safety Advisory Committee – which mirrors committees he founded at UT-San Antonio and the New Jersey State Police – while continuing to enhance the many safety resources available in and around our campuses.  

Gerald’s hiring is the culmination of an intensive and inclusive nationwide search, which I co-chaired alongside Executive Vice President for University Life Dennis A. Mitchell. The rigorous process involved the participation of university stakeholders across Columbia’s campuses.   

As we welcome Gerald, I want to recognize Deidre Fuchs for her tireless commitment and steadfast leadership of the Department of Public Safety during the ongoing search process. Our deepest thanks and appreciation are extended to Deidre, who will continue in her previous role as Assistant Vice President for Investigations with Public Safety. 

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